Written by PETA
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today announced new regulations that are meant to curb the number of meat-eaters who are rushed to hospitals after being sickened by life-threatening foodborne illnesses. It's believed that the "improvements" will keep 39,000 Americans from being infected with campylobacter and 26,000 from being sickened by salmonella-tainted chicken and turkey flesh—a small reduction from the 3 to 4 million Americans who contract these diseases every year.
In other words, the "improvements" promise little more than a drop in a KFC bucket.
What will a meat-eater's chances of getting sick from salmonella or campylobacter be under the new regulations? Considering that the new standards allow for 7.5 percent of chicken corpses at a plant to test positive for salmonella—and that of those corpses, 10 percent can be "highly contaminated" and 46 percent can have "low levels" of contamination—we'd say still pretty good, er, bad.
In a recent analysis, Consumer Reports found that among "fresh" whole chickens bought in 22 states, two-thirds harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter.
Folks, these new "safeguards" won't do squawk squat to keep consumers safe from salmonella and campylobacter. The simple fact is that eating chickens and turkeys will sicken just about every meat-eater sooner or later. Those who care about animal welfare become sickened when they learn about the abuse of billions of birds on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. Those who don't know about this abuse will likely find themselves locked in the loo at some point, sickened by salmonella and/or campylobacter—or worse, they'll find themselves in emergency rooms thanks to heart attacks, strokes, or other conditions that are linked to meat consumption.
All the more reason to urge everyone you know to say, "Bye bye, birdies! Hello, Gardein!"
Written by Karin Bennett
A new study that will probably leave you grimacing in frustration finds that mice make facial expressions when they're in pain.
We certainly didn't need any more evidence that these small animals are more than test tubes with whiskers and are capable of feeling pain and suffering. And it makes me wince to think about the horrible things they did to mice to elicit expressions like squeezed eyes and bulging cheeks that indicate "key signs of pain."
For the study, mice were videotaped as they suffered after experimenters injected different noxious chemicals into their abdomens, ankles and paws, placed them on hotplates, placed their tails in hot water, put metal binder clips on the tips of their tails, and performed various surgeries on them without administering pain relief after the operations.
While, if anything, the results should bolster the argument that these sensitive, intelligent animals suffer like we do and should not be used in experiments, it appears that the self-interested authors of the study instead want to use the results to create a "pain scale" that can be used as a measuring tool for, you guessed it, more pain experiments on mice.
World Science reports that the study's authors declined its request to republish photos from the study, for fear of "the inflammatory effect such pictures might have on animal rights activists." Gee, ya think? Luckily, WIRED published the heartbreaking photos here.
I hope this story inflames you enough to write to your Congressperson and urge him or her to support an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to extend legal protections to the 100 million mice and rats who are languishing in U.S. laboratories and who currently receive absolutely no protection under the law.
Written by Alisa Mullins
PETA Germany took the fight for Canadian seals to Berlin on Saturday, bringing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motorcade to a halt when a "seal" ran in front of the procession. Three police officers hauled the demonstrator off, but not before reporters—and presumably the P.M. himself—saw the "seal." "Seals" have been trailing Harper all over the world on behalf of PETA and its affiliates.
Later, the same "seal" stood outside the Bundeskanzleramt (where Harper was meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel), made sure Harper spotted him in the wings when the convoy arrived, and then—not done yet!—moved on to the Canadian Embassy, where he and another activist distributed nearly 1,200 leaflets.
Berliners, Canadians, Americans, and anyone anywhere with a conscience: Let Prime Minister Harper know that the pressure won't let up until the massive slaughter is brought to an end.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
If you're looking for a place to plant some cash, Goldman Sachs might not be a wise investment. That probably doesn't surprise many of you, seeing as how the firm is facing fraud lawsuits for its questionable mortgage-trading activities. But did you know that Goldman is also involved in some shady factory-farm deals in China? As the executive director of Brighter Green recently pointed out, Goldman paid $300 million for 10 intensive poultry farms in China in 2008.
If you listen closely, you can still hear the "ca-ching!"
While the number of vegetarians in the U.S. grows every year, meat consumption has quadrupled in China since 1980. Filthy U.S.-style factory farms are becoming increasingly common there, and while Goldman has outsourced its factory farms, it retains control over the prices of the meat it sells. Goldman clearly wants a portion of the cash cow. But I don't guess that Goldman is concerned about investing in the future, considering that more factory farms means more death, pollution, and other environmental consequences.
I'm no high roller, but even if I were, I wouldn't be casting my lot with Goldman Sachs. I prefer savings that can't be put in the bank: animals' lives and the environment. How about you?
Written by Heather Moore
PETA's savvy legal team never stops uncovering new ways to expose the ugly business of vivisection. The Wall Street Journal, The Scientist, Nature Medicine, and an ABC News affiliate have all recently done pieces about our innovative approach to exposing the torment that animals are forced to endure in laboratories.
