Written by PETA
On Tuesday, the New York City Council passed two vital bills—one that bans the chaining of dogs for longer than three hours and another that nearly triples the licensing fees for unaltered animals. Both these measures will undoubtedly spare countless dogs and cats an enormous amount of suffering.Project Runway's Tim Gunn and comedian Joan Rivers had both championed the bills on PETA's behalf. In a strongly worded letter to the City Council, Rivers wrote, "I hope this Tethering Bill passes not just for the sake of the poor dogs tied up outside in the cold, but for the sake of the sons of b*****s who do this—because what I'd do to the creeps would be far worse than what any police officer would do!"Councilmember Christine C. Quinn expressed her support in less colorful terms. "Tethering an animal for an extended period of time is cruel and unusual," she said. "This bill will not only prevent this type of unnecessary cruelty, but also increase public safety for pedestrians throughout the City."The law makes New York City one of more than 100 localities throughout the U.S. that have restricted or banned chaining. You can help by working to get a chaining ban passed in your town.
We know that you love to talk about how much you love PETA (we love you too!), but if some jealous type ever responds, "Dude, PETA's soooo gay," don't get offended, 'cause it's totally true! Here are a half-dozen reasons why:
1. Cruelty is a drag. Long before the current flock of RuPaul wannabes ruled the airwaves, PETA enlisted drag divas—including Lady Bunny, Lypsinka, and Flotilla DeBarge—to shed some light (and throw some shade) on animal abuse.2. Give a gal a break. PETA has always been a lesbian haven—from Ellen DeGeneres to k.d. lang to Sara Gilbert—even before they come out!3. Can you make out our message? PETA's famous make-out tours have not only been girl-on-girl but also guy-on-guy, because all vegetarians make better lovers—no matter whom you love.4. Pride in our work. PETA's Oakland office is a fixture in San Francisco's legendary annual Pride Parade, but instead of tossing beads (which wouldn't go with what you're wearing, anyway), they toss literature about the benefits of a vegan diet.5. You can hear a name drop. With apologies to Logo, our famous friends include the crème de la crème of the real gay A-list. (Reichen and Rodiney? Girl, please.) Perez Hilton, Martina Navratilova, Lance Bass, and Tim Gunn are just a few of the celebs whose love—of justice for animals—dare speak its name.6. Closets are for clothes—as long as they're not made from fur, leather, or wool. The staffs of PETA and the PETA Foundation include plenty of out-and-proud LGBT folks, from yours truly to PETA's senior (but eternally young) V.P. of campaigns, Dan Mathews, who was named one of Out magazine's "Power 50" and whose exploits—including an attempt to turn leather men into pleather men—are detailed in his witty memoir, Committed.
Let's face it: Animals don't care whether people are GLBTQ or none of the above—they just need us to help them. To learn how, take a look at this.
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA pal Joan Rivers is using her unmistakable voice to support two important dog-related bills that are under consideration by the New York City Council. Today, Joan fired off a letter to City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, expressing her support for bills that would encourage New Yorkers to get lifesaving spay and neuter surgeries for their dogs and would protect dogs from being chained up like old bicycles for longer than three hours in any 12-hour period.Check out what Joan has to say about people who force their dogs to live outdoors in the cold!
Fur-free fashion guru Tim Gunn also sent a personal note to Speaker Quinn in favor of these bills, so support is building. If you live in the Big Apple, be sure to encourage your City Council member to vote in favor of these vital bills!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Although it made countless compassionate fans wrinkle their noses (and made Eminem remark that it stank, and made Ellen DeGeneres back away), Lady Gaga's dress made from slabs of animal flesh is likely to be a popular Halloween costume this year. So PETA has an animal-friendly idea for vegan fans who want to dress up like Gaga without making people gag-a. How about a faux-meat frock, made from cotton instead of chopped steak?
