Written by PETA
While some PETA India members in Calcutta faced cop trouble at a demonstration outside the Calcutta Zoo earlier this week, others hit the streets in Delhi to help residents brush up on their ABCs: animal birth control.
Delhi, Bangalore, and other parts of the country are facing a critical animal overpopulation crisis that has left dogs and cats living in misery on the streets. Did you know that one female dog and all her puppies can produce a whopping 67,000 dogs in six years if none of them are spayed or neutered?
The solution to animal overpopulation in India—and the rest of the world—is simple: Always spay or neuter your companion animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Last week, vegetarian Carmen Cusack walked into the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles looking to change her license plate to read "ILVTOFU."
Dreaming of kung pao tofu, barbecue tofu sandwiches, and tofu tacos, Carmen was ready to educate everyone she shares the road with about the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Well, it seems that the guys over at the DMV had a rather naughty interpretation of Carmen's message ("I-LV-TO-F-U").
Florida is the second state this year to reject an "ILVTOFU" license plate. Instead of risking rejection here in Virginia, we've taken a different tack.
If we can get 350 people to prepay just $10 for one of these stylish new "vegetarian" license plates, they'll be put into circulation in April of 2011!
If you live in Virginia, what are you waiting for? Let others know about how much you love tofu by sending your application to the Virginia DMV today.
For most of us, summer is fading fast, but for residents of Jacksonville, Florida, bikini season lasts all year. What does the Sunshine State's endless summer mean for PETA? Our phone lines ring off the hook with reports of "beached whale sightings." Good one, guys.
Luckily, we know the secret to getting—and maintaining—a killer beach bod. Did you know that vegetarians are 20 to 30 percent leaner than meat-eaters? So, to help residents and tourists "lose the blubber"—and hopefully to deter prank callers—we're launching a brand-new billboard urging people to go vegetarian:
After finding out that Renninger's Farmers and Flea Market in Mount Dora, Florida, was offering rides on a female African elephant named Nosey, we immediately contacted the manager and alerted him to the dangers that elephant rides pose to both elephants and the public. After listening to our concerns and hearing from local citizens, Renninger's canceled the rides. Yay!
Most people don't realize that captive elephants are beaten, chained, and denied almost everything that is natural and important to them. This understandably causes aggression and poses a risk to humans—since 1990, rampaging elephants have killed 13 people and injured 120. Just a couple weeks ago, 12 children were injured by an elephant at the Shrine Circus, and in 2004, Nosey herself hit a Liebel Family Circus employee on the back of the head with her trunk, sending him to the hospital. I'm guessing that the parents who let their children take a ride on Nosey had no knowledge of this attack.
To be fair to Nosey—and all captive elephants—it's pretty clear what they're so mad about. After Nosey's outburst in 2004, the injured man described an incident in which a trainer "used the bullhook handle, turned off the lights in the performance ring, and beat the elephant." The trainer also encouraged others to take part in the abuse by striking her with objects such as a sledgehammer and shovel handles. When the USDA investigated the facility, they found that the Liebel Family Circus was not providing the animals in its care with adequate food, shelter, or veterinary care.
Don't you agree that it's time to put a permanent end to the abuse of elephants in circuses?
Blayne Doyle, a retired Florida police officer, had several harrowing experiences during his many years on the force. He was shot and stabbed and was involved in life-threatening automobile, motorcycle, and airplane accidents. But if you were to ask him which event stuck out as the most frightening, he would tell you that it was the day he was forced to shoot and kill an 8,000-pound rampaging elephant named Janet, who was carrying a woman and five children on her back. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of this tragic event. Sadly, not much has changed in the intervening years. For example, the Liebel Family Circus, which tours throughout Florida, is currently using an elephant named Nosey to give rides.
Blayne has reached out to the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, asking him to ban elephant rides in Florida. You can read Blayne's moving letter here.
The most shocking part to me is that, in 2004, a circus worker reported that Nosey attacked him during an appearance in Clinton, Iowa. While the worker was tending to the elephant's water dish, Nosey hit him with her tusk, lifted him off his feet, and propelled him down an incline. The worker was rushed to the hospital and received stitches for a head injury. But somehow it's safe to let children ride on Nosey's back? I don't think so.
So, Gov. Crist, won't you please ban elephant rides in Florida? By doing so, not only will you send the powerful message that elephants should not be abused for entertainment, you might also prevent history from repeating itself.
San Juan Capistrano has its swallows and Austin has its bats, but who knew that Singer Island, Florida, has its sharks? Lifeguards have reported seeing a thousand sharks this week off just one beach during the sharks' annual migration south. (Check out this video footage that some surfers shot of a spinner shark leaping and twirling out of the water just a few yards away. Da-yum!)
The enormous number of sharks has forced the beaches to close—but they've also drawn a swarm of gawkers and media cameras. And you have to know that wherever gawkers and media cameras can be found, PETA can't be far away. Yup, we've hired a plane to fly up and down the oceanfront tomorrow bearing the message, "Sharks aren't the only dangerous predators. Go vegetarian."
Every year, more than 50 million sharks and billions of other sea animals are killed and eaten by human beings—in contrast, fewer than a dozen people worldwide were killed by sharks last year. Many species of sharks and other fish have been decimated by overfishing—it's estimated that 29 percent of fish species have "collapsed," or declined by 90 percent over the past 50 years.
