Written by PETA
"This is very much a first in the UK. We are the first council to take such a stand and we will be sending out the message loud and clear that York is a foie gras-free zone."
Unfortunately, this doesn't amount to an outright ban on foie gras sales in the city, but it's a hell of a good start. Most of the foie gras in England is imported from France, which has declared the product "part of the cultural and gastronomic patrimony" — a very sophisticated French way of saying "we don't give a crap about anything". The good folks in PETA Europe are working hard to push other cities to follow York's example, so I'll keep you posted on how that goes, and we'll see what the French foie gras producers have to say about their ludicrous "gastronomic patrimony" once compassionate people throughout Europe send their sales plummeting.
Congratulations to York and to everyone who helped to work on this campaign!
I’m psyched to let you know that we’ve just partnered with Helium, “the leading consumer destination where people can speak their minds and consider opposing opinions.” We’re excited because the partnership provides PETA members, and the public at large, an open and fair environment to debate any animal rights issue that you want. The site’s format is super user-friendly, so this should be a fun and easy way to talk to new people about the issues you’re most passionate about.
Should the NFL add cruelty to animals to its personal conduct policy? Do PETA’s naked protest tactics work? Should chickens be added to the Humane Slaughter Act? These and other debates are already heating up over at Helium, so check it out and let me know what you think.
Please click here to let Les Moonves know that encouraging kids to kill animals is a new low for him (which is saying something), and that he needs drop these lousy stunts right now, no matter how good they may be for his ratings.
Not all of Oscar De La Hoya's fans were as happy about the pics of the world-famous boxer prancing around in fishnets and a mini skirt as we were here at PETA. But as soon as we saw the photos—which have been dutifully circulating the celebrity blog circuit this week after the good folks at x17 broke the story—we thought he'd be just perfect for our Fur Is a Drag campaign. You can read PETA's letter to Oscar below. We just can’t figure out why his management is so upset about the whole thing—men as diverse as Rudy Giuliani, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, and Jamie Foxx have donned a dress without any adverse effect to their careers. Don't you think Oscar would be a knockout on the catwalk?
Dear Oscar,The controversy surrounding the cross-dressing photos of you could be turned around to do some good. One of PETA’s most amusing ongoing campaigns is called Fur Is a Drag, which has involved parodies of fur fashion shows, featuring cross-dressing models sporting donated furs which are spattered with paint and accessorized with cruel leghold traps. We’re planning our next Fur is Drag runway parody for this December in New York, to be hosted by drag sensation Lady Bunny, founder of the Wigstock festival. Might you consider walking the catwalk? You’d be a real knockout. Maybe we can help turn this scandal from a sow’s ear into a silk purse—with matching pumps. Sincerely,Dan MathewsVice PresidentPETA
I love me some Nellie McKay. She just released her new album, Obligatory Villagers, yesterday, so I wanted to give it a quick shout out. Nellie never misses an opportunity to talk about her love of animals and what people can do to make the world a better place for them, and here’s what she had to say when she sat down with the uber-hip peta2 posse recently:
Tell us about the new album, Obligatory Villagers.
It's a rumbus opus, a ragtime sonata. It's about the times we live in.
What animal rights issues are you most passionate about?
Every outrage deserves attention. In terms of scope, ending factory farming & our relationship to animals as food is key, because from there, victory in other areas is inevitable.
Do you think schools should be required to offer students alternatives to dissection? Why?
Schools should not only offer students alternatives, they should completely remove dissection & vivisection from their curriculum. Knowledge without compassion is useless.
Do you have any dissection horror stories from your school days that you'd like to share?
In fourth grade we campaigned to remove formaldehyde jars entombing small animals from the science room. We circulated petitions & met w/the principal & made the teachers really nervous. The jars were removed.
Why did you choose to become a vegetarian?
I was fortunate enough to go vegetarian w/my parents. The sight of caged & suffering animals in animal rights literature elicited an instant response of sadness & anger. Kids have a natural empathy w/ animals.
What's your favorite vegetarian dish?
My Mother's vegan fish & chips w/ brown beans is always on the top of the list.
Any advice for people who want to get involved in animal rights but don't know how to get started?
The biggest thing you can do for the animals, the earth, & humankind (including yourself) is to switch to an animal-free diet. It may not be easy, it may not be instant, but start & watch the world change for the better.
What's up next for you?
I'm working with the Coalition to Preserve Community to prevent Columbia University from demolishing eighteen acres of Harlem to construct a new campus. Among their development plans is a level-3 biotech lab, which would almost certainly include animal research. And of course, I mention ColumbiaCruelty.com wherever I go.
KP was my boss for the first year that I was at PETA, back when I was an editor for the organization myself and spent my days obsessing over em-dashes, misplaced modifiers, and dangling participles (OK, I still obsess over those things, but in those days it was actually useful to someone), so I'm very excited to announce that she's writing a new blog for PETA, which will be focusing on how to keep your canine companion happy and healthy, with an emphasis on weird hippie stuff like holistic medicine and chiropractics. In all seriousness, the blog is a ton of fun, and it's a great resource for anybody who loves dogs—and if you're into alternative medicine, there's probably gonna be a good deal of that for you too.
So head on over to KP's Dog Blog when you get a chance, and let her know what you think. Also, if you have time, I’d be very grateful if you could scour every word of the blog—and if you can find any grammatical errors (even just, like, a comma out of place), report them back to me.
In case you haven't heard of him, Tom Regan is a philosophy professor at NC State who has been one of the most important and compelling advocates for animal rights in the academic world since early on in the movement. His clarity of expression and his passion for the subject make his thinking accessible to anyone—whether they've studied philosophy or not—and this video, which I discovered recently on YouTube, is a great example of Professor Regan's prodigious abilities, both as a thinker and as an advocate for animals.
The excerpt is from a debate that took place in 1989 for the BBC—it's well worth watching and passing around to friends who may be new to the philosophy behind animal rights.
OK, this one's from a few years ago, but these things are so damn popular that I thought I'd post it. A little context—this is the letter that PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich sent to Michael in 2004 to ask him to reconsider his anti-animal stance. The sad truth is that Bruce’s decidedly less sensational letter never received any attention at all—least of all from Michael Moore, who refused even to acknowledge receipt. But it's a cracking good letter, nonetheless. You can check it out here.
Sorry Canadians. I know I'm a day late on this one, but hopefully you'll forgive me since I'm bringing you this amazing shot of PETA activists Lucas Soloway and Andree Silcok, after they snuck into Montreal's Canada Day Parade yesterday. They look like they’re having a blast, and check out the people in the crowd; they can't take their eyes off of them. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I think the guy talking to them is asking if there is room inside the banner for him too . . .
The coolest thing about this picture is that despite not having permission beforehand, the two were allowed to complete the whole parade, reminding thousands of Canadians that it's time to stop the cruel seal hunt.
Way to go Lucas and Andree!
For those that want to get in on PETA Europe's annual Running of the Nudes festivities but can't make the trip to Pamplona, Spain, here is the next best thing to being there. PETA Europe is holding a contest to give away 10 of these cool pens featuring supermodel Annamarie Lytle, along with a signed poster.
OK, so the pens look pretty cool, eh? Well they're even cooler in person, because when you flip them upside down, Lytle is wearing nothing more than plastic bull horns and the traditional red scarf they wear in Pamplona . . . Man, is it getting hot in here or is it just me?
You can enter the contest here, and for more information on bullfights, which is where the bulls that are run through the streets of Pamplona wind up, click here.
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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.