Written by PETA
What do you call it when a KFC is "closed for cruelty"? A goreclosure!
For more than a year, dedicated animal advocates have been holding monthly demonstrations outside a KFC in North Carolina to spread the word about KFC's tormented chickens—and watching the restaurant's business dwindle. Now, so many people have washed their hands of KFC's blood that the location has recently shut down!
The only thing better than vegan party food? Knowing that no chicken will ever leave that building in a KFC bucket again. Inspired to instigate a goreclosure in your community? Start organizing your own KFC protest today!
Written by Logan Scherer
David Angerer, owner of the New York City restaurant Klee Brasserie (which is just a stone's throw from the excellent all-vegan restaurant Blossom), is making headlines with his newest offering: "Mommy's Milk" cheese, made possible by his lactating wife.
(Let the punning commence.)
This certainly isn't the first squeeze push to promote human milk. If you've stayed abreast of the PETA Files for a while, you might remember that after a Swiss restaurant named Storchen introduced a menu featuring human breast-milk edibles, PETA was inspired to ask ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry's to switch from unhealthy bovine juice stolen from tormented calves (aka "cow milk") to healthier, humane human breast milk.
Dairy-lovin' naysayers, don't knock(er) it until you try it. In fact, David Angerer is inviting anyone who's interested to try his titillating creation. I'm thinking that this trend might finally catch on. What do you say? Would you care for some no-cowlone and crackers?
Written by Karin Bennett
Who's putting the party into "Republican Party"? Vegans! Rich Karlgaard—publisher of Forbes magazine—recently explained his mostly vegan diet on The Huffington Post, attributing his healthy and lively existence to his compassionate food choices. Karlgaard is proof that kindness knows no party lines. Whether you're conservative or liberal, granola-crunching or pizza-munching, concrete-loving or tree-hugging, all vegans have something in common: concern for their own lives, the lives of animals, and the environment.
So now we're calling on you, Republican vegans. We want to hear your stories! Tell us what made you choose to eat humanely and how it's changed your life for the better.
Written by Logan Scherer
Ingrid E. Newkirk's need for speed has just become street legal. That's right, for all of us environmentally conscious, animal-friendly speedsters, Fisker Automotive's top-of-the-line 2010 Karma sports car is what we've been waiting for. The Karma is the world's first luxury plug-in hybrid, and the available Eco-Chic option—which includes an interior made of bamboo-based fabric instead of leather as well as wood sourced from fallen trees, trees burned in forest fires, or trees brought up from lake bottoms—was obviously created with PETA supporters in mind.
And with the ability to go from zero to 60 in 6 seconds flat, whoever's lucky enough to ride in the passenger seat is going to have to make sure to wear a seat belt (and probably brace against the dash).
This year's Iditarod doesn't start until tomorrow, and one dog has already died. The death occurred during the Junior Iditarod, a 150-mile race that's open to teens aged 14–17. A necropsy found that the dog, a 5-year-old male named Lava, died of gastric ulcers, an all-too-common cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.
According to a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, more than half the dogs who finish the Iditarod have gastric ulcers, which the study's authors believe are caused by "sustained strenuous exercise." Dogs suffering from ulcers may bleed or choke to death after regurgitating and then inhaling their own vomit. Poor Lava didn't deserve that—no dog does.
Bear in mind that the Junior Iditarod is only about one-eighth the distance of the daddy Iditarod, which is a grueling 1,150 miles. That's roughly the same as the distance between New York City and St. Petersburg, Florida—and the fastest teams are forced to cover all that ground in less than two weeks. Dogs often run more than 100 miles a day—the equivalent of four marathons back to back—with little rest. (The official race rules require that dogs only be given a total of 40 hours' rest during the entire race, which can add up to less than 3 or 4 hours a day.)
We're not talking about a jog through Central Park, here. Dogs in the Iditarod have to battle blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and falls through treacherous ice into frigid water. Their feet become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice and rocks, and just plain worn out because of the vast distances they cover. Many dogs pull muscles, tendons, and ligaments, rupture discs, incur stress fractures, and become sick with bloody diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or the aforementioned bleeding stomach ulcers. Dogs have been strangled by tow lines, trampled by moose, and hit by snowmobiles and sleds. Two of the six dogs who died in last year's race are believed to have frozen to death.
Nearly 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod since records started being kept (a tally that doesn't include dogs who die in training or after the race ends). On average, more than half the dogs who start the race don't make it across the finish line, and 81 percent of those who do finish have lung damage, according to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Is there a small light at the end of this dark Alaskan tunnel? To paraphrase Sarah Palin, former mayor of Wasilla—home of the Iditarod's headquarters—you betcha. The purse for the winners of this year's race is down roughly $52,000 from last year because several former sponsors, such as Chevron and Cabela's, have dropped their support. You can help by writing to ExxonMobil and the Iditarod's other remaining sponsors and asking them to stop paying mushers to run dogs to death.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Many folks can't help shaking their hips to Kissin' Cousins, but when it comes to breeding imprisoned polar bears who share the same grandfather, you can be sure that our friends at PETA Germany will only be shaking their protest signs.
