Written by PETA
Thoroughbred racehorse Coming Home, the granddaughter of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled and the cousin of the doomed Derby entrant Eight Belles, was bought by a "meat buyer" at a livestock auction for $200 and was hours from being trucked to a slaughterhouse when a PETA investigator rescued her. Coming Home will at last come to a real—and permanent—home on a PETA member's farm, where she will never again have to fear for her life.
Coming Home relaxes with some friends after her rescue.
Thoroughbred owners and breeders in the U.S. may be thinking about the Kentucky Derby when they bring nearly 30,000 new thoroughbreds into the world every single year. But the derby is a dream. A livestock auction and a bolt through the brain are the reality for 10,000 castoff thoroughbred racehorses this year. Owners who pay exorbitant stud fees turn their backs on horses who are too old or injured to run or who are just not fast enough.
With the Kentucky Derby taking place this weekend, PETA is asking The Jockey Club, which registers all thoroughbred foals, to protect them by setting up a retirement fund called the "Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Fund." Owners and breeders would pay a $360 retirement fee for every foal, broodmare, and stallion they register and for every ownership transfer. This would generate more than $20 million every year that would go toward providing a humane retirement for the two-thirds of horses bred who are discarded by the industry.
Please e-mail the Jockey Club and ask that it adopt PETA's retirement plan. If owners and breeders are going to continue to crank out thousands of foals—and rake in millions of dollars off the winners' backs—the least that they can do is put some money aside for the horses who aren't quite fast enough to outrun the butcher.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
We were pretty disappointed when we heard that Mattel was planning to release a "Kentucky Derby Barbie." Barbie has a long history as an animal defender (she's been fur-free for years)—why would she get all, ahem, "dolled" up for an event that centers around animal abuse?
Then it occurred to us that Barbie could very well go to the Kentucky Derby (or, as we say in Louisville, "the Derby") and still maintain her animal-friendly image. How, you ask? By protesting the Derby, of course!
That's why PETA sent a letter to the CEO of Mattel asking him to provide Kentucky Derby Barbie with two special items to take with her to Churchill Downs. She should have her very own to-scale protest sign—reading "Horse Racing is Horse Abuse"—as well as a memorial wreath commemorating Eight Belles and all the other horses who die every day on race tracks. In addition, Kentucky Derby Barbie's box should come with a sticker that explains why Barbie is on her high horse about the dangerous practices that are rampant in the horse-racing industry, such as pumping horses with steroids and other drugs to enable them to run with injuries, breeding horses to have fragile legs, running horses too young (before their bones have fully formed), and racing them on hard dirt tracks.
Barbie's a smart girl. After all, she has been a surgeon, an astronaut, and President of the United States. Surely she knows that there are better ways to spend a Saturday in May than at a "sporting event" that is all too likely to end in tragedy.
Written by Amanda Schinke
In 2006, when Barack Obama was an Illinois Senator, he wrote a letter to a group of constituents to thank them for their support of a resolution against the Canadian seal slaughter. He assured them that he would use his seat in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to support the resolution.
"But Amanda," you may be thinking, "what does a three-year-old resolution have to do with the price of tofu?"
The resolution, S. Res. 33, wasn't just any old resolution. In no uncertain language, it listed a number of reasons why the "cruel and needless" Canadian seal slaughter is "inconsistent with the well-earned international reputation of Canada" and urged the Canadian government to "end the commercial hunt on seals."
In his letter, then-Senator Obama wrote that "the United States should not condone" the slaughter, and vowed, "As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, I will work with my colleagues to ensure that we take the necessary steps to express our outrage with this inhumane measure".
We applaud Obama for taking such a strong stand—and now, PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews has written a letter to President Obama asking him to express that same passion now, as president, in an appeal to the Canadian government to stop the seal slaughter.
If you share Obama's outrage, please lend your voice here.
After we heard about Michael Jackson's apparent desire to include exotic animals in his upcoming London concerts, my heart sank. As superfan of MJ's music since birth and also a staunch animal defender, I'd never felt so conflicted. Luckily, after PETA Europe sent a letter regarding the King of Pop, we got word that he will not be using any live animals in his concert series at London's O2 arena.
Too bad he still has a spotty past when it comes to compassion for animals. It had been widely reported that Jackson planned to ride an elephant on stage and use panthers, but subjecting animals to amplified noise, bright lights, and the fast pace of a massive concert production is cruel. Plus, his rap sheet from the not-too-distant past includes dumping his chimpanzee, Bubbles, with a Hollywood trainer. And many of the animals he left behind at Neverland Ranch ended up being sold at auction, despite repeated offers from PETA to help place them in sanctuaries. His orangutans were reportedly sold to a private owner in Connecticut, two of his alligators are languishing at the disgusting G.W. Exotic Animal Park, his giraffes in the care of a private owner in Arizona are on the verge of being evicted, and more.
Michael, it's bad, it's bad, and you know it.
We know that Michael's "Off the Wall," but his treatment of animals crosses the line to cruel and unacceptable. Hopefully, this new announcement is a sign that things are moving in a new direction. I mean, this is a man who holds the Guinness World Record for giving more to charities than any other entertainer, so you'd think he'd be generous with animals, too … but as much as I love singing "Dirty Diana" into my hairbrush, his cruelty toward animals leaves me less than "thrilled."
Written by Christine Doré
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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.