Written by PETA
Wow! Voter turnout for our annual "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" contest, just days old, is huge! On the ladies' side, it's scorching Ginnifer Goodwin, star of HBO's Big Love and the hit flick He's Just Not That Into You, who's racked up the most votes so far. The vegan vixen seems to be everywhere lately, including the June issue of W magazine, where editors point out, "She's Just Not That Into Meat."
As for the fellas, Kevin Bacon—who appears in the upcoming New York, I Love You—is our smoldering frontrunner. He previously contributed an essay to PETA founder Ingrid E. Newkirk's One Can Make a Difference. And maybe, after all this time, people still haven't forgotten about his risqué roll in Wild Things.
I raise my ice-cold Rice Dream (chocolate, of course) to Ginnifer and Kevin. I admit that, as both a Big Love addict and ardent cow defender, I'm hoping Ginnifer snatches first place.
Written by Karin Bennett
Oh, how I'm dreaming of retiring at the ripe old age of 26 and setting up shop in South America. And no, it's not just because the weather is warmer and the mojitos are stiffer.
Bolivia—yep, the same Bolivia that banned military training exercises on animals a month ago—recently passed a bill to ban all circuses that exploit animals from their country. After members of the Bolivian wing of animal rights group Animal Defenders International (ADI) went undercover and revealed that animals in circuses are confined to cages without room for them to move around and forced to stay crammed in those cages for the majority of their lives, the Bolivian public was outraged (as all people with hearts should be). Member of Congress Ximena Flores introduced the bill to get seedy circuses banned from the country, and the rest of the Bolivian Senate has agreed to the ban. As soon as President Morales signs the bill, it will be the law of the land.
Talk about progressive.
Bolivia is not alone in South American sympathy for animals used in circuses. Peru is leading the charge of other South American countries working to ban circuses. If the U.S. doesn't start playing catch up on all these animal rights issues, I think I might just pack my suitcase.
Written by Shawna Flavell
They say, "As Maine goes, so goes the nation.".
With that in mind, have you heard the news out of Maine? It's the sixth state to pass legislation significantly changing rights for state residents.
No, not that. I'm talking about this recent legislation, which bans the use of veal and gestation crates statewide.
That's right. As of January 1, 2011, calves will no longer be immobilized in tiny stalls for the production of veal, nor will mother pigs be trapped in gestation crates, on factory farms in Maine. Woo hoo!
And, of course, this follows news that U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine co-sponsored a resolution urging Canada to end the seal slaughter.
Maine's state motto is "Dirigo," which means, "I lead." When it comes to protecting animals, that certainly seems to be true!
Written by Jeff Mackey
When I was in college, Bravo was one of the only channels I watched in my NYC apartment. I spent hours glued to Project Runway marathons, but the most addictive show was always The Real Housewives of New York City. The housewives were full of can't-turn-away drama, and I secretly hoped to catch one of them casually walking down my street.
While I'm no longer in NYC, I'll still be getting the chance to see a housewife in the flesh (and nothing else) very soon. Bethenny Frankel has agreed to pose for PETA's newest "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ad on the roof of one of New York's iconic skyscrapers.
Bethenny—queen of sass, class, and vegan cookies (that’s right, she bakes vegan!)—will follow in the footsteps of Khloe Kardashian, Pamela Anderson, and Christina Applegate and bare some skin to draw attention to the suffering of animals who are killed for theirs.
Look out for the ad this fall. In the meantime, why not help Bethenny spread the word by wearing one of our popular "Mean People Wear Fur" T-shirts?
Written by Lianne Turner
Every Tuesday night, I grab a comfy couch, flip on American Idol, proceed to squeal and shout comments at the screen for the next hour, and then dial in incessantly to vote for my fave.
On the show, judge Simon Cowell is known for being a little harsh when he gives the contestants a dose of the hard truth, but in reality he is full of compassion, especially when it comes to animals. Not only has he lent his celebrity to important campaigns in the past (like when he recorded a video message to remind people not to leave dogs in hot cars or when he has spoken out about the importance of spaying and neutering (and against fur), but now he's taken the time to sit down and chat with us about everything from his thoughts on Michael Vick to Obama's new White House pup, and much more. Check it out below and let us know what you think!
