Written by PETA
As a seitan worshipper, I got a kick out of a recent letter that found its way to PETA's inbox: A PETA supporter (who wishes to remain anonymous) was preparing to barbeque some seitan—also known as "wheat meat"—when an image of Jesus Christ on the cross appeared in the godly gluten. Here's the photo he/she sent us:
It makes me wonder, WWJD if He knew that billions of animals live miserable lives and die violent, bloody deaths to sate our addiction to the taste of their flesh? Considering that His message is one of love, kindness, and mercy for all of God's creatures, I think that Jesus would say to hell with meat.
Right now, I'm going to practice the compassion that Jesus preached and grab some vegan eats …
OMG, there's an image of SpongeBob SquarePants in my block of tofu!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Sure, factory farms are mechanized madness but have you ever thought about how computers drive the insanity? I worked in software development before coming to PETA but never considered the ways that the software could be used to hurt or kill animals. Almost everything seems to depend on computers today—from running increasingly automated factory farms and slaughterhouses to tracking fish using sonar and satellites to guiding deadly missiles to their targets.
Thankfully, software developer Anders Sundman has been looking out for animals on the techie front and has joined up with PETA to create the Harm-Less Permissive License (HPL), the first-ever license that will prohibit the use of software being used in any way that will harm humans or animals. Anders originally developed the license for personal use but decided to release it to the public because "having seen images from inside slaughterhouses and modern fishing vessels it is obvious to me just how dependent these industries are on technology and computer software."
PETA will be contacting compassionate developers to encourage them to use the free and open-source legal text to ensure that their products aren't used for harmful purposes. You can help by making sure the geeks and code jockeys in your life—especially if you are one—know about the HPL, and push them to include the HPL in any software they have developed or plan on developing. Then take your own swipe at the murderous meat industry by going vegan.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Two female orcas at SeaWorld Orlando are pregnant—one is expected to give birth later this month or in early June—but we're not celebrating.
If the calves survive, what do they have to look forward to? Swimming endless circles in barren concrete tanks, doing circus-type tricks, and dying an early death. Twenty-one orcas died in U.S. SeaWorld facilities between 1986 and 2008—an average of nearly one each year for 22 years. Their deaths were caused by severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, acute hemorrhagic pneumonia, pulmonary abscesses, chronic kidney disease, chronic cardiovascular failure, septicemia, and influenza. In some cases, the cause of death could not even be determined, but it is clear that none of these animals died of old age.
The father in both of the pregnancies is Tilikum, the same orca who attacked trainer Dawn Brancheau—ripping off her left arm and part of her scalp, crushing her ribs, and breaking bones throughout her body before drowning her. Despite knowing about the extreme danger posed by Tilikum—including the fact that he had killed humans twice before—SeaWorld refuses to "Free Tilly" most likely because he's a valuable and prodigious breeder. Tilikum has already sired 13 calves for SeaWorld.
Enough is enough. Please take a moment to write to the Blackstone Group—the company that owns SeaWorld—and ask that it send Tilly and the other animal inmates in its facilities to sanctuaries.
Written by Paula Moore
Yes! Ernie Paragallo, the jerk thoroughbred breeder who starved more than 175 horses on his farm in New York's Hudson Valley, has been sentenced to up to two years in prison and fined $30,000. In addition, he must pay restitution to humane groups that cared for the horses after they were seized. Of course, the fine is just a drop in the (oat) bucket for a former Goldman Sachs exec who netted more than $20 million during the 20 years that he bred and raced horses, but that jail time's gotta hurt.
"Your moral compass is out of kilter," Judge George Pulver Jr. told Paragallo as he handed down the maximum sentence. "Your sense of integrity, your code of conduct, your perception of right and wrong was perhaps formed by your days on either mean streets or Wall Street."
Coming in the midst of the Triple Crown season, the sentencing serves as a timely reminder to stay away from racetracks and the cruelty to horses that's associated with them. Here's hoping that Paragallo gets nothing but bread and water during his stay in the pokey—and even that's more than his horses got.
Written by Alisa Mullins
In another chapter straight out of "Don't Let Death Stop You From Rocking the World for Animals," a gorgeous outfit belonging to late model and passionate animal defender Anna Nicole Smith is going to be auctioned next month, with proceeds benefitting PETA!
Which outfit, you may ask? None other than the one that graced Anna Nicole's curves in this unforgettable PETA ad:
Anna Nicole's former partner, Larry Birkhead, is auctioning off much of Anna Nicole's memorabilia—from a Mercedes-Benz to a Marilyn Monroe cookie jar to several of Anna Nicole's own paintings—to benefit their daughter, Dannielynn, as well as the Anna Nicole and Daniel Wayne Smith Foundation, which helps underprivileged children. But Larry wanted to make sure that this one special item gave back to PETA, since Anna Nicole was involved in so many of PETA's campaigns during her lifetime.
