Written by PETA
PETA’s regulatory testing division recently fired off a letter to Samuel H. Wilson, acting director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), urging him to cancel planned experiments on mice involving artificial butter flavoring and its ingredients. Yes, I said artificial butter flavoring, the stuff in microwave popcorn.
One ingredient in artificial butter flavoring, diacetyl, is suspected of causing a debilitating—and sometimes deadly—lung disease in dozens of workers and now possibly in consumers as well, and the NIEHS’ knee-jerk reaction is simply to do more animal tests. Keep in mind that producers accounting for 80 percent of the market for this product have already stopped using diacetyl or announced plans to do so, and as our regulatory testing watchdogs pointed out, in experiments that have already been conducted, mice who were forced to inhale diacetyl didn’t develop the same symptoms of obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) that humans did. It sounds like the NIEHS has never heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote that goes something like this, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for different results.”
In response to PETA's warnings—which were originally submitted to the NIEHS' National Toxicology Program (NTP) in May—one scientist acknowledged that although "it's not clear how one would extrapolate findings from the animal studies to humans. … [T]hat does not lessen my enthusiasm for this study." In our newest letter, we point out that while the NTP conducts cruel experiments on mice, workers—and possibly consumers—will remain at risk for OB. How about we cut to the chase and instead of conducting irrelevant animal experiments and further delaying the protection of workers and consumers who are exposed to diacetyl, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration immediately rescind its "generally recognized as safe" designation for the chemical?
Jessica Sandler, PETA’s director of regulatory testing said it best,
“There's a crisis looming for countless workers and consumers who are exposed to diacetyl, and once again, the government's answer is to try to mimic in animals the effects already seen in people. Not only is this completely illogical approach blatantly cruel, it also directly jeopardizes the health of the citizens that the agency is charged with safeguarding."
I’ll keep you posted as this case develops, and in the meantime, here’s a great page about PETA’s behind-the-scenes battle to stop animal testing.
For some reason, fish are often the last animal people cut from their diets when they go vegetarian, so if you're someone who's been thinking about giving up eating fish but never got around to it, this is a great time to take the plunge. PETA has a whole site about the lives of these fascinating animals at FishingHurts.com, and once you've checked that out, if you'd like to celebrate Fish Amnesty Day by giving up fish for good, click here to take PETA's pledge to be veg.
I will be marking this momentous occasion with a meal at my favorite vegetarian sushi restaurant, Kotobuki. Happy Fish Amnesty Day, everyone!
Click here to order a free vegetarian starter kit.
Don’t worry if you don’t get that subject line. It’s just a shout out to my homegirl, Anuradha “Slim Shady” Sawhney, who does a hell of a job running PETA India.
The point of this post is really to give props to the whole gang over at PETA India, who just released the incredibly exciting news that the city of Mumbai will no longer allow elephants within its borders. Mumbai's compassionate decision will spare many elephants a lifetime of abuse and neglect, and it sends a powerful message to other towns and cities across the country. You can check out the full story here.
Now PETA India is expanding the campaign to other cities, and they’ve enlisted India’s A-list to help. They just sent this petition, featuring heavy-hitting Indian celebs like Dilip Kuman, Saira Banu, John Abraham, Raveena Tandon, and others, to Chief Ministers across the country, and hopefully we’ll be hearing more on this issue soon.
Way to go PETA India!
Update: Following the success of Alicia’s PSA, Sky News put together a wonderful retrospective of PETA’s many naked ads and protests over the past year. You can check out the picture gallery here.
The folks in Houston were severely deprived yesterday, when their cable provider decided at the last minute (literally) that it would pull Alicia Silverstone's super sexy new pro-vegetarianism ad, which had already been approved and paid for. Comcast Cable told us that they had banned the spot "because she is naked," despite the fact that the ad has already aired on numerous news programs worldwide. Besides, as PETA Vice President Dan Mathews pointed out in a staff meeting today, they showed Holly Hunter's naked ass on Saving Grace the other night, so, um, what's the problem here, Comcast?
We had picked Houston because it consistently ranks in the top ten least healthy cities in the country, so we figured they could use some good diet advice (honestly, who in their right mind would turn down friendly diet advice from the beautiful Alicia Silverstone?), but Houstonians need not despair. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
"Houston viewers can still go to PETA.org and get an eyeful, not only of the stunning Ms. Silverstone, but also of our free Vegetarian Starter Kit—chock full of delicious recipes—that will make them drool for an entirely different reason."
