Written by PETA
A 75-year-old woman who is a "caretaker" at Chief Saunooke Bear Park (one of the concrete bear pits in Cherokee, North Carolina) was bitten by a bear earlier this week. The bear grabbed her coat through the cage as she and her son, who owns the facility, were giving the animals water. She suffered a serious injury to her arm and lacerations near her mouth and hairline.
Neurotic and hungry, the bears who are imprisoned in the Cherokee pits exhibit unnatural behavior such as pacing and begging as a means of coping with life inside a concrete pit. In this dismal environment, they are unable to forage for food, explore their surroundings, create dens, or receive any of the necessary stimulation and enrichment that bears in captivity require.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating the recent attack, and we've asked the agency to revoke the facility's license, but we won't rest until we see these bears retired to sanctuaries. Luckily, we've got some compassionate star power behind us. Bob Barker, friend to animals and proud descendent of Native Americans, has worked tirelessly to shut down the hideous bear pits—from meeting with the Tribal Council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to advocating for the bears' freedom in the blogosphere. Help Bob Barker end the suffering by urging the USDA to close Chief Saunooke's cruel bear prison immediately.
Written by Logan Scherer
In preparation for tonight's American premiere of the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, this morning's Today Show featured a segment on the horrors behind the rampant breeding of purebreds.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Sylvia, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, suffers from syringomyelia—a condition in which the dog's brain is too big for the skull, resulting in a nonstop, crippling headache that's been deemed by humans who endure it the worst kind of pain imaginable. And she's not alone—after years of inbreeding, at least one-third of all King Charles spaniels suffer from syringomyelia and other incurable genetic deformities, a common problem among purebred dogs.
Breeders around the globe are guilty of spreading these deadly defects, contributing to what Dr. James Serpell, associate professor of humane ethics and animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania, deems "institutionalized animal cruelty," and they—along with the individuals who continue to buy purebred companion animals instead of adopting from animal shelters—are at fault for the animal overpopulation crisis and the deaths of millions of homeless animals each year.
Don't miss the sure-to-be-heart-wrenching Pedigree Dogs Exposed tonight on BBC America.
H&M is an industry leader in all things stylish and cruelty-free—which is why we were thrilled to announce that, because of its recent decision to implement a permanent policy against selling any exotic skins, including those of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, lizards, ostriches, and other animals, H&M is the recipient of our Company of the Year Proggy Award. H&M's announcement to no longer sell exotic skins came after we sent a copy of our new exposé to the universally loved retailer. (Seriously, H&M is like apparel candy: affordable and deliciously fashionable, and I don't know anyone who doesn't love them.)
Many animals who are stripped of their skin for fashion are skinned alive and then tossed onto a pile where they writhe in pain until they succumb to shock or dehydration. Some animals live in agony for up to four days after they lose their flesh. H&M's new policy sends the message that kindness is always chic. Follow this company's lead: Take our pledge and declare that the only skin you'll ever wear is your own.
Written by Logan Scherer
Every day, PETA receives reports from across the country detailing hideous acts of cruelty to animals for which law enforcement officials have no leads. Very often, PETA will offer a reward for information leading to an arrest, knowing that witnesses who might otherwise never come forward could be enticed to offer information.
PETA recently rewarded a tipster who offered information about a case of cruelty to animals that occurred last fall in Dillon, South Carolina. Brace yourself for the details: While Teofilo Falaniko was ransacking Bonnie Bowens' home, he forced her dog, Penny, into the oven and turned it on. To ensure that Penny's frantic pawing at the oven door didn't allow her to escape, Falaniko propped a chair against the door. When the elderly woman arrived home later that day, she and police discovered that her beloved dog was dead in the oven.
Because our tipster came forward and reported hearing Falaniko bragging about his heinous crime, Falaniko was arrested and charged. He was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison on burglary and cruelty-to-animals charges. Would Falaniko have been caught without the tipster's information? Who knows? But I get chills when I consider how many more victims—four-legged and two-legged—this violent criminal might have gone on to attack had he not been convicted of Penny's cruel killing.
Written by Karin Bennett
Think back to 1998, when Titanic spoofs were still topical and The Simpsons was only in its 10th season. Remember the Simpsons episode in which Homer discovers that Springfield's milk is supplied by a mafia-run underground rat-milking operation? Yeah, it was pretty nasty.
