Written by PETA
… and you can win it!
Our favorite hockey player is at it again. This time, Georges Laraque of the Montréal Canadiens is joining the many other athletes who have stepped up to show how going vegan doesn't just do a body good—it does a body great.
Just in time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving, Georges is releasing his brand-new vegan ad, in which he highlights the many reasons to say "Non!" to turkey.
Georges also sat down for an exclusive Q&A with PETA in which he reveals that it was a movie that first convinced him to go vegan:
To celebrate his brand-new vegan testimonial, Georges has donated a signed hockey puck and a glossy photo—which are now up for grabs.
How do you win? Just leave a comment below telling us who your favorite vegetarian or vegan athlete is and why. The most fan-crazed comment will take home the prize.
Written by Amanda Schinke
*That's how the French-speaking Québecois might say, "May the best one win," mes amis.
If you've stopped by your local drug store lately, I bet you've noticed all the Christmas cards and candy starting to make their way onto the shelves. It's only October, but apparently, Christmas is just around the corner. Personally, I think we should get past Halloween and Thanksgiving before pulling out the lights and ornaments, but maybe I just don't think far enough in advance.
For those of you who are ready to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping, we have another clothing outlet you can add to your online shopping list. Women's fashion retailer Boston Proper has announced that it has immediately stopped buying fur and will be completely fur-free as of January 1, 2010!
After receiving complaints from concerned PETA members and supporters who were outraged that Boston Proper was selling fur in its catalogs and online, we immediately contacted the company and urged it to go fur-free. Boston Proper listened to our concerns about the cruelty that animals on fur farms endure, including being bludgeoned, beaten, and then skinned alive.
Boston Proper has joined forward-thinking clothing retailers like Urban Outfitters, Zappos, Juicy Couture, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, Forever 21, and dozens of other companies and designers in no longer supporting fur-industry cruelty.
I hope that you'll take a moment to contact Boston Proper and thank the company for its compassionate decision to go fur-free and maybe stay to browse the Web site for that perfect holiday sweater.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your Tofurky was excellent—I know mine was. Since it's a holiday and all, we've got a little something for you. Check out our fantastic Thanksgiving e-card below, and enjoy the rest of your day. (And don't forget … tomorrow is Fur-Free Friday!)
Written by Christine Doré
In this letter dispatched to the real President Bush, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk asks him to send this year's "pardoned" turkeys to a proper Washington, D.C.–area sanctuary rather than to a theme park or working farm, where pardoned turkeys are traditionally sent and where they usually die from their painful genetic defects within the first year—or even within days of arrival.
You've probably guessed that pardoned turkeys aren't as "blessed" as this tradition hints at. Like all factory-farmed turkeys, the birds are pumped full of drugs and bred to grow so large so fast that their little legs aren't able to support their massive, unnatural size. As a result, the birds suffer crippling injuries and painful deformities—serious and sometimes fatal conditions that theme parks and working farms don't handle appropriately. Footage released earlier this month from an undercover investigation at a turkey factory farm in West Virginia shows the tremendous stress put on these birds' bodies and the pure hell these animals are put through.
So, President Bush, please give these birds a fighting chance rather than a sad show for the nation, and in return, we'll send you and your family a delicious cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal including Tofurky, meat-free stuffing, and all-American vegan apple pie with vanilla soy ice cream. Oh, and as a bonus, we'll try to forget some of your pronunciation slips and speech mishaps through the years. After all, Thanksgiving is about forgiveness and giving thanks.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Those poor folks in the airline industry have been hit from all sides in recent years, from heightened security after 9/11 to ever-higher fuel prices. Now, there's more bad news for airlines from our neighbours to the north (for the geographically-challenged, that would be Canada—and did you notice how I spelled "neighbours" with a "u," like proud veggie Bryan Adams and other Canucks do?). The Canadian Supreme Court has just ruled that airlines have to provide an extra seat—free of charge—to morbidly obese passengers.
While the airlines may see this as a blow to their bottom lines, we hope they'll think of it as an opportunity instead. To wit: Bring back the veggie meals! And not just as an option, but for all passengers.
You see, adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. So by putting veggie food on those seatback trays, the airlines can help keep their frequent flyers slim and healthy—and free up more seats for paying customers, as we suggested to the powers that be. You can see our full letter to Air Canada here.
