Written by PETA
I’ve been taking a break from the Vivisector of the Week posts for the past month, but when my colleague Justin told me about these two nasty little specimens, I knew I needed to highlight their work—because, well, it really is something to behold:
Eliot Spindel and Judy Cameron both work at a place called the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and they specialize in traumatizing and hurting monkeys.
Wonderful work those guys are all doing over at ONPRC, huh? We’re going to see what we can do to make sure their whole operation is shut down for good.
I can’t think why, but apparently, the good folks at New Hampshire Community Technical College-Manchester have grown unhappy with their institution’s name. I guess it’s possible that they thought it was a bit on the boring side. Or perhaps just a teensy bit unwieldy?
Either way, as of last week, their long wait for an exciting new moniker is over, since the kindhearted souls in PETA’s Vegan Campaigns Department had a little brainstorming session and decided to offer them this striking suggestion:
It has a real ring to it, doesn’t it? Something about the alliteration, maybe. If they like our idea, not only will NHCTC students be able to hold their heads high with the knowledge that their school finally has a genuinely interesting name, but they’ll be sending a strong message that their progressive institution opposes cruelty to animals in all its forms. Plus, in case they need an incentive beyond the good they’ll be doing for the chickens abused for KFC’s restaurants, I can assure them that name changes like that tend to get a whole lot of publicity …
You can read our letter to the school here. We haven’t heard back from them yet for some reason, but I’ll let you know when we do.
I have to admit that I don’t have a very good head for figures, but the math here seems pretty straightforward. And while we’re talking numbers, selling people dogs and cats when there are between 6 and 8 million waiting for homes in shelters every year is about as dumb as shelling out a thousand dollars for an animal at Petland when you could be rescuing one of the 3 to 4 million who will be euthanized this year for lack of a good home.
These pics are from Friday’s demonstration outside an Orlando Petland where we debuted our new “Priceless” ads, which make a simple but effective point to potential pet store customers.
Here’s a taste of what PETA UK’s been doing with the money they received from Covance Inc. following the dismissal of Covance’s lawsuit against them. Karma’s a bitch, sometimes.
Up until Wednesday, you can put yourself in the running to earn a bit of spending money over at Helium.com just for doing what you do so well right here on this very blog. Anyone interested can head over there and post your thoughts on topics ranging from “PETA’s Kentucky Fried Cruelty Campaign” to “How to End Animal Homelessness”. Check it out here if it strikes your fancy.
They’ve got a nice little community going over there, and the articles make for some pretty interesting (and, yes, occasionally infuriating) reading.
Washoe, the chimpanzee who became world-famous after learning sign language and teaching it to other primates, died last week in Washington State. PETA’s Primate Specialist, Debra Durham, wrote this great op-ed about Washoe, and what we can learn from her experience, which appeared in The Saint Paul Pioneer Press yesterday. Check it out:
What We Learned From a ChimpBY DEBRA DURHAMLast week, we mourned the loss of an icon - Washoe. She was one of the few chimpanzees people are likely to know by name - in large part because she learned to use American Sign Language. She famously taught it to fellow chimpanzees, and the people who know her best shared stories about her fibs and her apparent sense of humor. Was it language? It seems that not everyone is convinced, but does that matter? No one disputes that communication took place. Whether human or chimpanzee, Washoe's companions shared and created meaning with her.Thanks to decades of fieldwork by scientists from around the globe, we know a great deal about chimpanzees like Washoe, who was herself taken from Africa decades ago. In June, scientists explained how chimpanzees would freely choose to help a human if they saw that he or she needed help.In March, news stories came out about chimpanzees who showed particular kindness and understanding to group members who had cerebral palsy. If we add these to the long list of things once thought to be the special domain of humans - culture, tool use, the capacity for language - the gap between humans and chimpanzees becomes smaller and smaller. We are not identical, but we have a great deal in common.This isn't altogether surprising as chimpanzees are our closest primate relatives, sharing 98 or 99 percent of our DNA. We've all heard that chimpanzees are smart and that they are an endangered species. But Washoe revealed to us something beyond our broad similarities.Some people writing about her death have claimed that she changed what it meant to be human - that she changed our society. That, I suppose, is