Written by Michelle Kretzer
Sometimes, even compassionate people seem to
disregard fish. I know: I was one of them. Years after I stopped eating meat, I
identified as a vegetarian but would still have a little sushi. It was a long
time before I realized—thanks to PETA—that fish are sentient beings who
feel pain acutely and struggle against death. Perhaps a few other people are
having their own "aha" moment right now, thanks to PETA Germany's recent victory
Acting on a tip, two PETA Germany
investigators joined some tourists on a crab fishing boat operating along the northern coast.
The crab fishing itself wasn't illegal, but the way the anglers were tormenting
was. Under German law, fish must be instantly killed or placed in water after
being caught. But these anglers were catching several fish in their crab traps
and leaving the unwanted animals to asphyxiate to death on the boat. They even
laughed about the animals' struggle to breathe before they died.
The investigators shot video evidence and began
throwing suffering fish back into the water. Then they filed a complaint with
the Hamburg District Attorney's Office, and the court slapped the owner of the boat
with a fine of 400 euros (about $540). He and his crew will likely be taking
fish protection laws more seriously now.
If you know someone who claims, "I'm a vegetarian, but
I still eat fish," perhaps you can mention this story as a way of
illustrating that fish
feel pain and, like every other animal, deserve to be free from suffering.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Last week, PETA Germany released the findings of its undercover investigation of three "free-range" egg farms. What the group found was pretty much the same kind of horror story that we've had in the U.S. and the U.K.: Far from the idyllic barnyards that people might associate with "humanely raised" or "free-range" eggs, the investigators for PETA Germany found thousands of hens confined to filthy, windowless sheds, just as chickens on "ordinary" factory farms are. The investigators videotaped dead and dying chickens among the living. Many birds were crawling with parasites, were missing most of their feathers, and had large sores all over their bodies, some of which oozed pus. In Germany, eggs labeled "bio " (organic and "humane") are supposed to come from chickens with access to the outdoors, but PETA Germany's investigators showed that the birds' access to the outdoors was often impeded or blocked, sometimes by live electrical wires!
On one farm, the investigators found exposed 15,000-volt electrical wiring that was shooting sparks. The hot wiring effectively confined birds to one section of the barn. In February, a neighboring barn with similar defective wiring burned down, killing 19,000 birds.
In 2010, PETA Germany caught another farm violating Germany's "bio" seal. The farmer now produces "free-range" eggs—the standards for which are less strict than those for the "bio" seal —but PETA Germany's most recent investigation documented apparent violations of those standards as well. The farmer has failed to provide the more than 9,000 chickens confined to his barns with minimum required space.
The 'Free-Range' Scam
"Free-range," "humanely raised," and "certified" labels in the U.S. can also be deceptive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that "free-range" animals have access to outdoor areas, but the birds don't actually have to go outside, and some are too afraid to or are barred by impediments. United Egg Producers uses a label that reads, "United Egg Producers Certified," but this program is not regulated or enforced, and investigations have shown that companies using this label often do not treat chickens any differently than conventional factory farms do.
In fact, most "free-range" hens live in the same miserable, filthy factory farm conditions that "broiler" chickens (raised for their flesh) do. And like other factory-farmed hens, free-range hens are killed when their egg production begins to wane, at about 2 years of age.
Want to help hens? Stop eating eggs altogether. It's not hard. Just opt for egg replacers in baked goods and whip up some tasty, heart-healthy scrambled tofu for breakfast. For more hen-friendly cooking ideas, visit PETA.org/Living.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Less than two weeks after receiving appeals from PETA and
PETA Germany, RWTH Aachen University, a top German college, has announced that
it will no longer perform invasive and deadly training exercises on live pigs
in its advanced surgical course, effective immediately!
Earlier this month, PETA and PETA Germany sent university
officials and the German state veterinary authority a detailed dossier outlining
humane and superior
surgical training methods that—unlike the cruel procedures then used by RWTH
Aachen—wouldn't risk violating German laws requiring the use of non-animal
teaching methods when available.
The outreach to RWTH Aachen followed PETA Germany's
discovery that as part of the "Advanced Skill Course" at the school's
surgical clinic, students were cutting open pigs' chests, inserting tubes, and
surgically removing their organs before finally killing the animals.
While RWTH Aachen and the University of Ulm
in Germany have both recently scrapped the crude and archaic use of pigs in labs
in favor of training surgeons on modern and sophisticated 21st century
technology, some U.S. facilities—including
the University of Michigan—continue
to cut holes into pigs' limbs, throats, and chests and stab needles into their
bones and hearts for trauma training exercises even though superior simulation
Please tell officials at the University of Michigan to cut
out cruel trauma training on pigs and start using humane, contemporary methods
of instruction instead.
Written by PETA
you know that in Ukraine, a dog or cat found wandering the streets can be shot
on sight or poisoned and left to suffer? Their bodies are tossed into a cremation
truck and burned, and some are reportedly burned while alive. It is estimated
that in the city of Kiev alone, 20,000 dogs have already been killed in these cruel
authorities are trying to "cleanse" the country of homeless animals
before it hosts the European Football Championship in 2012. At a preliminary
match between Germany and Ukraine in Kiev last weekend, members of PETA Germany and the Kiev Society
for the Protection of Animals protested, calling on Ukrainian authorities to
stop the cruel killings and asking the Union of European Football Associations to
German soccer (known as "football" in other parts of the world) players
have now joined PETA Germany in publicly criticizing Ukrainian
authorities for the torture of these dogs and demanding that the city use
humane methods to manage the homeless
animal crisis. The only solution to
animal overpopulation is a spay-and-neuter initiative, but in the
meantime, the city's unwanted animals at least deserve a peaceful, painless end to their lives.
contact the Ukrainian Embassy and politely urge officials to stop these cruel
killings immediately. Click
for the e-mail address for your state, or if your state is not listed, you can
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Friday marked an inspiring victory for pigs, who were routinely being cut apart, surgically mutilated, and killed as part of an elective medical training course at Germany's University of Ulm. Just two hours after PETA Germany asked supporters to contact university officials, the university announced that it would be permanently ending the pig lab!
