Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: April 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET: Although bebe acknowledged
receipt of PETA's cease-and-desist letter and promised us a response, PETA has not
received one and bebe continues to misrepresent itself to the public as a
fur-free company. So PETA has
filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) regarding the
deception. The bureau can now ask bebe to resolve PETA's
grievance. It can also post our complaint to bebe's BBB webpage, which could
negatively impact the company's BBB rating.
Originally posted on January 28 at 11:25 a.m. ET:
Faced with backlash from customers for selling real fur, bebe could have done the honorable thing and pulled it from its shelves. Instead, the company decided to lie.
As everyone knows, some customers won't shop for anything in a store that sells fur, just as they won't buy "pet" supplies in a store that sells animals. Even though bebe currently sells rabbit and chinchilla fur in some of its stores, on two separate occasions—one as recent as January 15—callers to bebe's customer service line were told that bebe doesn't sell fur. One caller recorded her conversation, which you can listen to here. PETA's attorneys have sent a cease-and-desist advisory to Steve Birkhold, bebe's CEO, letting him know that if bebe doesn't either start being honest with customers or actually stop selling real fur, PETA may take the company from the mall to the courthouse for engaging in false advertising, which is a violation of both state and federal laws.
It's no wonder that bebe wants to cover up the fact that it's selling real fur. In China, where bebe sources much of its fur, workers pull rabbits out of cages by their ears and stun the screaming animals with electrical devices. And in China as well as other countries, animals are bludgeoned to death, electrocuted, and often even skinned alive, as documented in this undercover footage.
As bebe is likely learning, few people are willing to patronize retailers that support such cruelty. Let bebe know that you are one of many potential customers who will refuse to buy its clothing until its shelves truly are fur-free.
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?"
Written by Jeff Mackey
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.
For decades, PETA has been calling for an end to the cruel and irrelevant use of
chimpanzees in experimentation. We’ve made significant progress over the years bring an end to this national
disgrace, and now
government is finally taking concrete steps to do the same.
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
At a historic meeting
this afternoon, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee recommended
that the agency cut funding for seven of the nine current taxpayer-funded
grants for biomedical experiments on chimpanzees and fully or partially cut
funding for 12 of 13 behavioral studies. With regard to the fate of these 360
NIH-owned chimpanzees, the committee stated that "the majority of
NIH-owned chimpanzees should be designated for retirement and transferred to
the federal sanctuary system. Planning should start immediately ...."
The NIH's momentous move follows the landmark 2011 finding of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that "most current biomedical research use of
chimpanzees is not necessary." After the report's release, the NIH formed a committee to determine, among
other things, which taxpayer-funded projects should be ended and how many
chimpanzees should be retired.
PETA submitted recommendations calling for a complete end to
experimentation on chimpanzees to both IOM and NIH during these deliberations—and
that's just one part of the extensive groundwork that led to this exciting
development. Every step of the way, PETA has relentlessly pursued any and all
avenues to uncover abuse to chimpanzees in laboratories and has advocated for
the creation of stronger federal policy and legislation to protect chimpanzees
from being tormented in experiments.
has exposed cruelty in laboratories,
filed complaints against laboratories
that experiment on chimpanzees, reached out to Members of Congress, organized demonstrations, gained celebrity support, filed shareholder
resolutions, launched online advocacy
campaigns, and called for an end to this barbaric practice in popular and academic publications.
The end is in sight, but we must not stop until all
chimpanzees are out of laboratories. Please sign PETA's petition asking Congress to retire all
federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
Following troubling incidents in which students desecrated the bodies of dead cats in a school classroom, California's Newport-Mesa Unified School District has confirmed to PETA that it's replacing cruel and crude cat dissections in district schools with modern virtual-dissection software. This progressive change follows a PETA plea and offer to provide the district with non-animal teaching methods. Now, kids in the district will learn about life sciences more effectively and humanely—and without being taught the dangerous lesson that animals are nothing more than tools to be used and abused.
Cruelty in the Curriculum
The district's decision to eliminate cat dissection came after an outcry erupted over Facebook photos showing Newport Harbor High School students who played, posed, and smiled with the mutilated bodies of cats used in a biology class. The photos were brought to the attention of PETA and the faculty by brave students in the school's Compassion in Action club. PETA immediately contacted the school district with information about better, kinder methods of teaching anatomy and offered to provide the district with the software.
