Written by PETA
The list of celebrities who have been spotted wearing Stella McCartney's luxe animal-friendly fashions reads like a Hollywood who's who: Jada Pinkett Smith. Kate Winslet. Charlize Theron. Could the Queen's Guards be next?
We hope so. After a faux-fur prototype of a Queen's Guard's bearskin cap was presented during a meeting earlier this week with several Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials, we're encouraged by the possibilities. Stella, who collaborated with Canadian eco-designer Atom Cianfarani on the prototype, has been working with PETA UK for several years to develop a faux-fur hat that will pass the MoD's rigorous water-resistance tests.
"Historically, England has a very high regard for animals, so it makes perfect sense that the MoD should continue shedding ceremonial furs from uniforms," she says.
The new material is lighter and more breathable than bear fur, is less expensive, and of course, no bears were killed to make it. Currently, one bear is killed for every hat that's produced.
The MoD officials were impressed by PETA UK's prototype and have greenlighted further testing. Check back here for updates.
Written by Paula Moore
Racism, slaughter, skinning … this video has it all—all things inhumane and barbaric, that is.
In a shocking new video released by our pals across the pond at PETA Europe, some bear-skinners recently got their five minutes of fame when, unbeknownst to them, they were videotaped cutting the skin off a black bear and spitting out racial slurs that will have their own mothers dodging their phone calls this holiday season.
You can view this footage below, but please be forewarned: The images and language are graphic.
These pin-head hunters sell bear hides at the very same auction where the British Ministry of Defense buys furs to make the Queen's Guards' caps. Now, you might think that the Queen is simply unaware of the cruelty sewn into each cap, but that's hogwash. PETA Europe has joined forces with top British celebs such as Ricky Gervais and Lucy Davis about this issue. Even Pink has gotten into the mix, sending the Queen a letter expressing outrage over her support for the slaughter of Canadian black bears.
There is no excuse for racism and there is no excuse for the Queen to support the killing of black bears for their fur. The Ministry of Defense needs to stop dragging its heels and make the switch to faux. Until the change is made, the Queen's Guards' caps will be symbols of cruelty at its worst. One way to help is to send a message to Canada's Prime Minster and demand that he ban the practice of bear-baiting.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Hasn't anyone ever told the Royal family that it's highly impolite not to answer letters? Lucky for animals, the beautiful, talented, and outspoken Pink is not discouraged that the Royals have failed to respond to her—not once, but twice!
Attempt 1: Five years ago, the longtime PETA supporter turned down an invitation from Prince William to perform at his 21st birthday party. She declined because of his hunting habits, and then posed a question of her own to the future king, asking him why he hunted animals at all. And … she's still waiting. Maybe he is too busy, or maybe he hasn't figured out why. You choose.
Even with her brand-new album, Funhouse, scheduled for release October 28 and an insanely hectic schedule, the singer has not forgotten about Prince William's lack of response, recently saying, "It's a bit rude, isn't it?"
Attempt 2: This time, Pink challenged The Queen. The star asked Queen Elizabeth II why the bear fur on The Queen's Guards' caps hasn't been replaced with a synthetic, cruelty-free material, as PETA Europe has suggested repeatedly.
Perhaps the Royal family needs to pass more Royal edicts, like this one from Prince Charles, who kicked foie gras off all Royal menus this year.
And seriously, respond to Pink's letter. She's waiting, PETA's waiting, and the bears are waiting. This rock star means business … have you seen that billboard in Times Square?!
We at PETA have long loved Zappos.com for its amazing selection of leather-free shoes. In fact, we recently ranked Zappos.com the number one best vegan shoe retailer. So needless to say, when we found out that Zappos.com was selling lots of fur products, we were none too pleased.
Back in August, we wrote to the company about this, urging it to adopt a fur-free policy. At the time, the company said that it would look into the issue to gauge people's thoughts on it. So, to help speed that process up, we launched an online marketing campaign, getting members of the public to write to Zappos.com's CEO and urge him to send the pelts packing—and more than 11,000 of you did! The campaign became totally viral and social networking played a huge part—many people posted tweets on Twitter, passed around our petition on Facebook, and much more.
I mean, seriously, is this the first campaign in history ever to be won by tweeting and the slick use of other online tools? It's pretty exciting if you ask me—and also pretty novel! We are paving the way of the future, my friends.
Well, it seems that Zappos.com got the message that people hate fur, because yesterday, the company officially adopted a permanent policy never to sell any products containing the fur of an animal!
