Written by PETA
Plato said, "The gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies ... they are the trees and the plants and the seeds." Now, PETA Germany has the perfect ad for Athens' Acropolis—an ad that, if erected, would honor the city's compassionate legacy while helping Greece end its financial woes:
Greek philosophers Plato, Pythagoras, and Plutarch all opposed the cruelty associated with meat consumption. This is one proven Pythagorean theorem that we can all follow: Going vegan = health2 + happy animals2 + green planet2.
Written by Logan Scherer
What is fur-hating Phoenix Suns forward Amar'e Stoudemire's recipe for end-of-season-success? A four-day vegan fast, which he says will "purify my body, and get my body in top shape …."
I'm sure that the former NBA Rookie of the Year's foray into animal-free cuisine will improve his physical and mental wellness by leaps and bounds. And who knows, maybe he'll make a permanent switch to a vegan diet.
After all, once you learn how factory-farmed animals endure painful mutilations, extreme crowding, and hellish journeys to slaughterhouses to become artery-clogging, doob promoting hot dogs and cheeseburgers, your mind and body do feel lighter and brighter when you go vegan. Don't just take our word for it—see for yourself.
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA recently received a call about more than 20 rabbits who were crowded into a junk-filled outdoor enclosure at the back entrance of a barbecue joint in Oregon. The restaurant's excuse for the cruel captivity? For the kids to play with, they said. But there was nothing kid- or rabbit-friendly about the squalid setup or the rabbits' garbage-scrap diet.
A concerned passerby reported the rabbits' precarious condition to PETA, and we acted quickly. After several visits from local officials, the restaurant agreed to surrender all the rabbits to a reputable local humane society that will find them loving indoor homes.
Animal abuse isn't always hidden, so keep your eyes peeled for animals in need and always speak up when you see cruelty.
Written by Logan Scherer
Eden II, a Staten Island school for autistic children, recently lost some electronics and rubber duckies to burglars, but it's the theft of Star, the school's hamster, that has students crying and losing sleep.
In an effort to nix any notion about getting a "replacement" for Star, our TeachKind reps have reached out to Eden II officials, offering to replace the classroom hamster with Webkinz, a humane alternative to live classroom animals that combines toys and technology to allow kids to care for adopted friends online. With Webkinz, kids learn responsibility and kindness without subjecting an animal to possible neglect or abuse.
We are also providing the school with information about pet shop cruelty, because most of the exotic animals in pet shops come from filthy warehouses such as U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), where an undercover PETA investigation revealed shocking neglect and cruelty. Hamsters, prairie dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs, and hedgehogs were kept for weeks packed into cattle-watering troughs, cardboard boxes, and plastic bottles, and countless animals were deprived of food, water, light, and ventilation. There was no veterinary care for countless sick and injured animals, who instead were simply left in freezers to die or carelessly tossed into a waste bin. Fortunately, PETA's investigation resulted in the permanent removal of more than 26,000 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from USGE—but our fight against this kind of common cruelty continues.
Will Eden II officials accept our offer and decide to ban live animals from their classrooms? I sure hope so. After all, I believe that Star would never wish his frightening fate on another helpless animal.
We already know that elephants in the wild lead rich emotional lives, but recent findings about elephant brainpower and a "secret" language of low-frequency sounds have me wondering what these clever animals gossip about in the wild, and I'm going to have nightmares tonight about what the elephants who are beaten by Ringling are trying to tell us.
Among the researchers' conclusions is that while baby elephants will shriek to signal distress, adult elephants shriek only from pain. If you've seen PETA's undercover footage and the photographs from a former Ringling trainer, you know there are a lot of shrieking elephants at Ringling: Mothers and babies shriek as they are dragged away from each other with chains and ropes, babies shriek during violent "training" sessions, and trainers induce plenty of agonized shrieks as they dig their metal-tipped bullhooks into the elephants' sensitive skin.
As one researcher in Kenya said about the elephants he studied, "They've proved to have abilities which have only been found elsewhere in the great apes and humans." If you don't think humans belong chained and beaten in the circus, please don't support circuses that use elephants. Maybe this is how elephants say "thank you."
Written by Heather Drennan
Behold the power of the pen and the protest: Walker Bros. Circus has axed elephant acts from its lineup—and it seems that there's little chance the pachyderms will return. A spokesperson told KeyNews.com that the circus has "basically done away with using exotic animals in the show because of the [animal rights] activists."
PETA has long denounced Walker Bros. Circus for its abuse of elephants, many of whom were leased from Hawthorn Corp., which was forced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to surrender 16 elephants after the agency charged both Hawthorn and Walker Bros. Circus with numerous serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
It was the concern and actions of caring people that prompted Walker Bros. Circus to finally drop exotic animals from its lineup—and maybe the circus will eventually drop all animal acts. Let's remember this as we continue to rally against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's shocking mistreatment of elephants and other animals.