Grab some fabric paints and plain white fabric—a couple of old, oversized T-shirts or even a sheet will serve nicely. Shape your dress with scissors, safety pins, and twine, and paint it with a rainbow of rotting flesh colors—red, brown, and a dab of purple, here and there. Of course, you'll want to leave some white visible to represent the marbled fat. (Gag!) We found instructions and this video tutorial online.
Or how about fashioning a phony-bologna bikini or a Tofurky tunic? The most important accessory is a visible label to indicate that no animals suffered to make the outfit. Print out this ready-made sign to show that your costume is cruelty-free:
With a Tim Gunn–style "make it work" attitude, it should be a cinch for you to create a killer Halloween costume that no animals had to die for.
Send us photos of your creation, and we might feature it in an upcoming blog post!
Written by Karin Bennett
Project Runway's eighth season premieres tonight, and coincidentally I just heard about an opportunity to let judge Michael Kors know what we think of his designs—which include real fur. Kors tweeted that he will be answering questions from his fans in a Facebook video on August 4. Let's take him up on his offer and flood him with questions, such as "Did you know that animals are skinned alive for their fur?" and "With all the luxurious faux furs that are available, why do you continue to kill animals?" or maybe "Would you submit to a brain scan to see if your empathy neurons are underdeveloped?"
Perhaps your question will be the nudge that Kors needs to get him to follow the lead of Runway star and PETA's 2009 Man of the Year Tim Gunn. Tim narrated PETA's video exposing what animals endure for fashion, he ensures that Project Runway's challenges are never fur-related, and he has worked to make a fur-free zone out of Liz Claiborne, where he is chief creative officer.
Let's all urge Michael Kors to say "auf Wiedersehen" to fur! E-mail your questions to: email@example.com
It wasn't easy to choose two people out of the slew of celebrities who have taken action for animals this year—heck, just during the past two months, Joanna Krupa bared her true feelings about purebred pups, Ana Ortiz blasted McDonald's, and a blinding number of stars all agreed that protesting the Canadian seal slaughter fit their caring personalities to a T.
But we had to make a decision, so this year, PETA's Man of the Year is Tim Gunn and PETA's Woman of the Year is Ellen DeGeneres. I must say, we're over the moon about it!
Let's start with Ellen—ever since she and her wife, Portia De Rossi, decided to ditch all animal products in 2008, Ellen has made sure that her wildly popular talk show includes features to raise people's awareness of animal issues. She made vegan pizza with Chef Wolfgang Puck, spoke with Dr. Neal Barnard about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and just in time for Thanksgiving, "talked turkey" about the everyday abuse of animals on factory farms with Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals. Ellen also created pages on her Web site that feature insight, info, and tips about cruelty-free living. Visitors can find recipes, read about why Ellen went vegan, learn where to shop, and more.
Now on to Tim Gunn: The connoisseur of class, the guru of good taste, the titan of tact (I could go on all afternoon with these) narrated our video exposing skin-crawling atrocities suffered by animals who are slaughtered for their pelts, and the media have been buzzing ever since. Tim recently told the L.A. Times, "Wearing fur is like wearing a big sign reading, 'I'm in favor of inflicting cruelty and pain on animals as a fashion statement.' Unspeakable torture is inflicted on dogs, cats, bunnies, raccoons, foxes, minks, and myriad trapped, helpless creatures in the name of fashion—yes, dogs and cats."
And thanks to Tim, fur challenges are noticeably absent from Project Runway—and there's zero fur at Liz Claiborne, where he is chief creative officer.
So, to Ellen DeGeneres for her exuberant embrace of cruelty-free living and to Tim Gunn for his thoughtful and thought-provoking messages of compassion for animals, we at PETA are dancing in the halls. Thank you, thank you! And conga-rats!
I know we've got Project Runway fans out there, especially after the show's guru of good taste, Tim Gunn, appeared in PETA's anti-fur video.
