Written by PETA
Here's a promising development in the midst of the recession: Charles River Laboratories—one of the world's largest suppliers of animals for experimentation—has announced that it is closing up shop in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. We're hoping these cutbacks mean that the cruel, callous industry giant will continue to suffer.
With its long history of abusing animals, Charles River Laboratories should really be called Hell's Kitchen—its facilities have literally cooked live animals to death. News broke last week of a monkey at a Charles River lab in Reno who was "literally boiled alive" last year after he was left in a cage that was put through one of the facility's high-temperature cage washers (think industrial-sized dishwasher)—despite the fact that lab workers claim that the cage was checked three times (?!). This followed an incident in 2008 when 32 monkeys under Charles River's "care" were baked alive after a thermostat malfunction—even though the procedure in place to alert staff apparently had been followed. No one even discovered the deaths until the following morning. PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture about that negligent oversight, and Charles River was eventually fined $10,000.
Charles River officials attributed all these horrific and easily preventable deaths to "human error." We agree. But the human error responsible is the conscious decision that experimenters and their suppliers make every day to go to work and torment animals. Judging from its desperate downsizing, we foresee a future in which the folks of Charles River will need to find a different path of employment.
Written by Logan Scherer
Thanks to Joe Mohr for creating and sharing this (anti-) beef cartoon. What else do you think you might find in a hamburger patty?
I've always had a serious addiction to lip balm, lip gloss, and lipstick. When I was six, I stopped talking to my then-BFF, Sandy, for an entire week because I was convinced that she had stolen my peach-flavored Lip Smacker. The thief turned out to be Sue, not Sandy. It ended with my very first, very awkward formal apology (thanks, Mom). Many years later, I won a contest on a ValuJet flight for carrying the most tubes of lipstick in my bag. I had 15. I know what you're thinking: "Fifteen tubes of lipstick in one purse? That's bananas!"
Speaking of bananas, get your tutti fruttis all rooty for this week's "Win-It" Wednesday prize, the Super Glossy Sweets Set, courtesy of e.l.f. cosmetics:
It's a set of three shiny, cruelty-free flavored lip glosses in Tropical Breeze, Berry Bliss, and Passion Punch. If I could add one flavor and turn the trio into a quartet, I'd want guacamole. A swipe of Tropical Breeze, followed by a swipe of Guacamole—I'd go on a mini vacation every time I applied, which would be once an hour, on the hour.
Now tell us which fantastic flavor you would crave most in a lip gloss in the comments section below. Make it sweet or savory—just make sure it's of the vegan variety. The five people whose responses make our mouths water the most will each win a set.
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA recently learned that two of the giraffes the late Michael Jackson used to house at Neverland Ranch have died while living under the apparently neglectful eye of Tom and Freddie Hancock—owners of Banjoko Wildlife Preserve, a pseudo-sanctuary in Page, Arizona—and that at least one of the giraffes may have died as a result of improper feeding and/or exposure to cold temperatures.
Back in 2008, we wrote a letter to Michael Jackson urging him to take responsibility for four giraffes who once lived at Neverland Ranch after we received many complaints from citizens concerned about the giraffes' well-being at their new home at the preserve. At the time, a former volunteer caretaker for the animals contacted us claiming that the giraffes had been kept in 15-foot-by-15-foot "temporary" enclosures since the day they were purchased in 2007.
Shortly before his death, the King of Pop started to clean up his act by planning to leave animals out of his London tour. Now, we're asking the city of Page to confiscate the two remaining giraffes and relocate them to a facility that can provide them with appropriate care before it's too late. Oh yes, we wanna be startin' something.
Written by Logan Scherer
If you had asked me last week to name my favorite Richard Gere moment, I would have taken a long pause before finally deciding on that scene in the 1980s movie American Gigolo when he shimmied in his boxers as he paired his ties to shirts. What can I say? I've always appreciated a man who cares about his appearance.
Much more so, I appreciate a man who speaks out in favor of compassionate actions for animals—so it makes perfect sense that my new favorite Richard Gere moments happened very recently and in real life. According to the New Zealand Herald, the actor, who is a Buddhist, marched with hundreds of monks and activists to support efforts by Tibetans for a Vegetarian Society to transform Bodhgaya, in the Indian state of Bihar, into a vegetarian zone. "Bodhgaya is a pious place and I want to come here again," Mr. Gere said, adding, "I am with the people who have launched this campaign."
It makes perfect sense that Bodhgaya, believed by Buddhists to be where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment around 500 B.C., be "vegetized" in keeping with Buddhism's message of peace. After all, opposition to the taking of life is a core principle of Buddhism.
The founder of Tibetans for a Vegetarian Society, Tenzin Kunga Luding, notes that Gere's participation in and support of the march "has helped the cause a lot," and he adds, "This most sacred land will act as a model for other places to emulate and will impart more positive influence for the well-being of all humans, animals, and the environment."
Mali, an Asian elephant imprisoned at the Manila Zoo, was only 3 years old when she was torn away from her mother and shipped away to live in captivity.
For more than 30 years, Mali has spent her days alone in a barren enclosure with only a small pool for entertainment and relief from the heat. Mali paces her small area incessantly or stands in one spot with her trunk to the ground. Mali has reportedly walked to the edge of her enclosure, reached out her foot in the hope of going farther, and even after feeling empty space, stepped back and repeated this movement, evidence of her boredom, loneliness, and frustration. In their natural habitats, Asian elephants have homes ranges that are between 25,000 and 60,000 hectares, but the entire Manila Zoo measures only 5.5 hectares. Even if Mali's enclosure were doubled or tripled in size, it would still be completely inadequate.
