Written by PETA
The saturated fat and cholesterol in KFC's Double Down begins clogging arteries and potentially decreasing life expectancies nationwide in just a few days. The sandwich "vilest food product created by man," consists of bacon and cheese sandwiched between two fried chicken breasts, and according to KFC, is only 540 calories—and 32 g of fat, and 1,380 mg of sodium.
With two chicken breasts, cheese, and bacon, the Double Down means quadruple the Kentucky Fried Cruelty for animals, and it could mean quadruple bypasses for consumers since the consumption of animal fats has been linked to heart disease. So as KFC debuts its artery plug on a sans bun, PETA will begin touring the country with our anti-KFC hearse, which will make its first stop in KFC's hometown, Louisville, Kentucky.
Keep your eyes peeled, the hearse could be coming to a Kentucky Fried Cruelty near you!
Written by Logan Scherer
PETA's forecast for SeaWorld San Antonio—cloudy with a chance of freedom:
On Saturday, PETA's "Let Orcas Out of Prison" banner flew across the sky while dedicated PETA supporters on the ground spread the word that trainers and animals will continue to get hurt or die until SeaWorld frees the animals to sanctuaries.
Coastal sanctuaries are the only humane places for the wild animals who are currently used by SeaWorld and other parks and who suffer for years in confined, unnatural conditions. One psychologist has pointed out that Tilikum—the captive orca who killed a SeaWorld trainer—is so traumatized from the shock of his capture, the disruption of his natural development, and his more than 30 years of imprisonment in a concrete pool that if he were human, he would undoubtedly be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
SeaWorld's continued exploitation of these sensitive animals is nothing more than a callous way to turn a cheap buck. Please don't support it.
"How do you put an interactive, social animal, one of the smartest animals in the world … and you're going to stick them in a tub and make them do tricks? How do you do that? Because they make money? It's disgusting and SeaWorld is absolutely wrong. This is a big wake-up call. How many more people are going to have to be killed? When are we going to realize that these animals are not supposed to be there?"—Hayden Panettiere
When it comes to speaking out against SeaWorld, the stars are aligning. The vegetarian Panettiere—who appears in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove—joins Matt Damon, Bob Barker, Pamela Anderson, and many other celebrities who have lent their voices to support Tilikum by publicly denouncing the use of marine mammals for "entertainment."
Will you be the next to speak up? Ask SeaWorld to release the animals to sanctuaries.
This year's Iditarod doesn't start until tomorrow, and one dog has already died. The death occurred during the Junior Iditarod, a 150-mile race that's open to teens aged 14–17. A necropsy found that the dog, a 5-year-old male named Lava, died of gastric ulcers, an all-too-common cause of death for dogs in the Iditarod.
According to a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, more than half the dogs who finish the Iditarod have gastric ulcers, which the study's authors believe are caused by "sustained strenuous exercise." Dogs suffering from ulcers may bleed or choke to death after regurgitating and then inhaling their own vomit. Poor Lava didn't deserve that—no dog does.
Bear in mind that the Junior Iditarod is only about one-eighth the distance of the daddy Iditarod, which is a grueling 1,150 miles. That's roughly the same as the distance between New York City and St. Petersburg, Florida—and the fastest teams are forced to cover all that ground in less than two weeks. Dogs often run more than 100 miles a day—the equivalent of four marathons back to back—with little rest. (The official race rules require that dogs only be given a total of 40 hours' rest during the entire race, which can add up to less than 3 or 4 hours a day.)
We're not talking about a jog through Central Park, here. Dogs in the Iditarod have to battle blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, and falls through treacherous ice into frigid water. Their feet become bruised, bloodied, cut by ice and rocks, and just plain worn out because of the vast distances they cover. Many dogs pull muscles, tendons, and ligaments, rupture discs, incur stress fractures, and become sick with bloody diarrhea, dehydration, intestinal viruses, or the aforementioned bleeding stomach ulcers. Dogs have been strangled by tow lines, trampled by moose, and hit by snowmobiles and sleds. Two of the six dogs who died in last year's race are believed to have frozen to death.
Nearly 150 dogs have died in the Iditarod since records started being kept (a tally that doesn't include dogs who die in training or after the race ends). On average, more than half the dogs who start the race don't make it across the finish line, and 81 percent of those who do finish have lung damage, according to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Is there a small light at the end of this dark Alaskan tunnel? To paraphrase Sarah Palin, former mayor of Wasilla—home of the Iditarod's headquarters—you betcha. The purse for the winners of this year's race is down roughly $52,000 from last year because several former sponsors, such as Chevron and Cabela's, have dropped their support. You can help by writing to ExxonMobil and the Iditarod's other remaining sponsors and asking them to stop paying mushers to run dogs to death.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Another day, another strand unravels from SeaWorld's carefully crafted damage-control campaign in the wake of the tragic death of a trainer at the Orlando park last week. The scandal du jour is that, back in 2007, after a trainer at the San Diego SeaWorld nearly drowned after being dragged underwater by an orca, the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) issued a report concluding that a fatal attack on a SeaWorld trainer was "inevitable" and not a matter of "if" but "when."
But the Cal/OSHA backpedaled on its warning after SeaWorld whined and moaned and claimed that the report was "full of inaccuracies and speculation" and described the staffer who wrote it as "uninformed and reckless." Interesting choice of words: Who's looking reckless now, SeaWorld?