PETA has recently filed lawsuits against the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Maryland–Baltimore for allegedly violating public records laws by withholding documents related to experiments in which holes are drilled into animals' skulls and others in which animals are given electric shocks to their tongues when they take a sip of water. We're also using a rarely invoked Wisconsin law to petition a judge to allow for prosecution of University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty members and administrators who have violated state law by subjecting sheep to painful and deadly decompression experiments.
The biggest fear for those who imprison, cut up, burn, shock, and poison animals for a living is exposure. We'll continue to find and use every available legal avenue to make sure that laboratory doors are thrown wide open. Those responsible for harming animals must know that they are not above the law and that they will be held accountable in courtrooms—or at least in the court of public opinion. Please join our fight.
The work of British guerrilla artist Banksy can't be ignored. Indeed, Time just selected him as one of the year's most influential people.
Now the painting provocateur has cheekily twitted one of PETA's frequent targets: Colonel Sanders, the very face of Kentucky Fried Cruelty.
Sure, art is subjective, but in light of Banksy's earlier works, which seem to side with the animals in circuses and question why we call some animals "pets" and others "food," I'm inclined to believe that he's standing with the chickens who are raised in crowded, filthy conditions to supply KFC's restaurants—and who are sometimes even scalded to death. Or maybe he's just as appalled as we are by KFC's new Double Down.
Either way, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like—and I suspect that KFC doesn't like Banksy's work at all. And that's reason enough to cheer.
Written by Jeff Mackey
I've always said that numero ocho is a lucky number—think natural wonders, that timeless tune by The Beatles, and Schoolhouse Rock.
And with the premiere of our new tell-all, eight just beat out seven as my number one numeral:
If you've ever wondered, "What's PETA thinking?" then you'll want to watch this. Narrated by our own Ingrid E. Newkirk, the video takes an in-depth look at how and why PETA employees and supporters stay so motivated to defend all animals, including the maligned and misunderstood.
So if your friends or family members have ever asked you, "Why does PETA rely so heavily on the Lettuce Ladies to turn people on to a vegan diet" or "How do you remain so relentless in your efforts to make a difference," now's the time to answer them. Use this video to spread PETA's secrets to everyone you know via Facebook and Twitter.
What's the first thing that animal-friendly pop star Ke$ha did after flying in to her flooded hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, recently? She bought 1,000 pounds of dog and cat food and dropped it off at the Nashville Metro Animal Shelter! The guardian of five beloved rescued dogs, Ke$ha just had to help after hearing that the shelter was overwhelmed with animals who had been turned over by their guardians or abandoned in flooded homes without any food or drinking water following Tennessee's historic floods. To help even more, Ke$ha is also holding a benefit concert with all proceeds going to help families and animals affected by the floods. Two paws up for your compassion, Ke$ha!
The flooding in Tennessee is a reminder that natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime, so it's vital to make emergency evacuation plans that include our animal companions. TVs, couches, and even homes are replaceable, but best friends aren't!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
PETA just launched a TV public service announcement about the filth and cruelty that we exposed in our undercover investigation of a farm that supplies Land O'Lakes. Apparently, some Philadelphia-area viewers were so sickened by the ad that they complained to the TV station that aired it. (If only they'd complained to the perpetrators of the abuse, instead!) As a result, the station pulled the spot after it had aired just twice:
Yes, it's graphic, but that's what happens in the dairy industry: Cows are electro-shocked and jabbed with knives, they live in stalls covered in urine and feces, and sick cows collapse and die. There's nothing pretty about the way that animals who are used to produce milk are treated, but those who still eat these products sometimes prefer to live in blissful ignorance.
Sure, we're disappointed that our ad is no longer airing, but there's still a way for it to reach millions: People like you and me can make the ad go viral! So what are you waiting for? Help us by sharing the pulled ad through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogs, e-mails, and any other way you can think of.
The 13 kinkajous who were rescued from hellhole animal dealer U.S. Global Exotics (USGE) following PETA's investigation must be thinking that heaven is a place on Earth right about now.
Goodbye, cramped USGE prison …
Hello, spacious sanctuary!
These animals—along with many of the reptiles who were plucked out of USGE hell—were once confined to tiny, barren cages with nothing to climb and no space to play, but now they have been taken in by the good people at the Phoenix Herpetological Society and are enjoying room to play, multiple nesting areas, misting systems, fans, a pond with running water, and plenty of tree limbs to climb. The kinkajous spend their time playing, sleeping, and snacking on monkey biscuits soaked in fruit cocktail juice.
Don't you love a happy ending? I do! These sweet kinkajous lucked out, but many still need your help! To see what you can do, visit our Action Center.
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
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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.