Written by PETA
Unfortunately, there is no punch line; I am not kidding. The reporter thought this was a fine example of Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” style, but who knows. Here's what PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk said to an enquiring press:
“First, as a charity we can’t and don’t endorse or oppose any candidate for public office, but I can say (and not just as a person who grew up with an Irish Setter!) that any individual who does something like that may have what scientists term the absence of the mirror neuron, i.e., a pin-pointable absence in the brain of the characteristic which allows the individual to feel basic compassion. The implications are frightening. Anyone who suspects that they are not able to feel empathy for others needs to be aware of the existence of this condition. What is also worrying is that Mr. Romney seems to hold the very old fashioned idea that he needs to actively show he is heartless, hence the hunting claims he has made. Not subsistence hunting, but pride in killing defenseless animals for sport, for fun, for show. In the case of the dog on the roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn't for show as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong for them to witness. There was also the obviousness of the situation. Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured. If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don't know who would find that acceptable. Mr. Romney needs to tell the world he realizes this was not humane. People do stupid things and one day realize it, so better late than never."
Thanks to Ana Marie Cox, founder of Wonkette, now Time.com’s Washington Editor, for noticing the story on Boston.com and jumping on it.
Michael Moore, for those of you not familiar with him, is a fat, bearded dude who makes political documentaries and occasionally angers conservatives. His latest work is a film called SiCKO—which exposes the inadequacies of health care in the U.S. and played to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. It's going into wide release on June 29. Well, PETA's president, Ingrid Newkirk, has a few words of advice for him: As she points out in the letter she sent him this week, the best way to fight the U.S. health care bureaucracy is to take some personal responsibility and make positive changes that will lead to a healthy lifestyle—and there’s no better way to do that than by adopting a vegetarian diet. As Ingrid puts it,
“Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.”
PETA is challenging Michael Moore to reduce his risk of fat-related illnesses by taking PETA's 30-day Veg Pledge. The idea is that if people didn't make themselves unhealthy in the first place by eating meat products that are known to cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, the situation would easier for everyone. As Ingrid puts it, "Yes, America’s health care system needs to be fixed, but personal responsibility is a big part of why people look and feel as ill as they do." Here's hoping Michael Moore puts his money where his mouth is.
You can read Ingrid's letter to Michael Moore here. I'll let you know how he responds.
Jason Bayless, our Lead Circus Monitor (i.e., the dude whose nerve-wracking job it is to follow Ringling Bros. around everywhere and document their abuse of animals), is about to embark on tour with the circus next week, so we fitted him out with a nice new set of wheels that will let circusgoers know exactly what he's there for. Jason's just going to have to rely on his natural charm if he wants to make friends with any of the Ringling employees during the six-month tour—the van itself isn't exactly designed to ease the longstanding tension between PETA and the circus …
The wonderful Bea Arthur, whose record in terms of helping to advance the rights of animals is as impressive as her unforgettable performances in Golden Girls, has gone out on a limb once again for animals—this time to help the rats, lizards, and other animals who get a raw deal in pet stores, where they're inadequately cared for and often destined for a miserable life even if they do survive the lousy conditions they're kept in.
Bea, who was deeply affected by PETA's undercover investigation of a PetSmart store in Scottsdale where scores of small hamsters, birds, and other animals were left to suffer and die, has written to PetSmart CEO Philip L. Francis urging him to permanently end the sale of live animals in his stores. As she puts it in her letter,
“This was a store that, according to one of your executives, has ‘an outstanding pet care team and an exceptional pet care record. But PETA’s findings show a sad and different story. . . . I look forward to the day when you stop selling live animals. Until then, I cannot in good conscience shop at PetSmart, and neither can my friends or family.”
You can check out her letter here, and the investigation that she's referring to is below. Thank you, Bea Arthur. You rule.
This is an old video we made a while back to talk about why PETA has occasionally resorted to some more colorful tactics like naked protests to get our point across. It must have been put together in the early days of Internet video, when people had the attention span to get all the way through a 7-minute piece, but I highly recommend sticking around through the first 3 and a half minutes to watch George W. Bush reacting to a PETA manure dump a little while before he was elected President. It's seriously priceless.
If you haven't seen the PETA “Year In Review” video that was made for our annual New Year staff party yet, you should check it out. It’s a great snapshot of just a few of our accomplishments from 2006, and when I saw it at the party, I knew we had to get it on the Web ASAP. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong ... As it turns out, our legal department has all these issues with us using music without permission—yadda yadda yadda. So we had to replace the song that was originally in it. Luckily my buddy Coulter is all musical and stuff, and he gave us a great song that I think works better than the original anyway.
Anyway, here it is: PETA’s 2006 staff party video*:
*Warning: this video does not contain gratuitous nudity. Sorry.
Merry Christmas from everyone at PETA!
So, after a few months of getting used to their new synthetic ball, the NBA has decided they need to switch back to balls made from cows next year. Because Steve Nash and Shaq didn't like the way the new balls grazed their delicate hands. This has been tough for us sports fans at PETA, because while we were delighted with the NBA's decision to use nonleather balls (as the NCAA has for years), we're also well aware of just how sensitive the hands of some NBA players are—much softer than college players' hands—and we'd hate for Nash, Shaq, or LeBron to ruin their manicures.
But we have a compromise that will save Shaq's skin and cowskins at the same time: Today, PETA's Campaign Manager Dan Shannon sent an open letter to NBA players, offering a lifetime supply of cruelty-free hand cream to anyone who's willing to give the composite ball another shot. You can read the letter here, and if you have any extra sensitive-skin hand cream lying around, you might want to send it along to some of these guys c/o the NBA. We just hate to see them suffer.
This video is pretty cute. It's an award-winning PSA that a PETA member gave us to help encourage people to get their pets spayed or neutered. I'm not entirely sure where the narrator's odd accent is from, but I feel like it adds to the overall effect.
On a vaguely related note, when I first got Princess Cuteyface (she just came in through my window one day), the vet told me that she was at least a few months pregnant. This freaked me out because it was already kind of a big step for me to be committing in the first place, and, I don't know, everything was just happening so fast. Fortunately for both of us, it was a false alarm—turns out she's just a very big girl. Plenty of Princess C to go round. Anyway, I have a new vet now.
Burberry, still reeling from PETA UK's little visit to their London store last week, got another unpleasant surprise this afternoon when four activists showed up at their 57th Street store in New York. Here's how it went down, according to one of the campaigners who was there:
Two activists went in the store with posters while 2 more waited outside with their bloody fur coats inside out and tucked under their arms. The 2 activists inside were picked up by security (literally) and removed from the store, but not before one activist managed to get inside the Burberry store window and start spreading fake blood all over…
Meanwhile, on the outside, the protesters spread fake blood all over the window display, summed up the finer points of the fur issue for passersby with chants like "Burberry tortures animals!" and (for the visual learners in the crowd) used TVs strapped to their bodies to show footage of animals being skinned alive for their fur. Check it out:
More pics after the jump.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.