Written by Alisa Mullins
The Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments
of 2013, which Congress is currently considering, could keep hens used by the egg
industry confined to cages forever. The legislation is spearheaded by the industry's trade association, the United
Egg Producers, and, if passed, may overturn existing bans on cages for hens and
legitimize and engrain so-called "enriched" or "furnished"
cages at a time when many people and corporations are advocating for a move
away from all cages. We at PETA are pragmatists and support reduced
suffering, but even an egg industry lawyer has said that the humane groups who
support this bill have "caved":
Misleadingly named "furnished"
cages can house as many as 60 birds. The allotted space is still minuscule, the noise is overwhelming,
the stress factors are enormous, the
privacy a hen seeks in nature for her egg-laying activities is not available to her, and veterinary
care is totally lacking. Such cages
are not even remotely humane. At best, they are slightly less cruel. It is time
for true reform, not industry-fueled deception. Please join us in opposing all
cages for hens on egg farms.
What You Can Do
help protect hens by e-mailing
your representatives and urging them to vote against the Egg Products Inspection
Act Amendments of 2013.
You can also help by never
buying any eggs (even so-called "free-range" eggs
usually come from hens confined to
filthy factory-farm conditions). Instead of eggs, try scrambled tofu for breakfast, and use egg replacers such as mashed tofu, cornstarch, and ground flaxseeds in
your baked goods.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
if a life of suffering on a factory farm that ends with a terrifying death in a
slaughterhouse weren't enough, pigs killed for Smithfield Foods, Inc.'s, ham
and bacon also face being injured or killed in a traffic accident on
their way to slaughter. The latest wreck makes
at least the 11th by pork industry drivers since 2004 in southeastern Virginia
alone—many of them en route to Smithfield's slaughterhouse.
April 19, David Earl Lambert was hauling 184 pigs from the Goldsboro Milling
Co. factory farm to slaughter when he flipped the truck, sending pigs hurtling
through the air. Fifty-five pigs died either on impact or in pain in the hours
that followed, as a result of their injuries. The survivors were hauled the rest
of the way to slaughter. After many crashes, pigs are dragged or electro-shocked to force them to their
has a deplorable driving record, which includes charges for speeding, operating
a vehicle without insurance, reckless driving, and attempting to evade federal
motor carrier safety regulations. And his latest accident occurred on a dry
road on a clear day. By putting known-dangerous drivers behind the wheel, some
meat industry giants show that they have no regard for the safety of animals or
other drivers on the road.
is asking Goldsboro Milling Co. to use common sense and hire only safe drivers,
just as we called on
Smithfield to do when one of its drivers flipped a truck carrying pigs just three months after he had crashed while
hauling cattle. And of course, the
safest and most responsible thing that all of us can do to protect animals and our own health is to go vegan.
Written by Jeff Mackey
When it comes to helping animals, patience and persistence are often key, as was the case with these emaciated
horses in Wisconsin. PETA learned about the animals' plight from a concerned
person who had already convinced the sheriff's department to monitor their
condition, even though the officers said that they could not seize the horses.
PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department exhorted law
enforcement to try to reason with the owners—and it worked. The owners agreed
to surrender custody of the horses, admitting that they didn't have enough
money to care for them. The recovering equines now have plenty to eat and are
safe on a wonderful farm.
So please never give up on assisting animals in jeopardy, even if you're told that no laws are being broken. Maybe you just have to
connect with the one officer who is willing to go above
and beyond the call of duty—but what matters is that help arrives in time.
Update: Good news! We love James Cromwell even more
than we already did because of his willingness to face arrest to help bring attention to cruel brain experiments on cats at the University
of Wisconsin–Madison, and now we love that local prosecutors have declined to bring criminal disorderly
conduct charges against him—as
well as against the PETA staff member who was arrested with him—for pointing out that the
experiments are unethical and must be stopped. The pair have instead been cited for noncriminal
county ordinance violations—similar to a traffic ticket.
The USDA's documentation confirms
that pain was inflicted on cats—including
Double Trouble—who suffered
from chronic life-threatening infections after having
holes drilled into their skulls and metal coils implanted in their eyes and
being constantly starved to force them to obey commands. Please join James
Cromwell today in urging
the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to stop these cruel and deadly experiments.
