Written by PETA
Yesterday morning, walking to the D.C. Metro along the tenuous paths carved through the high banks of snow, the usual birdsong was missing. Then I heard a sparrow chirp and found a group of them sitting under a restaurant awning. I had cereal in a bag with me, so I scattered it under the awning, and out hobbled a pigeon who had been under a table, her legs clearly frozen. At each step, she stumbled and had to right herself. Because she ate, I didn't want to scare her by attempting to catch her and feared she would flutter off into the snow, so I watched her eat and then moved on. Last night, making my way home, I found her back under that table, frozen, snow all over her back. In D.C. and many other cities across the nation, there is no water for the birds and no grass for them to reach under the many feet of snow. At PETA's Washington office and around town, including in Lafayette Park and Union Station, we are doing our best to help them. This morning I had an idea: I picked up whole-grain bread and stuck slices of it in the saplings on the streets.
Birds and countless other animals around the city are struggling to survive. It is crucial that in these dire weather conditions, you take action in behalf of animals who would otherwise be left to succumb to the elements by providing them with something to eat and making sure that they have access to fresh water.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Chinese actor and angelic beauty Sun Li—star of Painted Skin and Iron Road—is storing up treasures in heaven by posing in PETA Asia's latest anti-fur ad.
"Every piece of fur, even if it's 'just a little trim,' means that an animal suffered horrendously. With all the warm, stylish alternatives available, there's no excuse for wearing fur," said Li.
What's the only way to end cruelty on Chinese fur farms? Shun all fur forever.
Written by Logan Scherer
Time once again to play "Who Wore It Worse?" First, try to identify today's contestants, each of whom makes a point to let everyone know she's married … to cruelty to animals.
On the left: When she's not au naturel in her garden, she's flaunting fur in the concrete jungle. If only she'd turn over a new leaf and join PETA's "Rather Go Naked" campaign …
And on the right: Television has shown us both "real" and "desperate" housewives. Apparently this one is "real desperate"—for an ethical makeover, that is. Need a hint? No wonder Bethenny is my favorite.
Go cast your vote today—and check back tomorrow to find out who is taking home top dishonors.
Written by Karin Bennett
Warning: Graphic photos below.
This blog post may shock you with its bluntness, but it is the truth. It's also a call to action. This is your chance to weigh in and help the unloved, the unwanted, and the throwaways from our convenience-oriented society. I want to ask you to look at some photographs that may haunt you, but they may also prompt you to act.
PETA never turns away an animal for being "unadoptable." Ever. In fact, in our area, as is likely the case in yours, the "no-kill" facility is usually full—full of dogs and cats who have been sitting in cages for months and, in some cases, years. And that facility, while basking in the glory of its "no-kill" pledge, often refers animals to us and to the city pound. We receive calls from desperate people who cannot afford the "no-kill" shelter's admission fee or can't cope with its waiting list. We do not turn our back on these animals. Never have and never will. So we take in the animals no one wants, and we ease their pain so that they don't languish unaided or fall into the wrong hands—which often would mean going right back to where they came from. We will always be here for animals who need and deserve a kind hand, a loving word, and a peaceful exit from a world that has treated them like trash.
Last year, PETA did many things: We helped countless dogs and cats in "our own backyard." Our phenomenal mobile spay-and-neuter clinics sterilized 8,677 animals (562 of whom we picked up for surgery and then took back home in PETA's Animal Birth Control van). We built and delivered more than 300 sturdy doghouses and delivered about 5,000 bags of straw to warm up cold dogs who were chained or penned outside in all weather extremes. We provided free veterinary care for animals with infections, wounds, and illnesses. And we did something else that made a difference: Our shelter of last resort took in 2,352 injured, ill, elderly, and unwanted animals for euthanasia. Our Community Animal Project staffers showered each of them with love and affection in their final moments, gave them their very first soft caress, in many cases, and told them, "Good puppy!" often for the very first time.
No one feels anything other than crushed to euthanize animals; those who hate euthanasia the most are the truly kind people whose job it is to perform it—people on our staff and in other animal shelters. It's so easy for some people to turn away, to condemn, or to create the very problem that these brave souls deal with, but they are only cleaning up after the people who neglected those animals; who never showed them a shred of commitment or an ounce of compassion, who thought nothing of crating, penning, or chaining them up with a tractor-trailer chain because it was inconvenient to walk them or secure daycare for them; who didn't think twice about leaving them behind when their house was foreclosed on or dog food became expensive; or who left the door open and let the dog or cat get hit by a car. Our staff is grateful that people in our community know to call upon us when someone needs to do what's necessary.
The animals who come through PETA's doors are but a tiny fraction of the estimated 6 to 8 million homeless dogs and cats who are handed over the counter in animal shelters nationwide every year. These animals are abandoned, and many are left to languish in cages—waiting, looking up anxiously and hopefully at every person who enters, in the hope that he or she will save them and take them home. A whopping half of them will be "put to sleep" because that someone never showed up (the girl who stopped at the cage and giggled, the man who said, "Isn't he weird-looking?"—they moved on with their lives). The people who are kind enough to hold these animals and stroke their fur as they take their last breath are not to blame for any of it. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of each person who refuses or "forgets" to have his or her cat or dog sterilized and everyone who has purchased an animal from a pet shop or a breeder instead of adopting from their local shelter.
