Written by PETA
Racism, slaughter, skinning … this video has it all—all things inhumane and barbaric, that is.
In a shocking new video released by our pals across the pond at PETA Europe, some bear-skinners recently got their five minutes of fame when, unbeknownst to them, they were videotaped cutting the skin off a black bear and spitting out racial slurs that will have their own mothers dodging their phone calls this holiday season.
You can view this footage below, but please be forewarned: The images and language are graphic.
These pin-head hunters sell bear hides at the very same auction where the British Ministry of Defense buys furs to make the Queen's Guards' caps. Now, you might think that the Queen is simply unaware of the cruelty sewn into each cap, but that's hogwash. PETA Europe has joined forces with top British celebs such as Ricky Gervais and Lucy Davis about this issue. Even Pink has gotten into the mix, sending the Queen a letter expressing outrage over her support for the slaughter of Canadian black bears.
There is no excuse for racism and there is no excuse for the Queen to support the killing of black bears for their fur. The Ministry of Defense needs to stop dragging its heels and make the switch to faux. Until the change is made, the Queen's Guards' caps will be symbols of cruelty at its worst. One way to help is to send a message to Canada's Prime Minster and demand that he ban the practice of bear-baiting.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Movie fans can have a White Christmas (if they like sentiment) or a Black Christmas (if they like horror). Music fans can enjoy a "Blue Christmas." Now, fans of animal protection can have a Grey Christmas—as in greyhounds.
That's right. What could be a better gift this holiday season than to learn about the bankruptcy and closure of another greyhound racing park, this one in Hinsdale, New Hampshire (just two left in New Hampshire now! Come on team, let's stop them both next!). More than a half-century of animal abuse in Hinsdale—first horses, then dogs—will come to an end. Who wouldn't want to find that under the tree? (Or, better yet, for eight nights over Hanukkah!)
Now, some of you may be thinking, "What's the big deal? Don't greyhounds love to run?" Here's the 411: Dogs who are used in races spend most of their days stuck in cramped cages or kennels and suffer other abuses, just for a few minutes on a track during a race. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year before they ever touch a racetrack, and many more will be killed when they fail to "perform." Injuries and sickness, including broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks, claim the lives of many more.
In fact, few dogs make it to the supposed "retirement' age of 4 or 5, and only a fraction of the discarded dogs are placed in homes through greyhound adoption groups. The rest may be killed or sold to laboratories. To learn more, check this out. So yeah, still think they "love to run?"
The Hinsdale closure comes after the park had already cut back on the number of racing days due to "falling attendance." Clearly, people are getting the picture about dog and horse racing and staying away. Yet some folks are trying to prop up the racing industry by putting slot machines at tracks to lure more people. Um, hello? Wouldn't it make more sense to just open a casino and do away with racing altogether (as the good people of Massachusetts recently approved).
Let's end dog- and horse-racing. 'Tis the season!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Bet you thought Santa only came once a year. Well, don't be too sure! PETA's "Sexy Santas" are making the rounds to let fur-wearers know that they're on our naughty list this year. Check us out at these anti-fur demos handing out free candy canes and info on the horrors of fur, leather, and wool.
Some holiday shoppers might be wondering what the problem is with a little fur, but luckily our sexy Santa is here to educate them. Anyone who thinks it's OK to wear the product of innocent lives deserves a little more than a stocking full of coal, if you ask me! Hopefully some compassionate shoppers will decide to go "Ho, ho, faux" this year and give an early Christmas gift to animals on fur farms.
Speaking of the horrors of the fur industry, someone should let fur hag Donna Karan know about the torture that goes into her clothes (oh, right, we did). Check out our brand new Donna Karan Bunny Butcher site to learn more about our campaign!
Written by Lianne Turner
We're so proud to launch our new Web site: DonnaKaranBunnyButcher.com. By going back on her promise to shed fur from her collection (twice!), Donna Karan has made it clear that she's OK with the electrocutions, neglect, confinement, suffocation, and death that go on in factory farms. In response, we've shown up at her apartment, her fashion shows, and her runways to remind her that animals are skinned alive for her designs. Now, we've stepped it up and launched a full interactive Web site to educate her customers about this cruel abuse.
If you like the campaign site as much as we do, then you're probably wondering what you can do to help us reach more people. Well, guess what? The site is loaded with online elements such as Web banners that you can post and videos that you can stream. So go ahead and show your love of bunnies by posting one of these Web banners to your Web page or online profile:
The site also has three heartbreaking videos that I strongly encourage you to watch and share. They will change your life, and they're guaranteed to make fur wearers change their ways. Use the code below to begin changing people's minds now.
And to all our MySpace friends: Keep an eye out for our new "Donna Karan Bunny Butcher" layouts coming soon!
