Written by PETA
From Los Angeles, California, to Paducah, Kentucky and from Berlin, Germany, to Zagreb, Croatia—all around the world, caring people are taking to the streets to protest against the shameful Canadian seal slaughter. These caring activists are showing Canada that the world will not tolerate this bloody massacre.
We've posted many entries on this blog with photos from across the globe, but that's just a fraction of the pictures that have flooded into our inboxes in recent weeks. We've just set up a gallery on Flickr, so we're no longer limited in the number of photos we can share with you. Check out the slideshow:
Got demo photos of your own that you'd like to share? Why don't you send 'em our way so that we can add them to our Flickr gallery?
Written by Shawna Flavell
Some people just need to have things spelled out for them before they catch on. At this very moment, the seal slaughter is staining the ice floes of Canada blood red, despite all the not-so-subtle hints that we've been dropping to let Canada know that allowing a massacre to take place on its territory is an intolerable embarrassment. So, we've launched a billboard campaign across Canada to grab attention in a way that people can't miss.
The first billboard was unveiled in Mississauga, Ontario, by some kindhearted people and an all-too-adorable seal. I don't think that anyone who sees this while driving down the highway can fail to get the message:
Written by Shawna Flavell
Australian vocalist Missy Higgins is no newcomer to PETA. A few years back, she graciously appeared in one of our most adorable pro-vegetarian ads ever. Now she is lending her star power to an equally adorable new PETA anti-fur ad.
Joining the ranks of Charlize Theron and Friday Night Lights actor Aimee Teegarden, the award-winning singer/songwriter took time out of her busy schedule to speak up for animals who are killed for their fur by appearing in our ad alongside the almost unbearably cute Izzy. Feast your eyes on this:
With a heart as beautiful as her voice, Missy wants to remind everyone that the fur industry is hell on Earth for animals. In the wild, animals trapped in steel-jaw traps can suffer in pain for days, often gnawing at their own limbs in an attempt to break free. On fur farms, animals spend their lives in cramped, dirty cages, frantically pacing and circling endlessly before workers snap their necks or kill them with poison gas or electrocution.
Compassionate animal guardians can't imagine seeing their four-legged friends endure such suffering, and they can't imagine that anyone could get paid to inflict such suffering on other animals, either.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Magic 8-Ball says, "Outlook good."
According to a recent piece in the New York Post, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a visit to Morton's Steakhouse in downtown Brooklyn, "but refrained from eating any meat and was 'strictly vegetarian.'"
Think Bloomberg has been talking to our friend Chris P. Carrot? Chris P. and Bloomberg are both politicians fighting to make our planet a little greener, so it only makes sense that they would run in the same circles—or at least run into each other occasionally. I know Chris P. hasn't won any elections (yet), but there's no denying that the guy's full of great advice on the green front. Bloomberg might be paying attention to Chris P. when the über-tuber says that going vegetarian is one of the best things that we can do for the environment.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Without spam e-mail, there could be no "Who got the funniest spam today?" (I won today with "You can look fancy even if you are a simple taxi driver.") But is spam destroying the Earth?
It turns out that spam has a heck of a carbon footprint. According to a recently released study producing the energy that was required to delete spam and search for actual e-mail that mistakenly ended up in junk e-mail folders during 2008 created greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to 3.1 million passenger cars using 2 billion gallons of gas.
That's pretty staggering, but what about another type of SPAM—the processed meat product from Hormel? Fact: Producing eight ounces of pork is the greenhouse-gas equivalent of driving a standard car 2.52 miles. Let's assume that, after you take all the water, salt, and et cetera out of a 12-ounce can of SPAM, there are 10 or 11 ounces of actual pork. So, producing a can of SPAM is the equivalent of driving more than 3 miles. Deleting one piece of e-mail spam, on the other hand, is the equivalent of driving 3 feet.
So, yes, a can of SPAM has a carbon footprint that is more than 5,000 times larger than that of a piece of spam e-mail.
On a related note, according to Live Earth, going vegetarian is the "single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint"—certainly more effective than installing a spam filter, anyway.
Written by Amanda Schinke
To paraphrase Adam Ant, he don't drink, don't smoke, what does he do? He eats a vegetarian diet too! Of course, I'm talking about Newark, New Jersey's teetotaling, carrot-crunching mayor, Cory Booker. So, if any mayor would be likely to take us up on our suggestion to ban fast-food restaurants, it would have to be Mayor Booker, right?
Well, that's what we think, which is why we've asked the mayor to ban the construction of new fast-food restaurants in Newark. Our reasoning goes like this: Studies show that people who live near fast-food restaurants have higher rates of strokes and obesity, and Newark residents have more than their fair share of both. Why not tackle both of those health issues—and beautify Newark at the same time—by banning golden arches and giant red-and-white striped buckets?
We think there's a chance that the mayor will go along with us on this one. Who knows—maybe Newark could become the next Akron, Ohio.
