Written by PETA
We're not ones to say "I told you so," but …
A new study has confirmed what we've known all along: Vegans and vegetarians have more empathy—for both animals and people—than meat-eaters do.
Researchers in Europe recruited vegan, vegetarian, and meat-eating volunteers and placed them into an MRI machine while showing them a series of random pictures. The MRI scans revealed that when observing animal or human suffering, the "empathy-related" areas of the brain are more active among vegetarians and vegans. The researchers also found that there are certain brain areas that only vegans and vegetarians seem to activate when witnessing suffering.
We've always thought that people who lack empathy may have something wrong with their brains. That's why we urged the NFL to give Michael Vick an MRI scan to look for evidence of clinical psychopathy, and it's why we sent U.S. Vogue editor and fur pusher Anna Wintour a certificate entitling her to a brain scan as well.
So, to sum up: Vegans are smarter, sexier, and healthier than meat-eaters, and they're more empathic too. If you haven't yet made the switch, what are you waiting for?
Written by Paula Moore
PETA Files readers already know that few "retired" racehorses live out the remainder of their days frolicking in rolling green pastures. Now, Washington Post readers know it, too, thanks to a great article that was published over Memorial Day weekend.
The article describes one of the many ugly sides of the horse-racing industry—the fact that with approximately 35,000 thoroughbreds born in the U.S. every year, there are thousands of horses who don't have quite enough speed and stamina to be champions. What becomes of these also-rans? Most are eventually sold at auction, where many are bought by "killer buyers."
While no horse slaughterhouses are currently operating in the U.S., horses are still being shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Some retired racehorses—even Derby champs like Ferdinand and Charismatic—also wind up in Japan, where they may initially be used for breeding. But when they stop being moneymakers, they, too, may be slaughtered, as a PETA investigation at a Japanese slaughterhouse last year revealed.
You can help by contacting your U.S. representatives and asking them to sponsor the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would make it illegal to slaughter horses for consumption in the U.S. or to export them for slaughter.
Written by Alisa Mullins
No-holds-barred comic Sarah Silverman's stand-up may make some of her audience members blush, but compassionate people will cheer as they read about her childhood vegetarian revelations described in her memoir, The Bedwetter. And this week's "Win It" Wednesday prize is sure to make animal defenders do the wave—it's a signed copy of The Bedwetter, in which Sarah scrawled, "Woo-hoo, PETA."
We've got one book to give away, and you can win it by describing the animal-free feast that would make you "Woo-hoo!" right out of your seat. Spicy guacamole with blue corn chips and savory Mexican lasagne would do the trick for me. Try and top mine—the person whose mouthwatering vegan meal makes our bellies rumble the loudest will win the prize.
Written by Karin Bennett
Some people just can't take a little bit of constructive criticism. Over the weekend, a PETA supporter took to the stage at the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference to interrupt a speech by NASA administrator Charles Bolden. Today, we received a phone call from Gary Barnhard, executive director of the National Space Society, threatening to sue us if we released details of the microphone takeover to the media. Ground control to Major Tom?
Wondering what happened that the National Space Society doesn't want you to see?
Alarms everywhere are sounding over NASA's plan to spend squander $1.75 million in tax dollars so that a vivisector can subject as many as 30 squirrel monkeys to cruel radiation experiments and a lifetime of confinement in order to observe the devastating effects of radiation on the animals' brains and bodies. NASA apparently insists on strong-arming its way forward with these experiments, even though they may also violate NASA grant guidelines and federal regulations.
The results of NASA's planned experiments cannot be reliably applied to humans because of biological differences between species and the fact that astronauts are exposed to low levels of radiation over extended periods of time, as opposed to the single large dose that the monkeys will be given in a matter of minutes. In a recent column criticizing these experiments, a neurologist who is affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated, "[T]he experiments are poorly planned and a far cry from the real life conditions humans would be confronted with in space. . . . At best we will come away $2 million poorer with information that we won't know how to safely apply, and at worst, we will be misled by the results of this experiment in ways that can seriously jeopardize the safety of future astronauts."
NASA officials seem bent on proceeding with this cruel, wasteful experiment. So let's show them that our collective determination to stop it is stronger by tweeting, dialing, and e-mailing in defense of monkeys and decency today.
I have good news and, well, not-so-good news. The good news is that as a result of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to pay closer attention to all the factory-farm manure that often spills into our waterways.
The not-so-good news is that the EPA plans to rely on factory farms to provide the data that the agency needs—every five years. The farms will be expected to disclose, among other things, information about their manure-storage facilities and how the "excess manure" is disposed of. In other words, the EPA is letting the fox guard the henhouse.
