Written by PETA
We were already crushing on The Biggest Loser's tough-love trainer Bob Harper after he went vegetarian and then signed on to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program. But we're in full-on love after learning that Bob adopted his new canine companion from an animal shelter, saying, "It just kills me when people spend money on a dog when there are dogs in shelters waiting for someone to take them," adding, "I want to tell them, 'No! Those are puppy mills!'"
We couldn't have said it better ourselves!
Written by Jeff Mackey
According to Time magazine, scientists at the University of Missouri have created a soy-based chicken that tastes and feels, well, just like chicken. That should give meat-eaters and vegetarians something to salivate over. The owner of Turtle Island Foods, the maker of Tofurky, is reportedly thinking about purchasing the product, which is not commercially available yet. (In the meantime, Gardein, Boca, and Morningstar Farms make some pretty tasty faux chicken!)
If the University of Missouri's stuff is as good as Time says it is, then more meat-eaters will be swayed to stop eating chicken, which will help curb greenhouse gasses, reduce waistlines, and save billions of birds. The author of the article foresees a bright future. After he plugged PETA's $1 million prize offer for anyone who can bring in vitro chicken meat to market by 2012, he mused, "Maybe one day you'll order a chicken fajita at Chili's that is made with soy.* You almost certainly won't notice the difference, but the planet will."
What do you think? Will this soy in chicken's clothing change the way you eat?
Written by Heather Moore
*Rumor has it that Chipotle Mexican Grill is already a step ahead and is set to launch its vegan "Garden Blend" faux-chicken burrito nationwide any minute.
President Obama's new proposal to help pay for the healthcare revamp by taxing tanning salons is almost as brilliant as that tanning-bed afterglow. Obama's tan tax—which some proposals have put as high as 10 percent—attaches a monetary price to the health risk that tanners take when they expose themselves to radiation.
Now, as it turns out, some people have this tan tax business all mixed up, but in their confusion they've actually come up with a great idea. Perhaps addled by the toxins that he breathes every day, a leather tannery employee has sent us hate mail about the "PETA-based tan tax" that he fears could hurt the leather business. We're thick-skinned (geddit?), so the vitriol doesn't get to us, but we really like this tannery tax idea.
Although the president hasn't yet officially included leather tanneries in his proposal, it would be a terrific next step in raising funds for healthcare—especially considering that governmental agencies have already deemed tanneries to be a threat to human health and the environment. Most leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. And each chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of solid waste—including hair, flesh, and trimmings—for every ton of hides that it processes.
Leukemia, lung cancer, environmental destruction, and the exploitation and mutilation of cows—we can't stand any of it. How long do you think it would take a new "tannery tax" to ruin tanneries that are already destroying our health and the planet?
Written by Logan Scherer
It's official: President Obama's State of Union address will air on January 27. Of course, this announcement has John and Jane Does everywhere wondering—but not about possible GOP outbursts or changes to the rules of the game.
Here's the hot topic on caring viewers' minds: When will PETA's annual State of the Union Undress be aired—and will the bodacious speaker reveal the naked truth of PETA's titillating 2009 victories and 2010's targets? We will tell you that PETA's State of the Union Undress will premiere this Wednesday, but we won't strip away all the mystery. What fun would that be? You'll have to wait and watch. But we wouldn't leave you without any hint of things to come, though: Here's a taste of what you'll see:
One thing is certain: PETA's State of the Union Undress will be a rousing speech. We bet you'll get up and cheer.
Written by Karin Bennett
Before I tell you this story, please go check out our newest exposé on the abuse of baby elephants for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The exposé has been featured extensively in The Washington Post.
Keep those heartbreaking photos in mind as I tell you about Ringling's newest addition to its troupe of miserable, abused elephants. Barack is a baby Asian elephant who was born on January 19, the day before President Barack Obama was sworn into office—hence the name. TampaBayOnline reported that Baby Barack, who is not even 1 year old, just made his "debut" at a Ringling rehearsal at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
It's hard to believe that anyone would use an electric shock prod on an elephant like Baby Barack—or that someone would bind a baby elephant with rope and then slam that baby to the ground—but that's exactly the information presented to us by one of Ringling's own baby elephant trainers, the late Samuel Haddock Jr., who had a change of heart about his nearly 20-year career with Ringling.