Written by Alisa Mullins
A lot of cool stuff happened to me when I was in college, but, I have to admit, nothing was as cool as what's happened to an animal rights group at Michigan State University. The MSU group is working hard to push for a permanent circus ban on their campus, and they've just received some serious help—from none other than punk godfather (and Michigan native) Iggy Pop!
The university has made the compassionate decision to ban circuses on campus this year after learning that elephants, tigers, and other animals are beaten and forced to perform under the big top. After Iggy Pop heard the news, he wrote a letter to the school in support of the students' proposal to make the ban permanent.
Want to find out how to make your own college campus circus-free? Take a little visit to peta2.
Did you know that in addition to being the award-winning director of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, Oliver Stone is a decorated Army veteran? He's earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Stone's interest in the military and his compassion for animals is what prompted him to write this morning to Bolivian President Evo Morales thanking Morales for enacting Bolivia's first animal-protection regulation. The Bolivian government banned the abuse of live animals in military training exercises after the release of video footage that showed conscious dogs who screamed in agony as soldiers stabbed the animals' chests and heads with knives. In the letter, Stone says, "I applaud your efforts and thank you from the bottom of my heart. With this move, you have set a lifesaving precedent that we hope others will follow."
Considering that Stone was such an esteemed member of our armed forces, maybe the Department of Defense (DoD) will take note. People like Stone who have served in the military think that using thousands of live animals each year in trauma- and chemical casualty–training exercises is cruel and unnecessary. How many servicemen and servicewomen have to cry foul before the DoD follows in Bolivia's footsteps?
P.S. Oliver Stone also contributed an essay to Ingrid Newkirk's thought-provoking book One Can Make a Difference. Buy it now!
If you haven't given up wool yet, here are five reasons to make that commitment to animals now: Faith, Lily, Mae, Pete, and Lucy. These are some of the sheep whose suffering was documented by a group of concerned Australians who have been wrangling with do-nothing authorities to help a horribly neglected flock.
The investigators photographed the bodies of dead and dying sheep around a Smeaton, Australia, property. One of the carcasses was contaminating the only readily available water source for the living sheep.
Many of the sheep on the property are being eaten alive by maggots. This condition is called "flystrike," and it is preventable with proper attention and care. In Australia, sheep farmers use a barbaric mutilation called "mulesing" in a crude attempt to prevent flystrike, but it did not help Pete or Lucy, who had advanced flystrike and died soon after the group found them. Lucy had one of the worst cases of flystrike that one investigator had ever seen: "Severely fly struck she was close to death and of course extremely distressed. She was panting hard, eyes wide with terror but unable to rise. Lucy had been mulesed, however like millions of other sheep in this country still suffered the horrors of flystrike."
After repeated attempts to get the Department of Primary Industries to take action, local citizens attempted to help some of the ewes on the Smeaton property who had babies who depended on them for survival. Faith's injuries were successfully treated, but Lily and Mae had to be taken to a veterinarian and euthanized. Their lambs are unlikely to survive without them.
The appalling conditions on the Smeaton farm are not an isolated case of neglect and abuse. Domesticated sheep are vulnerable to flystrike because they have been bred to have wrinkly skin that produces an unnatural amount of wool. Breeding for "bare breech" is one option that would make sheep less vulnerable, but, in Australia, which produces 30 percent of the world's wool, the vast flocks of sheep cannot be given the individual care and attention necessary to prevent flystrike and other illnesses. After enduring these conditions, Australian sheep are crammed onto filthy boats for live export to the Middle East—a trip that many do not survive—where they are dragged to slaughter and have their throats cut while they are conscious and struggling.
The best way to help Australian sheep is to avoid buying any wool, as it is difficult to know where wool originates. Urge the Australian prime minister to make this kind of cruelty to lambs illegal.
Written by Heather Drennan
The ritual of report card day has struck fear into the hearts of children for generations. As though bringing your grades home for mom and dad to sign weren't enough to dread, Massachusetts students have yet another report to start worrying about. The state's Public Health Council recently decided to institute a mandatory survey of each student's body mass index—based on measurements of height and weight—with the intention of sending the results home along with a plan for how parents can help their kids combat weight issues. Kind of embarrassing, but childhood obesity is no joking matter.
In support of the Health Council's action, we're proposing a plan to Dr. Alan Ingram, the superintendant of Springfield Public Schools, that is sure to have every kid passing their weight screenings with flying colors and trim waistlines. We've offered to hire a top vegan chef to help the cafeteria staff create first-class, meat-free meals that kids will love, to donate a "Vegetarian Starter Kit" for every kid in the district, and to provide health and nutrition teachers with a curriculum designed to educate them about the benefits of vegetarian eating. After all, the best way that these schools can help their students achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to drop the chicken nuggets and fish sticks in lieu of some real brain food: nutritious, delicious vegetarian meals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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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.