Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
It must've been a terribly hard decision—whether to use 2.3 billion yen ($29 million) from Japan's tsunami reconstruction budget for, you know, tsunami reconstruction or to put it toward propping up the country's barbaric and widely condemned whale slaughter …. Well played flayed,
Written by PETA
A southern California seafood vendor accused of illegally importing whale meat and selling it to sushi restaurants may be saying "Sayonara!" to life on the outside. Ginichi Y. Ohira pleaded guilty to selling meat from whales killed near Japan and faces up to one year in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $100,000. Considering that he has allegedly been supporting the Japanese slaughter of whales for 10 years, we wouldn't mind seeing the court throw the book at Ohira when he is sentenced in September.
Ohira sold sei whale meat, illegal in the U.S. under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, to Los Angeles sushi restaurant The Hump, where the Oscar-winning filmmakers of the The Cove discovered it. They alerted the feds and got The Hump charged, and it subsequently shut down. Now it's Ohira's turn to face the music.
While it is illegal to eat whales in the States, these majestic animals—as well as dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life—are still snared as "bycatch" in fishing nets. You can help protect dolphins, whales, and other sea animals by opting for veggie sushi rolls, faux fish, and other ocean-friendly vegan options.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
In honor of William and Kate's wedding, PETA is sending the royal couple "something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue."
We chose some favorite movies and a book that each have an important message about compassion for animals. For "something old," we've chosen three classics: Disney's family anti-fur film 101 Dalmatians; Bambi, with its anti-hunting message; and the classic about the suffering of horses, Black Beauty. For "something new," we're sending the dolphin-hunting industry exposé The Cove.
We're letting the couple indefinitely "borrow" from PETA's library a signed first-edition copy of the seminal animal rights book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer.
Finally, we included two films that may make William and Kate "blue," but that have touched the hearts of countless viewers and inspired them to make simple changes in their lives that have a big impact on animals. They are PETA's slaughterhouse exposé Glass Walls, narrated by Sir Paul McCartney, and the documentary I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA.
We hope the couple finds these gifts illuminating, inspiring, and even challenging—much as marriage can be.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Our lunch with Internet Soup has as many neat animals as Lunch With Soupy Sales, but nobody gets a pie in the face. We think he would still enjoy it anyway.
The Cove opened eyes and filled them with tears. Tonight, the sad saga continues with Blood Dolphins—a three-part miniseries based on the Oscar-winning documentary's exposé of Japan's gruesome dolphin trade and slaughter.
Blood Dolphins premieres tonight at 11 p.m. Eastern time on Animal Planet.
Also, if you haven't seen The Cove yet Animal Planet will be airing it this Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Please tell everyone you know to tune in to both. The official "killing season" will begin September 1 in Taiji, Japan ("The Cove"). Together we can change the tide. Please contact your local Japanese embassy and demand that Japan stop this bloody business.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
For everyone who voted for Olivia Wilde, the female winner of PETA's 2010 Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest, the sizzling actor has some words of thanks:
Right back at 'cha, Olivia. Welcome to the Sexy Veg family.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Has Entourage star Jerry Ferrara gone vegetarian? He's definitely slimmer and trimmer after trading in "burgers and fries for tofu and organic fruits and veggies."
To ensure a definitive "yes" to that question—so that we can add him to the list of contenders in next year's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest—we're sending Jerry a copy of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit as well as a copy of Chef Tal Ronnen's bestseller The Conscious Cook. Here's hoping that the info about death-defying, sexifying cuisine will help everyone's favorite Turtle ditch the drama and make a commitment to a cruelty-free diet.
Written by Karin Bennett
Court proceedings are underway that will decide the fate of dozens of animals who were recently seized from a Chattanooga pet store after an employee, Ashley Knight, went to officials at McKamey Animal Center to allege ongoing abuse and neglect at the store. Knight has testified that store manager Brandy Hallman threw a live hamster into a garbage compactor after the animal fought with a cagemate.
When shelter officials visited the store along with a representative of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, they reportedly seized the animals after apparently discovering that many of them were suffering from disease, heat, and lack of water, leaving them dehydrated and stressed. McKamey director Karen Walsh testified that they found one miserable dog in the store's poorly ventilated isolation area for sick animals standing in a cage that was filled with "voluminous diarrhea."
We'll continue to follow this trial closely, and we hope that you'll join us not only in wishing for justice to be served in this case but also in helping to prevent other animals from enduring such miseries by never, ever shopping at pet stores.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Once again, the PETA Files goes to the movies. First up: Vegans are hitting the big time on big screens across America, courtesy of Rob Schneider's vegan character in last week's box-office hit, Grown Ups. Sure, the movie made fun of vegans, but it made fun of everything—besides, we at PETA have a good sense of humor.
