Written by PETA
The good folks at the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (CBHDC) teamed up with PETA members to hold a protest outside New York City's Central Park on Valentine's Day. They witnessed several disturbing incidents that illustrate a culture of inaction by ASPCA officers charged with monitoring the carriage industry and enforcing regulations. Read and weep:
CBHDC President Elizabeth Forel reports that one of the roads coming out of the park had a large pothole and that the drivers repeatedly drove their carriages over it. Elizabeth believes that ASPCA officers were within their power to bar the carriages from using the road, but, after numerous complaints, the only action that was taken was to put an orange traffic cone in the pothole.
Carriage drivers were so busy hurling abuse at the protesters and trying to videotape them that they came perilously close to becoming involved in serious accidents. According to witnesses, one driver drove his horse right into the traffic cone, which nearly caused the frightened animal to bolt. Shockingly, when protesters brought this incident to the attention of an ASPCA officer, he blamed the horse and refused to cite the driver.
Another driver was talking on his cell phone and almost ran into the cone. At the last minute, one of the ASPCA officers touched the horse's face in an attempt to divert him from the pothole (the horses wear blinders and can only see what's directly in front of them). This startled the horse, who veered sharply into the path of a car, which some witnesses believe may have struck the animal.
A veterinarian who attended the protest reported seeing areas on horses' skin rubbed raw by their harnesses. One lame horse mysteriously "disappeared" after protesters brought the matter to officers' attention.
Drivers repeatedly—one might even say routinely—ran red lights, but, again, the ASPCA officers did nothing. In fact, Elizabeth reports that the officers seemed more concerned with whether or not she had a permit for her protest (she didn't need one and they knew it) than they were with doing their jobs.
"The drivers do not take the ASPCA officers seriously," says Elizabeth. "If they did, they would show more respect for the law and would do as told. … They act with impunity—like they know they will not get a ticket no matter what."
Please click here to read more about the cruelty of the horse-drawn carriage industry and what you can do to help.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Lately, we've been stepping up our campaign to convince Lowe's to stop selling glue traps. In addition to our notorious "sexy mice" demos, we've designed a brand-new billboard, and today we're contacting officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Charlotte, North Carolina, to request prominent placement of the ad in their cities. We all know that the real villain here is Lowe's, but we hope that these billboards will educate the public about the cruelty of glue traps and convince people to use only humane methods of managing mice. Check out the billboard below:
Oh, and if you have any creative ideas about how we can target Lowe's next, leave a comment and let us know!
Written by Liz Graffeo
You might have noticed in your holiday travels that airlines have been cutting back on a lot in order to save money, which is bad news for people who depend on those dry-roasted peanuts and tiny packs of pretzels for mile-high sustenance. Some airlines, such as US Airways, are considering placing ads on their overhead bins to increase revenue. We think it's a fantastic idea and certainly much better than charging for luggage!
PETA has stepped up to the plate to offer an ad to US Airways and get this new option rolling. Here's a sneak peak at our new ad, featuring a cartoon by the wonderful Dan Piraro:
"Cages aren't for the birds. Let them fly free." Get it? Fly free? Airlines? Anyway, the cartoon may be funny, but the reality for caged birds is not.
We hope for the birds' sake that US Airways will accept our ad offer—and maybe no passenger will have to go without peanuts.
Written by Lianne Turner
Eight years ago, we suspended our McCruelty campaign against McDonald's (by placing an indefinite moratorium on the campaign) after the company agreed to adopt some basic animal welfare measures. Since that time, we've worked behind the scenes with McDonald's to improve conditions for its animals … and we're hatin' what we're seein'.
What's got our (veggie) burgers broiling? Well, after having the better part of a decade to continue to improve conditions for animals, McDonald's has virtually nothing to show for it—especially when it comes to chickens.
In particular, we've been urging McDonald's for many years to require its U.S. chicken suppliers to switch to a less cruel slaughter method called "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK). McDonald's even produced a report way back in 2005 agreeing with us that CAK offers significant animal welfare benefits over the current slaughter method (which results in broken bones and causes birds to have their throats cut while they are still conscious), but the company has yet to make any of its U.S. suppliers switch to this better method.
So, the McCruelty campaign is back. That's right, we're throwin' down with the clown. And to help us kick things off right, rock goddess Chrissie Hynde joined us for a protest outside "The Rock 'N' Roll McDonald's" (you can't get more rock 'n' roll than Chrissie) in downtown Chicago, where we unveiled our new "I'm Hatin' It" McCruelty logo, complete with a hijacked version of McDonald's slogan. We also took the opportunity to do a little consciousness-raising by showing our new video, which reveals how chickens suffer at slaughterhouses that use the same slaughter methods as those used by McDonald's U.S. suppliers. Check out the photos below:
Look out, Mickey D's, it's on.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Our Valentine's Day gift to you. Enjoy!
