Written by Michelle Kretzer
As a result of the latest case of mad cow disease on a dairy farm, PETA is placing a
billboard near the Hanford, California, testing facility that found the
disease. The billboard is a parody of the ludicrous "real milk comes from cows" ads that the California Milk Processor Board pushes.
No one who eats meat is safe from mad
cow disease. Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture tests only a tiny
fraction of all the cows killed for food for mad cow disease—including cows
from dairy farms who are ground up for hamburger—there's no telling how many
animals may be infected. The only way to avoid slurping down a cup of cruelty or a dish of disease is to dump dairy products
And that won't make cows mad.
Jerry wasn't the outgoing, center-of-attention type. Even as a young calf, he seemed to possess the peaceful, quiet air of a wise old man, content to spend warm afternoons gazing out across the landscape with his best friend by his side.
Jerry enjoys a quiet afternoon with his friend Patrick. Courtesy of the Cow Sanctuary
But Jerry's early life was anything but serene. Rescued during a PETA investigation of a filthy dairy factory farm that supplied Land O'Lakes, Jerry was crippled, infested with lice and ringworm, and nearly blind from pink eye. He and another calf were taken in by the Cow Sanctuary, and with considerable love and medical care, they healed.
Instead of being killed for veal, as is the fate of most male calves in the dairy industry, Jerry spent his life as every animal should—exploring his surroundings, enjoying the company of friends (especially his pig friend, Patrick), and reveling in treats and love from his guardians.
Last week, with his health declining, Jerry was euthanized. He left this world as quietly as he lived in it, but the steer with the gentle spirit left a permanent mark on the hearts of those who loved him.
Farewell, sweet Jerry.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
It never hurts to
brush up on answers to questions about animal issues—even seasoned protesters can
get a stumper from passersby now and then. See if you know the answers to the
following five questions that often pop up in discussions about animal rights:
What's wrong with eggs and dairy products
from "free-range" animals? There
are no standards for what "free-range"
means, so animals on such farms may still spend most of their time in filthy,
crowded sheds. Cruel practices such as searing off hens' beaks with a hot blade
and relegating male calves to veal crates occur, and when the animals stop producing enough eggs
or milk, they are sent to the same slaughterhouses as factory-farmed animals.
If we don't test on animals, what
other methods are available? Computer
simulations, cell cultures, human cadavers, and clinical trials are just some
of the many options researchers can use instead of animal testing to obtain more accurate and
davedehtre|cc by 2.0
What's wrong with wearing wool? In Australia—where most of the
world's merino wool comes from—sheep have been bred to have excessively wrinkled skin in order to
produce more wool. The wrinkles collect moisture, which attracts flies, so many
farmers resort to "mulesing," a gruesome and cruel procedure in which
huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut from lambs' backsides in a crude attempt
to prevent flystrike.
Should we put endangered animals
in zoos? Endangered
animals bred in zoos
are rarely released into the wild. Instead, they will spend their lives "warehoused"
in cramped enclosures that cannot come close to replicating their natural
habitats. As a result, many develop stereotypic behaviors such as pacing, rocking
from side to side, and self-mutilation. The only humane and effective way to combat
extinction is to protect animals' habitats.
What's wrong with using a choke
or prong collar on my dog? As
their names imply, choke
and prong collars inflict discomfort and pain, and they can severely injure dogs' necks and
throats. Far safer and more humane options are no-pull harnesses and halters
like the Easy Walk,
Halti, or even a standard figure-H harness. For cruelty-free dog-training tips, check
out celebrity dog trainer Tamar
Geller's video series for PETA.
Have another animal
rights question that you've always wondered about? Visit PETA's Frequently Asked Questions
Written by PETA
PETA's herd of "cows" stampeded down the sidewalk in front of the
Vancouver Convention Center, where the British Columbia Dairy Conference was
taking place, the cow abusers inside nervously looked out the windows.
sent the convention center manager outside to ask their worried questions: What
were the cows planning to do? Come inside the building? The conference-goers
had seen the Facebook page for the demonstration,
and they were terrified!
though the bovines didn't infiltrate the conference, the dairy farmers should
have been scared of what they were doing outside.
As throngs of passersby stopped to talk, they learned about how cows on dairy factory farms are repeatedly impregnated to keep producing milk, that
calves are traumatically torn away from their mothers within days or even hours
of birth, and that many male calves are imprisoned in tiny, filthy crates until
they are slaughtered for veal.
When many of the passersby then expressed a preference for soy milk, rice milk, or almond
milk, the cows were over the moon.
PETA's band of bovines had Georgia on
their minds when dairy farmers and suppliers brought their propaganda-filled displays
to the International
Our "cows" told passersby what
the dairy farmers wouldn't—that cows are continually impregnated in order to force
them to keep producing milk and that their babies are taken from them
within days or even hours of birth. Many male calves are
sent to veal crates,
while females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.
