Written by Michelle Kretzer
Newly elected Pope Francis is already making clear that his focus will be to embrace the disadvantaged. He
chose his papal title in homage to St. Francis of Assisi, a renowned advocate for the poor and the patron saint of animals and the
environment. PETA has written to His Holiness to congratulate him and to offer a
couple of simple ways that he can follow in St. Francis' footsteps as a
champion for animals. Because of the unholy abuse on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, we've asked Pope Francis to ensure that no factory-farmed meat, eggs, or dairy
products are served at the Vatican and to offer as many meat-free meals as possible.
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Previous popes have expressed concern
for animals and their well-being. Pope John Paul II was a noted animal
advocate who declared that animals are "as near to God as men are."
He also maintained that animals "possess a soul and men must love and feel
solidarity with our smaller brethren." Pope
Francis' predecessor Pope
Benedict XVI felt that "[a]nimals, too, are God's creatures. …
[T]his degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to
contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible."
God clearly instructs his followers to "love
one another" (John 13:34), "be
merciful" (Luke 6:36), and not to harm one another (Isaiah 11:9).
Hopefully, Pope Francis will continue to
guide Catholics down the compassionate path that his namesake, St. Francis of
Assisi, set out on so many years ago.
Christ's chief lesson to his followers
was that they should "love one another" (John 13:34). And in Philadelphia, "the city of brotherly love,"
citizens are encouraged
to embrace that sentiment. So as Philly prepares to
kick off its huge annual Easter parade, PETA has asked permission to add some
food for thought to the day, with a mobile billboard.
We're hopeful that our billboard will
encourage everyone to start showing kindness to pigs, who don't want to suffer and die to become an "Easter
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Pigs, who are as sociable and intelligent as dogs, are abused in ways that would be illegal if dogs or cats
were the victims—so surely they are among the least powerful beings in our
We hope all Christians will act
on Christ's teachings of love and empathy, and we have a wealth of vegan recipes for Easter
to help them.
Baptists attending a convention in New Orleans probably expected to be communing
with God … just not with his son on the street corner. And not with a giant
they loved PETA's divine duo, who asked the faithful to remember that Jesus' message was one of
compassion, not killing.
the Southern Baptists scooped up information about going vegan, they chatted with "Jesus"
about how God would not approve of the ways that his animals are abused on today's factory farms. Many said that they
were eating less meat or had already gone vegan to stop supporting cruelty.
Written by PETA
If you're left scratching your head after reading this blog's title, allow me to translate: That friendly greeting is Kiswahili for "What's the news?" The response, "Ujima," is today's Kwanzaa value.
Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days during the week between Christmas and New Year's. Each day is marked by a do-gooding ideal called by its Kiswahili name. Today is day three, Ujima, which means collective work and responsibility. (Saturday and Sunday were Unity and Self-Determination, marked by the "unifying determination" of my family to nab the last bit of Grandma's famous holiday sweet potatoes!) The idea of Ujima is to take on the problems of our neighbors and work together to solve them. In the spirit of this lovely holiday, we thought it apropos to focus on how to help those who can't help themselves.
Please be encouraged to take action anytime you see an animal in distress. Volunteer at your local animal shelter to give animals in need a bit of holiday cheer, or call the authorities about that dog in your neighborhood who is chained outside without proper shelter in this unforgiving weather. And of course, always remember to make sure that the animal companions you're lucky enough to share your home with are given proper care and all the cuddles they can handle!
Another Kwanzaa tradition is to pay respect to someone of African heritage who has contributed something significant to society. Today, I choose the generous Richard Pryor for his unending efforts to stop the abuse of animals. Who do you pick?
Joyous Kwanzaa everyone!
Written by Missy Lane
On-again, off-again fur flaunter Lindsay Lohan recently tweeted that her fur is faux:
We loved the thought of Lindsay going from fur hag to faux fab, but it looks like the tweet from this twit might have just been a passing fancy. We called a rep from her much-ballyhooed (and widely panned) fashion line to see if she's ditched fur there too. Unfortunately, the rep confirmed over the phone that those tasteless stoles in LiLo's collection have, in fact, been ripped from the bodies of animals. So it looks like Lindsay's fashion sense probably is still as dead as her career.
