Written by PETA
I have to admit that I don’t have a very good head for figures, but the math here seems pretty straightforward. And while we’re talking numbers, selling people dogs and cats when there are between 6 and 8 million waiting for homes in shelters every year is about as dumb as shelling out a thousand dollars for an animal at Petland when you could be rescuing one of the 3 to 4 million who will be euthanized this year for lack of a good home.
These pics are from Friday’s demonstration outside an Orlando Petland where we debuted our new “Priceless” ads, which make a simple but effective point to potential pet store customers.
Here’s a taste of what PETA UK’s been doing with the money they received from Covance Inc. following the dismissal of Covance’s lawsuit against them. Karma’s a bitch, sometimes.
Up until Wednesday, you can put yourself in the running to earn a bit of spending money over at Helium.com just for doing what you do so well right here on this very blog. Anyone interested can head over there and post your thoughts on topics ranging from “PETA’s Kentucky Fried Cruelty Campaign” to “How to End Animal Homelessness”. Check it out here if it strikes your fancy.
They’ve got a nice little community going over there, and the articles make for some pretty interesting (and, yes, occasionally infuriating) reading.
Washoe, the chimpanzee who became world-famous after learning sign language and teaching it to other primates, died last week in Washington State. PETA’s Primate Specialist, Debra Durham, wrote this great op-ed about Washoe, and what we can learn from her experience, which appeared in The Saint Paul Pioneer Press yesterday. Check it out:
What We Learned From a ChimpBY DEBRA DURHAMLast week, we mourned the loss of an icon - Washoe. She was one of the few chimpanzees people are likely to know by name - in large part because she learned to use American Sign Language. She famously taught it to fellow chimpanzees, and the people who know her best shared stories about her fibs and her apparent sense of humor. Was it language? It seems that not everyone is convinced, but does that matter? No one disputes that communication took place. Whether human or chimpanzee, Washoe's companions shared and created meaning with her.Thanks to decades of fieldwork by scientists from around the globe, we know a great deal about chimpanzees like Washoe, who was herself taken from Africa decades ago. In June, scientists explained how chimpanzees would freely choose to help a human if they saw that he or she needed help.In March, news stories came out about chimpanzees who showed particular kindness and understanding to group members who had cerebral palsy. If we add these to the long list of things once thought to be the special domain of humans - culture, tool use, the capacity for language - the gap between humans and chimpanzees becomes smaller and smaller. We are not identical, but we have a great deal in common.This isn't altogether surprising as chimpanzees are our closest primate relatives, sharing 98 or 99 percent of our DNA. We've all heard that chimpanzees are smart and that they are an endangered species. But Washoe revealed to us something beyond our broad similarities.Some people writing about her death have claimed that she changed what it meant to be human - that she changed our society. That, I suppose, is true - but there is more to that lesson. Washoe also helped us see what it means to be chimpanzee. When she spoke her mind, signing about her wants and needs, playing jokes or tricks, showing empathy, she embodied a message of compassion - one that we have not fully heard.Neither the knowledge of our commonalities with chimpanzees - cognitive, cultural and otherwise - nor their capacity to suffer has inspired adequate protection for these animals. Despite their bright minds and unique personalities, many chimpanzees spend their lives inside small metal laboratory cages, where they endure terror, physical pain and trauma. People may be shocked to learn that laboratories in the United States are allowed to keep chimpanzees in cages about the size of a kitchen table.In light of the lessons taught by Washoe, her fellow signing apes, and all that we know about chimpanzees, we must now realize that how we currently keep and treat chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories is replete with ethical problems. It's time for the United States to join nations all over the world, from Austria to Liberia and New Zealand, that have banned experiments on chimpanzees. It is the right and compassionate thing to do. I'm sure that Washoe would have signed that she agreed.
To be honest, I’m having trouble coming up with a decent intro to this video. It’s a behind the scenes look at the companion animal overpopulation crisis, from the perspective of a woman who deals with it every day, up close and personal. It really made me think about what an absolute joke the whole idea of “responsible” breeding is, when millions of animals are killed annually for one simple reason: there just aren’t enough good homes for them.
Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.
Since the Halloween season is upon us and all that, I wanted to share this bit of Halloween trivia with you. Zombies hate KFC. Seriously, they hate it. In fact, they hate it so much that they held a protest at a KFC in Moscow, ID, with signs reading “I’d Rather Be Dead Than Eat at KFC”. Unfortunately for this group of zombies, their photographer only got shots of their signs reading “Aurgh Graun Uargh”. But you get the idea. If you’d like to do your own zombie-themed KFC demo, click here.
And since you asked . . . No, I am not dressing up for Halloween. In fact, I’d rather go naked than dress up for Halloween.
Lindsay and Nicole, a couple of die-hard anti-KFC campaigners, completed the Louisville Half-Marathon in KFC’s hometown yesterday. So what, you ask? Well, they did the whole thing with “Boycott KFC” and the like written on their bodies, and the pair reported that they got tons of support from the crowd and even talked to several Yum (KFC’s parent company) employees along the way, including one particularly chatty woman who wanted to debate around mile six. Of course, she couldn’t defend KFC, since you can’t really defend a company that refuses to take even the smallest steps towards improving the miserable lives and deaths of the animals killed for its products, despite the fact that its own animal welfare advisory board recommends the changes, and other industry giants like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s, and scores of others, have already taken similar action.
Congrats Lindsay and Nicole!
And on a totally unrelated note, Wu Tang Clan member RZA walked away with the crown in the Hip Hop Chess Federation’s first annual Chess Kings Invitational. Lucky for RZA that I didn’t know about it in time to enter!
Saturday night, PETA campaigner Matt Rice was in Louisville, KY, with a giant crippled chicken to protest at a Yum Brands (the parent company of KFC) fundraiser at CEO David Novak’s house. The shindig was supposedly to fight global hunger, which is totally laughable. Global hunger isn’t laughable of course, but KFC pretending to give a hoot about it is. Let’s be real here: since it takes several pounds of wholesome grain to produce a single pound of unhealthy chicken meat, KFC does more to contribute to global hunger than it does to stop it. KFC holding a fundraiser to fight global hunger is like Marlboro holding a fundraiser to fight lung cancer. The WorldWatch Institute puts it like this, “[M]eat consumption is an inefficient use of grain—the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.”
Oh yeah, we were also there to remind consumers to boycott KFC until it takes the advice of its own animal welfare panel to end the worst abuses of chickens by its suppliers.
Here are a couple of photos from the evening.
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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.