Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
the Golden Rule:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In the case of animal
abusers, every so often they get done unto them just as they do. Here are this
year's best stories in which the Golden Rule put its game face on:
Leg photo © iStockphoto.com/Shelly Perry Shark photo © Getty
Images/Digital Vision/Carl Roessler
like animal abusers might want to consider a New Year's resolution to adhere to
the Golden Rule … or else.
Written by PETA
Voters in Ecuador recently banned bullfighting in the country, ending 500 years of stabbing bulls to death for "entertainment." While it is still legal for matadors to fight bulls (as long as the animal is not killed), a similar 2004 restriction in the city of Cuenca resulted in the virtual disappearance of bullfighting.
Bulls are still being killed in the ring in Panama, which is home to actor Patricia de León. Last night, the vegetarian and strong opponent of bullfighting gave a live interview on CNN en Español to talk about her anti-bullfighting campaign with PETA and why the cruel blood sport should end worldwide. You can help by not patronizing bullfights and by educating your travel agent about the cruelty behind bullfighting if he or she promotes it.
In another victory for animals, Ecuadorians also voted to make cockfighting illegal.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Animals don't always take abuse lying down. These resourceful animals fought back and made their own animal rights demonstrations:
If you're going to abuse animals, you might want to wear some protective clothing:
A fed-up rooster who was forced to fight one cockfight too many picks on somebody who is not his own size.
A marlin uses his spiked snout to show an angler how it feels to get jabbed in the mouth.
A green mamba shows an Arkansas snake fancier that captivity really bites.
A notorious exotic-animal smuggler gets shell-shocked by a turtle he is attempting to capture.
In light of news that Amazon.com has stopped selling a manual for pedophiles after a massive public outcry, PETA fired off a letter asking the online bookseller to protect other vulnerable beings by refusing to sell products that promote cruelty to animals, such as books on dogfighting and cockfighting.
Right now, anyone can visit Amazon.com and easily purchase books such as The Art of Cockfighting: A Handbook for Beginners and Old Timers and Dogs of Velvet and Steel, which encourage people to participate in cruel and illegal animal fighting—and which even show them how to do it. Dogs of Velvet and Steel advises readers, "These dogs will continue fighting even though most of their ear or a section of their mouth has been chewed off—or a leg rendered inoperable" and "[T]he pit bull is capable of taking a lot. It's not cruel to them; it's fun."
I think this dog would beg to differ!
Will Amazon do the right thing and drop these torture manuals? We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, let's make sure Amazon knows that it's unacceptable to sell products that promote violence against any living being.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
A big chicken exploiter, that is. While boxing fans debate whether undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr. is too yellow to step into the ring with Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, there's no question that PETA members are seeing red after a video surfaced of Mayweather cheering at a bloody cockfight in Puerto Rico. Cheering!
After watching this video, I'd love to see PETA's pal "Sugar" Shane Mosley knock some sense (and maybe even some compassion) into Mayweather in a rematch.
Cockfighting has been outlawed throughout the U.S., so if you suspect that this illegal activity is happening in your neighborhood, contact local law-enforcement authorities immediately.
Written by Karin Bennett
A collaborative effort involving multiple law-enforcement agencies has resulted in the takedown of what may just be the largest cockfighting ring in U.S. history!
According to information we received from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA-led effort was intended to lead to the confiscation of drugs, not chickens. Officials had been working to gather information on the Gulf Cartel, a Mexican drug trafficking organization. They were following the actions of the alleged smugglers when they stumbled upon the cartel's other dirty business: a massive cockfighting ring.
Kill or be killed may be the chosen mantra for drug lords, but for roosters who are imprisoned and forced to fight to the death, it's not a choice. Rather, it is a cruel existence that is nearly always marked by constant injuries and a painful death.
Thanks to the powers that be, though, the suspected cockfighters were caught red-handed (white-powder–handed?). Eleven individuals were arrested near Nashville, Tennessee, for their involvement, and 30 more arrests took place in Texas, Mississippi, Nevada, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. And, best of all, those birds are out of the ring for good.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Call me a hopeless dreamer, but I really thought we were going to get a bit of a break from hearing news about professional athletes taking part in vicious blood sports. The latest is that New York Mets all-star Pedro Martinez was videotaped taking part in a cockfighting event in the Dominican Republic. Cockfighting is still legal in the Dominican Republic, so Pedro wasn’t actually breaking any laws, but there’s a reason that it’s illegal in this country: It’s a hideously cruel, barbaric practice that’s nothing short of torture for the animals involved. I know the guy has a reputation for being a headhunter, but this is taking it a bit far, don’t you think? The damage is done now, sadly, but we’re asking Pedro Martinez and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal (who was also present at the event) to take part in our ”Developing Empathy For Animals” training seminar, which Michael Vick voluntarily attended after being charged, so hopefully some good will come of it. We’re also calling on the league to offer animal-sensitivity training for MLB players.
You can read our letter to Pedro Martinez here, and there’s a great post on the story by Deadspin’s Rick Chandler here.
Finally! Yesterday afternoon, four months after similar legislation passed in New Mexico, Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, signed a bill that will make hers the final American state to ban cockfighting, effective next August. Just to hammer this one home, that means that cockfighting will be outlawed throughout the United States by next year. Yes, there are a couple of nagging questions, like "Why do we have to wait until next August?" and "Why the hell was cockfighting ever legal first place?" but this is really, really good news for roosters, and for everyone who has been working so hard to protect them from this horrible abuse.
Props in particular go to Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa, who worked on this bill for more than a year to push it past the numerous people who stand to lose money if cockfighting is outlawed. And congratulations, of course, are due to all the activists who have given their precious time over the years to make this a reality. Go team!
After literally decades of work by concerned citizens and celebrities like Rue McClanahan and Bill Maher and the relentless dedication of Senator Mary Jane Garcia, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has signed a bill to ban cockfighting in the state. This was Garcia's 20th year introducing the bill to ban the vicious bloodsport, so this is a massive victory for her, for everyone who worked to raise awareness about this issue, and of course for the countless birds who are forced to fight to the death for the amusement of onlookers every year.
I'd love to say that this means that cockfighting is illegal throughout the United States, but unfortunately there's still one holdout: Everybody's looking at you, Louisiana.
Needless to say, this is pretty huge, and a lot of people have been working really hard to make this happen. If you'd like to take a moment to thank Sen. Garcia for her dedication to helping birds in New Mexico and Gov. Richardson for his compassion in signing this bill into law, their contact info is below. And if you live in Louisiana, you can click here to contact your legislators and ask them (politely) what's the big holdup.
The Honorable Mary Jane M. GarciaNew Mexico SenateBox 22Dona Ana, NM email@example.comThe Honorable Bill RichardsonOffice of the Governor490 Old Santa Fe Trl., Rm. 400Santa Fe, NM 87501E-mail
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.
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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.