Written by PETA
Today, PETA unveiled footage from our five-month undercover investigation of a filthy factory dairy farm in Pennsylvania that supplies milk to St. Paul–based Land O'Lakes, the largest seller of branded butter in the U.S.
Our investigator documented abuse and neglect of cows and calves at the facility, including that cows who were in terrible pain and resisted standing were electro-shocked and jabbed with the blade of a pocket knife in an effort to force them to move and that sick and injured cows were left to languish—often so weak that they couldn't even get out of their own waste—for days and even weeks without veterinary care. In one case, workers were told to wrap an elastic band around a cow's gangrenous, infected teat in order to "amputate" it. The cow's condition deteriorated for 11 days before she finally died.
It is a violation of Pennsylvania law to neglect animals, deprive sick and injured animals of veterinary care, and deny animals clean and sanitary shelter. Charges against the farm's owners have been approved and filed by a local magisterial district judge. The factory farmers are innocent until proven guilty, of course, but they would face up to 90 days in jail and $750 in fines if convicted.
We have also called on Land O'Lakes to buy milk only from farms that meet our 12-point animal welfare plan, which would prevent much of the suffering we documented at this farm.
For those of you who can't stomach the thought of eating butter after watching that video, take a minute to tell Land O'Lakes to implement our 12-point animal welfare plan. Then check out one of the many vegan butter alternatives that are widely available. My personal favorite is Earth Balance margarine. It's 100 percent vegan and free of trans fat (and pus), and it tastes even better than butter. Best of all, it's also 100 percent free of cruelty to cows and calves.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Just in time for Oktoberfest comes a cow-friendly alternative to traditional Bavarian lederhosen, those Pinocchio-style knickers that are traditionally made of leather.* PETA Germany recently presented inventor Peter Kolb with a progress award for his swimwear designs that easily double as animal-free alternatives to leather lederhosen: yodel lay hee hoo (-ray), indeed!
Why the brewbrouhaha about leather trousers? Aside from the cruelty inherent in factory farms and slaughterhouses—where animals are castrated, dehorned, and branded without any anesthetics as well as frequently hoisted, shackled, and butchered while still conscious—the toxic chemicals used to tan leather are dangerous for the both the environment and human health.
Leather-free lederhosen are cheaper, beer-proof, and most importantly, animal-friendly. Let's tap a keg and toast compassion.
Written by Karin Bennett
*For anyone who thinks that the Bavarian beer lover's tradition looks silly, I have two words for you—beer bong.
Last week, we told you about poor Tripp—the elderly golden retriever who had lived through 16 long years of neglect. Because of the outpouring of condolences for him, we've set up a memorial page in his honor through our newly revamped True Friends Web site.
You can find Tripp's memorial page here. I hope you'll drop by and share some words of support for Misty Collins and the other PETA field workers whose hearts break every day over neglected and abused animals like Tripp (and Rikus, Music, Zoo, Hugo, and Blackie, just to name a few).
If you've recently lost someone close to you—a friend, family member, or animal companion—please consider creating a True Friends memorial page of your own to help share your memories with others. You can also create a page for a celebrity (as a supporter did for longtime PETA friend Bea Arthur) or an animal whose story you've heard about in the news—like Tweet, the giraffe who died on the set of The Zookeeper.
After you've visited PETA's new True Friends Memorials site, post a comment below to let us know what you think.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The Internet was ablaze yesterday with "did he or didn't he" talk about Wednesday's episode of The Glenn Beck Program, in which Glenn Beck appeared to boil a frog alive on national television. Was the frog fake? Did Beck actually throw a real frog into a pot? Who would do something like that?
Given that Glenn has a history of showing compassion toward animals, we were sure that he would not throw a defenseless frog into a boiling pot of water. But because enough people were fooled by his prank, we asked him to make a statement on his show explaining that it was a ruse.
And last night, in a segment he called "Frog-Gate 2009," (a possible shout-out to "Flygate"?) Glenn Beck did just that—he replayed the whole segment, read our letter to him aloud, and clarified that the frog he appeared to boil alive was just a plastic toy.
Thanks for setting the record straight, Glenn! Now, could we trouble you to have a little talking-to with those real-life frog abusers over at Brookstone …?
Written by Shawna Flavell
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of the guitar strap is Kristen. Congratulations!
