Written by Michelle Kretzer
St. Louis drivers who stop to fill up their
tanks will get an eyeful of Washington
University in St. Louis' cruelty to cats.
PETA has placed hard-hitting ads on top of the pumps at seven gas stations near
the campus to show the university's students, faculty, and alumni that the
school uses cats like most of us use cars—as equipment.
Instead of using modern human-patient
simulators in the intubation training exercises it holds in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital,
are asked to repeatedly force hard plastic tubes down
cats' and ferrets' throats,
causing their delicate windpipes to bleed, swell, and scar. Cats can even die
as a result of the injuries sustained during this traumatic procedure.
Drivers may pull into the gas stations
lamenting "pain at the pump," but they'll leave disgusted by the pain
that Washington University in St. Louis is inflicting on cats. And PETA added
more fuel to the fire with similar
in newspapers and online.
If the school wants
to truly honor its namesake, George Washington, who had nine companion animals at the White House, it should call off the cruel cat laboratory and
switch to the modern simulators already in use at nearly every other similar facility
in the country.
Written by Jeff Mackey
A new PETA ad campaign is rolling out in St. Louis to make
sure that Washington University's faculty, staff, students, and supporters don't
forget about the school's use of live cats for painful and terrifying medical training conducted in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Washington University folks will be confronted by images of
cats like those who have tubes forced down their throats in the university's
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course (most other PALS courses have
upgraded to modern, sophisticated simulators) pretty much everywhere they look:
© iStockphoto.com/Dan Brandenburg
Please join us in telling Washington University and St. Louis
Children's Hospital that it's time to get with the program and scratch cruelty to
cats out of their curriculum.
Written by PETA
How could we not plug the new, adorable polar bears at the Saint Louis Zoo? After all, we are all about the zoo of the future, and this zoo exhibit is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Instead of flesh-and-blood bears, the zoo is currently displaying electric proxies, and we couldn't be more thrilled.
A study out of the University of Oxford determined that polar bears fare especially poorly in captive situations. These large, roving predators develop neurotic behaviors because of stress when kept in captivity because they are unable to satisfy their instinct to roam. The report noted that "a polar bear's typical enclosure size, for example, is about one-millionth of its minimum home-range size," and the authors concluded that "the keeping of naturally wide-ranging carnivores should be either fundamentally improved or phased out."
The Saint Louis Zoo has a miserable record of polar bear "care." Four years ago, a polar bear named Churchill ate a toxic meal of cloth and plastic and died during his subsequent stomach surgery. Just one month later, the polar bear Penny died from infection. She had two dead fetuses inside her uterus, though zoo officials didn't know she was pregnant. Hope, the zoo's last surviving polar bear, was euthanized earlier this year after veterinarians discovered she had cancer.
We're hoping that the zoo maintains its merry instillation year-round, making every day a cause for polar bears to celebrate. And if they decide that the still-lives don't quite cut it, we'd love to see the zoo invest in animatronic bears that look and act like the real things.
Written by Logan Scherer
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
I'm predicting that Fox's new musical comedy, Glee, will be this fall's breakout hit (sorry, Ashlee).
Certainly the show's beautiful and brainy star Lea Michele, who has drawn rave reviews for her various Broadway performances, has hit a high note with us.
Lea joined Chrissie Hynde, Pink, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Rue McClanahan, and other notables who "don't stop believin'" that the cruel and dangerous buggy biz needs to be done away with.
I'll be parked on my La-Z-Boy on Wednesday nights to catch Glee. Do you plan to tune in?
Written by Karin Bennett
Poor Ella PhantzPeril. Everywhere she tries to go, she gets a chilly reception, even though she is drop-dead gorgeous and was designed by renowned New Yorker cover artist Harry Bliss.
First, Kansas City gave her the cold shoulder when we tried to arrange for her to take up residence in a city park for a month to coincide with a visit from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The city banished her because of her "political" message. Now, St. Louis has said she is unwelcome because she is an "advertisement."
Since all we want to do is remind the public about the abuse that elephants endure while constantly traveling and performing in circuses, separated from their families and their natural environment, we are crying "foul."
We say that both rejections sound an awful lot like infringements on free speech, and we're not taking them lying down.
Keep checking back, and we'll be sure to let you know when Ella finds a home.
Written by Alisa Mullins
This New Yorker usually steers clear of Midtown, thanks to the crowds, the horse-drawn carriages, and Macy's.
