Written by PETA
As if cutting off chickens' beaks and scalding birds alive weren't dirty enough, KFC has broken some pretty foul food-hygiene rules at one of its busiest branches in the U.K. In 2008, health inspectors found mice, flies, and cockroaches during an inspection of the carry-out restaurant. Originally denying this and other violations (including failure to provide hygienic conditions for hand-washing), KFC finally 'fessed up to the charges in a recent hearing.
From mold- and dirt-covered floors, walls and ceilings in food-preparation areas to trays of bread and raw chicken caked with black grease, this KFC let it all hang out. And did I mention the three KFC employees who were photographed having a hot-tub party in another KFC's sink? That image is almost as sickening as the images in this video, which have prompted hundreds of thousands of people to sign our petition.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
As if overfishing, cruelty, and mercury poisoning weren't enough, here's yet another reason to leave fish off your plate: ciguatera poisoning. Apparently, one of the many unforeseen effects of climate change is the spread of ciguatera, a toxin produced by an organism that grows on coral reefs. Common in large, predatory fish such as snapper, grouper, and barracuda, ciguatera was once confined mostly to the Caribbean, but it has now spread to the waters off Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas and has become one of the most common causes of fish-related food poisoning in the U.S.
Along with the usual nasty symptoms of food poisoning—nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea—ciguatera also causes bizarre neurological symptoms worthy of a House episode: numbness, tingling, needle-like pain in the hands and feet, a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, and sometimes an irregular heartbeat. Ciguatera probably won't kill you, but there is no effective treatment and the symptoms can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Call it "barrakarma."
Written by Alisa Mullins
In a bid to stop Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's reign of terror over animals once and for all by getting the circus's exhibitor's license revoked, PETA has submitted more than 700 pages of evidence to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documenting not only Ringling's long history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act but also the circus's attempts to cover up the circumstances surrounding animals' deaths.
Just one of many examples is Riccardo, a baby elephant whose fatal fall off a pedestal during a training session (he was euthanized after breaking both hind legs) Ringling originally tried to characterize as "routine play." Another example is Clyde, a lion who died of heat stroke after being confined to a sweltering boxcar in Ringling's animal train while it crossed the Mojave Desert in 109-degree heat. A former trainer told PETA that Ringling tampered with the evidence by installing a non-working water misting system in the boxcar after Clyde died and warned him to not talk about the the circumstances of Clyde's death.
And then there are the hours of video that PETA amassed last year—which show Ringling handlers as they beat elephants in city after city across the country—as well as the damning photos taken by a former elephant trainer that show baby elephants as they are "broken" with ropes, bullhooks, and electric prods.
We think that all this adds up to several hundred pretty good reasons for the USDA to yank Ringling's license. If you agree, please take a minute to drop the agency a line.
The saturated fat and cholesterol in KFC's Double Down begins clogging arteries and potentially decreasing life expectancies nationwide in just a few days. The sandwich "vilest food product created by man," consists of bacon and cheese sandwiched between two fried chicken breasts, and according to KFC, is only 540 calories—and 32 g of fat, and 1,380 mg of sodium.
With two chicken breasts, cheese, and bacon, the Double Down means quadruple the Kentucky Fried Cruelty for animals, and it could mean quadruple bypasses for consumers since the consumption of animal fats has been linked to heart disease. So as KFC debuts its artery plug on a sans bun, PETA will begin touring the country with our anti-KFC hearse, which will make its first stop in KFC's hometown, Louisville, Kentucky.
Keep your eyes peeled, the hearse could be coming to a Kentucky Fried Cruelty near you!
Written by Logan Scherer
This week, PETA's cavorting cow has been urging people in cities across the U.S. to dump dairy from their diets with a not-so-subtle hint.
Why's this heifer in a huff?
Last week, PETA released undercover footage of cows who were kept on a Land O'Lakes supplier's factory farm in pens covered with feces. They were denied veterinary care and even kicked or stabbed with pocket knives when they were too weak to stand.
If dairy foods were deadly for your relatives, you'd want people to ditch it, too, right? Well, dairy foods have been linked to a slew of human health issues, including allergies, obesity, prostate cancer, heart disease, and autism.
Written by Heather Drennan
"Hold the cheese, please!"
Nia Vardalos, star of the smash movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the upcoming film My Life in Ruins, dropped 40 pounds simply by repeating those four little words at every meal.
