Written by PETA
Those poor folks in the airline industry have been hit from all sides in recent years, from heightened security after 9/11 to ever-higher fuel prices. Now, there's more bad news for airlines from our neighbours to the north (for the geographically-challenged, that would be Canada—and did you notice how I spelled "neighbours" with a "u," like proud veggie Bryan Adams and other Canucks do?). The Canadian Supreme Court has just ruled that airlines have to provide an extra seat—free of charge—to morbidly obese passengers.
While the airlines may see this as a blow to their bottom lines, we hope they'll think of it as an opportunity instead. To wit: Bring back the veggie meals! And not just as an option, but for all passengers.
You see, adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. So by putting veggie food on those seatback trays, the airlines can help keep their frequent flyers slim and healthy—and free up more seats for paying customers, as we suggested to the powers that be. You can see our full letter to Air Canada here.
Of course, even if you're not traveling by air this holiday season, it's good to know that there's a way to keep from carrying extra pounds into the new year. To learn more, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Sometimes the headlines I see are just too surreal. This AP story reports that President Bush, who has been notoriously stingy with pardons, yesterday granted pardons to a batch of 14 criminals—among them a man who entered a guilty plea for unlawfully killing three bald eagles in the state of Missouri.
Turns out the convicted criminal, Leslie Owen Collier, laced hamburger meat with pesticide in an attempt to kill coyotes. But, seeing as coyotes aren't the only animals who eat (I think I read that in a book somewhere …), he ended up killing several other animals, including bald eagles. He was sentenced under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Even though the deaths of the bald eagles might be considered accidental, it's still pretty clear that Collier's intention was to poison animals. That's not so much OK in our book.
If we are so forgiving toward those who would wantonly kill wildlife, couldn't we pardon a few more turkeys this year? Or hey, if that's too radical—let's just pardon the turkeys who haven't violated the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, OK?
Written by Sean Conner
In honor of Thanksgiving, we want to share with you one of the things that we're really, really thankful for: Awesome activists doing awesome demos!
Take this recent demo in Albuquerque, where a pair of PETA "turkeys" handed out succulent soy-based Tofurky roasts to lucky passersby. The demo was part of the traveling twosome's multicity "Turkey Drive": To avoid ending up as someone's Thanksgiving dinner, the two feathered fugitives were breaking for the border "Thelma and Louise"–style in a red convertible with a sign reading, "Mexico or Bust!" Their goal? To persuade as many people as possible to give up the giblets today in favor of a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast. And by the enthusiastic response they got from the press and passing peeps in New Mexico (every single person interviewed by the Fox News reporter said that they were already vegetarian or didn't eat turkey!), it's a safe bet that there's a lot of Tofurky being gobbled down in Albuquerque today. Which makes this plucky pair very, very happy.
While we're on the subject of "Turkey Drives," check out this banner that activists hung in Orlando to convince travelers to give birds a break.
Turkeys aren't the only animals who need a helping hand this holiday season. Recently, a herd of "ele-friends" got together to protest the death of Mac, a 2-year-old elephant born at the Houston Zoo.
Animals in circuses have nothing to be thankful for either.
In the words of one cyclist who happened upon our Albuquerque Turkey Drive, "Tofurky? Hell Yeah!" Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Gas, trucks, and tigers?! Oh, no they don't!
The Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, has been on PETA's most hideous radar for years. This roadside hellhole, which at one time housed four tigers, now has one, a Bengal tiger named Tony.
Complaints about the welfare of these tigers have flooded PETA's inboxes, mailboxes, and phone lines. We have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and written to the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop offering to help pay the costs to get the animals transferred to real sanctuaries.
Now, state wildlife officials have joined the growing throng of animal rights organizations (such as the Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates, which has battled the truck stop for years) and compassionate people who are fed up with the owner's repeated violations of animal care standards. Violations include having an insufficient number of trained employees, keeping the tigers in unsound facilities, having no veterinary care program for the tigers, and providing improper nutrition for the animals. In a letter to the truck stop owner, officials warn that Tony must be "legally removed from the premises to a Department-approved facility or out-of-state within 30 days …." Thanks, guys. Nice!
Roadside exhibits and novelty displays are worlds away from suitable habitats for exotic animals. Not only are these frustrated animals dangerous, but they quickly become stir-crazy and display stereotypical behaviors within their cramped pens. Hopefully, now, with the state stepping in, the Tiger Truck Stop has exploited its last animal and Tony is off to a great life.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Some cities pass out free meals; others provide free vaccination services during the cold months or weather-emergency kits during hurricane season. Mexico City passes out free Viagra.
