Written by PETA
If you answered A without checking out the Wiki page, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you already read about the man in Leeds, England, who was cleaning his tarantula's tank when he was shot in the face with urticating hairs early last year. The incident left the man with a red, watery, and light-sensitive eye for months, and now doctors are urging people to wear eye protection when handling their spiders.
We've got even better advice: Never buy tarantulas or any other exotic animals in the first place. Tarantulas and other animals such as hedgehogs, lizards, and macaws who are purchased as pets suffer from the overwhelming stress of unnatural confinement and loneliness, so it's no surprise that they often lash out at owners who are usually unaware of their complex needs. Tarantulas are highly intelligent animals who build tented shelters, and they're compassionate—mother tarantulas are known to starve themselves so that their offspring can eat. They shouldn't have to spend their lives trapped in tanks.
If you're looking for an animal companion, visit your local animal shelter—and if you ever run into an eight-legged friend around the house, catch him or her humanely.
Written by Logan Scherer
At 5' 4", I'm often the shortest person in a room, so I've frequently resorted to the maxim "good things come in small packages," but I'll admit it: Even I'm loving all 828 meters of the Burj Khalifa—which just opened in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and is breaking all sorts of world records—the highest occupied floor, the tallest service lift, and the world's highest observation deck—and, if Emaar Properties agrees to PETA's proposal it could break one more: world's longest banner.
None of the Burj Khalifa statistics are as astounding as the number of sheep who die every year on the traumatizing and grueling journey from Australia to their slaughter in the Middle East after they are deemed unprofitable to wool farmers. The cramped, suffocating conditions on live-export ships make the recent TSA regulations look like travel perks. In one year alone, 35,000 sheep die from starvation or disease or are trampled to death by other sheep. Those who survive the trip are dragged off the ships, thrown into the backs of trucks and cars, and eventually have their throats cut while they are still conscious. At least we survive the body scans.
What's brilliant, saves lives, and red all over? A fire truck wrapped in one of these ads:
When we heard that KFC was defacing covering fire hydrants throughout Indianapolis with ads for its "fiery" wings, we immediately offered to help the city's fire departments, which are struggling from economic woes, by applying to advertise our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign on their fire trucks. We want citizens of Indianapolis to know that the only thing "fiery" about KFC is the scalding-hot water that millions of chickens are dropped into—often while they're still conscious.
We're still waiting to hear back from the city—but in other news, we're told that for the first time ever, dogs throughout Indianapolis are terrified of fire hydrants.
PETA's Ellie the Elephant can melt hearts of all ages. Need proof? Yesterday, during Ellie's tour around the country to educate people about Ringling's abuse of baby elephants, the kids in Nashville, Tennessee, rushed to hug Ellie when she visited their elementary school. When one student asked Ellie why she was wearing a bandage, Ellie pointed to her "Circuses Are No Fun for Animals" sign, and the boy said, "I'm sorry that they did that to you."
Ellie handed out comics educating the children and their parents about Ringling's rampant abuse and exploitation of animals. Our recent exposé reveals how Ringling trainers tear baby elephants away from their devastated mothers and use electric shock prods to force the animals into performing humiliating and unnatural tricks. Help save baby elephants by urging the USDA to revoke Ringling's license and sharing this information with everyone you know.
Perez Hilton reported Monday that an Ohio woman got into a flap when she was told that McDonald's was out of McNuggets—and was apparently arrested after she punched out the drive-thru window. This altercrazion* is just the latest in a recent rash of fights, stabbings, and shootings that have taken place at various McDonald's restaurants across the country.
We know that a diet full of meat and dairy foods can make people limp, lumpy, and, er, well, dumb. And we know that McDonald's, aka McCruelty's, hideous treatment of animals makes caring people mad. But dare I say that a McDonald's-heavy diet may make people violent? Ladies and gentlemen, consider the following:
On the flip side, I don't recall ever having read about vegans duking it out for flesh-free Southern Fried Drumsticks at Brooklyn's Foodswings or getting into nunchuck battles over mock chicken fingers at Venice Beach's Good Karma (although I'll admit that my husband and I once thumb wrestled for the last bite of "meat loaf" at The Chicago Diner—I won, BTW).
McDonald's fast-food fights are so common that I'm thinking about suggesting that the PETA Files introduce a new semi-regular feature called "McDonald's Mayhem"—that is, unless you can think of a better title for it?
Written by Karin Bennett
*"Altercation" + "crazy" = "altercrazion."
Newsflash: The best sequel of 2009 was not Fast & Furious 4. Nope, the best update on a classic was the revamp of one of the greatest fur-busting tools on the market—the FURminator. As far as brushes for companion animals go, the FURminator 2.0 is like The Godfather II (or New Super Chick Sisters)—it may be the second installment, but it's the mane event. With a new ergonomic rubber handle and a FURejector button that allows the brush to clean itself, the "deLuxe" FURminator is an awesome advancement in companion-animal hair removal, making life a little nicer for your furniture and for Fido (dogs who are brushed regularly have healthier skin and coats).
How can you win this groundbreaking gadget? Just pick a movie and come up with a clever title for its animal-themed sequel—like "Catvatar: The Feline Colonization of Pandora." (Admit it, you'd see it!) We're giving a FURminator 2.0 to the reader who comes up with wittiest title, so put your linguistic superpowers to work. Come on, I know you can do better than "Catvatar"!