Thank you SO much, all you fantastic online activists, for helping—and thank you, Zappos.com, for making the kind decision to forgo fur now and in the future. This will help spare countless minks, rabbits, foxes, and other animals all the horrors of fur farming and trapping, such as being electrocuted, bludgeoned, and skinned alive.
Now that we're all rightfully pumped up about this exciting victory, we've decided to take on a new campaign—because, well, we can't be stopped! Please join us in asking Amazon.com to follow Zappos.com's lead and go fur-free. For those who want to learn more about the issue and find other ways to help, please visit FurIsDead.com and be sure to check out our compassionate clothing guide here.
Written by Christine Doré
As promised, we have an update regarding the relocation of endangered desert tortoises, which army officials began airlifting earlier this year in preparation for the land expansion of Fort Irwin in California.
To jog your memory a bit: The desert tortoises had been living in critical habitats located near (and sometimes on) Fort Irwin–owned land. These protected land areas were created in order to provide protection for these reptiles and boost their dwindling population.
Sadly—but certainly not unexpectedly—phase one of the project has reportedly resulted in the deaths of 90 desert tortoises. Even worse, officials expected there to be some loss of life because of the relocation, but they continued with their plans anyway. Officials clearly underestimated the frailty of these animals and the harm that relocation could cause. It's pretty clear that officials failed to consider all potential threats to these tortoises when they factored into their plans the deaths of up to 136 desert tortoises during the entirety of phase one—not the deaths of 90 tortoises during the initial relocation, as has happened.
Early reports indicated that many of the relocated tortoises seemed to be moving in a direction back toward their original home. Unfamiliar surroundings, lack of shelter, and larger animals such as coyotes put these tortoises in great danger right from the get-go.
On a somewhat positive note, army officials have—for the time being—halted plans for further relocation.
Obviously, we at PETA don't believe that any project that causes disruption and stress to a group of animals can be deemed a success. At least now, army officials have no choice but to consider the welfare of these desert tortoises and possibly to show them a bit of the compassion that they should have shown from the start.
Looks like one of the funniest celebrities in the world is joining PETA Europe's worldwide fight to stop the slaughter of Canadian black bears for silly hats. And I'm particularly excited about this celebrity, who is probably one of my favorite entertainers of all time: Ricky Gervais.
Gervais, whom you probably know as the star of Extras and the original version of The Office, has written a letter to U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him to replace the bear fur on the Queen's Guards' caps with a cruelty-free material. In his letter, he points out that it takes the entire hide of a bear to make one hat—and that’s nothing to “have a laugh” about!
Oh, maybe you should just read the lovely man's lovely letter, before I manage to work in "Freelove Freeway" or Sir Ian McKellen's "wizard, you shall not pass" bit.
Written by Amanda Schinke
A little international flavor for you this afternoon: Earlier today outside the British embassy in Vienna, three PETA Germany members wearing little more than Union Jack Underpants and faux fur hats let the royals know exactly how they feel about the British Ministry of Defense's refusal to stop using bear fur for the Queen's Guards' ceremonial caps. Angry and naked, is how they feel. In case that wasn't clear.
Assuming you're of legal age and your boss isn't watching, you can check out the NSFW pic here.
MySpace superstar Colbie Caillat, who’s more or less poised to take over the world after her smash hit song “Bubbly” tore up the charts this year, recently sat down with my esteemed colleague Nicole Nuss to talk about what she does to keep the animals in her life happy. She’s adorable.
Hey, everyone! You may remember my previous post about the bearskins investigation. Well, this has generated a ton of media coverage, which is excellent, but this article in particular really caught my eye.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was quoted in the article as saying, "Some alternatives to real fur are already in use by the Royal Artillery and others, and we are in discussions with PETA to identify an improved fake fur."
Wha?! If by discussions, they mean PETA Europe talking and the MoD isn't listening, then yeah … I guess you could say there've been some awesome discussions.
Thanks, MoD, for pulling out the PR train on this one, but we know better! Click here to see the letter that PETA Europe sent to the MoD today, and don't forget to take action on this issue!
Bear baiting is so cruel it has been banned in British Columbia and in many U.S. states, and is condemned by the majority of Canadians and by numerous hunting and conservation groups as being cruel and unsportsmanlike, yet black bears continue to be cruelly slaughtered in Canada.
Alexia over at the PETA UK blog has all the latest on conservative MP Ann Widdecombe's public unveiling of this shocking footage at the House of Commons. Click here to get the entire scoop!
Please click here to join us in contacting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and ask him to help end bear baiting in Canada. Plus, I created this action alert, so you know it's an important one!
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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.