Written by PETA
For the second year in a row, an extremely brave PETA member has bared all for our State of the Union Undress. The result is nothing short of stunning, and I can’t say enough about how amazing this young lady has been in helping us put the video together as a way of reaching a wide audience with a message of compassion for animals. I don’t know what to expect from Bush’s speech tonight, but I feel extremely confident in guaranteeing that our State of the Union is going to be a whole hell of a lot sexier.
I’ve written a fair amount about Sheriff J.B. Smith over the past couple of weeks, related to a back and forth he’s been having with us over a letter we wrote to him asking that he put an accused cannibal in his charge on a vegetarian diet. Well, the sheriff (who’s obviously doing a bang-up job over in Smith County, Texas) was in the news again this morning following a major drug bust in which he reportedly uncovered 242 pounds of marijuana hidden in a bin of lettuce inside a truck during a traffic stop. Anyway, the news report about the bust made me laugh out loud—the sheriff obviously has PETA on the brain:
“This was a great stop and it took a lot of drugs off the streets. … We are still working on this and are being assisted by the DEA, so there are still things we do not know.” Smith said his office is trying to contact the company that purchased the lettuce, but if the purchaser did not make immediate arrangements, it would be divided between the East Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army. “We would also keep some of the lettuce and feed it to the (jail) population. This should make PETA happy, because we might be serving more salads in the next few days.”
Keep up the great work, sheriff, and thanks for keeping us in mind.
We’re just doing our part to help get a bit of money back for the government. And by “we,” I mean my colleague Justin Goodman, who, as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, worked tirelessly to expose the hideous experiments carried out by David “The Butcher” Waitzman (I just made that nickname up, but who knows—maybe it’ll catch on with his students) who used a sizeable grant from the NIH to, among other things, drill holes into monkeys' skulls and implant steel coils into their eyes. Well, according to this morning’s Hartford Courant, the university has been ordered to return $65,005 of the grant as a result of animal welfare violations in Waitzman’s lab that were exposed during a USDA investigation prompted by Justin’s complaints.
Not only is this wonderful news for people who care about animals, but it will also serve as a powerful warning to other animal experimenters like Waitzman: Even if massive public outcry leaves them cold, you can bet that they’ll sit up and take notice once they know that someone like Justin is on the case—and that it may not be very long before their grant money’s on the line as well.
Here we go again.
Every so often, someone sets up a hoax website like Bonsai Kitten, which purported to be changing the shapes of cats by putting them in jars, Save Toby (that guy who claimed he was gonna kill his pet rabbit unless people sent him cash), and Kitty Beef (my personal favorite—the title kind of speaks for itself), and a lot of people get (understandably) very upset about the whole thing. Well, there’s a new kid on the block now, and this one may be the most interesting of them all, because it draws attention to a little-known aspect of the animal-experimentation business that really reveals a lot about the whole sick industry.
IBuyStrays.com is a hoax. Just to be clear on this, it’s not a real site. The person who set it up doesn’t really buy stray cats and dogs to sell to animal experimenters. So there’s no need for alarm on that front. But sadly, the situation it describes is very real. As many as 115 million animals are experimented on and killed in laboratories in the U.S. every year. Not that it makes any difference, ethically speaking, but a large number of these animals are cats and dogs, and a great many of those cats and dogs come from the streets, from animal shelters, and from people’s back yards.
Class B animal dealers, or “Bunchers,” are licensed by the USDA to obtain dogs and cats from “random sources,” which are defined as “animal pounds or shelters, auction sales, or from any person who did not breed and raise them on his or her premises.” And many states allow “pound seizure,” which means that the shelters are required by law to turn over certain animals to experimenters on demand.
So my point here is that anyone who’s shocked or upset by IBuyStrays.com should direct their attention towards the animal experimentation industry itself. Although it may be a bit tactless, the site isn’t doing any actual harm—in fact, if you ask me, it’s doing a good thing by making people aware of the fact that the horrific circumstances which it ironically depicts are a daily occurrence. And there is something we can do about it. To learn more about how you can help animals suffering in labs, check out StopAnimalTests.com, and if you haven’t already, you can click here to pledge to boycott products that are tested on animals.
