Written by PETA
Yippee—it's the Aquaculture America Convention: a bunch of aquaculturists (fiendish fish farmers) trawling around a trade show that feeds off "aquacruelty" (my made-up term for fish abuse). Not my idea of a fun time. But wait, what's going on outside Seattle's convention center? It's a pile of PETA members playing dead on the sidewalk:
Why is this flashy foursome dressed like Poseidon's peeps? To definned our fish friends against aquacruelty, of course. Fish, who are just as smart, interesting, and capable of feeling pain as any other animal, are raised on "farms" where they are crammed by the thousands into ponds, tanks, or mesh cages so small and filthy that they're forced to swim in their own muck. Seriously, how gross are fish sticks? No fish or faux fish is where it's at!
Here's a parting pic of this splashy protest:
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Back in September 2005, four chimpanzees made a break for freedom from a depressing roadside zoo called Zoo Nebraska after workers at the zoo failed to lock the animals' cage properly. Ultimately, three of the chimpanzees—Reuben, Jimmy Joe, and Tyler (who had been discarded by the entertainment industry once he got too big and strong to reliably perform in TV and movies)—were shot and killed by police. You can view a police video of the escape here.
USDA reports obtained by PETA reveal that in the six and a half years leading up to this incident, the zoo had been cited repeatedly for improper care of exotic animals. Citations included failure to maintain enclosures in order to prevent escape of animals, failure to have a disaster program with means to restrain or capture animals in the event of an emergency, failure to train employees in how to operate a tranquilizer gun, failure to provide shelter, failure to provide primates with environmental enhancement to promote psychological well-being, failure to provide veterinary care to tigers and primates, insufficient access to drinking water, and sanitation violations. The long list of repeated violations and the fatal escape attempt spurred the USDA to file charges against Zoo Nebraska in 2007; last month, the USDA finally revoked the zoo's license.
Most zoos, circuses, and animal trainers that handle great apes have a long list of similar violations, but, all too often, no action is taken until after tragedy strikes. Just this past week in Connecticut, a captive chimpanzee named Travis, who had appeared in advertisements for Coca-Cola and Old Navy, attacked his owner, her friend, and two police officers before he was shot to death. Some people may think that seeing chimpanzees dress up in costumes and mug for TV cameras is "cute," but these heartbreaking events speak loud and clear: Great apes are wild animals who belong in their natural habitat. You can read the letter that we sent to the governor of Connecticut calling for a ban on keeping primates as "pets" here and you can take action yourself here.
Written by Liz Graffeo
As all you fashionistas out there are probably aware (and everybody else probably isn't), Giorgio Armani opened a boutique in New York City this week. Paris Hilton and Kanye West (the man who has an employee whose sole—pun intended—job is wrangling the rapper's 400-and-some-odd shoes) were thrilled. Bunnies on fur farms? Not so much.
Of course, we couldn't let Armani's little shindig go off without a hitch, so we sent a veritable brigade of bunnies to fight for their liberté and egalité. As you'll note in the photos below, they were an oddly cheerful bunch, even though they had to stand outside in the cold for upwards of four hours—until the last scrap of red carpet was rolled up. At that point, they lined up in formation and marched down the street waving their signs, followed by a contingent of photographers who must have thought they'd died and gone to Easter Bunny heaven.
I wonder—if 16 giant white bunnies show up on a Manhattan sidewalk, does that mean that spring is only a couple of weeks away …?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Tracy Morgan is thanking his lucky goldfish this morning, after he and his finned friends miraculously escaped a potentially tragic accident.
People.com reports that a faulty light in the 30 Rock star's fish tank sparked a fire, putting the actor's companions and his home in serious danger. Fortunately, firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire before it spread, and Tracy's beloved shark and piranha, who are housed in the tank, survived the scary ordeal unscathed.
At the risk of being a wet blanket, I'd like to take a moment to reiterate why we think it's best for Nemo and his buddies to stay in their native habitat. Not only are glass tanks confining, they also leave fish vulnerable to dangers that they have no way of escaping. And the methods used to catch exotic fish poison coral reefs and contribute to the decimation of wild populations. So, in addition to refusing to eat or hook sea kittens, let's stop locking them up in little watery jails, shall we?
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Yesterday, PETA held a press conference in Vancouver to announce our ramped-up campaign against the Canadian seal slaughter. We'll be running the campaign up to and through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which will be held in the city. Our goal is to switch some of the focus from Canada's Games to Canada's shame—the annual massacre of hundreds of thousands of baby seals. To illustrate the worldwide outrage over Canada's despicable seal slaughter, our international affiliates also held protests in Australia and France yesterday.
Written by Alisa Mullins
When Ron Artest isn't sticking it to his opponents on the basketball court, he's sticking up for animals. That's why the Houston Rockets forward teamed up with us and the Houston Humane Society to star in an ad urging people to get their dogs "fixed."
"These animals are literally dying for a good home," says Artest, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2003-2004 season. "Millions of dogs and cats in shelters across the country are euthanized every year because there simply aren't enough good homes for them. Spaying and neutering your [animal companion] will help control the overpopulation problem."
Artest unveiled the ad today in honor of Spay Day. Check out photos from the event below:
Written by Christine Doré
On Monday, a 15-year-old chimpanzee named Travis, who was kept as a "pet" by a woman in Connecticut, went on a rampage and mauled a visitor. Travis was stabbed multiple times, "pounded" with a shovel, and eventually shot to death.
