Written by Jeff Mackey
In an important step toward justice for the many rabbits who
suffered at Bunny Magic Wildlife & Rabbit Rescue, Inc.—as revealed by
PETA—Carole Van Wie, the operator of that nightmarish hoarding facility, was convicted in court of neglecting rabbits. More importantly, she
has promised not to take in any more animals and will be on supervised probation
to ensure her compliance.
Van Wie will be turning in her state and federal animal
rehabilitator licenses and has vowed to get out of animal rescue work—not that
she was actually rescuing any animals, of course. Van Wie must undergo a psychiatric
evaluation—which is critical for ensuring that no more animals suffer and die
at her hands—and pay back some of the costs of caring for the animals who were seized from Bunny Magic. PETA thanks Calvert County Animal Control, the Tri-County
Animal Shelter, and the Calvert County State's Attorney's Office for all their
hard work on this case.
What You Can Do
Some "rescuers" are anything but—before handing
over any animal, take
extra care to ensure that you're not sentencing him or her to a miserable incarceration at
the hands of a hoarder. Also, please don't bring any animals into your
household if you can't make a lifetime commitment to them. But if you are ready, please consider adopting one (or two) of the adorable rabbits rescued from Bunny Magic!
Written by Michelle Kretzer
How well do you know your animal facts?
Test your knowledge with our quiz, and then tell us how you did for a chance to
win a PETA lunch bag.
Did you guess "chickens" for
any of the questions? Did you figure out that "chickens" was the
answer to all the questions? Chickens
are inquisitive, sensitive, highly social animals whose intellect has been compared to dogs, cats,
primates, and human children. For National Chicken Month, please share this contest and encourage everyone you
know to stop eating
To enter to win PETA's "I Am Not a Nugget" lunch
bag, leave a comment telling us how you did on the game, and a winner will be chosen
at random. (Your score on the game will not affect your chances of winning.)
By commenting here,
you’re acknowledging that you’ve read and you agree to our contest
disclosure of your personal info in accordance with those policies as well as
to receiving e-mails from us.
Written by PETA
Update: Great news! The
monks at Mepkin Abbey now have a thriving mushroom business.
After PETA's protests, boycotts, and complaints to government agencies, the
monks re-examined their egg farm and discovered that they can get all their
needs met without harming animals.
The following was originally posted on December 20, 2007:
We've just heard the news that the monks at Mepkin Abbey have decided to phase out their egg-production business over the next year and a half following pressure from PETA, including protests of the monastery that are going on today. According to the Associated Press, Mepkin's Father Stan Gumula said late last night that the focus on the monks' practices as a result of PETA's investigation has been too much of a distraction, and that they will be looking for a new industry to help meet their expenses.
PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich points out that South Carolina had the 6th highest peanut production among U.S. states last year (quite how he knows such things, I have no idea), and recommends that the monks go into the booming business of peanut butter packaging, where they can pack the peanuts as tight as they like without any fear of our getting on their case about it. In fact, we might be their first customers. My own vote is more traditional—there's nothing quite like a good Trappist Ale.
Whatever they end up deciding, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle for the chickens who have suffered for so long at Mepkin Abbey, and we commend the monks for their compassionate decision.
It looks like scientists do sometimes spend time on worthwhile projects and have now found that being caged, having your bone marrow sucked out, and being used for bioterrorism research is torture—no matter whom it's being done to.
A recent study showed that 95 percent of 119 chimpanzees who had been used for "research" exhibited the same symptoms as humans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone—I mean, chimpanzees and humans share the same blood types and have at least a 98 percent genetic similarity. Why wouldn't they have shellshock and nightmares if we do?
This study is being presented today at a primate conference in Edinburgh—I hope it shakes things up in some rigid minds!
The dust has cleared a bit from the tornado that hit our area this week, but we’re still working in the community to help people and animals who were affected by the disaster. I found out yesterday that my colleague Cindy Clark, who works in the PETA Foundation’s Development Department, was one of those people—her home was right in the path of the storm. Her story, in addition to being pretty exciting, is also a great reminder about how to keep your head in a disaster like this and do everything you can to ensure that your animals, who rely on you completely, don’t become victims. Here’s how it all went down, according to Cindy:
We evacuated on Monday afternoon when the tornado came to town. I live in a mobile home in Driver. My trailer is fine, thankfully. We were able to return Monday evening, but had to get the heck out of Dodge on Monday afternoon. It's odd, but many people have asked me through the years what I would do with my dogs if I ever had to evacuate. Of course, I would never go anywhere in that situation without my dogs.We were in downtown Suffolk at the school admin building when the storms hit. When we heard the emergency alarm on the radio is basically came down to - you are 20 mins away from your mobile home where your dogs are in the direct path of a tornado. You have 10 mins. GO! We got to my house, snatched the dogs out, and tried to get away from the storm but only made it about 2 miles from my house. Tornado was straight ahead of us on the right about 1/4 mi, elementary school about 200 yards on the left. SCHOOL! We vacated the Suburban we were in the fire lane at the school and proceeded to the gym. We were there for about two hours. My dogs calmed the kids that were scared and crying. They were a nice distraction for the kids and my dogs enjoyed tummy rubs, 10 hands at the time.
We evacuated on Monday afternoon when the tornado came to town. I live in a mobile home in Driver. My trailer is fine, thankfully. We were able to return Monday evening, but had to get the heck out of Dodge on Monday afternoon.
