Written by Michelle Kretzer
Father of the Year Awards aren't until May, but Rep. Paul Ryan needn't hold his breath: PETA has just named Ryan
our Bad Dad of 2012, and we're sending him a certificate of dishonor:
is catching heat for having his 10-year-old daughter pack heat and gun down a deer who was posing a huge
threat to the duo by grazing in the woods, unarmed. Instead of spending the
Thanksgiving holiday encouraging his child to appreciate nature and be kind to
animals who haven't a chance against fancy, high-powered weapons, Ryan was
teaching her that killing is terrific stuff. If Ryan's goal was to bond with
his daughter, perhaps he should have considered that all animals love their
offspring—including deer, whose fawns are sometimes orphaned and left to starve when hunters shoot
Congress member's lesson in violence saw him beating out a mother who tied up her
baby outside an off-track betting venue, a father who put a child on a
motorcycle with a plastic bag over the toddler's head instead of a helmet, and a
guy who had his baby tattooed.
have suggested plenty of helpful or at least harmless activities that Ryan and
his children could engage in, such as canoeing, hiking, biking, bird watching,
or even clearing the forest of hunters' beer cans and other trash.
Written by PETA
The Benedictine Women of Madison, Wisconsin, know a thing or two about green living. The ecumenical order's new Holy Wisdom Monastery is being called the greenest building in America after receiving the U.S. Green Building Council's highest-ever rating for sustainable construction.
Pardon me, sisters, but there's a way for you to go even greener. PETA is asking the Benedictine sisters to adopt a vegan diet and serve only vegan meals at the monastery. As most of us know by now, eating meat is mean, not green.
We also point out that Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) has in the past spoken movingly about the plight of farmed animals. During a 2002 interview, he said that the "degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible."
So what say you, sisters? Will you make the switch?
Written by Paula Moore
The cost of keeping wild animals in captivity is always more than the price of admission to a zoo or amusement park. Just ask the woman who lost two of her fingers after trying to feed a caged black bear at a Wisconsin zoo last week. The 47-year-old woman—who was with her 3-year-old granddaughter and boyfriend—had her thumb and forefinger bitten off, and two other fingers were partially severed. The boyfriend was also bitten while trying to pry open the bear's jaw to get the animal to release the woman's hand, but he didn't lose any fingers.
Bears in captivity spend much of their time pacing, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads, and showing other signs of psychological distress. These behaviors are not just symptoms of boredom—they indicate profound depression caused by being denied everything that is natural and important to them. Bears, like any wild animal, are unpredictable and will try to defend themselves if they feel threatened and are unable to escape—sometimes with serious or deadly consequences.
News of this perilous encounter comes less than two weeks after Tilikum—the imprisoned orca—killed a SeaWorld trainer. It's just further evidence that patrons of zoos or any facilities that display captive animals are not only supporting the mental, physical, and emotional torment of animals, they are risking their own safety as well.
Written by Logan Scherer
Let's get some crustacean cheers up in here—Kalahari Resorts is removing all Lobster Zone "games" from its locations in Wisconsin and Ohio.
The Lobster Zone, found in some bars and restaurants, allows patrons to grab at lobsters and pluck one out of a machine using a joystick-controlled crane with an attached claw. Caught lobsters are dropped down a chute like a cheap trinket, subsequently boiled or cut up while they are still alive, and then eaten. After receiving calls from Kalahari Resort patrons who were dismayed at the filthy living conditions of the lobsters in the Lobster Zone machine and reported that the animals were attempting to flee the claw whenever it was in motion, we sent a letter to the president of Kalahari Resorts, Todd Nelson, urging him to remove the game. It wasn't until PETA supporters themselves wrote Nelson that he decided to drop the machine. To everyone who took action, thank you.
Lobsters feel pain just as other animals do, and they are naturally very solitary animals. In the wild, they spend months buried in the sand, coming out briefly to forage and then returning to the safety of their homes. They should never be forced to languish in crowded, filthy tanks. If you ever see a Lobster Zone game or a lobster tank in a store or a restaurant, talk to the manager, write a letter to the owner, and tell everyone you know to take action.
On July 4, we celebrated Independence Day for greyhounds in New Hampshire when the state's two racetracks closed. Well, get ready to toast "New Life's Eve" for many racing greyhounds: Wisconsin's only dog-killing racing track, Dairyland Greyhound Park, will hold its last race on December 31.
Life in the fast lane is hard and cruel for racing greyhounds, who spend long hours in cramped kennels and sometimes suffer broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks. Once their racing days are over, many dogs are abandoned, starved, shot, or sold to laboratories. After such hard living, it's no wonder that dogs who are rescued from racetracks have a tendency to turn into couch potatoes.
