Written by PETA
The following is a guest post from peta2's Ryan
As those of you who have been keeping up with your NCAA "March Madness" brackets will know, this year's college basketball championship series is down to the final four schools, all vying for the top spot. Unfortunately, they're all losers.
I say this because, in a tragic irony, the universities that have the most talented athletes also seem to hire some of the cruelest animal abusers in the nation.
Villanova University vs. University of North Carolina
Villanova experimenters inject methamphetamine into rats' stomachs to determine whether the drug influences the rats' response time in behavioral tests (gee, I wonder). Unfortunately, as you might have seen in our "Who Cares?" video, this kind of pointless and cruel test on rats and mice is still legal—in fact, no experiment on them, no matter how painful, is against the law.
Maria Boccia, a vivisector at UNC–Chapel Hill, removes rat pups—at 2 to 14 days old—from their mothers for extended periods of time in order to induce a deep depression in the mother rats. She then places the mothers in cylinders of water from which they can not escape in order to see how quickly they are overcome with a sense of helplessness and stop swimming.
University of Connecticut vs. Michigan State University
At University of Connecticut, experimenters implant steel rods into rabbits' spines to keep them immobile. They then shock the rabbits with electrodes and measure the animals' brainwaves while they are still awake.
Not to be outdone, the returning "champion" from last year's contest, MSU vivisector Arthur Weber has continued his "work" removing the eyes of cats while the animals are still alive. Weber attempted to justify his cruel and pointless experiments last year; on Weber's behalf, an MSU official stated, "The animals are completely anesthetized, receive painkillers, and once the animals come out of the anesthesia, 10 minutes later you can't tell the difference." Yeah, you're probably right. I'm sure eyes are overrated anyway. What?! And don't forget the part where you keep them alive for a week after the operation and then kill them—I'd be willing to bet my March Madness pool money that they notice that too!
Of course, it's not the basketball players' fault that their schools hired such colossal creeps—animal experimentation is big business. As shown above, though, no amount of money can keep animal abusers from being morally bankrupt.
Written by Ryan Huling
As a Midwestern gal, I would like to take you on a quick, two-stop, cruelty-free tour of my section of the U.S. It's a little something I'm calling the Midwest Victory Tour. Sometimes I feel as though this part of the country gets a bum rap, so this tour is to give props to two forward-thinking Midwestern educational institutions, one in Wisconsin and one in Utah, that have recently stopped exploiting animals. If only all schools could be as progressive.
First stop on the Midwest Victory Tour is a school district in Wisconsin. A concerned citizen contacted us after learning that the district was offering a kids' summer science course that included six dissections as well as an activity in which students were given a live rat to "care for" throughout the duration of the course. We contacted the school immediately about cutting out the old-school classroom dissections and to inform school officials that rats need constant care and compassion, not a summer course's worth of "caretaking." After nearly a year of persistent follow-up, we are excited to let you know that this course is finally history!
Our next stop on the tour takes us to a Utah educational nonprofit that was recommending experiments in which live goldfish were put in ice baths in order to cause hypothermia. Since the experimenters probably wouldn't do this sort of thing to Fluffy, the family kitty, we sent the nonprofit a letter outlining why it's cruel to freeze any kitten—including sea kittens. After hearing our suggestion for cruelty-free coursework, the nonprofit has agreed to no longer suggest shocking the nervous systems of these adorable goldkittens for classroom experiments.
Well, that's the end of our Midwest Victory Tour. See, it's not all beef-expos and pus-farms in the Midwest. There's some compassion for animals too.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Longtime PETA supporter Judith Yeargin fought hard not only in her 30-year battle against breast cancer but also against the use of animals in experiments. That's why Judith, who died on March 2, left her body to the New York University Langone Medical Center (NYUMC) She hoped to spare some of the countless animals who are sickened and maimed during painful, deadly, and wasteful experiments.
Judith was a tireless crusader for animals. She attended countless protests and helped raise money to build a low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic. Everywhere she went, she always kept an eye out for animals in distress. She rescued several strays during her travels, including a cat in France who had been hit by a car. Judith rushed the cat to the vet for immediate care while Judith searched for her guardian. While on vacation in Italy, Judith rescued a dog and wouldn't rest until she found the animal a good home. In France, she rescued another dog named Lucky, who accompanied her back home to Manhattan and lived to a ripe old age. When her elderly dog, Daffodil, was ill, Judith even managed to drag herself out of her sick bed just two weeks before her death to take Daffy to the vet. Daffodil was another of Judith's many rescues, adopted as a puppy from a local shelter after Judith heard on the news that Daffodil had been thrown into a trash compactor.
By donating her body to NYUMC, Judith not only promoted awareness about the suffering endured by animals in laboratories but also contributed to legitimate scientific research into breast cancer. Experiments on animals are not an accurate reflection of the effects of cancer in humans. It's bad science, and cancer patients deserve the best that medicine can offer.
"Judith never turned her back on any animal in need," says her dear friend, Lia. "[S]he just felt it was unethical to use animals and better if the science community could learn something from her body rather than cause pain and suffering to animals."
A great way to honor Judith Yeargin and other cancer victims is by refusing to support cancer charities that fund animal experiments and by purchasing only from companies that refuse to test their products on animals.
Written by Liz Graffeo
It's been awhile since we last mentioned the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC). But even though ONPRC hasn't been in our blog, it's been very much on our minds, and there are encouraging new developments to report.
For those of you who have hit-and-miss memories like mine, here's a quick recap: Our 2007 undercover investigation at ONPRC found that monkeys were tormented by laboratory staffers, forced to eat food out of waste-filled trays, denied medical care or pain relief, and driven mad by horrific laboratory conditions. Still, despite undeniable video evidence, the USDA somehow didn't see anything wrong at ONPRC.