Considering the plethora of delicious nondairy milks
available, it's easy to have our milk and save cows too.
by Michelle Sherrow
Apparently, stealing milk meant for baby cows so that we can drink it ourselves isn't sufficient: Now one fashion designer has decided that we need to dress ourselves in milk too.
German designer Anke Domaske is constructing clothing out of thread that she spins from sour milk protein, suffering under the misconception that this constitutes “green” fashion. Considering that factory dairy farms produce enormous amounts of waste and greenhouse gasses, in addition to other environmental (and animal) abuses, clothes made of milk are about as eco-conscious as a Hummer. What's wrong with a nice organic cotton? Or even a soy suit?
Dressing oneself in environmental destruction and cruelty to animals? Smells rotten to me.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
As a nutrition and fitness expert for almost 80 years, Jack LaLanne dedicated his life to inspiring people to eat properly and exercise. So it's no wonder that the nonagenarian was still remarkably spry when he passed away on Sunday at the age of 96. For LaLanne, eating properly meant avoiding meat and milk. When questioned about his aversion to milk during an interview on Dateline NBC, the always jovial Jack said, "It's not good for you. It's good for a suckling calf. Are you a suckling calf?"
Among his many credits, the "godfather of fitness" authored many books on health and hosted the longest-running television exercise program in history, The Jack LaLanne Show, for 34 years. LaLanne opened many health clubs and designed much of the equipment used in gyms today. He is also known for his amazing feats of strength, such as swimming from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco while handcuffed (vegan PETA Foundation staffer and endurance swimmer Becky Fenson has made the same trek—swimming the butterfly, no less—but admittedly handcuff-free), towing up to 70 boats long distances while handcuffed and shackled, and doing 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes. LaLanne set several world records for strength and endurance.
Jack LaLanne's feats brought him fame, but all he really wanted was to show people how to be healthy. If you would like to follow Jack's long-lived example, you can start by picking up PETA's free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
Talk about a cheesy marketing ploy. Sunday's New York Times reveals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has long had the paradoxical job of both policing and promoting animal agriculture, runs a multi-million-dollar dairy marketing company with the blandly sinister name Dairy Management Inc.
With an annual budget of nearly $140 million, Dairy Management's stock in trade is the same ingredient that other (less generously funded) arms of the USDA are warning people against: high-fat cheese.
One Dairy Management "success" story is Domino's Pizza. Dairy Management helped the chain develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese. The $12 million campaign to promote the new pizza has been a big success (just try to watch an hour or two of prime-time TV without seeing one of the ads)—for Domino's bottom line, that is, not for customers' arteries. Just one slice of the new pizza contains up to two-thirds of the maximum recommended daily limit of saturated fat.
Dairy Management was also the driving force behind those once-ubiquitous dairy ads that claimed that eating more dairy products can help you lose weight. When the sketchy science behind this claim began to unravel (research that was partly funded by Dairy Management), the industry was forced to scrap the ads.
Thanks in part to Dairy Management's marketing campaigns, Americans now eat an average of 33 pounds of cheese per year—nearly triple the 1970 rate. Cheese has become the largest source of saturated fat in Americans' diets.
It gives a new meaning to the term "bloated bureaucracy," doesn't it? Speaking of which: When fiscal conservatives start looking for a place to cut government spending, may we suggest, ahem, cutting the cheese?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Two decades of dumping wastewater from Hilmar Cheese Co. onto surrounding fields has polluted the groundwater in Hilmar, California, according to a report by consultants hired by the company. Eighteen wells in and around Hilmar are so contaminated with nitrates, arsenic, barium, and salts that the water is undrinkable, forcing some people to abandon their homes.
One of the world's largest cheesemakers, Hilmar Cheese has a long history of objecting to pollution limits and enforcement actions proposed by the regional water quality control board, and despite thousands of violations over nearly 16 years, it never paid any fines. However, following an exposé by the The Sacramento Bee, the company settled in 2006, paying a $1 million fine and $1.8 million toward environmental studies. Hilmar Cheese is now under a state order to clean up waste discharges by February, but it has also won permission to increase the amount of wastewater that it dumps on fields.
Speaking of dairy-related pollution, a farmer in Berks County, Pennsylvania, had to be rescued after he fell into a 15-foot-deep manure pit earlier this week. I guess you could say he was having a crappy day—kind of like every day for cows on factory dairy farms.
Healthy, humane alternatives to cruelly produced dairy products continued to make headlines this week. An executive order signed earlier this year by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has gone into effect requiring city vending machines to be stocked with soy and rice milks in an effort to curb obesity rates and improve consumers' overall health.
Considering San Fran's healthy and humane options in vending machines and L.A.'s dairy-free delight, the "Pamela Anderson" milkshake, California almost seems like heaven on Earth. Please take a minute to thank Mayor Newsom for his decision to provide his city with healthier, humane beverages.
Written by Karin Bennett
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.