Fast-forward to 2009: Pharming, a Netherlands-based biotech firm, seems to be using The Simpsons as misguided inspiration for pharmaceutical development. Pharming has been running its own rabbit-milking operation for years. And now, with the recent announcement that Pharming has extracted a protein from rabbit milk for use in an experimental drug, Dutch farmers are prepared to start milking rabbits on a large scale.
This news may seem like it's from an alternate cartoon universe, but animal-exploiting companies like Pharming are constantly finding new ways to abuse female animals and their reproductive systems, sentencing millions of animals to confinement, misery, and death in the process. These profit-hungry businesses are willing to do anything to animals for money—no matter how much suffering it causes. Many people know that dairy farms forcibly impregnate cows over and over and rip their babies from them a day after they're born so that humans can drink their mothers' milk and the male calves can be sold for veal. Less attention is paid to the biotech companies that milk mice in order to extract a protein for human baby formula or genetically engineer goats to produce spider silk in their milk for use in parachute cords and bulletproof vests.
The easiest, fastest way to save lives is simply not to support companies that profit from cruelty to animals. Go vegan and shun any products that were tested on animals or that contain any animal ingredients. Remember that there is always a humane alternative.
Ooh, what have we here—a sss-exy photo shoot for a fashion magazine?
Actually, these lovely "lizards" were part of PETA's wildly successful protest against killing snakes, lizards, and other exotic animals for their skins. Swarms of onlookers and media in Prague soaked up our compassionate message.
Our thanks go out to our ravishing reptiles, the body painter who donated his time to painstakingly apply their "costumes," and other caring people who handed out leaflets to ongawkers.
Written by Karin Bennett
The filmmakers behind The Cove showed that taking brave action for animals can make a difference. The highly acclaimed documentary—about a group of extraordinary people who aim to shine a light on Japan's dark dolphin trade and slaughter—was just released on DVD and is the prize for this week's "Win It" Wednesday.
Acts of compassion and courage are everyday events. At this very moment, people everywhere are sticking up for animals. Someone is confronting a neighbor about a lonely dog tied in the backyard. Another person is finally telling her beloved aunt how she truly feels about that fur coat. A high school student is telling his biology teacher that he won't dissect a frog—no way, no how.
Now is your time to shine. Describe a courageous action that you took in behalf of animals. We've got three copies of The Cove to award the people who offer the most heartfelt responses. I have a feeling that the animals will win too—there's no doubt that people who read the entries will be inspired to take action.
Here's an upside to the economic downturn: The Iditarod—the famous dogsled race for which dogs are tormented and killed every year—has reported a $1 million loss in funding, which will result in a $100,000 cut in prize money for the 2010 race. We're hoping that the decrease in possible winnings will encourage prospective dog abusers mushers not to compete and to look into more humane racing options that don't require them to run dogs to death.
Last year, at least eight dogs died during the Iditarod, succumbing to freezing, exhausting conditions. With its depleted endowment, it looks like the Iditarod may be on the road to dissolution—help continue the Iditarod's downward spiral by urging this year's sponsors to stop funding the cruel event.
The elements were against our sexy bunnies, who were set to bare it all yesterday in Edmonton, Canada, where it was minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit. But our brave ladies defied meteorological logic and made it happen, spreading the message that only animals should wear fur:
Titillated by our bunnies, the Twitterverse was abuzz, tweeting (and retweeting) up-to-the-minute coverage. With the Twittersphere this excited about us, we might need a re-retweet button.
I'm going to be frank—after a minute and a half of GAIA's latest undercover video footage from a halal slaughterhouse in Belgium, I had to stop watching. But while I was able to hit a pause button, the more than 250,000 cows, sheep, and goats who are slaughtered while they are still conscious must endure prolonged torment. Animals killed halal (according to Islamic law) cannot be stunned before their throats are cut, which means that many animals—including the cow shown in this video—fight and gasp for their last breath, struggling to stand while the blood drains from their necks.
Belgium forbids slaughter without prior stunning, but the law does not apply to ritual slaughter practices, even though much of the halal meat produced in the country is distributed both to religious and nonreligious markets. Islamic teachings encourage kindness and compassion toward all creatures, which is why many Muslims make the humane decision to go vegan. Visit IslamicConcern.com to learn more about cruelty-free alternatives to halal meat.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.