Written by PETA
PETA Files readers know that we adore Ellen and Oprah for their endless efforts to help animals. Today we're throwing some love—and sending our thanks—to another daytime talk-show host, Dr. Phil, who earlier this week turned his viewers' attention from cheating spouses to the seedy world of dogfighting.
When he confronted a dogfighter during the show, Dr. Phil didn't mince words: "I think dogfighting is wrong. I think it is despicable. I think it is sick. I think it is disgusting." The good doctor also blogged about the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the sale of porn for pup torturers, declaring, "I was sick to my stomach."
We'd also like to point out that Dr. Phil's other guest, Paris Hilton, whom we've taken to task in the past for her own bad behavior, chimed in: "I kind of want to punch [the dogfighter] in the face."
After you thank Dr. Phil for taking on dogfighters, tell us what you think should be done to stop them?
Written by Karin Bennett
We are happy to report that Zynga, the creator of the phenomenally popular Facebook crime game Mafia Wars, has nixed the pit bull as a fighting tool. Countless social gamers stopped plowing their FarmVille fields long enough to voice their objections to Zynga about the game's negative depiction of this most used-and-abused breed, and the company quickly responded in just the right way.
We'll be sending Zynga a thank-you note and a box of vegan chocolates as a token of our appreciation, and Mafia Wars "maniacs" can voice their approval to Zynga's customer service center.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Dogfighters are cowardly scum. Just ask the "Scumdogs of the Universe"—better known as thrash-metal band GWAR, whose lead shrieker Oderus Urungus unleashes his wrath on dogfighting in a new peta2 video.
In the video, a chained GWAR "slave" is pitted against Guy Kozowyk of metal masters The Red Chord in a WWE-esque, no-holds-barred match. Unlike dogfights, in which dogs are forced to tear each other to shreds, no real blood is shed in this match, and the willing participants live to fight against dogfighting another day.
The Supreme Court recently struck down a law banning the distribution of videos depicting illegal conduct such as dogfighting, but that doesn't mean that you have to be an intergalactic humanoid barbarian (unless you're into that) to combat this blood sport. If you find evidence that dogfighting is taking place in your area, please contact your local humane society or police department right away. You might also want to contact neighborhood watch groups in your area to encourage them to keep an eye out for possible dogfighting rings. Whatever you do, please declare "GWAR" on dogfighting!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
The popular Facebook game Mafia Wars has just introduced a new game "tool": animals to use in the fights, including but not limited to snarling pit bulls.
Sure, it's just a game, but perpetuating the image of pit bulls as fighting machines is reckless and wrong. It is particularly troubling in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a law banning the distribution of videos glorifying such cruelty to animals. Pit bulls already face a public relations battle and are the most abused breed of dog. PETA's fieldworkers see pit bulls in horrific conditions every day. They are frequently kept chained or penned, they are taunted and trained to be aggressive, and they are beaten and starved—sometimes to death.
This is a rare, er, misfire for Zynga, the maker of lots of popular online games (you might have heard of a little one called Farmville). Zynga recently started offering special bulldogs in YoVille, the proceeds of which are donated to the San Francisco SPCA. So let's hope that it will listen to our appeal. You can also send the company your own polite comments asking it to leave animals out of Mafia Wars.
Thanks for all your support and your fantastic comments about this awful addition to Mafia Wars. Please be sure to let Zynga know how you feel, too, by sending a polite comment to Zynga's customer help center.
While Nike the shoe company is named after Nike the Greek goddess of victory, unfortunately, in dogfighting, there are only losers: Even the victors end up in the grinder at the end of the day. Nike seems to have forgotten that little fact, as the company is reportedly now supplying Michael Vick with "product," although it says it has not signed a promotional contract with the disgraced former dogfighter and current NFL QB.
