Written by PETA
And, this week's 10% Wool "Tag and Release" winner is ... Beth Ann! Congratulations.
Don't forget to check out the archive of past 10% Wool comic strips here. Get more information on the series and the writer here, and learn how to get Jeff's other comic, DeFlocked, into your local paper here.
Just in time for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week comes news reminding us that sharks are not just predators but also often prey—for humans.
Brazil's Environmental Justice Institute has claimed that one seafood exporter has illegally killed nearly 300,000 sharks—just let that number sink in for a moment—in response to growing demand from an increasingly affluent middle class in China, where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy.
While sharks aren't particularly cuddly, that's beside the point. All animals feel fear and pain, and what kind of justification can there be for the hideous cruelty involved in pulling sharks from the water, cutting off their fins, and then throwing them back into the sea to spin to the bottom while they slowly bleed to death? While sharks' predatory nature may give nightmares to anyone who's watched Jaws, humans beat them by far when it comes to the number of victims each species kills for food. And killing sharks in huge numbers threatens the balance of the marine ecosystem.
To its credit, Discovery devotes resources during Shark Week to raising awareness of finning. In light of Hawaii's recent ban on the possession, sale, trade, and distribution of shark fins, perhaps the tide is turning (geddit?) in their favor, but sharks and other threatened aquatic animals still need help.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Boxes containing the remains of more than 750 raccoon dogs were found in a Netherlands meadow last week. The pelts were missing the strip of fur down the center of the animals' backs, a tell-tale sign that the animals were likely skinned to make fur collars and cuffs.
Although there are no known raccoon dog fur farms in the Netherlands, thousands of these animals are bred and skinned on fur farms in China and their pelts are shipped all over the world for sale. (Our videos show that many are still conscious when they're skinned.) The collars and cuffs on coats in your local store may be from them.
While the authorities in Holland hunt for the culprits, let's help save raccoon dogs and other animals from becoming fashion victims by sharing this video—which even YouTube won't show—with everyone we know and urging them never to buy or wear real fur.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
A: It will adopt the eating habits of Americans—specifically, our pork-eating habits. Already, China (which essayist Charles Lamb credited with being the birthplace of pork barbecue) consumes about half of all pork produced worldwide. According to a 2010 U.S. Department of Agriculture report, Chinese pork consumption jumped from 22 million tons in 1990 to more than 50 million tons in 2009—and it is only expected to grow.
How will this destroy the world? China doesn't have enough land to grow all the corn that's required to feed the increasing number of pigs who will in turn be needed to feed the country's growing mu shu pork habit. This means that China will go from importing no corn in 2008 to 15 million metric tons by 2014, according to one industry estimate. Much of that corn is expected to be grown in South America, where pristine savannahs and grasslands will be converted into cornfields. Not only will the razing of these grasslands release greenhouse gasses, the nitrogen fertilizers that will be used to grow the corn will release even more. And then there's all the energy that's used to raise and harvest the corn and ship it halfway around the world.
Nor does China have enough land to continue to raise pigs on small farms, which means that it will start converting its family farms to hugely polluting factory farms as well as importing more meat from such models of agricultural responsibility as Smithfield and Hormel.
All this adds up to an environmental headache bigger than the Great Wall of, well, you know where.
But all is not lost. PETA Asia and its army of Lettuce Ladies are feverishly trying to turn the tide by persuading Asians to eat green (in more ways than one). Will the leafy lovelies be able to save our planet in time? Stay tuned to this bat channel to find out.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Animals who are bred and killed for their fur in China live in misery from birth to death. Chinchillas, foxes, minks, raccoons—and, yes, even dogs and cats—are jammed into crowded wire cages, and the close confinement and filthy conditions quickly lead to mental illness. As documented in our undercover video, fur farmers kill animals by bashing their heads in or breaking their necks while they are still conscious.
Animal protection laws are nonexistent in China, but PETA Asia is working overtime to change that. Whether by submitting recommendations for China's first-ever animal protection legislation, going undercover at fur farms, or exposing the hideous conditions for animals in Chinese zoos, PETA Asia is tirelessly on the front line for animals.
