Written by Jeff Mackey
Like many of you, we were appalled by photos that have surfaced showing a visibly terrified monkey crudely strapped into a
restraint device in which he was reportedly launched into space by the Iranian Space
Agency (ISA). Back in 2011, our friends at PETA U.K. urged agency head Dr. Hamid Fazeli to ground the misguided mission, pointing out that
nonhuman primates are no longer sent into space by the American or European
It appears that Iran is repeating the wasteful and cruel
mistakes that marked the darkest days of the space race. Monkeys are smart and
sensitive animals who not only are traumatized by the violence and noise of a
launch and landing but also suffer when caged in a laboratory before and after
a flight—if they survive.
the use of primates in space radiation experiments in the early 1990s, following
protests by PETA.
In 2010, NASA's plans to restart the program were canceled after PETA and others voiced strong ethical and scientific objections to the
Similarly, the European Space Agency (ESA) has a very active
space exploration program and has publicly stated that it "declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider
any need or use for such results." The ESA instead employs modern
technology such as state-of-the-art simulators to assess health risks for
Whether it happens in Iran or Ireland, in an underground
laboratory or in outer space, cruelly exploiting animals for specious science is indefensible. We've reached out to the ISA once again to ask it to stop shooting
monkeys into space. Learn how you can help stop experimentation on all animals.
Where others see problems, PETA sees possibilities. Case in
point: The Kennedy Space
Center is looking for tenants
for some of its facilities left vacant by the end of the shuttle program, so
PETA has inquired about renting a vacant repair hangar or other building there—so that we can turn it
into a memorial for the chimpanzees (in)famously abused for violent crash tests
and experimental flights in the U.S. space program.
Courtesy of NASA
While NASA may have made the compassionate decision to stop experimenting
on chimpanzees decades ago—more than a half-century after a chimpanzee named
Ham was subjected to
painful tests and then fired into space—nearly 1,000
of these highly intelligent and social animals continue to be tortured in laboratories
across the country. PETA's proposed memorial would allow NASA to acknowledge its
part in this shameful history—including the unfortunate role that the agency's
breeding program had in creating a population of captive chimpanzees who
subsequently spent decades being tormented in labs and whose offspring are
still locked up—while helping to bring attention to the need for the United
States to join every other industrialized nation on Earth in banning
experiments on chimpanzees.
Toward that end, more than 160 senators and representatives have
already signed on to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.
Passage of this important legislation would permanently end the use of chimpanzees
and all other great apes in invasive experiments, retire federally owned apes
to sanctuaries—where many chimpanzee refugees from the space program are
already lucky enough to reside—and save taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
contact your U.S. senators
and urge them to cosponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S.
they haven't already and to make sure that it becomes law.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Courtesy of Lelah Foster
a celebrity as the face of an animal rights campaign has helped PETA achieve
huge victories. For instance, vocal protests by Sir Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone helped convince NASA not to blast squirrel
monkeys with harmful doses of
radiation. Celebrities such as Olivia Munn
and Sarah Silverman
have helped publicize Ringling Bros.' cruelty to animals, which recently resulted
in the largest U.S. Department of Agriculture fine in circus history. And with
the help of Lea Michele,
the suffering of horses in New York City's carriage trade is garnering
Cho, the senior
manager of communications,
dishes about what it's like behind the scenes of some of PETA's most visible
What is one of
the most exciting things happening right now with PETA's work with celebrities?So
many professional athletes are enthusiastic
about getting involved. Tony Gonzalez,
Chad Ochocinco, Chase Utley, Gilbert Arenas, Amar'e Stoudemire, Willis McGahee, Lance Briggs, Chris Andersen, and many others are
allowing us to reach legions of sports fans about animal issues.
What is one of
your favorite celebrity stories?When
I first met Steve-O six years ago, I was
interviewing him about elephant
abuse that he had witnessed
as a student at Ringling's clown college. I recall him saying that he didn't
think vegetarianism was possible for him. Then
began the phone calls inquiring about feathers, leather, wool, and even animal
products in chewing gum! And just two years later, he had an "aha moment" in which he decided that
he didn't want to contribute to the unnecessary suffering of animals and went
vegan. He is one of the most inspirational people I've ever known, and I'm so
proud to call him a dear friend.
more animal-friendly than it used to be?Definitely.
