Written by PETA
This story's got it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's just sort of in reverse order. Think: bad beginning but great ending for a few hundred fish and snails!
On an average day, PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department receives dozens of phone calls from caring individuals who have witnessed—and wish to report—cases of animal abuse. One recent tip came from a Wal-Mart customer, who overheard employees say that the store was undergoing renovations and that it would no longer be selling fish. In theory, that's good news. Unsold fish would have been “dry-bagged,” causing them to suffocate to death.
Our Cruelty Investigations Department immediately swam into action. The result: Wal-Mart agreed to give all the fish to PETA, and our staff rushed to pick them up—with no time to spare. Several hundred fish and snails were removed and many are now living in the lap of luxury with PETA staffers.
This is, I'm sure, a welcome change for the fish, who are intelligent little animals (they can even eavesdrop just as we do!).
While we ordinarily would never advocate putting any fish in a tank, these little guys—who would have suffered a prolonged, terrifying death—are now swimming, jumping, and diving their way around their new spacious tanks, which are full of plants, clean water and shipwreck loads of stimulation to keep them happy. Thanks to the PETA staffers who have graciously provided these fish with a great new home!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Do you know the saying "Don't steal—the government hates competition"? I was reminded of it recently when news broke that the U.S. Army is shooting live pigs in an open range with high-power rifles at a training camp in Hawaii. The Army says it's teaching combat medics how to treat battlefield injuries, but here's the thing: The Army is required—by its own regulations—to use alternatives to animals in any kind of experimentation or training when scientifically valid and comparable alternatives exist. And guess what? Those alternatives exist.
My colleague Shalin Gala rattles off these humane alternatives like nobody's business: the Combat Trauma Patient Simulation System, Simulab Corporation's TraumaMan system (insert superhero figure with a T on his chest), partnering with trauma centers for real-life experience, and Dr. Emad Aboud's "living" cadaver perfusion model. Shalin also tells me that he regularly receives calls from whistleblowers in the Army and the Navy telling him about the use of pigs, goats, and monkeys for trauma training and chemical casualty training—all in apparent violation of regulations.
Kathy Guillermo, the director of PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department, had this to say: "In order to effectively save our soldiers' lives, Army medics should be trained with human trauma patients and advanced simulators that mimic human responses. Shooting and maiming pigs is as outdated as Civil War rifles."
I agree, but I'm kind of stuck on the fact that the horror of the Army's pig shooting in Hawaii goes way beyond just that. Readers of The PETA Files are well aware that you don't have to be Einstein to get your head around the few paltry regulations intended to protect animals in laboratories, but even so, violations of these regulations are rampant. A recent audit noted that nearly a third of U.S. laboratories are failing to search for alternatives. Is it any wonder when the government—charged with ensuring that laboratories comply with the law—doesn't seem to have its own house in order?
Posted by Grace Friedan
You know, we've been partnering with Helium.com and recently gave out a PETA Citizen Journalism Award to Cate Stewart, who published a fantastic essay about clean meat on Helium. You can read this award-winning essay here:
Would you eat animal-stem-cell–grown "clean meat" to protect animals and the environment? Yes, I would definitely eat "clean meat." I'm all for saving animals. And, by growing our own meat, we can save animals from slaughter and pain, and keep them from going extinct. If there was the option of "clean meat" I would buy it without hesitation. It would be a great alternative to eating an animal. If the public's knowledge of "clean meat" increases, it could be sold in restaurants and grocery stores around the world and make the market a healthier place. This would be an amazing way to feed humans and to help animals. "Clean meat" is an all-around fantastic idea. If we could grow our own meats, there would be less of a risk of food poisoning and disease, because "clean meat" would not be contaminated with feces and would be the first disease-free meat. Imagine how wonderful that would be! No more worrying about what the meat you eat has in it, because you know that there's no way disease could be inside. And even if you don't worry about the meat you eat, you will not get sick, as you potentially could. If the "Clean Meat" could provide us with the proper nutrition and proteins needed in a daily diet, I would not hesitate to become a consumer of this product. I also like the idea of "clean meat" because "clean meat" is green meat and would not pollute rivers and streams, use up ground water, or cause deforestation as usual meat production would do. It would also cease the pollution that meat packing plants, slaughter houses, and meat shipping trucks make and we would have less waste from the animal carcasses that are left after slaughter. It would help everyone, from humans, to animals, to the environment. It would also be something to eat for people like me, who can not give up meat for health reasons or for people who do not wish to give up meat for their own personal reasons. Vegans and Vegetarians could eat this meat too, since you do not have to kill an animal to make "clean meat". What a wonderful world! PETA, with the help of scientists, can make this happen, and it will help make a better planet and a healthier population. I am convinced that this is the future of our food, and saving the Earth and its inhabitants is essential. I urge you to look into "clean meat" and consider eating it when it becomes available. You can make a difference.
