Written by PETA
Sad news—House Peters Jr., the man we all know and love as Mr. Clean, passed away yesterday at the respectable age of 92.
I pretty much love the character of Mr. Clean. In a world of cleaning-product commercials featuring only women, Mr. Clean's gender-stereotype–defying presence was always refreshing. (Plus, he had an earring, which is cool—and pretty progressive for the 1950s, when the character premiered!)
What I don't love, though, is the company responsible for the product Mr. Clean—Proctor & Gamble (P&G), the infamous maker of animal-tested Iams! PETA's problem with P&G goes back pretty far—far enough, in fact, for us to have parodied Mr. Clean's image on a 1998 protest door hanger.
But that wasn't enough to convince P&G to stop abusing animals in the name of "research." While P&G has developed non-animal testing methods and worked to end much of its outdated testing program, even today, eight years later, P&G–owned Iams continues to keep up to 700 dogs and cats locked inside hidden laboratories.
So as we say goodbye to Mr. Clean, we urge you to honor his memory by, say, wearing white T-shirts and gold earrings—not by purchasing Iams.
For a list of dog and cat food brands that are not tested on animals, click here.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Does anyone remember our sexy "Go Veg, Texas" campaign? Of course you do! Well, this time around, we're traveling a bit south of the border and asking Mexico to do the same thing (minus the bikini).
If you haven't yet heard, Mexico has recently started the "Vamos por un millón de kilos'' campaign to encourage all residents to lose weight. Well, we know a thing or two about lookin' fine and stayin' slim without all the grease and cruelty that meat-based diets offer. Check out our letter to President Calderón and let us know what you think:
His Excellency Felipe CalderónPresident of the Republic of Mexico1 page via fax Dear President Calderón: On behalf of PETA, an international animal rights organization with more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide, I applaud your administration's "Vamos por un millón de kilos" campaign. May we add that the best way to help your citizens lose weight while improving their health would be to encourage them to choose a vegetarian diet? As you might know, consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products is linked to the major killers in the U.S. and Mexico—heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes.Animal flesh, milk, and cheese are packed with fat, calories, and cholesterol. It's little wonder that as Mexicans move away from a traditional Mexican diet high in healthy vegetables, grains, fruit, and beans and toward the typical U.S. diet, which is laden with fatty animal flesh and devoid of fiber, they are also following their neighbors to the north in packing on the pounds and becoming sick and prematurely incapacitated. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vegetarians are far less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters and far more likely to be in better overall health. They live longer and die less painful deaths. The American Dietetic Association—the largest group of nutrition professionals in the U.S.—reviewed hundreds of studies and concluded that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer than people who eat meat. A healthy vegetarian diet provides all the nutrients that we need to thrive—without the saturated animal fats and cholesterol found in meat that cause weight gain and clogged arteries. In addition, every vegetarian saves hundreds of animals from the horrible cruelty of the meat industry, such as mutilation without any painkillers, intensive confinement, and violent slaughter. To help kick off the "Go Vegetarian, Mexico" campaign, two of PETA's beautiful Lettuce Ladies would like to join you for an event at the National Palace to hand out delicious vegetarian fare—like tasty faux-beef tacos and soy-cheese and mock-chicken quesadillas—along with copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit." (The kit can be viewed online at SeaVegetariano.com.) Please let me know when you would like to schedule this exciting event. Thank you for your consideration.Very truly yours, Ingrid E. NewkirkPresident
Written by Christine Doré
You know that we at PETA love to help out whenever we can, so when we heard about the extreme gas shortage plaguing the Southern states, we deployed our elite gasoline response team: the fabulous Lettuce Ladies. We've had these eye-catching demos before with great response (and even a hugely successful gas giveaway contest), but now, with so many gas stations running out of gas, the ladies are needed more than ever!
The Ladies have been touring the country wearing their signature lettuce-leaf bikinis. They've been giving away Tofurkey brand vegan sandwiches and free gasoline to anyone who would give it a try—all to call attention to the fact that factory farming causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, and planes combined. In fact, eating a single pound of meat is the environmental equivalent of driving 40 miles in an SUV!
