Written by Michelle Kretzer
We've all seen the ribbons tied around trees on the side of
the road, crosses stuck in the ground, and signs asking us to drive carefully—all
reminders of lives that were lost in traffic accidents. Certainly, humans aren't
the only casualties of reckless driving, so should they be the only ones
honored? PETA doesn't think so.
We're applying to Illinois' Fatal Accident Memorial Sign
Program to post two road signs as a tribute to cows who were severely
injured and killed on the state's roadways.
PETA has chosen the sites of two horrific accidents as the
locations for our signs. In May, a tractor trailer tipped over on an overpass, spilling cows onto the road
below. Cows who didn't die on
impact or from being struck by cars languished in agony until they were finally
euthanized. Another truck
overturned in October after the
driver fell asleep at the wheel. Six cows were killed by oncoming vehicles—again,
many were left to suffer for hours
from their injuries.
If humans are going to continue to sentence these animals to
die in slaughterhouses, isn't erecting a small
remembrance of a few of the millions who lose their lives every year the least
that we can do, given that they die for no better reason than because someone
craves the fleeting taste of their flesh?
Written by PETA
Sheep may safely graze, but foxes are out of luck at an abysmal fur farm in Joliet, Illinois, that's run by, of all people, a Catholic priest. PETA recently filed a complaint with law-enforcement authorities regarding the fox fur farm, which is operated by the Rev. Richard Ross of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Joliet. While the agencies promptly launched an investigation, they were unable to take action against Ross because the conditions on this farm, while appalling, are not illegal.
The foxes are confined to cramped, rusty wire cages—with little protection from heat, rain, and snow—until the day they are slaughtered and skinned. Cages may contain up to seven foxes apiece, and one fox was caught on video spinning in circles—a classic symptom of "zoochosis," or captivity-induced madness. As PETA researcher Dan Paden pointed out in a letter to Ross, even if such conditions do not violate Illinois law, they surely violate the church's instructions to have "a religious respect for the integrity of creation."
What kind of Christian—let alone a man of the cloth—would treat God's creatures this way? The kind of man who would say (after his brother—who is also a priest—was accused of molesting a young boy), "I don't have much sympathy for people who somehow couldn't stop whatever happened. I'll take all of these people who were abused, and I'll abuse them with a baseball bat."
After seeing how the Rev. Ross treats foxes, we believe him.
Please politely send your comments to:Rev. Richard Ross(815) 726-4474 St. Bernard Catholic Church1313 Ridgewood Ave Joliet, IL 60432-2698
Written by Alisa Mullins
Now that spring is in full bloom in much of the country, we won't be hearing reports of "backyard dogs" freezing in the snow for a while. But other sad stories are in no short supply: Many puppies born this spring will be taken away from their mothers only to end up chained alone in someone's yard, and they will stay in that same spot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the rest of their lives, with nothing but a patch of worn-down dirt and no companions, scant attention, and all freedom lost forever. And if that weren't enough, many chained dogs strangle on the chains; get ripped apart by other dogs; are tormented, teased, injured, and killed by cruel humans; or are stolen by "bunchers" who resell them to laboratories. Others will simply starve to death when no one remembers to bring them food and water.
But there's hope for dogs who are suffering on chains. As USA Today reported, dog chaining is "inching its way toward unacceptability" as ever more jurisdictions pass laws banning or restricting chaining. California already has a law restricting tethering to three hours per day—as does PETA's hometown of Norfolk, Virginia—and the Illinois General Assembly is currently considering a statewide law that would ban dog chaining between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Illinois bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House Rules Committee.
You can help chained dogs! If you live in Illinois, please contact your legislators and ask them to support Senate Bill 2580. If you live elsewhere, please lobby for an ordinance in your community. To get started, call us at 202-540-2174 for a free guide on getting the job done, and we'll help you every step of the way.
A plain-Jane litter pan shoved out of sight? Boring! It's time to redecorate your cat's bathroom. But before you call Extreme Makeover: Litter Box Edition, take a look at these snazzy slipcovers from KattySaks.
Fun and functional, these machine-washable fabric slipcovers—which come in three different designs (the Beach Bus, the Surf Shack and Le Dresser)—are guaranteed to take your cat's litter box from drab to feline fab.
Your cat really wants you to win one, so tell us what makes him or her a purrfect companion. The person whose comment earns the most "awws" around the office will win the slipcover of his or her cat's choosing.
Good luck, cat lovers!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
2010 is already shaping up to be a clawsome year for lobsters! First, Kalahari Resorts dropped Lobster Zone machines from all its locations, and now Doc Ryan's—a bar in Illinois—has also made the humane choice to remove the "game." After we urged people to take action, it took a mere 24 hours (take that, Jack Bauer!) for Doc Ryan's owner, Brian Sullivan, to decide to abandon the machines altogether. After speaking with a concerned customer, Sullivan learned about the cruelty behind the Lobster Zone game and, as an animal lover, told us he would never want to promote a machine that torments lobsters. For Sullivan's swift act of compassion, we're sending him flowers.