Thanks to the Internet, we disseminate a lot more information, and it's
reaching powerful people. Major ad agencies are pledging never to use great apes, filmmakers are using computer-generated imagery rather than using live
animals, and TV shows and movies are including animal rights–related storylines. The support of so many
influential people in show business can only pay bigger dividends for animals
in the future.
the A-list party! Become a
PETA member today.
Written by PETA
Once upon a more barbaric time, the U.S. space program forced terrified primates to be "astronauts," sending them into space, where some were roasted to death in their capsules. Although most countries with active space exploration programs have relegated cruel tests on primates to the dustbin of history, Iran recently announced plans to send a live monkey into space this summer. The disturbing news prompted PETA U.K. to blast off a letter to the head of Iran's space program urging him to ground its primate experimentation program and instead use more humane and effective options such as the state-of-the-art human simulator already in use at the International Space Station.
In the letter, PETA U.K. points out that cruel tests on nonhuman primates do not produce relevant results for human astronauts and that the prestigious European Space Agency has stated that it "declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider any need or use for such result."
Last year, PETA convinced NASA to scrap plans to fund experiments on monkeys after the misguided program was widely condemned by scientists, physicians, NASA engineers, and the public.
Let's hope that Iran's space agency will join the 21st century and make its monkey experimentation program history.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
Hugs was one of the roughly 250 animals who were surrendered by PLRS.
Even though The Hasselhoffs was canceled after just two episodes, 2010 still turned out to be a pretty great year. Thirty-three Chilean miners were rescued after being trapped underground for more than two months, and dog guardians were introduced to the amazing stuffing-free Crazy Critters™ dog toys. While impressive, I am not sure they quite measure up to 2009's Shake Weight®.
2010 was also an outstanding year for PETA. In addition to celebrating 30 years of fighting to end the suffering of animals, PETA scored a number of remarkable victories. Here are a few of them:
1. Professional Laboratory and Research Services (PLRS): PLRS surrendered nearly 200 dogs and more than 50 cats and shut its doors just one week after PETA released the results of its shocking undercover investigation of the laboratory and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
2. Nike: After PETA sent Nike undercover footage detailing the gruesome suffering that the exotic-skins industry inflicts on animals, the world's leading shoe manufacturer and its upscale affiliate Cole Haan stopped selling the skins of alligators, snakes, and other animals.
3. NASA: And who can forget the early holiday gift that PETA and our supporters received when NASA called off plans to conduct cruel radiation experiments on monkeys earlier this month?
4. Utah Pound Seizure: Prompted by PETA's shocking undercover investigation inside laboratories at the University of Utah, the state amended its archaic "pound seizure" law so that government-run animal shelters would no longer be forced to sell dogs and cats to laboratories for use in cruel and deadly experiments. PETA's investigation and the new law also prompted the shelter that had been selling the most animals to the university to end the shameful practice.
5. U.S. Global Exotics (USGE): After reviewing evidence gathered during PETA's seven-month undercover investigation of this PETCO and PetSmart supplier, Arlington (Texas) Municipal Judge Michael Smith awarded custody of the 26,000 animals rescued from the warehouse to the city of Arlington. USGE closed, the company's empty facility went up for sale, and a federal arrest warrant was issued for USGE owner Jasen Shaw, who is under investigation for smuggling, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting and is believed to be hiding in New Zealand.
6. ITO EN, Ltd.: After more than two years of private discussions with PETA, Japan's ITO EN, Ltd.—the world's largest green-tea manufacturer, with more than $3 billion in annual global sales—instituted a new policy against conducting animal tests.
7. Lufthansa: Less than a day after PETA released photos of more than 50 beagles who were transported on a Lufthansa cargo plane from the U.S. to an animal testing facility in Scotland, Lufthansa announced a new policy prohibiting the transport of dogs and cats to laboratories.