So, check out DonnaKaranBunnyButcher.com and be sure to share the site with everyone you know. Oh, and here is the link with Donna Karan's contact information—please be sure to send her a polite letter and let her know what you think of her use of fur. For inspiration before you sit down to write, check out our "Ever Heard a Bunny Scream?" video.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Right about now, we bet Vice President-elect Joe Biden is kicking himself for his decision to buy a purebred dog from a breeder, rather than adopt from a shelter.
The Philadelphia Department of Agriculture has handed Wolf Den kennel—the Chester County kennel where Biden purchased his puppy—citations for various violations. The violations included failure to produce complete rabies vaccinations records, which are required for dogs who are more than 3 months old.
Authorities also detected a strong ammonia smell in the building where the dogs are housed and found structural dangers such as broken wires and piping, which could potentially start a fire or fatally injure the animals.
Geesh, not to state the obvious but, well, we did tell him so in this letter, which PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Vice President-elect Biden and his wife urging them to save a life and adopt a dog from an animal shelter.
As disheartening as it was to see one of this country's future leaders give into the lies of profiteering puppy breeders, we do still have high hopes that President-elect Obama will adopt a homeless mutt from an animal shelter for his girls. Just like he said back in November, "[a] lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me."
Unfortunately, it's pretty safe to assume that the breeder who sold the Bidens their dog conveniently forgot to mention that conditions for dogs in puppy mills stink. Puppies are housed in tiny, filthy cages and forced to stand in their own waste, which might be cleaned out if the dogs are lucky.
Check out the horrid conditions at puppy mills for yourself in a video narrated by Charlize Theron:
The holidays are prime movie-watching time, so here is PETA's list of the good, the not-so-bad-but-could-be-better, and the downright ugly films for animals of 2008.
Marley and MeScheduled for release this Christmas, PETA got a sneak peek at this funny and touching movie in which the Grogans (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) love, care and stick with their dog, Marley, through tipped-over tables, shredded couches, eaten necklaces, and all of Marley's hilarious-but-naughty escapades. Why do we give this movie "two very enthusiastic paws up"? The Grogans' dedication to Marley reminds audiences that
adding an animal to the family means making a lifetime commitment to treating the animal like a family member—even when the going gets tough. We're also psyched that the Grogans adopt Marley from a rescue group instead of buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store.
BoltIn theaters now, this computer-animated movie follows the adventures of Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), the superhero canine co-star in a hit action TV series also featuring his loving guardian, Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus). Here's the run-down (no spoilers, I promise): Bolt doesn't know that he's on a show, so when Penny's character gets kidnapped he thinks it's the real deal. He sets out to rescue her with the help of a cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino, and mayhem ensues—until the audience is treated to a warm and fuzzy animal-friendly ending.
Why do we dig this Disney doggy flick? As Bolt learns the joys of playing fetch, hanging his head out car windows and doing all the other dog behaviors he's been missing out on, the message is clear: Animals would never choose to become entertainers. Forced into the spotlight and deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, animals have no business in show business. Dogs would much rather play in the yard than perform tricks on a TV or film set. Just ask Bolt.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianNow available on DVD, this dazzling Disney fantasy sends the four Pevensie kids back to Narnia to help Prince Caspian fight for his throne. The talking lion and swashbuckling mice are extra nice thanks to the film's ingenious use of computer-generated imaging (CGI). We give Narnia "two animatronic paws up" for using cutting-edge technological advancements to replace live animals in front of the camera. With the impressive realism and precise results of CGI, puppetry, costumes, and animatronics, there is no longer any reason to subject animals to a lifetime of misery and abuse.
The Dark KnightGranted, Batman looks pretty "Ka-Pow!" in his pleather crime-fighting costume, but when did the Caped Crusader turn into a canine hater? We're not too happy that the movie portrays dogs as aggressive attack animals or that Batman beats them up during a fight. We do however give props to the film's creators for having awesome FX masters Animal Makers create ultra-realistic animatronic dogs for the scene. For that, we applaud The Dark Knight for creating movie magic without making real animals suffer.
After all, the showbiz life is anything but cushy for animal "actors." Whether by confining animals to small cages, forcing them to perform out of fear, transporting them long distances in cramped trailers, exposing them to extreme conditions, or separating families, the film industry causes animals to suffer. Whistleblowers on movie sets continue to report that terrified animals are kept in substandard conditions and are highly stressed by the noise and lights—and that animals are often injured or killed during filming.
Beverly Hills ChihuahuaWhat's our gripe with Beverly Hills Chihuahua? It's the whole "101 Dalmatians" effect, only this time it was Chihuahuas. After the release of the live-action version of "101 Dalmatians" and its sequel, the number of Dalmatians in U.S. animal shelters spiked. After seeing movies featuring specific breeds of dogs, impressionable viewers often decide to buy look-alike dogs on impulse—with no knowledge of the time, energy, and commitment involved in having an animal companion. Well of course, now shelters are bursting with Chihuahuas.
