Written by PETA
President Obama's decision to allow oil and gas drilling along the East Coast isn't sitting well with some politicians and environmentalists, who worry that new infrastructure and possible oil spills will harm the environment and animals. But there's a bigger culprit: factory farming.
More than one-third of all the fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food, and factory-farm waste lagoons are a leading source of water pollution in the U.S. People can best help conserve resources, save the environment, and save animals' lives by kicking the meat and dairy addiction. To spread the word, PETA has asked the Department of the Interior to "dress up" oil rigs with educational banners and to serve only vegan meals aboard the drilling rigs.
Written by Heather Moore
Spring cleaning is about to take on a whole new meaning in Colorado Springs, where officials facing a lack of funds have removed trash cans from public parks. To help the mayor stop the economic slump from turning Colorado Springs' parks into dumps, PETA is offering to bring back the wastebaskets, with one caveat—they need to sport this ad:
How does meat trash the planet? A U.N. study found that factory farming is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." Our name for these doubly productive garbage cans? Wasteless Baskets.
Written by Logan Scherer
President Obama's new proposal to help pay for the healthcare revamp by taxing tanning salons is almost as brilliant as that tanning-bed afterglow. Obama's tan tax—which some proposals have put as high as 10 percent—attaches a monetary price to the health risk that tanners take when they expose themselves to radiation.
Now, as it turns out, some people have this tan tax business all mixed up, but in their confusion they've actually come up with a great idea. Perhaps addled by the toxins that he breathes every day, a leather tannery employee has sent us hate mail about the "PETA-based tan tax" that he fears could hurt the leather business. We're thick-skinned (geddit?), so the vitriol doesn't get to us, but we really like this tannery tax idea.
Although the president hasn't yet officially included leather tanneries in his proposal, it would be a terrific next step in raising funds for healthcare—especially considering that governmental agencies have already deemed tanneries to be a threat to human health and the environment. Most leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. And each chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of solid waste—including hair, flesh, and trimmings—for every ton of hides that it processes.
Leukemia, lung cancer, environmental destruction, and the exploitation and mutilation of cows—we can't stand any of it. How long do you think it would take a new "tannery tax" to ruin tanneries that are already destroying our health and the planet?
In a historic first, decades in the making, Madeleine Pickens—founder of the National Wild Horse Foundation—has secured a spot on a soon-to-be-formed national committee dedicated to ending the crisis faced by thousands of wild horses across the country.
Pickens' solution to the crisis—in which the animals are currently confined in usually unkempt pens where they are often subjected to extreme temperatures without shade and with little to no room to roam—is to create a wild-horse sanctuary to provide long-term care and protection for the animals. She recently met with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to tell him that paying ranchers or other contractors to warehouse wild horses until they die is an unacceptable method of dealing with the horse population, and her proposed solution prompted Salazar to announce the formation of a committee to address the issue.
Right now, more than 30,000 wild horses and burros are in holding facilities. Please lend your voice to them: Join Pickens in urging senators, congressmembers, and other government officials to stop the capture of thousands of American wild horses immediately.
Written by Logan Scherer
Earlier this afternoon, another trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando was killed after being pulled into the tank by an orca named Tilikum (or Tilly, for short). According to a witness, the whale, who has been involved in two previous fatal incidents involving human beings and who our captive wildlife director, Debbie Leahy, describes as "12,300 pounds of sheer rage," leapt out of the tank and grabbed the trainer by the waist, pulled her into the water, threw her around like a rag doll, and then held her underwater until she drowned. SeaWorld officials canceled the dolphin and whale shows for the rest of the day, but SeaWorld remains open (have they no shame?!) and will continue to exploit and abuse these captive animals despite the many horrific injuries and deaths of trainers and animals that have occurred throughout the theme park's history.
PETA has long been asking SeaWorld to stop taking wild, ocean-going mammals from their families and ocean homes and confining them with no semblance of a life to an area that, to them, is the size of a bathtub. No wonder these huge, intelligent animals, like the beaten elephants in the Ringling Bros. circus, lash out after being forced into subservience and forced to perform stupid circus tricks for their food for so long. For years, PETA has been calling on SeaWorld to switch to hugely popular robotic replacements like those used in the amazing "Walking With the Dinosaurs" exhibit. The public needs to stand up now against this cruelty and stop patronizing aquariums and whale and dolphin shows. Please join us in saying, "Enough!"
