Written by Michelle Kretzer
Father of the Year Awards aren't until May, but Rep. Paul Ryan needn't hold his breath: PETA has just named Ryan
our Bad Dad of 2012, and we're sending him a certificate of dishonor:
is catching heat for having his 10-year-old daughter pack heat and gun down a deer who was posing a huge
threat to the duo by grazing in the woods, unarmed. Instead of spending the
Thanksgiving holiday encouraging his child to appreciate nature and be kind to
animals who haven't a chance against fancy, high-powered weapons, Ryan was
teaching her that killing is terrific stuff. If Ryan's goal was to bond with
his daughter, perhaps he should have considered that all animals love their
offspring—including deer, whose fawns are sometimes orphaned and left to starve when hunters shoot
Congress member's lesson in violence saw him beating out a mother who tied up her
baby outside an off-track betting venue, a father who put a child on a
motorcycle with a plastic bag over the toddler's head instead of a helmet, and a
guy who had his baby tattooed.
have suggested plenty of helpful or at least harmless activities that Ryan and
his children could engage in, such as canoeing, hiking, biking, bird watching,
or even clearing the forest of hunters' beer cans and other trash.
sees the light, more trouble for SeaWorld, and the Oscars are starting to look
a lot like a PETA gala. Here's what's going on in PETA's universe this week:
us five minutes, and we'll give you all the latest animal rights news on PETA's Tumblr page.
Written by Jennifer OConnor
Update: After a
PETA staffer swore out a complaint against Henry Hampton, Lazy 5's owner, Hampton
finally made arrangements to trim two giraffes' painfully overgrown hooves.
Because he delayed the critical procedure and caused one giraffe to suffer for more than a year,
PETA is calling for prosecutors to pursue cruelty-to-animals charges against
him. However, PETA is open to dropping the charges if Hampton promises the
court that he'll adhere to a continual regimen of appropriate hoof care.
The following was originally posted December, 14, 2011.
North Carolina's Lazy 5 Ranch
should be the last place that schools take children on field
trips, unless the trip is meant to teach children about how cruelly animals are
treated in roadside zoos. But visiting Lazy 5 is exactly what some local
schools are doing.
In the last year and a half, federal authorities have cited Lazy
5 for 21 violations of animal welfare laws, and the
feds have also opened a formal investigation into the roadside zoo. One giraffe's hooves are so overgrown that she
has to walk on her heels. She has suffered this painful,
debilitating condition for more than a
The zoo has also been
cited for leaving a deer to languish with a hernia for more than a month after euthanasia
was recommended, failing to properly care for a deer with a large wound that
was infested with flies, failing to shear sheep who were left panting in heavy
fleece in 86-degree weather, and allowing dangerous, unsupervised public
contact with animals. The list goes on and on, and PETA
is appealing to all local schools to stay away.
local school takes children on field trips to the zoo or circus, click here for tips on reaching
out to your principal to get these cruel field trips off the list.
Bananas? We don't need no stinkin'
bananas. At least Kanzi
the bonobo doesn't. He taught himself how to make fire and
have their own emergency broadcast system. They use special sounds to warn
their unaware friends about danger, but they don't send out a warning when the
other chimpanzees already see it. This turns the belief that only humans
recognize that others are not informed on its head.
Shiny Things | cc by 2.0
pigeons are once again showing
why "birdbrain" is a compliment. The birds are proving that they can
count by putting groups of items in order by quantity.
We all read City Mouse, Country Mouse,
but what about city bird, country bird? When flirting, urban birds
adjust their voices to be heard over the din of the city, so they sing
differently from their country cousins.
and cows certainly
aren't cousins, but they can become best friends. When a cow named Wanda
escaped from a farm, she eluded capture for five months, living with a herd of
deer who would stomp on the ground to let Wanda know that their acute senses
detected people approaching. Wanda now has a home on a farm and is not in
danger of being slaughtered.
