Written by PETA
Please click here to contact Roger Goodell about this news and ask him to immediately take action. We're doing everything we can to ensure that the news of Vick's alleged involvement in this horrific cruelty is not swept under the rug. I can only hope that the high profile nature of Michael Vick's case helps to shed light on an epidemic that, too often, is not treated with enough gravity by law-enforcement officials, and that needs to be stamped out immediately.
Please click here for an update.
Michael Vick has just been indicted in the investigation of dog-fighting on his Virginia property. I’ll give you more information tomorrow, but in the meantime, this is PETA’s official statement on the topic:
PETA’s offices, located just over an hour away from Michael Vick’s rural mansion—where we now know dozens if not hundreds of dogs were forced to fight to the death in the pit—has been receiving vague allegations of Vick’s involvement in illegal animal fighting activity for years, sadly without much concrete evidence to back it up. While local authorities—who have historically mishandled dogfighting cases—sat on evidence in this case, the U.S. Attorney’s office was obviously determined to get the job done. The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dog fighting, and we hope that this indictment sends a loud and clear message to players and the NFL that celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law, and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. -PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch
"Britney needs a new puppy about as much as Lindsay Lohan needs a drink. She can barely look after herself and her kids, and she's tossed away so many dogs before. The only dog Britney is responsible enough to care for is a stuffed toy."
Spears, who was awarded the title of World's Worst Celebrity Dog Owner in 2006 by The Hollywood Dog Magazine, has already been photographed carrying her new Yorkie like a handbag, and spotted bringing the unfortunate animal to an L.A. night club, which is about as suitable a place for a puppy as it is for a recovering alcoholic mother of two.
MSNBC covered the story, and you can read that here.
Unfortunately, there is no punch line; I am not kidding. The reporter thought this was a fine example of Romney’s “emotion-free crisis management” style, but who knows. Here's what PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk said to an enquiring press:
“First, as a charity we can’t and don’t endorse or oppose any candidate for public office, but I can say (and not just as a person who grew up with an Irish Setter!) that any individual who does something like that may have what scientists term the absence of the mirror neuron, i.e., a pin-pointable absence in the brain of the characteristic which allows the individual to feel basic compassion. The implications are frightening. Anyone who suspects that they are not able to feel empathy for others needs to be aware of the existence of this condition. What is also worrying is that Mr. Romney seems to hold the very old fashioned idea that he needs to actively show he is heartless, hence the hunting claims he has made. Not subsistence hunting, but pride in killing defenseless animals for sport, for fun, for show. In the case of the dog on the roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn't for show as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong for them to witness. There was also the obviousness of the situation. Thinking of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured. If you wouldn’t strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog! I don't know who would find that acceptable. Mr. Romney needs to tell the world he realizes this was not humane. People do stupid things and one day realize it, so better late than never."
Thanks to Ana Marie Cox, founder of Wonkette, now Time.com’s Washington Editor, for noticing the story on Boston.com and jumping on it.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions on this since the European Parliament voted on it this week, so I thought I’d clear the air a bit.
I realize that it’s going to come as a huge shock to some but PETA is completely opposed to the ban. Obviously, the cruelty involved in the slaughter of dogs and cats is beyond hideous and has to be stopped, but we feel like this “ban” is really nothing more than a feel-good measure that is likely to harm more animals than it would help.
First off, the entire point of the proposed legislation, as it states very clearly, is to protect the fur industry. The language in the proposed legislation couldn’t be more clear on this fact: The bill is intended to and would in fact “facilitate the placing on the market of fur and fur products from species other than cats and dogs and prevent disturbance on the international market for fur and fur products in general.”
Even more insane to me is the fact that the proposed legislation would do absolutely nothing to actually stop the trade in dog and cat fur in Europe, since it would exempt fur from dogs and cats who have been killed for any other purpose, including meat. Millions of dogs and cats are killed for their meat and fur in China, where we did an investigation and found horrendous cruelty.