Cats who are cut apart in school dissections come from biological supply houses, which obtain the bodies of lost, stray, and abandoned animals from animal shelters—meaning that some cats used in biology classes may be the lost animal companions of families.
It's no surprise that trying to teach kids science with mutilated animals can foster callousness toward animals and breed this kind of inexcusable behavior.
Make the Switch
Is your school system still stuck in the Dark Ages, with animals paying the price? Learn more about how you can cut out dissection.
headed out for the new Martin
Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall on Monday toting a box of All Animals Are Equal magazines and signs featuring one of Dr. King's most famous quotes, hoping to inspire
people. As it turned out, we were the
ones who were inspired.
The PETA gals
met a beautiful little girl who, at 9 years old, is already an advocate for
social justice, including animal rights. She told them that she went vegetarian
at age 6, and today she's truly honoring Dr. King exactly as we all should—not
just in voice, but in practice—by continuing to fight injustice with knowledge
Dr. King once
said, "[B]abies, we are told, are the latest news from Heaven." He would
also likely agree with these famous words: "And a child shall lead them."
This Saturday is International Animal Rights Day,
and we're celebrating by giving away a copy of The PETA Practical
Guide to Animal Rights, a page-turner that's
jam-packed with ways that anyone, anywhere, can make a huge difference for
To enter for a chance to win the book,
post a comment telling us what you'll be doing for animals this Saturday. Here
are some suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing:
A winner will be chosen at random from the animal-friendly
comments that are submitted. The contest will end on December 16, and we'll contact the winner by December 30. Make sure that
you read our privacy
policy and terms and conditions, as you're
agreeing to both by commenting.
Written by PETA
Got plans this upcoming Monday night? Cancel them. Spend the evening with Jane Velez-Mitchell instead! If you've watched her show, Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell on Headline News (HLN), you know that this longtime vegan and PETA supporter is a dedicated animal rights activist who never misses an opportunity to speak up for animals. Now, she's hosting an unprecedented hour-long special devoted entirely to animal rights!
An exciting opportunity to bring animal welfare issues to the masses, Jane's show will take on topics such as the impact that the oil spill is having on animals, factory farming, the government's round-up of wild horses, the breeding of monkeys in Puerto Rico, and so much more. The program will also include interviews with PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange, Bob Barker, and actors Pierce Brosnan, and Jorja Fox. So grab your friends (or set your DVR), and watch!
"Jane Fights for Animal Rights" will air on Monday, July 5, at 7 p.m. ET on Headline News (HLN).
It's important to show networks that people are interested in animal rights issues, so please watch the program and thank CNN for airing it. Head on over to Facebook to RSVP to this event, and we'll even remind you to tune in!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
During the first weeks of spring, wearing a T-shirt sans jacket is a feeling that can't be beat. Actually, I take that back—wearing a T-shirt with an animal-friendly message sans jacket is the only thing that can beat that, which is why for this week's "Win It" Wednesday, we're putting the tee in generosity by giving away these 100 percent organic cotton shirts from Italy-based Tippitappi:
How do you win? Tell us all about the places you'll go while sporting one of these tees with a message. The three readers whose must-see spring hot spots most make us want to get out of our seats and travel will each get to choose the shirt of his or her choice from the five shirts pictured above.
Written by Logan Scherer
George and Weezie Jefferson may have moved up, but I'm jonesing to move out. My destination: Switzerland, which just might become the most animal-friendly nation in the world.
Last year, Switzerland passed a law that guarantees rights for all animals. Next month, voters will weigh in on a referendum that, if passed, will require that lawyers be assigned to protect companion and farmed animals from abuse.
I can only imagine the relief if such legislation caught on in the U.S. (and how much Judge Judy I'd wind up watching). Goldfish could be rescued from their scum-caked tanks. Lonely, cold dogs banished to back yards could enjoy warmth and companionship inside. Pigs, chickens, cows, ducks—any and all factory-farmed animals—might never again have their body parts burned or chopped off, and they'd be freed from their filthy cages, crates, and pens. Those examples are just off the top of my head. Jot yours down in the comments section below.
Written by Karin Bennett
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.