Written by PETA
Shawn Matthew Lyons was the first individual ever convicted of abusing or neglecting factory-farmed pigs in Iowa, but he's no longer alone. Four other workers who were employed at the farm—a Hormel supplier at which our undercover investigation produced video footage documenting that workers beat pigs with metal rods and sexually abused them with canes—have now admitted to abusing pigs.
Of the defendants—Richard Michael Ralston, Alan Bruce Rettig, Greg William Hackler, and Jordan Michael Anderson—Ralston, Rettig, and Hackler have pleaded guilty, been convicted, and sentenced to two years in prison, which has been suspended. Anderson accepted a deferred entry of judgment allowing him to have the charges dismissed if he completes a period of good behavior. All four have all been ordered to pay fines and other fees, and they have been placed on probation for periods ranging from one to two years.
Most importantly, three of the men have been barred from working with animals for the duration of their probation. Only Anderson will be allowed to do so. Despite an assurance in October from Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic President Daryl Olsen, D.V.M., that Anderson “has been suspended from working with livestock pending the outcome of the charges,” a whistleblower told us that Anderson is currently employed at a hog-confinement facility that Dr. Olsen reportedly owns. Dr. Olsen has not answered our inquiry regarding Mr. Anderson. If you would like to ask him to confirm that his company does not pay admitted animal abusers like Anderson to work with live animals, please contact him here.
Pork magazine called our investigation footage a "wake-up call" for the pork industry. We hope that these convictions serve not only as another wake-up call but also as a lesson to anyone working in this innately cruel industry: Neither the courts nor the public have a stomach for such malicious cruelty to farmed animals.
Written by Shawna Flavell
No, no, not that kind of jacket. We're talking about the jacket of PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's new book, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights:
A few select copies of the book were outfitted with covers made from real fur—pieces of the more than 20,000 fur coats that have been donated to PETA by fur-wearers who have had a change of heart. It seemed like a fitting way to illustrate how far the animal rights movement has come in the past 25 years—and the kind of change that people can bring about by putting the advice in Ingrid's book into action.
And boy, did that fur jacket ever get the attention of TV and radio producers who received complimentary copies! Many of them were so intrigued that they decided to have Ingrid come on their shows to explain why a person would put a $7,500 fur coat in a box and mail it to PETA. (Hint: This video probably plays a part.)
Of course, most of the fur coats that are donated to PETA are used in "bloody" protests outside (and sometimes inside) designers' boutiques, spooky protests at fashion shows, and slightly silly "fur is a drag" parade entries. They are also torched in fur funeral pyres, donated to wildlife rehabilitators to use as bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife, and even given away to the only humans who have any reason to wear fur—homeless people and refugees of wars and natural disasters.
Have a musty old fur cluttering up your closet? Click here to find out more about PETA's fur donation program.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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.