Written by PETA
Can't sheep get a break?
First, we told you that PETA and Madison, Wisconsin's Alliance for Animals petitioned for prosecution after experimenters at the University of Wisconsin–Madison killed sheep in excruciating U.S. Navy–funded decompression experiments. (Killing animals by decompression is specifically prohibited by Wisconsin's Crimes Against Animals law.)
Now we've learned that 16 sheep were restrained, injected with methamphetamines, shocked with a Taser device for up to 40 seconds and killed in cruel and ineffective experiments aimed at studying how being shocked with a Taser affects the hearts of meth addicts who run from the cops. These ridiculous Taser-funded experiments were conducted at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis by Taser medical director Jeffrey Ho and others. Of course, sheep don't do drugs or resist arrest, and they shouldn't be made to suffer because some humans do. To boot, medical experts, the authors of this sheep study, and others have concluded that data obtained from using Tasers on drugged-up animals (including pigs on cocaine!) are not relevant to humans.
These twisted folks may have violated federal animal protection laws, so PETA has fired off a complaint to the U.S. Department of Agriculture calling for an immediate investigation. We'll keep you posted as the case unfolds.
In the meantime, here's how you can take action against cruel animal experiments.
Written by Paula Moore
Yes, it is, according to an audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General, which reveals that beef containing dangerous pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, and other toxins is showing up on supermarket shelves because the government has neither set limits for the chemicals nor is it routinely testing for them. Perhaps they think that people will just buy the stuff regardless!
Potentially toxic substances that can be found in meat include arsenic; flunixin, an anti-inflammatory drug that can cause stomach ulcers, intestinal bleeding, and kidney necrosis; and antibiotics such as penicillin, which can cause life-threatening reactions in people who are allergic and also contribute to the development of deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
These unregulated chemicals and drugs are just the toxic icing, if you will, on a beefcake that is already loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol and is often contaminated with deadly bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
Sounds like a good time to mosey on over to VegCooking.com and check out some savory seitan recipes, doesn't it? For your family's sake?
Thanks to PETA Files reader Laura for sending this story our way
Written by Alisa Mullins
In a bid to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's reign of terror over animals once and for all by getting the circus's exhibitor's license revoked, PETA has submitted more than 700 pages of evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documenting not only Ringling's long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act but also the circus's attempts to cover up the circumstances surrounding animals' deaths.
Just one of many examples is Riccardo, a baby elephant whose fatal fall off a pedestal during a training session (he was euthanized after breaking both hind legs) Ringling originally tried to characterize as "routine play." Another example is Clyde, a lion who died of heat stroke after being confined to a sweltering boxcar in Ringling's animal train while it crossed the Mojave Desert in 109-degree heat. A former trainer told PETA that Ringling tampered with the evidence by installing a non-working water misting system in the boxcar after Clyde died and warned him to not talk about the the circumstances of Clyde's death.
And then there are the hours of video that PETA amassed last year—which show Ringling handlers as they beat elephants in city after city across the country—as well as the damning photos taken by a former elephant trainer that show baby elephants as they are "broken" with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods.
We think that all this adds up to several hundred pretty good reasons for the USDA to yank Ringling's license. If you agree, please take a minute to drop the agency a line.
By now, most of us have pretty much forgotten what mad cow disease is—all we remember is that it's scary and that we don't want to catch it. Well, the recent recall of 25,000 pounds of bison heads because of the risk of mad cow disease just might have people scrambling for their medical dictionaries.
Here's a little refresher course: Mad cow disease essentially eats holes in the brain and is always fatal. In humans, it initially causes memory loss and erratic behavior. Over a period of months, victims gradually lose all ability to care for themselves or communicate, and eventually, they die. The disease has been traced to farmers' cost-cutting practice of mixing bits of dead animals' neural tissue into the feed of cattle, who are naturally herbivorous. If cattle eat the brains of cattle who already have mad cow disease, or of sheep suffering from a similar disease called "scrapie," the cattle can develop the disease. If humans eat flesh (and possibly milk) from infected animals, they can develop the human version of the disease, called "new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease." The disease is caused by misshapen proteins called "prions." Prions are virtually indestructible—they aren't destroyed by cooking, disinfecting, or freezing.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the tonsils must be removed from cows and other ruminants who are slaughtered in order to prevent the spread of mad cow disease, something that a bison slaughterhouse in North Dakota failed to do, which prompted the recall.
It can take eight years for an infected cow to begin showing symptoms of mad cow disease, but most cattle in the U.S. are killed by age 5, before many would be displaying symptoms. Only a very tiny fraction of the cows who are slaughtered are tested, which means that the only way to ensure that you'll never get mad cow disease is to go vegan.
