Written by Michelle Kretzer
Hollywood to Wimbledon, it's clear: Everybody's going vegan.
said she dropped weight when she dropped animal products, and vegetarian Alan Cumming
was inspired by vegan Mike
Tyson to do all animals a
solid and go vegan too.
new vegan diet is helping her manage her Sjögren's syndrome. Little sis Serena Williams followed in Venus'
tennis shoes and went vegan as well. And WWE champ CM Punk made it his New Year's
resolution to C Meat out the door.
Robert Sebree • Makeup: Steven Sollitto
Roselyn Sanchez asked people not to
light fireworks, which terrify
and kill birds, on New Year's Eve. Then
she started her year off with a bang, welcoming a new little animal advocate,
daughter Sebella Rose
Winter, to her family.
Fighter Dan Hardy is welcoming fellow
fighter Matt Hughes to the ring to pick on someone his own size. Hardy called
Hughes out for hunting for
sport, tweeting, "There
is no justification for what he does. I fight against other people that enjoy
fighting also. Shooting animals for fun isn't sport and it certainly isn't cool."
What is cool is keeping up with what celebs are doing to help animals by following
PETA on Twitter.
Written by PETA
The Daily Meal recently compiled a list of top vegetarian athletes, including Mike Tyson, Billie Jean King, and Joe Namath. We were inspired to compile our own list of 10 animal-friendly top talents who have gotten brawn from broccoli and endurance from eggplant:
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Mike Tyson would have viewers of his new show, Taking On Tyson, believe that pigeon racers don't think of the birds as "inventory." But a long-time wildlife rehabilitator who has seen the victims firsthand begs to differ.
In an e-mail to PETA, she told us about rehabilitating a thin and injured pigeon who, judging from his wounds, appeared to have barely escaped a hawk. Because the bird was wearing a band, she was able to track down the bird's owner, who told her to put the bird in a tube and ship him back. Of course, she refused to do so. Another racer she contacted about a banded bird told her to just "wring its neck" and that the birds are "a dime a dozen."
PETA recently demonstrated outside Tyson's Las Vegas home to let people know that pigeons do suffer when forced to fly hundreds of miles in all weather extremes.
Many don't make it home. The American Racing Pigeon Union disclosed that at a 2010 race in Oklahoma City, more than 800 pigeons—60 percent of the total number entered—did not return from training flights or the race itself.
Please tell Animal Planet that animals should not have to pay with their lives for someone's hobby.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
PETA members gathered outside Mike Tyson's home in Las Vegas yesterday to protest the former heavyweight boxing champ's new TV series on Animal Planet, Taking On Tyson, which showcases Tyson's interest in pigeon racing.
Tyson, who once claimed that his former "pet" tigers "liked" being punched in the testicles and face, has now added pigeon abuse to his résumé. Racing pigeons are forced to fly hundreds of miles in all weather extremes as they attempt to get home. The pigeons are vulnerable to both natural predators such as hawks and cruel humans who view them as "pests." In a recent ESPN interview, Tyson said, "I try not to get too attached. That's why I keep breeder pigeons—if a bird gets sick or dies, I can produce another one."
Pigeons raised in rooftop coops have few real-world survival skills. PETA caseworkers have fielded frantic calls from people who have found exhausted, injured, or starving birds. A pigeon-racing industry veterinarian admitted that most lost birds starve to death.
Wagers are often placed on the outcome of races, which not only violates many state gambling laws but also means a grim fate for "losers." Owners have little use for pigeons who can't or don't win, and they unapologetically kill slower birds by wringing their necks, gassing or drowning them, or selling the birds to live poultry markets.
Please let Animal Planet know that you won't be tuning in to Taking On Tyson.
That's right. Yesterday, heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson revealed to audience members during a taping of CenterStage that he's gone vegan. (The interview is scheduled to air on May 26.) I'm sure they were all ears and eager to learn why the aspiring reality show star/pigeon exploiter has embraced the diet of choice for those who care about themselves, animals, and the planet.
Did he learn that a vegan diet does a body good great by keeping it trim, strong, and healthy? Was he swayed by details on how diseased animals suffer in extremely crowded, filthy crates and cages on factory farms before they are forced to make harrowing trips to the slaughterhouse? Perhaps he refuses to contribute to environmental disasters that are linked to the meat and dairy industries.
Whatever the reason(s), we applaud Mike Tyson's decision to leave animals off his plate—and we will continue our efforts to ensure that he stops promoting pigeon abuse. Coould you please help too?
Written by Karin Bennett
"Ready …Set …Um, never mind …"
It seems quite possible that Animal Planet's upcoming reality series starring Mike Tyson might be knocked out of production. (Join us in our sorrow—not.) PETA has identified what might be a fatal flaw in the very premise of Taking on Tyson, which is scheduled to begin filming in Brooklyn next month. See, while pigeon racing is cruel to birds no matter where it takes place, in New York state it's also very likely illegal.
Our letter to Charles J. Hynes, Kings County district attorney, points out that gambling is generally prohibited in New York state—as are races using animals other than horses in which any bet, stake, or reward is involved. Translation: When it comes to racing pigeons in Brooklyn, all bets are off possibly illegal. What's more, trainers are prohibited from making money off such races, and this rule might very well apply to any compensation that Tyson is receiving from Animal Planet.
Considering its inherent cruelties, there's no question that pigeon racing should be illegal. Birds who are forced to race often struggle to survive extreme heat, hail, and thunderstorms, dodging both predators and cruel humans through grueling races that can be as long as 500 miles. Those who somehow do not succumb to exhaustion or injury and make their way home may still have their necks wrung by unsatisfied trainers.
Take a minute to write Animal Planet and politely let the network know that while you love shows like Whale Wars and Animal Cops—programs in which people go to bat for animals—a program in which people bet on cruelty is a bad hand for everyone.
Written by Shawna Flavell
In an effort to rebuild his image, Mike Tyson has a new Animal Planet series in the works, tentatively titled Taking on Tyson and slated to premiere in 2011. The former heavyweight fighter will use the program to showcase his passion for pigeons via his exploits in the pigeon-racing industry.
While we would never knock someone's love for these intelligent birds, Tyson's claim to care about pigeons is rather incredulous given that he chooses to tout using them in a "sport" that—like horseracing—exposes them to danger and death. In a typical race, the birds are taken great distances—sometimes as many as 500 miles—away from their homes and then released to see if they can find their way back. It can only be a traumatic experience, as evidenced by the fallen pigeons who succumb to storms, shotgun pellets, and collisions with high-tension wires and who are often found starving, exhausted, and a long way from home. Pigeons mate for life, and the likelihood that both partners will find each other again or that the bird who is released will be reunited with the one left in the coop is a crapshoot. For those banded birds who are found by concerned citizens or turned in to humane societies and have their bands traced, the voice on the other end of the phone is likely to say what we have been told directly, i.e., "Wring their necks, that's what we do with losers."
Mike Tyson likes to tell the story of the first time that he beat someone up, saying it was over someone wanting to hurt one of "his" pigeons. Well, in pigeon racing, he'll meet a lot of people he can beat up if that's the criteria, but if he really wants to rehabilitate his image, then the seedy underbelly of the pigeon-racing world isn't the ideal stage for him. If you'd like to contact Animal Planet to state your opinion on whether this show should air or if the network should stick to Whale Wars and Animal Cops, please send a polite message to Discovery Communications' viewer relations department.
Written by Logan Scherer
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.