The Lobster Zone is an arcade-like "game" that allows its users to grab at terrified lobsters using a joystick-controlled crane. Once caught, the lobsters are dropped down a chute before they're boiled or cut up alive. Restaurants owners often aren't aware of the cruelty inherent in these machines. Lobsters are naturally very solitary animals. In the wild, they take long-distance seasonal journeys and can cover 100 miles or more each year. They become miserable and sick when they're confined to tiny, filthy tanks. Helping lobsters at bars and restaurants can be as easy as telling a restaurant's manager or owner these compelling facts and asking everyone you know to do the same. (And when that doesn't work, PETA will take the case!)
Written by Logan Scherer
P.S. We've also learned that Doc Ryan's serves a delicious veggie burger (and is open to even more vegan suggestions), so the next time you're near Forest Park, Illinois, be sure to thank Brian Sullivan by stopping in for dinner.
This is one of those bizarre stories that could easily stump the panel on a "Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me!" pick-the-fake-news-story segment.
On Wednesday night, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources dumped 2,200 gallons of deadly poison into a 5.7-mile stretch of a canal in order to prevent Asian carp from escaping the canal and entering Lake Michigan while an electronic barrier was turned off for servicing. They poisoned every single fish in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with Rotenone, which kills fish by depleting oxygen from their blood and causes them to float to the surface of the water, where they gasp for air as they slowly suffocate.
Tens of thousands of animals lost their lives in order to kill a few carp who they thought might be in the waterway. So far, a lone carp has been found among the carnage. At a price tag of somewhere around $3 million, that has to make him or her the most expensive dead carp in history.
Asian carp, who consume nearly half their body weight in plankton every day, were originally imported in the 1970s to clean aquaculture and wastewater treatment facilities' retention ponds. Flooding throughout the 1990s allowed the fish to escape into the Mississippi River, which is connected to the Great Lakes through a series of rivers and canals. If the fish reach the Great Lakes, it is feared that they will crowd out other species of fish and threaten the lucrative sport and commercial fishing industries.
In other words, this is a manmade threat to manmade industries that carp and other fish are paying for with their lives.
I know what you're thinking: Surely they would only kill thousands of animals if there were no alternative? But you would be mistaken. The fish could have been kept at bay with sonic and light deterrents or by simply closing the locks while the barrier is down. But the latter would have caused shipping delays, and we can't have that.
We understand that a plan for a back-up barrier is in the works, which is great—it just would have been nice if they'd thought of that a little sooner, before killing tens of thousands of animals and threatening the lives of other animals and humans who may inadvertently come into contact with the toxic stew they have created.
Gaga's fashion-driven stunts are a feast for the imagination. The avant-garde, synth-pop superstar left me reeling after her spectacularly maniacal, glass-shattering AMA performance and the light-up get-up she rocked during it. I've had her new album on repeat ever since, and with the news that the polar bear coat Lady Gaga sets fire to in her epically trippy video for "Bad Romance" is cruelty-free (I was a bit concerned!), her tracks will forever dominate my shuffle. Fabulously faux, the coat was made by fur-free fashion designer Benjamin Cho in 2004 and was revamped specially for Gaga's video.
From her Kermit-crazy anti-fur commentary to the humane hotness of her "Bad Romance" video, Gaga's kooky couture makes the chart-topper a style genius and a kind role model, which is why we've asked her to take it all off to educate people about animals killed on fur farms. We're still waiting for her response, but we've already got some awesome ideas. Post-apocalyptic disco dreamscape, anyone?
A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 43 percent of American adults—and nearly 60 percent of those under 30 years old—oppose the use of animals in experiments. If I made my money addicting animals to drugs and then killing them or drilling holes into their skulls for sexual behavior experiments, I would take this news as a sign that I should quit my day job and start looking for another way to make a killing earn a living.
Apparently, this kind of clear thinking is in short supply at the national conference of the Society for Neuroscience. Instead of embracing modern, humane non-animal research methods, some members of the society met in Chicago yesterday to brainstorm ways that they can drum up support for archaic and cruel experiments on animals.
PETA held a demonstration outside the conference, and was joined by Dr. Larry Hansen, whom the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease just named one of the world's top 100 Alzheimer's researchers. Dr. Hansen is one of many progressive, forward-thinking scientists who realize that animal experimentation should be replaced.
More than 100 million sensitive, intelligent animals are experimented on and killed in U.S. laboratories every year. Take a minute to visit StopAnimalTests.com and find out how you can speak up for these animals.
Written by Shawna Flavell
When real-estate flipper Geoffrey King heard that a 101-year-old church in the struggling town of Cairo, Illinois, was going up for sale, he came up with a plan to benefit the community. King spent a year fixing up the church and then listed the building on eBay for $50,000.
His plan? Donate half the profits to build a pool for local kids.
The heartbreaking part? Nobody bid on the church.
Well, PETA knows a little something about compassion—so we've written to King and offered to rent the church until it sells. If he agrees, we'll rename the church the "Praise Seitan Center" (because delicious wheat "meat" is truly heavenly) and use it to educate Cairo residents about how the Bible imparts a reverence for life—and a loving God could not help but be appalled by the way that animals are mistreated today. People can put Christian principles into practice three times a day, seven days a week, by eating healthy and humane vegetarian foods.
Our offer will help King save up funds for the Cairo pool and create a more kind community. I really hope he doesn't let this opportunity pass by.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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.
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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.