Written by PETA
Update: After receiving a complaint from Leslie Franks Solicitors that the description of its client hadn't made the distinction that Barker was not convicted of murder but rather of "causing or allowing" the death of Baby P, PETA U.K. redesigned this billboard. Convicted child abusers' violent acts send just as clear a warning to anyone who might overlook animal abuse.
It's been shown many times that those who abuse animals often go on to commit violence against human beings. (Remember what Eli Roth said?)
With that in mind, our friends at PETA UK have just placed a billboard in Haringey, the North London borough that is now infamous for being the location of the horrific abuse of "Baby P," a 17-month old boy who was found dead in his bed with a broken back, his fingertips sliced off, and his fingernails pulled out with pliers. He was also punched so hard in the face that he swallowed a tooth.
As a child, Baby P's abuser, Steven Barker, tortured animals, including frogs, whom he would skin before breaking their legs. How much suffering could have been prevented if Barker's fascination with inflicting torture on animals had been taken more seriously?
Baby P's case is a chilling reminder that cruelty-to-animals cases must be reported and aggressively prosecuted in order to protect helpless victims of all species.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Dancing With the Stars has hosted a virtual cornucopia of PETA supporters, from contestants Joanna Krupa and Steve-O to dancing pro Karina Smirnoff and judge Carrie Ann Inaba. So we were bummed to learn that DWTS planned to use a chimpanzee as a "guest judge" on last night's episode.
Yesterday morning, several organizations, including PETA, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, and International Primate Protection League, contacted the show's executive producer, Conrad Green, to try to convince him not to air the segment. In our letter, we alerted Green to the fact that workers tear captive baby chimpanzees away from their mothers and beat them in order to force them to perform. We also sent along our moving video about great apes in entertainment, which is narrated by Anjelica Huston.
Anjelica must have worked her magic, because the kind Mr. Green got back to us right away to let us know that the segment featuring the chimpanzee would be cut and that he would never use great apes in the future. Good to his word, no chimpanzee put in an appearance on last night's show, according to the crazed avid DWTS fans on our staff.
This just goes to show that if you speak up, good people like Conrad Green are quick to do the right thing.
Written by Alisa Mullins
I don't know much Italian, besides this, but even I can figure out that "Vadis al Maximo" means "something something maximum." After reading about the historical society's push to revive chariot races at the crumbling Circus Maximus in Rome, I'm thinking that the translation is "Horse Abuses Maximum."
Fortunately for us (and horses), Rome's chariot races will remain safely tucked away in the annals of history. PETA U.K. fired off an urgent plea to Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno to nix the notion, explaining that chariot races are stressful to horses and place the animals and spectators at risk. City official Umberto Croppi promptly responded, "I can reassure you by saying that … the city of Rome will not allow the holding of similar events."
We're trying to eliminate abuses in the U.S. horse-racing industry, including whippings, drugging, and slaughter. So a molto "Thanks!" to Rome's mayor for giving Italian stallions a break.
Written by Karin Bennett
I thought that getting Tom Cruise to squirm uncomfortably during the premiere of The Jay Leno Show would be the program's most misguided attempt at "fun." Wrong.
Apparently, Jay Leno's stint as a teenage employee under the Golden Arches got execs at NBC and McDonald's thinking that the talk show host should feature a month-long promo for the fast-food giant on his new program.
With the news that McCruelty is slated for some prime-time exposure, out came PETA's "chickens." They greeted audiences lining up for yesterday's taping of The Jay Leno Show with news that McDonald's refuses to adopt an improved slaughter method called "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK). McDonald's American suppliers still use an archaic killing method that causes countless birds to suffer broken wings and broken legs, have their throats cut while they're still conscious, and be scalded to death. Even McDonald's own advisers agree that the company should eliminate the worst abuses by switching to CAK, which is already used by McDonald's European suppliers.
Ever the optimists, we're crossing our fingers in the hope that Mr. Leno will use his influence to convince McDonald's to help billions of birds.
Stay tuned for updates.
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of the emergency kit is Zachary Locke. Congratulations!
My rescued beagle, Lulu, RIP, was determined to devour every piece of chocolate she laid her big baby browns on. I once foolishly thought that a huge dark chocolate bar I'd put in a file cabinet at the office was safe from discovery. Wrong. No opposable thumb? No problem. Somehow she still managed to push the small latch to the side while simultaneously opening the drawer.
After that incident—which involved a visit to the emergency vet—the chocolate went into the fridge, and the baster, hydrogen peroxide, and activated charcoal went into the bathroom cabinet, just in case.
The prize for this week's "Win It" Wednesday contest is sure to come in handy for emergency situations like Lulu's. It's this handy and stylish emergency kit for your pooch:
How do you win it? Post a comment to share the preventative action(s) you use to keep your dog safe. We've got one kit to give away, and the person who provides the most thorough plan of action wins.