Of course, even if you're not traveling by air this holiday season, it's good to know that there's a way to keep from carrying extra pounds into the new year. To learn more, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey
In honor of Thanksgiving, we want to share with you one of the things that we're really, really thankful for: Awesome activists doing awesome demos!
Take this recent demo in Albuquerque, where a pair of PETA "turkeys" handed out succulent soy-based Tofurky roasts to lucky passersby. The demo was part of the traveling twosome's multicity "Turkey Drive": To avoid ending up as someone's Thanksgiving dinner, the two feathered fugitives were breaking for the border "Thelma and Louise"–style in a red convertible with a sign reading, "Mexico or Bust!" Their goal? To persuade as many people as possible to give up the giblets today in favor of a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast. And by the enthusiastic response they got from the press and passing peeps in New Mexico (every single person interviewed by the Fox News reporter said that they were already vegetarian or didn't eat turkey!), it's a safe bet that there's a lot of Tofurky being gobbled down in Albuquerque today. Which makes this plucky pair very, very happy.
While we're on the subject of "Turkey Drives," check out this banner that activists hung in Orlando to convince travelers to give birds a break.
Turkeys aren't the only animals who need a helping hand this holiday season. Recently, a herd of "ele-friends" got together to protest the death of Mac, a 2-year-old elephant born at the Houston Zoo.
Animals in circuses have nothing to be thankful for either.
In the words of one cyclist who happened upon our Albuquerque Turkey Drive, "Tofurky? Hell Yeah!" Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Did Sarah Palin's recent interview in front of a turkey-slaughter operation almost cause you to lose your lunch? If so, you're not alone. Even conservative pundit Joe Scarborough says he may well skip the bird this year. With Thanksgiving upon us, here without further ado are PETA's top 10 reasons to pardon a turkey this holiday season:
10. If you wouldn't eat your cat, you shouldn't eat a turkey. As poultry scientist Tom Savage says, "I've always viewed turkeys as smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings. The 'dumb' tag simply doesn't fit." They're as interesting and have personalities every bit as developed as those of any dog or cat.
When they're not forced to live on filthy factory farms, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dust baths, preening themselves, and roosting high in trees. These social, playful birds relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes.
9. Factory farms deny turkeys everything that is natural and important to them. Ben Franklin called turkeys "true American originals." He had tremendous respect for their resourcefulness, agility, and beauty. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour, run 25 miles an hour, and live up to four years. Yet turkeys raised for food are killed when they are only 5 or 6 months old. During their short lives, they will be denied even the simplest pleasures, such as running, building nests, and raising their young.
8. Turkey consumption might kill you. Turkey flesh is brimming with fat and cholesterol. Just one homemade patty of ground, cooked turkey meat contains a whopping 244 mg of cholesterol, and half of its calories come from fat. Turkey flesh is also frequently tainted with salmonella, campylobacter bacteria, and other contaminants. And a vegan meal won't leave you sprawled on the couch, belt buckle undone, barely able to move.
7. You may stave off bird flu apocalypse. Current factory-farm conditions are breeding grounds for disease. Turkeys are drugged and bred to grow so quickly that many become crippled and die from dehydration. Cooking meat should kill the bird flu virus, but it can be left behind on cutting boards and utensils and spread through something else you're eating.
6. Don't support their crack habit. Dosing turkeys with antibiotics to stimulate their growth and to keep them alive in filthy, disease-ridden conditions that would otherwise kill them poses even more risks for people who eat them. Leading health organizations—including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association—have warned that the factory farming industry is possibly creating long-term risks to human health through the spread of antibiotic-resistant supergerms. That's why the use of drugs to promote growth in animals used for food has been banned for many years in Europe.
5. There are healthy, humane alternatives. Everyone can give thanks for animal-friendly holiday meals such as Tofurky, Celebration Roast, and Garden Protein's new Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing. PETA's scrumptious holiday recipes will please every palate and make it easier to give up the giblets.
4. Eating birds supports cruelty to animals.When the time comes for slaughter, turkeys are thrown into transport trucks. At the slaughterhouse, they are hung upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified "stunning tank," which immobilizes them but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and are still conscious when their throats are cut. If the knife fails to properly cut the birds' throats, the birds are scalded to death in the defeathering tanks.
3. Turkey consumption is bad for the environment.Turkeys and other animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population—all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. There are no federal guidelines to regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year.