Posted by Christine Doré
Our good friends over at PETA Asia-Pacific got some unexpected attention during a protest outside a KFC restaurant in Sydney, Australia, when the police showed up offering the protesters blankets and a free ride to the station.
The three ladies—who had crammed their bodies into a wire cage to protest the cruel methods KFC uses to raise and slaughter the billions of birds that fill its buckets each year—were wrapping up the peaceful demonstration when the swoop occurred (swoop, geddit?) and arrested the activists for ... indecent exposure. Of course, there had been no indecent anything, and the ladies were later released. An apology is in order.
The demonstration was a magnificent follow-up to Pamela Anderson's Australian rendezvous last week, when the actor hand-delivered a letter to the managing director of KFC Australia's parent company telling him exactly what she thinks of KFC suppliers' scalding birds to death.
All our Australian supporters are pushing for KFC restaurants to adopt the same animal welfare standards now applied to chickens killed for KFCs in Canada. The PETA Asia-Pacific crew reached even more blokes and sheilas! Well done!
Check out photos from the demonstration below!
We at PETA like to say that cruelty is the secret ingredient in KFC's buckets (what, with chickens being tormented before they're killed and abused in other horrific ways). But it turns out that at one KFC, there was another secret ingredient: urine.
Yep, you read that right: Chicken was urinated on before being sold to a customer. Feeling peckish? (That's British for "hungry"—geddit?)
A Nebraska police officer and his family have won $40,000 from a KFC outlet that served them food tainted by an employee's spit and urine. The couple sued the offending company when their two sons, 4 and 7 at the time, became ill (one violently ill) after they ate the food. The younger boy vomited for hours and was hospitalized for gastroenteritis and dehydration.
The lawsuit also stated that "[e]mployees maintained 'special servings' of food reserved for ... officers. The 'special servings' had been urinated in or spit in by KFC/Taco Bell employees. In fact, defendant's employees maintained a particular serving pan for use in creating 'special servings' of food plus employee urine."
Finger licking good? I'll pass.
Heeeeey, yoooou guuuys! I'm starting a new segment of The PETA Files, aptly called "Corey, How We Love Thee," where entries will be dedicated to the wonderfulness that is Corey Feldman. OK, so it isn't really going to be titled "Corey, How We Love Thee," and there isn't even going to be a section devoted entirely to the master actor, musician, and activist. I may have slightly exaggerated.
But it is true that here at PETA, we love the actor known for his smart-mouthed roles in the 1980s and, better yet, his huge heart for animals! Not only did he star in classics like The Goonies, Stand by Me, The Lost Boys, and The 'burbs, now he and gorgeous wife and Playboy model Susie are also starring in PETA's new "Give Peas a Chance" ad, encouraging everyone to go vegetarian.
Quite the stunner, isn't it? If you're thinking the ad looks familiar, you'd be right. It's based on the iconic "Give Peace a Chance" image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. You can't get more rock 'n' roll than that.
Here's what Corey had to say:
Susie and I choose the vegetarian way of life because for us, there really is no other choice. We must evolve as a race and as a planet, and evolution includes learning and changing from our mistakes. We will never truly grow until we as a whole come to the realization that all beings on this Earth should be treated with love and respect.
The Feldmans have been doing good stuff for animals for a long time. Ask KFC campaigner Nicole Matthews, who has been to their home for some chitchat of the animal activist kind. The whole thing unfolded in an episode of last season's The Two Coreys—a reality show that is actually devoted to him. It was quite the riveting hour of television.
Still, though, I have to say that my favorite Corey Feldman masterpiece (and possibly the greatest movie of all time) is hands down The Goonies! What's yours? Comment below to let us know!
And while his treasure-chasing, vampire-hunting, neighborhood-spying days are over, there are lots of animals to be saved, and we love working with Corey on our side!
Quick, what happens when you throw a stone in a pond of water? That's right, ripples form. Don't worry, we're not revisiting Physics 101, but that metaphor describes how phenomenal it is to see our actions generate positive consequences.