Of course, for a best friend whose
loyalty is unmatched, one need look no further than a dog. A Russian dog
stood guard over the body of his deceased canine companion for two weeks in
temperatures of negative-58 degrees Fahrenheit. Animal advocates caught him and
took him to a local animal shelter, where he will stay while they search for a
For more amazing animal stories, check
out an article on the new
book Animal Tool Behavior.
into Grand Theft Auto? These brainy birds steal windshield wiper blades for
reasons known only to themselves, although having fun with them might be the
Ravens seem more interested in
studying sign language. Like primates and humans, the birds use gestures to communicate—in
this case, pointing with their beaks.
have bird brains (read "big brains") too. Some octopuses in captivity make toys and games out
of items in their tanks. Some let the people they like stroke their heads,
while a person on an octopus's bad side may get squirted.
the calming effects of touch, too, but not from people. They will allow small fish
who work as full-time cleaners to nibble at their scales even when they don't
have parasites because they like the gentle massage.
Dogs, of course, love affection from
people, and their devotion to their guardians doesn't usually fade when that
guardian passes away. A faithful
in China refuses to leave his guardian's grave, and the townspeople plan to
build a doghouse there for the grieving canine.
After being stolen from his home, held
for five years, and then apparently dumped after he developed a medical
problem, a precocious pup
who loves to travel hopped on a bus. When he was spotted by the driver and
taken to a vet, his microchip guaranteed that the
next trip he took was back home to his family.
Another clever canine is a hero
after she grabbed a bag of kittens someone had tossed onto the highway, pulled
it off the road, dragged it home, and cried until her guardian opened it.
Resourceful deer, raccoons, blue herons, and
other animals have figured out how to safely cross the road
(without instructions from chickens).
Written by PETA
How far will a mother go
to save her child? Straight into the heart of danger, such as in the case of a
deer whose fawn had fallen in a crack in a rock wall. The mother deer kept returning throughout the night and
morning. Then, while firefighters tried to rescue the fawn, the deer stuck
close to the potentially dangerous humans and loud machinery to watch out for
While many of us would be
doomed without our GPS systems, loggerhead turtles
are born with the ability to navigate by reading the Earth's magnetic field.
There is also evidence that many species, including pigeons, chickens, naked
mole rats, and cattle, also detect the Earth's geomagnetic field.
rivals any advanced vision equipment our military has created. Bees navigate using
only polarized light in the sky and the 5,000 individual dots that make up a
single image in their compound eyes.
Since they don't make
their own poison, African
crested rats bathe themselves in
tree poison to protect themselves from predators.
Few would question dogs' superior sense of smell.
While we might think that all roses smell the same, dogs can detect different
smells on each petal of a single flower, such as traces of other flowers'
pollen left by insects and humans who have touched it. Another good reason to let
your dog stop and smell the roses!
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Here's a prime example of why feeding wildlife is cruel, not kind. People had been feeding a doe who was living in a residential area. This caused the doe to lose her healthy fear of humans, and she likely walked right up to the cruel person who shot her in the face with an arrow.
This doe had been living with the broken-off arrow lodged in her badly infected sinus cavity for weeks. After some urging from PETA, authorities were able to tranquilize her, remove the arrow, and treat her infection. Thankfully, the doe is improving, and she now has a fawn.
This story ended happily, but many other encounters between semi-tame wildlife and unkind humans do not. Please, resist the temptation to feed deer and other wildlife so that when they encounter someone who is not as kind as you are, they do the right thing: run away as fast as they can.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
My "Things That Make You Go Aww" folder is thick with the obvious and the not-so-obvious.
Today that file is bursting at the seams, thanks to Sergeant Mark Fry, a caring cop in Toledo, Ohio, who raced to respond to a call about a pregnant deer who'd been hit by a car. Because of her severe injuries, the doe was euthanized, but her fawn was saved, thanks to Fry's swift, decisive action. He not only performed a C-section at the scene, he also administered CPR to the surviving fawn and then instinctively knew to nourish the weak baby with the doe's milk. Later, during a media interview, he admonished the unknown hit-and-run driver for fleeing the scene and abandoning the injured animals.
