Written by PETA
Ever wondered how you could combine your love of animal rights activism with your need to pay bills and buy groceries? Were you aware that PETA will pay you to be active for animals? Check out this video message from Ingrid to see why you should work for the best damn lifesaving team around:
If you're interested, just check out our current job openings and send in your résumé!
Posted by Sean Conner
Well, if you missed 30 Days on FX last night, don't say we didn't remind you. Fortunately for everyone, George Snedeker—the hunter (and incredibly good sport) who agreed to spend a month with a family of animal rights activists, including PETA's very own Melissa Karpel—has taken some time to answer a few questions about his experience. To watch this episode in its entirety, please click here. Check our the interview below ...
1. When you were first selected to participate in this show, what did you expect the experience to be like? I was pretty scared. I expected to be surrounded by people that just wanted to argue for a whole month. I'm not afraid of an argument, but I thought the numbers were stacked against me. All I was told was that I would be totally immersed in the animal rights movement. As far as the people I would meet, I expected a lot of angry people that yelled a lot. I figured girls and guys alike would be hairy-legged sandal-wearing hippies. For the most part, I was mistaken.
2. How did your opinion of animal rights activists change after your 30 days with the Karpels?I realized almost immediately that animal rights activists, PETA members specifically, were very normal folks. That being said, there are some out there—just as with the factory farms—that give everyone involved a bad name. I learned about several examples of the abuse, neglect, and suffering that occur in factory farming. It's not a pretty industry, and if people were able to experience what I did, you might see a major change.
3. What were your best, and worst, experiences during the 30 days? Living with Melissa and her family as a vegan for the month was by far the most fun. It just took a few days for us to find common ground, and then we worked from that point in a nonjudgmental way. The Karpels are a wonderful family that I was proud to be a part of throughout my adventure. I have made great friends with them, and I miss them. I am a lucky man. It's not hard to find the worst experiences—there were two. First was the initial time I spent at Animal Acres, and second was the time I spent at the UCLA protest. Without getting into specifics, I can just say that being the loudest is not always the best way to be heard. These people were deliberately offensive and were the most close-minded individuals I have ever met. On several occasions, I was verbally abused. I traveled 3,500 miles with an open mind to learn, not to be judged.
4. Are there any animal rights issues that are particularly important to you now that you hadn't thought about before staying with Melissa and her family?I am aware that there need to be changes in factory farming, but aside from veganism, I haven't heard about a practical alternative. I personally prefer to buy my meat and produce from grocers that support the smaller local farms. The Burberry demonstration was hard-hitting, but we don't have very many fur coats in North Carolina. The one subject that I find the most offensive is vivisection. I can't give away anything about the show, but I had no idea how unnecessary it was. Tissue samples are infinitely more effective. For the sake of money, it seems people are abusing animals just because they can. They should be ashamed of themselves and pray that they never have to answer for their actions.
5. What are your views on the tactics that PETA uses to draw attention to the suffering of animals? One area where I think PETA could use some P.R. work is separating themselves from some of the other animal rights groups out there. The term most people relate to animal rights is PETA. Anything that happens for the sake of animals, regardless of how offensive it is, gets hung on the neck of PETA. Consequently, most people think PETA people are nuts. I believe PETA does it the right way: education. ... They keep it fun and provide people with information.
6. If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?I can't imagine changing a thing. Our director, Jay Blumke, and producer, Matt Hobin, did their homework. It would take years for anyone else to get the entire experience that I had. I had total access. It is amazing what can happen if you walk into something with an open mind, even if it is against everything you know already. You might think you are 100 percent right on a particular subject. Here's a news flash: You don't know everything. Just watch, listen, and learn. I still can't get a hold of "bugs." Is it against the PETA tenet not to like them? I have about 1,000 red bugs (chiggers) that hate me. They're trying to eat my legs clean off. Is it OK to hate them back?
And here are some photos of George and Melissa delivering doghouses that didn't make the final cut of the episode:
A lot. Is the short answer. But if you have a little bit of time on your hands, there’s a long answer currently available in the form of our 2007 Annual Review, and it makes for some excellent reading. There’s also a bulleted breakdown of the numbers (like, how much we spent on what), as well as a bunch of pretty pictures for the benefit of anyone who, like me, has trouble reading more than a couple of paragraphs on the Internet without taking break to see what the lolcats are up to.
Suffice it to say, 2007 was an insanely busy year—so it’s great to take a step back and see just how much we got done.
