Written by Jeff Mackey
Our hearts have been saddened by the shocking news that Jessie Streich-Kest—who worked closely with PETA on campaigns to end the use of horse-drawn
carriages in New York City—was killed along with a friend by a falling tree in Brooklyn's Ditmas Park during
Hurricane Sandy while
walking her dog, Max, who is recovering
from his injuries. Jessie was just 24 years old. PETA is paying tribute to her
memory by adding her name to a leaf plaque on our Tree of Life.
Jessie was a dedicated advocate for animals who served as a
field organizer for NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets). She
was outspoken about the need to shut down the horse-drawn carriage trade
because of the miseries
inflicted on the horses—including extreme weather, chaotic traffic, hard pavement, exhaust fumes, loud noises,
inadequate care, and eventual slaughter—as well as the dangers to the public. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this difficult time.
What You Can Do
Although our hearts mourn the loss of Jessie, PETA is more determined
than ever to realize her goal of improving the lives of New York's horses—and
you can help. Please help us pay tribute to Jessie by urging City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to support legislation to phase out the use of horse-drawn carriages in favor
of humane, safe, and eco-friendly electric versions of classic cars.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
When a group of bloodthirsty zombies
descends on New York City, where do they head? To the Meatpacking District, of
course. Because all animals are made of flesh, bones, and blood and all animals
feel pain, zombies don't see a difference between eating people and eating
Goth star Sharon Needles, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, doesn't see a
difference, either. She joined the troop of undead to reveal her macabre PETA
ad just in time for Halloween.
For a limited time, PETA is offering magnets featuring Sharon's ad—for $6.66! Spooky. And the Logo network, which airs Drag
Race, is running a 30-second PETA public service
announcement during its Halloween programming.
And now for the scariest thing that you'll
see this Halloween … click
Written by PETA
A PETA member found a fun way for her little car
to send a big message in the Big Apple.
New York resident Emily McCoy wants NYC
to go v-e-g to save
and the planet.
Switching to a vegan diet is easier than navigating
bridge-and-tunnel traffic and more effective in preventing climate change than switching to a hybrid
car. So we can have our vegan cake and our classic cars too.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
It just got harder to get away with cowardly acts of cruelty to animals. In New York City, abusers were recently convicted in two separate cases because DNA evidence from their victims linked them to their crimes. One case involved a cat named Scruffy who was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire, leaving the cat severely burned down to the muscles in his legs. The other case involved a cat named Madea, who was beaten so viciously that her lungs were lacerated and she had to be euthanized.
Collecting and using animals' DNA to convict abusers is becoming more common among law-enforcement agencies. Authorities now even have a national DNA database of dogs used in fights to help them track down dogfighters. Penalties for cruelty to animals get harsher every year. And as more people become aware of "the link"—animal abusers' tendency to take their issues out on human victims as well—more people are coming forward and notifying authorities of cruelty, even when it means blowing the whistle on a friend or family member.
If you suspect an animal is being abused, call the authorities right away. Animals can’t be saved—and their abusers can’t be brought to justice—if no one reports the crime.
Why were horses still pulling carriages through dangerously icy and snowy New York City streets after Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a weather emergency? The city was buried in more than a foot and a half of snow, prompting the mayor to plead with motorists to stay off the streets so that plows could get through, yet carriage operators were out soliciting customers. Even without the severe conditions, New York's streets are dangerous for horses: NYC has the highest carriage accident rate in the country.
Donny Moss, who documented the cruel conditions that horses endure in NYC's carriage industry in Blinders: The Truth Behind the Tradition, took these photos of horses who were on the streets during the emergency. Even the horses' water trough was buried under snow.
The ASPCA—the agency that monitors the carriages and enforces anti-cruelty laws—told callers that the rides were suspended, yet horses were still working the streets. Please ask the ASPCA under what conditions the horses are protected.
Please, never, ever take a carriage ride in New York City or anywhere else that these cruel operations still exist.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
On Tuesday, the New York City Council passed two vital bills—one that bans the chaining of dogs for longer than three hours and another that nearly triples the licensing fees for unaltered animals. Both these measures will undoubtedly spare countless dogs and cats an enormous amount of suffering.Project Runway's Tim Gunn and comedian Joan Rivers had both championed the bills on PETA's behalf. In a strongly worded letter to the City Council, Rivers wrote, "I hope this Tethering Bill passes not just for the sake of the poor dogs tied up outside in the cold, but for the sake of the sons of b*****s who do this—because what I'd do to the creeps would be far worse than what any police officer would do!"Councilmember Christine C. Quinn expressed her support in less colorful terms. "Tethering an animal for an extended period of time is cruel and unusual," she said. "This bill will not only prevent this type of unnecessary cruelty, but also increase public safety for pedestrians throughout the City."The law makes New York City one of more than 100 localities throughout the U.S. that have restricted or banned chaining. You can help by working to get a chaining ban passed in your town.
Glee actor and PETA supporter Lea Michele is once again showing that she's got a heart to match her lovely voice by calling for an end to the "dangerous" and "scary" horse-drawn carriage industry in new video and print PSAs for PETA. Horses who are forced to pull carriages endure long workdays while exposed to extreme temperatures and dangerous traffic and are often denied adequate rest, water, and food.
Lea sat down for an interview with PETA to discuss the miserable conditions that she's seen these animals endure, and she hopes that others will join her in the campaign to shut down the horse-drawn carriage industry.
This isn't the first time that Lea has spoken out for horses—she appeared in another PETA ad against the horse-drawn carriage industry back when she was starring in Spring Awakening on Broadway and saw horses toiling at New York's Central Park. The multitalented star is also a vegan (she credits her healthy diet with giving her the energy to keep up with her bubbly Glee character, Rachel) and is a vocal opponent of fur.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
PETA pal Joan Rivers is using her unmistakable voice to support two important dog-related bills that are under consideration by the New York City Council. Today, Joan fired off a letter to City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, expressing her support for bills that would encourage New Yorkers to get lifesaving spay and neuter surgeries for their dogs and would protect dogs from being chained up like old bicycles for longer than three hours in any 12-hour period.Check out what Joan has to say about people who force their dogs to live outdoors in the cold!
Fur-free fashion guru Tim Gunn also sent a personal note to Speaker Quinn in favor of these bills, so support is building. If you live in the Big Apple, be sure to encourage your City Council member to vote in favor of these vital bills!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Yoga devotee Donna Karan is going to have to spend a lot of time meditating with her eyes closed if she hopes to miss the hundreds of posters plastered all over Manhattan that point out the designer's less-than-enlightened use of rabbit fur in her fashions.
Those same posters recently put in an appearance outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Karan was cohosting the "Change Begins Within" benefit.
That's right, Donna. Change begins within—and charity begins at home. It seems like it would be a good idea to put your own (fashion) house in order if you want to try to show others the path to spiritual healing.
Written by Alisa Mullins
I think it's time for me to pay a visit to my best friend in New York City. It's not just that I love seeing her smiling face (or that she's an awesome cook)—it's because I want to go to 7-Eleven.
Yep, 7-Eleven. As if the scores of vegan-friendly restaurants in the Big Apple weren't enough, now eight 7-Eleven locations in NYC are offering vegan options including artichoke-spinach noodles, vegetable lo mein, and dumplings. Wow!
And you thought that Slurpees were enough of a reason to go to 7-Eleven! It's a sign of the times. One day, when this trend spreads nationwide, people will be discussing where to go for dinner with their friends and everyone will excitedly shout, "7-Eleven!" Who'd have thunk that 10 years ago? Three cheers for 7-Eleven!
Written by Heather Moore
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.