Written by PETA
Justice has been served for the victims of Warren Jeffs—the polygamist sect leader who was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting two underage girls. This is good news, but for countless other young victims of sexual abuse, there is no justice. To make this point, PETA plans to place this billboard in San Angelo, Texas:
In 30 years of investigating factory farms and slaughterhouses, PETA has repeatedly caught workers taking their issues out on animals by violently beating them, screaming at them, and, yes, sexually assaulting them.
At a Hormel supplier's farm in Iowa, for example, PETA's investigation revealed that a supervisor rammed a cane into a pig's vagina and boasted that he had thrust gate rods into pigs' anuses. A worker urged PETA's investigator to beat a pig as if she had scared away a "voluptuous little f---ing girl." The employee was also caught on video shouting to a supervisor to beat pigs and to expose his genitals to get them to move.
At a Butterball slaughterhouse, a PETA investigator saw—in addition to other horrific cruelty—a worker shove his finger into a turkey's vagina. Another worker mimed raping a bird whose legs and head he'd shackled.
At Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., in West Virginia, the "world's leading poultry breeding company," a worker was indicted for cruelty to animals after being caught on video pinning a turkey to the ground and mimicking raping her. He reportedly later told police that he'd done this to dozens of other turkeys.
We can easily shake our heads in disgust at Warren Jeffs' crimes, but if we eat meat, we may be supporting similar acts of sexual violence. Please take a stand against all sexual abuse and exploitation by ordering a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit today.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
German company Lohmann Tierzucht (LTZ)—the parent company of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc.—is facing cruelty-to-animals charges as a result of evidence gathered by PETA Germany. Authorities have issued warrants for alleged violations of Germany's Animal Welfare Act (including amputating the toes and crests of millions of chickens in order to distinguish their breeds and sexes). Convictions could bring sentences of up to three years of imprisonment plus fines.
You'll remember that PETA's 2008 undercover investigation of Aviagen documented that workers were breaking turkeys' necks, stomping on their heads, and shoving feces and feed into turkeys' mouths. Three former Aviagen workers were indicted on cruelty-to-animals charges—the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to farmed birds by factory farm workers in the U.S. All three men were convicted and sentenced; one was sent to jail and all were barred from owning or working with any animals for five years.
The moral of this story: If you abuse farmed animals anywhere on the globe, sooner or later you're going to get caught.
Written by Paula Moore
During our investigations, undercover workers document some seriously sick and disturbing events—including the sexual abuse of animals, from pigs to turkeys. Unfortunately, sexual violence against farmed animals is not an unusual occurrence.
I have to warn you—what you're about to see and read is not for the faint of heart.
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Our undercover investigation at an Iowa pig factory farm revealed that a supervisor rammed a cane into a pig's vagina. That same supervisor said that he thrust gate rods into the anuses of pigs who frustrated him.
At a Butterball slaughterhouse, a PETA investigator saw—in addition to other horrific cruelty—a worker insert his finger into a turkey's cloaca (vagina). Another worker mimed raping a bird whose legs and head he'd shackled.
At Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., in West Virginia, the "world's leading poultry breeding company," a worker was indicted for cruelty to animals after being caught on video pinning a female turkey to the ground and mimicking raping her. When interviewed by police, he reportedly admitted to having done this to dozens of other turkeys.
When writer Jim Mason worked for a day as a turkey breeder, he discovered that since turkeys have been genetically manipulated to grow so large that they can no longer breed naturally, workers must manually extract semen from males and manually inseminate females. On dairy farms, a female cow will often be forcibly restrained so that she can't get away when an insemination instrument is shoved into her vagina. Pig factory farm workers confine boars to tiny "carts" and parade them in front of sows so that other workers can look at and touch sows' genitals in order to determine the best time to insert a tube of pig semen into them.