Here's the situation: Do you remember Knut? If not, you're not alone. A few years ago, there were several months when it seemed like everybody and his, er, cousin was talking about the Berlin Zoo's adorable baby polar bear. PETA Europe, in particular, protested the zoo's plan to hand-rear him. The baby was paraded for throngs of media and zoo visitors, but once he grew up, audiences' excitement and interest in the bear began to wane.
Well, now Knut is sharing his quarters with another polar bear named Giovanna, who is his cousin, and PETA Germany is calling for Knut to be castrated. To breed any polar bear in captivity perpetuates a life full of misery for animals who are roving predators with an instinct to roam and hunt. And in this situation, according to Frank Albrecht, an expert in captive animal welfare, if Knut and Giovanna were to have any offspring, it could threaten the genetic diversity of Germany's polar bear population, and the new bears could be susceptible to a condition known as "incest depression." (As if captive animals aren't depressed and frustrated enough already …)
Giovanna was moved to the problematic Berlin Zoo last year when construction work began on her own den in Munich. (Of course, the 64,000-Euro question is whether Giovanna will stay with Knut or be shuffled back to Munich.) There's no denying that Knut and Giovanna seem to enjoy each other's company, but allowing the two cousins to mate with each other (or with any other bears for that matter) would be irresponsible and cruel. Albrecht notes, "Knut fans need to know that only Knut's castration would allow a long life together with Giovanna."
So, tell us what you think:
Compassion transcends age. Laura Moll—a 12-year-old vegetarian from New Delhi, India—is a role model to children and adults alike. The aspiring veterinarian volunteers at the Friendicoes Society for the Eradication of Cruelty to Animals, a local animal shelter, and records her efforts to help animals on her moving Web site.
Warning: The beautiful and poignant photographs of the many homeless animals who have touched Laura's heart—photographs that she hopes will encourage people to adopt these animals—just might move you to tears.
For her unwavering dedication to homeless animals, Laura has received PETA India's Hero to Animals Award and a card signed by PETA India staff members.
Whether you live in India or Kentucky—whether you are 9 years old or 86 years old—helping animals in your community is as easy as ABC.
A beluga whale named Nico died this week at SeaWorld San Antonio, where he was being temporarily housed while the Georgia Aquarium underwent renovations. This marks the third time in the last three years that a beluga whale from the Georgia Aquarium has died.
The cause of Nico's death has not yet been determined, but according to aquarium officials, he was already ailing when he was obtained from a Mexican aquarium along with another beluga whale, Gasper, who died in January 2007. The aquarium's two surviving whales, Maris and Natasha, are on loan from the New York Aquarium. A third beluga whale from New York, Marina, also died in 2007.
In a chirpy news release announcing the arrival of Maris, Natasha, and Marina in 2005, the aquarium expressed the hope that "we soon [will] have baby beluga whales."
In the same news release, the aquarium announced the arrival of Ralph and Norton, two whale sharks who—you guessed it—are now dead. Seeing a trend here?
Instead of swimming freely in the sea, animals at aquariums are relegated to a world that's measured in feet instead of fathoms. Beluga whales are extremely social animals who—when left to their own devices—play, chase each other, and interact in extended pods. They have been called "sea canaries" because of their complex vocalizations, which they use to communicate with each other.
In captivity, these whales have little room for exercise and are cut off from their natural social groups. While they might not have to face natural enemies, the stress of captivity is apparently the scariest "predator" of all.
Written by Alisa Mullins
When I was in elementary school, I had a friend named Katie. We slept over at each other's houses, hung out during recess, and wore the same clothes, pretending to be twins. I was so ready to give her the other half of my best-friend necklace—but then I heard her talking smack about me in the lunch room. Backstabber.
The CEO of Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is a lot like Katie. While the aquarium's mission is supposedly "to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems," CEO Dr. Jerry Schubel has just launched a new program called "Seafood for the Future"—which encourages people to eat specific kinds of fish in order to qualify for a free ticket to the aquarium.
If Dr. Schubel really knew what was best for fish, he'd know that eating them isn't an option. Fish communicate and develop relationships with one another. They experience fear, show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when their companions die. When they are dragged from the ocean's depths, they undergo excruciating decompression, which often causes their internal organs to rupture.
Encouraging aquarium visitors to eat fish seems a little bit like serving poodle burgers at a dog show. Wouldn't you think the best way for visitors to safeguard and respect the ocean's sea life is to adopt a vegan diet? We've fired off a letter to Dr. Schubel asking him to cancel this program immediately.
Is it obvious yet that aquariums really don't care about the animals they're supposedly protecting?
Written by Liz Graffeo
Lookin' fierce with her new do, Freeda Fish—er, I mean Sammy the Sea Kitten—has hit the road and is handing out plush sea kitten toys across the country to children visiting aquariums. She wants the kiddies (and their parents) to know that sea kittens, like land kittens and puppies, are sensitive, intelligent animals who feel pain and deserve respect—and who definitely shouldn't be cruelly confined to aquariums, violently killed for food, or painfully hooked for "sport."
So far, kids have been eager to embrace Freeda's new persona, but who do you prefer—Freeda Fish or Sammy the Sea Kitten?
Written by Liz Graffeo
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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.