Written by PETA
Let's say that you're South Korean. Let's also say that you're vegetarian. Now, what do you do if you basically sympathize with the sentiments of the tens of thousands of South Koreans who have taken to the streets in recent months to protest the importation of American beef, but you know that concerns over mad cow don't quite capture the whole story? Well, if your name is Kyung-Dam Park, you slip into a fuzzy cow costume, stand outside the South Korean embassy in Manila, and hold a sign that reads, "It's Mad to Eat Meat. Go Vegetarian."
This is what Kyung-Dam Park had to say: "With all the disease directly linked to eating animals, you really have to be mad to eat any meat these days. Going vegetarian is the best thing you can do for your health and animals."
Park's point? While South Koreans' fears about mad cow (the disease that ravages the brain and turns it into Swiss cheese) are well founded, there are lots of other reasons for South Koreans (and everyone else) to keep all meat (from the U.S. or anywhere else) off their plates.
Every once in a while, someone notices that women are featured in PETA's provocative ads and demonstrations more often than men are. It's not that PETA, as an organization, doesn't appreciate animal-loving, nearly naked men—it's just that usually the ads and demonstrations make more sense or will garner more attention to animal rights issues with women as the stars.
For instance, if young chickens were called "dudes," "guys," or "homeboys," I personally assure you that we would have called out the Broccoli Boys and there would have been a couple of male PETA volunteers at our recent scalding-tank reenactment demos (photos below). Alas, young chickens (the chickens killed for KFC are only about 45 days old when they are slaughtered) are called chicks. As are women. Global conspiracy or convenient protest idea? I can't say—but it is one thing we have to work with in the battle against KFC.
PETA's latest demonstration highlights that while chickens killed for KFCs in Canada will soon be killed using the least cruel slaughter method available, birds killed for KFC in the U.S. are still scalded to death. It costs KFC more money, and it's just plain cruel.
Here are some details from our news release (it's not that I'm lazy—I just thought it was already well explained):
Because the voltage levels of electric stun tanks in U.S. slaughterhouses are kept at only a fraction of the level needed to render chickens insensible to pain, birds are usually paralyzed but still conscious when their throats are cut. Government studies show that birds feel pain after being shocked, even if they can't move. According to the USDA, every year, millions of birds—who are conscious and able to feel pain—enter tanks of hot water that are intended to remove their feathers after the birds are dead.
Great demo, Colleen and Shawn. And happy birthday, Colleen! I'm sorry you share it with the gruesome twosome.
More photos, wonderful photos:
Here at PETA, we get undeniably excited when we receive new costumes in the mail. It virtually turns into a reenactment of little kids on their birthdays—without all the "gimme gimmes" and grabbing fingers. Well, maybe. Anyway, the point is we were very excited when our new nugget costume arrived. Now, if you don't know who Nugget is, check this out. But all you really need to know is that Nugget is ruler of the "I Am Not a Nugget" campaign and an ally of our good buddies over at peta2.
Well, the costume was glorious! But before we tried it on, we found an extra surprise at the bottom of the box: instructions!
These instructions were especially amusing to us given that the costume consists of four parts: the main body, tights, and two feet. Now, I know that I, too, put my shoes on the wrong feet sometimes—but in my defense, this is usually before my morning cup of tea—and this really shouldn't be so difficult! Alas, we couldn't contain our curiosity and checked them over:
And the finished result? So gosh darn adorable you almost can't take it, right? Well, Nugget is a tough warrior for animal rights. After all, it's a tough job when you've got 9 billion chickens to speak up for. Thank you, Nugget!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
The next time someone tries to tell you that a vegan diet isn't healthy, just mention Mary Bukowiec to them. Who is she? Ms. Bukowiec is a breast cancer survivor who credits her change to a vegan diet with the complete disappearance of her cancer. Following an earlier diagnosis, she had followed the conventional course of treatment. But when the cancer reappeared, she decided that a different approach was called for. Michigan's Morning Sun reports:
"I had to change my mind about that," Bukowiec said. "I started reading scientific journals, and literature on diet and lifestyle. And the effects of a plant based diet and how it can help you from getting cancer." She said that everything she read about alternative treatments hinted to plant based diets.
