Written by PETA
Because we've heard from so many people who want to know more about PETA's position on "Flygate," we've decided to explore the question of "to bee or not to bee" in a bit more depth.
As we all know, human beings often don't think before they act. We don't condemn President Obama for acting on instinct. When the media began contacting us in droves for a statement, we obliged, simply by saying that the president isn't the Buddha and shouldn't be expected to do everything right—if not for that, we would not have brought it up. It's the media who are making a big deal about the fly swat—not PETA. However, we took the opportunity, when asked, to point out that we do offer lots of ways in which to control insects of all kinds without harming them, including the humane bug catcher we sent President Obama. There is even a chapter in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights about how to rid your home of "uninvited guests."
We have lots of other items on our agenda, as you can imagine, and PETA's focus will remain on our core issues—promoting alternatives to eating animals, opposing fur and products made from animal skin, opposing laboratories that torment animals, and fighting the abuse of animals in circus training camps as well as other overt abuses that fall within our mission statement, which states that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
We support compassion for all animals, even the most curious, smallest, and least sympathetic ones. We hope that everyone will take inspiration from Nobel Peace Prize–winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who believed that even insects were deserving of compassion and who would stop to move a worm from hot pavement to cool earth. Aware of the problems and responsibilities that go along with an expanded ethical code, Schweitzer said that we each must "live daily from judgment to judgment, deciding each case as it arises, as wisely and mercifully as we can."
We can't stop all suffering, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop any. Our wish is for all people to act wisely and mercifully toward animals.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Well, I guess it can't be said that President Obama wouldn't hurt a fly. The commander in chief was recently pestered by a fly during an interview. He swatted at the insect and killed the little guy instantly.
Believe it or not, we've actually been contacted by multiple media outlets wanting to know PETA's official response to the executive insect execution.
In a nutshell, our position is this: He isn't the Buddha, he's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.
If all this has you wondering how you can be a bigger person (figuratively, as well as literally) in your dealings with exoskeletal beings, check out our handy-dandy bug catcher—one of which we are sending to President Obama for future insect incidents. I can tell you from personal experience that it sure came in handy the other day, when one of my cats was chasing the World's Largest Palmetto Bug around the house.
Georges Laraque (or "Big George" to friends and fans) is known for duking it out on the ice as the star enforcer for the Montréal Canadiens, but these days he's fighting for animal rights.
Georges already protested a fur expo in Montréal, and now he's just delivered a slap shot to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the bloody seal slaughter. Georges sent a letter to Prime Minister Harper, writing, "Blood on the ice is fine when it comes to Canada's national sport because players are willing participants, but the blood of helpless baby seals that stains the ice each year is Canada's shame."
He joins other notables who have denounced the slaughter, including Canadian Senator Mac Harb, British Columbia native Pamela Anderson, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and President Obama.
I think everyone can agree that this hockey champ is a pro at sticking up for animals.
Written by Karin Bennett
With baby seal corpses littering Canadian ice floes, this year's seal slaughter has finally ended—but the outrage over the Canadian government's refusal to stop the killing is just getting revved up.
Outcry against the seal slaughter is echoing around the globe. The European Union and the U.S. have banned seal products, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate end to the slaughter, and world leaders have spoken out against the massacre. Demonstrations from London to Hamburg and Los Angeles to Toronto have made headlines, and people all over the world have sent a strong, united message that the seal bloodbath must end.
It's clear that the Canadian seal slaughter is quickly losing favor and support: This year, about three-fourths of the seals who were expected to be bludgeoned or shot to death were spared. But we still need your help to make sure that Canada doesn't think the protests will end just because the killing has slowed.
One dead seal is still too many, so we've revved up our campaign to get the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to use its clout to stop the seal slaughter. Check out our new Web site OlympicShame2010.com and give us a hand, won't you?
Written by Shawna Flavell
The mutilation and slaughter of 19 cats in the South Miami-Dade area of Florida has made national news recently. Now that 18-year-old Tyler Weinman has been arrested and charged in connection with the killings, an article published today points out that the accused cat killer participated in classroom dissections last year.
Fearing Weinman might be a danger to himself and/or others, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer has ordered a psychiatric evaluation—and house arrest if Weinman makes bail—noting, "I'm concerned about his safety and the safety of the community.''
Smart woman. After all, most—if not all—notorious serial killers got their start abusing animals (think Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, and the Boston Strangler, just to name a few). Heck, even the main character in Showtime's popular series Dexter is a serial killer whose first victims were animals.