Nia attributes her skyrocketing "Wow!" factor to her dairy-free diet. She told People magazine, "I broke up with cheese. … [C]heese keeps calling me and trying to get me to meet at a cheap motel but I'm really committed to just staying single for awhile."
Drop dairy to shed flab and help cows? It really can be that simple.
Written by Karin Bennett
Today, my love affair with Norfolk's own Bella Pizzeria vegan pizza was solidified. As I was browsing through the morning paper and munching on my heavily soy-milked cereal, I came across this gem, which made me gag a bit.
I was already aware that cheese is a glob of coagulated goo that comes from cow's udders (complete with all the bovine misery inherent in milk production). Apparently, it's much, much more than that.
I'm horrified to inform you that behind the taste of this slimy, smelly concoction lies stomach lining, pesticides, and pure fat. And if that doesn't sound bad enough, experts say that no cheese would taste quite the same without the thousands of bacteria that are in and on it. And the fat is what gives cheese its flavor! Worse? Many of the bacteria in cheese are unidentified by scientists, and nobody knows what effects they may have. If your dinner plans included mac and cheese, you may wish to reconsider. Personally, I'll be ordering one large pizza, with extra soy cheese. To find the best soy-cheese pizza in your area, check out our Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Pizzerias.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Quick: Who wins the cheese, the mouse or the mob boss? Answer: No one wins. In this unusual game of cat and mouse, the cheese is clearly the villain. Just ask reputed Boston Mafia godfather Carmen "The Cheeseman" DiNunzio, who, according to the Boston Herald, has been locked in his home under house arrest since May for his part in an alleged bribe.
It's clear that this "big cheese"—who earned his name after his local cheese shop and who weighs in at a whopping 400 lbs.—has done his time gorging on gouda and snacking on Swiss. Following a request from his doctor, the court will now allow DiNunzio to leave his home for two hours each day so that he can hit the gym and lose the pounds that are putting extra strain on his already bad heart and diabetes.
His doctor recently told the court, "I need him to have at least 30 minutes a day of sustained aerobic exercise. The best exercise he can do is sustained walking allowing for both arm and leg exercise."
OK, I'm confused. Wouldn't a reputed Wise Guy who is under house arrest for allegedly receiving money most likely be able to afford a mail-order Bowflex?
Well, regardless, we say: Hey, Big D! Drop that cheese! And listen up to our little business proposition. Yes, we sent "The Cheeseman" his very own delicious nondairy cheese pizza from Boston's own T.J. Scallywaggle's—recently voted one of the top 10 vegan-friendly pizzerias in the U.S.! We'd tell him to go there, but you know, he's a shut-in.
We suggest that Mr. DiNunzio try stocking his cupboards full of nondairy treats that aren't full of artery-clogging fat and cholesterol, like their dairy counterparts, if he really wants to whack those unhealthy pounds. He certainly has the time to cook up some tomato sauce for that spaghetti, a side of broccoli with garlic, and some pure vegetable minestrone. He will be getting those recipes and a copy of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit." You know, for some leisurely reading?
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast three years ago, thousands of animals were left in death traps from which they couldn't escape. PETA's rescue teams saw them clinging to trees surrounded by toxic floodwaters, swimming madly toward rescuers who were not allowed to save them, and pacing, stranded, and left to die on rooftops and balconies. Some of the luckier animals were rescued by PETA and eventually reunited with their guardians. With Hurricane Gustav having made landfall (the extent of the flooding is not yet certain) near New Orleans, many area residents have vowed not to make the same mistake again and have learned that the only way to protect the entire family during a disaster is to evacuate with their animal companions.
Read the stories below of several families whose animals were rescued by and delivered back to New Orleans by PETA after Hurricane Katrina; these lucky ones have already evacuated to safety with their human families.
Sporty: Sporty's guardian refused to evacuate during Hurricane Katrina because he wouldn't leave his dog behind. As the tragedy unfolded and the levees broke, Sporty's guardian swam for two blocks in toxic waters with Sporty under his arm, only to realize that if he continued to fight the raging waters, neither of them would survive. He retreated, with Sporty, to the attic with food and water for both, and when rescue workers finally came, he was forbidden to take his dog with him. It took this kind, elderly man more than three months to track down his beloved dog, who was being fostered at PETA's Norfolk headquarters. Today, Sporty and his guardian are safe and sound; they have evacuated and are outside the storm's path.