PETA Asia-Pacific has just released a report that documents Mali's bleak existence. The report includes a letter from Carol Buckley, who has more than 35 years of professional experience in the care and management of Asian elephants and who operates The Elephant Sanctuary—the largest rehabilitation and living center for former captive elephants—where she has offered Mali a permanent home.
If swift action isn't taken to save Mali and the many other animals locked up at the Manila Zoo, they may meet the same fate as Sisi—the orangutan who died of cancer last year at the facility. Please sign PETA Asia Pacific's petition requesting relief for the animals at the Manila Zoo and urge everyone you know to do the same.
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the promised release of Robert—the tabby who was purchased by the University of Utah (the U) for $15 from the Davis County Animal Shelter and used in a cruel experiment in which his skull was cut open and electrodes were implanted in his brain. Robert has been adopted into a new home, but the majority of the 105 dogs and cats who were purchased from Davis County Animal Control last year remain caged in the U's labs and won't be given the same chance.
In the two months since we first released footage of our undercover investigation inside the U, PETA has repeatedly attempted to obtain documents related to the purchase of animals like Robert, but county officials have failed to cooperate, in what appears to be a violation of the state's Government Records Access and Management Act. So this morning, PETA filed a lawsuit against the county demanding access to these documents, which will shed more light on Davis County's betrayal of both animals and community members who are unaware that the beloved companions they surrender may be mutilated and killed in laboratories.
Today, PETA is also launching a new video called "Betrayal of Trust," which reveals the plight of some of the dogs and cats whom the U purchased from local animal shelters for its cruel and deadly experiments. The video contains footage from inside the Davis County Animal Shelter and the U's animal laboratories, including a clip of Lady, a friendly German shepherd whom the U purchased from the shelter for $20. Experimenters cut open her neck and implanted a medical device for a heart experiment. At the end of the experiment, Lady will be killed and "go to the dump," as one vet tech in our new video explains.
PETA's working overtime to ensure that shelter animals will no longer be betrayed by Davis County and the University of Utah. Please take just a few moments to help by contacting the school and demanding an end to this shameful practice.
I ♥ Target. In addition to the mega-retailer carrying cruelty-free cosmetics and stylish, skin-free kicks, Target recently made the decision to save the lives of hundreds of frogs.
When PETA found out that Target was selling a miniature aquarium called "Planet Frog"—a tiny, plastic prison that's very similar to Brookstone's "Frog-O-Sphere"—we reached out to the corporation's execs. We told them that biologists and wildlife specialists believe the mini-aquariums are cruel and inadequate for frogs and can be hazardous to children's health, exposing them to diseases such as salmonellosis, sparganosis, and psittacosis. We also pointed out an alarming stat: Since May 2009, at least 85 people from 31 states have become ill after exposure to water frogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Hmm … National retailers start selling frogs in tiny tanks. People all across the country get sick from exposure to water frogs. Coinkidink? Methinks not.)
We asked Target to stop selling "Planet Frog," and they agreed to do just that—easy peasy. No need to send out the troops, call on our celebrity friends, or launch a letter-writing campaign.
Brookstone execs could learn a lot from Target about how make a responsible, compassionate decision without weeks of hand-wringing. Will you ask them to follow Target's lead?
For two years, we've been protesting the U.S. government's declaration of war on animals. The military abuses thousands of healthy animals in trauma training exercises, even though superior non-animal methods are available. In these exercises, pigs are shot, stabbed, and burned; goats have their legs broken with bolt cutters and cut off with shears; and monkeys are poisoned with toxic chemicals.
Now, U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-Calif.) has joined the effort to replace the cruel and crude use of animals in military medical training by introducing the BEST Practices Act (H.R. 4269). This act, if passed, would replace the current deadly use of live animals with sophisticated, human-focused training methods, such as high-tech human patient simulators, that better prepare soldiers to treat their fallen comrades on the battlefield.
This week, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is leading Citizen Lobbyist Week, encouraging people across the country to back the BEST Practices Act and speak out in behalf of the pigs, goats, and monkeys who are tormented on military bases. You can take action by asking your congressional representative to support the bill. Get out your pleather boots, soldiers—here's to no more animal casualties!
Your best friend is hit by a car on a busy freeway, right in front of you. Would you risk your own life to pull him or her to safety? That's exactly what one intrepid dog, did last year when he came to a friend's rescue by risking his own life to run into oncoming highway traffic.
What if you saw a mother and her baby drowning at the beach? Would you rush to their rescue? A dolphin named Moko did when she guided two beached whales into deeper waters off the coast of New Zealand.
Researchers at the University of Paris recently discovered that selflessness among animals like that heroic dog and Moko the dolphin—who put their own lives in danger in order to save others—is even more prevalent than we once thought. The examples of animal altruism are many and moving: Dolphins endanger themselves to rescue their trapped friends, ants help fellow colony members when they're caught in traps or under attack from a predator (though we've known that insects were geniuses for a while now), female fruit bats help each other during labor to ease birth pains—and that's only a quick sampling.
Their selfless acts don't end with their own species either: Dogs will risk their lives to save their guardians, gorillas will care for human children, and one hears story after story about dolphins who come to the aid of swimmers and surfers. If animals can put aside the differences they have with us to help ensure our survival, isn't it about time we did the same?
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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.