Do you think it's important to adopt a dog or cat rather than buying one from a pet store? Well, I mean, if I was buying a dog, I wouldn't buy it from a pet shop, I'd go to a rescue shelter. Or I'd go to a friend who couldn't take care. … It's not where the dog came from, it's the dog. … I get really annoyed when people start telling me about the make and the model of their dog like [for] a car. … A dog is a dog, no matter what background they've got. … Often, the mutts, the strays have got more personality than a highly bred pedigree.
Why do you think some people are obsessed with buying purebred dogs? They are plagued with physical issues, and some breeds are so popular that folks can't tell their own dogs apart from their neighbors' dogs.Well, I think the fashion accessory thing has become quite the thing here. You've got the rap and pop stars carrying around the highly bred dogs …. They think it'd be embarrassing to be seen carrying a mutt … when actually it would be endearing—people would think they cared more about the dog than their image. The other thing which is a problem, as you know, is they'll make movies about, you know, Chihuahuas, and thousands of people will go out and buy Chihuahuas like in the movie.
Right. And we're concerned that the same thing might happen now with the first family. What do you think about their Portuguese water dog? I think we've got to be balanced on this. I think—on a positive note, I think it's nice that they have made an issue of buying a dog for the kids. What I think would be great would be if they also took in a shelter dog, just from anywhere, to balance it. I'll even pay for the dog food!
The Westminster and Crufts dog shows are always controversial because they promote purebred animals when so many mutts are dying in animal shelters. What do you think of these shows? Well, again, I have two thoughts about them, because I think the vast majority of people who go and watch something like Crufts or who are involved are animal lovers, not animal haters. The problem (in the U.K. at least) is that we have elitism in the dog world, which does bother me, for who's to say what makes the perfect dog? The fact that these judges are saying that a bulldog who can't breathe properly is the proper way to breed a dogâ€•that's just insane! Because, in their warped minds, that's what a dog should look like. I've got a show called Britain's Got Talent, where we have crazy dog acts, and I like those dog shows better. The dogs are having a blast, obviously having a great time.
We see a lot of dogs chained outside like bicycles, for life. What is your message to people who do that? That's disgraceful. The awful thing about what that person doesn't realize is that in the dog's mind, as he's being chained up … that dog has put his trust in the person who's chaining him. That dog would give up his life nine times out of 10 for the person who's chaining him up. … For a dog, under those circumstances, just to be left alone, starving to death, lonely and thirsty, is about as low as a person can go. You've got to have a really warped, disgusting personality to want to do something like that. That really disgusts me.
What makes you angriest when someone is cruel to an animal? I think the fact that they get an enjoyment out of it. I think the disrespect—a dog's sole purpose in life is to guard you, and it's your responsibility, and the dog will give up his life for you—would literally die for you—is unbelievable! It shows a really … like Michael Vick. He should never, ever be publicly supported again. Ever. If people really knew the gory details of what he was doing …. They think it was just a dogfight, but what do you do after the fights? The way they kill the maimed dogs ….
Right. And it came out last winter that Vick even threw his family pets into the fighting ring. That's not a human beingâ€•that's a sadist.
As you know, your image is posted on our mobile spay-and-neuter clinic, which rides around in low-income, rural areas of Virginia and North Carolina. People cheer when they see you on the van, and they bring their dogs out for their vaccinations. Thank you for that. Can you send some words to people who are having a hard time putting food on the table about why they shouldn't forget their dogs in these tough economic times? Well, I think that a life is a life, and I totally respect the fact that it's very easy for pampered celebrities like me to lecture, and sometimes I despise people like me because we don't do enough. But I can tell you that if you give an animal kindness, it will come back to you a thousand times over. … You get so much out of it, I cannot tell you. And for us, certainly, I am always willing to do—if I can help you financially, I will do that. If you need a donation anytime, we'll set it up straight away. Never hesitate calling me about that.
Did you know that several of your American Idol graduates have gone on to help animals? Carrie Underwood, Reuben Studdard, and Kellie Pickler are, for example, all vegetarians and are all on PETA's "sexiest vegetarian" list. If you know someone is good with animals, does that make you more inclined to be kind to them after they perform? Well, funny enough, there's normally something that connects me to them. Certainly with Carrie, the second she walked in, I sensed a real kindness about her, and I think it's part of her appeal. And to me, it just shows that you're a nicer person. So I'm not surprised to hear all of that, to be honest with you. I'll do more to encourage it. We'll put it on the questionnaire!
Written by Christine Doré
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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.