Written by PETA
We already loved Kathy Freston for her wonderful books, Quantum Wellness and The Quantum Wellness Cleanse, which promote a vegan diet as part of a healthy lifestyle. (Even Oprah tried the cleanse!) Now we have yet another reason to love Kathy: Her animal-friendly fashions have earned her a spot in Vanity Fair's 2009 International Best-Dressed List.
And that's not all. Kathy also defines her personal style as "cruelty-free" and her cause as "animal protection." Favorite shoes? Why, Stella McCartney, of course!
"Best-dressed" Kathy Freston is yet more proof that nobody has to die for fashion. Just wait—I'm sure we'll see a whole slew of cruelty-free fashion mavens on 2010's list.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Late last year, one of PETA's fieldworkers answered a request for a PETA dog house, and she spotted Buxton—then just 8 weeks old—hobbling down the road by himself. When she went to pick him up, he screamed in pain and wet himself. It turns out that his harness had become embedded and had caused deep gashes under his arms and across his chest—the wounds reeked of infection and were oozing pus.
Knocking on neighborhood doors didn't turn up anyone who knew the pup, so PETA's fieldworker, Misty, rushed him to an emergency veterinary hospital where the harness was cut away and his wounds were treated. The vet estimated that the harness had been cutting into Buxton's body for at least two weeks.
Following a lead, our field staff eventually did find Buxton's "owners"—a mother and son—and they told us to keep him. We filed charges against them, of course, and in April, Catina Beasley and Calvin Holland were found guilty of cruelty to animals. They have both been permanently barred from owning animals, and Holland was ordered to pay a $100 fine and nearly $400 in restitution for Buxton's medical care.
As for Buxton? Here he is with his new family:
Of course, not all dogs are as lucky. Our case workers are deluged with calls. Animals are poisoned, beaten, starved, and neglected—some have even have their mouths duct-taped shut for "barking too much." Cats and dogs are put into microwaves, dismembered, sexually assaulted, hanged, set on fire, bludgeoned, buried alive, and otherwise tortured and killed. Please do something to help, and be an advocate for them all. Being heartbroken doesn't cut it. If you suspect that an animal is being neglected or you witness cruelty to animals, don't hesitate: Report it to your local law-enforcement agency immediately and follow up until it's resolved.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
PETA Files readers were outraged by yesterday's story about an Akron, Ohio, Petland employee who allegedly drowned two rabbits in the store's back room. Our readers are not alone, and thanks to the overwhelming public outcry, the store where Elizabeth Carlisle was photographed holding two sopping-wet, dead rabbits by the scruff of the neck has been permanently closed.
In other good news, Elizabeth Carlisle has been charged with cruelty to animals and is scheduled to appear in court later this month. We have written to the authorities and are urging them to throw the book at her—hard.
While it's great that this particular hellhole has been shut down, Petland still has a lot of cleaning up to do. PETA receives many complaints alleging abuse and neglect of animals in Petland's stores. Here are just a few examples:
One person claiming to be a former Petland employee writes, "[I] used to work at a Petland … and [I] can totally relate to this picture … The stores … have puppies dying all the time, due to not having water and food. [T]he kennel techs are untrained and underpaid and they get back at the company by not taking care of the animals! … [A]ll Petlands should be shut down or the animals should all be taken away. [A]ll they care about is money, money, money!"
Another writes, "I used to work for Petland … I ended up being let go, because I refused to … [p]ut dying hamsters, parakeets, … kittens, [and] small puppies in plastic bags and put them in the freezer, and let [animals] breed rampantly. I also got in trouble for … wasting company money by cleaning animal cages that were out of customer sight …"
And yet another writes, "I opened the freezer once and there were frozen snakes in there. I asked what they were … They said they weren't paying the vet to treat [the animals], so they put them to sleep in there. Rats and mice, hamsters and gerbils, and other small critters were always committing cannibalism, because of lack of food, and not having enough space."
Petland is unable to monitor all its employees all the time, which means that other animals are bound to suffer as a result. We would like Petland to stop selling animals in all its stores, but if the company isn't willing to make that leap immediately, what it can do right now is stop selling rabbits in order to ensure that these small, vulnerable animals are spared death at the hands of people like Carlisle.
Written by Alisa Mullins
This is it, people! The circus industry is built on masking animal torture as family fun—and it's time to force that industry to crumble. As you may know, this week PETA broke our latest undercover investigation into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. With the powerful footage obtained by our investigator, we are closer than ever to seeing animals freed from the living hell that is life in the circus. Can you imagine being stolen from your mom and chained for an average of more than 26 hours at a time, sometimes for as many as 60–100 hours straight, only to be beaten and forced to perform day after day?
My friends, you're in a position to help end their suffering. How, you ask? For starters, watch the video. Second, sign this petition and forward it to all your friends via every social networking site you're on. (There are even links at the bottom of the petition to help you do it.)
And finally, my personal fave—get your booty on the street and protest like these hipsters!
Just think—this could be you!
Standing up for animals is fulfilling, to say the least. Believe me. So get on out there, y'all!
Written by Missy Lane
Stimpy was wasting away. Whether he had a medical condition or simply couldn't compete for food against the other, stronger dog on the property is not clear. But he was obviously suffering and slowly dying.
After weeks of watching Stimpy's condition deteriorate while waiting for local authorities to intervene, a concerned citizen called PETA and asked us to step in. Our cruelty caseworkers leaped into action and quickly convinced animal control officers to visit the property. Once the officers arrived, they acknowledged that Stimpy's situation was desperate and convinced Stimpy's guardian to surrender custody of him.