Our concerns really boil down to the fact that the ban will help the fur trade by giving consumers a false sense of security that it is safe to buy fur because they’ll believe it isn’t from dogs and cats. In the United States and other countries, similar bans on dog and cat fur simply haven’t worked; dog and cat fur is still sold, but it is relabelled as fur from other species. A ban like this won’t work any better than self-regulation, which, in the fur trade, means no regulation. The ban’s only practical effect will be to promote the acceptance of fur from other species of animals, including canine and feline species such as coyotes and lynx, who are just as abused as dogs and cats in the fur trade.
Essentially, this legislation will just grease the wheels of the fur industry so it can kill millions of animals for their skins while assuring consumers that none of them is like their family pets. And of course, it’s just as messed up to skin minks or foxes alive and wear their fur as it is to skin dogs or cats alive for their fur.
I hope this helps make our position a bit more clear. Where do you stand? Comments much appreciated.
I don’t know about you, but I always get a little bristly when my “almost” vegetarian friends tell me that they “only eat fish.” Of course, I totally believe that nobody is perfect, myself included, and that every small step people take to help animals is important. I just don’t understand how fish got so removed from the compassion radar that some people actually call themselves vegetarians while scarfing down tuna melts?
Anyway, my point here is that everything I read about fish intelligence and sentience just blows me away. And this story from the UK put a smile on my face. It’s just kind of nice to see the plight of our piscine friends finally being taken seriously . . .
This Michael Vick dogfighting scandal is just not going away, and now that Clinton Portis has decided to shove his oar in, things are starting to get really heated. In an effort to help the well-intentioned folks in the NFL's upper echelons deal with the PR fallout from the whole nasty business, we've sent them a letter offering free animal-sensitivity training to any football players who need it. You can read that letter here, and I'll leave you with a little picture that an ex-colleague of mine sent in of the jeep she drives around in near Vick's old hometown in Virginia. You're a brave girl, Misty.
Our Campaigns Department has an uncanny way of turning a wild idea into a reality. Someone said the magic words "Human Glue Trap" in a brainstorming meeting, and, lo and behold, we've got two or three of the suckers ready to go. A few brave activists helped to put pressure on Home Depot to stop selling glue traps—which can cause mice, birds, and other animals to suffer for days before they're killed—with this little demonstration yesterday. According to Ashley, who took part in the protest, one Home Depot employee was so shocked by the glue trap literature they had on hand that he had second thoughts about going into work that day. Awesome work, guys. I love it.
Well, the first dog has died in this year’s Iditarod. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long, and I’m sad to say it's extremely likely there’ll be more. Turns out that forcing dogs to run 125 miles a day through subzero temperatures may not be all that good for them. Shocker. Obviously, this is common sense to those of us who act like we’re living in the year 2007, but apparently the Iditarod folks like to pretend they’re paying homage to the original race, which was along a mail route to deliver an emergency supply of diphtheria serum (whatever that is) to Nome.
Anyway, Iditaroders, next time you guys need some diphtheria serum delivered, I’m sure FedEx will be glad to help you out with that. And let’s be real here, this race is about money, plain and simple—you’re not preserving heritage or paying homage to anyone by running a few hundred dogs into the frozen ground every year.
The upshot here is that there are countless alternatives to this cruel tradition. How about a ski race along the same route—the Iskidarod maybe? Or an eBay sponsored marathon auction—the Ibidarod? The world’s largest game of hide and seek—Ihidarod. A marathon film festival—Ividarod? There actually is an event in California called the Ikidarod, where kids pull sleds on a beach, and the reality is that there really are 1001 ways for the Iditarod folks to line their pockets without hurting dogs.
Anyway, here’s to hoping that no more dogs die this year . . . Oh, and if you’re so inclined you can let the Iditarod sponsors know you feel about this absurd race here.
Unless you live under a rock and watch Antique Road Show on PBS every night, I’m sure you’ve been hearing an awful lot about Simon Cowell lately. American Idol's ratings are higher than ever, and we couldn’t be happier for Simon. So what if he is honest with the out-of-tune wannabe trying to sing "Beat It"? Stick to singing in the shower and open mic nights at your local strip mall coffeehouse, dude . . . I guess you can see where I fall on the whole “Is Simon too mean?” debate.
Anyway, all the hype about Idol and Simon reminded me of the great work he’s done with PETA, so I dug out a couple of the ads he’s shot for us in the past.
Keep telling it like it is Simon!
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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.