Medical students and doctors at the university were performing invasive surgeries on live pigs, including cutting out their gallbladders, removing part of their stomachs and livers, and cutting holes in their chests. Using live animals is a crude and archaic method of teaching surgery, and more and more leading institutions have adopted the use of sophisticated human simulators in place of animals. In fact, the use of animals for this purpose appears to violate German law, which requires the use of non-animal teaching methods whenever they are available.
PETA U.S. assisted PETA Germany by drafting a comprehensive brief for University of Ulm officials that described humane, non-animal options for teaching the procedures that students were performing on pigs.
While the University of Ulm is modernizing its curriculum, here at home, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) still mutilates and kills live pigs in trauma training exercises by cutting holes in their throats and chests, despite the availability of superior, non-animal training methods. Tell MUSC President Raymond Greenberg to end the barbaric training exercises on animals immediately.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
Courtesy of our friends at PETA Germany, TV viewers in that country
learned how birds are routinely mistreated and neglected by Wiesenhof (the leading
German poultry brand) when the ARD network aired a program that
included undercover footage from PETA Germany's investigation of a Wiesenhof turkey farm.
The sizable audience saw workers as they kicked and threw turkeys, birds thrown
roughly into cages, animals who fell off trucks, and other abuses. And this was
hardly a fluke—last year, another PETA Germany investigation found similar nastiness at a Wiesenhof chicken farm.
Of course, things are no better on factory farms outside Germany, so
if you haven't taken cruelty off the table, pledge to go vegan right now.
Written by Jeff
Alisa Miller's worst nightmare came true last week when her dog Nala, who was flying to Germany with Miller, broke free of her crate and escaped from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Nala was missing for three days before she was found dead along Interstate 75 in Atlanta. She had apparently been struck by a vehicle and killed instantly. When Nala escaped, she and Miller were en route to Frankfurt, where Miller's husband, a soldier, is stationed. PETA's heartfelt sympathy goes out to Nala's family.
Nala's death serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers of allowing animals to fly in airplane cargo holds, which are normally unventilated and where engine noise can be deafening. Workers wear earplugs to protect their ears, but dogs, whose hearing is even more sensitive than humans', don't have this option. Terrified by the noise, they may frantically try to escape, injuring or killing themselves in the process. Dogs have been known to force carriers open by chewing on and throwing their bodies against the bars.
mike schmid/CC by 2.0 Animals are not "baggage".
If you're going on vacation, letting your companion animals stay at home with trusted friends or family is always the best option. If they must fly, consider booking a flight on the new animals-only airline, PetAirways. It offers coast-to-coast flights in which Pawsengers fly in the cabin and are cared for throughout the flight.
If you are traveling to a destination that is not yet served by PetAirways, ask the airline if your animal can ride in the cabin. If you have no choice but to place your animal in the cargo hold, book a nonstop flight and avoid traveling in extreme temperatures. Insist on seeing your companion loaded safely onto the plane, and don't board until you know that you are on the same flight as your animal. It is your job to protect your companion animal while flying. For more potentially lifesaving tips, see PETA's animal-friendly travel factsheet.
The tables may have turned on a German angler recently. A man ended up with fishing hooks in his rear end after he apparently broke into a hunting and fishing store and fell on the hooks. Police were able to reel him in quickly because he was drunk (shocking, I know) and couldn't run very fast with barbed hooks in his behind.
How's that for karma? Hopefully he'll think twice about picking up a rod and reel now that he knows how much hooks hurt! Or will he need a few through his lips first?
Written by Heather Moore
Well, sort of. I'll explain.
About 170 audience members at Pagel's Dinner Circus—OK, wait, I must point out how ridiculous that is. I'm all for Dinner and a Movie, but "Dinner and a Circus"? But I digress. During one of the circus's performances this week, 170 horrified audience members witnessed tiger "trainer" Christian Walliser get mauled by three Bengal tigers.
Circus owner Stefan Pagels stated that, because "the show must go on" and because "the tigers did nothing wrong," the animals will not be killed as so many others are when they fight back or run amok. While his claim that the tigers were "playing" with the fallen trainer is ridiculous (hello?), we do agree that the tigers, who are and will always be wild animals, did no wrong. They're huge, strong, powerful animals, and whether in a jungle where they belong or abused in a circus, tigers retain their instincts to hunt, flee, or defend themselves if threatened.
Whether they're being held captive in a barren pit, forced to labor for lazy humans, put on display, or used in photo ops with the public, the only certainty with wild animals who are exploited by humans is that one day, they will fight back.
Written by Karin Bennett
… But PETA Germany's spunky supporters—including Jana from Germany's Big Brother—were still willing to brave the fall chill in Düsseldorf to call attention to Canada's seal slaughter.
These gals and other caring people distributed postcards (which were addressed to the Canadian Embassy in Berlin) urging government officials to stop the slaughter. Hopefully, each passerby who picked one up put it in the mailbox.
Not quite ready to strip for the cause? Fear not—there are many other ways to call for an end to the seal slaughter.
Written by Amanda Schinke
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.