Written by PETA
In case you forgot how smart, social, and absolutely adorable pigs are, meet Sherlock. Found wandering down a rural road in Suffolk, Virginia, this little guy was captured and taken to the local animal shelter:
When he was found, Sherlock was still a baby, but he was already castrated and his tail had obviously been docked. That means that this plucky little piglet likely fell off a truck headed to a growing/finishing barn—which is what the piggy flesh industry calls the factories that are used to fatten up little pigs like Sherlock for slaughter. On factory farms, piglets are taken away from their moms when they are less than 1 month old. Workers cut off their tails, clip their teeth with pliers, and castrate the males—all without painkillers. The animals spend their entire lives in extremely crowded pens on tiny slabs of filthy concrete. It gets even more heartbreaking when you factor in the abuse that these animals face: A recent undercover investigation of an Iowa pig factory farm, which supplies piglets to Hormel, documented that workers beat pigs with metal rods and sexually abused them with canes.
When one of our fieldworkers saw the headline about Sherlock in the Suffolk paper, she immediately went to work to find this guy a wonderful home. Click here to see how Sherlock's story ends!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
It's a hazy day here on the Right Coast. As I watch leaves fall and steam rise from my soy mocha, the mood is set for a lazy (yet highly skilled) meander through gossip rags for fun stuff. Here are my faves:
Thanks for stopping by! Catch you next time, and don't forget to hug all your vegetarian friends.
Written by Missy Lane
It's time once again for my favorite PETA Files feature: our Vivisector of the Month contest. Each and every month, I read up on two of our nation's most vile vivisectors and let you, our dear readers, decide who is the worst by voting.
Let me begin by recognizing Marina Picciotto, whose primate addiction studies and mouse torture won her the undesirable title of Most Vile Vivisector last month. Her competitor was much-derided Allyson Bennett. Congrats, Marina—I'm certain Yale and all of New Haven are glad to have you!
This month, we have another two truly bizarre candidates … just see for yourself.
David Gozal of the Kosair Children's Hospital Research Institute in Louisville has a bit of a problem. He is fascinated by erections—mouse erections, to be exact. He passes his days in the lab getting up close and very personal with little boy-mice, studying their erections and even severing their spinal cords so that they cannot move while experimenters observe their penises.
In his most recent study, "Erectile Dysfunction in a Murine [Mouse] Model of Sleep Apnea," which was funded in part by the federal government, Gozal measured the number of erections and ejaculations in dozens of mice after placing them in a chamber to deprive them of oxygen. Some mice were also given tadalafil, an erectile dysfunction drug. They were then killed by puncturing their hearts with a needle, and their testicles and penises were cut out of their bodies for examination. Gozal concluded that oxygen deprivation makes it more difficult to get an erection and that tadalafil, which is already prescribed (as “Cialis”) for humans with erectile dysfunction, works in mice.
Daniel Traber of the University of Texas Medical Branch Department of Anesthesiology has made a living for almost three decades by burning animals' skin off. In a recent experiment, he either torched mice with a Bunsen burner until more than 40 percent of their bodies was charred or forced them to inhale smoke. A few select mice got the full treatment—they were both burned and forced to inhale smoke. Some died during the experiment, and survivors were subsequently killed.
In another study, Traber heated an aluminum bar to nearly 400 degrees with a Bunsen burner and roasted the skin of live pigs on it for 30 seconds, creating a series of deep burns that covered 15 percent of their bodies. In order to repair the deliberately injured animals, Traber and colleagues then removed skin from the pigs' legs to graft over the areas that had been burned off. After living through all this torture, the pigs were killed. Again, this is only his most recent work—Traber has been burning, mutilating, and killing sheep for years.
Who should win? The Children's Hospital Vivisector or the Bunsen Burninator? As always, let me help you decide by posing a question: Would you rather be molested, stabbed in the heart, and have your genitals torn out, or would you rather be roasted alive over a Bunsen burner, forced to inhale the smell of your burning flesh, and then killed?
It's a burning question, isn't it?
Written by Sean Conner
So did y'all see the game last night? The one where my Boston Celtics took apart the Los Angeles Lakers like they were made out of Legos and won their first NBA title since 1986? If you did, you might have caught an interview where my man Kevin Garnett talked about how he transferred (he actually said "transcended," which was awesome) his tradition of eating a whole mess of PB&Js before every game over to his Celtic teammates when he was traded there in the offseason.
Professional athletes? Eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches?