Cruel, twisted, perverted, and sadistic—and this kind of sexual violence happens every day on factory farms. The meat and dairy industries even consider some of it "standard practice." This is why we're hoping to have this billboard placed very soon, but until then, we're continuing to urge everyone to go vegan. Help end the horrific abuse of animals on factory farms forever!
Written by Shawna Flavell
MTV Denmark host and FHM cover model Anne Lindfjeld stripped down to her trademark tattoos for PETA's first Scandinavian "Ink, Not Mink" ad, which was unveiled just before the start of the Kopenhagen Fur auction in Denmark, the country that produces the most mink furs.
Lindfjeld joins a long list of tattooed celebrities—including Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, the SuicideGirls, and NBA star Dennis Rodman—who've bared their skin to save animals' skins. Go, Anne!
Written by Heather Moore
Last week, PETA Germany released an undercover investigation inside a farm owned by "cage-free" Wiesenhof. The company is a giant producer in the world's chicken-meat industry, and it sells its chicken flesh worldwide, including right here in the U.S. Undercover footage taken at Wiesenhof's hatching facilities shows untrained workers breaking chickens' necks, failing to treat contagious diseases appropriately, and refusing to empty manure pits for 10 months. One worker punched a rooster who tried to escape and later urinated inside the barn next to the animals.
Unlike birds who are fattened and then slaughtered at the age of only 5 weeks, "parent animals" at hatching facilities suffer abuse and neglect for up to 10 months. PETA Germany has filed a legal complaint against Wiesenhof, claiming that the company is guilty of violating the German Animal Welfare Act, German slaughter and transport laws, environmental laws, and laws concerning epidemic outbreaks and hygiene.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Wiesenhof's parent company, PHW Group, has strong ties to Aviagen—owner of the turkey farms in West Virginia that were the site of PETA's landmark undercover investigation that led to the first-ever indictments for felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds as well as the first-ever cruelty convictions of turkey factory-farm workers. The owners of PHW Group and Aviagen's parent company are brothers. Cruelty apparently runs in the family, and if you aren't looking to support it, go vegan.
Written by Logan Scherer
As horrible as the findings were, our undercover investigation at Aviagen has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving—giving out indictments to those we caught on video abusing animals, that is.
Quick review: A PETA investigator went undercover on Aviagen's turkey factory farms in West Virginia and gathered evidence that workers broke turkeys' necks, stomped on their heads, and shoved feces and feed into turkeys' mouths. This evidence led to the first-ever indictments for felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds, and the first-ever cruelty convictions of turkey factory-farm workers.
Aviagen's farms are spread out over multiple counties in West Virginia, which means that workers were subject to prosecution in each county where they abused or neglected these intelligent, sensitive birds. The first indictments were handed down in Greenbrier County, and now further felony indictments have been issued in Monroe County against Walter Hambrick and Scott White. White was already convicted in Greenbrier County of the cruelty he committed there, and he went to jail. Hambrick—whose charges in Greenbrier County are still pending—now faces three more felonies just a few minutes down the road.
Of course, it's easy as (eggless, nondairy) pie to stop contributing to factory farm and slaughterhouse cruelty—like the kind at Aviagen, Belcross, AgriProcessors, Pilgrim's Pride, and too many others to mention—simply by going vegetarian.
Written by Jeff Mackey
It's a hazy day here on the Right Coast. As I watch leaves fall and steam rise from my soy mocha, the mood is set for a lazy (yet highly skilled) meander through gossip rags for fun stuff. Here are my faves:
Thanks for stopping by! Catch you next time, and don't forget to hug all your vegetarian friends.
Written by Missy Lane
Late last year, some factory-farm employees got their pink slips from Aviagen Turkeys, Inc. in response to PETA's undercover investigation, which documented that workers were breaking turkeys' necks, stomping on their heads, and shoving feces and feed into turkeys' mouths.
Then, in February, a grand jury handed down 19 indictments, including 11 felony charges, against three former Aviagen workers, marking the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds.