So while drivers in Atlanta waited in those long lines to fill up their tanks, our Lettuce Ladies gave them vegan sandwiches to fill up on, too—and hey, who can argue with free sandwiches, right?
So, Megan Webb has been crowned the 2008 West Virginia Beef Queen by the West Virginia Cattlemen's Association, and PETA has sent her a letter making it very clear that we've got "beef" with the Mistress of Meat.
We have invited the Beef Queen (I just can't get enough of that title!) to take a page out of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit"—and make the switch to a healthy, humane diet rather than promote cruelty to animals, environmental destruction, and life-threatening diseases—or take on one of our Lettuce Ladies in a tofu-wrestling match.
This earlier bout between a PETA member and a Playboy model will give you an idea of how the beef vs. lettuce throwdown might go:
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And the prizes for the wrestling match aren't too shabby either. We've found a reformed rancher who is offering to donate $5,000 to a mutually acceptable charity of the winner's choosing. We've also agreed to let the winner design a meal for the loser. (Yes, we're that confident our Lettuce Lady will win.) And perhaps best of all, the winner will get bragging rights.
Check out the full letter here.
As though it were a gruesome scene in a horror movie, a Canadian Greyhound passenger found himself in the hands of a highly disturbed man this past weekend while en route from Edmonton to Winnipeg. Passengers riding the bus reported that Vince Weiguang Li jumped on top of 22-year-old Tim McLean and began stabbing him repeatedly before cutting off his head and allegedly consuming some of his flesh. Parts of McLean's ear, nose, and mouth were found in Li's pocket.
This tragic incident will certainly leave scars on the minds of the other passengers and the victim's family and friends. While it isn't every day that a human is violently attacked and eaten by another human, it's worth noting that it is the norm for many people not to give any thought to the fact that restaurants are serving flesh that comes from innocents who were minding their own business before someone came after them with a knife. How amazingly and conveniently compartmentalized the human mind is…
To stress this very point, PETA will be running an ad in the Portage Daily Graphic comparing the similarities between this gruesome bus butchering and the acts of cruelty and killing performed every day by the meat industry.
The horror that cows, chickens, and pigs face on factory farms goes on for a long time too. Chickens are violently tossed into cages with dozens of other birds and forced to live amid their own waste. Baby pigs have their testicles ripped out without any painkillers. And male calves are starved and chained inside tiny stalls until their flesh becomes soft and milky white before being slaughtered for someone's veal dinner.
PETA is running the ad to make people rethink the proposition that it is, rightly so, a criminal act to kill and eat our own kind but that it's "OK" to kill every other species but our own and eat them.
Quick—what reason do people usually give for continuing to eat meat even after you've told them about all the awesome health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of going vegetarian? If you said taste (as in, people don't want to give up meat because they like the taste), you win $1 million! Not really (sorry!), but it does mean that you've been doing a great job trying to get your friends and family members to take the cool vegetarian plunge—go, you!
Now, people who've explored veggie cuisine know that you don't have to give up anything in the way of taste or texture to go vegetarian, but guess what massive corporation is going to help spread that message to new audiences? If you said most KFCs in Canada, you don't win $1 million, but you are right (go, you, again!).
Most KFCs in Canada have just added a vegetarian chicken sandwich to the menu, and by all reports, the faux chicken is crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and delectably flavorful inside and out. YUM! (YUM! is actually the name of the company that owns KFC in the U.S., but they aren't serving it, dammit).
The company that coordinates the purchase of all chickens for Canadian KFCs has also entered into an agreement with PETA, which includes landmark animal welfare reforms that will substantially improve the lives and deaths of chickens killed for Canadian KFCs. And we at PETA have been so happy about this that we sent our Lettuce Ladies on a Canadian tour to pass out KFC's faux-chicken sandwiches to anyone eager for a taste. How's that for winningly fabulous, eh?
Here are some photographs from Montréal!