Some Other Helpful Links
IBuyStrays.com Is a HoaxWhat Is Pound Seizure?More on BunchersList of Cruelty-Free ProductsTesting … One, Two, ThreeMoshe Solomonow’s Experiments on Cats from a Class B Dealer
According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, 20 different Petsmart stores in 11 Seattle counties may have sold birds with avian chlamydiosis, which can pose a serious health risk to people who are exposed to the animals.
The threat of a nasty disease is a pretty great reason not to buy a bird from Petsmart, but it’s not the main reason. People shouldn’t buy birds from Petsmart because birds don’t belong in cages. All caged birds were either captured or captive-bred. In the wild, they spend their entire lives with their flockmates, and many species mate for life and share parenting tasks. Considering that some parrots fly 30 miles a day in the wild, it’s no surprise that these animals often develop severe behavioral problems when they’re stuck in a cage for life.
Click here to tell PetSmart to just stop it already.
Someone should probably tell this pig and cow that they’re not going to win any elections if their only platform is raising taxes, but the argument is a solid one: In addition to being a leading cause of global warming, meat causes cancer and heart disease—driving health-care costs through the roof. Alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline are subject to a “sin” tax, so meat should be too. We’re asking congress to tax meat at 10 cents per pound to offset its staggering costs, and these two have been following the presidential candidates all around the campaign trail to make that point. In a Mustang Convertible, which gives the whole thing a bit of flair. This pic’s from one of the Iowa stops:
A little while back, longtime PETA member and superstar intern Mark Wiesenfeld discovered that Target was selling foie gras online, along with a book about the barbaric product written by one of the owners of Hudson Valley Foie Gras—the folks responsible for many of the nightmarish scenes caught on tape in this investigation.
As soon as we contacted the company to let them know about the cruelty behind this product (produced by force feeding ducks until their livers become diseased and engorged) they immediately pulled both items from their site. As you may be aware, there are quite a few corporations that kick up a great big fuss when it comes to making ethical changes in their business (I’m looking at you, KFC), so Target’s prompt action in this case is commendable, and we’re extremely grateful for it.
People tend to hear a whole lot about some of the edgier stuff PETA does (the naked demonstrations, the provocative ads, the quirky videos), but—although it may not make the news—we spend a lot of our time working behind the scenes with big companies to encourage them to make changes that will help animals, so it’s great to have this opportunity to talk about that important aspect of our work. Target’s decision is part of a growing trend among institutions that are taking steps to distance themselves from hideously cruel products like foie gras, and with more and more companies adopting this progressive attitude, we’re getting very close to a time when it will be banned outright in this country.
For more information about the cruelty involved in making foie gras, and to take a pledge never to eat the stuff, please click here.
I have to admit that I don’t have a very good head for figures, but the math here seems pretty straightforward. And while we’re talking numbers, selling people dogs and cats when there are between 6 and 8 million waiting for homes in shelters every year is about as dumb as shelling out a thousand dollars for an animal at Petland when you could be rescuing one of the 3 to 4 million who will be euthanized this year for lack of a good home.
These pics are from Friday’s demonstration outside an Orlando Petland where we debuted our new “Priceless” ads, which make a simple but effective point to potential pet store customers.
Here’s a taste of what PETA UK’s been doing with the money they received from Covance Inc. following the dismissal of Covance’s lawsuit against them. Karma’s a bitch, sometimes.
Much as it hurts my pride to get scooped by The Dog Blog on a topic, I’m man enough to admit when I’ve been beaten to the punch. PETA’s resident dog blogger, KP, just posted a great entry about a series of ads put out by the Southern Hope Humane Society in Georgia. The campaign, called “Don’t Get a Dog,” has the simple message that if you can’t take care of an animal, you shouldn’t frickin’ have one. It’s nothing short of tragic that this point isn’t immediately obvious to some people, but I’ve seen enough dogs chained in backyards or crated inside someone’s house that I’m very aware of just how important these ads are. Good stuff, Southern Hope.
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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.