Written by PETA
Back when I was coming up, we didn’t need all these whistles and bells to enter a good, ol’ fashioned video contest. We’d just throw on our Sunday best, cue up the Kodak Super 8, and make ourselves a video. And a damn fine video it would be. But apparently that’s not good enough for kids today. They won’t do a video contest unless there’s a famous pop star standing by to judge it. And if there’s no chicken costume for a prize, well, they turn their noses up at it. Is what they do.
Actually, this is starting to sound pretty sweet. More details at peta2.com.
A lot of people had a lot to say about our recent offer of a million bucks to the first team of scientists who could produce commercially viable meat grown in a laboratory (clean meat). We’re deadly serious about this thing, as it could end the suffering of billions of animals in factory farms if it takes off—but we need to get an idea of the reservations people (both vegetarians and nonvegetarians) might have about eating meat that’s been produced in a lab. So if you have a moment, please take our Clean Meat poll and let us know where you stand. I’m kind of fascinated to see how this thing turns out.
It’s time, people. As usual, I will be voting for Alyssa Milano. Multiple times. It’s a no-brainer. But don’t let me influence you—cast your vote here, then come on back and lemme know who you picked.
PETA’s campaign to get the great apes out of advertising has been hitting some pretty big home runs lately—by way of a recap, our ad in Variety magazine calling for Hollywood insiders to blow the whistle on animal abuse received international media coverage. Then, shortly after that, I brazenly took credit for Speed Racer’s poor box performance on this very blog.
Raising awareness about the campaign is all very well, but it’s also nice to have something to show for it, and the recent decisions by multi-billion-dollar companies Subaru and CDW not to renew their ad campaigns featuring great apes are very real victories along the way to getting great apes out of advertising for good.
Subaru was given a PETA Compassionate Business Award last month after they made the following promise:
"Due to the issues surrounding their use in the entertainment industry, Subaru of America will not employ primates in its advertising in the future."
The folks at computer-equipment company CDW did things the other way round—they moved on to an ape-free ad campaign after we gave them a Litterbox Award for animal-unfriendly advertising (for the commercial with the dude and the chimpanzee setting up an office on a desert island).
But no matter how they come about, these are big victories, and it’s great to see major companies taking responsibility and helping other executives realize that any time an ad company suggests they trot out a chimpanzee for a new campaign, it’s time to hire a new ad company.
P.S. This just in – MovieTickets.com have just confirmed for us that they’ve ceased airing their ads which featured chimpanzees, and that they will no longer use great apes in their ad campaigns. Boo ya!
A lot of people were pretty shocked to see this video of a North Carolina state trooper hanging his dog from a railing and repeatedly kicking the animal, who had refused to let go of a toy. Well now Sgt. Charles Jones, who was fired last September after his partner released the cell phone video of this incident, is fighting to get his job back.
In the meantime, PETA is fighting to ensure that the District Attorney in the county where this incident occurred files charges against the sergeant. We're reminding the DA that animal abuse is an indicator of deep mental disturbance and often leads to further violent acts. You can watch the video and judge for yourself who’s got the right end of the stick here.
So giving up meat helps polar bears. It also helps animals like cows, chickens, and pigs. Who also matter.
For you lucky folks who have HBO, this is just an FYI. For everyone else, just consider it another sadistic attempt to kick you while you’re down. If you haven’t seen I Am an Animal (the HBO documentary about PETA) yet—or if you want to check it out for a second time—it’s going to be on HBO On Demand until May 25. It’s really a fascinating outsider’s perspective on the inner workings of the organization and why we do what we do for animals. Also available on DVD, btw, so don’t despair if you only have basic cable.
The progressive Chicago foie gras ban, sponsored by Alderman Joe Moore and originally passed in 2006 by a vote of 48-1, has been repealed today due to shameless manipulation by restaurant industry lobbyists to bring the diseased, rotting organs of abused ducks and geese back to Chicago’s restaurants.