But wait—there's more! According to a former SeaWorld trainer quoted in the Los Angeles Times' blog, Unleashed, because Tilly is a male orca being forced to live in unnaturally close quarters with females in a matriarchal society, he is a fish out of water, so to speak—he has no solid position in the pecking order. As a result, he has to be kept separated from the other whales with gates. In a somewhat cryptically worded statement, the former SeaWorld trainer mentioned that "threat-displays" and "less room to maneuver because of his massive size" have resulted in Tilly's teeth being "broken off." In short, "he doesn't have any viable teeth left." Reading between the lines, we can only wonder if Tilly is so frustrated and maddened by his plight that he has systematically broken off all his own teeth by gnawing on and bashing his head against gates. Wow, aside from that little matter of killing three people, he sounds so happy and well-adjusted, doesn't he?
You can read more about SeaWorld's miserable and short-lived orcas in an essaypenned by Debbie Leahy, PETA's director of captive animal rescue and enforcement, that appeared in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and several other newspapers.
Written by Alisa Mullins
"I think they should just shut them all down. I've never been a fan of places like that."—Matt Damon on SeaWorld
This weekend, Damon joined Bob Barker and tons of other stars who are speaking out against SeaWorld after yet another trainer was killed by the imprisoned orca Tilikum.
The only ocean-dwellers we want to see perform? Matt Damon and his Ocean's franchise co-stars. Add your voice to the thousands who have already told SeaWorld to release its animals to sanctuaries immediately.
TV psychic John Edward's got nothing on this clairvoyant cat. Oscar, who lives in a Rhode Island nursing home, has supposedly predicted the deaths of about 50 people over five years by curling up next to patients right before they take their final breath. His purdictions are so reliable that the nursing home's employees know it's time to call family members when Oscar, who will scratch at the doors and walls of rooms holding the soon-to-be-deceased, reclines alongside someone. And Dr. David Dosa—a professor at Brown University—has become so intrigued by and attached to the snuggly soothsayer that he has written a book about him called Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat, which will be released this week.
We're totally meowed by Oscar's apparent psychic talent. You?
Ground beef is not a completely safe product.—Dr. Jeffrey Bender, food safety expert
Ground beef is not a completely safe product.—Dr. Jeffrey Bender, food safety expert
In a chilling reminder to all meat-eaters, Saturday's New York Times recounted the tragic story of Stephanie Smith, whose meatborne illness almost killed her and left her paralyzed.
Two years ago, Smith was a dance instructor who ate a hamburger contaminated by E. coli bacteria, which happens when feces from cattle comes into contact with their flesh during the slaughter process—something that's hard to avoid when the animals are forced to lie in their own urine and feces in barren feedlots and when they are hacked apart in filthy slaughterhouses.
Stephanie experienced stomach cramping that turned into bloody diarrhea. Then her kidneys shut down. Seizures, which knocked her unconscious, were so frequent that doctors had to force her into a coma. Nine weeks later, she woke up. The virus had ravaged Stephanie's nervous system to the point that she can no longer walk, and doctors believe she will be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
The name "E. coli" comes from "colon," where E. coli is found. In other words, anything that comes into contact with feces can be contaminated. While raw vegetables can be cross-contaminated with meat or with waste runoff from factory farms, ground beef is the most common source of E. coli poisoning.
Ground beef is usually a mixture of the flesh of many cattle from several slaughterhouses. Stephanie Smith's deadly burger contained "trimmings" from one slaughterhouse in Nebraska that kills 2,600 cattle each day. Other bits of the burger came from a slaughterhouse in Texas that kills discarded dairy cows and old bulls.
According to the Times, there isn't any federal law requiring meat-grinding companies to test for E. coli. Many slaughterhouses put the fear of losing money in recalls before public safety and will only sell to grinders who agree not to do testing.
The company that made Stephanie Smith's burger continues to sell its cheap bits and pieces of dead cattle to supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, and the school lunch program, so if a dose of E. coli doesn't sound appealing, go vegan.
Written by Heather Drennan
Just a month after PETA wrote to the cast and producers of The Zookeeper to warn them that the company supplying animals for the movie's production has a long list of USDA citations, we have heartbreaking news to report. Tweet, a giraffe on the set who had also been forced to perform in Ace Ventura and a slew of Toys "R" Us commercials, has died.
Tweet collapsed in his pen while being fed on Friday. While giraffes in the wild can live into their mid 20s, Tweet was only 18 years old.
The results of Tweet's necropsy haven't been released yet, but according to a whistleblower who contacted PETA, Tweet's premature death may have resulted from his eating pieces of the blue tarp that covered his enclosure. The whistleblower alleges that Tweet's owner and trainers were notified that the giraffe had been eating the tarp but that they did nothing about it.
The whistleblower also said that Tweet spent the last few months of his life confined to a 20-foot-by-20-foot stall, which was barely large enough for the 18-foot-tall giraffe to lie down in. In their natural habitat, giraffes live in vast home ranges of up to 400 square miles.
PETA is now calling on the USDA to investigate Tweet's death. We're also asking for other people associated with the production of the movie to come forward with additional information about the treatment of animals on the set.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Horses who pull heavy loads of tourists through noisy, polluted city streets are not retired to pastures where they graze their final days away. This anonymous contribution to PostSecret.com assures us of that.
To the anonymous poster, if your conscience bothers you, our investigators eagerly await more details.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.