Please take a moment to write to the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., Zhang Yesui, and ask him to do everything in his power to put animal welfare on the agenda in his country. Share the video with family and friends, and remember: If we don't watch it, we can't stop it.
For more information on animal welfare in China, please check out PETA Asia's Web site.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Despite carry-on baggage fees and the ash-spewing Icelandic volcano that erupted a few weeks ago, people continue to travel the globe—and so does PETA. Our virtual plus-size "tourist" is heading to popular destinations to make folks aware of the benefits of a vegan diet. First stop: The Great Wall of China, which is reportedly crumbling because of tourist foot traffic.
The Wall is impressive, but by eating fatty meat and dairy products, tourists could be making entirely the wrong kind of impression. For anyone who would like to be light enough to go 'round the world—instead of showing up as a round spot on Google Earth—then a healthy, balanced vegan diet is just the ticket!
After an elephant who was being used in a Shrine-sponsored circus killed an animal groom in Pennsylvania recently, people asked how such a thing could happen. Circus spokespeople claimed that the elephant had been spooked by a live electrical wire.
Hmm. The same question arose when Tilly, an orca living in a cramped tank at SeaWorld, attacked and killed a trainer. SeaWorld said all sorts of things, such as that maybe Tilly was just playing! Now, check out this mind-boggling video from China, and it's abundantly clear: To captive animals, some humans are hated, and some are just food. As for the hated, who can blame the animals? Chains, sharp metal bullhooks, whips, small cages, loss of freedom—it's a dangerous mix.
We watched this frightened toddler walk a tightrope over a pit filled with stressed-out tigers and steeled ourselves for the worst.
Captivity doesn't make a wild animal's natural instincts disappear. Is it any surprise, then, when animals who have been beaten, battered, and broken respond accordingly?
Via Perez Hilton
The following is a guest post from PETA Prime's Steve Martindale.
Cats, dogs, raccoon dogs, rabbits, and other animals are skinned alive in China for their fur. This fur is exported to consumers in the U.S. and abroad and often dyed to look like the fur of other animals. It's sometimes even deliberately mislabeled as synthetic! More than half the fur garments sold in the U.S. are imported from China, where more than 2 million cats and hundreds of thousands of dogs each year suffer through a miserable life and an excruciatingly painful death as victims of the fur trade. While other sources of fur are unconscionably cruel as well, few do as much as the slaughter of dogs and cats to shake consumers out of complacency.
The cultural and economic inertia driving the Chinese fur trade is daunting—but with your help, we can slow down this juggernaut through dedicated efforts to educate consumers about the true price of fur. We do see glimmers of hope, and you and I can take action right now in many ways. Our new Web site is helping to raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the bloody fur industry.
What do you get when you mix actor Laure Shang (winner of the 2006 season of Super Girls, China's version of American Idol), gleaming body paint, and the pro-bono expertise of acclaimed photographer Zack Zhang? You get PETA Asia's bona fide animal-saving masterpiece:
In this "Shine for Animals: Spay and Neuter" ad, Laure is educating people by letting them know that "No one should bring more animals into the world when countless cats and dogs are suffering and dying for lack of a good home." Says Shang, "I urge everyone to be part of the solution by always spaying and neutering their animal companions."
Written by Logan Scherer
Yesterday, Sin City's angelic new law requiring residents to spay or neuter their animal companions went into effect!
Put forth by local animal defenders to help nip the companion animal overpopulation crisis in the bud, the new city ordinance mandates spaying or neutering—and microchipping—of all dogs and cats who are more than 4 months old. Those who violate the new ordinance will face a misdemeanor charge that carries a $225 fine for first-time offenders.
No doubt, the new ordinance means that many Vegas residents will no longer gamble on letting Fluffy have "just one litter," so there will be fewer puppies and kittens flooding area animal shelters or being dropped off on dusty roads to fend for themselves. And mandatory microchipping means that animal shelter employees and veterinarians will be better able to reunite people and their lost dogs and cats.
Surely I won't be the only one singing "Viva Las Vegas" today.
Written by Karin Bennett
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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.