Written by PETA
I've been refraining from touching this story for a while now, partially because I didn't want to give any publicity to a lousy father who thinks that killing animals on the weekend is a good way to teach his son to be a productive member of society. But the latest twist in the sad tale of "monster pig" seems at least worth a mention. For those of you who missed it, some kid in Alabama shot a 1,000 pound wild hog, and the picture of his senseless act went pretty much everywhere on the Internet because, well, it really was a surprisingly large animal. As it turns out, though, far from being a wild "monster pig," as he came to be known, Fred was actually a companion animal who had been raised from birth by a couple named Phil and Rhonda Blissitt. Don't feel too sorry for the Blissitts, since they saw fit to sell their pet to a hunting preserve for some reason, but I do think this latest development adds a certain poignancy to Fred's already sad story. Hopefully it will be harder for people to take pleasure in this animal's suffering now that they know he had a name.
Update: The California Healthy Pets Act has passed the Assembly, and is on its way to the State Senate Committee! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to push the bill this far — I’ll keep you updated on the Senate vote as it progresses.
California's Healthy Pets Act just got a lot more Hollywood support with a new celebrity-filled petition. Star Trek's Captain Kirk, Grey’s Anatomy hottie Katherine Heigl, Studio 60's Bradley Whitford, and CSI's Jorja Fox, along with Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling, director Richard Linklater, and more than a dozen other Hollywood stars, including Captain Kirk, have signed a PETA petition pledging support for Assembly Bill 1634—the California Healthy Pets Act—which mandates spay-neuter surgeries for cats and dogs. The bill is scheduled for a floor vote this week. Did I mention Captain Kirk signed the petition?!?! (I know it’s not the first time PETA's teamed up with The Captain, but it’s the first time I got to report on it. Thanks for understanding.)
This petition is just the latest act of celebrity support for the bill. In recent weeks funny guy Bill Maher recorded a “New Rule” supporting the bill and PETA released another PSA for the bill featuring Kevin Nealon, Mike White, Ami James, and other celebs.
It's not just celebrities who are coming out in support of this bill. The Healthy Pets Act has already gained support from hundreds of animal protection organizations, veterinarians, city police departments. The vote is coming up early this week and if you live in California the animals need your support. Please use our handy web form to contact your assembly person today. If you won’t do it for the animals’ sake, do it for The Captain.
Click the image below to view the full petition.
Anyone familiar with lolcats? This is a take on the phenomenon that my friend Joel made with an image that’s been circulating everywhere on MySpace. Childish? Yes, a little. Joel’s particular brand of genius can manifest itself in odd ways sometimes—but the message is still sound, methinks.
How am I just hearing about this? Come on, the first ever veggie dog eating contest, I would have been on a plane to get there faster than the Olsen twins throw up their lunch. Seriously.
The soon to be annual event happened last Saturday in Austin, TX, and the report I got said that over 300 people attended, and 40 contestants devoured some 600+ veggie dogs in about 24 minutes. Not bad, eh? The inaugural World Veggie Hot Dog Eating Champion, at a count of 16 ½ veggie dogs, is Colin "the Tim Duncan of Competitive Eating" Kalmbacher, a vegan.
Full results and photos will be posted here soon. And of course, mad props go out to ilovemikelitt for putting this event on. Fair warning to you, Colin, I’ve already started training for next year. I’m coming for your title. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Have you heard of Jason “Gummi Bear” Davis? Don’t worry if you haven’t, he’s just another in the long line of disposable tabloid fodder LA rich kids. Usually Gummi’s only real claims to fame are having a slightly less un-famous brother and not getting into clubs, which while funny of course, wouldn’t land him on this blog. But I just heard he was spotted at a KFC event the other day, and honestly, I don’t think I can come up with a better advertisement for vegetarianism than having this kid roll around town in his KFC shirt he’s so proud of . . .
Here’s a quote from the ITN story, “I wholeheartedly support this (Peta's) campaign, and with your help I believe that we will soon see an end to this brutal and inherently cruel 'delicacy'.” You can check out the full story here.
Mmmm hmmm, now who is your favorite 007? If your answer isn’t Roger Moore, check out this exposé he narrated for us and see if you change your mind . . .
It's time for your WTF of the day, this one courtesy of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. Evidently, a biology teacher at the school invited students to attend an after-school session in which he fed a live rabbit to a student’s pet python. The teacher dangled the helpless animal in front of the snake and moved her from side to side to encourage the snake to attack. A video of the vicious little act was posted on YouTube, presumably so that other students around the country can be desensitized to animal suffering as well. You can check out some of the press coverage here, and we've written a letter to the school asking them to make humane education a priority at Trinity Christian Academy and enclosing a "Kindness Kit" (look, I didn't come up with the name, OK?) with some handy tips, educational videos, and information on how to teach kids to interact with animals—like not killing bunnies in the frickin' classroom, for a start. You can read that letter here.
Employees at a Burberry in Philadelphia were surprised to come into work yesterday morning and find these two lovely ladies painted from head to toe in Burberry's signature plaid design and a little fake blood to drive home the point that Burberry tortures animals for fur. Glorious.
Just weeks after Pepsi announced that it would stop testing on animals, Coca-Cola has sent a letter to PETA announcing that it will no longer fund or conduct animal experiments. Coke had something of a history of invasive animal experimentation—including cutting open chimpanzees’ faces in order to conduct taste tests and force-feeding chemicals to rodents to test “caramel color”—so this compassionate decision by the company is a huge step forward, and it sends a powerful message to all companies that still test on animals about how a responsible, progressive company does business. Here's what Coca-Cola's senior vice president, Danny Strickland, said in his letter to us announcing the company's decision:
“The Coca-Cola Company does not conduct animal tests and does not directly fund animal tests on its beverages. … We are sending letters to our partners and research organizations who may conduct safety evaluations on … ingredients insisting they use alternatives to animal testing ….”
Strickland also talked about a deadly physiology test on taste reception in rats that PETA had discovered Coca-Cola was funding through the year 2008, saying, “Recently senior management became aware that research involving rats was being conducted as part of a grant we had funded at Virginia Commonwealth University to study taste reception. We have contacted the University and have discontinued our funding.” This is a big victory for animals and an encouraging sign that animal experimentation is rapidly on its way to becoming another chapter in the history of severely messed-up stuff we wish we had never thought of in the first place.
I wrote about JM Coetzee a little while back, after he gave an amazing speech in Sydney about animal rights and the ethics of industrialized slaughter practices. But the Nobel Prize winner just came through for animals again by writing to the European Parliament on PETA's behalf to ask that they support a ban on bullfighting in Europe. You can read about Coetzee's letter here. The translation's a bit wobbly, but it's a great story. I figure the members of the European Parliament who are unaffected by the Running of the Nudes protest that PETA UK holds every year in Spain will respond to an entreaty from a leading figure in the world of letters. Something for everybody, you know?
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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.