Sergeant Mark Fry's heroic efforts reflect his belief that "[a] life is a life, it doesn't matter if it's an animal or if it's a human being." For his compassionate actions, we're presenting him with PETA's "One Can Make a Difference" award. Please leave Sergeant Mark Fry a note of thanks in the comments section, and then read up on how to help deer and other animals in your city.
Written by Karin Bennett
A new report by the auto insurance–funded Highway Loss Data Institute finds that fatalities in collisions between vehicles and animals—mostly deer—have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Hunters are undoubtedly tripping all over themselves in the hope of using this to rationalize killing even more animals—but we believe that the blame for this crisis falls on their shoulders.
You see, hunting increases deer populations. Deer are masters of managing their own populations if left alone to judge how much food is available to sustain their herd size. Pregnant does have been known to reabsorb fetuses if a sharp winter deprives them of the nourishment to sustain a fawn. But, in hunted populations, does are more likely to have twins rather than single fawns (or none), and are more likely to reproduce at a younger age.
The state agencies that are responsible for wildlife "management" know this, of course—but they've allied themselves with hunters, who want there to be more living targets, not fewer!
So, instead of setting up chemo-sterilization programs or letting the deer figure things out naturally, "game" management agencies deliberately do things like destroying the deer's forest homes by clear-cutting in order to increase the amount of vegetation for the deer to eat, and planting browse in order to fool the deer into increasing their populations. These programs help to ensure that there are plenty of animals for these officials and their bloodthirsty buddies to kill as well as plenty of revenue from the sale of hunting licenses.
When hunting seasons make the deer's ever-shrinking territories into war zones, the deer find themselves constantly on the run—and in their panic they often jump right into roadways. A study of collisions between deer and vehicles in Pennsylvania found that the opening day and opening Saturday of deer-hunting season are "[t]wo of the most dangerous days to drive." And the deer have good reason to be fearful: A British study of deer hunting found that more than 10 percent of deer who are killed by hunters had to be shot multiple times before they died—and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying. We suspect the situation is far worse in the good ole U.S. of A.
There is a lot of work to be done to help protect deer and other wildlife. And drivers should slow down and watch the road carefully during hunting seasons. Be aware that most of the time when a car hits a deer, the driver slowed down for one deer, and then sped up and hit another. In other words, if you see one deer, slow down and watch for the rest of the deer family.
So, if you hear someone try to justify hunting with the ludicrous line that "it helps animals," call them out with the facts.
Written by Jeff Mackey
The deer have been using an ancestral woods path (which now goes through a small development) to reach what remains of the woods, where they sleep at night. Until, that is, one neighbor got all up in arms over some flowers that the deer allegedly had a nibble on (flowers, really?) and got a "nuisance kill" permit from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to abate the "nuisance."
The neighbor has hired a bow hunter in full regalia, who has set up a tree stand and even deployed a decoy, a lure, to attract the deer to where he can shoot them. There are easy and simple things you can do to live in harmony with wildlife, of course, but it takes a heart.
Props to the other neighbors who are fighting back hard to have the permit revoked and were able to contact Bob Barker—not by some spectacular third degree of separation miracle, by the way: One of the neighbors operated on Mr. Barker when he fell ill in Washington. Mr. Barker shot off a letter to the DGIF, which you can read here
Like many neighborhoods, this community is experiencing wildlife up close because, sadly, these wonderful, capable, now almost homeless animals are being forced to search for food, shelter, and some plain old stimulation—in part because trees are being chopped down faster than you can yell timber just to make room for more strip malls, grocery stores, and, yes, even more Wal-Marts. Jump on over to HelpingAnimals.com for handy tips on how to humanely handle wildlife.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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.