Written by Jeff Mackey
Just six months after PETA announced that it had purchased stock in BIOQUAL—the company formerly known as "SEMA"—to urge it to phase out the
use of chimpanzees in experiments, the Washington Post reports that the company is doing just that.
BIOQUAL's announcement comes 25 years after Jane Goodall called for the closure of SEMA after undercover video footage released by PETA
revealed abysmal conditions in the lab. Baby chimpanzees were locked inside tiny
steel boxes in complete isolation and exhibited signs of insanity, rocking
incessantly in their dark cages. The misery of the SEMA chimpanzees is
documented in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's landmark book Free the Animals.
Until this development, little but its name seemed to have
changed at BIOQUAL. PETA recently used the Freedom of Information Act to secure
descriptions of BIOQUAL's experiments on chimpanzees. We learned that in one
experiment, six infant chimpanzees—some as young as 9 months of age—were taken
from their mothers, caged individually, exposed to a virus, and subjected to
months of painful liver, bone marrow, lymph node, and intestinal biopsies. This April, we
pointed out in official comments submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that these and other
experiments on chimpanzees at BIOQUAL were considered unnecessary by the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report on the scientific validity of experiments on
chimpanzees, and we called on the NIH to discontinue its funding.
Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, with psychological and physical needs that are strikingly similar to our own. They
are intelligent, have unique personalities, and are capable of experiencing
profound suffering. However, this has not saved them from being imprisoned,
stripped of their autonomy, and used in invasive and sometimes painful
experiments. The U.S. is the only developed country that continues to use
chimpanzees in invasive experiments, but the pending Great Ape Protection and
Cost Savings Act would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees and retire more
than 600 federally owned chimpanzees.
Please tell your congressional representatives that all chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories should be
sent to reputable sanctuaries and allowed to live out their remaining years in
Written by PETA
Like any responsible dog guardian, Kathleen Parker hates the idea of forcing her dog to sit at home alone all day. So the Washington Post columnist and costar of the CNN current events show Parker Spitzer reportedly inserted a clause into her contract that allows her to take Ollie, her blind, 5-pound poodle, to the set.
Ollie, who was rescued from an animal shelter, even made an on-screen appearance in one episode.
If, unlike Parker and many PETA staffers, you are unable to take your dog to work, you should be sure to arrange for someone—a trusted neighbor, friend, family member, or professional dog walker—to let him or her out for a much-needed potty break. If you can imagine trying to "hold it" all day, you may begin to understand why your dog is so thrilled to see you when you get home.
Written by Alisa Mullins
PETA Files readers already know that few "retired" racehorses live out the remainder of their days frolicking in rolling green pastures. Now, Washington Post readers know it, too, thanks to a great article that was published over Memorial Day weekend.
The article describes one of the many ugly sides of the horse-racing industry—the fact that with approximately 35,000 thoroughbreds born in the U.S. every year, there are thousands of horses who don't have quite enough speed and stamina to be champions. What becomes of these also-rans? Most are eventually sold at auction, where many are bought by "killer buyers."
While no horse slaughterhouses are currently operating in the U.S., horses are still being shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Some retired racehorses—even Derby champs like Ferdinand and Charismatic—also wind up in Japan, where they may initially be used for breeding. But when they stop being moneymakers, they, too, may be slaughtered, as a PETA investigation at a Japanese slaughterhouse last year revealed.
You can help by contacting your U.S. representatives and asking them to sponsor the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would make it illegal to slaughter horses for consumption in the U.S. or to export them for slaughter.
Ever since notorious dog abuser Michael Vick got out of jail and was signed by the apparently desperate Philadelphia Eagles, there has been a lot of discussion in the press and at your local humane society and sports bar about the ethics of his return to the NFL—and all the other issues that go along with it.
Now, the Washington Post (along with media outlets everywhere) is reporting that Nike might again be teaming up with Vick for product endorsements.
Today in the Post's special online NFL feature, "The League," PETA's own Dan Shannon cuts through the noise with a guest post on the subject. Dan puts it bluntly when he writes, "If Nike and other companies know what's best for the bottom line, they won't touch Michael Vick with a 10-foot pole."
Read the whole post here.
… Wait a minute, what am I saying? We love to say "We told you so." And this time, what we've been telling you for years is finally making headlines. Here's the truth—drumroll, please—meat, as it turns out, is bad for you.
Specifically, meat increases your chances of dying prematurely.
That's right, we weren't just making it up. Research has, once again, linked the consumption of meat with heart disease and certain types of cancer—and this time, it's more conclusive than ever. As The Washington Post explains, a new case study has just been published—the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall risk of early death—and guess what it found?
"The bottom line is we found an association between red meat and processed meat and an increased risk of mortality," concluded the leader of the study, Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute.
Women in the study who ate the most red meat were 36 percent more likely to prematurely die of any cause than those who ate less (or none), and they were 50 percent more likely to die of heart disease! Maybe it's just me, but those kinds of odds would definitely shock me into seriously reconsidering my meaty habits. Men who ate the most red meat didn't do much better—they were 31 percent more likely to die prematurely of any cause.
Amusingly, the only defense that the American Meat Institute could muster was that meat products "provide a sense of satisfaction and fullness that can help with weight control." So don't worry about the cancer and heart disease, say the meat guys, because filling your stomach with disease-linked animal flesh makes you full, and that keeps the weight off! Um, nice try, fellas.
Nope, I'm not buying the meat guys' argument—and something tells me a lot of other people won't be, either. This could end up as a real victory for our arteries—and for animals.
Written by Amanda Schinke
The Washington Post has just released an investigation into the shocking lack of progress that exists in U.S. government policies on animal experimentation. The Washington Post began its own investigation after PETA presented evidence of government negligence. As the article points out, hundreds of millions of animals in this country are still being killed in gruesome ways to test substances like Botox, even though there are modern, non-animal methods available. Part of the problem is a categorical failure by the agency that’s charged with reducing the use of animals in toxicity testing—the folks over at ICCVAM (who I’ve talked about a bit before on this blog)—to actually do their jobs. As the Post article puts it:
"The controversy over the Botox test highlights the slow pace of government efforts to replace or reduce the large numbers of animals used by pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers and consumer firms to ensure that their products are safe for people. A decade after Congress created a panel to spur the development of non-animal tests, only four such tests have been approved out of 185 reviews, according to the panel's records."
During the same period of time, ICCVAM’s European counterpart has recommended more than two dozen non-animal tests, and the U.S. continues to lag well behind Europe in adopting modern alternatives to animal testing, which—in addition to causing unnecessary suffering and death for countless animals—poses a significant threat to human health.
There is a bit of good news, though, in the form of a landmark report by the National Academy of Sciences, which indicates that the United States may finally be ready to start catching up to other nations by adopting modern testing methods. But this isn’t going to happen while groups like ICCVAM are allowed to stand in the way. We’re currently calling for a congressional investigation into ICCVAM's negligence, and asking that a new entity be created to oversee the implementation of the NAS recommendations. If you’d like to help out by contacting your members of Congress about this issue, you can do so through the webform here.
And definitely check out the Post article. This issue is monumentally important, but doesn’t get a lot of ink, so it’s great to see a publication like The Washington Post giving it its due.
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.