true - but there is more to that lesson. Washoe also helped us see what it means to be chimpanzee. When she spoke her mind, signing about her wants and needs, playing jokes or tricks, showing empathy, she embodied a message of compassion - one that we have not fully heard.Neither the knowledge of our commonalities with chimpanzees - cognitive, cultural and otherwise - nor their capacity to suffer has inspired adequate protection for these animals. Despite their bright minds and unique personalities, many chimpanzees spend their lives inside small metal laboratory cages, where they endure terror, physical pain and trauma. People may be shocked to learn that laboratories in the United States are allowed to keep chimpanzees in cages about the size of a kitchen table.In light of the lessons taught by Washoe, her fellow signing apes, and all that we know about chimpanzees, we must now realize that how we currently keep and treat chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories is replete with ethical problems. It's time for the United States to join nations all over the world, from Austria to Liberia and New Zealand, that have banned experiments on chimpanzees. It is the right and compassionate thing to do. I'm sure that Washoe would have signed that she agreed.
To be honest, I’m having trouble coming up with a decent intro to this video. It’s a behind the scenes look at the companion animal overpopulation crisis, from the perspective of a woman who deals with it every day, up close and personal. It really made me think about what an absolute joke the whole idea of “responsible” breeding is, when millions of animals are killed annually for one simple reason: there just aren’t enough good homes for them.
Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.
People will cling on to the most unlikely notions if it means that they can keep doing something they enjoy but know deep down is wrong. And sad as it is to say, there are going to be people who continue to ignore or deny the fact that crustaceans feel pain despite mountains of evidence that this is the case—including the study published in New Scientist today, which shows that lobsters, crabs, and other crustaceans all share pain sensitivity. Which means (just in case anyone needs this spelled out) that cramming them into pots of boiling water while they’re still alive should be a jailable offense. Literally. We prosecute people for equivalent cruelty to cats or dogs, so a lobster bake shouldn’t be any different.
Setting that aside for a second, I hate the fact that this study was ever done in the first place. The notion of a bunch of grown men and women in labcoats prodding lobsters to see if they react and then pompously announcing to the scientific community, that “yes, they do react,” would frankly be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that these animals suffered to prove what we all know intuitively already: That there’s something horribly wrong with the way we treat these animals, and that no matter how much someone might enjoy the taste of lobster, there is simply no way to justify torturing a living being for the sake of a palate preference.
If you haven’t read it yet, you should definitely check out the essay Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace (who happens, incidentally, to be my favorite living author). It’s a fascinating analysis of the ethics related to this issue from the point of view of someone who had never given it any thought at all, until he was assigned to write about a lobster festival for Gourmet magazine. You can find that here.
Sex and the City. People either love it or hate it. And since the series has ended, there has been no shortage of drama between the show's loyal fans and its detractors, and also between the actors themselves. But believe it or not, jumping into that fray isn't the point of this post.
The movie version of Sex is filming right now, and this picture is making its way all over the Internet. Apparently, there is a scene in the movie where people who call themselves PETA tell Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall's character) what they think of her choice of outerwear, as they throw paint on her. Here's the photo that's been doing the rounds of the Sex and the City fansites today, so you can judge for yourselves:
And for the record, PETA doesn't throw paint on fur wearers. What we suggest is giving them an earful while handing them one of these nifty anti-fur business cards, or maybe encouraging them to display one of these wonderful little warning labels:
Here’s what Natalie Portman told The Sun last week when she was asked about her refusal to wear leather for a role:
“I'm an animal lover and I've been a vegetarian for 17 years. I won't wear leather in my own life and I won't wear it for a movie either. They have to make me clothes from fake leather.”
I’m still waiting for the right time to let Natalie Portman know the extent and depth of my feelings for her. I’ll let you know how that goes.
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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.