[Wait for it …]
WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR PROTEIN!?!?!?!?!?!?!?1/1/1
I found this fascinating. The reaction to the interview was pretty much: "Look at KG and his wholesome, nutritious pre-game snack. It's so wholesome! And nutritious!" But PB&J is as much of a vegetarian staple as the Boca burger—I think I ate it for lunch every day for my first eight years as a vegan. So why do I feel that if KG had said, "I eat a vegan meal before every big game," the reaction would have been … different? It's like everyone is cool with eating healthy, but for some reason, eating vegan has this whole different connotation for some people—even though it's exactly the same thing.
I read an article on ESPN.com yesterday (while I was, uh, totally working hard and not on the interwebs), where Prince Fielder, Tony Gonzalez, Mac Danzig, and a bunch of other vegetarian athletes were talking about how being vegetarian has affected their game. No surprises: Gonzalez talks about having more energy in the fourth quarter of games and being able to blow by tired, meat-eating defenders, and Danzig talks about recovering faster from workouts. You can't argue with results. I figure that if a vegetarian diet is good enough for some of the top athletes on the planet, it's good enough for everyone.
So, note to the Lakers: Maybe some PB&J will help next time. Although grabbing a few offensive boards wouldn't hurt either. Just sayin'.
Last week marked the one-year anniversary of baby elephant Hansa's death from herpes at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Activists braved the wind and rain to commemorate Hansa's brief life and demand an end to breeding at the zoo. The zoo, on the other hand, is preparing to artificially impregnate Chai, Hansa's mother, for about the 50th time.
Bruce Bohmke, the deputy director of the zoo, said, "She's fine. After a couple of days, from what I've read, they move on." Oh, really? Because from what I've read, an elephant never forgets.
Few things in life go together as perfectly as peanut butter and jelly or pigs and mud, but music and animal rights is definitely one of those perfect pairs.
It's been a sad few years since a little band by the name of Weezer—you may have heard of them—have had any new tunes. Well, the boys with those oh-so-catchy-lyrics are back with a brilliant self-titled album (a.k.a. The Red Album), which was just released on June 3. And here's the really terrific part: The bonus track, "Pig," contains a great animal rights message. Here's an excerpt:
But now, I've got to dieI've lived a good lifeI've got no complaintsI'd like to thank farmer keepFor bringin' me scraps of food that I could eatHe always had a smile on his faceHe didn't want to think of this dayIt's finally here It's finally here They called me pigThey called me pigWhen I was a baby, I was so happyI played with my friends in the mud
Now promise me you'll go out and buy a copy of The Red Album in support of Weezer's animal-friendly lyrics (and their two vegetarian band mates). Thanks, Weezer, for taking on the plight of animals through your songs.
Well, if you missed 30 Days on FX last night, don't say we didn't remind you. Fortunately for everyone, George Snedeker—the hunter (and incredibly good sport) who agreed to spend a month with a family of animal rights activists, including PETA's very own Melissa Karpel—has taken some time to answer a few questions about his experience. To watch this episode in its entirety, please click here. Check our the interview below ...
1. When you were first selected to participate in this show, what did you expect the experience to be like? I was pretty scared. I expected to be surrounded by people that just wanted to argue for a whole month. I'm not afraid of an argument, but I thought the numbers were stacked against me. All I was told was that I would be totally immersed in the animal rights movement. As far as the people I would meet, I expected a lot of angry people that yelled a lot. I figured girls and guys alike would be hairy-legged sandal-wearing hippies. For the most part, I was mistaken.
2. How did your opinion of animal rights activists change after your 30 days with the Karpels?I realized almost immediately that animal rights activists, PETA members specifically, were very normal folks. That being said, there are some out there—just as with the factory farms—that give everyone involved a bad name. I learned about several examples of the abuse, neglect, and suffering that occur in factory farming. It's not a pretty industry, and if people were able to experience what I did, you might see a major change.
3. What were your best, and worst, experiences during the 30 days? Living with Melissa and her family as a vegan for the month was by far the most fun. It just took a few days for us to find common ground, and then we worked from that point in a nonjudgmental way. The Karpels are a wonderful family that I was proud to be a part of throughout my adventure. I have made great friends with them, and I miss them. I am a lucky man. It's not hard to find the worst experiences—there were two. First was the initial time I spent at Animal Acres, and second was the time I spent at the UCLA protest. Without getting into specifics, I can just say that being the loudest is not always the best way to be heard. These people were deliberately offensive and were the most close-minded individuals I have ever met. On several occasions, I was verbally abused. I traveled 3,500 miles with an open mind to learn, not to be judged.
