Written by Michelle Kretzer
Poignant words on when animals die, sticking it to Ringling and its torture sticks, and a treat for extreme couponers: It's everything you might have missed this week.
PETA's Tumblr page keeps you up to date on all the latest animal news.
Written by PETA
The Top Model shows are supposed to be about wannabe models crushing the competition, not animals. So why, then, would an ad for New Zealand's Next Top Model include footage of a woman in red heels stomping on a bleating stuffed lamb? The commercial is creepily reminiscent of "crush videos"—sick fetish films in which women in high heels stomp on real animals. Crush videos are so disturbing that Congress recently passed a law banning them. Under the law, anyone deranged enough to possess one of the videos can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
The ad has New Zealanders in a frenzy: The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority has been swamped with angry phone calls, but since the commercial aired in Australia, not New Zealand, the authority can't do anything about it. Now animal advocates are calling on Australia's Network Ten, which aired the disturbing ad, to pull it off the air and apologize.
New Zealand's Next Top Model should take a clue from Project Runway and "make it work" without hurting animals—or even pretending to.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
PETA raises ruckuses—and pulses—all over the world, but we don't do it alone. We have lots of helpers, like the person who recently got our "Veggie Love" commercial, which was deemed too hot by American network execs, aired in New Zealand.
While one viewer complained that our titillating tribute to veggies was over the top, no doubt many got a load of its important message after seeing the commercial.
Written by Karin Bennett
Unless you're insane, you know that the typical fast-food meal—cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake—is bad for you. Not only does eating fatty meat and dairy products widen our waistlines, it also narrows our arteries. Now, one British researcher has come up with the brilliant (sarcasm alert) suggestion that fast-food joints should offset the effect of all this junk food on our cardiovascular health by serving each meal with a side order of cholesterol-lowering drugs—as in, "Do you want side effects with that?"
Of course, since 50 percent of the world's antibiotics end up inside animals raised for their flesh, Big Pharma would probably be happy if you ordered the meat and meds. But if you find yourself at the drive-through, just say, "I'll have the veggie burger—hold the Lipitor!"
Written by Jeff Mackey
We've already got crustacean cheer up in here—now it's time to send it to the Kiwis. The Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and SAFE have shut down Catcha Cray game machines in three pubs in New Zealand's largest city! The organizations also plan to take legal action to get the machines banned in all the bars in Auckland and its surrounding area.
Like Lobster Zone machines in American bars and restaurants, the Catcha Cray allows patrons use a metal claw to try to catch crayfish in a crowded tank. "These machines may 'catch' them 30 times before they're finally dragged out of the machine—that's causing them considerable stress," says Mandy Carter, a campaign officer for SAFE. She adds, "Public support has been overwhelming, and we have been extremely heartened by the comments of support and encouragement being sent by many New Zealanders." Americans, too, are collectively outraged to learn about this abuse disguised as a "game," and thanks to the outcry, Lobster Zone games have been pulled from establishments across the U.S.
Help us continue to stop the cruelty by urging another lobster-tormenting Illinois bar to abandon the violent machines.
Written by Logan Scherer
Poet Charles Baudelaire called the albatross "one of those big birds / which nonchalantly chaperone a ship / across the bitter fathoms of the sea," and Samuel Coleridge deemed the animal "a bird of good omen." (OK, no more 19th-century poetry references—I promise!) I wonder if those guys would be impressed to know that two female royal albatrosses in New Zealand have bonded as a mating pair and are caring for a chick together after the father disappeared.
Wildlife experts are definitely intrigued. Though lesbian albatrosses have also appeared in Hawaii, no one has ever seen a pair who successfully raised a baby together. We're loving this same-sex pair, and Tourism Dunedin is brainstorming a name for the chick with two mommies. I'm thinking Ellen or Portia. Do you have any suggestions?
Written by Logan Scherer
McDonald's billboards boast "Billions [of patties of slaughtered animal bits] Served." But in a recent New York Times article, the restaurant chain tries to downplay the slaughter of millions of hoki, a breed of fish sea kitten, for its restaurants each year.
Why is McCruelty so shy all of a sudden?
The fast-food giant, which refuses to ease the worst cruelties inflicted on the billions of chickens killed for its restaurants, now finds its Filet-O-Fish Sea Kitten under scrutiny. Hoki, the main ingredient in McDonald's fish sandwich, are dragged (along with other "unintended" victims) from the depths of their ocean homes by huge factory trawlers off the coast of New Zealand. Now alarm bells are ringing as environmentalists realize that hoki populations are dwindling.
Considering McDonald's indifference to the suffering of the factory-farmed animals who are killed for the cheap, unhealthy crap it sells, we suspect that the company won't give a hoot about hoki either.
But there is hope for hoki (and other animals)—if you go vegetarian and join our McCruelty campaign.
Written by Karin Bennett
News flash! New Zealand has just banned the live export of animals from the country. This announcement comes only a few months after New Zealand farmers announced that they were ending the archaic practice of mulesing, which is a procedure where large chunks of flesh are cut from sheep’s hind quarters with no painkillers to prevent flies from laying eggs in their wrinkly skin. Kudos to New Zealand for taking the lead on both of these issues and setting the wool industry animal welfare bar a little bit higher.
Now it’s time for the Australian wool industry to pull its head out of the sand and get with the program. If New Zealand can make these two important changes in its entire wool industry in a matter of months, certainly Australia can follow suit. You can help make that happen by clicking here.
If you’re new to the blog or to this issue, there is a great overview of both mulesing and live export 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
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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.