Written by PETA
At least 41 people suffered injuries during Pamplona's San Fermin festival this year. One runner from Pamplona remains in the hospital after he was gored so deeply that his diaphragm ruptured. An Australian teenager fractured three vertebrae, and an Australian man was gored in the leg, piercing his femoral artery, after he taunted a bull. Then there was the man who thought it was a good idea to run naked at a bull while waving a red handkerchief. Not surprisingly, he wound up on the wrong end of a horn.
While no people were killed in this year's runs, the bulls didn't fare as well. After being run through the streets to the bullring, they were all killed in bullfights.
Instead of killing bulls, we much prefer the version of the run cooked up by roller derby groups, in which roller girls wearing horned hats and wielding Nerf weaponry chase participants through the streets in a running of bullies. Thrill-seekers can experience a festive, exhilarating chase that doesn't end at the hospital or the bullring.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Hats off to the University of South Florida (USF) Federal Credit Union for pledging not to hold future promotions of the cruel Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, after PETA explained how bulls suffer for the spectacle. Several USF students and alumni complained to PETA that the credit union was holding a "Best Bull" contest that referenced the Running of the Bulls and offered a trip to Pamplona as a prize option.
In its letter, PETA explained that people often use electric prods to force the bulls to run through the cobblestone streets, causing the animals to slip and suffer broken legs and other injuries. After they are driven to the ring, the bulls are tortured to death by being repeatedly stabbed in the neck and back before the matador kills the weakened, bleeding bulls with a sword.
After reading PETA's letter, USF Federal Credit Union President and CEO Richard Skaggs told us that his organization would not have promoted the Running of the Bulls if it was aware of the cruelty involved and that it will not reference the event or offer the trip as a prize in the future.
Seventy-two percent of Spaniards oppose bullfighting. The only thing keeping the fights alive is tourist dollars. Please opt for travel packages that don’t include bullfighting, and educate your travel agency if it offers bullfights as an option.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Whether you believe in karma or payback, in 2010 we saw that for every action there is a reaction. We've rounded up the top six "Payback Is Hell" stories of 2010. It's safe to say that animals are just as tired of cruelty to animals as we are.
Written by Mirisa Roy
Of course, I'm not talking about the tormented bulls—I mean the intoxicated bullies who were trampled on the second day of Pamplona's weeklong San Fermín festival. Reporters, who were apparently channeling their inner Hemingway, described the bulls as "angry," "threatening" "hulking beasts." I think those terms better describe the people who goad animals into a terrified stampede, don't you?
Maybe it's just me, but I don't see anything heroic or brave about terrorizing animals just for the thrill of it. It seems like the truly courageous people are the ones who stripped to their undies to protest Pamplona's annual exercise in stupidity and cruelty:
Now that takes some cojones.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Before the drunken partiers filled Pamplona's streets today to kick off the annual Running of the Bulls tormenting of bulls, scores of animal defenders from PETA U.K. and the Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis creatively banded together to put the bulls' perspective in the picture.
During this annual celebration of torture, bulls are jabbed with prods and sharp sticks to whip them into a frenzy. Then the panicking animals are stampeded through crowds of people, slipping and stumbling on the wine-soaked cobblestone streets. The exhausted bulls are later prodded into the bullring, where they are stabbed to death.
The majority of the Spanish population no longer supports this cruelty. In 2004, the Barcelona City Council declared Barcelona an anti-bullfighting city, and 40 other Spanish towns have followed suit. State-run Spanish television has also stopped televising the violence.
Let's call the Running of the Bulls what it really is—sickening cruelty to animals—and call on Pamplona's mayor to ban it.
Written by Karin Bennett
Between the Trollsen twits and cruel reality show "celetestants", I'm soooo ready to say, "Bye-bye, '09. Hello, 2010."
We at PETA are feeling optimistic about the New Year. But before we ring it in, let's have a look at 2009's low points and our predictions for 2010's animal-friendly hot topics and trends.
Now let's all raise our glasses to compassion for all!