Even if Anna Nicole's wardrobe is beyond our budget, we can still make her compassion our own by never buying products from companies that test on animals.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Now that spring is in full bloom in much of the country, we won't be hearing reports of "backyard dogs" freezing in the snow for a while. But other sad stories are in no short supply: Many puppies born this spring will be taken away from their mothers only to end up chained alone in someone's yard, and they will stay in that same spot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the rest of their lives, with nothing but a patch of worn-down dirt and no companions, scant attention, and all freedom lost forever. And if that weren't enough, many chained dogs strangle on the chains; get ripped apart by other dogs; are tormented, teased, injured, and killed by cruel humans; or are stolen by "bunchers" who resell them to laboratories. Others will simply starve to death when no one remembers to bring them food and water.
But there's hope for dogs who are suffering on chains. As USA Today reported, dog chaining is "inching its way toward unacceptability" as ever more jurisdictions pass laws banning or restricting chaining. California already has a law restricting tethering to three hours per day—as does PETA's hometown of Norfolk, Virginia—and the Illinois General Assembly is currently considering a statewide law that would ban dog chaining between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Illinois bill has passed the Senate and is now in the House Rules Committee.
You can help chained dogs! If you live in Illinois, please contact your legislators and ask them to support Senate Bill 2580. If you live elsewhere, please lobby for an ordinance in your community. To get started, call us at 202-540-2174 for a free guide on getting the job done, and we'll help you every step of the way.
A plain-Jane litter pan shoved out of sight? Boring! It's time to redecorate your cat's bathroom. But before you call Extreme Makeover: Litter Box Edition, take a look at these snazzy slipcovers from KattySaks.
Fun and functional, these machine-washable fabric slipcovers—which come in three different designs (the Beach Bus, the Surf Shack and Le Dresser)—are guaranteed to take your cat's litter box from drab to feline fab.
Your cat really wants you to win one, so tell us what makes him or her a purrfect companion. The person whose comment earns the most "awws" around the office will win the slipcover of his or her cat's choosing.
Good luck, cat lovers!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Recently, Seattle-based ultramarathoner Scott Jurek told the New York Times that he intended to set a new American record at the 24-Hour Run world championship in Brive, France. And Scott did just that: He ran—get this—more than 165.7 miles in 24 hours.
For this tremendous feat, he set his record, won the silver medal, and was crowned USA Today's Athlete of the Week. And he did it all on vegan fuel, as he has in all the ultramarathons he's run since 1999 (he averages eight to 10 ultramarathons a year).
This longtime vegan is in good company: Sports scientists know that athletes can thrive on an animal-free diet, and so does Ultraman Rich Roll, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, and even Ultimate Fighting champion Mac Danzig.
From one vegan extreme marathoner* to another, I'd like to personally congratulate Scott on his accomplishment and thank him for caring about animals and the environment. And with Scott on Twitter, it was so easy to show him some love.
Written by Karin Bennett
*So maybe my Real Housewives of New York City marathon wasn't in the same league as Scott's ultramarathon, but my concerns about factory farming and climate change are. Are yours?
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a disaster for both human and nonhuman residents, but there may prove to be a silver lining. With the government's recent announcement that fishing is banned in 19 percent of the Gulf, there's no time like the present for Johnson Sea Products to convert its crab and oyster-processing facility to a faux-seafood packaging facility.
Johnson Sea Products could protect itself from shutdowns because of oil spills, red tides, and overfishing, and the switch would help the company tap into the rapidly growing market for vegan food. To sweeten salt up the deal, we're even offering to cater a delicious faux-seafood meal for the employees so that they can see how great it is (and it'll give the out-of-work employees a free meal too).
No need to wait Johnson Sea Products' response. You can protect millions of turtles, dolphins, and other aquatic animals from being killed as "bycatch" by commercial fishers by going vegan.
As a die-hard baseball fan (go Rockies!), I was bummed to hear that the iconic Field of Dreams has been put up for sale. But I broke out my foam finger when I heard about PETA's proposal to temporarily lease the Iowa landmark for "The Field of Nightmares: Pig Empathy Display."
Iowa is the number one pork-producing state and pigs raised for meat get more of a bum rap than Shoeless Joe Jackson. In addition to the everyday abuses that pigs suffer on factory farms, they are often harmed in other ways. For instance, an undercover investigation of a Hormel supplier in Iowa documented that workers beat pigs with rods and sexually abused them with canes.
PETA's Pig Empathy Display will teach visitors how they can stop the abuse of these smart, sweet, and adorable animals by leaving pork off their plates. Did I mention that there will also be faux-pork Riblets and stickers? Score!
We'll keep you posted. While you're waiting, please take a moment to contact Hormel and demand that the company follow PETA's nine-point policy to help stop cruelty at its suppliers' pig farms.
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.
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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.