At that point, ONPRC may have thought that it had won and that we would slink away. But, hey, this is PETA, after all, so think again, monkey abusers!
This past fall, we obtained new internal documents from ONPRC that detailed further abuse and neglect, so we submitted a new complaint to the USDA. In it, we outlined the following incidents:
Wow. Cold-hearted and inept—a deadly combination.
Based on our complaint, the USDA inspected ONPRC, and this time, it confirmed our allegations. So ONPRC was cited for three violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including causing monkeys trauma, stress, harm or discomfort and failing to adequately monitor and provide veterinary care to animals.
And the agency didn't stop there: In December, the USDA issued an "official warning" to ONPRC that it may face civil or criminal penalties if additional violations are found in the future.
It's a hopeful sign of progress, but we're hardly done with ONPRC. After all, these incidents are only a small part of the cruelty still being inflicted on the more than 4,000 primates there.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Over the past 16 months, PETA has waged a relentless campaign to end the military's archaic trauma-training exercises. In these exercises, thousands of live goats and pigs are shot, stabbed, cut apart, and burned, and monkeys are poisoned with nerve chemicals. We called on the Department of Defense (DoD) to investigate the military's methods immediately, and they appear to be taking our request seriously.
The DoD has chartered a Joint Analysis Team (JAT) to "examine the use of animals for medical education and training across the Services." The JAT will also submit a report containing "actionable recommendations" for the DoD to follow.
DoD regulations specifically state that non-animal methods must be used whenever scientifically valid and comparable alternatives are available. The DoD's use of live animals in trauma-training exercises is unnecessary. Various installations in the Air Force and Navy have been using alternatives, such as high-tech human patient simulators and rotations in trauma hospitals, for several years. Additionally, these second-rate training methods put our soldiers at risk.
We're hopeful that the JAT will come to the obvious conclusion that the DoD should end these cruel tests immediately and opt for more humane, educational alternatives. Check out the letter we sent to them about this issue here, and leave a comment to let us know what you think.
In case it's never been said before, I'm going to go ahead and say it: Colorado activists rock!
Activists in Colorado Springs showed that they are fed up with Fort Carson for stabbing and reportedly burning and shooting live goats in bloody trauma-training exercises that attempt to mimic human battlefield injuries. They staked out a busy intersection near Fort Carson and got busy alerting commuters that the exercises are not only cruel but also archaic and unnecessary.
Oh, did I mention that some of the activists in attendance were ex-military? You know that things are shady when even former soldiers start breaking rank. (I can think of a few other soldiers who would probably agree.)
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
After our recent demonstration in New Haven to let residents know that Yale is spending millions of taxpayer dollars torturing monkeys, the university wasn't exactly ready to throw open its doors and give guided tours to people who wanted to find out more. Well, Yale's secretive vivisectors may have been a bit surprised on their drive to work when they saw our massive new billboard near their facilities calling on anyone who witnesses cruelty in the university's labs to blow the whistle:
Whistleblowers have been instrumental in revealing neglect, carelessness, and cruelty in laboratories across the nation. This has led to countless victories for animals—so we're always eager to hear from people with the inside scoop.
Even if you don't work in a laboratory, you can blow the whistle on animal abusers. Whistleblowers have revealed details of Ringling's abuse of animals, shed light on beatings of animals on movie sets, and given us behind-the-scenes information on the horse-racing industry. Wherever you see animals abused—whether at a race track, pet shop, circus, carnival, or in your own neighborhood—speak up and let us know about it!
Back in December, we announced the winners of our annual "Proggy" awards, which recognize animal-friendly people, companies, and products. One of those companies is CeeTox, a Michigan firm that develops humane alternatives to cruel and archaic animal tests. Well, the good folks at the Kalamazoo Gazette just did a nice story about CeeTox and the award. Check it out here.
What CeeTox does is so great because many chemical-testing methods still involve pumping substances into animals' stomachs and lungs and dripping chemicals into animals' eyes or onto their raw, shaved skin. CeeTox, by contrast, uses in-vitro (test tube) toxicity screening to test drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and consumer products. This enables research and development organizations to assess the toxicity of chemicals using pioneering and humane cell-based technology.
Besides being kind to animals, these modern, non-animal tests are cheaper, faster, and more accurate. What's not to like? Well, unfortunately, the wheels of progress grind slowly at the EPA, which lags far behind European authorities in validating modern test methods. But thanks to the work of CeeTox and other companies like it, it's becoming obvious that animal testing is long overdue for the old heave-ho.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Is your sweetie sweet on animals? Don't say that we at the PETA Files never gave you anything. Check out these Cupid-approved, cruelty-free gifts from PETA's catalog:
But wait—there's more! If you order $40 or more worth of goodies before Monday at PETACatalog.org, enter the promotion code VALFB, and you'll get $5 off. Consider it a Valentine's Day present to yourself.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
When former Dallas cheerleader and sports broadcaster Bonnie Jill Laflin discovered that a Tennessee Titans cheerleader was involved in the gruesome animal testing biz, she got out more than her pom-poms! It was discovered recently that Titans cheerleader Melissa Hodges is working in an animal laboratory at Vanderbilt University's Kennedy Center, and according to the Nashville Scene, Hodges guillotines rats, among other acts. So Laflin has penned a powerful letter to her fellow spirit squadder.
Laflin has graced PETA ad campaigns with her sexy (naked) body in support of vegetarian living and against rodeo cruelty. She also has a big place in her heart for the animals used (and abused) in experiments.
Hopefully, Hodges will be big enough to have a change of heart and take her career to a different, cruelty-free level. I mean, heck, when a woman like this tells you to jump, you just ask how high.
Written by Christine Doré
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.