Written by Logan Scherer
Last Thursday, four rabbits in a Warwick Mall photo studio reportedly drowned in the floods that have been ravaging Rhode Island. Although the mall had been evacuated two days earlier, the bunnies—whom Portrait Simple studios was using as props for in-store Easter photos—were left behind in their cage on a "high shelf" in the studio. When employees returned to the studio two days later, they discovered that the cage had apparently fallen from its perch and that all the rabbits had drowned.
When PETA first heard about Portrait Simple's use of live rabbits for photos a few weeks ago, we contacted the studio and the store's director of operations told us that the rabbits were "well cared for, played with, coddled, and loved by our team members." Now, in the aftermath of these preventable deaths, we're asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate and if appropriate revoke Portrait Simple's exhibitor license in order to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens at the studio again. You can help by contacting Portrait Simple and asking it to implement a "no animals" policy at its stores.
I think it goes without saying that a vote for Pamela Anderson on Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) is a vote for beauty, talent, and animals—which is why I'll be casting all twelve of my votes for her by:
Pamela's run on DWTS has been riveting. And tonight, she's bringing the season's fieriest, most fascinating dance yet: She and her partner Damian Whitewood will be performing the paso doble (the traditional Spanish dance based on the interaction between a matador and bull)—and Pamela will be using the performance as an opportunity to speak out against bullfighting.
In preparation for her performance, which she and Damian are calling "Dance, Don't Bullfight," PETA sent DWTS a sneak peek of our soon-to-be-released anti-bullfighting video starring actor, singer, and guitarist Charo. Charo also joined Pamela in rehearsal to show her some Flamenco moves to spice up her compassionate choreography. With 20,000 people taking action last week to eliminate Madrid's proposal to declare the bloody "sport" to be an activity of cultural value, Pamela's kindly orchestrated move for bulls couldn't come at a more empowering moment.
You can cast 12 votes for Pamela tonight, and if she makes it through to next week, I just might definitely will have a contest lined up for you—so vote for her!
Looking for a way to rebel against a Debbie Friedman–saturated childhood this Passover?
OK, as the daughter of a Hebrew school principal/music director, maybe it's just me, but everyone should check out Jewish-vegan-reggae-rock-hip-hop artist Matisyahu, whose video for "One Day" was rated one of the 10 most inspiring videos on the Web.
In response to a suggestion that he put a shrimp on the barbie while he's in Australia, Matisyahu recently tweeted, "Sorry babe [shrimp are] not kosher plus I went vegan."
The last time Matisyahu played in Norfolk, PETA delivered him a basket of vegan treats along with the video "If This Is Kosher…" narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The video shows footage from an investigation at Agriprocessors, the world's largest kosher slaughterhouse.
This is the year I start a new Passover tradition by sending my dad a similar PETA gift basket, only with a Matisyahu CD and a card reading, "Beets Beat Brisket." Leave a comment with your favorite compassionate Passover tradition (or a better slogan for my card)!
Written by Heather Drennan
What do you get when you mix actor Laure Shang (winner of the 2006 season of Super Girls, China's version of American Idol), gleaming body paint, and the pro-bono expertise of acclaimed photographer Zack Zhang? You get PETA Asia's bona fide animal-saving masterpiece:
In this "Shine for Animals: Spay and Neuter" ad, Laure is educating people by letting them know that "No one should bring more animals into the world when countless cats and dogs are suffering and dying for lack of a good home." Says Shang, "I urge everyone to be part of the solution by always spaying and neutering their animal companions."
Yesterday, Sin City's angelic new law requiring residents to spay or neuter their animal companions went into effect!
Put forth by local animal defenders to help nip the companion animal overpopulation crisis in the bud, the new city ordinance mandates spaying or neutering—and microchipping—of all dogs and cats who are more than 4 months old. Those who violate the new ordinance will face a misdemeanor charge that carries a $225 fine for first-time offenders.
No doubt, the new ordinance means that many Vegas residents will no longer gamble on letting Fluffy have "just one litter," so there will be fewer puppies and kittens flooding area animal shelters or being dropped off on dusty roads to fend for themselves. And mandatory microchipping means that animal shelter employees and veterinarians will be better able to reunite people and their lost dogs and cats.
Surely I won't be the only one singing "Viva Las Vegas" today.
Written by Karin Bennett
April Fool us once, shame on you. April Fool us twice, shame on us. April Fool us thrice, and, well, we've totally got a list in the works! This year, PETA's been the object of April Fools' pranks galore, and now, in honor of our own rat-rabbit hybrid hoax, we're counting down our five favorite fools-on-us:
Tell us: What was your favorite PETA-themed April Fools' prank?
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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.