Wait … what?!
Seriously. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has planned a citywide distribution of Viagra to elderly men, aged 70 and above, who suffer from the mojo-busting health problem known as male impotence. City officials hope the free service will boost the sexual health of elderly folks, consequently making them happier and healthier.
Health is important, no doubt. But, the mayor's plan has one elephant-sized flaw that needed to be addressed. So, we sent this letterand a copy of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit" (which is filled with cruelty-free and organ-healthy recipes directly to him, letting him know that the simplest way to combat impotence let-downs isn't by popping pills—it's by going vegetarian! To the mayor we say, put down the pills and promote a diet rich in colorful veggies to your city instead.
A diet consisting of animal flesh, milk, and dairy products can clog arteries and increase cholesterol levels. That's some seriously scary stuff. Even scarier, clogged arteries and high cholesterol are among the most commonly diagnosed causes of male impotence as well as obesity, certain types of cancer (including prostate cancer), and diabetes. Luckily, a vegan diet can help reduce or prevent these ailments! So, why pop a pill for a night of happiness when simply switching to a vegetarian diet can trigger a lifetime of health and happiness?
This morning, Michael Vick appeared in court to enter a plea of "guilty." Of course, PETA was represented as well. PETA members were on the scene with new posters reflecting Michael's embrace of Christianity. The posters displayed horrific and tragic images of injured dogs used in fighting along with the words "Dogfighters, Repent." The message was that anyone else who's involved in dogfighting needs to stop—now—before they, too, end up in jail, with no friends, no money, and no respect.
Photos from the demonstration are posted below. Let's hope that Michael Vick's fallen star will be a permanent lesson to all would-be dogfighters: just don't do it.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Did Sarah Palin's recent interview in front of a turkey-slaughter operation almost cause you to lose your lunch? If so, you're not alone. Even conservative pundit Joe Scarborough says he may well skip the bird this year. With Thanksgiving upon us, here without further ado are PETA's top 10 reasons to pardon a turkey this holiday season:
10. If you wouldn't eat your cat, you shouldn't eat a turkey. As poultry scientist Tom Savage says, "I've always viewed turkeys as smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings. The 'dumb' tag simply doesn't fit." They're as interesting and have personalities every bit as developed as those of any dog or cat.
When they're not forced to live on filthy factory farms, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dust baths, preening themselves, and roosting high in trees. These social, playful birds relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes.
9. Factory farms deny turkeys everything that is natural and important to them. Ben Franklin called turkeys "true American originals." He had tremendous respect for their resourcefulness, agility, and beauty. In nature, turkeys can fly 55 miles an hour, run 25 miles an hour, and live up to four years. Yet turkeys raised for food are killed when they are only 5 or 6 months old. During their short lives, they will be denied even the simplest pleasures, such as running, building nests, and raising their young.
8. Turkey consumption might kill you. Turkey flesh is brimming with fat and cholesterol. Just one homemade patty of ground, cooked turkey meat contains a whopping 244 mg of cholesterol, and half of its calories come from fat. Turkey flesh is also frequently tainted with salmonella, campylobacter bacteria, and other contaminants. And a vegan meal won't leave you sprawled on the couch, belt buckle undone, barely able to move.
7. You may stave off bird flu apocalypse. Current factory-farm conditions are breeding grounds for disease. Turkeys are drugged and bred to grow so quickly that many become crippled and die from dehydration. Cooking meat should kill the bird flu virus, but it can be left behind on cutting boards and utensils and spread through something else you're eating.
6. Don't support their crack habit. Dosing turkeys with antibiotics to stimulate their growth and to keep them alive in filthy, disease-ridden conditions that would otherwise kill them poses even more risks for people who eat them. Leading health organizations—including the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association—have warned that the factory farming industry is possibly creating long-term risks to human health through the spread of antibiotic-resistant supergerms. That's why the use of drugs to promote growth in animals used for food has been banned for many years in Europe.
5. There are healthy, humane alternatives. Everyone can give thanks for animal-friendly holiday meals such as Tofurky, Celebration Roast, and Garden Protein's new Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing. PETA's scrumptious holiday recipes will please every palate and make it easier to give up the giblets.