And finally, because I love it so much, here is the ad again. Alicia, you are gorgeous.
OK, so not a bar exactly. Have you heard about the incredible shoplifting seagull from Aberdeen, Scotland? Apparently, the bird waits until the shopkeeper isn’t looking, then casually strolls into the store and grabs a bag of chips and takes off. Once outside, he rips the bag open and shares it with other birds. It’s become a daily occurrence and customers have actually begun paying the bird’s tab. Unreal.
Of course, here in Norfolk, the seagulls don’t have to resort to such shenanigans, as Ingrid Newkirk lives here. And, as evidenced by the industrial-sized bag of bird seed in the corner of her office, let me just say that the birds in these here parts are, umm, well fed.
Hopefully everyone has checked out our new Animal Birth Control campaign by now, but if not, give it a peek. To promote it, we’re going to make some new stickers with the slogan “I love my [insert incredibly cute word to replace ‘mutt’ here].” We’ve all seen countless “I love my Golden Retriever” stickers, right? Well, that’s the idea, but instead of promoting a specific breed of dog, we’ll be promoting the best kind of dog in the world, the [insert incredibly cute word to replace ‘mutt’ here]!
One of the best things about working at PETA is that I get to share ideas with some of the most creative people I've ever met—the same people who came up with the iconic I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign, and countless other initiatives that have fundamentally changed the way people view animal rights issues. But sometimes, just occasionally, when you get those people in a room together, they just can’t exactly nail it, and they have to ask for help. Well this is one of those times, so please help us.
Here’s our list of finalists. Please tell us which one you like best, and please add your own ideas to the mix. Have fun!
MixterMuttleMixhoundFusionDogAll-American OriginalCustom Blend Canine57 SpecialDiamond in the Woof
Before I go on—if you had a comment that was published but disappeared from the site recently, please be assured that it's nothing personal. We had a small glitch in our blog software, which we're sorting out today.
And for the few people who submitted comments that never got published, sometimes our spam filter picks them up accidentally, so feel free to let me know if you don't see your comment after a couple of days (though, if you're one of those people who submit the ol' "People Eating Tasty Animals" joke as if it were still funny, I wouldn't bother).
In completely unrelated news, U.S. News and World Report just did a great piece about our new Colonel Sanders novelty pen—filled with blood-red ink in order to make a subtle point about KFC's bloody business. You can check the article out here.
And finally, in another total non sequitur, my good friend Holly just reminded me that today is the official Talk Like a Pirate Day, so please don't forget to, um, talk like a pirate. And if you need a little inspiration, check out our amazing Pirates of the Carob Bean video here, and see if you can guess which voices are me.
That is all.
I would comment on this, but I'm still pretty much speechless. It may be one of the greatest videos ever created. Check it out:
There are some more pics and info here.
Jonathan Babineaux, defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, is facing felony charges in Gwinnett County Court, stemming from his alleged February 18 fatal attack on a dog. Evidently, after arguing with his girlfriend, the 286 pound lineman inflicted blunt force trauma on her dog, Kilo. According to news sources, Kilo vomited blood en route to an emergency vet clinic, and was pronounced dead there.
We're calling on the Falcons to suspend Babineaux without pay until the courts can do their thing, and if he is found guilty we have asked the Falcons to release him from the team. But as if this case isn’t disturbing enough, there have been repeated instances of animal abuse by NFL players in the past. In December, six pit bulls belonging to the Chicago Bears' Tank Johnson were said to have been the subject of public and official concern in Illinois. Leshon Johnson, who played running back for three NFL teams, faced felony charges with 21 others in 2004 stemming from their alleged involvement in a massive dogfighting ring. Former Eagles' safety Damon Moore was accused in 2001 of abandoning his puppy in a soccer field in New Jersey, and former Eagles’ running back Thomas Hamner was twice convicted of beating his dog.
Given the seeming pattern of abuse here, we’ve also written to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, asking him to implement a strict, clear no-tolerance policy on players' abuse of animals. Surely this issue deserves as much attention from the league as any other illegal or violent player activity, which he swore to crack down on in a recent press conference.
At least there are some NFL players who get it. Check out Giants lineman Michael Strahan’s ad here.
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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.