Parents and educators need to be aware that classroom dissections teach students that it's OK to be cruel. Schools should instead be teaching students to respect life by teaching anatomy via any of the many humane alternatives that are available. That's why we've written to the principal of Weinman's school urging him to stop all animal dissections and replace them with non-animal learning methods, which we are offering to provide free of charge. After all, I'm sure he doesn't want to risk adding any of his students' faces to the "Most Wanted" lists of criminals who "graduated" from dissecting frogs, rats, and cats to killing and cutting up men, women, and children.
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winners of the vegan soccer balls are Keren Genet, Rev. Meg Schramm, and Hannah Claire Jarvis. Congratulations!
The World Cup has just started, and you can already spot the true fans. Dedicated soccer (or, if you prefer, "football") enthusiasts all over the world are breaking out their jerseys and dusting off their giant foam fingers.
Before you start practicing your Ronaldinho moves, don't forget to make sure that your ball is cruelty-free. Many sports balls are made of leather, despite the cruelty and human health risks involved in producing it. Hasn't anyone at FIFA ever been to CowsAreCool.com?
For this week's "Win It" Wednesday, we're giving away leather-free soccer balls from Fair Trade Sports so that cows can keep their skins and you can kick butt on the field.
How do you win? Tell us about your favorite animal-friendly athlete in a comment below. The three most fan-crazed comments will win.
Written by Lianne Turner
Well, Michelle Obama has gone and done it: She 'fessed up to People magazine that the first family is leaning toward adopting a Portuguese water dog. To give her credit, she stresses that the family plans to adopt the dog from a shelter or rescue group, but we sure do wish that she'd quit fixating so much on the dog's breed.
Already, the mere mention a few months ago that the Obamas had narrowed their choice to a "Portie" or a Labradoodle has caused a flurry of Google searches for those breeds. I personally know a couple who bought not one but two goldendoodle puppies because anything "doodle" is oh-so-fashionable these days. (This same couple had previously visited an animal shelter and was poised to adopt two homeless mutts until they became wooed by the latest fad, proof of our assertion that breeders kill shelter dogs' chances of finding homes.)
Admittedly, it probably sets a slightly better example to adopt a Portuguese water dog than it would to pick a Labradoodle or a goldendoodle—those breeds are virtually guaranteed to come from puppy mills.
But Portie enthusiasts with a conscience are not terribly happy about getting a nod from the Obamas. As they and PETA's Daphna Nachminovitch point out in this Associated Press article, whenever a breed becomes fashionable, puppy mills jump into the game to satisfy the demand of uninformed people. Only later do these folks realize that, oops, Porties would willingly run several marathons and swim across the English Channel—all before breakfast.
I used to dog-sit for a Portie named Riley. He was a sweetie, just as breeders claim, but he was also hyper, to put it mildly. He had boundless energy and was obsessed with water—if he jumped into the river that runs alongside the PETA dog park, it was almost impossible to coax him out. In the car, he bounced Tigger-like from back seat to front, in between bouts of carsickness. He was the ideal dog for, say, Michael Phelps or a professional surfer—not so ideal for a busy family.
What the Obamas (and lots of other people) don't seem to understand is that you don't have to pre-select a certain breed and then set out to find a dog who meets that criterion. You can go to your local animal shelter, walk down the rows of cages, and pick out a dog of any old breed (or, better yet, mix of breeds), spend some time with him or her, and discover that, yes, this is the dog for you. It's kind of a crazy idea, but I'm hoping it just might catch on.
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.
As one of his first orders of business, President Barack Obama has suspended a plan to remove several gray wolf populations from the Endangered Species List. Originally, the Interior Department wanted to remove the wolves from the list, thereby exposing them to harm and slaughter.
By taking this action, President Obama has saved some lives. It's estimated that as many as two-thirds of the gray wolf population would have been affected by the plan—meaning that 1,000 out of almost 1,500 wolves would have been in deep trouble.
Bravo, Mr. President!
All throughout the inauguration yesterday, our costumed campaigners were mobbed by curious bystanders, including online celebrity "Obama Girl"! While she was shooting her new video, Obama Girl asked members of our crew to dance with her on camera … and of course we said "Yes." So, be on the lookout for that on YouTube—but here's a little sneak-peek to get the party started:
Wearing nifty Ghostbuster-esque backpack dispensers, we served soy hot cocoa to people who made the compassionate decision to forgo fur that day. Baracky Raccoon and his friends also tooled around in fur-free branded pedicabs.
Written by Christine Doré
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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.