While this year was marked by some great achievements, we still need your help to make 2011 an even better year for animals. Will you support our lifesaving efforts to stop animal suffering and abuse in the new year and beyond?
Written by Frank Schippers
Pamela Anderson is unstoppable! Here are just some of the things this angel for animals did on behalf of PETA this year:
Jumping through hoops to fight against animal abuse, she urged Chile's prez to ban animal circuses and turned a Dancing With the Stars paso doble into an opportunity to speak out against bullfighting!
"Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard ...." And now the vegan soy milkshake that she created brings all the customers to West Hollywood's Millions of Milkshakes.
The curvaceous Canuck tried her luck at ending Canada's annual seal slaughter by delivering a petition to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and asking Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ban Canadian seal pelts.
There's a reason that this pup loves Pam: The kindhearted actor adopted her after helping PETA rescue dozens of dogs and cats who were displaced by the BP oil spill.
Pam's hot "All Animals Have the Same Parts" ad was a hit when it was unveiled in the U.K. and got even more media attention when it was banned in Montréal.
Always on the go, the golden-haired globetrotter spoke out against fur in Israel and leather in India.
From her recent tweet about NASA's decision to nix its primate radiation experiments to her letters calling on Congress to ban experiments on monkeys, Pam's actions in behalf of animals are always inspiring, and she deserves a "chimp, chimp, hooray" for all that she does for them every day!
Which of these Pam-tastic actions inspires you the most?
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Picking the top 10 PETA Files blog posts of the past year was harder than figuring out the plot of Inception, but we've narrowed it down to these posts, which cover everything from Lady Gaga's meat dress to our "Pope Condom" campaign:
Which blog post got you the most fired up this year?
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Bob Barker is so active for animals that in just one day—today—we received word that his efforts have paid off significantly in two very different ways.
We were still popping champagne corks over the news (which NASA can deny until it's blue in the face) that NASA's radiation experiments have been canned—thanks in part to Mr. Barker's efforts—when we learned that the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics has named Barker an honorary fellow for his "exceptional contributions to the protection of animals." His generous donations to top law schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, Georgetown, and Columbia helped put animal law and ethics on the map at these institutions.
As Oxford Centre professor Andrew Linzey noted, "Almost single-handedly, Bob's sagacity and generosity have—in little more than a decade—propelled animals from being a marginal issue into the academic mainstream. This is a colossal achievement."
For his constant, outspoken, and extremely generous contributions to animal rights efforts, we offer our congratulations, appreciation, and admiration.
Written by Karin Bennett
UPDATE: Statement released from Brookhaven National Laboratory: "NASA has informed Brookhaven that a proposal involving primate research at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory on the Brookhaven Lab site should be removed from consideration for experimental time at the facility."
Well, folks, you did it. After scores of protests and more than 100,000 letters, phone calls, and e-mails from PETA supporters—including some high-profile allies, such as Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Barker, Alicia Silverstone, members of Congress, and even a former NASA astronaut and engineer—the space agency has quietly called off plans to conduct cruel radiation experiments on monkeys.
Thanks in large part to your efforts, dozens of squirrel monkeys have been given an early Christmas gift and will be spared from receiving harmful doses of radiation and then being isolated in cages and subjected to years of behavioral experiments to measure the damage caused by the radiation. Such damage likely would have included brain damage, cataracts, cancerous tumors, loss of motor control, and early death.
Way to go, team—you can be over the moon on this one!
Written by Alisa Mullins
Not to brag or anything, but guess which organization near and dear to your hearts is a "Genius"? If you said PETA, you're right—at least according to L2, a think tank for digital innovation, which ranked PETA number one among advocacy groups and number three overall in their first annual Digital IQ Index® for the Public Sector. In fact, PETA was the only advocacy group to earn the "Genius" designation for digital competence (i.e., inspiring action via Facebook, YouTube, unique Web features such as peta2's Trollsen Twins site, etc.), earning a slot above the U.S. Army, and just below NASA and the White House!
Of course, these digital innovations are thanks to the wonderful members who make all of PETA's work possible. To become a PETA member, click here.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.