Written by PETA
Many of you have asked what PETA's response is to the recent recall of 143 million pounds of beef. Well, we're doing a mass mailing of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit," of course!
We've sent copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit" to school boards across the country and urged them to add more vegetarian options to school cafeteria menus. But we're not simply saying that vegetarian options should replace the tainted beef. Oh, no. Vegetarian options should replace all beef because of beef's dangerous levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can be an even bigger threat to human health than E. coli and salmonella.
Beef and other animal products have been conclusively linked to America's top killers: heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer. Meat-eaters are 10 times more likely than vegetarians to suffer from heart disease, and a low-fat vegetarian diet has been proved to reverse heart disease.
PETA's Lindsay Rajt summed it up nicely by saying, "The diseases we may catch from downed cows are far less likely to kill us than the fat and cholesterol we get from their flesh. The best way to protect the health of the nation's school kids is to encourage them to eat more vegetarian foods."
For more details on the connection between your health and eating meat, please check out the health section of GoVeg.com.
Since being named the sexiest vegetarian of 2007, Kevin Eubanks has clearly embraced the prestigious title. So much so that the Tonight Show bandleader decided to write, direct, and star in a new ad for us that boasts about the benefits of a meat-free diet.
Kevin's ad is just one in a series of vegetarian testimonials—others feature Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, and Kevin Nealon—but Eubanks' hilarious video has a certain something not seen in the others.
Maybe it's the giant strawberry costume he's dressed in. Maybe it's his reference to wanting all his organs to work just fine (because of the connection between eating meat and impotence). Or maybe it's the date he has planned with pineapples, melons, and other fruits. OK, I think it's all of the above.
While Jack is away in Cali, I pledged that I wouldn't make The PETA Files too girly. Not that I'm really known to be the type of girl who focuses on clothes or make-up more than, say, how the Saints are a better football team than the Redskins. But in the absence of the second-best PETA blogger, I vowed to keep girl talk to a bare minimum—that is, until I found a reason to write about H&M.
In addition to turning out trendy clothing that is both affordable and stylish enough for all of us hipster wannabes (Jack included), H&M is now on my list of top places to shop for an even better reason. The international retail giant has pledged to stop buying cruelly produced Australian wool!
That's right! In addition to already carrying a wide variety of synthetic leather purses and an abundance of cruelty-free clothing, H&M is going a step further by pledging to buy more wool from countries that don't use mulesing—the crudest, cruelest, and cheapest method used for flystrike "prevention." H&M also vows to ensure that the Australian merino wool used in its designs comes only from farmers that don't practice mulesing.
To learn more about mulesing—in which Australian farmers use shears to cut chunks of skin and flesh from lambs' backsides, without any painkillers—please visit SaveTheSheep.com.
I’ll leave the historians to argue about how accurate that Lincoln quote is, but it’s a hell of a nice sentiment. While we’re waiting for them to figure that out, here are some other historical animal lovers for your viewing pleasure.
I almost forgot! I’m going to be away next week in sunny Berkeley, California, but my arch-rival Amy Cook, whom you may know from the Veg Cooking Files (or whatever it is she calls her blog) will be running the show in my absence. What Amy lacks in worldliness and savoir faire, she makes up for with a certain plodding intellect (she’s also a keen typist), so you’ll be in good hands until I return. Amy is also a lot prettier than I am, so please don’t get too attached before I come back next Friday. Have a great week!
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that selectively breeding dogs for certain “aesthetic” traits like a shiny nose, or perky ears—or whatever the hell it is that breeders are looking for in the animals they use for self-gratification and profit—isn’t good for the animals, and in fact can cause extreme health problems. All of the animals who won awards at the AKC-sponsored Westminster Dog Show this week have something in common beyond having been deliberately bred into a world where millions of animals are dying on the streets for lack of a good home: They’re all genetically predisposed to be highly susceptible to a laundry list of debilitating diseases.
In first place, we have Uno, the first beagle ever to take home the “Best in Show” honors at Westminster. As a beagle, Uno has a significantly higher risk of hypothyroidism, demodectic mange (a condition that occurs when a dog’s immune system can’t regulate the number of mites living in the skin), umbilical hernia, epilepsy, eye and eyelid problems, cryptorchidism, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, and luxating patella. But I’m sure his Westminster crown will console him when one or more of these ailments set in.
The two poodle contestants, Vikki and Remy, who were just edged out by Uno in the competition, probably won’t live as long as he does either: Poodles are prone to cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, severe skin disease, hip dysplasia, runny eyes, ear infections, Von Willebrand disease, bloat, and Addison's disease—an adrenal gland deficiency which requires lifelong medication and monitoring.
Uno also defeated a Weimaraner named Marge (elbow dysplasia, bloat) a Sealyham terrier named Charmin (bronchitis, early tooth decay, poor digestion, severe spine problems), and an Australian shepherd named Deuce (hip dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, gastric disorders, spinal paralysis).