It just doesn't make much sense to stop wearing fur if you still peddle it, Lindsay. If your tweet means that you've turned a new page and are going to trim the fur off your back completely so that you can join the ranks of the stylish women who always forgo fur, please let us know.
Written by Liz Graffeo
This is one of those stories that starts off sad, but gets better—I promise!
Earlier this summer, a man in Louisville, Kentucky, threw a puppy off a bridge and into the Ohio River. Kelsey Westbrook, a college student who works part-time at a riverfront restaurant, saw the dog swimming in circles and immediately raced down to the water's edge and helped nearby firefighters guide the dog to safety.
Although Kelsey had originally planned to find a good home for the dog—whom she named Sunny for her loving disposition—the bond between them grew, and Kelsey soon realized that Sunny had become part of her family. So, Kelsey and her other dog—a 2-year-old rescue mix—asked Sunny to stay.
The warm-fuzzies don't stop there. Kelsey has decided to turn the attention she's receiving towards the issue of cruelty to animals. She's organizing a fundraiser at the restaurant next month, and the proceeds will go to local low-income spay-and-neuter clinics. Now that's compassionate. And because Kelsey keeps going that extra mile to help animals in need, we're happy to be sending her a Compassionate Action Award—along with some treats for Sunny, of course.
Written by Amanda Schinke
This week, we received a tip that Brookstone's district managers and vice presidents were gathering in the Manchester, New Hampshire, area, where their headquarters is based, for corporate meetings and store visits.
While they were going over new store layouts and new bonus packages for selling killing as many frogs as possible, our larger-than-life "frog" was following them wherever they went. Our frog wanted to remind them of the one thing that Brookstone executives have clearly left out of their training manuals: compassion.
We even followed them to the restaurant where they ate dinner!
We're not going to let Brookstone forget about the thousands of frogs who are dying on their store shelves, while shipped across the country, and in the homes of people who do not have the ability to care for them. Until Brookstone ends the sale of Frog-O-Spheres at its stores nationwide, it can consider our "frog" its permanent shadow.
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.
The following is a guest post from PETA fieldworker Misty Collins.
This is the story of my friend Tripp. A sweet, gentle golden retriever, Tripp was easy to love, yet he spent most of his life feeling lonely, lacking the affection that he so desperately needed.
Banished to a junk-filled backyard, Tripp spent every moment of every day outside. At the age of 16, he had endured a lifetime of bitter winters and scorching summers. By the time we discovered him during one of our routine straw deliveries, years of lying on frozen ground had taken their toll, and he was stiff and arthritic. He was going deaf and blind, and his frail body was riddled with softball-sized tumors. His owners refused to relinquish him, so I returned again and again to check on him and give him clean bedding, treats, and, most importantly, the love and companionship that he so desperately desired.
Just a few weeks ago, I made my final visit to see Tripp. When I arrived, he was nowhere to be found. Trudging though the junk-filled yard, I climbed over scraps of splintering wood, rusty nails, jagged pieces of metal, and other dangerous debris. Following a trail of swarming flies and puddles of diarrhea, I found Tripp behind the garage—curled up and unresponsive.
He went back there to be alone and die. Dogs do that. Can you imaging being deaf, blind, and covered in cancerous tumors and spending your last days in a trash pile surrounded by flies waiting for you to die? In tears, I begged his owners to let me take him and give him a dignified death. They finally relented, and I gently shook the old boy awake and helped him into my truck.
Back at PETA headquarters, I was determined to help my friend live the last day of his life as he should have been allowed to live every single day of his life—rolling in the fresh grass and receiving lots of love, attention, and belly rubs.
Barely able to stand, he ate his last meal. Later, I held him and stroked him gently as he quietly passed away. I was honored to be with him during his last moments in a world that had never loved him. And though he spent most of his life thrown away and forgotten in that miserable backyard, I will never forget Tripp as long as I live.
Written by Misty Collins
Delia's clothing company used to be one of several retailers that sold Ringling Bros. T-shirts.
I say "used to be" because today, the company's CEO contacted us to say that Delia's will be pulling the shirts from its Web site, its stores, and its October catalog by this Friday, September 11.
Thanks to the countless concerned people who took the time to write and call the company to ask it to stop promoting Ringling's cruel treatment of animals.
We hope that you'll take a second to write to Delia's and thank it for making the compassionate decision.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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.