Written by PETA
Last night's Unwrapped, which featured Sweet & Sara's vegan s'mores, had me thinking that HD stood for highly delicious. Unlucky for me, I was stuck with unfulfilled temptation—the treats in prime viewing range, but nowhere near me to be eaten. Lucky for you, the lure of vegan marshmallows on Food Network last night has resulted in today's "Win It" Wednesday prize—these Sweet and Sara heart-shaped, chocolate-dipped, cruelty-free marshmallows:
To win these confectionary hearts, tell us how you'll celebrate Valentine's Day with the animals in your life. The three readers with the holiday plans that warm us the most will each get three of these giant, hand-dipped marshmallows. If you can't wait for us to announce the winners, hurry over to Sweet & Sara's Web site—right now, you can get a 20 percent discount by entering FN20, the Food Network Code, at checkout.
Written by Logan Scherer
I didn't hesitate for a second to jump from 12,500 feet or touch clouds over Kauai—but I'm pretty certain it would take a lot of convincing to get me to strip in front of a camera.
So I say "Hats (and skirt, blouse, and stay-ups) off!" to L.A.-based actor Marissa Lewis for her rousing delivery of PETA's annual State of the Union Undress. Not only was the curvy cutie willing to bare her body for animals, she took time to sit down and share her thoughts and feelings about animal rights—and why she didn't hesitate to take it all off for this project.
What made you decide to take it all off for PETA's State of the Union Undress? When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a veterinarian when I grew up. As I got older, I decided to choose a different career path. I have always had a strong love for animals, and I believe that your mind, body, and soul is a supernatural inheritance from God, and how you use it is your choice! It's up to us as individuals to make a difference.
A vegetarian diet looks great on you! What inspired you to go vegetarian, and how has it changed your life?My love for animals inspired me to go vegetarian. PETA's informative videos are very eye-opening—seeing all the cruelty that is imposed upon animals turned me vegetarian instantly. Since I stopped eating meat, I have felt lighter and leaner.
What is one major victory for animals that you'd like to see happen in 2010?I would love to see a law passed saying that no animal could be caged or chained.
While talking about her naked PETA ad, Eva Mendes recently said, "My mom cringed when she saw me naked." Does your mom know about this video? What does she think?When I told my parents about the video, they were pretty excited. They are very supportive of me and my choices. My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me, her doctor placed her on a vegetarian diet. She could not keep meat down at all. :) That was something that I never knew until I shared my choice with my parents. :)
You're an actor in L.A., so—besides this PETA video—what else can your newfound fans see you in?Follow me at Twitter.com/MarissaForPETA. :)
OK, I know that there are a lot of readers out there wondering this: Are you single?I'm definitely not ruling out the idea of a boyfriend, but right now I'm focused on God, myself, and my career.
Besides being vegetarian and willing to strip for the cause, is there anything else that you do to stay active for animals?I actively post and tweet PETA links at Twitter.com/MarissaForPETA, I suggest animals rights books to friends, I place animal rights stickers on each envelope I mail out, and I refuse to wear fur! In the future, I plan on getting the message out to local, national, and international media and to as many people as I possibly can in the hope that I can make a difference. I also want to mention that I adore my kitty Simba. She means everything to me—I love to pamper my beautiful lioness (meeeoww). :)
Now I'd like to ask you: Which of PETA's naked demos or events would you jump to join in on?
Written by Karin Bennett
Everyone who has seen Jackie Chan's latest action-comedy, The Spy Next Door, should recognize the adorable face in our newest Q&A video. Six-year-old Alina Foley plays Nora, the youngest of the three kids whom CIA superspy Bob (played by Chan) looks after while his girlfriend/next-door neighbor is out of town. For those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, I shall say no more. However, Alina is quite the scene-stealer.
When we found out that this spunky young actor was vegetarian, we couldn't wait to sit down with her. Alina didn't hesitate to let us know why she chose to give up meat and how other kids can work to get vegetarian lunch options offered in their school cafeterias. She also spilled about her two dogs, Bella and Jasmine. Too cute! Young people who take action always tug at my heartstrings—how about yours?