In case you missed it last night, here’s PETA President Ingrid Newkirk on Colbert talking about everything from her plans for her will to her recent book Making Kind Choices. Best Colbert Report ever, if you ask me.
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
For anyone who's done animal rights protests before, you'll know that—no matter what the issue—the first thing anyone ever asks you is whether your shoes are leather (seriously, the question is almost a reflex for some people—I've heard of people being asked that at naked demonstrations). So it's always a bonus when the demonstration is focused on the treatment of cows in the leather industry—at least then, you can stay on topic.
And this particular topic is an exceptionally gruesome one in India (which, along with China, provides most of the world's leather), as today's protest in Bangalore showed to dramatic effect. The powerful demonstration was staged by a pair of PETA India members (in what appear to be canvas shoes, in case anyone's wondering) and was covered widely in the Indian media. Great work, guys.
As you may have noticed, I’ve been scouring our Holiday-themed ads a little bit recently. There are some real gems in there, but this one kind of jumped out at me. It makes an important point about not buying animals for Christmas, without hitting people over the head with it. Check it out:
I’m not sure that I’ve directly addressed this topic before on this blog, but there have been two events this month that really underscore the importance of having a serious discussion about “no-kill” shelters among animal advocates, so here goes: The first was this article in The LA Daily News, which published statistics showing that more animals die in “no-kill” or “limited-admission” shelters in LA than people think. As the article puts it:
“Over the last five years, the number of animals euthanized in L.A. shelters has been cut in half, from 37,024 to 17,881. But with that gain come trade-offs. Keeping large numbers of unadoptable pets alive means shelters will be more crowded. Animals can't be as closely monitored. Contagious illnesses will spread, and violent animals will more often prey on weaker ones. So while euthanasia rates have gone down, animal deaths from other causes - including illness and attacks - have gone up from 1,462 to 3,312 a year, a 127 percent increase.”
To me, the article addresses what is in many ways a problem of terminology: “No-Kill” sounds pretty great, but it doesn’t mean “No-Suffering” (or “No-Death" for that matter), by a long shot. What it means is that the people running the shelter (though they are often well-intentioned individuals) have made a decision to turn their backs on the animals who may be abandoned and die on the streets because their limited-admission shelters lack room for more, and—as the article shows—allow the animals who are in their shelters to die from overcrowding, disease, or injury instead of humane lethal injection in the arms of caring people.
The second event that brought this topic to mind was the recent release of footage from a PETA undercover investigation into a “no-kill” shelter called All Creatures Great and Small. The investigator, who was there throughout a 7-month period, discovered systematic abuse and neglect of the hundreds of animals kept in filthy, overcrowded cages with no hope of reprieve or release from their suffering. There’s some more information about PETA’s stance on this issue here, and you can watch the video from our investigation below. I know this is a complex and emotional topic, but I thought this was a good opportunity to explain where we stand.
Yes, HBO’s I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA was insightful, well-made, and powerful. I’ll admit that. But WTF, HBO? Didn’t you forget something kind of important? Did all those times I found an excuse to walk by the cameras when you were filming in the office mean nothing to you? Did that week we spent together camped out in a parking lot in New Orleans just completely slip your minds? Or is there something I missed?
As anyone who watched the documentary last night will know by now, this lowly PETA blogger does not appear anywhere in the final cut of the film. Like, there aren’t even any scenes where you can hear my voice off camera, or see me wandering by in the hallways. But with the exception of that massive, massive oversight on HBO’s part, the film, which aired for the first time yesterday at 8 p.m., was absolutely riveting. I won’t give away too much, since you can still catch it on HBO On Demand, but the film takes as its central theme the period leading up to the release of our Butterball investigation, and it provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of exactly how that campaign and a number of other PETA initiatives go from an idea in a meeting to a major media story that highlights the suffering of animals.
If you get a chance to watch the film, you’ll notice that not all the viewpoints expressed in the documentary are flattering about PETA, but as an organization, we’ve never been particularly concerned about flattery—our goal has always been to get people thinking seriously about animal rights, and whenever possible, getting them to sit down and actually confront the horrors that animals are subjected to in the meat, fur, animal-research, and other abusive industries that are so often kept hidden from the public. I Am an Animal accomplishes that in spades, and for that reason I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about why we do what we do. I just hope that when they make the sequel, they’ll give the people what they want and spend a little bit more time filming me.
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:
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.