One more down, eight more to go …
Written by Karin Bennett
Yesterday was a big day for the dairy industry. People across the nation were getting their first peek into what dairy farming actually looks like as media outlets covered PETA's recent, revealing undercover investigation into the putrid living conditions and the abusive treatment of cows on one Land O'Lakes supplier's factory farm. At the same time, PETA was dropping in on the first day of the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
A couple of passionate ladies were on hand at the Expo to let attendees and passersby know that the dairy industry is dreadful for cows and disgusting for humans. Our undercover investigation revealed that cows at milking stations were caked in feces and urine. It also showed that many of these gentle animals had untreated abscesses that sometimes burst and oozed pus as cows were being milked.
After hearing stories like these, people in Madison were quick to take home copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit." Why don't you do the same?
Written by Shawna Flavell
Always one to lend a helping hand flipper, our American Maple Syrup Campaign "spokesseal" was itching to get behind the wheel of a tractor to help out one Green Bay, Wisconsin, farmer who was eager to show his support for our Canadian maple syrup boycott.
As part of our relentless efforts to stop the Canadian seal slaughter, our seal is traversing the U.S. and urging people to choose maple syrup made in America as a way to put pressure on the Canadian government to stop the cruel killing of baby seals in Canada.
So, where are you buying your syrup these days?
Many vegan Wisconsinites cringe at the sight of "Green Bay Cheeseheads"—not to mention their state's standard license plate, which reads, "America's Dairyland," and features an image of a quaint farm.
Caring drivers in Wisconsin deserve a compassionate alternative to "pro-provolone" plates, so PETA wrote a letter to Governor Jim Doyle pointing out that people who are concerned about cruelty on dairy farms should be offered a license plate that reads, "Wisconsin: America's Cow Hell," and comes complete with a realistic image of distressed, sick cows crammed together on a filthy factory farm.
While we wait to hear back from the governor, the Madison-based animal rights organization Alliance for Animals has already produced an "America's Cow Hell" sticker for Wisconsin drivers to place over the existing "America's Dairyland" on their license plates. Visit Alliance for Animals' Web site to order yours today.
As a Midwestern gal, I would like to take you on a quick, two-stop, cruelty-free tour of my section of the U.S. It's a little something I'm calling the Midwest Victory Tour. Sometimes I feel as though this part of the country gets a bum rap, so this tour is to give props to two forward-thinking Midwestern educational institutions, one in Wisconsin and one in Utah, that have recently stopped exploiting animals. If only all schools could be as progressive.
First stop on the Midwest Victory Tour is a school district in Wisconsin. A concerned citizen contacted us after learning that the district was offering a kids' summer science course that included six dissections as well as an activity in which students were given a live rat to "care for" throughout the duration of the course. We contacted the school immediately about cutting out the old-school classroom dissections and to inform school officials that rats need constant care and compassion, not a summer course's worth of "caretaking." After nearly a year of persistent follow-up, we are excited to let you know that this course is finally history!
Our next stop on the tour takes us to a Utah educational nonprofit that was recommending experiments in which live goldfish were put in ice baths in order to cause hypothermia. Since the experimenters probably wouldn't do this sort of thing to Fluffy, the family kitty, we sent the nonprofit a letter outlining why it's cruel to freeze any kitten—including sea kittens. After hearing our suggestion for cruelty-free coursework, the nonprofit has agreed to no longer suggest shocking the nervous systems of these adorable goldkittens for classroom experiments.
Well, that's the end of our Midwest Victory Tour. See, it's not all beef-expos and pus-farms in the Midwest. There's some compassion for animals too.
At a middle school in Tiny Poplar, Wisconsin, a science teacher is encouraging his kids to shoot animals in the area and share stories of “the kill” with the rest of the class. If the kids eat the dead creatures, they’re allowed to post pictures of their accomplishment on a bulletin board in the classroom. And not a single person in the school gets how fundamentally, deeply screwed up this is.
After concerned members of the community contacted us about this disturbing practice, PETA’s Sangeeta Kumar wrote a letter to the school’s principal informing him of the well-documented link between violence against animals and criminal behavior against other humans (this is especially true when kids start killing at a young age), and asked that he at least include some information on humane treatment of animals in his curriculum so kids could learn that there are other, more enriching ways of interacting with wild animals than shooting at them.
We’re still chatting fairly amicably with the principal about this issue—but it’s frustrating going. You can read more about this (and leave a comment, if you feel so inclined) at TwinCities.com. Note the quote at the end where the school tries to justify this sordid practice with the argument that people used to do it 150 years ago. Kind of like how they used to own slaves and deny women the right to vote.
"I doubt there were many vegetarians 150 years ago. Why was it acceptable for their great grandfathers to hunt?"
Short answer: It wasn’t. I’ll let you know if we get anywhere with this.
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
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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.