Written by PETA
Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe– and Grammy-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix is talented, compassionate, and heart-achingly handsome. (I assure you, it's a harmless crush.)
Joaquin, who is vhegan—right down to his pleather gladiators—has narrated our exotic-skins video in the hope of inspiring both shoe aficionados and luxe footwear designers to shun exotic skins, à la Nike, Cole Haan, H&M, and Overstock.com.
He's also penned letters to Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin in which he points out that many snakes, alligators, lizards, and crocodiles are skinned alive by people who believe that the practice makes leather more supple. Snakes can remain alive for up to four days after they are skinned.
There are enough skin-free styles to inspire any shoe fanatic and handbag addict to give skins the boot. I personally can't get enough of the offerings at MooShoes. How do you satisfy your need for skin-free kicks?
Written by Karin Bennett
With the passing this week of Robert Culp, captive animals—and the people who care about them—have lost a true advocate and friend.
Although he appeared in dozens of films and television programs, Culp was best known to baby boomers for his work on the TV series I Spy and to the following generation for The Greatest American Hero. His fans may not have known that, off screen, Culp was a genuine hero for captive animals. In 2007, he filed a lawsuit to block construction of a new elephant exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, citing allegations that the zoo did not provide elephants sufficient veterinary care, confined them in an inadequate space, and used bullhooks and electric shocks on them. Last year, when a judge ruled against him, Culp filed an appeal.
Taken from their families in the wild, elephants in zoos suffer a life of chronic physical ailments, social deprivation, emotional starvation, and premature death. Lack of exercise and long hours standing on hard surfaces are major contributors to foot infections and arthritis, the leading causes of death among captive elephants. Two elephants who died at the Los Angeles Zoo in recent years, Tara and Gita, suffered from arthritis-related illnesses.
We can each pay tribute to this kind and talented man by carrying forward his efforts to help elephants in zoos.
Written by Jeff Mackey
You might already know that Spiderman's Tobey Maguire is vegan, as is Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson, Golden Globe–winner Joaquin Phoenix, and Ultraman Rich Roll. And you may remember that fitness trainer Bob Harper and the NBA's Amar'e Stoudemire both rely on animal-free cuisine to promote peak physical form.
Now The Boston Globe has introduced its readers to "hegans"—as in "he" plus "vegan" equals "hegan." Many hegans are middle-aged, and they all seem to be unassuming fellows who—in their individual pursuits of longevity, improved strength and energy, weight loss, or decreased risk of killer diseases such as cancer and heart disease—have all quietly embraced vegan lifestyles. They may also have read that vegan diets are the best for making sure that their kids have a planet to inherit, or they don't like the idea of eating Babe for breakfast. According to Rip Esselstyn, veteran firefighter, triathlete, and author of The Engine 2 Diet, "Real men eat plants.''
We absolutely agree—and so do the red-hot hunks in our 2010 Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door contest. After you've cast your vote, tell us: Will you use the term "hegan" to describe men who eat only animal-free foods—or are you inclined to stick with "vegan"?
I guess it shouldn't come as any surprise that "Octomom" Nadya Suleman has agreed to take us up on our offer to place this ad on her front lawn in exchange for a single payment of $5,000 and a month's supply of veggie burgers and dogs to feed her supersized litter family.
After all, faced with the prospect of foreclosure, the single mom of 14 can surely relate to the plight of millions of homeless animals across the country.
The benefits of PETA's offer to the struggling octobrood are obvious, but what's in it for animals? Already, the ad has been run (for free) by CNN, NBC, AOL News, E! Online, USA Today, the New York Post, and dozens of other media outlets and blogs. So far, we've reached millions of people with the lifesaving spay-and-neuter message for less than a penny a person. Not a bad deal.
Regardless of her motivations for accepting our ad, wouldn’t you agree that reaching millions with the spay-neuter message right as "kitten season" is starting is perfect timing? And with Nadya's entire family chowing down on veggie burgers and veggie dogs all month long, factory farmed animals' lives have been spared.
Written by Alisa Mullins
In the latest installment of "Yeah, What PETA Said," the Jockey Club has released the findings of a study that concluded that horses used for racing are dying on U.S. and Canadian tracks at twice the rate—at least—of any other country, probably for the very reasons that PETA has stated (over and over again): drugs and dirt tracks.
Horses forced to race in the U.S. and Canada, where they commonly race on dirt tracks and where the use of many drugs that mask the pain of injuries is still legal, die at the rate of 2.04 per 1,000 starts (or races). By contrast, in England—where horses are raced less frequently and mainly on turf and where the use of performance-enhancing drugs is much more strictly regulated—horses die at a rate of 0.8 to 0.9 per 1,000 starts. In Victoria, Australia, the risk of fatality drops even further to 0.44 per 1,000 starts.
Running on dirt tracks is rough on every joint in a horse's body. It causes their leg bones, knees, and ankles to sustain significant trauma, but regardless of their injuries, these animals are often still forced to race when they should be recovering. They are pumped full of drugs that are used to mask the pain, which can lead to tragic, and oftentimes deadly, breakdowns on race tracks.
In California, where dirt tracks have been replaced by synthetic surfaces, the number of horses suffering catastrophic injuries during races has plummeted 40 percent.
So our question to the Jockey Club and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is: What are you waiting for? Let's get busy adopting PETA's recommendations to make tracks safer already, shall we?
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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.