So everyone’s a loser. Thanks, breeders, for contributing to the problem. Can’t wait to see you guys next year.
What was the most difficult thing about this investigation for you?
Being Jewish, I grew up believing that kosher food was better supervised and therefore cleaner, healthier and produced more humanely. Like the famous kosher slogan, I thought the kosher food industry always “answered to a higher authority.” It was disillusioning to see, yet again, such callous violations of the most fundamental Jewish principles, such as tsa’ar ba’alei chayim (kindness to animals) and to witness this horror face-to-face with the tortured animals.
Why did you agree to do this investigation?
As someone who keeps kosher, I feel ashamed and embarrassed that the kosher food industry has been complicit in some of the worst farmed animal abuses. PETA has been instrumental in bringing about humane improvements to kosher slaughter within the United States and much of that has been due to our undercover investigations. We have also tried for years behind the scenes to get the important companies to end this hideous “shackle and hoist” kosher slaughter method in South America but unfortunately these companies were more concerned with hiding what goes in their slaughterhouses. Undercover footage is the best way to expose the truth and ultimately hold people accountable to make conditions less cruel for the animals. I desperately want kosher food to live up to the highest standards and I know other kosher consumers demand the same.
You can watch the results of the investigation below, and if you’d like to take action, please click here to write to Jewish leaders asking them to enforce tougher standards on kosher slaughterhouses like this one to ensure that these horrors never happen again.
We sent this letter to the St. Kitts Attorney General yesterday urging him to immediately investigate the “teaching” procedures being performed on dogs, donkeys, and sheep at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, which is owned by Chicago-based DeVry, Inc. (of late-night TV commercial fame). We’re also calling for prosecution of any school officials who are found to have been violating the island’s cruelty-to-animals statutes.
All this got set into motion when we received numerous photographs documenting the mutilation of animals who are forced to undergo multiple surgeries before they are killed and cut apart. The key points to remember here are that a) there are numerous humane alternatives to the tests conducted at Ross, and b) it is illegal to cause "unnecessary suffering" to animals under St. Kitts law. As it should be. Here’s what PETA’s research director told the media today:
"Ross University is forcing its students—men and women who will devote their lives to healing animals—to maim and kill dogs and other animals in unnecessary, painful procedures. We're asking the attorney general to help students and animals by enforcing St. Kitts' anti-cruelty laws."
If you’d like write to the veterinary school about this issue, you can do so through the handy webform here.
Courtesy of the good folks in PETA’s Regulatory Testing Division—who have been working behind the scenes with these agencies for years to get them to admit that their bloated animal testing programs (which are responsible for the suffering and death of hundreds of millions of animals) are outdated, ineffective, and, frankly, absurd—here’s a little rundown on what this all means, and how it came about:
First of all, this is a significant about-face for the NTP and the EPA—both of whom have been shockingly resistant to incorporating modern science into their toxicity testing programs. It looks like the United States is finally beginning to realize (as Europe has known for some time and as the animal protection community has been advocating for years) that the public and the environment can be better protected through non-animal in vitro tests based on well-understood biological principles than by throwing wads of cash and millions upon millions of lives into the bottomless pit of animal testing.
Fighting this entrenched, bureaucratic mentality over the past couple of decades hasn’t been easy—and, as usual, we’ve had to use a two-pronged attack to get it done: While our Regulatory Testing Division comments on each animal testing plan that the EPA and the NTP puts forward, works directly with top corporations doing the testing and finding alternatives, testifies at government workshops and before Congress, and, occasionally, sues the government to disclose their deliberations about promoting animal tests, our Campaigns Department gets out the billboards, the bullhorns, and the bunny suits and shouts about these ludicrous, wasteful experiments to anyone who will listen. During this time, PETA has convinced the Department of Transportation to stop testing corrosive substances on rabbits, followed Al Gore around on his campaign stops with a 10-foot rabbit to convince him to stop pushing EPA animal tests, and worked (ever-so-patiently) to persuade regulatory agencies which still believe that it’s important, for example, to keep testing asbestos on animals (the NTP) and which have failed to ban a single toxic industrial chemical in more than a decade (the EPA) that maybe it’s time to stop testing on animals and start using modern science instead. We’ve also funded the development and incorporation of non-animal test methods to the tune of more than ¾ million dollars in recent years.
This new collaboration is certainly something different, and it’s a promising step in the right direction—but it has to be backed up with Congressional will and funding if it’s going to get anywhere. A new entity must be created with the resources to get the job done—it can not be left to the EPA and the NTP. The fact that the head of the human genome project is involved with this is a good sign—it’s going to take an intense, focused effort on the scale of the human genome project to get the job done.
So we’re hoping that the prevailing wind surrounding the National Research Council’s vision and the newly announced collaboration between the NTP and the EPA will provide the momentum necessary to overcome the inertia that has characterized the American government’s attitude to toxicity testing for decades, and which causes the suffering and death of more than 15 million animals every year.
For more information on what you can do to help animals used for experimentation, check out StopAnimalTests.com.
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
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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.