A former "star" of Coca-Cola and Old Navy commercials and an episode of the Maury Povich Show, Travis was "raised almost like a child by this family," according to a police officer. Great—except that 200-pound chimpanzees aren't children.
Keeping any wild animal as a "pet" is inhumane and dangerous. There have been scores of incidents in which captive chimpanzees inflicted grave injuries on people. This tragedy illustrates the need for Connecticut to add primates to its ban on potentially dangerous animals—which already includes big cats, bears, and wolves—and we have asked Governor Rell to do that.
Academy Award–winning actor Anjelica Huston has spoken up in a moving public service announcement in behalf of great apes used for entertainment. Check it out below:
Thanks to companies like CareerBuilder and, more recently, Castrol Oil, whose ads show baby chimpanzees dressed up in clothes and "monkeying around" in offices and service stations, many people seem to think of chimpanzees as comical sub-human clowns. They aren't. They are wild animals who are torn away from their mothers at an obscenely young age and beaten into submission. By the time they are 8, they are big enough and strong enough to fight back, which earns them a one-way ticket to a cage in someone's basement or a concrete pit at a roadside zoo.
Neither Travis nor any other great ape belongs in show business. Who ends up happy in this story? Were those 30-second commercials really worth a lifetime of confinement in an unsuitable environment that eventually led to a woman's grave injury and Travis's death? Click here to take action on this issue.
Please, complain loudly any time you see a primate used in a movie, TV show, or advertisement. To learn more about this issue, you can catch PETA's Lisa Lange talking about Travis on Bill O'Reilly's show tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox News.
Another year has come and gone, and still our snow-covered neighbor to the north continues to back the annual massacre of baby seals—the largest and bloodiest marine-mammal hunt on Earth. With the start of Canada's seal slaughter only weeks away, we held a press conference in front of Vancouver City Hall to kick off our campaign to stop sealers from bashing the heads of hundreds of thousands of baby seals.
Vancouver will be home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which will put Canada on center stage for much of the coming year, and we plan to put its shameful hunt there, too, for all the world to scrutinize. We have written to the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee asking for their help with persuading government officials to outlaw the hunt.
There's no word yet on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's reaction to our press conference, but he can be sure that we will continue to be a thorn in his side until he puts an end to the bloody seal slaughter once and for all.
As anyone who's seen our Super Bowl commercial can attest, we know a good ad when we see one. We can also spot a bad advertisement, and when we do, we're not shy about sharing our feelings. Every time we see that a company has incorporated a negative—or positive—message about animals into an ad, we immediately contact it with a nomination for our annual Litterbox or Glitterbox awards. We've sifted through the finalists, and we're excited to announce 2008's winners. Drum roll, please …
In the Litterbox category, for ads that stink:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Levi Strauss & Co., for exploiting an orangutan in its recent viral video. Undercover investigations at primate training facilities reveal that trainers rip baby great apes away from their mothers and kick, punch, and beat them in order to force them to perform confusing and uncomfortable "tricks" that they don't understand.
The Silver Scoop goes to … Kansas City International Airport, for its use of a chimpanzee, Kenzie, in an ad that never should have made it off the ground. Chimpanzees can live to be more than 60 years old, but by the age of 8, they become too strong to be handled and are often discarded at roadside zoos, where they can languish in squalor for decades.
And the Bronze Scoop goes to … Citigroup for featuring a live elephant in its commercial "Safari," which showed an elephant sitting on the hood of a family's rental car. Animal trainers want you to think that elephants are treated with love and care, but if that were the truth, don't you think that elephant trainers would be carrying bags of peanuts instead of bullhooks?
Now, for the best ads of the year:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Bridgestone and its ad agency the Richards Group for a charming commercial showing that—thanks to dependable tires—animals don't have to be the victims of drivers' love for the open road. Cars kill an estimated 1 million animals every day in the U.S. alone.
The Silver Scoop goes to … ADT and its ad agency W.B. Doner & Company for showing that the company's Fire Protection Program saves human and animal lives. Dogs are part of the family for about 45 percent of Americans, and it's important to make sure that we take all the necessary steps to protect animals in emergencies.
The Bronze Scoop goes to … Architex International, for an ad promoting the company's authentic faux-leather line, which features four cows and the tagline "Hey, it's no skin off our backs." As if producing this excellent cruelty-free product wasn't enough, Architex goes above and beyond in this ad to let consumers know why faux is the only way to go.
Here's hoping that all companies decide to follow the lead of progressive companies like Bridgestone, ADT, and Architex International and think outside the "litterbox" with their new ads in 2009. We'll be watching.
It's the second-ever Win It Wednesday here at the PETA Files, and we have a fun one for you this week. To celebrate the launch of McCruelty.com, we're giving away "Unhappy Meals" to 10 lucky commenters. An Unhappy Meal is a lot like a McDonald's Happy Meal—it comes with toys, anyway—but our version also contains a super-sized order of reality at no extra charge. It includes a bloody chick who's so drugged up that he can't stand on his own feet as well as a cow whose throat was cut while she was still conscious—all inside a carton printed with the facts about McDonald's cruelty.
How do you win? Just leave us a comment letting us know what you'd say to Ronald McDonald if you could. I know you'd all like to give him a piece of your mind, but try to keep it PG-13 so that your comment will be approved. The 10 cleverest commenters will receive one of these limited-edition Unhappy Meals.
Written by Lianne Turner
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.