Fast forward: Two of the three ex-employees, Scott Alvin White and Edward Eric Gwinn, recently pleaded guilty to cruelty charges. On June 8, White was sentenced to serve one year in jail—the maximum period permitted by law! Today, Gwinn was sentenced to serve six months' home confinement—the maximum period permitted by law—on each count, concurrently, and is banned from living with, owning, and working with animals for five years. The case against the third ex-employee, Walter Lee Hambrick, is pending.
Can't get enough? In September, a grand jury in neighboring Monroe County, West Virginia, may well issue further felony indictments against White and Hambrick.
These historic victories by no means even the score for the turkeys who were punched and thrown or the many other birds who suffered when they were forced to watch as other turkeys were abused at Aviagen. After watching our undercover video, animal behavior expert Dr. Lesley J. Rogers stated, "It is now known that when social animals, like turkeys, see and hear other members of their species under stress or suffering physical injury, their levels of stress become elevated. Hence, the behavioural stress is widespread in the birds in the vicinity of those that have been injured and/or handled roughly."
Still, these convictions will remind workers on other factory farms that if they don't clean up their acts, PETA investigators (and the whistleblowers who tip us off) will have their eyes on them.
Written by Karin Bennett
In a huge victory for animals, a grand jury has issued 19 indictments for cruelty to animals against three former employees of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc. And it gets better—11 of the indictments are on felony charges. This marks the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds.
These indictments are the result of PETA's undercover investigation at Aviagen's factory farms in West Virginia, which uncovered workers stomping, kicking, throwing, and killing turkeys in unimaginably cruel ways. Our investigator's video footage was seen by the West Virginia State Police, whose investigator then conducted his own prompt and thorough investigation, leading to these indictments in Greenbrier County. Next stop: Monroe County, where we anticipate additional charges to be filed for similar acts committed there.
It's great to see the authorities take this case seriously. But Aviagen itself? Not so much.
As you may recall, a couple of weeks back, a whistleblower told us that some of the turkey torturers were still employed by Aviagen, despite the company's promise to fire all the workers caught violating its purported animal-welfare policies. PETA's letter to the company president about this has gone unanswered. And Aviagen has refused to give any specific details about the actions it claims to have taken. So, as far as we can tell, Aviagen hasn't yet implemented even one of the seven improvements we suggested to them. If you're as riled about this as we are, please take a minute to ask Aviagen executives to stop sitting on their thumbs and take some specific steps toward preventing the continued torture of birds in the company's sheds.
Bet these indictments have got them sitting up and paying attention, though. And not just at Aviagen (I'm looking at you, Butterball, Pilgrim's Pride, and Tyson). And I suspect the charges might make those drumsticks a little harder for some folks to swallow too.
You probably remember when we unveiled our undercover investigation of Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., right before Thanksgiving. (Those horrifying images are hard to forget.) After seeing our video footage, Aviagen claimed to be working on improvements to its animal welfare policies and promised to fire all workers who were caught violating them.
However, Aviagen has not, to PETA's knowledge, implemented any of PETA's seven recommendations for making its turkeys less miserable. On top of that, we got a call 10 days ago from a whistleblower who let us know that at least three of the workers who were videotaped stomping, kicking, throwing, and maliciously killing turkeys are still being paid to handle live turkeys on Aviagen's farms. I'd really like to say that I'm shocked, but after seeing what happens on Aviagen's dark and dusty factory farms, I don't think there's anything the company could do that would surprise me.
We've pumped a letter out to Aviagen president Jihad Douglas demanding to know why these workers are still on the company's payroll two months after PETA representatives personally provided company officials with our videotape as well as what, if any, steps the company has taken to stop cruelty to animals on its farms. Aviagen, since you seem to have no brilliant plans of your own to stop the abuse of turkeys on your factory farms, I suggest that you implement our seven-point-plan for animal welfare improvements as soon as possible.
Oh, and one more thing: Fire those workers … now!
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.