Posted by Grace Friedan
As I'm sure many of you are aware, circuses that use elephants and big cats in their acts are not on PETA's approved list! Circuses—including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, for instance—use aggression, violence, and confinement to "train" elephants to perform asinine tricks. This often results in pain, suffering, and trauma. Some elephants go mad, while others become infected with deadly diseases, like a human strain of tuberculosis (TB). Quite a few suffer early deaths. (If this is the first time you're hearing that all is not glitter and glamour for animals in circuses, I think I've got some sad news for you about Santa Claus as well.)
However, while we PETA activists have become well equipped for tackling Ringling's lies to the public about their practices, up from the slimy depths slinks Carson & Barnes Circus.
Let me back up by telling you about Joy. She's from a group of elephants that the Illinois-based Hawthorn Corporation was forced to relinquish because of chronic Animal Welfare Act violations. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the elephants at Hawthorn accounted for 21 percent of known cases of TB in elephants, and it's likely that these elephants are infected with drug-resistant, latent TB. In fact, half of Hawthorn's 22 animal handlers tested positive for TB exposure.
While most of the elephants at Hawthorn went to sanctuaries, we fought the USDA tooth and nail to prevent Joy from going to Carson & Barnes Circus. An overreaction on our part? Heck no! One of our incredible undercover investigators exposed cruelty so vicious that it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Elephants shocked with electric prods and repeatedly hit with bullhooks become so frightened that they trumpet and recoil from the trainer's vicious attacks.
This is the routine nightmare of elephants in their "care." They're tortured. Yet somehow these depraved animal abusers are still in business and were allowed by the USDA to acquire Joy with the understanding that they'd never use her in their traveling show or for any sort of public contact because the USDA determined that the Hawthorn elephants posed a danger to the national elephant herd and public health.
Then! Less than a year after they got Joy, Carson & Barnes turned right around and submitted a request to the USDA to use her anyway for "educational demonstrations and possibly for elephant rides." Here's the USDA's rather irritated response:
As you might recall, you had several conversations with Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, Eastern Region Director, Animal Care, in March and April 2005 regarding EAF's [the circus's Endangered Ark Foundation, which is nothing more than a breeding facility to supply Carson & Barnes with more unwilling performers] willingness to be a donee for Joy. In each of those conversations, you, among other things, agreed on behalf of EAF not to allow Joy to travel or be in contact with the public. Therefore, EAF's plan to use Joy for "elephant rides" or any other exhibition that involves public contact or travel would not be acceptable to [the USDA].
Yeah, these carnies really care about the animals, eh? They will stoop so low as to risk the health of Joy, other elephants, and little kids just to make a buck off elephant rides.
Boo-yah! Little C&B thought they run with the big dogs in janky dirty dealings? But remember what we told you the five fingers said to the face? SMACK!
Posted by Missy Lane
Al Gore admitted to an audience at a political blogger conference that he may, indeed, be bad for the environment and guilty of contributing to global warming. Why? Because he just can't seem to stop eating meat, which is more harmful to the global warming crisis (which Gore is known for being a teeny bit fanatical about) than all of the world's cars, trucks, SUVs, and planes combined!
According to Ezra Klein at Prospect.org, Gore said, "It is true that it would be healthier for us as individuals and as a planet if we consumed less meat. I acknowledge that. … I myself am a meat eater and maybe that's had some effect" (emphasis mine). How did he go from acknowledging that vegetarianism is better for individuals and the planet to saying that maybe his choice to eat animals has some negative effect?
Without committing to any changes in the present, Al Gore explains that he "plead[s] guilty" and that we must "walk before we can run." Seriously? He doesn't know how to walk the walk on this issue? Have we not been clear enough with this guy? We'd love to love you, Al, but please stop clinging to the one thing that is so devastating for the world while asking everyone else to drop their bad habits.
What's next, M.A.D.D. beer cozies sized to fit in your car's cup holder? Ugh.
Posted by Sean Conner
Remember that advertisement for the U.S. Army that said that folks in the Army do more before 6 a.m. than most people do all day? I was reminded of that when I reviewed some of the successes scored by the phenomenal PETA Asia-Pacific team. Check out what these superheroes for animals accomplished during a recent three-week span:
Stay tuned for future victories!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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.