That's why we're making the case that the world's most dangerous predators aren't in the water at all—they're lined up at the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Hold on to your cruelty-free hats for this one, folks. We've got a case of the hideously cruel and ridiculously obvious to break.
In early September, we learned about the death of Diamond, a Rottweiler who died while in the custody of a Clay County, Florida, animal control officer. The poor dog likely died from heat shock, allegedly because the animal control officer left her in the back of the seething-hot van with no air conditioning, water, or fresh air on an 85° day—after riding around with her for an hour or so and while he attended a meeting.
A necropsy came up inconclusive but suggested that the death was related to heat stress. This was not good enough for Clay County officials, evidently, and they actually decided a reenactment was necessary so they could prove that the officer wasn't at fault. Ready for it … WHAT?!!???!!
Yeah, you can't make this stuff up. They placed a homeless shelter dog who was "of similar size and weight" as Diamond into the exact same box, in which the heat reached more than 86 degrees, and waited—presumably to see if the dog would die. This lasted for more than one hour. I think we need one more resounding WHAT!???!!??? I mean, seriously, people, this is just completely insane—not to mention horrifically cruel. The fate of that poor dog has not been made public.
While it's bad enough that a dog died in the county's custody in the first place, this whole aftermath reenactment just makes me physically ill. Naturally, PETA Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch immediately sent off a letter to Clay County blasting them for their senseless decision to subject a second dog to obviously potentially fatal conditions.
If you are as outraged by Clay County's actions as we are, please take action!
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
As you can imagine, PETA hears about lots of cases of cruelty to animals. For folks who love animals as much as we do, that's never fun, but we can't make things better if we bury our heads in the sand. Still, it takes a lot to really strike a nerve with us, but one recent case stands out.
Carrie Cagata, James Cullen, and Shannon Kraham of Fort Myers, Florida, have been charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals and animal abandonment. Lee County deputies reportedly found more than 80 dogs, cats, and other animals who had been entrusted to the trio malnourished or dead. While that's awful, it's not entirely unusual (unfortunately), but this is: Cagata is the owner of My Best Friend Inc., a supposed animal rescue organization. Detectives are alleging that she adopted abandoned animals from animal shelters and then tried to sell them for a profit—if the animals didn't sell, the detectives claim, they were apparently shipped off to "the farm," where they were left to starve.
While starving and abandoning animals is horrible enough, to do so while allegedly pretending to be rescuing them is over-the-top hideous—and an insult to the wonderful people who operate legitimate rescue groups. We fired off a letter to the head of the felony division of the Florida attorney's office, demanding that this case be prosecuted vigorously.
The letter also stated, "On behalf of our thousands of members and supporters in Florida, we respectfully ask that, if convicted and in addition to serving a period of incarceration, the three defendants (and any codefendants later named) be required to undergo psychological evaluations followed by mandatory counseling at their own expense." You can read the full letter here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Last week, we released our jaw-dropping investigation into a Hormel supplier. It didn't take long for more abuse of pigs to come to light. We recently learned of a situation that happened early this month when a truck carrying nearly 200 live pigs to a slaughterhouse overturned on the highway, trapping some pigs in the wreckage for hours. Approximately 65 pigs were killed by the impact, died from their injuries, or were killed at the site of the accident by responding workers, including employees of Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc.
As if the trauma of the accident weren't enough, while workers were removing the surviving pigs from the scene in order to send them on to the horrors of the slaughterhouse, they pulled the terrified pigs by their ears and hit them in the face with tools that even the pork industry says should never be used to hit animals.
As Smithfield's neighbors, we're all too familiar with the grisly aftermath of truck crashes. These latest documented abuses clearly demonstrate that Smithfield's self-touted "industry-leading accident response program" is ignored by a number of Murphy-Brown's employees and ineffectively enforced by supervisors. Watch the video and decide for yourself whether Smithfield is full of hot air.
If you eat hot dogs, ham, sausage, or bacon, then you are supporting this suffering. These and other abuses are done in your name and on your dollar. Please make a conscious decision to turn up your nose at pork, because the best way to help these intelligent animals is to stop eating them.
Written by Christine Doré
The nation's fleeting attention was caught today by a story about a Florida woman who was surprised to discover a full-sized alligator nonchalantly wandering around in her kitchen looking for treats. For her troubles, the woman in question—Ms. Sandie Frosti—gets an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to do the talk-show circuit, so everything turned out OK for her.
But what's to become of old Andy the Alligator? Well, according to local authorities, our reptilian friend, who is believed to be a grown-up from a group of baby gators that the neighbors used to feed in the pond, has been bound up and is awaiting slaughter, which will probably come via a knife or ax to the spine, so that he can be paralyzed before they skin him alive to make shoes, belts, and bags out of him.
Which is pretty much the price that animals who don't pass the "cute and cuddly" test always tend to pay in these situations. There's going to be plenty of yukking it up about Ms. Frosti's wacky experience during the talk-show fluff pieces tomorrow morning, so I figured at least somebody should tell the alligator's side of the story. If nothing else, maybe it'll at least serve as a reminder never to buy exotic skins.
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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.