Stimpy is just one example of the countless "backyard dogs" suffering at the hands of neglectful guardians. While these people may not intentionally abuse animals, the end result is the same: misery, anguish, and often death.
Animals left outside are put at risk by a range of hazards—including parasites, diseases, and weather extremes as well as "bunchers" (people who steal animals and sell them to laboratories) and other cruel people.
Our cruelty caseworkers constantly receive calls about "backyard dogs" like Stimpy, and regardless of whether the call is from New York City or Small Town, Arkansas, the stories are almost always the same. We know that abuse and neglect can happen anywhere, at anytime, and dogs like Stimpy rely on people like you to be on the look out for their suffering. So regardless of whether you live in a metropolis or in the middle of a cornfield—please keep your eyes and ears peeled for mistreated animals and speak up whenever you suspect foul play.
Written by Jeff Mackey
When Vickie McCauley unwrapped the body that she and her co-workers had found abandoned near their Austin office, she was sickened by what she saw. The pit bull's paws were reportedly bound with rope, her throat had been sliced open, and her face had been set on fire.
"If I think about what they did to her and she was alive," McCauley said. "It makes me cry because it makes me so sad."
Officials apparently didn't bother to unwrap the bundle, possibly assuming that the dog had simply been discarded there by someone who had nowhere else to put her after she died.
But McCauley wasn't willing to let the poor, tortured animal's suffering go unpunished. She demanded justice and insisted on further investigation. McCauley turned to the Internet, where she has been circulating pictures and pleas for help. "This is torture worse than I've ever seen in my life," McCauley said. "And, I want whoever did this to know this is wrong! You can't go around doing things like this to animals."
We have stepped in and are offering a $2,500 reward to help find the person (or people) responsible for this atrocious crime. But cruelty cases like this are all too common, so if you become aware of animal abuse, follow Vickie McCauley's example and insist that authorities take action!
Smithfield execs, who live high off the hog—actually, it's more like about 27 million hogs—have just decided that they cannot keep their promise to phase out gestation crates over the next 10 years.
Smithfield states, "Due to recent significant operating losses incurred by our Hog Production segment, we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within ten years of the original announcement."
These gestation crates that Smithfield is dragging its feet on phasing out are called "iron maidens" after medieval torture devices, and for good reason—sows kept in them cannot turn around, and their muscles atrophy. Over time, pigs kept in these horrid conditions develop sores from lying on filthy concrete and go insane from the confinement.
Consider that just three years' compensation for Smithfield's directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out. Smithfield's claim that it can't spare pennies a pig to improve these animals' living conditions makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist and erodes any trust the company hopes to build with its consumers or with PETA.
Once again, animal welfare has taken a backseat to corporate profit. Smithfield can rest assured that we'll be at its annual meeting this August, making sure that pigs are heard.
Written by Karin Bennett
Once again our band of beautiful activists braved the winter weather to throw an eye-catching unwelcome party for circuses all across the South. The attention garnered by their loveliness was directed at the ugly circus industry.
Using abuse to force majestic elephants and big cats into performing humiliating tricks is depraved. That fact that circuses pawn this off as family entertainment just makes us tear our hair out (and our clothes off)! Take a look.
Whew—and I have to wear a jacket just sitting at my desk sometimes. Thanks for your dedication!
Sadly, I still remember the first time I heard Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time." I was in the eighth grade and TRL was still wildly cool. My skinny, stirrup-tights-wearing, headgear sportin' 13 year-old self just couldn't get enough of the song. I remember thinking we had found a true pop princess.
But man, how quickly America's sweetheart fell from grace. And it wasn't pretty.
Now, at the bottom of the barrel, she's sporting elephants dressed in circus attire for her new video titled—what else—"Circus."
As Britney is such a victim of the paparazzi and always complaining and crying about how she hates to be held up in her guarded house and can't feel free, she of all people should be able to relate to the horror that captive animals go through when they're used for entertainment. Except Britney chooses to perform, and the lifestyle just comes with it. Animals are ripped away from their mothers at a young age, kept in chains, and prodded with electric shock devices to make them perform. That doesn't sound so voluntary to me.
Britney is now just an "outrageous" and "toxic" mess. I certainly don't want her to "gimme more," and neither do the animals who have been abused so that she can feel "lucky."
Well, we're not takin' this sitting down. We've got a killer action alert ready for those of you who want to fight with us and tell Brit to stop using animals in her acts, once and for all. Click here to take action today.
I must confess that I still believe she can turn herself around.
Written by Christine Doré
Update: You can read PETA’s letter to the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) about this video here, and if you want to show your support for investigating and punishing those involved, you can do so here.
A lot of people have been writing in and commenting about a shocking video that has recently surfaced which shows a smiling marine throwing a live puppy off a cliff while his friend laughs. Witnessing this kind of sadism under any circumstances is incredibly disturbing, but there’s something particularly horrifying about seeing it perpetrated by members of the military, and our caseworkers are currently analyzing the video footage to determine its legitimacy, as well as pushing military authorities to follow through on their own thorough investigation of this reprehensible act.
From what I understand, the culprit is believed to be based in Hawaii, and we intend to ensure that he—and anyone else involved in this atrocity—is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if this video is determined to be authentic. I’ll keep you posted.
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
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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.