Check out this stone-skipping scenario: Last fall, an Israeli group videotaped hideously cruel experiments on monkeys and cats that were taking place at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, in which the animals were kept hungry and thirsty so that they would "work" in exchange for a few drops of water. Vivisectors drilled holes in the animals' skulls, inserted electrodes in their brains, and then strapped animals into restraint chairs, where they were kept entirely immobile for hours at a time while data were recorded. These experiments have been going on for more than 20 years, and get this: Our tax dollars—right here in the United States—have been paying for them, courtesy of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
When PETA received the video footage, we sprang into action, writing to the NIH, identifying influential friends who could nudge the Weizmann Institute, and setting up a petition so that concerned people everywhere could tell the Weizmann Institute what they thought.
And now, thanks to the massive outpouring of concern, Israeli academics opposed to cruelty to animals have started organizing and speaking out. Operating under the banner "Academics for the Protection of Animals in Labs," three hundred professors at Israeli universities have signed a petition calling for greater accountability and transparency for animal experimentation. In the words of one organizer, "What I am proposing is that there should be more transparency and supervision, and yes, also fewer experiments ...."
They're not monkeying around, and those are some serious stones!
Readers of Dog Fancy magazine opened the recent issue to see an ad that read, "Just bought a brand-new purebred puppy? Welcome him or her into your home with a free gift bag! Call us today at 1-866-834-6061 to claim your bag and hear about our products." The ad's offer sounds good enough, right?
Well, for people who actually called the number, the offer may have lost some of its appeal when they learned that the "gift" bags are actually body bags! If readers knew the ad was placed by PETA, they may have expected the shocking twist, but why would we want to give away a little detail like that?
The ad and the body bags were created to serve as a strong reminder to all dog lovers that for every dog you buy, another one will die, because every dog purchased from a breeder takes a spot in a home that a homeless dog is dying to fill. With the millions of homeless animals in this country, it's insane to buy rather than adopt.
Our video "Buy One, Get One Killed" drives home that point nicely.
Ah, shucks! Why be subtle, really? Especially when you're creative and stand for something! This time, some of our PETA punsters have come up with an ad that is sure to cause a stir—and rightfully so. When millions of unwanted animals are destroyed for lack of homes because less than responsible people still fail to spay or neuter their cats and dogs, perhaps a mildly indecent outcry is in order. You think? Check out the awesome ad here:
And if you want to get people to learn more about this epidemic, we've created the fantastic Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign. Not only do we have ourselves a stylish Web site, the campaign also tackles seriously distorted ideas about buying from breeders, puppy mills (if you're one of the 10 people who don't watch Oprah, you can learn all about them here), and pet stores while offering simple steps for what you can do to help. We also provide more printable factsheets and literature than you can shake a stick at!
Posted by Missy Lane
During our KFC Naked Truth demo tour, PETA campaigners encountered one bossy spectator—and he was a cop! Let me start by saying that our campaigners are trained, professional, and passionate (plus they know how to rock an eye-catching demo), and they always check local laws before every demo to make sure we abide by the city's regs. Colorado Springs was no different, yet a serious party pooper might be lurking behind every corner—a person who perhaps didn’t appreciate being forced to think about his or her meat consumption.
As the demo started, the ladies stripped down to bikinis and held a sign around their bodies (to create the illusion of nudity—I mean, what's hotter than a little mystery?) stating, "The Naked Truth: KFC Tortures Chickens." All was going well as the passersby received important literature and information about KFC (not to mention a visual that could get them through the rest of their day), but then the party got officially crashed when a particular police officer showed up.
Mr. Officious, the man with his back to the camera, threatened the girls with citations for public indecency and demanded that they drop their sign (excuse me?) so that he could see what they were wearing behind it. The girls assured him that all their naughty bits were covered, but the officer wouldn't take "No!" for an answer. He demanded that they follow him and get dressed behind a blanket, snickering all the while (he was snickering, that is!). The girls were polite and complied.
After the girls got dressed, they had their information taken down by the police and the whole shebang ended with the other officers telling the first officer that it wasn't a violation. Right—they knew that! The "bad cop" left, but one "good cop" stuck around a bit, took a leaflet, and said he would check out our Web site to see what this demo was all about. The demo still affected him ... score! Not to mention, the police action drew a large crowd of inquisitive folks (including a local KFC employee) who took our literature and became super interested in challenging their KFC ways.
Currently, PETA's legal eagles are reviewing the details and photos and deliberating about taking action on our First Amendment rights, so we'll let you know if anything more comes of this. But for now, I'd just like to say thanks to the Colorado Springs police—a lot of folks now know the naked truth behind KFC.
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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.