Written by PETA
We all know exactly how disastrous racing can be for the horses who are whipped and drugged for entertainment. Well, the scandal doesn't stop at the Kentucky Derby—it goes all the way up to the Olympics.
That's right—four horses forced to compete in the Olympics have tested positive, and have subsequently been banned, for the drug capsaicin. Capsaicin is banned because, in the words of one article, "it is derived from the chilli pepper and is used for either medication, as a pain-killer, or for its hypersensitizing properties. In both cases a horse might jump better as a result of its use." Of course, when you mask pain and overuse a limb, the repercussions can be bone-shatteringly bad.
The four horses banned were competing in team show jumping. Their riders have also been banned from participating in individual events—and if more horses are found to have been drugged, the Olympic medals may be shifted around. Of course, this wouldn't be the first Olympics where horse-dopers have been stripped of their medals—Germany lost the gold in Athens for the same crime.
People will be shocked to hear of this scandal—and for good reason. If horses are subjected to this kind of mistreatment at the highest level of the "sport," maybe "sport" isn't the right place for these beautiful, sensitive animals. Horses should not be drugged up and run into the ground by greedy people for money or for medals, even if it means abusing animals whose athleticism wins the gold. Oh, and did you see any of the close-ups, with the horses' heads being yanked all the way to their chests and up again, their eyes almost popping out of their heads as they were jerked around? Nice.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Earlier this morning, PETA sent a letter to Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens (the latest player to face scrutiny in the steroids scandal), urging him to prove that he is committed to being drug-free—by going vegetarian. I’ll leave it for the sports pundits to discuss whether or not Clemens ever deliberately took steroids to help with his pitching, but there's no question that the guy has been ingesting growth-promoting drugs for as long as he’s been a meat-eater. In order to make them grow fatter faster and to ward off the disease in the filthy conditions on today's factory farms, cows, pigs, and chickens are pumped full of growth-promoting hormones, and anyone who eats their flesh will be getting an unhealthy dose of the drugs themselves—no injections from trainers required.
As an aside, I should point out that this is by far the nicest letter that my friend and colleague Dan Shannon—who is an avid Red Sox fan—has ever written to a Yankee. You can check it out here.
Following an undercover investigation which revealed unbelievable cruelty to animals at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, PETA members gathered outside the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science yesterday to express their outrage at experiments in which live cats and monkeys have holes drilled into their skulls and are confined in restraint chairs for up to 8 hours at a time. You can see pictures from the demonstration below, as well as footage of the investigation, which was conducted by the Israeli group Let the Animals Live.
The Weizmann Institute is funded in part by generous donations from people who probably have no idea of the torture that they’re paying for. You can be sure that we’ll be doing everything in our power to make sure these donors know exactly where their money is going.
HBO’s I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA was officially released on DVD today, so you should definitely put in an order for it if you haven’t seen it yet. Although it leaves out one kind of important point, the documentary is a fascinating look at the inner workings of PETA—from how the organization’s campaign ideas are born to what goes into an undercover investigation to what Ingrid Newkirk eats for breakfast.
To save you the trouble, the answer to that last question is “oatmeal,” but if you have some more pressing questions for Ingrid after watching this documentary, now’s the time to ask them. Either leave a comment with your (polite) question, or just e-mail it to me, and I’ll compile them all and pass them onto her. I’ll send her the questions over the next few days and post a blog with the answers in a couple of weeks’ time.
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.
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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.