Mary Lou: During Hurricane Katrina, the Estaveses stayed in their St. Bernard Parish home as long as they could before taking the last ferry out, but they were forbidden from taking their animals along. Afterward, they spent several weeks frantically searching for their lost dog before being reunited with Mary Lou, one of the 30+ dogs PETA had brought back to its Virginia office. The family has a plan this time around and has already evacuated to safety—with Mary Lou.
Licorice: Licorice's "mom" was in the hospital with her elderly mother at the time Hurricane Katrina hit, and despite her pleas with rescue workers and government agents, she wasn't allowed to enter her home to retrieve her toy poodle. The toxic floodwaters and the stress of being left to fend for herself had made Licorice quite ill and weak by the time rescue teams finally found her. Licorice was given vet care and fostered by PETA for months before we could track down her anxious human mom. Today, Licorice's guardian wouldn't dream of leaving her behind and has already evacuated the area with her family.
PETA was at work as soon as Gustav raised its first serious head above the clouds, trying to prevent another monumental tragedy for animals. More than a week before Hurricane Gustav's anticipated landfall, PETA sent Gulf Coast media markets our preparedness tips, reaching local residents with the lifesaving message that the calm before the storm is when they must safeguard their animals and offering instructions for evacuation. PETA's emergency team of volunteers is primed, and we await further developments. On Saturday, Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain announced that more than 160 trucks have been outfitted with pet crates to handle the evacuation and that companion animal shelters for animal guardians with "critical transportation needs" are ready for service during the Hurricane Gustav evacuation, saying, "We are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of Louisiana's pets.
Read the Full Update for People With Animals in Hurricane Gustav's Path Below
Residents who don't have transportation must immediately call their local parish office of emergency preparedness to arrange transportation to the animal-friendly shelters. Animals can come, too, but they must be in a carrier, with at least a three-day supply of food and other supplies packed and ready to go. If an animal weighs less than 15 lbs., he or she will be allowed to ride on the human transport bus. If he or she weighs more than 15 lbs., separate animal transport trucks will take him or her to the animal shelter. Residents: You are still responsible for your animals' care during their stay at these shelters, so please be prepared with supplies, animal identification, and sturdy carriers or leashes. (Please read PETA's disaster preparedness checklist, and be sure to visit animals as often as possible to provide food, water, and comfort.) Shelter locations may change because of weather, so please have your local parish office of emergency preparedness telephone number with you at all times! Parish pick-up points for transportation to the CTN pet shelters are expected to close as storm conditions become unsafe. People who have transportation are encouraged to evacuate to pet-friendly hotels for the duration of the evacuation. Lists of these hotels can be found at www.petswelcome.com and www.tripswithpets.com. Many hotels will relax their usual animal policy in an emergency, so call ahead and ask if your animals can come along.Citizens who are evacuating on their own and who may need sheltering assistance are urged to stop at shelter-information points along the evacuation route to receive a reservation for the nearest shelter with openings. Those shelters will open as mass-scale evacuations begin. Shelter-information points are located at:
The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales and Parker Coliseum on LSU's Baton Rouge campus—which were used during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—will not be used as shelters during the Gustav evacuation.
Evacuees with large animals should contact their local LSU AgCenter county agent for information on what accommodations can be made for horses and livestock. The Agriculture Department office is open 24 hours a day to advise residents on pet and livestock issues. The phone number is 225-922-1234 or 1-800-558-9741. Evacuation guides for residents can be downloaded here.
Mississippi residents: The Humane Society of Southern Mississippi is operating a pet shelter on the grounds of the Harrison Central High School (the school building itself will be a shelter for humans). Evacuees should follow signs leading to the pet shelter when they arrive at the school. The shelter will open at 6 p.m. on August 31.For Mississippi residents without transportation, Gulf Transit will provide rides on school buses that will take people to the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, where they will be fed and cared for by MEMA until it is safe to return to the coast. Each person will be allowed to take only two bags. Small pets will be allowed but must be in a pet carrier and will count as one of the two bags. Pets will be taken to the Pet Shelter in Jackson. Owners must accompany their pets and be responsible for them at all times. Eligible pets include dogs, cats, birds, and pocket pets, with the exception of lizards and snakes. There will be no exceptions to these rules. The buses will be picking up people at the following locations:
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
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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.