Written by PETA
For readers who may be unfamiliar with the British vernacular, a "21 bum salute" is a charming, classically understated English way of saying "Hey chaps, we respectfully disagree with your actions. Any chance you might reconsider?" By way of an example, here's a pic from PETA UK's recent protest against the Queen's Guards' use of bearskin hats. Note the lovingly painted Union Jacks and the looming rainclouds in the background. Makes me proud to be British.
You can read more about the protest in this weekend’s Sun.
At a weekend religious youth rally in Italy, Pope Benedict XVI told the more than 500,000 attendees that young Catholics should take the lead in the fight to save the earth. Check out what he said, “Before it's too late, we need to make courageous choices that will recreate a strong alliance between man and Earth … We need a decisive 'yes' to care for creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.” Amen to that.
Makes this ad even more apropos, eh?
This week, Vick’s dogs became the “property” of federal authorities, which means that they are no longer legally required to be held as they have since April, awaiting what is widely accepted as the only safe and humane fate for dogs bred, raised and trained to kill each other and other animals: a painless release from this world. Some people are saying “we must save the Vick dogs!” That sounds good, but let’s think for a minute. These dogs are not only hot fighting stock but a hot “star” commodity and will always be in danger of being stolen. For four months now, they have gone stir crazy in cages at animal control agencies around Virginia. Because they can’t be trusted to be around each other or any other animals, they are isolated, kept in solitary confinement, 24/7. Although this has likely been the only time in their sad lives when humans have shown them any kindness, life in a cage is no life. Some people have gone as far as to suggest that the dogs should have their teeth removed so that they can stay alive. Warehousing and mutilating these dogs is not the answer; it’s cruelty. Keeping them solitary and caged for the rest of their lives, no matter if in a “sanctuary” pen or in a pen in a yard, won’t be much different from how they spent their non-fighting time on Vick’s property. In this case, we must not only think about what makes us feel good. We have to think carefully about these dogs, the other animals, too, and perhaps children, who could well be at risk if “the Vick dogs” are released. Let’s also think about the tens of thousands of homeless dogs languishing in animal shelters at this very moment who desperately need our attention—the thousands upon thousands of dogs who can actually be walked or run in a dog park without fear of a mauling or worse; who are social and happy-go-lucky and won’t have to be kept isolated for life due to the unpredictable behavior that results from abuse.
Every day that these dogs remain in kennels at animal shelters is a day of increased euthanasia rates for the potentially adoptable animals that the shelters must put to death for lack of space. There is only so much space, and resources are limited. May I humbly suggest that instead of raising hell and raising money to try to “rehabilitate” these dogs, and instead of flying to Virginia to “save the Vick dogs,” we do less “heroic” but even more important things to save dogs’ lives. When it comes to euthanasia, every day’s real world choice is of which not if—making the choice to demand that fighting dogs be “saved” is a soothing fantasy, more about public relations and, in some obvious cases, about fundraising, than about truly helping the most dogs in the most productive ways. If you have been tempted to join the call to “save the Vick dogs,” please think about sponsoring a spay surgery instead. That simple wonderful act will prevent the births of countless homeless dogs who will never have to be “saved” because they will never be homeless, thanks to you. Or call your local open-admission shelter and find out how else you can get involved. It makes more sense and helps more dogs.
Anyway, here’s what PETA Prez Ingrid Newkirk had to say about Foxx’s comments, “Black leaders like Russell Simmons and Dennis Courtland Hayes, head of the NAACP would agree, as does PETA, that it is cheap and dirty and wrong to call this a cultural thing -- unless Foxx believes that cruelty is a black thing when it isn't. It may be his thing, but it is not a black thing. PETA encourages people to watch our anti-dogfighting PSA with world heavyweight boxer Lamon Brewster at PETATV.com.”
"It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else...There is no difference between the pain of humans and the pain of other animals."Rabbi Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), Guide for the Perplexed "In the killing of animals, there is cruelty." Rabbi Joseph Albo, Sefer Ha-Ikarim, Vol. III, Ch. 15 "To make animals suffer is forbidden by the Torah." Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Israel "The dietary laws are intended to teach us compassion and lead us gently [back] to vegetarianism." Rabbi Shlomo Raskin “If This is Kosher . . .” a video narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer"Being compassionate toward animal life is not just a matter of being responsible for animal life, which we have very clearly laid down in the Torah, expounded by our sages, but is a matter of imbuing ourselves with the right kind of values. If we are insensitive towards animal life, then we desensitize ourselves as human beings. And therefore a truly sensitive human being, compassionate towards other human beings, should be compassionate towards animals." Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland "The environmental destruction caused by the animal-agriculture industry, by the amount of dung produced, by the amount of sewage that gets poured into our waterways and our systems, there's no doubt that it's damaging our world and it's ... in violation of the Jewish mandate to protect and observe and care for the Earth. ... We are ignoring things that are essential and that are critical to the character of Judaism, in order to meet our selfish desires and wants." Rabbi Adam Frank "This is the way of pious and elevated people... they will not waste even a mustard seed, and they are distressed at every ruination and spoilage they see, and if they are able to save, they will save anything from destruction with all of their power..." Rabbi Aaron HaLevi of Barcelona, 13th century, Sefer HaChinuch 529 "Aside from the cruelty, rage and fury in killing animals, and the fact that it teaches human beings the bad trait of shedding blood for naught; eating the flesh even of select animals will yet give rise to a mean and insensitive soul." Rabbi Joseph Albo, c. 1380-1444 Don Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508), commentary on Exodus 16:4 "It [eating meat] is an overall moral shortcoming of [hu]mankind, in that it does not promote good and lofty sentiments" Rav Abraham Isaac ha-Cohen Kook (1865-1935), 1st Chief Rabbi of Pre-State Israel, Hazon ha-Tzimhonut ve-ha---> Shalom me-Behinah Toranit "I am a vegetarian precisely because I am a believing Jew who strives to live in accordance with the ethical teachings of my heritage....I believe that if you follow the most sublime and noble values in our tradition, in this day and age, then there is an imperative to live a vegetarian lifestyle. ... It is a halachic imperative. Compassion for animals is a halachic imperative. And being responsible also for your environment and for your globe, which also have ramifications coming out of the whole question of the meat industry and meat consumption, are all fundamental Jewish questions. So I, simply put, am a vegetarian because I am a religious Jew." Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland "I find that the way I eat is in keeping with my Jewish practice...I don't think Judaism tells you 'you have to be a vegetarian', but there is a whole variety of clues in the literature that tell us it is a good thing." Rabbi David Small "He who kills an ox is as if he slew a person." Isaiah 66:3 "One who destroys a single life is considered to have destroyed an entire world, and one who saves a single life is considered to have saved an entire world." --> Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:5 "The fate of men and the fate of animals, they have one and the same fate. As one dies, so does the other, and they all have the same spirit." Ecclesiastes 3:19 "I don't want my food choices to condone the suffering that occurs in the animal food industry. Judaism takes seriously the idea of personal responsibility. Communal change for the better and improved societal ethical behavior starts with the individual." Rabbi Adam Frank "The laws of kashrut come to teach us that a Jew's first preference should be a vegetarian meal." Rabbi Pinchas Peli, Torah Today "A higher form of being kosher is vegetarianism." Rabbi Daniel Jezer "We should make all our consumption as holy as possible...The more we live as if this were the messianic age the closer we are to it." Rabbi Rami Shapiro "What may have once made sense, now can no longer be justified....Let us realize today, in the vast majority of cases, 'kosher meat' is an oxymoron." Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb "By not eating meat, I am much more certain to never violate, even accidentally, the Biblical and rabbinic prohibitions concerning non-kosher meat. The traditional production of kosher meat never envisioned mass slaughterhouses or factory farms. It is questionable whether most meat or poultry produced in this country that is sold as kosher is actually in compliance with the traditional rules of kashrut as well as the prohibition against cruelty to animals." Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen "The simpler way [of maintaining kashrut], which is the better way in the eyes of the tradition, is to be vegetarian." Rabbi Michael Cohen "If you don't eat meat, you are certainly kosher... And I believe that is what we should tell our fellow rabbis." Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Israel "The Nazis explicitly structured their industrial destruction of the Jews on the model of animal slaughter. This is not to compare the suffering of animals and humans, but shows that the way we treat animals is similar to the way the Nazis treated us." Rabbi Hillel Norry "Be kind and compassionate to all creatures that the Holy One, Blessed Be He, created in this world. Neither beat nor inflict pain on any animal, beast, bird or insect. Do not throw stones at a dog or a cat, nor should you kill flies or wasps." Sefer Chasidim [Book of the Pious] "One does not ask for forgiveness of sins while wearing articles made from the skins of slaughtered animals." Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish Law] "Perhaps the most powerful argument in favor of vegetarianism today more than ever before ... is the prohibition against 'chillul HaShem', the desecration of God's name. Surely it is precisely such a desecration when observant Jews eat animals produced under conditions of cruelty that flagrantly violate Jewish teachings and prohibitions..." Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland "It is not necessary for any human benefit to consume the flesh of animals. In fact it is harmful to human health, destructive of the environment, and wasteful of valuable resources that could be better used to feed the hungry and provide for the needy. All of these are Torah values." Rabbi Hillel Norry "I grew repulsed by the idea of killing and eating animals, so I stopped." Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen "The staples of life do not include meat." Rabbi David Golinkin "My decision to abstain from the consumption of animal products is an expression of my adherence to Jewish law." Rabbi Adam Frank "Even the Torah itself recognizes that eating meat is not an ideal thing for the human being. It's not the ideal diet for the human race." Rabbi Simchah Roth "There is simply no spiritual defense in either the Western or Eastern religious traditions for eating meat." Rabbi Marc Gellman, "The First Hamburger" "I relate vegetarianism to Judaism in several ways...the torture of animals and the suffering that they go through, to be raised on these large factory farms and then eaten is really forbidden by Judaism." Adam Stein, rabbinical student
In a plea agreement entered today, Michael Vick, who was indicted last month for his role in a professional dogfighting operation, admitted that he had provided "most of the 'Bad Newz Kennels' operation and gambling proceeds" and admitted playing a role in the deaths of at least 6-8 dogs earlier this spring (some of these dogs were strangled or drowned). You can read CNN's story about the plea agreement and comments from the public here.
It's up to a judge now to decide Vick's sentence and fine. I was appalled to learn that the maximum jail sentence for Vick's offense is only 5 years.
If you're like me, and you want to do something now, let the powers that be know right now that you won't tolerate this kind of cruelty, contact the NFL and urge them to add cruelty to animals—in all its forms—to its "Personal Conduct Policy." This case has shown that NFL fans are just as disgusted by cruelty to animals as by any of the other antisocial behaviors outlined in the policy. Click here to contact the NFL now, and be sure to pick up a "Dogfighters are Cowardly Scum" t-shirt from Café Press.
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.