Written by PETA
When I hear "Christmas spectacular," I think snow, lights, and a tree—really, it doesn't take much to make me happy. For the twisted folks at Loro Parque in Spain, however, it's apparently not Christmas without some animal exploitation. Wholesome and heartwarming? Yeah, right.
There was nothing festive about the death of a captive orca's trainer during the rehearsal for the zoo's Christmas performance. The whale hit the trainer, who drowned after being underwater for several minutes.
Freedom must've been first on this orca's Christmas wish list. Orcas swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, so confining them to tanks in theme parks is like confining a person to a bathtub. Captured from their ocean homes by boats that chase orca pods to shallow waters so that the animals can be surrounded with nets that are gradually closed and lifted onto the boats, some orcas die from shock or stress. Others slowly succumb to pneumonia when water enters their lungs through their blowholes. After they are torn away from their homes and families, these animals are then forced to learn circus-style tricks from trainers who withhold food and isolate animals who refuse to perform.
At the top of my New Year's wish list? A PETA theme park in which the only "animals" forced to perform are the animatronic kind.
Written by Logan Scherer
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?
Written by Karin Bennett
Alarms went off at PETA when we learned that filming for Tom Cruise's upcoming movie, Knight and Day, included the use of live animals to recreate Pamplona's infamous and cruel Running of the Bulls. The Mirror reports that seven bulls used for the production in Spain escaped and injured two women.
We hope that Mr. Cruise will share our concerns when he learns how animals suffer in the annual Running of the Bulls. As human runners and spectators gouge the bulls with sticks and pull their tails, many bulls slip on the pavement and/or slam into buildings, breaking their horns and legs. In their desperate attempts to escape their tormenters, bulls sometimes gore and trample people. As if that weren't enough cruelty, bulls later dragged into the bullrings are repeatedly stabbed and bled to weaken them by bullfighters who sever the animals' spines while the animals are fully conscious.
Will Tom Cruise do as we've asked and use his influence and help bulls by encouraging producers to cut the scene from the film? I believe that PETA's effort is definitely a Mission ImPossible. What do you think?
Updates will follow.
On the heels of Ringling's recent cancellation of its tour in Germany comes another triumph in Europe. Following a campaign by PETA U.K. and other animal protection organizations against cruel Ringling Bros. shows across the pond, Ringling has called off its visit to Valencia, Spain.
PETA U.K. and AnimaNaturalis sent joint letters to Valencia officials informing them of Ringling's history of beating, chaining, and caging elephants, tigers, horses, and countless other animals. PETA U.K. and AnimaNaturalis also had plans to demonstrate outside the arena in Valencia at which Ringling was slated to perform.
With city after city taking a compassionate stance against animal abuse, Ringling's European tour is flailing—but it hasn't completely drowned yet. Ringling still has three stops scheduled on its Spanish tour. Our fingers are crossed that those will be cancelled too, but if they aren't, Ringling can bet its bullhooks that there will be protests at every stop.
Want to help end this transatlantic travesty? Urge the remaining venues in Spain to say "No" to suffering.
For more than eight months this year, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside University of Utah animal labs, where she documented the miserable conditions and daily suffering of dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, mice, rabbits, frogs, cows, pigs, and sheep. Today, The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story about the investigation, including the response from Tom Parks, the university's vice president for research. The response is (not so) stunningly callous: "None of the things she alleges are substantive. It's a remarkably banal list of ordinary events in an animal-care facility."
Here's a list of the things the university considers "banal"—part of an "ordinary" day in the "animal-care facility":
Brain injections, desperate thirst, tumors, and holes in skulls: just another banal day in the lab, right?
We have filed complaints against the university with the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local law-enforcement officials, and you can take action to help animals at the University of Utah too.
Written by Logan Scherer
Tel Aviv has become the first city in Israel to prohibit horse-drawn carriages, thanks largely to years of tireless campaigning by Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) and its sister organization, Hakol Chai. Their efforts included organizing international letter-writing campaigns, educational presentations in schools, a benefit concert, and a rousing demonstration outside City Hall.
Because CHAI and Hakol Chai were determined to make a difference, exhausted, sick, and injured horses and donkeys will no longer be beaten and whipped by metal and junk peddlers who force them to pull huge, heavy carriages in dangerous, busy traffic in Tel Aviv.
This success story has inspired me to try to score a similar victory for exhausted, abused horses closer to home, so I've added, "Write to New York City councilmembers—again—re horse-drawn carriages," to the top of my to-do list. Won't you do the same?
Written by Karin Bennett
I enjoy cooking, and my chocolate pie is pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. Luckily for me, my friends and family like the pie, because, frankly, besides that one delectable dessert, I'm not a good cook. I'd be in quite a pickle if I couldn't bring my old crowd-pleaser to our yearly vegan Thanksgiving Day potluck dinner.
But this year, I'm thinking about mixing things up and surprising* (and possibly delighting) everyone at the dinner table by also bringing a few bottles of Tofurky and Gravy. That's right—just in time for vegan Thanksgiving Day celebrations everywhere, Jones Soda Co. has created a limited-edition Tofurky and gravy–flavored soda, which they are delivering along with a few dessert treats in an adorable metal lunch box. Feast your eyes, folks:
Want to win one of these fantastic gift packs? Of course you do. Just jot down your favorite Thanksgiving Day recipe below. It can be sweet or savory—just bowl us over. The two people who submit the most scrumptious recipes get the goods.
*Fortunately our host doesn't dictate which dishes we can bring to the annual soirée.
Looks like a lot more fun than this:
Written by Shawna Flavell
Celebrate by watching this Creole (not cruel) "Running of the Bulls."
At a time when protests of the gruesome Running of the Bulls are making a bigger splash than ever, the sagging global economy is apparently taking a toll on the annual festival as well.
It turns out that bombed bull abusers are scaling back their bar tabs. This means fewer euros for merchants during this year's Running of the Bulls. In the past, these businesses have cashed in on the annual torment and killing of hapless, hopeless bulls. But this year, the global recession means that local businesses won't be making as much of a profit from the misery of the bulls.
Not only that, but according to NPR, polls show that most Spaniards have no interest in bullfighting. In Catalonia alone, nearly 200,000 people have signed a petition asking the regional parliament to ban this barbaric "ritual."
While this is hopefully the beginning of the end for an industry that should have died off with the Spanish Empire, you can save money and animals by doing more than simply tightening your belt. Sign up to take that belt—and the rest of your clothes—off altogether as a member of PETA's Action Team. It won't cost a dime, but the potential to raise awareness is priceless.
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
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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.