The following was originally posted on February 7, 2013:
Members of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents sat stunned as actor James Cromwell entered their meeting to challenge them over experiments on cats. Likely the last thing the board expected today was to have an Academy Award nominee rush in, holding a grisly picture of a cat with a large metal post protruding from her head, and exclaim, "This is not science! This is torture! Shame on you!" But James, a longtime PETA supporter, felt that it was high time the board got personally called out for UW-Madison's abuse of cats. Campus police arrested him and a PETA staff member but not before the board had to stare into the face of just one of the many cats who had been tormented and killed in UW-Madison's disturbing brain and ear experiments.
The orange tabby cat whose image has become synonymous with the cruel cat laboratories is Double Trouble. Experimenters screwed a steel post to her skull so that they could immobilize her head and planted electrical devices deep inside her ears. They allowed her massive, bloody head wound to become severely infected, and they then starved her for days at a time so that she would cooperate with them in exchange for a morsel of food to eat. Finally, calling the experiment a failure, they killed and decapitated her.
PETA has repeatedly asked UW-Madison to end its abusive experiments on cats but has received no response. Please e-mail UW's Board of Regents and urge the members to listen to James and the hundreds of thousands of other compassionate people who want the school to end these cruel cat laboratories and switch to modern, superior, non-animal research methods.
investigation into the cruel pigeon-racing
racket spanned many states and revealed rampant illegal gambling, in violation of
state and federal laws—including the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and felony gambling and tax laws—with stakes of $200,000 or more per race. One
of those states was Oklahoma, and as a result of the criminal investigation that followed, the Oklahoma City district attorney has charged three race organizers—including the executive director of the American Racing Pigeon Union—with felony
commercial gambling and conspiracy to violate the state's anti–commercial gambling act.
Until PETA's investigation broke, the shadier aspects of
pigeon racing had attracted little attention, but it's a blood sport that deserves to be as condemned as cockfighting or dogsled racing. In a
typical race, 60 percent of the birds will never make it back to their lofts and
mates because of extreme weather, predators, electric lines, foul play, and
Out of more than 1,500 baby pigeons shipped to Oklahoma City
for just one event attended by the investigators, the 2010 American Racing
Pigeon Union race, a little more than 1,000 birds survived training. Of those
thousand birds entered into the final race, a mere 420
made it back from Arkansas by nightfall—and many of those who returned still
likely had their necks wrung if they failed to finish "in the money."
As one pigeon racer told investigators, when starting out in pigeon racing,
"The first thing you have to learn—how to kill pigeons."
There's nothing sporting about forcing animals to risk—and
often lose—their lives so that someone can win a prize, a title, or some money.
Please never attend or support these sadistic blood sports, and if you witness
cruelty, never be silent.
Update: You asked for
it—you got it. Because of the overwhelming response to this piece, we are
publishing it once more to give our supporters a chance to share it on Twitter and Facebook and spread
the message about the cruelty of factory farms far and wide.
The following was originally posted on November 9, 2012:
Paul McCartney famously said, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." So an intrepid group of animal advocates found a way to bring the slaughterhouse to the sidewalk. Every Saturday night, volunteers Jennifer Mennuti and Boyd Weidman screen PETA's "Factory Farming in 60 Seconds Flat" for passersby on Miami's busy Lincoln Road.
For many people, it's the first time they are staring into the faces of the animals they call "steak," "ham," or "nugget." There in front of them is the irrefutable evidence that their "entrée" was a cow who coughed and choked as the blood spilling from her slit throat ran down her face and covered the floor below, a pig who screamed and cried as he was burned to death in scalding-hot water, a chicken whose desperate squawks went unheeded as her broken legs were slammed into shackles and she stared past the long line of her comrades to the whirring blades that would end her life. A photographer caught some of the people's reactions, and it seems Paul was right.
PETA supporter Andrew Kirschner, who hosts a radio talk show about animal rights, published the photos on his blog, Kirschner's Corner, accompanied by the real-life experiences of slaughterhouse workers, taken from Gail A. Eisnitz's book Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry.
© Serg Alexander/Eyeworks Production
"I could tell you horror stories… about cattle getting their heads stuck under the gate guards and the only way you can get it out is to cut their heads off while they're still alive."
"One time I took my knife – it's sharp enough – and I sliced off the end of a hog's nose, just like a piece of bologna. The hog went crazy for a few seconds. Then it just sat there looking kind of stupid. So I took a handful of salt brine and ground it into his nose. Now that hog really went nuts, pushing its nose all over the place. I still had a bunch of salt in my hand – I was wearing a rubber glove – and I stuck the salt right up the hog's ass. The poor hog didn't know whether to **** or go blind."