OK, here's our praise: Disney has included a disclaimer on its Web site and at the end of the film about the lifelong responsibility of having an animal companion. Quite impressively, they even encourage people to adopt rather than purchase an animal.
Madagascar: Escape 2 AfricaOur praise: This sequel shows how happy the members of the madcap menagerie of former zoo animals are to get back to their roots when they're stranded in Africa. Our gripe: They still keep trying to get back to their zoo! I know that it's animated, so you have to have some suspension of disbelief, but come on! No real animal ever wants to be held in captivity. Animals in zoos are confined to cramped, barren enclosures that are nothing like their natural habitats. They suffer from extremely crowded conditions, poor nutrition, and mind-numbing monotony. Does that sound like a place that you'd keep trying to get back to?
Speed RacerJust like pretty much everyone else in the world, we give this live-action movie adaptation of the classic animated television series Speed Racer "two opposable thumbs way down." When PETA learned that real chimpanzees were to play the part of Chim Chim, we immediately wrote to the producers and Warner Bros. urging them to use CGI or animatronics instead. It was a no-go. Choosing to take the low road, they went through with using real chimpanzees. What happened? In addition to an incident in which one of the chimpanzees bit a stand-in actor, we learned that a monitor with the American Humane Association witnessed animal trainer Greg Lille "in an uncontrolled impulse, hit [a] chimpanzee."
The events that occurred on the set of Speed Racer perfectly illustrate the entertainment industry's abusive treatment of exotic animals. To train great apes to perform, trainers forcibly remove them from their mothers when the animals are just infants, train them by beating, kicking, and punching them, and callously discard them to roadside zoos when they are too old and strong to handle (which occurs at age 8, and great apes live to be over 60 years old).
You Don't Mess With the ZohanWhen you mess with the animals, you mess with the PETA. We wrote to Adam Sandler after receiving numerous complaints about several troubling scenes in this film—including one in which Zohan uses a cat as a hacky sack and another scene in which a man uses a cow as a punching bag. The way this hair-brained movie uses animals in cruel jokes is anything but harmless and could encourage deadly "copycat" actions. Every day, our cruelty caseworkers deal with people who mimic scenes just like these from movies and television. It's imperative that young people develop empathy for all beings and learn that might doesn't make right.
Semi-ProWhen we heard that a bear was going to be part of the cast of this b-ball bomb, we wrote to Will Farrell to inform him of the cruelty involved in forcing animals to perform and to ask him to keep live animals out of his films. Perhaps he had his Old School "ear muffs" on, because our words fell on deaf ears. Not only did Semi-Pro feature a live bear (a bear named Rocky who attacked and killed his trainer only months later), it also encouraged stupid people to do stupid stunts with live animals. This just goes to show that the only hairy creature in Will Ferrell movies should be Will Ferrell.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
When we heard about New York Governor David Paterson's proposed excise ("sin") tax on full-calorie soda, we were confused. Sure, there are calories to be had in the all-American high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, and artificial flavoring cocktail, but does it compare to, say, meat?
To help set Gov. Paterson straight, we're sending out some of our ridiculously cute "Tax Meat" pigs to the Governor's pad today to help him consider some other products to place on his naughty list this year. The politically active pigs will circle the Governor's home in a convertible with signs reading, "Battle the Budget and the Bulge: Tax Meat."
After all, a can of fizzy goodness with more grams of sugar than I care to consider may be linked to obesity, but eating meat is linked not only to obesity but also to strokes, diabetes, heart disease, and several types of cancer, among other conditions and ailments. And with the financial outlook as bleak as it is, nobody needs the added burden of long-term medical treatment for costly conditions caused by risky dietary choices such as eating meat, when they could bank on their health by going vegetarian instead.
Written by Sean Conner
Ever notice how bad begets bad? Well, in the world of animal abuse, folks often have a way of getting themselves hurt and even killed when trying to do the same to other animals. Besides the obvious "eat meat and die" connection, we at The PETA Files have seen quite a few instances of folks more creatively or elaborately harming or endangering themselves over the years—including large-scale property destruction and truly ironic animal attacks.
With that in mind, I bring you our Top 10 "Payback Is Hell" moments of 2008:
10. While striking his dog with a gun to make him release a bone, a man managed to shoot himself. Granted, I don't think there's any safe place to point a gun, but letting the "business end" face you as you swing it like a club? Wow. Maybe he'll think twice about hitting his dog next time—if he, ya know, survived.
9. What happens when you anger a 10-foot python who's been stuck in a cage for a long time? An intern at a Venezuelan zoo found out when he decided to play with the snake during his night shift. Turns out that snakes are fond of strangling and swallowing their prey (someone really should put that on Wikipedia).