4. Are there any animal rights issues that are particularly important to you now that you hadn't thought about before staying with Melissa and her family?I am aware that there need to be changes in factory farming, but aside from veganism, I haven't heard about a practical alternative. I personally prefer to buy my meat and produce from grocers that support the smaller local farms. The Burberry demonstration was hard-hitting, but we don't have very many fur coats in North Carolina. The one subject that I find the most offensive is vivisection. I can't give away anything about the show, but I had no idea how unnecessary it was. Tissue samples are infinitely more effective. For the sake of money, it seems people are abusing animals just because they can. They should be ashamed of themselves and pray that they never have to answer for their actions.
5. What are your views on the tactics that PETA uses to draw attention to the suffering of animals? One area where I think PETA could use some P.R. work is separating themselves from some of the other animal rights groups out there. The term most people relate to animal rights is PETA. Anything that happens for the sake of animals, regardless of how offensive it is, gets hung on the neck of PETA. Consequently, most people think PETA people are nuts. I believe PETA does it the right way: education. ... They keep it fun and provide people with information.
6. If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?I can't imagine changing a thing. Our director, Jay Blumke, and producer, Matt Hobin, did their homework. It would take years for anyone else to get the entire experience that I had. I had total access. It is amazing what can happen if you walk into something with an open mind, even if it is against everything you know already. You might think you are 100 percent right on a particular subject. Here's a news flash: You don't know everything. Just watch, listen, and learn. I still can't get a hold of "bugs." Is it against the PETA tenet not to like them? I have about 1,000 red bugs (chiggers) that hate me. They're trying to eat my legs clean off. Is it OK to hate them back?
And here are some photos of George and Melissa delivering doghouses that didn't make the final cut of the episode:
Without letting even the tiniest opportunity to help nonhuman animals swim by, my inventive comrades have devised a delightful new stratagem to help free some of our sea-dwelling sisters and brothers.
The Pitch: To open the world's fist-ever Lobster Empathy Center in the lobster-execution capital of the world (Creative, yes?) The Setting: A prison (Bloody genius!)
The proposed attraction would include wrapping visitors' hands in giant rubber bands for the duration of their stay, serving faux-lobster treats, and giving kiddies free stuffed toy lobsters labeled "Lobsters Are Friends, Not Food."
Can't wait to go, right? I know, me neither! Sadly, our dreams will have to be put on hold for a bit, as the prison was just sold to the highest bidder. But do keep us in mind if you hear of any sweet oceanfront prison property up for grabs!
Now if all this talk has given you a hankering for some vegan lobster tail, here's a recipe to satisfy your urgings.
Killer birds from PetSmart. It sounds like a reimagined version of Hitchcock's The Birds or maybe Troma's follow-up film to Poultrygeist, but it's a true, tragic story. A bird-loving family from Corpus Christi, Texas, reportedly lost their beloved father—and the daughter almost lost her life—after they both contracted psittacosis from a cockatiel whom they had purchased at PetSmart and named Peachy. Check out the Associated Press Article here if you don't want to take my word for it.
Peachy, who also died, allegedly from this "parrot fever," was bred at Rainbow World Exotics, a breeding mill that PETA recently investigated, where we found rampant abuse and neglect of small animals and exotic birds. Bird-breeding facilities such as Rainbow World Exotics are no different than puppy mills—they're massive animal factories that crank out birds with no regard for their health, happiness, or individual best interests. It doesn't just hurt the birds when unsanitary, inhumane conditions are the norm.
The good news is that this heroic and forever scarred family is now standing up to PetSmart and demanding an end to the sale of all birds. And you can help them succeed!
And please read this important info about how to keep you and your bird safe.
Angel's Story: Another PetSmart Casualty
The following open letter is a response to this letter.
Dear Best Week Ever, We really appreciate that you shared your suggestion with us about tiny footwear being the key to convincing people not to eat animals anymore. I don't know why we didn't think of this sooner. Your idea is genius.B.W.E., we couldn't agree more that upping the cute factor to nearly vomit-inducing levels is a tactic that perhaps we should try more often in order to dissuade people from eating animals. And we're going to start now. We are adding "provide boots to all chickens" to our list of demands for KFC. Sure, it might not be the most pressing issue the twisted corporation needs to address (they should probably focus on fixing the whole scalding birds alive thing and preventing future rat infestations), but every little bit helps!In addition to cuteness, there's also the practical value of wearing boots while crammed in pens or sheds with zillions of other animals. Unsurprisingly, those floors aren't too clean and even Britney Spears wouldn't be caught barefoot in a factory farm. OK, maybe she would, but little chicks shouldn't be. Not to mention that the boots will provide extra ankle support for chicks and make it harder to hang them upside-down in shackles.Again, thanks for the great suggestion and we'll be sure to keep you posted on the status of our new "Chicks for Boots" campaign. Regards,The PETA Staff
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.