In the course of our work to keep this ban intact, we’ve talked to thousands of people on the streets of Chicago, the overwhelming majority of whom were horrified when they learned about the cruelty behind foie gras. Many of these people joined us in vocal support for Chicago’s progressive ban of the barbaric product. Unfortunately, in large part thanks to a handful of powerful people, battling wealthy industries can be a long, hard battle, regardless of where the public stands on the issue.
This decision is a big step backwards for the city, and it goes against the tide of civilized communities who are making the compassionate decision to ban foie gras.
It’s pretty clear from the desperate angling we’ve seen from the foie gras industry as they’ve fought against this ban that they know their days are numbered, but it’s a hell of a shame to see that, even in their death throes, they can still find a way to poison a beautiful thing. PETA will keep fighting to pass more foie gras bans and to educate the public about this delicacy of despair. You can count on that.
I’ve got to say I wasn’t too shocked this morning when I read about a certain kosher slaughterhouse in a certain small town in Iowa being raided by the Feds over immigration violations. Yes, PETA’s old Postville, Iowa-based friend, Agriprocessors, has been busted yet again. As reported by USA Today, "76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers in connection with their employment." This raid was the largest of its kind. Ever. (Well, at least in the U.S.)
Why, you might be asking, was I not so shocked to learn of this raid? Agriprocessors is not exactly known for being an upstanding member of the corporate community. Nor is it known for its unwavering sense of right and wrong. You may recall that in 2004, a PETA undercover investigation revealed workers at this same facility ripping the tracheas out of live cows’ throats day after day. Or what about that time in 2007 that another PETA undercover investigation—at a facility owned by the same guy who owns Agriprocessors—documented employees tearing into conscious cows’ throats with meat hooks?
Oh, and there’s more. The United Food and Commercial Workers union states on its Web site that USDA documents “cite numerous food safety violations committed by Agriprocessors that may have increased the risk of food-borne illnesses to consumers.” And let’s not forget about the whole mis-labeling issue when an independent food testing laboratory that analyzed various Agriprocessors products revealed that one of its brands of turkey meat had a sodium content 339% higher than what was advertised on the nutrition label (and another brand was 138% higher). Then there was that incident in 2006 when Agriprocessors paid more than $600,000 to settle an Environmental Protection Agency complaint regarding its discharge of pollutants into the Postville water treatment facility. Joining the USDA and EPA in the band of government agencies recording Agriprocessors’ failures, OSHA (that’s the Occupational Health and Safety Agency) logs from this facility reveal five amputations along with dozens of other serious injuries, including broken bones, eye injuries and hearing loss; if that’s what the workers went through imagine what it was like being an cow or chicken at Agriprocessors!Such a fine company.
Well, we’ve had it with Agriprocessors. Today, PETA fired off a letter to Chet Culver, governor of Iowa, asking that Agriprocessors be shut down once and for all. As the letter says: “Enough is enough.”
Ostensibly, it’s a nice idea. The folks at Riverview Church in Holt, Michigan, are holding a fundraiser to raise money for some high-schoolers to take a trip to Mexico. The problem is that the fundraiser, a “Mexican Fiesta,” is going to be centered around a pig roast. Which doesn’t seem very Christian. As a Christian myself, this is an issue that has always really hit home to me: I see it as a duty of the church—more than any other institution—to encourage compassion and set an irreproachable example of how to live a life of mercy, kindness, and respect and how to dedicate oneself to alleviating the suffering of others ... no matter what sacrifices you may have to make along the way. ‘Cuz that’s kind of the whole point of the New Testament, the way I see it.
I’m sure Riverview Church is packed full of good, kind people—but holding an event where they burn and eat the remains of a tortured pig doesn’t seem to me to gibe very well with the mission of the church. Here’s the letter we wrote them asking that they please consider some alternatives. I’m hoping this starts a good dialogue.
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
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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.