Written by PETA
If you're left scratching your head after reading this blog's title, allow me to translate: That friendly greeting is Kiswahili for "What's the news?" The response, "Ujima," is today's Kwanzaa value.
Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days during the week between Christmas and New Year's. Each day is marked by a do-gooding ideal called by its Kiswahili name. Today is day three, Ujima, which means collective work and responsibility. (Saturday and Sunday were Unity and Self-Determination, marked by the "unifying determination" of my family to nab the last bit of Grandma's famous holiday sweet potatoes!) The idea of Ujima is to take on the problems of our neighbors and work together to solve them. In the spirit of this lovely holiday, we thought it apropos to focus on how to help those who can't help themselves.
Please be encouraged to take action anytime you see an animal in distress. Volunteer at your local animal shelter to give animals in need a bit of holiday cheer, or call the authorities about that dog in your neighborhood who is chained outside without proper shelter in this unforgiving weather. And of course, always remember to make sure that the animal companions you're lucky enough to share your home with are given proper care and all the cuddles they can handle!
Another Kwanzaa tradition is to pay respect to someone of African heritage who has contributed something significant to society. Today, I choose the generous Richard Pryor for his unending efforts to stop the abuse of animals. Who do you pick?
Joyous Kwanzaa everyone!
Written by Missy Lane
When I hear "Christmas spectacular," I think snow, lights, and a tree—really, it doesn't take much to make me happy. For the twisted folks at Loro Parque in Spain, however, it's apparently not Christmas without some animal exploitation. Wholesome and heartwarming? Yeah, right.
There was nothing festive about the death of a captive orca's trainer during the rehearsal for the zoo's Christmas performance. The whale hit the trainer, who drowned after being underwater for several minutes.
Freedom must've been first on this orca's Christmas wish list. Orcas swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, so confining them to tanks in theme parks is like confining a person to a bathtub. Captured from their ocean homes by boats that chase orca pods to shallow waters so that the animals can be surrounded with nets that are gradually closed and lifted onto the boats, some orcas die from shock or stress. Others slowly succumb to pneumonia when water enters their lungs through their blowholes. After they are torn away from their homes and families, these animals are then forced to learn circus-style tricks from trainers who withhold food and isolate animals who refuse to perform.
At the top of my New Year's wish list? A PETA theme park in which the only "animals" forced to perform are the animatronic kind.
Written by Logan Scherer
It's official: Michelle Obama is the most fascinating person of the year. In her interview with Barbara Walters, the fabulously fur-free first lady chatted about her goals, her arms, and her guilty pleasures—and she gushed over her adorable son!
Sasha, check. Malia, check. … Wait, you didn't know she had a son? Find out who the lucky guy is after the jump.
When we think of our nation's capital, freedom and justice immediately come to mind. But there's nothing just about the fur industry, in which millions of animals are skinned alive each year. That's why, as a boost to PETA's "Make D.C. Fur-Free" campaign, we're launching a "Fur-Free and Fabulous" ad blitz from the streets to the subway, starting with a van wrapped in this alluring ad:
Elegant, dazzling, and vogue, these stars are sure to stop traffic with their compassionate fashion. We're turning roads into runways to showcase the impeccable, cruelty-free style sensibilities of chic celebrities from Carrie Underwood to Michelle Obama and from Tyra Banks to Oprah Winfrey. And the commuting runway won't be just above ground—we're also going subterranean with our new ad, spreading the anti-fur message throughout the Metro. Fashion show on the subway? Yes. We. Can.
Want to cast your vote for cruelty-free fashion? Take our pledge to make D.C. fur-free, and if you know people who insist on draping themselves in the skins of dead animals, consider stuffing their stockings with this video narrated by the fabulous Tim Gunn.
I really hope that Michelle Obama was able to take in Pink's sold-out show at the D.C.-area Patriot Center last night.
Before launching into "Dear Mr. President," Pink showed some love for the current missus: "Let's get political for a second. Since we're near D.C., I have to give a shout-out to Michelle Obama, who has announced that she is officially fur-free. I love an animal-lovin' first lady!"
Even when she's on the road, hard at work, our pal Pink is never too busy to give props to people who are doing their part to protect animals.
Written by Shawna Flavell
The following is a guest post from peta2's Lara.
Greetings from our nation's capital! Pop quiz: What do Michelle Obama and PETA have in common? No, it's not our toned biceps. Yes, we are both anti-fur, but that's not what I'm getting at either. It's that we both have volunteered with a great organization called Miriam's Kitchen. Miriam's Kitchen is a D.C.-based nonprofit that provides free meals and support services to homeless people.
Since PETA is relatively new to the neighborhood, we wanted to pitch in and help out the community. And what better way to do that than with vegan pancakes?
Today, we had the great opportunity to prepare and serve the first vegan breakfast in Miriam's Kitchen history.
On the menu:
At first, the vegan breakfast was met with some skepticism, but afterwards, the empty plates spoke for themselves. Here are some reviews from some of the people I spoke with:
"It's actually good!""I wish they had soy milk every day. I am allergic to cow's milk, and it tastes better.""They're trying to makes us healthy up in here!"
Indeed we are.
Written by Lara Sanders
"Fur is no longer being viewed as a way to floss and show off your status or bank account—it is now a billboard of cruelty on people's back."—Russell Simmons, globalGrind.com
He's the founder of Phat Farm, so if anyone knows style, it's got to be Russell Simmons. In his recent globalGrind blog post, Russell gave a shout-out to Tila Tequila, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and Michelle Obama for speaking out against the fur industry and credited the ladies with marking "a shift in human consciousness." Wow, Russell, we couldn't have said it better ourselves!
Yesterday, we broke the news that France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, had written to PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews to assure him that although she wore fur back in her modeling days, she now refuses to wear even the smallest bits of fur.
Now, America's first lady, the fabulously fashionable Michelle Obama, has also declared via her press secretary that she, too, is fur-free. Here's the official statement: "Mrs. Obama does not wear fur."
Talk about some high-class first ladies!
Written by Karin Bennett
Yes, you heard right! On Entertainment Tonight this evening, Michelle Obama was quoted as saying that the family is planning to adopt a rescue dog. We at PETA couldn't be more thrilled! You may remember the letter that we sent to the Obama family back in July, immediately after we heard that the family planned to get a dog.
In her letter, Ingrid said, "No one needs to tell you that this country is proud to be a melting pot and that there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog. Millions of Great American Mutts—the dog that should be our national dog—are set to die in our nation's extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes. Compassionate people nationwide are choosing to adopt a homeless pound puppy—a grateful refugee from a society that has not always treated the true 'underdog' kindly—rather than cater to special interests who do not have dogs' interests at heart."
So you can see why we're quite proud of this whole thing and thank everyone who weighed in. We hope that the Obama family really listened to our message, and we hope that Barack, Michelle, and their daughters find a loving mutt who needs a good home.
Hey, America … we are SO over the Paris Hilton "purse puppy" era … let's give homes to dogs who really need them!
Written by Christine Doré
As a 501(c)(3) organization, PETA does not endorse or oppose any candidate for public office or any political party.
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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.