Written by PETA
Embarrassing as it is to get scooped by the peta2 blog on a story, this news is way too exciting to pass up. After negotiations with PETA, PepsiCo (the multibillion-dollar parent company of the Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Quaker Oats, and Gatorade brands) has pledged to end all animal testing. The company's official statement on the topic is just about as progressive as it gets—both a powerful endorsement of alternatives to animal testing and a strong warning to other companies that they need to embrace these alternatives if they want to survive in the marketplace:
“PepsiCo does not do any animal testing and does not directly fund testing using animals. … Where testing on animals is not required, PepsiCo strongly endorses efficient and effective research that does not include the use of animals. We will encourage our partners to use alternatives to animal testing and share this statement with organizations we believe to be involved in projects potentially involving animal research done on behalf of PepsiCo or with PepsiCo or PepsiCo Foundation funding.”
It goes without saying that this is a big step forward. For some more detailed information on the topic, you can check out PETA's PepsiCo victory feature here. And if all this good news puts you in the mood for some witty banter about vegan cupcakes and dreamy rock stars, you should check out the peta2 blog.
I hope day 2 of Be Kind to Animals Week is treating you well. This one's a wee bit controversial, but I thought it would be a good time to address the issue of purebred animals, especially given some of the surprising comments I've been seeing from so-called "responsible" breeders on a recent entry about some landmark legislation that's being pushed through in California to help cats and dogs. PETA's position on "responsible" breeding is that there just ain't no such thing, because every animal that a breeder sells means an animal in a shelter who won’t find a home. The harsh reality of the situation is that, with 6 to 8 million animals handled by animal shelters in the United States every year—3 to 4 million of whom won't make it out alive—deliberately breeding cats and dogs is about as irresponsible (and frankly, cruel) as it gets.
Anyway, without getting too preachy here, one great way to celebrate Be Kind to Animals Week is, if you or anyone you know is thinking about getting a pet, be sure to adopt them from a shelter. And if you happen to be running a breeding operation, frickin' stop it.
Here's a link to some more info on the topic. And here's a link (this one kind of dates me) to the only good kind of Breeders. Kim Deal rocks.
It's not going to bankrupt Covance—torturing animals in experiments is big business—but this is a big black eye for them, and it's a vindication of PETA Europe's work to expose the callous disregard for suffering that helps Covance's execs sleep at night. But today, the New Jersey-based animal-testing company paid PETA Europe $290,000 following a British court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the company to stop them from publicizing undercover video footage from a Covance lab here in Virginia. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
“Instead of spending a small fortune to try to cover up its abuses, Covance could have used the money to improve the hideous conditions for animals in its U.S. prisons. This company is a monkey’s Guantanamo Bay.”
How d'ya like them apples, Covance? To mark PETA Europe's big victory for free speech, here's the video that Covance really, really doesn't want people to see. It should come as no surprise that the footage is extremely disturbing, but—as the British courts have just demonstrated—it's vitally important that companies like Covance not be allowed to get away with trying to keep their dirty little secrets from the public.
PETA has a new Flickr account! Which is a very good thing, because up until now, we had thousands of photos of demonstrations, events, animal-friendly celebrities, and old PETA ads that were just kinda languishing in the vaults. I’m particularly proud of this project, because I had to upload a gazillion photos only to find out that the page had been marked as “restricted” because of the NSFW quality of some of our “Running of the Nudes” pics—which meant that only tech-savvy 12-year-olds who can figure out how to turn off their safe search would be able to view the account. But the issue was finally resolved yesterday, and the page is up and running, so if you have any animal-rights-specific photos that you think would fit the bill, you can send them to us by clicking here. Make sure to read the terms and conditions page before you submit the photos, or our lawyers will haunt you in your sleep like they do me.
P.S. I’ve noticed a few regular comments from folks who aren’t so interested in animal rights lately—which is really cool since a little debate on the issues is a very healthy thing for all parties involved—but while I genuinely appreciate the comments, I figured I should probably let Steve and Larry Buck know that pictures of you guys eating hamburgers won’t make it up onto the Flickr page. Sorry to disappoint.
You may have heard about the latest “solution” to the world’s energy crisis and global warming. This one is perhaps the most absurd idea yet, coming to us courtesy of the well-known environmental stewards of the meat industry.
Last week, oil company ConocoPhillips and the largest meat producer in the world, Tyson Foods, announced that they will soon begin producing diesel fuel from the fat of pigs, chickens and cows. While on the surface this may not sound completely insane, given that the fuel will be made from rendered animal remains currently used in nonvegan soaps, cosmetics and pet food, the reality is that this whole idea has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with lining the pockets of Tyson and ConocoPhillips execs.
Let’s be real here. The meat industry does not care about the environment. Period. In fact, it is one of the absolute worst corporate environmental offenders on the planet. Take for instance the recent U.N. reports pointing out that animals raised for food generate more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks combined, and that (according to a recent University of Chicago study), switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Prius.
No matter what kind of crazy PR spin the meat industry tries to put on it, at the end of the day what it comes down to is that the answer to global warming isn’t to fill up SUVs with the remains of tortured animals. The most effective thing anyone can do to help the environment is to go vegetarian, and until we accept that fact, all the plastic bottle recycling, Prius driving, and tree-planting are barely making a dent in the problem.
I don’t want to come off all gloom and doom here, quite the opposite really. When you consider that we all have the opportunity to “vote the environment” at mealtimes three times a day, it’s actually pretty exciting. If you’re looking for resources to help make the transition to vegetarianism, you can check out our vegetarian starter kit and start saving the planet, one bite at a time. It beats the hell out of pig fat biodiesel.
Apparently Joe Schreibvogel isn't.
He runs a place called the G.W. Exotic Animal Sanctuary. You may remember the name because we did an undercover investigation there a few months ago. The place is a total hole, with more than a thousand animals, including tigers, lions, cougars, bears, primates, wolves—you name it. The shady joint bills itself as a “sanctuary” for rescued animals, but in reality the principal reason it exists is to line the pockets of the owner Joe Schreibvogel. They drag baby animals to malls for photo ops, the animals are punched, kicked and starved to keep them in line, and unlike any real sanctuary, they are constantly breeding the animals to ensure a never-ending flow of “cute” babies.
Anyway, the place is a pit and should be shut down. But that’s not the point of this post. Really. The point is that on the joint’s website, they boast:
“The G.W. Exotic Animal Park Now has Sponsors From 54 States and 37 foreign countries.”
54 states, huh? I didn't know they even had that many! Must be a hell of a place. If these guys are anywhere near as good at animal care as they are at geography, maybe there's nothing to worry about after all.
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.