But I'm willing to ride the jam-packed Q to Times Square because I'm excited to see PETA's eye-popping McCruelty posters, which features an illustrated eye of a chicken who's been scalded to death and have been plastered all over Midtown. These posters are a follow-up to last week's Chi-town light show and are meant to pressure McDonald's to implement new slaughterhouse technology that would eliminate the worst abuses of chickens killed for McNuggets.
If you're like me, you're wondering where our eye-catching ad will show up next. Maybe on a huge banner draped over the St. Louis Arch? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.
"Why?" That was the response I received each time I told someone that I was going to intern at PETA this summer. They were apprehensive that I would be thrust into a world of crazed, paint-throwing vegans, but I assured them that I'd be working for a great cause with passionate—and, yes, completely normal—individuals. So, ready to fight for animal rights, I hopped on a plane and was transported to a world of animals, exciting work, and great food. Here are a few highlights from my month-long stint as an intern:
My PETA internship was one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences an animal lover could have because, in the end, it's all about the animals. Oh, and the delicious vegan lunches that were served every day didn't hurt either!
Written by Sarah Hamshari
Sharp-eyed PETA intern Elijah spotted a couple of recent news stories that show (once again) how much we have in common with our primate cousins—monkeys, in this case.
First came word that cotton-top tamarin monkeys can "acquire an affixation rule that shares important properties with our inflectional morphology." Gotta love scientific jargon, huh? Put a bit more simply, they can recognize when a word doesn't have the suffix or prefix they expect to hear. So if you're striking up a conversation with a monkey, watch your language because you're not the only one who knows what "caging" and "killing" means.
Then we learned that rhesus monkeys use the same mechanism—"configural perception" (well, natch)—as humans do to recognize faces. Turns out that monkeys also experience the "Thatcher Effect," which, yes, is named after the former British prime minister. If you don't know what the Thatcher Effect is—I didn't—here's more about it. (If you don't know who Margaret Thatcher is, I can't help you.)
So let's see. Monkeys can recognize Margaret Thatcher upside down. They know prefixes and suffixes, can speak in sentences (and with accents), and can even do math. Heck, they have a stronger skill set than some people I've worked with—although not at PETA, of course. But they're definitely overqualified to be caged and tortured in laboratories at Columbia University or Covance. What really blows my mind is how experimenters can discover all of this and still torture and kill monkeys. Maybe we should be conducting tests on experimenters' empathy instead.
There's no doubt that Survivor alumni Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca know how to make the best of a tough situation. Not even the diagnosis of Ethan's cancer has been able to keep this couple down! When Ethan was diagnosed with CD20-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this year, he let the world know that he and longtime girlfriend Jenna would be tackling the illness head-on. As he told People magazine in May, "I'll take it on like a real game of Survivor. I'm not getting voted out of this one."
We are, of course, rooting hard for Ethan and Jenna—remember when they posed au naturel for our "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign? And we were elated to learn that one of the first steps they took toward battling Ethan's cancer was to switch immediately to a vegetarian diet.
We recently had the opportunity to ask Ethan and Jenna a few questions about the couple's switch to a vegetarian lifestyle, and as you can see from their answers, they couldn't be more pleased with their decision. More energy and the chance to help animals and the environment? As Jenna says, "You can't get any better than that, in my mind!"
What made you decide to go vegetarian?Jenna: When Ethan was diagnosed with cancer, we decided that we need to be careful about what we put in our bodies. So we went vegetarian together!
Have you ever considered going vegetarian in the past?Ethan: I was on a macrobiotic diet when I was younger and my father was ill. My entire family made the change to macro to help my father and the cancer he was battling. In addition, I was a vegetarian for 14 years before going on Survivor.
How did you make the transition? Was it gradual, or did you stop eating meat cold (faux) turkey?Jenna: We actually made the transition pretty quickly—just cutting out everything right away. Now, with so many great faux-meat products, it's not as hard as people think anymore to go vegetarian. For instance, in the grocery store are many great faux-meat options, like Gardenburger meatless buffalo chicken wings. Ethan was a huge fan of buffalo chicken wings, so these are a good replacement!
How do you feel since making the switch to a vegetarian diet—any different?Ethan: Yes! We feel like we have more energy and do not consume that many calories during the day.
Studies have shown that the meat industry is deadly to the environment—not only does it contribute to water pollution and deforestation, it's also the biggest contributor to greenhouse gasses and climate change. What do you think about going vegetarian as a way to help the environment?Jenna: I think that any way to help the environment is a bonus, and going vegetarian not only helps the environment but also helps animals too! You can't get any better than that, in my mind!
Written by Amanda Schinke
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.