It's good that the EPA is doing something. But I have more faith in people like Goldman Environmental Prize–winner Lynn Henning, who gathers water samples and uses aerial photography to help hold factory farms accountable for mucking up our rivers and streams. Her efforts can really make a difference—and so can you by reminding people that farms cater to consumers. If there were no demand for flesh, eggs, or milk, then there would be no problem. So here's to a different kind of report: our success in encouraging people to help preserve America's waterways by going vegan.
Try passing out a copy of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit at your nearest stream!
Written by Heather Moore
Thanks to the efforts of PETA India and Maneka Gandhi—the daughter-in-law of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and a staunch animal rights proponent—India's Central Board of School Education has banned leather shoes from school uniforms.
Leather shoes are seen as a vestige of British colonial rule, under which they were introduced as a requirement for Indian school uniforms. But in addition to the obvious cruelty to cows, leather shoes are unsuited to India's hot, humid climate, and leather manufacturing also takes a tremendous toll on the environment. Leather shoes in school uniforms will be replaced with comfortable, environmentally friendly, and easy-to-clean canvas plimsolls (no, not those Plimsouls).
PETA's campaign against Indian leather started a decade ago when PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk traveled to India to investigate the transport of cows to slaughterhouses. Since then, dozens of international retailers have agreed to stop purchasing Indian leather, costing the industry millions in lost revenue. Find out more about Ingrid's investigation here.
As if she's not busy enough getting ready to release her fifth studio album, We Are Born, Australian songbird and vegetarian Sia Furler (and her adorable puppy, Pantera) still found time to pose in a lively new PETA Australia ad urging people to help end the dog and cat overpopulation crisis by spaying and neutering their animal companions. In the ad, which launched in Australia, Sia is calling on her fans around the world to spread the word about the homeless animal crisis and how simple surgery can help curb the number of animals who must be euthanized each year for lack of good homes.
Sia is smoking hot—she's receiving critical acclaims for her contribution to the writing of Christina Aguilera's new album, Bionic, and her work with U.K. bands Zero 7 and Massive Attack. And she'll be touring with Lilith Fair this summer.
In the last few weeks, a trio of my favorite celebs have spoken up for animals! Sia joins Cloris Leachman and Glee's Jane Lynch in calling for an end to the senseless deaths of so many animals.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Knowing that we adore animal-friendly cartoons and that we're often quick to embrace the bizarre, you can be sure that we're dancing in the hallways here at PETA HQ over news that artist Dan Piraro, the compassionate genius behind "Bizarro," won the highly coveted Cartoonist of the Year award at the Reuben Awards this weekend.
Bizarro has taken on a slew of animal rights topics, including cruel cat labs, horse-drawn carriages, the caging of birds,and betrayals of "man's best friend." And imagine how thrilled we were to receive this shout-out!
Seriously, you could spend an afternoon looking and laughing at Dan Piraro's many pro-animal "cartoomentaries" (that's cartoon + commentary = cartoomentaries)—or you could get your daily dose delivered right to your iPhone. I'd say doing both would be time well spent, but before you do either, use the comments section below to tell us which Bizarro cartoon is your all-time fave.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed about growing up to be a rock star. Or maybe a veterinarian. Or a roller derby queen.
I didn't dream about anally electrocuting animals on fur farms, but apparently Brooke Shields did. The aging actor recently paid a visit (or should that be "was paid for a visit"?) to Kopenhagen Fur's workshop to create her very own mink coat, and she said it was "a little girl's dream."
We understand that when some actors' careers begin to fade, they'll do just about anything to stay in the limelight, including appearing in eyelash-growth commercials and starring in short-lived TV shows. But Brooke, did you really want the world to remember you as a "fur pimp" who stares agog at rows of animal skins?
Brooke says that she will wear her fur coat "when I follow my children to school, when I drink coffee, and when I sleep." Hmm, I think if you need fur to keep you warm at night, you've got problems.
What do you think?
It's been a whirlwind week for PETA's seal. To keep pressure on Canada to stop letting people shoot baby seals and bash their heads in, PETA's sombrero-sporting seal followed Mexican President Felipe Calderón around to all his stops during his visit to Canada on Thursday.
President Calderón's visit received tons of media attention, and PETA's seal even got a shout-out from Canwest News Service. The seal almost got to shake hands—er, flippers—with President Calderón, but I'm sure that the seal would have preferred to give him a hug, considering that Mexico banned seal imports years ago.
On Monday, PETA's seal was back in action—this time wearing a yarmulke—while tailing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Canada.
What hat will PETA's seal wear next? Stay tuned for updates. And in the meantime, why not let Canadian officials know that the cruel seal slaughter makes you want to blow your top.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
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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.