These days, it may seem like no one can stop gushing about their Valentine's Day plans, but for those of us whose brains haven't melted to love-mush, we are launching a contest to celebrate February's real holiday: Presidents' Day.
We're giving away a pair of inspirational books written by two leaders who know about making an impact on the world: PETA President Ingrid Newkirk's One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World and the Dalai Lama's Becoming Enlightened. Both offer moving stories and guidance for making the small changes in your life that can make a big change in the world. And because most of us will enjoy a day off on Presidents' Day (another reason why the holiday may be superior to Valentine's Day), what better time is there to settle down for a good, inspiring read and get some tips on taking action to help animals in need?
So what are you waiting for?
OK, maybe that headline is a teensy bit of an exaggeration. What President Obama really said during his town-hall meeting in Fort Myers, Florida, on Tuesday was that he's "open to any idea, whether it comes from a Democrat or a Republican or a vegetarian …." Did you catch that? Vegetarians aren't just mainstream, we've been elevated to the status of a political party! Can a faux chicken in every pot be far behind?
We're so honored by the president's personal "invitation" that we've dashed off a letter giving him one of our best ideas: Stop dumping unhealthy meat, eggs, and dairy products on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
Why are kids being force-fed artery-clogging animal products, you ask? Because the NSLP is under the aegis of the USDA, which is in the business of supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries. This is easy to do if you buy up a bunch of the crap yourself and then foist it off on chronically underfunded schools, which aren't exactly in a position to say no.
Instead of continuing to prop up an industry that hurts animals, pollutes the environment, and exposes people to a greater risk of heart disease, we think that the government should be in the business of promoting healthy veggies. Only common sense, right? Hopefully, the president agrees.
For those of you who don't live in Massachusetts and need a reminder not to move there, the video accompanying a news report about three Hingham firefighters who braved icy waters to rescue a dog will serve as a cold dash of New England winter reality in the face.
The firefighters responded to a call for help from a woman whose rascally dog, Ollie, ran out onto ice-covered Hingham Harbor in hot pursuit of a seal. The seal apparently escaped unharmed, but Ollie plunged through the ice and was trapped in the frigid water. Enter our heroes, who valiantly swam and crawled through the slushy muck to reach Ollie and then painstakingly dragged him back to shore. It was obviously exhausting work, and one of the firefighters was taken to the hospital afterward as a precaution. A tired but grateful Ollie was taken to a veterinary hospital where he was treated and released.
We've honored Ollie's rescuers with a "Compassionate Firefighter Award," and we also threw in some PETA mugs and vegan hot cocoa mix to help them survive the rest of Massachusetts' merciless winter.
And let this be a cautionary tale for anyone who is tempted to allow a dog off lead anywhere near a frozen body of water. As The Boston Globe wisely points out, fuhgeddaboudit.
If you're still not sure what to get your honey this Valentine's Day, take a hint from Carrie Underwood. The four-time Grammy winner and Sexiest Vegetarian Alive veteran recently spilled the beans on what would make her toes curl this Valentine's Day.
Some candles, decorations, good conversation, and a piping-hot home-cooked vegetarian meal are all this songbird needs to get in the lovey-dovey mood. She doesn't mention her favorite dish, but I personally fancy a hearty meatless shepherd's pie with extra mashed potatoes. I'm just sayin'.
Guys, if you want to capture a girl's heart, take Carrie's advice and aim straight for the stomach. You can't go wrong with reputed aphrodisiacs such as stuffed pumpkin, followed by chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert.
But if your culinary skills end at microwave popcorn, don't despair. You can surprise your sweetie with one of these no-hassle delights, which are sure to make a lasting impression.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
PETA is psyched to declare today our first-ever Win It Wednesday! Every Wednesday, right here on the PETA Files, we'll have a cool prize up for grabs. All you have to do is post a comment for a chance to win. This week, we're choosing three lucky winners to take home the exclusive PETA Crow and Roach couture T-shirt, which is popping up in all the most fashionable circles these days.
Hip L.A. T-shirt company Spiders & Caviar designed and made this limited-edition shirt especially for PETA. It's super-soft, super-cute, and could be super-free!
How do you win? This shirt reminds us that all animals—even less popular ones such as crows and roaches—are important. What is your favorite animal, and why? Post your answer in a comment to be entered! If you're a winner, we'll also ask you to tell us which style and size T-shirt you prefer.
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.