Written by PETA
By now, the whole world knows about the horrors of the Canadian seal slaughter. With demonstrations taking place around the world, it's pretty hard not to notice. Our friends in Canada, Germany, and cities across the U.S. have been out on the streets to spread the word. Check out some photos of recent demonstrations, and then visit our Action Center online to find out how you can organize your own protest.
Inspired yet? Take a minute to read the words of a Canadian who opposes the seal slaughter, and then take action by telling the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee that you won't support the Olympic Games until Canada stops supporting the seal slaughter.
Written by Lianne Turner
I had occasion to ride my bike into downtown Houston one evening last week. While it was great to see a lot of nightlife happening in this once-dead part of our fair city, there was one sight that wasn't so welcome: carriages drawn by sad, exhausted horses.
Frequent PETA Files visitors know about our work to help horses in New York City, but the problem isn't limited to the Big Apple. Case in point: According to news reports, Chicago authorities recently impounded six horses from carriage ride operator JC Cutters. The animal control manager reportedly said that the animals' body weights and the condition of the outdoor tent in which the horses were living were factors in the decision.
Did you get that? The horses were reportedly living in a tent, which the Chicago Tribune described as a "tarp-covered plywood barn near the Chicago River." In the Windy City. In winter. Nice, huh? Maybe Liam Neeson should set up some new digs there.
Now, it's great that Chicago has addressed this immediate problem, but these situations will keep happening as long as we keep putting the horse before the cart, so to speak—and not just in New York and Chicago but everywhere this sad excuse for "entertainment" occurs.
Meanwhile, with Valentine's day coming up, it's worth remembering that horse-drawn carriage rides are anything but romantic (or, as Will said of them on Will & Grace, "It seems romantic at first, but eventually you realize you're cold and you're staring at an ass that craps right in front of you").
Fortunately, New York City Council Member Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan has taken up our suggestion to replace horse-drawn carriages there with environmentally-friendly electric replicas of the classic Ford Model T and is running with it. The current carriage drivers might even be able to make the transition to driving the new cars—you gotta love a win-win situation like that.
Written by Jeff Mackey
In 2008, we were wildly impressed with Chicago. The White Sox's U.S. Cingular Field was ranked number five on our Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks list for its vegetarian food selections. Now, Chicago's health commissioner, Dr. Terry Mason, has launched his "Re-Start" campaign, which asks Chicagoans to go vegetarian for January. This year, Mason has decided to go vegetarian permanently in order to lead the way for other Chicago residents to slim down their waists and lower their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Well Chicago, you've stepped it up a notch in 2009, and we're impressed!
We could probably all learn something from the Chicagoans (except for, you know, auctioning off senate seats and whatnot).
P.S.: Countdown to the White Sox home opener: 84 days and counting! Any guesses as to what they might add to their long list of vegetarian options?
Written by Liz Graffeo
When PETA told basketball star John Salley of an opportunity to help elephants in Chicago—the city that he helped lead to multiple victories while playing for the Bulls—he jumped at the chance.
There's currently a piece of legislation before the Chicago City Council that would ban chaining elephants. So John fired off a letter to the City Council asking it to vote "Yes" on the legislation. Salley says, "Passing this ordinance would send a powerful message to our children that mistreating other beings for entertainment is wrong. Like other cultural institutions that have caused extraordinary and unnecessary suffering (e.g., slavery, child labor, segregation), the unethical treatment and cruel chaining of elephants is an American tradition that should be relegated to the history books." So as John states in his letter, let's hope that the city of Chicago will seize the opportunity "to take the lead in this noble cause." After giving us our president-elect, the city has the chance once again to make history. Come on, Chicago!
Posted by Melissa Lane
It seems that some circus industry folks—including Feld Entertainment, Ringling's parent company—have donated more than $40,000to certain Chicago aldermen and their respective ward organizations in an apparent attempt to derail efforts to pass an ordinance to prevent some of the worst cruelty that is inflicted on elephantsin circuses. And—what do you know?—a large amount of that money went to the ward organization of the same alderman (*cough* Willie Cochran *cough*) who blocked the vote last week—long enough for Ringling to set up shop in the city.
Now, before our lawyers take a bullhook to me, I should add that there's no absolute proof that these donations are causing these aldermen to have, shall we say, a certain lack of enthusiasm for the ordinance. I'm just saying ….
Y'all do the math, OK?
My favorite bit in this story is this: "Feld spokesman Stephen Payne said he had 'no knowledge of' the campaign contributions." I mean, it's so easy to just lose track of hundreds of dollars, isn't it? Maybe it just slipped through a hole in their pockets.
Of course, anyone familiar with those sterling and upright folks at Feld (and, yes, I'm being sarcastic) won't be at all surprised by this latest apparent indication of their complete and utter lack of scruples. After all, this is a company that hired operatives to infiltrate and spy on PETA and other animal protection groups, illegally recorded conversations, removed confidential documents, and so much other creepy, slimy stuffthat I can't list it all here.