In his statement about Ringling's treatment and training of baby elephants, Mr. Haddock noted, "Babies are typically pulled from their mothers around 18–24 months of age. Once they're pulled from their mothers, they've tasted their last bit of freedom and the relationship with their mother ends." He added, "Sometimes [the baby elephants] would start crying when they saw their mothers brought in from outside."
After the terrified babies are torn away from their devastated mothers, they begin a life of bondage and are forced to learn "tricks" such as sitting on tubs and standing on their heads.
Once again: Barack was born in January of this year, meaning that he isn't even 12 months old.
Would President Obama disapprove of the treatment of his namesake? I believe he would. I've posted this information on my Facebook page to let others know that I don't approve of Ringling's elephant abuse. Won't you do the same?
But she wasn't the main course—she was the guest of honor:
Angel came to PETA U.K.'s holiday dinner from Hen Haven—a safe sanctuary for chickens and turkeys who would otherwise have been slaughtered. Feasting on faux turkey, grilled figs, nut roast, and mince pies with new friends sure beats a short, traumatic life on a factory farm.
Written by Logan Scherer
When your full-time job is extracting brains from pigs' heads, irreparable trauma and polyradiculoneuropathy are all in a day's work. Polyradic … huh?
Polyradiculoneuropathy is a painful nerve disorder that attacks the peripheral nerves and the spine nerve roots. Earlier this month, a study revealed that 24 slaughterhouse workers had developed the disease after inhaling pig-brain tissue mist.
We always knew that working at a slaughterhouse messes with your head, but now we can say it actually attacks your brain.
We all know that the secret lives of our animal companions are fascinating—and now we can prove it. The Pet's Eye View Camera—the first-ever digital collar camera—snaps photos from your furry friends' point-of-view, so you can finally see what they do when you're not around. And its sleek, sturdy design ensures that no animal will even know it's there.
Say "soy cheese," because this awesome camera could be yours. We're giving away one of these groundbreaking, snapshot-taking marvels to the reader who comes up with the cleverest and most photo-friendly saying to get even the most camera-shy to smile.
Here's a phenomenon that'll stick in your memory like an octopus sticks to a … coconut shell:
With the recent discovery that the veined octopus sometimes carries around a coconut shell to use as impromptu shelter, this eight-legged wonder is now the first known tool-using animal without a backbone. According to the biologists who made the discovery, the use of tools to build shelter is such a complicated skill that even some of smartest animals, like chimpanzees, can't do it. (Um, the only self-enclosing "skill" I have is my sofa-cushion fort-building ability, which hasn't been tapped since 1994—so who knows if it's still even in me.)
Octopi are brilliant animals with sensitive short-term and long-term memories and a complex brain, so it's no surprise that their capabilities are extensive and intricate—from mastering mazes to distinguishing between different shapes. And their intelligence runs in their extended cephalopod family. Squids send messages via dermal patterns of light and color, so think twice before you eat calamari again—those are fried little Einsteins on your plate! If scientists have only just now discovered the tool-using skills of octopi, imagine all of the other talents these mollusk marvels and their relatives have got up their tentacles.
In high school, P.E. was my worst nightmare. Flickerball, pickle ball, capture the flag: I hated them all and tried my hardest to come up with excuses to sit on the bleachers. The worst periods by far were on fitness-test days—the dreaded mile run. Those were the days when I got really creative with my excuses. One year I faked a bee sting; another year I "got hives" when I tried to run.
Now, despite my phobia of physical exertion and my love of the couch, there are a few things that will get me to do just about anything involving lacing up sneakers and strapping on a pedometer. One of those motivators: animals. Driven by the incentive to save lives, I'm gearing up for an uncharacteristically active winter, undoing all those years of glorious unhealthy inertia by joining the second annual PETA Pack. A group of runners who train together and raise money for PETA, the Pack is the perfect synthesis of fitness and kindness. With the help of professional coach Darren Middlesworth, we'll train together for the Oakland Marathon/Half Marathon/5K on March 28, 2010.
But you don't have to live in the San Francisco Bay area to participate. Last year, 77 runners from across the U.S. and Canada trained remotely, and those who couldn't make it to Oakland for the big race found a race to run in their hometowns. Together they raised $57,000 for PETA's Investigations and Rescue Fund, and this year we expect to double that figure.
Training begins January 3—the perfect time to make a New Year's resolution a reality. Join today and check the PETA Pack blog for updates.
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.