8. Some people shoo wasps away with their hands. Others think it's fair play to go after them with lighted torches. One monk learned that when you play with fire, you (and your entire temple) might get burned (to the ground).
7. While tracking a deer whom he had shot and was in the process of killing, a hunter apparently misjudged a cliff's edge and fell off.
6. A New Jersey man tried to kill insects in his apartment with bug spray, but the propellant chemicals in the spray seemed to have some unforeseen consequences. He succeeded in killing many bugs, but probably not so much because of the poison as because of the explosion, which destroyed 80 percent of his apartment.
5. Though the purpose of "sea kitten hunting" is to dig a hook painfully into another being's skin, one guy seems to have misread the how-to manual and managed to drive the hook into his own hand.
4. Have you ever seen bears who were forced to perform in captivity and felt sorry for how helpless they look? Well, it turns out gigantic land mammals with sharp, sharp teeth aren't always that helpless—as demonstrated by the fatal attack that a bear at Predators in Action wild animal training center made against a trainer.
3. Why don't we allow children to drive? Because it's dangerous. Why do we allow children to kill animals with loaded firearms? Good question. Though some folks argue that children can be trusted with firearms if trained properly, I don't think that helps the two men who were allegedly shot by one eight-year-old boy who had reportedly been taught how to use a deadly weapon to hunt animals.
2. After being jailed on burglary charges, a man was attacked by another inmate who chewed off a part of his ear (ewww!). What are the odds that something so disgusting and awful would happen to someone? To top it off, what are the odds that it would happen to a man who had previously been charged with cutting off a dog's ears?!
1. Proving that using a .44 Magnum to kill mice is not a good idea, a trailer park resident managed to shoot herself and a bystander while trying to fire at a rodent who was simply trying to share her space. Is anyone else stunned that two accidental injuries occurred? PETA's humane mousetrap, on the other hand, has never hurt a living soul.
I guess it just goes to show that what goes around may actually come around, so please make wise decisions when interacting with animals—you might have to answer for your actions.
Do you have your own "payback is hell" story, in which someone's misdeeds to an animal don't go unpunished? If so, comment below; we'd all love to hear it!
With shopping season in full swing, PETA volunteers and campaigners are out there braving the cold. Check out photos of some of our recent attention-getting demos below:
In Massachusetts, PETA's "Grim Reapers" descended on Donna Karan's storefront and dragged bloodied furs through the streets of Boston. Taunting the heartless designer to "bring out her dead," they urged shoppers to never buy animals' skins. Who, after all, would be caught dead wearing Rudolph?
As the circus dragged its beast wagons into Charlottesville, Virginia, one of PETA's sexy "Tiger Ladies" posed caged, nearly naked, and painted head-to-toe with stripes to let locals know that wild animals don't belong behind bars. Some may say she's naughty, but we know it's Ringling who's actually getting the coal this year.
Other PETA activists held a demo on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, urging holiday shoppers to buy alternatives to exotic animal skins. Snakeskin bags, shoes, and jackets all come with a high price—paid by the animals who are ripped from their jungle homes and skinned alive. If someone on your "good" list likes the look of animal prints, check this out for more information on compassionate, fashionable alternatives to cruelty to animals.
Feeling filled with holiday spirit and want to get involved? Fire off a letter to Ringling, Donna Karan, and other cruel companies that exploit animals for profit, and let them know that they "better watch out"—PETA activists are coming to town. And remember, 'tis better to give than to receive, especially when your gifts will save lives!
Country superstar Emmylou Harris' life has really gone to the dogs—and she wouldn't have it any other way. Devoted to lending a hand to down-and-out dogs, the down-to-earth music legend once rolled up her sleeves to help PETA build doghouses for cold and lonely dogs who were trapped at the end of a chain.Now she's taking her canine cause to the airwaves. In a new series of radio PSAs, Emmylou encourages people to spay and neuter their animal companions and take them inside rather than keep them chained outside, longing for warmth, safety, and companionship.
Why is Emmylou fixated on getting animals fixed and out of the cold? Homelessness is not just a human problem. U.S. animal shelters must put nearly 4 million dogs and cats to death every year because of simple math: There are too many animals and not enough worthy adoptive homes. Millions more animals are condemned to a sad life of loneliness, isolated outside with no exercise or attention. Wintry weather means extra hardship for "backyard" dogs. Chained dogs often have nowhere to go to escape the cold and snow. They suffer from frostbite, exposure, and dehydration when water sources freeze. Listen to her PSAs here:
Dogs don't deserve to be given the cold shoulder. This winter, exercise some Emmylou-style empathy: Practice your ABC's and declare a "winter watch" for animals who live outdoors. Click here to download Emmylou's chained dog PSA and click here to download her adoption PSA.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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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.