4. Eating birds supports cruelty to animals.When the time comes for slaughter, turkeys are thrown into transport trucks. At the slaughterhouse, they are hung upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified "stunning tank," which immobilizes them but does not kill them. Many birds dodge the tank and are still conscious when their throats are cut. If the knife fails to properly cut the birds' throats, the birds are scalded to death in the defeathering tanks.
3. Turkey consumption is bad for the environment.Turkeys and other animals raised for food produce 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population—all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems. There are no federal guidelines to regulate how factory farms treat, store, and dispose of the trillions of pounds of concentrated, untreated animal excrement that they produce each year.
2. Turkey farming contributes to human starvation. Turkeys have to be fed grains, soy, oats, and corn that could otherwise be fed to human beings. Only a fraction of the calories fed to a turkey are turned into meat calories. While there is ample and justified moral indignation about the diversion of 100 million tons of grain for biofuels, more than seven times as much (760 million tons) is fed to farmed animals so that people can eat meat. Is the diversion of crops to our cars a moral issue? Yes, but it's about one-eighth the issue that meat-eating is.
And the number one reason to give the birds a break:
1. Factory-farmed turkeys have nothing to be thankful for.On factory farms, turkeys live for months in sheds where they are packed so tightly that flapping a wing or stretching a leg is nearly impossible. They stand mired in waste; urine and ammonia fumes burn their eyes and lungs. To keep the birds from killing one another in these crowded conditions, parts of the turkeys' toes and beaks are cut off, as are the males' snoods (the flap of skin under the chin). All this is done without any pain relievers.
A PETA investigator recently went undercover at a massive turkey-breeding facility in West Virginia and documented workers stomping on turkeys, punching them, beating them with pipes and boards, and twisting their necks repeatedly. One worker even bragged about shoving a broomstick down a turkey's throat because the bird had pecked at him. Our previous investigations show that such gratuitous abuse is the norm on turkey farms.
Check out VegCooking.com for tasty alternatives that will allow the turkeys to give thanks this Holiday season along with you and your family.
Written by Bruce Friedrich
Elizabeth Hurley is making headlines—and no, not because of her hot acting career (Ha ha ha! Right.). No, Liz's fame has had a renaissance because she is the only living "celebrity" apparently willing to front Blackglama's old "What Becomes a Legend Most" ad campaign. (We have another take on Blackglama's ad, but that's another story.)
But wait—"Legend"? Who, exactly, is a legend here? Seriously—in the days when people thought fur coats came from animals who died in their sleep on fluffy pillows, Blackglama got major starlets like Catherine Deneuve, Judy Garland, and Elizabeth Taylor to pose for their ads. But that was eons ago, and now Blackglama has to resort to using a 41-year-old actress whose last successful movie was almost 10 years ago. As PETA Europe's own Robbie LeBlanc said of Liz's new gig, "Her wardrobe is now as dead as her film career."
This news, of course, follows stories of stylists having to lie to (*cough* successful *cough*) fur-free actresses about the faux-ness of their fur. Fur is dead, ladies and gentlemen. Anyone who tells you otherwise is getting paid to do it.
I guess those DVDs of Serving Sara just don't pay the mortgage.
Our fearless campaigners have been hard at work exposing cruelty to animals—and sometimes quite a bit of themselves—all across the country!
A Lowe's in San Diego received a visit from a bikini-clad "mouse," who lay in front of the store on her own glue trap. In case you didn't know, Lowe's still sells hideously cruel glue traps— the kind in which animals can suffer for days before succumbing to starvation, dehydration, suffocation, and shock.
Meanwhile, PETA demonstrators have been visiting cities in Iowa and Nebraska to show the eating populace exactly what factory farming means for animals with these eye-catching gestation crate sculptures. It's hard to buy ham and Spam when you are crying!
Finally, our "tiger" visited some cities in the southeastern U.S., where she sat in a cage to demonstrate the cruelty of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Shreveporters were especially interested to see our tiger, because the last time PETA came to their town, the demonstrators were dragged off by the police! This time, law enforcement officials behaved themselves. Our tiger also captured a lot of attention in Little Rock!
And, while we're on the subject of Ringling Bros.—we heard that Hansons Windows, a home repair company in Michigan, was offering free circus tickets. No, that's not the great news—the great news is this: When we wrote to the folks at Hansons Windows and explained to them how animals in Ringling circuses are beaten, forced to perform tricks, and kept in chains or tiny cages for most of their lives, the president of Hansons ended the promotion!
Kudos to Hansons Windows for making the compassionate choice—and kudos to our campaigners for the great demos!
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.