Of course, eating meat, dairy products, and other food from dead, tortured animals is clearly linked to a higher risk of cancer as well as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and lots of other things you don't want to get in the first place. So if you haven't done the vegan thing yet, it's time to get with it already—it could even keep you from developing a certain condition (wink, wink) that isn't life-threatening but might ruin a guy's social life!
Posted by Jeff Mackey
For everyone else, I wanted to take a very few minutes of your time to say thanks for sticking around during the last year or so. It’s been a fantastic experience being a writer for the PETA Files, and I’m very much looking forward to settling into being a reader. In fact, I have every intention of leaving longwinded, self-important comments on every post until Christine (who, bless her heart, has taken over moderating duties) politely begs me to stop.
While I still have a soapbox, I figured this would be a good time for a quick retrospective in the form of my Top 5 moments working at this amazing organization, so here goes:
Since coming to PETA four years ago, I have:
The good news is that this is the last week that any of us will have to put up with that nauseatingly smug version of me quite clearly sleeping on the job up in this blog’s banner. Word on the street is that (fittingly enough) I am being replaced by a chicken.
And I’ll leave you with that thought. See you in the comments!
Beachgoers at Puri Beach in Orissa, India, were greeted by a little more than just sun and surf yesterday. PETA India recognized World Environmental Day with a giant sand sculpture of a polar bear crushed beneath a larger-than-life shoe and a sign that read, "Your carbon footprints have leather shoes." You can catch the full story here.
The 10-foot-tall sand sculpture coincided with PETA India's new environmental campaign, highlighting the harmful effects that the leather industry has on the environment. And given that India is one of the top producers of leather, the sculpture is perfectly fitting, I'd say.
Leather products full of chemicals, dyes, oils, and finishes cause irreversible devastation not only to the world's waterways and ecosystems but also to human health. And the cruelty involved with the leather industry isn't any better—since leather is the most important byproduct of the meat industry, leather production directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses. And according to a 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gasses than all trucks, cars, planes, and ships in the world combined. The damage caused by India's leather industry makes the country a major contributor to global warming and the further endangerment of polar bears and their natural habitat.
I think PETA India's N.G. Jayasimha puts it best when he says, "Consumers can save polar bears and cows at the same time by giving leather products the boot." And well, we tend to agree.
It looks like Dickerson Park Zoo had a loose kangaroo on its property last week. But don't fret: He wasn't escaping—he was protesting! In fact, it was actually a PETA member dressed as a kangaroo, but hey, now we're just splitting hairs.
Documents received by PETA reveal that in 2007, the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, "donated" a kudu and a kangaroo to Buddy Jordan, a notorious animal dealer who has been featured in numerous media investigative reports, all of which documented that Jordan sold animals to hunting ranches, operators of exotic-animal auctions, exotic-animal breeders and dealers, unaccredited zoos, and pet owners. Check out the news story about this demo here.
PETA animals in entertainment specialist (and my "donkey basketball"-fighting pal) Daniel Hauff was quoted at the protest as saying, "Investigative reports show that Buddy Jordan sells these animals to exotic-animal auctions, breeders, and dealers; hunting ranches; and unaccredited facilities."
To read more about this issue and to take action, please click here.
PETA has never been one to let clothes get in the way of a good protest, and this Holiday season is no exception. In Philadelphia this Wednesday, a few lovely PETA ladies let the folks over at Burberry know that they'd rather go naked than wear fur. For anyone who is particularly literal-minded, I should point out that there are countless great alternatives to fur other than Christmas hats, high heels, and your birthday suit, but if you really want people to listen to what you're saying, I highly recommend it as a wardrobe choice.
P.S. If you're planning on doing any last-minute shopping, may I suggest giving Burberry the cold shoulder this Christmas? It'll be good for them in the long run, and fur-bearing animals will be much obliged.
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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.