It's odd, but many people have asked me through the years what I would do with my dogs if I ever had to evacuate. Of course, I would never go anywhere in that situation without my dogs.
We were in downtown Suffolk at the school admin building when the storms hit. When we heard the emergency alarm on the radio is basically came down to - you are 20 mins away from your mobile home where your dogs are in the direct path of a tornado. You have 10 mins. GO!
We got to my house, snatched the dogs out, and tried to get away from the storm but only made it about 2 miles from my house. Tornado was straight ahead of us on the right about 1/4 mi, elementary school about 200 yards on the left. SCHOOL!
We vacated the Suburban we were in the fire lane at the school and proceeded to the gym. We were there for about two hours. My dogs calmed the kids that were scared and crying. They were a nice distraction for the kids and my dogs enjoyed tummy rubs, 10 hands at the time.
I like the happy ending. Big thanks are due to the folks at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School and the shelter at Kings Fork High School for being awesome throughout. There’s more info on what you can do to make sure your animals are safe in the event of an emergency here.
Not even kidding. According to The Austin American Statesman, grief counselors were made available to employees of the University of Texas Keeling Animal Research Center after an adult chimpanzee who escaped from the experimentation facility was shot and killed near the campus. Anyone else find it odd that employees of a facility that cages animals and performs cruel experiments on them against their will would need specialists to comfort them when the animals die due to their facility’s negligence?
PETA filed a formal complaint today, calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the laboratory for alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to ensure that personnel are qualified to perform their duties and failure to provide structurally sound housing for nonhuman primates. Here’s what PETA Primate Specialist Dr. Debra Durham told the media:
"Chimpanzees are intelligent, sensitive, and resourceful—they shouldn't be incarcerated in laboratories in the first place. Research on chimpanzees is banned in many countries. The very least that this laboratory can do is ensure that these animals have safe living spaces."
Which doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment, given that this is the second chimpanzee escape from the facility in the past six months. You’d almost think these animals don’t want to be there.
Maybe they can send in a team of basic human decency counselors along with the grief folks. Just a thought.
A couple in Tucson was caught by Arizona authorities this week with close to 800 dogs (mostly Chihuahuas) and 80 parrots in filthy conditions inside their trailer. CBS News quoted workers on the case as suggesting that the owners were “breeders with good intentions,” which is rather like calling someone a well-meaning child abuser. According to the news reports, more than a dozen dogs were found stuffed inside a single crate in some cases. Some dogs had reportedly been found missing paws from fighting with cage mates.
The story has received national media attention (including an interview with PETA VP Lisa Lange on Nancy Grace last night), and we’re hoping that, as horrible as it is, it helps to dispel myths about breeders being people who care about animals. It seems pretty clear that these folks were running a puppy mill for profit, and PETA is calling on authorities to take this case extremely seriously, including vigorously prosecuting the couple and, should they be convicted, pursuing a provision in their sentencing to ensure that they never be allowed to have even one animal again.
Did anyone catch the America’s Next Top Model last night, where the models wrapped themselves in meat and paraded around a slaughterhouse? I honestly don’t know what to say about this, except, like, please don’t do that anymore, ANTM. You’re going to alienate a lot of viewers who care about animals.
Fortunately, we have a Communications Department for these sorts of occasions, and (thankfully) they’re way more articulate than I am. So here’s PETA’s official response to the ill-conceived show for those who have been writing in about it:
No matter how beautifully it is presented, flesh from a tortured animal is flesh from a tortured animal. Meat represents bloody violence and suffering, so if that’s the look they were going for—they achieved it. Instead of swathing models in meat, we wish they had followed in the footsteps of PETA pinups Pamela Anderson and Alyssa Milano who show off their “natural beauty” in outfits made of lettuce leaves for PETA’s “Let Vegetarianism Grow on You” ad campaign.
dListed has pics and details.
I’m back! A few of this blog’s more diligent readers will have noticed that I didn’t write any of the posts over the last week. Some things that might have tipped you off were the 100 percent increase in entries devoted to Cajun Cuisine (which, until reading the post, I had thought just meant adding hot sauce to stuff), the frequent and disturbing appearance of the words “love” and “hugs” on these pages (you can expect a dramatic decrease in this kind of new-age tomfoolery now that I’m back), and the fact that all of the posts were signed “Christine <3” (something I would only normally do in an emergency).
So thanks to everyone who held on while I was away—and for those of you who actually preferred Christine’s thoughtful, engaging, “feel-good” approach to blogging over my own vaguely coherent ramblings, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s another SXSW Interactive Media conference next year, so I expect she’ll be pressed into service again in March 2009. Anyway, here’s a picture of me looking cool:
I just got this email from Debbie Leahy, the director of PETA’s Captive Exotic Animals Department:
Sad news. A dear friend, Delhi, passed away on Tuesday, March 11. Delhi was the first elephant confiscation in U.S. history. After an extensive campaign by PETA, the USDA seized Delhi from Hawthorn Corporation and transferred her to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after determining that she was in imminent danger from lack of veterinary care. Delhi had been suffering from abscesses, lesions, osteomyelitis, and severe chemical burns to her feet. She was originally captured in India and acquired by Hawthorn in 1974. At the sanctuary since November 2003, Delhi enjoyed leisurely grazing in the sun, playing with toys, and napping on a shady hillside with the companionship of many other elephants. She was lucky to have kind, nurturing care in her final years.
Sad news indeed. But it’s comforting to reflect that she escaped the horrible fate of most elephants held in captivity for her last years.
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.
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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.