Written by PETA
We're betting the dairy farm that the people of Philadelphia will be swapping out their 2 percent milk for deliciously nutritious soy milk (or rice or almond milk) after seeing this PETA public service announcement (PSA), which began airing in the Philly area yesterday:
Last September, PETA unveiled our five-month undercover investigation of a Pennsylvania-based factory dairy farm that supplies Land O'Lakes. Although we brought the abysmal conditions to Land O'Lakes' attention, the company has done nothing to address the abuse behind the butter. And the Pennsylvania legal system failed to spread any brotherly love—much less protection—to cows on dairy farms, which means that it's up to us to stop this stomach-churning cruelty.
Please pressure Land O'Lakes to implement and enforce the 12-point animal-welfare program that PETA has recommended. And, of course, it goes without saying that you should keep all dairy products out of your grocery carts, right?
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Be proud, California: Thanks to your meat and dairy industries' "Happy Cows," you're number one … on the EPA's "fart chart." And you thought the Golden State was known only for its Hollywood beauties and killer vegan food.
Rounding out the top five in the bovine emissions sweepstakes are Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.
Animals raised for food fart and burp massive quantities of greenhouse gasses—so much so that they're a leading contributor to climate change. The EPA estimates that the nation's 170 million bovines, sheep, and pigs are responsible for one-quarter of the methane released in the U.S. each year.
Check out the "fart chart" to see how your state ranks. Then tell everyone you know what they can do to lower their emissions.
Written by Paula Moore
P.S. We're not going to raise a stink about the fact that the "fart chart" should really be called the "Burp-O-Meter."
Foodies everywhere are buzzing about Mario Batali's declaration that he is a "big believer in the Meatless Monday movement" and his announcement that all 14 of his restaurants will offer at least two vegetarian options each and every Monday.
Batali believes that "most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet" and supports efforts to "focus on a more plant-based diet." And get this: He's also created a logo to further promote the flesh-free options at some of his restaurants. Woo-hoo!
Batali's eateries are known for cooking up just about every bit of animal one can name, including bone marrow and cockscombs (yes, cockscombs), so it's no wonder Batali's announcement is a hot topic for offal eaters and vegans.
We can't wait for the day when chefs like Batali embrace "Turkeyless Tuesdays," "Wings-Free Wednesdays," etc., or declare "Meat Mondays" as the only day they serve the stuff, but in the meantime, Batali's support for Meatless Mondays will do wonders to spotlight humane cuisine's plethora of pluses for animals, human health, and the environment.
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA supporter Mimi wasn't on the agenda—or even the guest list—for the International Wool Textile Organisation's recent conference in France, but when an Australian farming representative started to tell attendees that the barbaric practice of lamb mulesing is necessary, she became the featured speaker. Mimi borrowed the microphone to inform the crowd that mulesing is a fiercely cruel practice in which farmers cut flesh from lambs' hindquarters with a pair of gardening shears (without using painkillers), even though alternatives exist. So much for trying to pull the wool over people's eyes!
Of course, you don't need to snag a microphone to voice your opposition to mulesing. Just personalize and send this message to the Australian government. And for extra credit, avoid all merino wool—or wool of any kind for that matter.
Written by Heather Moore
Here's a beautiful—and lifesaving!—sight for the millions of animals who suffered at the hands of owners and employees of the international animal dealer warehouse formerly known as U.S. Global Exotics, Inc. (USGE):
Yep, that's right—just months after the PETA Files first gave readers a tiny glimpse into PETA's investigation of USGE, the multimillion-dollar business is closed, the filthy warehouse is up for sale, and USGE's former owner, Jasen Shaw, is on the lam! A federal arrest warrant is out for Shaw, alleging violations of the Lacey Act, a federal wildlife protection law enforced by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. Shaw and his wife, Vanessa, are believed to have fled the U.S. and may be hiding in their native New Zealand.
We can finally release additional videos, photographs, and investigation findings that offer even more insight into the hideous pet trade. Thanks to our findings, not one more snake, lizard, frog, sloth, wallaby, hamster, chinchilla, ferret, tortoise, or other animal will be imported from breeding mills or kidnapped from their natural homes to be shipped to USGE's filthy warehouse—and denied food, water, veterinary care, and fresh air; locked inside a filthy, crowded container; or frozen to death.
But millions of other animals are still suffering in the pet trade at hellholes such as Sun Pet—which purchased hamsters from USGE and then sold them to PETCO stores—and they need our help!