The following is a guest post from Joyce Poole, co-founder of Elephant Voices—an organization whose aim is to increase awareness of the intelligence and wonder of elephants. Joyce has a Ph.D. in elephant behavior from Cambridge University and has studied the social behavior and communication of elephants for more than 30 years. She was an expert witness in the recent trial against Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. This post originally appeared on ElephantVoices' blog.
In the final days of December, in the case against Ringling Bros. Circus for their abuse of elephants, Judge Sullivan ruled against animal welfare advocates on technical grounds. He did not address the merits of the case nor the expert opinions that we spent years preparing and weeks presenting in court.
This is a hollow victory for Ringling; It certainly isn't a vindication of their brutal training and management practices. The trial brought into the public domain the depth of abuse practiced by the circus. This particular battle has been lost, but although Ringling might think they have achieved a victory, they have in fact been significantly wounded. The war will yet be won as more and more people give their own verdict.
Ironically, the judgment was announced just days after additional abuse of baby elephants surfaced—this time one of Ringling Bros.' own employees blew the whistle, ashamed by his own treatment of baby elephants. You can read and see some of the horrific photos in the Washington Post's coverage here.
I reviewed reams of evidence against Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus as an expert witness, so I am well acquainted with their abusive treatment of elephants. Yet, the late Samuel Haddock's description of the babies' screaming and the harrowing images of their straining against the ropes and chains and being poked, prodded, and manhandled brought tears to my eyes.
The only reason why a bullhook has a steel point is to inflict pain. Deprivation, force, and pain form the basis of the training that baby elephants undergo to perform in the circus. Thereafter, restraint, deprivation, and attempts to avoid pain keep elephants in circuses under constant control.
Elephants in circuses are mere commodities for human entertainment: Prevented from behaving naturally and forced to perform behaviors never seen in nature, they are bought and sold, poked and prodded, separated from companions, confined, and chained on concrete and on trains. It is insincere to allow children to believe that elephants in circuses are living an acceptable life when the evidence for the opposite is overwhelming.
Ringling's treatment of elephants is outdated, ignorant, and inhumane. Progressive Norway intends to ban the use of elephants in circuses. India has already done so. Isn't it time for America and other so-called enlightened countries to follow suit?
Written by Joyce Poole
It looks like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus isn't anxious for PETA to capture any more footage of its goons employees whacking elephants with bullhooks. How else would you explain the ugly incident that happened this past Tuesday in which a burly, 200-something-pound Ringling worker apparently shoved and almost knocked down PETA staffer Amanda Fortino—who stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds soaking wet—while she was videotaping elephants who were being led from a Ringling train to the Rose Garden arena prior to the circus's performance in Portland, Oregon.
His friends must have been worried that Mr. "Tact and Diplomacy" was in danger of being overpowered by the deceptively slight Amanda (she does have super-vegan powers, you know), Amanda reports that several of the thug's cohorts bounded to his assistance and surrounded her, effectively blocking her view of the elephants.
Not the smartest move, because another activist was holding the aforementioned video camera and caught the whole thing on tape. We promptly turned the tape over to Portland police, who have opened an investigation into the incident.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Rejection is tough, but Ella PhantzPeril doesn't let it get her down. Initially snubbed by St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., officials, Ella PhantzPeril just wouldn't take no for an answer.
This week, Ella can be seen stopping (foot) traffic in Washington Square Park in Kansas City—where she received a warm welcome. And, judging by the photo, even George is behind her all the way.
Ella's found a place to unpack her trunk for the moment, but she's still shedding tears for all the elephants who face much longer, much more difficult journeys as they're dragged in shackles to circus appearances across the country and beaten with bullhooks behind the scenes.
Check back to see if your city will be receiving the privilege of Ella's company, and in the meantime, remind everyone you know that circuses are no fun for elephants.
Written by Heather Drennan
Firefighters from New York City's Engine 245 are heroes in our eyes, and not just because they put their lives on the line for people in need.
When asked to participate in a publicity stunt for Ringling Bros. by washing one of the circus's elephants, the firefighters resisted.
Unfortunately, while this engine company might have realized that Ringling was resorting to a cheap stunt in the hope of finding something—anything—that would distract people from the circus's abuse of animals, city officials weren't on the same page.
Despite the fact that it's the firefighters' job to protect the public, not to hawk circus tickets, the higher-ups in the city government pressured the NYFD to go along with Ringling's scheme.
So, for trying to do the right thing and for staying focused on their (vitally important) jobs, PETA is recognizing Engine 245 with our Compassionate Fire Department Award.
As for those folks at City Hall who decided that the best use of firefighters' time is to shill for Ringling, what the heck were you thinking?
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.