If, like me, you watch the show obsessively caught last night's episode, you probably did cartwheels in the living room when one "Divorcee Dress Challenge" client, Stephanie, insisted that Nicolas use no wool, silk, leather, or fur in his transformation of her old wedding dress into an outfit she could enjoy as a single woman. I believe her exact words were that she wanted him to be certain "no animals have to suffer."
Now if only Stephanie's snarky designer had spent less time rolling his eyes and more time fashioning a knock-out design instead of ho hum separates, he might have won the challenge. Either way, Stephanie gets top marks for speaking up for animals.
Any other Project Runway fans out there? Yep, that's what I thought! I am just dying for them to announce the date for the new season. I mean, yeah, the clothes are awesome and the drama is entertaining, but I'll admit that the real reason I tune in is to see the true genius behind the show: Tim Gunn. Know what his next project is? Convincing Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani to forgo fur! Yes, that's right. America's best-known arbiter of good taste and style has just narrated PETA's new exposé of fur farms—including just-obtained footage of rabbit fur farms in China, where Karan and Armani both source their pelts. Check out the video here:
Because the designers have refused to meet with PETA to view the footage, Gunn has just sent it to them with a personal plea. Why is the fur flying over Chinese pelts in particular? The world's largest exporter of fur is now China—where foxes, rabbits, and cats and dogs are often skinned alive.
"Any designer in the fashion industry who does not want to watch the PETA video and see exactly what happens to animals and how they're treated and how the product that they use comes to the marketplace I believe is egregiously irresponsible," says Tim. "It is critically important that we all be educated about these matters and then make choices."
And it gets better: Tim also sat down with us for an exclusive Q&A!
There. I told you he's a genius! If anyone can make Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani "make it work" without using the skins of dead animals in their collections, he can. Carry on! (I just wanted to say that …)
Written by Lianne Turner
Word on the street is that fashion maven Tim Gunn is going to be introducing Dan Mathews at his New York booksigning for Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir tonight. If you live in NYC, I highly recommend making the trek to the Chelsea Barnes and Noble at 7 p.m., as any evening with Dan is bound to be, um, interesting to say the least, if this pic from one of his runway takeovers in Milan is anything to go by:
The other dates of Dan’s whirlwind tour are on his MySpace page. Dude has been on MySpace for, like, five months and he already has almost 700 friends, which makes me feel a bit lame, given that my friend list has barely progressed beyond Tom and Princess Cuteyface in three years. Maybe I need to get into the book game.
You know what was sweet? PETA's "Eat The Whales" Campaign. For those of you not familiar with it, the concept behind this campaign was to encourage people who just "can't do without meat" to limit themselves to really, really large animals in order to minimize the number who had to die for their flesh addiction. I always bring that point up when people say "I only eat white meat." As if eating more chickens were somehow better than eating a combination of chickens and cows.
"Eat The Whales" was launched outside the 2001 International Whaling Convention by PETA activists "distributing 'Eat the Whales' leaflets," as the press release puts it, "displaying a colorful 'Eat the Whales' banner, and serving 'whale meat' to nonvegetarians, pro- and anti-whalers alike," and it made (excuse the pun) a really big splash. I've always thought of "Eat The Whales" as one of the best things of its kind that PETA has done. The campaign immediately grabs your attention, because, well, why in God's name would PETA be encouraging people to eat whales? But it also raises some really important questions about the arbitrary lines we draw when it comes to what kind of killing is acceptable to us. Why do some of the same people who get up in arms at the notion of a whaling ship harpooning a whale have no qualms whatsoever about eating a ham sandwich?
I know this one is controversial, and I know that not all animal activists share my enthusiasm for it—but my attitude towards "Eat The Whales" has always been this: I can guarantee you that whether people took it seriously or not (the “whale meat” PETA handed out was vegan after all), there wasn't a single person who actually ate more whale because of the campaign. But a lot of people who were outraged at the very suggestion that anyone would kill and eat these wonderful creatures were also forced to ask themselves whether, just maybe, they shouldn't be eating any animals at all.
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.