This week, we're curious to see whether Aang, the hero of The Last Airbender, will share his vegetarian views as he did in the beloved Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender. He should, of course, considering that it's in keeping with his steadfast Buddhist and Taoist beliefs—but the film is tied in with a massive McDonald's promotion featuring Airbender commercials and action figures. Go figure. Are Airbender producers and McCruelty execs banking on the hope that audiences won't notice—or care—that a corporation that refuses to make even minimal improvements to reduce its cruel treatment of billions of animals is pushing figurines of a passionate animal defender?
We're going to go ahead and cry fowl on this partnership—and then ask: Will you speak up for chickens?
The following is a Canada Day guest post from Bill Maher, the genius behind Politically Incorrect and HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher. Maher offered his wit for an op-ed, originally posted in today's Daily News, in a humorous protest against a deadly serious issue: Canada's annual slaughter of tens of thousands of seals—the largest massacre of marine mammals in the world.
Here's some good news from my friends at PETA, just in time for Canada Day on July 1: Canada's annual commercial seal slaughter is over—at least for this year—and more than 80 percent of the seals who had been marked for death were spared because hardly anyone wants to wear baby-seal fur anymore. But Canada won't cancel the massacre outright. Why?
There are a lot of things to admire about our neighbor to the north, but the country's strange seal phobia is not one of them. Canada is terrified of seals. Baby seals, in particular. I know, it doesn't make any sense to me either.
Canada's seal "hunt"—which happens every November to June off Canada's East Coast—is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, leaving tens of thousands of animals dead every year. And let's be clear: The Canadian government may call it a "hunt," but impaling baby seals in the jaw with hooks, dragging them across the ice, and throwing them into a pile where they choke on their own blood before being skinned isn't a sport—it's a massacre. The video of it is like a starter snuff film designed for serial killers.
Opposition around the world is growing. Last year, the U.S. Senate—a group of people who usually can't agree that the sky is blue—unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate end to the annual slaughter. But the Canadian government just keeps putting its fingers in its ears and singing "la, la, la" so that it won't hear anything it doesn't like. Or, if it does hear, it responds with all the subtlety and sophistication of a fistfight in the men's room at a monster-truck rally.
The European Union, for example, recently passed a ban on seal products. So after stomping its feet and jutting out its lower lips for a while, Canada threatened to go tell mom that it's being picked on. Sorry, did I say "mom"? I meant the World Trade Organization. And as if that weren't tone-deaf enough, in response to the EU's ban, Canada's parliament also pushed—unsuccessfully—to incorporate seal skins into the uniforms of the Canadian Olympic team in a desperate attempt to legitimize the seal slaughter.
When Russia announced a ban on the killing of baby harp seals in that country, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called the seal slaughter a "bloody industry that should have been banned long ago." Shortly thereafter, Canada's Governor General Michaëlle Jean cut open a seal and chowed down on the animal's raw heart, burbling inanely, "It's like sushi." I'm not making that up.
Note to Canada: When your officials are making Vladimir Putin look like the voice of reason and the U.S. Senate appears to be a model of civility, you're doing something wrong.
Let's clear up a couple of myths perpetrated by the Canadian government in defense of the "hunt." The sealing industry is not a subsistence trade for native peoples. The Inuit—most of whom live in the Arctic, far away from the main seal-killing regions of Newfoundland and Labrador—are responsible for only about 3 percent of the annual seal kill.
Nor is the slaughter important to the Canadian economy. In Newfoundland, where the majority of sealers live, revenues from sealing account for just about 1 percent of the province's economy. But even if it were more, that's still no excuse for clubbing babies.
You'd think that officials would have gotten the message that it's time to stop the slaughter when many sealers sat out this year's massacre in the face of plunging demand and record-low ice levels. Incredibly, Fisheries Minister Gail Shea instead increased the killing quotas.
In fact, Canada is spending millions of dollars—and despite what you may have heard, Canadian dollars are real money—on desperate efforts to prop up the dying commercial seal slaughter, including rushing Shea to China to try to peddle seal pelts there and posting a $75,000 contract for a "Social Media Reputation and Online Issues Management" advisor to track seal chatter on the Web.
Not long ago, Canada launched a "Keep Exploring" ad campaign to attract tourists. Vacationers may find it hard to have a really good time with all that shooting and beating going on in the background.
Reacting to the tourism campaign, PETA is pushing back with its own campaign, called, "Explore Elsewhere," encouraging people to leave Canada out of their travel plans until the seal massacre is stopped for good. I've never really been one to call for boycotting an entire country, but in the face of such heartless ineptitude, maybe it's worth considering.
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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.