PETA is calling on the governors of all 50 states to endorse mandatory spay-and-neuter laws that would require dogs and cats to be sterilized unless their owners purchase an annual breeding permit, the cost of which would fund low-cost spay-and-neuter services. You can help—you have a governor, and you may know a state senator or council member—or perhaps you could get to know one. Please join us in this effort, and please recruit everyone you know to do so as well. We will provide language for model legislation, but please, talk to everyone in the dog parks, at the vet's office, and on the street. Download our posters and fliers and hand them out and put them up; pick a low-income block and help the people there spay and neuter their animals; and please, go down to city hall or up to the statehouse and lobby so that next year the nation's homeless animal population will be lower. Individual dogs and cats would ask you to do this if they could.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
This post originally appeared in the Sacramento Bee.
This month, HBO is premiering an original biopic starring Claire Danes about an extraordinary person, Dr. Temple Grandin. As a young woman, Grandin struggled with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when this disorder was almost a total mystery. Today she is one of the best-known advocates for autism education.
But I applaud Dr. Grandin for another reason, one that has angered some people who work in animal protection: I admire her work in the field of humane animal slaughter. PETA would prefer, of course, that no animals be killed for food, but we won't ignore the horrors of factory farms and slaughterhouses just because we wish that they didn't exist.
Throughout her career as an animal-science professor at Colorado State University and a consultant to the American Meat Institute, Grandin has worked to improve animal-handling systems at slaughterhouses—markedly decreasing, although never able to stop completely, the amount of fear and pain that animals experience.
In 2006, she described to National Public Radio her experience watching cattle get vaccinated at feedlots during the 1970s. Some of the animals would just walk into the holding chutes, she said, while others refused. So Grandin did what no one else had bothered to do before: She went into the chutes herself. As she wrote in an essay for my book One Can Make a Difference, "(I)t seemed obvious to me to get down into the chute and see what the cattle were seeing." She realized that visual details such as shadows, a reflection off a truck's bumper, or people standing up ahead were causing the animals to be fearful.
These insights led her to design cattle-restraining systems that are now used by half the meat plants in North America. "(P)eople just wanted to get out there and yell and scream and push and shove," Grandin told NPR, rather than "remove the things that the cattle were afraid of."
This may seem like a small victory—the cows are still going to be killed, after all—but until the day that we get animals off the dinner plate altogether, is it too much to ask that we do everything we can to reduce the fear and suffering that they experience in the slaughterhouse?
PETA's campaigns against the cruel practices of fast-food chains and against the use of intensive confinement systems that do not even allow animals enough room to stand up, turn around, or extend their limbs have improved the living and dying conditions for millions of animals. As the industries change and evolve, these improvements will apply to billions of animals every year.
The vast majority of people, if they care about animals—and consumer surveys show that they do—support such incremental changes, even if the increments are far from wholly satisfactory to the animals who would rather not be caged at all or hung upside down and killed. In November 2008, for example, California voters made history by approving a ballot measure to ban the use of veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages on factory farms. Last year, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a landmark bill that will phase out these same cruel devices in her state as well.
I completely understand the appeal of battle cries such as "Not bigger cages—empty cages!" and I encourage every kind soul who shares this sentiment to make a difference by going vegan. But, as Dr. Grandin has shown us, giving a little comfort and relief to animals who will be in those cages their whole lives is worth fighting for, even as some of us are demanding that those cages be emptied.
Whoever said you can't wear white after Labor Day apparently never saw this army of vogue volunteers:
These snowmen and -women put the "white" into "White House" yesterday, telling dozens of blizzard-braving, picture-taking passersby that the only thing colder than snow is fur. And what's cooler than these Jack and Jane Frosts? We've yet to come up with an answer to that one.
Written by Logan Scherer
"For…give me vegan deliciousness, father," might be the only thing that Catholics in confessionals need to say this Lent if the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops takes a tip from us. We're asking him to encourage bishops around the country to ask their pastors to go vegan for Lent and to encourage congregants to do the same. When you eat cruelty-free, you're saving lives, fighting world poverty, and curbing climate change—so you won't have quite as much on your conscience.
With the season of abstinence just two weeks away, our Pledge to Go Vegan for Lent is the easiest way for Christians to honor God's creatures, the world He entrusted to us, our own bodies, and each other.
It's time to play another round of "Who Wore It Worse?" In this round, two singers who consistently hit only low notes—thanks to their garish fur garments—are about to face off.
First up: Is this "Loco for fur" Latina still "from the block?" That ghastly coat certainly suggests that she spends her nights walking the streets.
Not to be outdone, the "Queen of Cold's" wailing performance in this gruesome getup had some holiday revelers worried that they were witnessing the death throes of a bear.
By now you know how to play: First, name the fur hags pictured above, and then cast your vote for "Who Wore It Worse?" And be sure to tune in tomorrow for round four!
Kate Moss has made many fatally ugly fashion faux pas, but today we were left pleasantly surprised after learning that Kate's taken her friend (and PETA U.K.'s 2007 Person of the Year) Stella McCartney's advice and decided to give Meat-Free Mondays a chance.
We still can't forgive the supermodel for her furry ways, but we're hoping that this animal-friendly diet sticks.
Poet Charles Baudelaire called the albatross "one of those big birds / which nonchalantly chaperone a ship / across the bitter fathoms of the sea," and Samuel Coleridge deemed the animal "a bird of good omen." (OK, no more 19th-century poetry references—I promise!) I wonder if those guys would be impressed to know that two female royal albatrosses in New Zealand have bonded as a mating pair and are caring for a chick together after the father disappeared.
Wildlife experts are definitely intrigued. Though lesbian albatrosses have also appeared in Hawaii, no one has ever seen a pair who successfully raised a baby together. We're loving this same-sex pair, and Tourism Dunedin is brainstorming a name for the chick with two mommies. I'm thinking Ellen or Portia. Do you have any suggestions?
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.