We can make a huge difference by urging our friends and family members never to buy animals from pet stores and letting PETCO and PetSmart know that we won't be spending so much as a dime in their stores until they stop selling all animals.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Cows are cool, and so is bling. And that's what makes Alternative Outfitters' 'Go Veg' Cow Pendant Necklace a must-have accessory.
Handmade out of recycled aluminum, this pretty conversation piece is a great way to spread the pro-vegan message (and look good while doing it). So cow's about trying to win one of these necklaces? Just tell us what mooved you (OK, I'll cool it with the cow puns … for now) to go veg. The person who leaves the most inspiring comment will walk away with this awesome animal-friendly accessory.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Got breast milk? In the wake of a recent report that says the nation could save billions on healthcare costs if more mothers breastfed their babies, we're running a billboard in Lexington, Kentucky, that encourages people to DLJD (Do Like Jesus Did):
Kentucky has one of the lowest percentages of women who breastfeed their babies, and according to this new report, the state's children have an increased risk of falling victim to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), necrotizing enterocolitis (the death of intestinal wall tissue), lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Our billboard aims to show Kentucky residents that by fortifying human babies and saving the lives of cows, breast milk is also the blessed milk. Seriously—if it was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for any baby.
Written by Logan Scherer
Despite overwhelmingly sad video and photographic evidence of lame, thin, and downed cows left to suffer and die and a cow whose teat was banded and left to decay and fall off—not to mention expert testimony that all this constituted cruelty—a judge whose courtroom was packed with dairy farmers today found the owners of Reitz Dairy, a filthy Land O'Lakes supplier in Pennsylvania that PETA investigated last year, not guilty.
PETA's investigator found cows on this factory dairy farm collapsed, lame, and struggling to hobble through a deep soup of feces and urine in the perpetually filthy conditions. Cows suffering from painful infections and severe lameness were deprived of even basic care; dying cows were not even put out of their misery. PETA's video shows injured cows as they are kicked, shocked with a high-voltage electric prod, and jabbed along the spine with the open blade of a pocket knife.
A little pat of butter? PETA has brought the abysmal conditions on this farm to Land O'Lakes' attention, but the company is doing nothing to prevent such abuse and neglect on its suppliers' farms and continues to buy from Reitz Dairy.
Cows are great mothers, loyal herd members, wise, and gentle. Studies show that they will sacrifice their own interests for the benefit of the group and that they communicate in subtle ways with facial expressions that we can't even register. When they figure out a puzzle, such as how to open a tricky gate, they have a "eureka moment" and jump for joy.
Because cows cannot rely on the law to protect them, it's up to every concerned person to take a stand—to vote against cruelty with our shopping cart. As this case has vividly demonstrated, milk, cheese, and butter do not come from "happy cows" who frolic in lush green pastures. They come from miserable cows confined to crowded, muck-filled barns—cows who are forcibly impregnated, only to have their newborns yanked away from them so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for their calves.
That's why we must continue to pressure Land O'Lakes to, at the very least, implement the 12-point animal-welfare program that PETA has recommended. And each one of us needs to "file charges" against factory farms every time we shop by refusing to purchase their ill-gotten products.
Written by Alisa Mullins
President Obama's new proposal to help pay for the healthcare revamp by taxing tanning salons is almost as brilliant as that tanning-bed afterglow. Obama's tan tax—which some proposals have put as high as 10 percent—attaches a monetary price to the health risk that tanners take when they expose themselves to radiation.
Now, as it turns out, some people have this tan tax business all mixed up, but in their confusion they've actually come up with a great idea. Perhaps addled by the toxins that he breathes every day, a leather tannery employee has sent us hate mail about the "PETA-based tan tax" that he fears could hurt the leather business. We're thick-skinned (geddit?), so the vitriol doesn't get to us, but we really like this tannery tax idea.
Although the president hasn't yet officially included leather tanneries in his proposal, it would be a terrific next step in raising funds for healthcare—especially considering that governmental agencies have already deemed tanneries to be a threat to human health and the environment. Most leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. And each chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of solid waste—including hair, flesh, and trimmings—for every ton of hides that it processes.
Leukemia, lung cancer, environmental destruction, and the exploitation and mutilation of cows—we can't stand any of it. How long do you think it would take a new "tannery tax" to ruin tanneries that are already destroying our health and the planet?
Written by Logan Scherer
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.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
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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.