Written by Michelle Kretzer
Michigan mom Natalie
Hegedus was verbally reprimanded by a judge for discreetly breastfeeding
her child in the back of a courtroom, PETA jumped to the support of Hegedus
and other moms by seeking to place our pro-breastfeeding billboard near the Paw
Paw courtroom where the mammary melee occurred.
Mary © Susan Saladino
is natural—stealing milk
from cows so that we can feed our
babies the milk nature intended for calves is not. The consumption of cow's
milk has been linked to asthma, constipation,
recurrent ear infections, anemia, diabetes, zits, and even cancer in children.
mothers who opt to feed their children breast milk should be commended, not
censured. Women should be encouraged to give their children the healthiest possible food and leave cow's milk
Written by PETA
Michelle Obama's promotion of the IRS's breast-pump tax break is getting mixed reviews. Tea Party star Michele Bachmann, who one would think would be in favor of any measure that lowers taxes, blasted the new rule, saying that it gives new meaning to the term "nanny state." Sarah Palin, who, as governor of Alaska, declared October "Breastfeeding Awareness Month," now apparently believes that encouraging breastfeeding is a plot to divert Americans' attention away from the high price of cow's milk. (Good news, Sarah: The prices of soy and almond milk are coming down!)
But the IRS ruling does have its supporters, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical groups that lobbied for the breast-pump tax deduction.
Numerous studies indicate that babies who are breastfed are healthier. Conversely, babies who are fed cow's milk "receive inadequate amounts of [v]itamin E, iron, essential fatty acids, and excessive amounts of protein, potassium, and sodium," according to the AAP. (In fact, the AAP recommends against feeding cow's milk to children under 1 year of age.)
Cow's milk has been found to cause or aggravate many common childhood ailments, including runny noses, allergies, ear infections, bronchitis, and asthma. For the many children who are lactose-intolerant, milk consumption can lead to stomachaches, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea. Studies have also linked cow's milk to more serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, autism, juvenile diabetes, and even cancer.
America's cows are definitely on board with efforts to boost breastfeeding. They'd prefer to nurse their own babies, thank you very much.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The ever-awesome Pink has just released a new video, "Raise Your Glass," which is filled with both cool and disturbing animal imagery, including a row of women producing breast milk that's being consumed by a calf. (Pink isn't afraid to knock fans out of their complacency!) The video also features an anti-bullfighting segment in which Pink shows a matador how it feels to have someone come at you with a sword.
It's little wonder that Pink's video is so cutting-edge and thought-provoking. After all, it was directed by another PETA friend—the fabulous (and vegan!) Dave Meyers, who directed our sizzling Alicia Silverstone public service announcement.
Watch the video and tell us what you think about Pink's unique way of getting the animal rights messages across.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Got breast milk? In the wake of a recent report that says the nation could save billions on healthcare costs if more mothers breastfed their babies, we're running a billboard in Lexington, Kentucky, that encourages people to DLJD (Do Like Jesus Did):
Kentucky has one of the lowest percentages of women who breastfeed their babies, and according to this new report, the state's children have an increased risk of falling victim to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), necrotizing enterocolitis (the death of intestinal wall tissue), lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Our billboard aims to show Kentucky residents that by fortifying human babies and saving the lives of cows, breast milk is also the blessed milk. Seriously—if it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for any baby.
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.
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:
Why not list five or ten? In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we're doing everything in pairs. So, come take a walk down Mammary Lane as we revisit some of our most titillating pro–breast milk moments from the past couple of years:
Written by Amy Elizabeth
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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.