Written by Karin Bennett
Word on the Internet has it that Kevin Jonas—the oldest of the Jonas Brothers—and Danielle Deleasa were married this weekend (that sound you hear is the collective weeping of the world's 16-year-old girls), and the newlyweds treated their lucky guests to a vegetarian smorgasbord: According to the chef, there were "stir-fried Asian vegetables, Italian rice, risotto, pasta, and a full vegetarian station." (And that other sound is the collective sigh of the world's vegetarians who were not invited.)
I get it—with 400 invitations, mine must've gotten lost in the mail. So where are Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn when you need them? Seriously, I've still got my Gaga wig from Halloween—I totally could've crashed joined in this feast!
The party may be over, but the celebration continues—and not just in endless repeats of "Burnin' Up" on my shuffle. We're sending the newlyweds a thank-you note for making sure that they didn't forget about their vegetarian friends and family on their big day. We're also sending a wedding gift (not belated, BTW—you have three months after the wedding)—a copy of PETA's Vegan College Cookbook—because, you know, it's perfect for couples just starting out, struggling to make ends meet (wink) or for that couple who is always on the go.
Written by Logan Scherer
We know that the Boston Strangler did it. So did Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. Like so many others, all these serial killers tortured animals before "graduating" to humans.
That link has raised suspicions about an Oklahoma teen, Nikolas Kerr, who is accused of torturing and killing a 2-month-old kitten. A witness claims that she saw Kerr set the kitten on fire, repeatedly slam the tiny animal into a piece of furniture, and swing the cat by the tail. When asked why he did it, Kerr allegedly said, "'Cause I'm a sociopath." Those actions and words have piqued the interest of prosecutors who are trying to determine the extent of Kerr's involvement in the death of a homeless man known as "Bicycle Bob."
The link between violence against animals and violence against humans is well-established: It's why PETA developed a special booklet for law enforcement officials and prosecutors. It's also why actor Julie Benz—who played the wife of a serial killer who killed animals before moving on to people on Showtime's hit show Dexter—spoke out in a PETA public service announcement. And it's why we always urge anyone who knows of a violent crime against an animal to report it to authorities, pronto.
In preparation for the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2010, Pope Benedict released a statement calling for a more "sober lifestyle" and a move "beyond a purely consumerist mentality." We've got two words for the pope to add to his call to save the environment: Go vegan.
Raising animals for food wastes resources and devastates our environment. Going vegan curbs climate change and promotes everything Jesus required of his followers: compassion and love toward all beings. We've written a letter to Pope Benedict asking that the Vatican become a global leader on the path to (green) peace by serving only vegan meals.
Even the pontiff himself has spoken out against the factory farming industry and its un-Biblical ways. "Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible," he said in an interview in 2002.
The bovine pope has been cruelty-free his entire life—we think it's time for his human counterpart to follow suit. So what do you say, Your Holiness? Won't you give peas a chance?
When morning's chill is frigid and frightful, my husband and I can get into some pretty intense debates about whose turn it is to walk Charlie and Lucy. OK, I'm exaggerating: We just play a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors—and usually wind up walking them together.
But in Spain's Catalonia region, a heated battle is growing over a proposed bill to ban bullfighting, initiated by a citizens' lobbying group that opposes the hideous "sport." Of course, other politicians want to keep the bloody "tradition" alive.
We're happy to report that the bill just passed a secret vote in the regional parliament (yay!). According to news reports, it was such a sensitive issue that some legislators actually used newspaper to cover their hands when they voted. Secret voting is rare in the Catalan legislature—so the cruelty behind bullfighting really hit home for the representatives who voted their conscience in defiance of tradition.
But the vote was close (67-59), and the bill still has a long way to go: Debates are sure to intensify before the final vote, which is several months away. If the bill passes, Catalonia will be the second region in Spain to outlaw bullfighting—the Canary Islands did it way back in 1991.
Of course, there's no question that my husband and I will call a truce long enough to sign this petition to end the Running of the Bulls. Won't you do the same?
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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.