You've got the hair. You've got the eyeliner. You've got the guitar. But wait, what's the one thing every real rock star needs? A cruelty-free guitar strap, of course.
For this week's "Win It" Wednesday, we've got you covered. We're giving away one quality guitar strap from the stellar all-vegan company Couch Guitar Straps.
Leather is a co-product—not a byproduct—of the meat and dairy industries. When you buy leather, you contribute directly to the lifelong misery of cows and other animals, and you put money into the pockets of the people who exploit them.
How do you save a cow and gain a vegan guitar strap? Leave a comment about why cows are as cool as your favorite vegan musician. Whoever posts the most rockin' comment gets to choose a strap from Couch Guitar Straps (priced up to $38, including shipping and handling).
Written by Heather Drennan
On the heels of government rebate programs to exchange old, smelly products for brand-spanking-new ones, PETA is working with our friends MooShoes to give compassionate New Yorkers $10 off the purchase of fabulous vegan footwear when they turn in a pair of shoes made from the skins of dead, abused animals.
Leather is bad for animals and bad for the environment, so there's no excuse to keep wrapping your tootsies in it. And now, newly compassionate NYC consumers who don't have the money for a cruelty-free wardrobe makeover (hint, hint, TLC—that'd be a ratings shoe-in!) can get at least a little help. Anyone who brings in a pair of leather sneakers, pumps, or loafers to the MooShoes store in New York before September 27 will receive a $10 credit toward a pair of snazzy vegan shoes.
MooShoes will donate all the leather shoes it receives to the homeless youth shelter Streetwork Project, making this one cattle drive with a happy ending.
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.
Written by Missy Lane
The title of an LA Times blog says it all: "You Win, PETA. Iowa State Fair Won't Have Michael Jackson Butter Sculpture."
You may remember that we recently wrote to the Iowa State Fair asking it to refrain from making a Michael Jackson statue out of butter and instead to use Earth Balance, a delicious nondairy spread. We reminded the fair that the King of Pop himself—a vocal supporter of children's health charities—would not appreciate his image being carved out of an unhealthy, fatty spread (not to mention one so detrimental to animals).
Well, the fair officials put it to a vote, and after more than 100,000 votes were counted, about 65 percent of fairgoers had voted against erecting the statue. Looks like we weren't the only ones who thought this was a "bad" idea.
Written by Christine Doré
Many vegan Wisconsinites cringe at the sight of "Green Bay Cheeseheads"—not to mention their state's standard license plate, which reads, "America's Dairyland," and features an image of a quaint farm.
Caring drivers in Wisconsin deserve a compassionate alternative to "pro-provolone" plates, so PETA wrote a letter to Governor Jim Doyle pointing out that people who are concerned about cruelty on dairy farms should be offered a license plate that reads, "Wisconsin: America's Cow Hell," and comes complete with a realistic image of distressed, sick cows crammed together on a filthy factory farm.
While we wait to hear back from the governor, the Madison-based animal rights organization Alliance for Animals has already produced an "America's Cow Hell" sticker for Wisconsin drivers to place over the existing "America's Dairyland" on their license plates. Visit Alliance for Animals' Web site to order yours today.
Dean Foods is mooving out. It's closing two of its PET Dairy plants—one in Portsmouth, Virginia, and another in Kingsport, Tennessee, which means that milk production at the facilities will slowly dry up over the next two months.
PETA wants to lease the Portsmouth facility (located just across the river from our headquarters in Norfolk) and turn it into a Cow Empathy Museum, which would enlighten visitors about how cows and their calves suffer on dairy farms. The museum would offer interactive displays so that visitors could be hooked up to a milking machine or crammed into a small crate to give them a taste of the dairy industry's routine cruelty to animals. They'd also learn "cowlture" facts—for example, cows form social hierarchies within their herds, and many cows who have been separated from their calves will do anything they can to find their babies.
Once they are done learning about all the reasons that dairy is a downer, visitors could order soy ice cream treats and other tasty vegan foods in the Cow Empathy Restaurant. And everyone 12 years old or younger would receive a plush toy cow with a tag reading, "Cows Are Cool! Dump Dairy!"
Fingers crossed that the laid-off dairy employees will soon be toasting in celebration of their new jobs at the Cow Empathy Museum, with an ice-cold glass of Silk.
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.