When we sued, Kenneth Feld, chair and CEO of Feld Entertainment, got off the hook by claiming that all the spying was done by his staff, and that he didn't know about it or all the money spent on it. Not a very observant bunch over there, are they? Trust me on this, though—PETA is paying very close attention to Feld, Ringling, and this ordinance.
The progressive Chicago foie gras ban, sponsored by Alderman Joe Moore and originally passed in 2006 by a vote of 48-1, has been repealed today due to shameless manipulation by restaurant industry lobbyists to bring the diseased, rotting organs of abused ducks and geese back to Chicago’s restaurants.
In the course of our work to keep this ban intact, we’ve talked to thousands of people on the streets of Chicago, the overwhelming majority of whom were horrified when they learned about the cruelty behind foie gras. Many of these people joined us in vocal support for Chicago’s progressive ban of the barbaric product. Unfortunately, in large part thanks to a handful of powerful people, battling wealthy industries can be a long, hard battle, regardless of where the public stands on the issue.
This decision is a big step backwards for the city, and it goes against the tide of civilized communities who are making the compassionate decision to ban foie gras.
It’s pretty clear from the desperate angling we’ve seen from the foie gras industry as they’ve fought against this ban that they know their days are numbered, but it’s a hell of a shame to see that, even in their death throes, they can still find a way to poison a beautiful thing. PETA will keep fighting to pass more foie gras bans and to educate the public about this delicacy of despair. You can count on that.
I’ve got to say I wasn’t too shocked this morning when I read about a certain kosher slaughterhouse in a certain small town in Iowa being raided by the Feds over immigration violations. Yes, PETA’s old Postville, Iowa-based friend, Agriprocessors, has been busted yet again. As reported by USA Today, "76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers in connection with their employment." This raid was the largest of its kind. Ever. (Well, at least in the U.S.)
Why, you might be asking, was I not so shocked to learn of this raid? Agriprocessors is not exactly known for being an upstanding member of the corporate community. Nor is it known for its unwavering sense of right and wrong. You may recall that in 2004, a PETA undercover investigation revealed workers at this same facility ripping the tracheas out of live cows’ throats day after day. Or what about that time in 2007 that another PETA undercover investigation—at a facility owned by the same guy who owns Agriprocessors—documented employees tearing into conscious cows’ throats with meat hooks?
Oh, and there’s more. The United Food and Commercial Workers union states on its Web site that USDA documents “cite numerous food safety violations committed by Agriprocessors that may have increased the risk of food-borne illnesses to consumers.” And let’s not forget about the whole mis-labeling issue when an independent food testing laboratory that analyzed various Agriprocessors products revealed that one of its brands of turkey meat had a sodium content 339% higher than what was advertised on the nutrition label (and another brand was 138% higher). Then there was that incident in 2006 when Agriprocessors paid more than $600,000 to settle an Environmental Protection Agency complaint regarding its discharge of pollutants into the Postville water treatment facility. Joining the USDA and EPA in the band of government agencies recording Agriprocessors’ failures, OSHA (that’s the Occupational Health and Safety Agency) logs from this facility reveal five amputations along with dozens of other serious injuries, including broken bones, eye injuries and hearing loss; if that’s what the workers went through imagine what it was like being an cow or chicken at Agriprocessors!Such a fine company.
Well, we’ve had it with Agriprocessors. Today, PETA fired off a letter to Chet Culver, governor of Iowa, asking that Agriprocessors be shut down once and for all. As the letter says: “Enough is enough.”
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
This one’s for our campaign to encourage Chicago to maintain its ban on foie gras. With a different slogan, it could probably also be pressed into service as a reminder to tip your waiters. Either way, I’m a big fan of it. It features the wonderful Brooke Johnson, and a plea to Chicago’s alderman to put a stop to the hideous practice of force-feeding ducks and geese so that rich people can pretend there’s something civilized about chewing on their livers. Check it out:
This news pretty much made my day. According to Britain’s The Independent, Madrid’s state radio and television network has left bullfighting off of its “obligatory programming” list for the first time since it started showing the bloody spectacle back in the deezy. The pro-bullfighting lobby was quick to announce that this is no big deal and won’t affect the popularity of the blood sport. The following is a transcript of an imaginary conversation I just had with the pro-bullfighting lobby:
Pro-bullfighting lobby: “Whatever. This won’t affect the popularity of our event.”Jack: “Yes, pro-bullfighting lobby, it will. When your country’s television station takes your event off the air, it actually is a big deal. Just look what happened to the XFL.”Pro-bullfighting lobby: “What the hell is the XFL?”Jack: "Exactly."
You can read the full article here.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.