In case you forgot how smart, social, and absolutely adorable pigs are, meet Sherlock. Found wandering down a rural road in Suffolk, Virginia, this little guy was captured and taken to the local animal shelter:
When he was found, Sherlock was still a baby, but he was already castrated and his tail had obviously been docked. That means that this plucky little piglet likely fell off a truck headed to a growing/finishing barn—which is what the piggy flesh industry calls the factories that are used to fatten up little pigs like Sherlock for slaughter. On factory farms, piglets are taken away from their moms when they are less than 1 month old. Workers cut off their tails, clip their teeth with pliers, and castrate the males—all without painkillers. The animals spend their entire lives in extremely crowded pens on tiny slabs of filthy concrete. It gets even more heartbreaking when you factor in the abuse that these animals face: A recent undercover investigation of an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets to Hormel, documented that workers beat pigs with metal rods and sexually abused them with canes.
When one of our fieldworkers saw the headline about Sherlock in the Suffolk paper, she immediately went to work to find this guy a wonderful home. Click here to see how Sherlock's story ends!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Several years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to tackle the issue of determining the safety of nanomaterials—teeny-tiny particles that measure less than one-tenth of a micrometer (even smaller than the brain of the average Michael Vick fan) As soon as we learned about this initiative, our staff scientists began communicating with the EPA, urging the agency to use the most modern and sophisticated testing methods instead of automatically relying on archaic animal tests, as government agencies historically have, basically for no better reason than "we've always done it that way."
Last week, our scientists' hard work paid off: The EPA issued its final "Nanomaterials Research Strategy," and it incorporates many of PETA's recommendations. While the original draft still relied heavily on animal tests, the final plan takes full advantage of non-animal test methods. This will greatly reduce the number of animals killed in tests assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials.
Just as important, the research strategy reiterates the principles outlined in the strategic plan the EPA released this spring, which calls for identifying and using non-animal testing methods that will ultimately replace all animal tests for nanomaterials.
This is a win-win for PETA, animals, and the EPA. Oh, and the public wins, too, because reducing the use of animals in assessing the toxicity of nanomaterials also improves the agency's ability to assess hazards to humans.
Starting with Tricky Dick, every president in office has issued proclamations supporting America's "sportsmen and women," i.e. wildlife killers. President Obama recently followed suit by naming September 26 "National Hunting and Fishing Day."
In response, PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk has asked President Obama to declare a "National Wildlife Amnesty Day" in honor of the 95 percent of us who prefer to shoot wildlife with cameras, not guns. That's right: Only a puny 5 percent of Americans stalk, maim, and slaughter deer, bears, and other animals—and many former fishers have cast their rods aside after learning that fish sea kittens feel pain.
Folks, "wildlife management" and "conservation" are euphemisms used to describe programs that ensure inflated numbers of animals for hunters to harass, maim, and kill. If left alone, animal populations would regulate their own numbers. Those who truly care about wildlife donate money to save habitats—without expecting a dead body as a trophy in return.
Who needs a spa treatment when you can rejuvenate your soul by nuzzling 800-pound piggies at an animal sanctuary?
Well, a group of us kids from PETA and the PETA Foundation were lucky enough to do just that over the weekend. An hour north of D.C. lies a spectacular oasis called Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. It consists of 400 acres devoted entirely to the rehabilitation of abused and/or neglected animals. This past Sunday, Poplar Spring hosted its annual Open House and Fundraiser. I don't think anyone could turn down yummy vegan nosh and cuddle time with the cuties pictured below, do you?
This is Bobby and yours truly. Before coming to the sanctuary, he and his friend Harry had lived their entire lives in cages and were used in insulin experiments. When they arrived at Poplar Spring, both of them were white as snow because they had never seen a single ray of sunshine. The first thing they did when they arrived at Poplar? They dove into a mud pool and stared up in amazement at the trees and stars. What a lucky guy, and such a looker too!
I'm telling you, folks, I highly recommend finding your nearest animal sanctuary and visiting. Or better yet, volunteer! With Thanksgiving coming up, most farm sanctuaries have special Thanksgiving celebrations that honor their turkeys. If my picture doesn't convince you, maybe these will.
Written by Missy Lane
When I was in elementary school, I had a friend named Katie. We slept over at each other's houses, hung out during recess, and wore the same clothes, pretending to be twins. I was so ready to give her the other half of my best-friend necklace—but then I heard her talking smack about me in the lunch room. Backstabber.
The CEO of Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is a lot like Katie. While the aquarium's mission is supposedly "to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems," CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel has just launched a new program called "Seafood for the Future"—which encourages people to eat specific kinds of fish in order to qualify for a free ticket to the aquarium.
If Dr. Schubel really knew what was best for fish, he'd know that eating them isn't an option. Fish communicate and develop relationships with one another. They experience fear, show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when their companions die. When they are dragged from the ocean's depths, they undergo excruciating decompression, which often causes their internal organs to rupture.
Encouraging aquarium visitors to eat fish seems a little bit like serving poodle burgers at a dog show. Wouldn't you think the best way for visitors to safeguard and respect the ocean's sea life is to adopt a vegan diet? We've fired off a letter to Dr. Schubel asking him to cancel this program immediately.
Is it obvious yet that aquariums really don't care about the animals they're supposedly protecting?
Written by Liz Graffeo
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.