Written by PETA
When I was 12, I won a fishing contest—something I haven't been proud of for a long time now. Back in the day, I was conditioned to ignore any qualms I might have felt about hooking fish, but I eventually realized how much suffering I was causing and put down my rod and reel for good.
What I've only more recently come to understand is that angling doesn't just hurt fish. Case in point: PETA staffers Hannah and Philip Schein were at Lake Kussharo in Hokkaido, Japan, when they saw a whooper swan who had a multi-pronged fishing lure embedded in her foot. She tried to remove it the only way she could—with her mouth—but the sharp hooks only became embedded in her beak as well. With her face now attached to her foot, the swan struggled in a twisted circular position, panicked and in pain:
Tragedy was avoided in this case, but not all victims of fishing tackle are so lucky. Countless water birds and mammals suffer, and many die, from injuries caused by discarded or lost fishing hooks, monofilament line, lead weights, and floats. Animals who become entangled in fishing line can be trapped underwater and drown or die slowly of starvation. The UK has banned certain types of tackle because of this problem, and other countries need to follow its lead.
Even non-anglers can help by skipping seafood. Commercial fishing boats haul in sharks, sea turtles, birds, seals, and dolphins who get tangled in nets and hooked by long-lines only to be thrown overboard to die of shock, blood loss, or predation.
If you find yourself craving cod or salivating over salmon, just picture a plate full of snared, scared swans. Then enjoy these cruelty-free recipes instead.
Written by Jeff Mackey
If you're as big a fan of Whale Wars as I am, you probably already have a pretty good idea of the evil that is whaling. For those of you who can't afford cable, suffice it to say that the Japanese continue to kill hundreds of whales every year under the guise of "research"—except that they also happen to have a thriving business in the sale of whale flesh and other whale products. Hmmm … sounds pretty fishy (or should I say "sea-kitteny"?) to me.
Do we have to paint a picture for you? No worries—our good friends over at Experience Project already have. Check out their short but extremely powerful video on whaling here:
If you can watch it without reaching for a hanky, you are a stronger person than I am. While there, you can also take a minute to put your John Hancock on a letter to President Obama urging him to stand by his campaign promise to strengthen the international ban on whaling (which the Japanese and Norwegians are pretty much thumbing their noses at).
Written by Alisa Mullins
Hayden Panettiere (the star of NBC’s Heroes), was so outraged about the hideous dolphin cull taking place in Japan right now that she went out herself to try and put a stop to it. Along with five of her friends, Hayden paddled out on a surfboard in an attempt to stop a pod of dolphins from reaching a cove where the Japanese fishermen were waiting to slaughter them, but was violently deterred by the men on the fishing boats, who used hooks and the boats’ propellers to stop her from reaching the animals. Here’s what she said about the situation:
"Some of us were hit by the boathook. But in the end all we really worried about was the dolphins. It was so incredibly sad. We were so close to them and they were sky hopping, jumping out of the water to see us. One little baby dolphin stuck his head out and kinda looked at me and the thought that it's no longer with us is really hard to take."
PETA is sending her a Compassionate Citizen award for her incredible bravery and her dedication to helping animals in need. I hate to have to use the obvious pun here, but you’re a hero, Hayden. Keep up the great work.
There’s more on this story, as well as footage of the horrific dolphin slaughter, on Sky News.
The company—whose reaction to the 2005 investigation was to use its lawyers to try and strongarm PETA and PETA Europe into removing the footage from the Web—was eventually cited for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In a separate case, five Covance facilities were cited by the USDA for instances of animal abuse, including deliberately starving a dog and depriving her of veterinary care. These guys are the world's largest breeders of dogs for experimentation, and you can bet that there were more horrors in store for the dogs made to suffer through the 28-hour-long trip in a Japan Airlines cargo hold. A Covance promotional pamphlet recently obtained by PETA shows dozens of beagles in rows of cages, with the tagline "Helping to bring miracles to market sooner."
Thanks to Covance, it's too late for these particular beagles, but we're asking Japan Airlines to follow the lead of Air Canada and other compassionate airlines by refusing to transport dogs and other animals to vivisection laboratories in future. No responsible business should associate with monsters like Covance, and we're working very hard to ensure that Japan Airlines gets that message. If you'd like to help out, you can write to the airline's CEO through this form.
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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.