"I've seen live animals shackled, hoisted, stuck, and skinned. Too many to count, too many to remember. It's just a process that's continually there. I've seen shackled beef looking around before they've been stuck. I've seen hogs [that are supposed to be lying down] on the bleeding conveyor get up after they've been stuck. I've seen hogs in the scalding tub trying to swim."
"These hogs get up to the scalding tank, hit the water and start screaming and kicking. Sometimes they thrash so much they kick water out of the tank… Sooner or later they drown. There's a rotating arm that pushes them under, no chance for them to get out. I'm not sure if they burn to death before they drown, but it takes them a couple of minutes to stop thrashing."
"Hogs get stressed out pretty easy. If you prod them too much they have heart attacks. If you get a hog in a chute that's had the **** prodded out of him and has a heart attack or refuses to move, you take a meat hook and hook it into his bunghole [anus]. You're dragging these hogs alive, and a lot of times the meat hook rips out of the bunghole. I've seen hams – thighs – completely ripped open. I've also seen intestines come out. If the hog collapses near the front of the chute, you shove the meat hook into his cheek and drag him forward."
"Sometimes I grab it [a hog] by the ear and stick it right through the eye. I'm not just taking its eye out, I'll go all the way to the hilt, right up through the brain, and wiggle the knife."
"Pigs on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them – beat them to death with a pipe."
"Only you don't just kill it, you go in hard, push hard, blow the windpipe, make it drown in its own blood. Split its nose. A live hog would be running around the pit. It would just be looking up at me and I'd be sticking, and I would just take my knife and – cut its eye out while it was just standing there. And this hog would just scream."
"I seen guys take broomsticks and stick it up the cow's behind, screwing them with a broom."
"He'll kick them [hogs], fork them, use anything he can get his hands on. He's already broken three pitchforks so far this year, just jabbing them. He doesn't care if he hits its eyes, head, butt. He jabs them so hard he busts the wooden handles. And he clubs them over the back."
© Serg Alexander/Eyeworks Production
"I've drug cows till their bones start breaking, while they were still alive. Bringing them around the corner and they get stuck up in the doorway, just pull them till their hide be ripped, till the blood just drip on the steel and concrete. Breaking their legs… And the cow be crying with its tongue stuck out. They pull him till his neck just pop."
Do people ask why you're vegan? Maybe it's time to share this video with them:
Then perhaps it's time to ask them the real question: "Why aren't you vegan?"
Update: In one of the
pettiest pieces of pork-barrel politics we've seen in a long time, North
Carolina state Rep. Roger West, who just so happens to be a sponsor of
Brasstown's annual New Year's Eve Possum Drop, has introduced Senate Bill 60,
also sneeringly known as "The Opossum Right-to-Work Act."
At face value, the bill appears
to be simply a way to skirt a judge's recent ruling that outlawed the cruel
event. But it's actually far more insidious than that—it would also strip other
wildlife protections and would allow wild animals to be held in captivity
for unspecified periods of time, put on display for profit or publicity, and
exploited for some unspecified "other purpose." The bill even seeks
to exempt some activities from the state's anti-cruelty law. TV icon Bob Barker
has sent a letter to members of the North Carolina Senate urging them to reject
the bill, and if you're a North Carolina resident, we hope you will do the same and get all your
neighbors to weigh in, too.
Originally posted on November 14th, 2012:
After the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC),
despite an objection from PETA, issued a made-up permit to Clay Logan to possess an opossum for his cruel annual New Year's Eve "Opossum
Drop"—in which a terrified opossum is abducted, held captive, then
suspended and lowered into a horde of boisterous revelers—at his general store
in Brasstown, PETA took the matter to court. Now
the verdict's in, and the animal with the gray fur scored a victory over the
folks with the red faces—and necks.
That's right, y'all: Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred G.
Morrison Jr. ruled in PETA's favor, finding that in North Carolina, citizens "are prohibited from capturing
and using wild animals for pets or amusement" and that the "WRC
has no authority to issue any permit to Logan for the unlawful public display
of a native wild animal at the Opossum Drop Event." As a result, the WRC may not "issue any permit or license for possessing and publicly
displaying a live opossum for use in an 'Opossum Drop' event or for any other public display of a
live opossum or other native wild animal."