"Louis Vuitton foxtail handbag accessories make me sick. Please do not purchase those! It's heinous."—tweet from Sharon Osbourne
We're not the only ones loving Sharon Osbourne's compassionate tweet against Louis Vuitton—her wise words have been retweeted again and again by people across the Internet. Sharon—who donated her furs to PETA in 2004—speaks her mind and takes flack from nobody, which is why she's definitely my pick for who's going to win the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Louis Vuitton, because of your bloody bags, YOU'RE FIRED!
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Apparently, people have lost sleep trying to answer this philosophical question. The answer seems obvious to me: Animals live in forests and animals have ears, so they would hear the sound of a falling tree.
How about the one asked by the adorable (and offensive) T-shirt below from our friends at Portland's Food Fight! Grocery?
I know, the answer to this one is a no-brainer too. So go ahead and ante up your answer—in just one sentence. (And keep it clean, guys: no uncensored swear words.) The three people who submit the cleverest, snappiest responses will each score a shirt.
Written by Karin Bennett
In preparation for the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2010, Pope Benedict released a statement calling for a more "sober lifestyle" and a move "beyond a purely consumerist mentality." We've got two words for the pope to add to his call to save the environment: Go vegan.
Raising animals for food wastes resources and devastates our environment. Going vegan curbs climate change and promotes everything Jesus required of his followers: compassion and love toward all beings. We've written a letter to Pope Benedict asking that the Vatican become a global leader on the path to (green) peace by serving only vegan meals.
Even the pontiff himself has spoken out against the factory farming industry and its un-Biblical ways. "Certainly, a sort of industrial use of creatures, so that geese are fed in such a way as to produce as large a liver as possible, or hens live so packed together that they become just caricatures of birds, this degrading of living creatures to a commodity seems to me in fact to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible," he said in an interview in 2002.
The bovine pope has been cruelty-free his entire life—we think it's time for his human counterpart to follow suit. So what do you say, Your Holiness? Won't you give peas a chance?
When morning's chill is frigid and frightful, my husband and I can get into some pretty intense debates about whose turn it is to walk Charlie and Lucy. OK, I'm exaggerating: We just play a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors—and usually wind up walking them together.
But in Spain's Catalonia region, a heated battle is growing over a proposed bill to ban bullfighting, initiated by a citizens' lobbying group that opposes the hideous "sport." Of course, other politicians want to keep the bloody "tradition" alive.
We're happy to report that the bill just passed a secret vote in the regional parliament (yay!). According to news reports, it was such a sensitive issue that some legislators actually used newspaper to cover their hands when they voted. Secret voting is rare in the Catalan legislature—so the cruelty behind bullfighting really hit home for the representatives who voted their conscience in defiance of tradition.
But the vote was close (67-59), and the bill still has a long way to go: Debates are sure to intensify before the final vote, which is several months away. If the bill passes, Catalonia will be the second region in Spain to outlaw bullfighting—the Canary Islands did it way back in 1991.
Of course, there's no question that my husband and I will call a truce long enough to sign this petition to end the Running of the Bulls. Won't you do the same?
Written by Karin Bennett
Every year, PETA's offices are flooded with calls about dogs who are relegated to the backyard by guardians who refuse to let them inside. These dogs are left outside in freezing temperatures, often with nothing more than a plastic barrel or a wooden lean-to as shelter from the ice, sleet, and snow. For the last two years, a third-grade class at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Easton, Connecticut, has worked hard to raise funds for PETA's doghouse program, which provides warm homes for lonely backyard dogs. The students donate their leftover lunch money, parts of their allowance—even the quarters that they find in couch cushions. With all their combined change, the students were able to raise more than $800 for dogs last year!
It was such a great idea that TeachKind—PETA's humane-education program, which I coordinate—is launching a brand-new school fundraising program called Change for Chained Dogs.
This program makes it easy for schools to get students active and empower them to make a difference for animals. Every school that signs up gets an introductory letter, stickers, leaflets, and a sign to print out and tape to collection cans. So far, more than 500 schools—including Samuel Staples—have signed up for the fundraiser. It's a great opportunity for students, families, and communities to work together to help dogs in need.
We hope that even more schools will get involved in this exciting program, so if you have kids or know any educators, encourage them to sign up their school to host a Change for Chained Dogs fundraiser! And if you want to make a contribution yourself but don't know any kids, don't worry—you can always donate directly to PETA's doghouse program to help give lonely dogs a warm home this winter.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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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.