Written by Shawna Flavell
1/26 Update: You can call me soothsayer. Avatar has sunk Titanic and is now the highest-grossing movie of all time!
Confession: While I was watching Avatar, I found myself mumbling, "I want to go to there," as I grabbed at the three-dimensional floating mountains in front of me. But the best films are those that entertain while also sparking important conversations, and Avatar is certainly one of those films. Through a mastery of CGI and an unparalleled script, Cameron beautifully shows that all nature is interconnected and that all beings—no matter their species or race—deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity.
For making a film with an overarching message of decency, understanding, and compassion—as well as breathtakingly beautiful CGI that heralds a new era in filmmaking (one that we hope marks the coming end of the use of live animals in entertainment)—we have awarded James Cameron our 2010 Proggy Award for Outstanding Feature Film.
Avatar has already become the second-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide (the number one blockbuster of all time is Titanic), truly making Cameron the "King of the World." My prediction: Cameron will beat his own global box-office record with Avatar (and pick up an Oscar or 10 on the way) long before I'm done learning to speak Na'vi.
Nothing ruins a road trip more than seeing an 18-wheeler driving down the highway crammed tight with animals destined for slaughter. From state to state, regardless of weather, animals are carted from factory farms and feedlots—where they suffer short, miserable lives—to slaughterhouses, where their throats are cut or they are scalded alive in baths of hot water. In transit, they are forced to face the blazing summer heat or freezing winter winds while being deprived of food, water, or rest—and sometimes they become the victims of highway accidents.
Today, we're thrilled to report that at PETA's request, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has instructed its 8,000 inspectors in procedures to help enforce the 28-Hour Law—a federal statute requiring that cows, pigs, and other farmed animals be fed, watered, and allowed to rest after 28 hours on the road. As a result of this regulatory nudge, transport conditions will improve for the estimated 50 million farmed animals who are annually transported for long distances and denied their basic necessities.
The FSIS's notice to its inspectors helps address the deplorable treatment of animals in transit from factory farms to slaughterhouses. A former pig transporter told PETA that pigs are "packed in so tight, their guts actually pop out their butts—a little softball of guts actually comes out." In hot weather, many cows who are on their way to slaughter collapse in the heat, and in the cold, cows sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars. Like cows and pigs, chickens are usually given no food or water and are shipped through all weather conditions. People who spot chicken-transport trucks on the highway frequently report seeing the heads of dead and dying chickens protruding from the crates.
We applaud FSIS for informing its inspectors of how they can report suspected violations of the 28-Hour Law for investigation. Of course, the only true way to prevent the suffering of animals used for food is to go vegan, but with these landmark actions, what was once a nightmarish and often fatal trip will hopefully become a little more bearable.
Simon Cowell's Idol judgments come out in quick-witted doses, but he knows that the decision to adopt an animal companion is a weighty one that must be given long and meaningful thought. When Simon heard that X Factor winner Alexandra Burke wanted a dog, he apparently convinced her to slow down and reconsider, telling her that she wouldn't have time to care for a dog properly.
With more and more celebrities succumbing to a fad that means dogs get passed around like knickknacks or abandoned in animal shelters, Simon's useful and kind message is a life saver: The responsibility of living with animal companions—who require veterinary care, love, and tons of real attention—is one that everyone should take seriously.
Ricky Gervais' comedic gold at Sunday's Golden Globes was almost enough to help me get over Jane Lynch's loss. The news that prompted my speedy recovery? Hearing that every nominee got a copy of our new DVD, "Glass Walls," in their gift bags. Narrated by Paul McCartney, who presented the Best Animated Film Globe to Up, "Glass Walls" goes inside slaughterhouses to show people what really happens to animals before they end up on dinner plates:
The only celebrity with a voice as delightfully inimitable as Paul's? Alec Baldwin, whose narration of "Meat Your Meat" remains iconic for proud PETA supporters everywhere and who took home his third (!) Golden Globe for his brilliant work on 30 Rock. At this point, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association should really just call the category Best Performance by Alec Baldwin and nominate Jack Donaghy's five best episodes.