Each year, several weeks prior to New Year's Eve, Logan has captured
an opossum from the wild and confined the animal before hoisting him or her high
into the air on New Year's Eve, and then, with a raucous crowd cheering and the
noise of fireworks, live music, and the firing of muskets and cannons, lowered
the frightened animal into the fray. Opossums are shy animals who are terrified
of humans—their primary predator—and vulnerable to stress-related conditions because
of captivity, including capture myopathy, which can result in death days or
even weeks after release back into the wild.
Causing animals pain or distress should never be cause for
celebration. Learn more about entertainment that doesn't harm animals as well as how to live in
harmony with wildlife.
Written by Jennifer OConnor
Nearly 10 years after she
was liberated from the sweltering hell of a Mexican circus, Alaska, the bear who was the
impetus for the eventual seizure of all seven bears held captive by the Suarez Bros. Circus, has died at the Maryland
Zoo in Baltimore. Estimated to be in her late 20s—old age for a polar
bear—Alaska was euthanized because of kidney failure.
It almost sounds like an Onion spoof—polar bears in a Mexican circus. But it was no joke.
The Suarez Bros. Circus—which, coincidentally, is in the news this week after a
handler was mauled to
death by a tiger—was hauling the dejected bears around Mexico and the
Caribbean in cramped cages without access to water for swimming, something that
polar bears desperately crave. A whistleblower leaked videotape showing the
overheated bears pacing in small cages and panting constantly. The bears where
struck and whipped in order to force them to perform ridiculous tricks.
PETA dug into the bears' backgrounds and
uncovered evidence indicating that Alaska may not have been born at Zoo Atlanta,
as the circus had claimed on her import application. After we reported our
suspicions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the service used DNA
testing to prove conclusively that Alaska's identity had been "stolen,"
a violation of federal law. The FWS fined the circus $120,000 and sent Alaska
to the Maryland Zoo, where she lived with fellow polar bears Magnet and Anoki.
When Alaska first arrived
at the zoo, she was sick, lethargic, filthy, and, her caretakers soon learned,
deaf. Free at last from the cramped cage, she explored her surroundings and
swam in a pool for the first time in years. Rancid scraps were
replaced with wholesome, healthy food. There were no more frightening and
confusing tricks. Alaska's battered body and broken spirit began to heal.
Alaska is an inspiring example
of how animals can recover from years of deprivation if given the opportunity.
Her courage and dignity should stand as testament to all the animals whose
health and sanity are sacrificed in the name of "entertainment" in circuses. May she rest in peace.
Ever wonder what hens would say if they could describe their lives on egg factory farms? Wonder no more:
"For as long as I can remember, I've been locked in this crowded, filthy cage," says the "hen" in the video. "Day after day, month after month, this is my entire life."
Hens crammed into cages on egg farms barely have room to lift a wing, much less take more than a step or two in any direction. But while consumers are increasingly concerned about the way in which they're raised, rather than being rid of cages altogether, hens are in danger of being confined to cages indefinitely. But they don't need slightly larger cages or "enriched" cages—they need no cages.
The only way to ensure that hens escape the hell of being confined to abysmally crowded, filthy cages or huge warehouses is never to buy eggs (even so-called "free-range" eggs).
Instead of eggs, try scrambled tofu for breakfast, and use egg replacers such as mashed tofu, cornstarch, and ground flaxseeds in your baked goods.
Like many of you, we were appalled by photos that have surfaced showing a visibly terrified monkey crudely strapped into a
restraint device in which he was reportedly launched into space by the Iranian Space
Agency (ISA). Back in 2011, our friends at PETA U.K. urged agency head Dr. Hamid Fazeli to ground the misguided mission, pointing out that
nonhuman primates are no longer sent into space by the American or European
It appears that Iran is repeating the wasteful and cruel
mistakes that marked the darkest days of the space race. Monkeys are smart and
sensitive animals who not only are traumatized by the violence and noise of a
launch and landing but also suffer when caged in a laboratory before and after
a flight—if they survive.
the use of primates in space radiation experiments in the early 1990s, following
protests by PETA.
In 2010, NASA's plans to restart the program were canceled after PETA and others voiced strong ethical and scientific objections to the
Similarly, the European Space Agency (ESA) has a very active
space exploration program and has publicly stated that it "declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider
any need or use for such results." The ESA instead employs modern
technology such as state-of-the-art simulators to assess health risks for
Whether it happens in Iran or Ireland, in an underground
laboratory or in outer space, cruelly exploiting animals for specious science is indefensible. We've reached out to the ISA once again to ask it to stop shooting
monkeys into space. Learn how you can help stop experimentation on all animals.
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.