At the rate victories are rolling in, 2010 is set to be a great year for animals! In addition to a victory for greyhounds, yesterday, online mega-retailer Overstock.com announced that it will no longer sell products made from exotic skins.
Overstock.com Chair and CEO Patrick Byrne made the announcement that his company would remove all listings of items with alligator, lizard, ostrich, stingray, eel, shark, and kangaroo skin from Overstock after he viewed our newest exotic-skins footage and was prompted to make a change for his company, his customers, and animals. "I do not believe that animal skins should be treated as decorative objects," he said.
From decapitated lizards to clubbed alligators, millions of animals suffer each year in the global leather industry, even though there are tons of cruelty-free, chic alternatives to animal skins. You can send a powerful message to those who profit from this cruel industry—and convince other companies to follow in the footsteps of Overstock and H&M—by pledging to shed exotic skins from your wardrobe and by sharing our exposé on Facebook.
After reading an article in the Duluth News Tribune about the goings-on at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I took my dogs, Charlie and Lucy, for a long walk. My brain needed to mull over the angle I'd take in writing this blog—my soul needed to witness happy dogs doing dog things like sniffing tree trunks and greeting strangers, canine and human alike.
The article discussed a lengthy report compiled by government inspectors after a surprise visit last month revealed a filthy facility in which depressed dogs who underwent major invasive surgical procedures were vomiting in their cages and did not receive any veterinary treatment, university personnel did not notice or treat a gerbil who was severely emaciated and struggling to breathe, and staff were inadequately trained to handle primates. The Duluth News Tribune notes, "One major finding is that in five studies, UW-Madison researchers did not show that they tried to find an alternative to painful experiments on animals."
Unfortunately, this kind of treatment happens so frequently in university labs that it is almost routine—as awful as it is to call such horrors "routine." A recent PETA undercover investigation exposed similar cruelty suffered by cats, kittens, and dogs (purchased from local animal shelters), along with monkeys, mice, rats, and other victims of experiments at the University of Utah. At the U, what appears to be incompetence, indifference, and neglect forced many of the animals to endure severe trauma, prolonged suffering, and grisly deaths. Apparently, vivisectors at UW-Madison follow a similar modus operandi in the treatment of the victims of their experiments.
Our fingers are crossed that UW-Madison receives more than a slap on the wrist for these violations. While we keep an eye on the story, take the time to give our fight against laboratory atrocities some muscle by taking action today. Then go hug your own dog and give him or her an extra treat.
We've just received word that Arlington (Texas) Municipal Judge Michael Smith has divested Jasen and Vanessa Shaw—owners and operators of animal warehouse U.S. Global Exotics, Inc. (USGE)—of the more than 26,000 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids who were seized from USGE on December 15. U.S. Global Exotics, Inc., is a major player in the pet trade. For years, the company has imported and exported hundreds of thousands of animals every year for eventual sale at major pet stores and pet store chains all over the world, including at U.S.-based PETCO and PetSmart.
A PETA undercover investigator spent seven months working at U.S. Global Exotics and documented horrifically cruel conditions for animals. On December 15, Arlington officials and humane agents rescued more than 26,000 animals, including wallabies, sloths, ringtail lemurs, kinkajous, coatimundis, agoutis, hedgehogs, chinchillas, hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice, flying squirrels, guinea pigs, sugar gliders, prairie dogs, ferrets, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, spiders, crabs, and scorpions from this facility. This seizure is believed to be the largest animal confiscation in history.
Judge Smith's decision to award custody of the animals to the city of Arlington comes on the heels of a seven-day hearing during which lawyers for the exotic-animal dealer tried every trick in the book to downplay Jasen and Vanessa Shaw's failure to provide animals in their care with basic, minimal necessities such as food, water, and adequate housing. However, the evidence that our investigator meticulously documented while inside U.S. Global Exotics' facility—as well as the evidence gathered on the day of the seizure—could not be refuted. Here is some of what we found:
While the animals at U.S. Global Exotics, Inc., have been rescued, millions of other animals in similar facilities are still suffering, and they will continue to suffer as long as people support companies such as U.S. Global Exotics by buying animals from pet stores such as PetSmart, PETCO, Petland, and others. Please share this information with everyone that you know and urge them never to buy any animals from stores and to always adopt from animal shelters and rescue groups.
Pamela Anderson's got to have more frequent flyer miles than George Clooney's character in Up in the Air. And wherever she goes, she makes sure the people and the media talk about her efforts to help animals. The latest destination of PETA's jet-setting BFF? Chile.
Chile recently ratified a national animal welfare law, which is good, but it could go further. And in July, Chile's neighboring country, Bolivia, took a strong stand against cruelty to animals by passing a law forbidding the use of animals in circuses. Now Pamela has asked the president of Chile to do the same.
Abuse of animals in circuses is standard practice, and it begins before babies are old enough to leave their mother's sides. PETA recently released images of employees of Ringling, one of the largest circus outfits in the world, as they use ropes, bullhooks, electric shock prods, maternal deprivation, and corporal punishment to force baby elephants into doing tricks that are never seen in the wild and are confusing for them.
We'll keep you updated on Pam's efforts to fight animal abuse worldwide—in the meantime, help save baby elephants by asking the USDA to revoke Ringling's license and pursue criminal prosecution of Ringling trainers right here at home.
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.