It's official: President Obama's State of Union address will air on January 27. Of course, this announcement has John and Jane Does everywhere wondering—but not about possible GOP outbursts or changes to the rules of the game.
Here's the hot topic on caring viewers' minds: When will PETA's annual State of the Union Undress be aired—and will the bodacious speaker reveal the naked truth of PETA's titillating 2009 victories and 2010's targets? We will tell you that PETA's State of the Union Undress will premiere this Wednesday, but we won't strip away all the mystery. What fun would that be? You'll have to wait and watch. But we wouldn't leave you without any hint of things to come, though: Here's a taste of what you'll see:
One thing is certain: PETA's State of the Union Undress will be a rousing speech. We bet you'll get up and cheer.
The situation in Haiti is obviously bleak for all living beings. PETA is asking rescue and relief agencies on the ground in Haiti—some with rescue dogs from the U.S. and Europe who are helping locate trapped people—to please spare a moment if they can to aid any suffering animal by offering scraps, drops of water, or any other emergency assistance possible. We are offering funding for any emergency services, including for euthanasia to put badly injured animals out of their misery. We are appealing to every kind member of earthquake specialist teams as well as EMS personnel, news reporters, and any other person who is in everyone's debt already for going about the vital task of searching for and rescuing human beings.
All living beings—no matter what their species—deserve the kindness of others. We also ask aid personnel who come across animals who are suffering without any hope of being saved to attempt to be strong and to quickly—and as humanely as possible—put them out of their misery.
Keep checking our blog for updates on the disaster in Haiti and for ways you can help the country's animals.
The following is a guest post from Joyce Poole, co-founder of Elephant Voices—an organization whose aim is to increase awareness of the intelligence and wonder of elephants. Joyce has a Ph.D. in elephant behavior from Cambridge University and has studied the social behavior and communication of elephants for more than 30 years. She was an expert witness in the recent trial against Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus. This post originally appeared on ElephantVoices' blog.
In the final days of December, in the case against Ringling Bros. Circus for their abuse of elephants, Judge Sullivan ruled against animal welfare advocates on technical grounds. He did not address the merits of the case nor the expert opinions that we spent years preparing and weeks presenting in court.
This is a hollow victory for Ringling; It certainly isn't a vindication of their brutal training and management practices. The trial brought into the public domain the depth of abuse practiced by the circus. This particular battle has been lost, but although Ringling might think they have achieved a victory, they have in fact been significantly wounded. The war will yet be won as more and more people give their own verdict.
Ironically, the judgment was announced just days after additional abuse of baby elephants surfaced—this time one of Ringling Bros.' own employees blew the whistle, ashamed by his own treatment of baby elephants. You can read and see some of the horrific photos in the Washington Post's coverage here.
I reviewed reams of evidence against Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus as an expert witness, so I am well acquainted with their abusive treatment of elephants. Yet, the late Samuel Haddock's description of the babies' screaming and the harrowing images of their straining against the ropes and chains and being poked, prodded, and manhandled brought tears to my eyes.
The only reason why a bullhook has a steel point is to inflict pain. Deprivation, force, and pain form the basis of the training that baby elephants undergo to perform in the circus. Thereafter, restraint, deprivation, and attempts to avoid pain keep elephants in circuses under constant control.
Elephants in circuses are mere commodities for human entertainment: Prevented from behaving naturally and forced to perform behaviors never seen in nature, they are bought and sold, poked and prodded, separated from companions, confined, and chained on concrete and on trains. It is insincere to allow children to believe that elephants in circuses are living an acceptable life when the evidence for the opposite is overwhelming.
Ringling's treatment of elephants is outdated, ignorant, and inhumane. Progressive Norway intends to ban the use of elephants in circuses. India has already done so. Isn't it time for America and other so-called enlightened countries to follow suit?
Written by Joyce Poole
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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.