2. Turkey farming contributes to human starvation. Turkeys have to be fed grains, soy, oats, and corn that could otherwise be fed to human beings. Only a fraction of the calories fed to a turkey are turned into meat calories. While there is ample and justified moral indignation about the diversion of 100 million tons of grain for biofuels, more than seven times as much (760 million tons) is fed to farmed animals so that people can eat meat. Is the diversion of crops to our cars a moral issue? Yes, but it's about one-eighth the issue that meat-eating is.
And the number one reason to give the birds a break:
1. Factory-farmed turkeys have nothing to be thankful for.On factory farms, turkeys live for months in sheds where they are packed so tightly that flapping a wing or stretching a leg is nearly impossible. They stand mired in waste; urine and ammonia fumes burn their eyes and lungs. To keep the birds from killing one another in these crowded conditions, parts of the turkeys' toes and beaks are cut off, as are the males' snoods (the flap of skin under the chin). All this is done without any pain relievers.
A PETA investigator recently went undercover at a massive turkey-breeding facility in West Virginia and documented workers stomping on turkeys, punching them, beating them with pipes and boards, and twisting their necks repeatedly. One worker even bragged about shoving a broomstick down a turkey's throat because the bird had pecked at him. Our previous investigations show that such gratuitous abuse is the norm on turkey farms.
Check out VegCooking.com for tasty alternatives that will allow the turkeys to give thanks this Holiday season along with you and your family.
Written by Bruce Friedrich
The moose-hunting, fur-wearing, pro-aerial-wolf-gunning governor is in the news again. On Thursday, Sarah Palin visited a turkey farm in Wasilla for the traditional pre-Thanksgiving turkey "pardoning." Now, most people probably don't think about exactly how the turkeys raised for Thanksgiving dinner every year meet their maker. But not to worry. Sarah has that under control. In this video, while responding to a reporter who asks about her post-election plans, Palin talks about how she wants to "promote a local business" and do something that won't "invite criticism." While turkeys are being slaughtered. Behind her. ON CAMERA.
Was that one of those "gotcha" questions, Sarah? Because it seems to me that showing the bloody reality of slaughter is just about the worst thing you could do to promote this business. Some people just won't want to eat turkey after watching—especially when this happened the day after PETA released new undercover video from the world's leading poultry-breeding facility. In that video, workers stomp on turkeys' heads, punch them, and bang their heads against metal scaffolding.
This is a country of people who love animals—in fact, numerous polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that farmed animals deserve protection from abuse. The more that people are confronted with the ways that animals who are raised for food suffer—from the moment they're born until the moment they're killed—the more that people will start thinking about giving vegetarian meals a try. And then the factory farming industry will need a bigger bailout than the "Big Three."
Written by Dan Shannon
P.S.—Sarah Palin should take a cue from our own "President Bush," whose turkey-pardoning this year really was a "mission accomplished."
We have a bit of a history with Donna Karan. This might surprise you (OK, so it won't), but we don't like it when people tell us they're going to stop using fur and then go back on their word. That's why we like to visit Donna—at her apartment, at her fashion shows, and even on her runways. Eventually, we figure, she'll stick to her multiple promises to stop using fur—especially if consumers boycott her designs.
And that, my friends, is why you might see our posters around Donna's office and apartment in Manhattan. The posters show a woman's foot pressing on a rabbit's neck beside the tagline "Where Does Donna Karan Stand on Fur?" You can check out photos below—we hope they'll convince even more people to boycott Donna Karan, bunny butcher, until she sticks to her promise and dumps the fur once and for all.
It's a chilly South Dakota afternoon. You and a friend are scheduled to help save turkeys from a horrible fate at the latest head-turning PETA demo, but your sexy pilgrim costumes have yet to arrive. How do you resolve this nail-biter? Do you (A) go home and have vegan hazelnut hot cocoa? (A cop-out, yes, but oh-so-scrumptious.) Or (B) take matters into your own hands and get all fashionista on it?
Well our down-for-the-count campaigners were certainly not to be put off by some teeny trifle like not having any supplies for their demo. Pshaw! Thinking fast and on their stilettoed feet, they trotted off to the nearest Target and whipped up these stylish numbers.
Impressive, n'est pas?
By the time the original costumes showed up, the turkey-defending tour-de-force was already in full swing! And, as you can see, suited up in their proper gear, our resilient campaigners are keeping it going.
So bonnets off to you pilgrim beauties. You've defended turkeys with your craftiness rain or shine—and all the while in heels! You can also see the pilgrims in action here.
Written by Missy Lane
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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.