This begs the question posed in a letter sent by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk to Nike President and CEO Mark Parker: Why is Nike giving free swag to a guy who admitted laughing when he tossed "family pets" into the ring and watched them get ripped to shreds by trained fighting dogs? Is this a guy you want parading around Philly displaying the Nike swoosh? Unless Nike aspires to corner the bottom-feeding dogfighting market, this plan seems designed to have the company's competitors cheering.
We hope you'll contact Nike, too, and let the company know that if it aspires to alienate anybody and everybody who's ever loved a dog—and to encourage them to change their brand away from Nike—it is sure to be, er, Vick-torious.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Ever since notorious dog abuser Michael Vick got out of jail and was signed by the apparently desperate Philadelphia Eagles, there has been a lot of discussion in the press and at your local humane society and sports bar about the ethics of his return to the NFL—and all the other issues that go along with it.
Now, the Washington Post (along with media outlets everywhere) is reporting that Nike might again be teaming up with Vick for product endorsements.
Today in the Post's special online NFL feature, "The League," PETA's own Dan Shannon cuts through the noise with a guest post on the subject. Dan puts it bluntly when he writes, "If Nike and other companies know what's best for the bottom line, they won't touch Michael Vick with a 10-foot pole."
Read the whole post here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
What does PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk think about Michael Vick’s return to the NFL? We’ll let her tell you:
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Written by Shawna Flavell
PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles have chosen to sign a man who hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted them with jumper cables, held them underwater until they drowned in his swimming pool, and even threw his own family dogs into the fighting pit to be torn to shreds while he laughed. What sort of message does this send to young fans who care about animals and don't want to see them be harmed?
PETA certainly hopes that Vick has learned his lesson and feels truly remorseful for his crimes—but since he's given no public indication that that's the case, only time will tell. At this point, all Eagles fans can do is cross their fingers and hope that they won't ever have to explain to their sons and daughters what a "rape rack" is and why their favorite player was using one, as Falcons fans once had to.
Written by Dan Shannon
Update: Many people have asked us how to complain to the NFL. You can send an e-mail to the NFL through its official contact form here. You can call the main office of the Philadelphia Eagles at 215-463-2500, and you can find mailing addresses here.
Also, please click here to join PETA in asking the NFL to require all its players—some of whom have been involved in a series of cruelty-to-animals cases—to attend PETA's "Developing Empathy for Animals" course. You can also urge the NFL to take cases of animal abuse seriously in the future by updating its policy on personal conduct.
So, Michael Vick has been reinstated, although so far, there are no takers.
Vick has served the reduced sentence negotiated by his high-priced team of fancy lawyers, and the law says that he is entitled to walk free. But that doesn't mean it is acceptable to put him in the position in which children will look up to him as a role model and wear any new jersey that bears his number. For the sake of all the young football fans and all the dogs he electrocuted, drowned, slammed to the ground, and hanged, we will watch carefully to see if he is a newly contrite, kind man these days or still just a lout. Meanwhile, please add your voice to ours in our request to the NFL to add "cruelty to animals" to its personal-conduct policy as an offense that won't be tolerated. Doing that might reduce the likelihood that such lowlife violent crime will happen again.
How appropriate is it that on the week that convicted dogfighter Michael Vick takes off his ankle bracelet and strolls out of his house a free man, we should roll out our new anti-dogfighting ad starring "Sugar" Shane Mosley?
Let's watch the World Boxing Association's reigning welterweight super champ in action, shall we?
"Sugar" Shane leads with an uppercut: "I'm a boxer. … My opponents and I know that when we step into the ring, we choose to be there and that if we don't come out on top, we can at least walk away."
Here comes a hook: "Dogfighting isn't like that. Dogs don't have the choice. Many of them get hurt badly or are cruelly killed."
The welterweight super champion finishes with a jab: "Dogfighting is dirty, it's cruel, and it's a loser's game …"
(The crowd of dog defenders stands and cheers the champ.)
Ooh, whatta knockout!
Follow the jump for some sweet, behind the scene footage of "Sugar" Shane.
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
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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.