Written by PETA
After we heard about Michael Jackson's apparent desire to include exotic animals in his upcoming London concerts, my heart sank. As superfan of MJ's music since birth and also a staunch animal defender, I'd never felt so conflicted. Luckily, after PETA Europe sent a letter regarding the King of Pop, we got word that he will not be using any live animals in his concert series at London's O2 arena.
Too bad he still has a spotty past when it comes to compassion for animals. It had been widely reported that Jackson planned to ride an elephant on stage and use panthers, but subjecting animals to amplified noise, bright lights, and the fast pace of a massive concert production is cruel. Plus, his rap sheet from the not-too-distant past includes dumping his chimpanzee, Bubbles, with a Hollywood trainer. And many of the animals he left behind at Neverland Ranch ended up being sold at auction, despite repeated offers from PETA to help place them in sanctuaries. His orangutans were reportedly sold to a private owner in Connecticut, two of his alligators are languishing at the disgusting G.W. Exotic Animal Park, his giraffes in the care of a private owner in Arizona are on the verge of being evicted, and more.
Michael, it's bad, it's bad, and you know it.
We know that Michael's "Off the Wall," but his treatment of animals crosses the line to cruel and unacceptable. Hopefully, this new announcement is a sign that things are moving in a new direction. I mean, this is a man who holds the Guinness World Record for giving more to charities than any other entertainer, so you'd think he'd be generous with animals, too … but as much as I love singing "Dirty Diana" into my hairbrush, his cruelty toward animals leaves me less than "thrilled."
Written by Christine Doré
Update: Michael Jackson has announced that he will not be using any live animals in his concert series at London's O2 arena. Click here for more info.
The King of Pop has a sordid past when it comes to the way he treats animals, but we were still shocked by Michael Jackson's reported plans to ride an African elephant and use other exotic animals during his upcoming 30-day stint at The O2 arena in London.
PETA Europe wrote a letter to The O2 to let officials there know about Michael's sketchy track record of animal neglect. The letter included some basic information about how exotic animals actually don't want to perform stupid tricks on a stage surrounded by screaming people, bright lights, and stage explosions.
So come on, Michael, pull a "Britney" and leave exotic animals out of your performances.
Written by Shawna Flavell
When a Time Warner Cable Store at the Independence Mall in Wilmington, N.C., planned to host Kelly's Paw Print Productions exotic-animal show, it apparently had no idea that Paw Prints is a chronic violator of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Time Warner Cable didn't hesitate to cancel the scheduled event with Paw Prints, however, after PETA informed the media giant about the exhibitor's lengthy history of animal abuse.
It's not surprising that Time Warner Cable would want nothing to do with a business that has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failure to provide animals with veterinary care or appropriate and sufficient food as well as failure to handle animals so that there is minimal risk of harm to the animals and the public. In announcing the cancellation of the event, Time Warner's Director of Media Relations Melissa Buscher stated, "The safety of our customers and the well-being of the animals are a top concern for Time Warner Cable." You'll find a lot of things in our factsheet on Kelly's Paw Print Productions, but customer safety and animal welfare are two things that are noticeably lacking.
Big props to Time Warner Cable for not wanting to associate itself with Kelly's Paw Print Productions, but the truth is that most animal exhibitors have similarly miserable records of animal care. Please thank the Time Warner Cable Store for its decision to cancel the Paw Prints event and ask Time Warner to take one more progressive step and enact a policy permanently prohibiting the display of wild animals at any of its locations.
Written by Liz Graffeo
You don't have to answer that. But answer this: What do you get when you cross a lemur, a monkey, and an alligator named Bob? If you're Arlin Valdez-Castillo—you get angry skin lesions and a humdinger of a lawsuit. According to court documents, in 2004, Ms. Valdez-Castillo, a housekeeper at a Hampton Inn in Miami, allegedly developed zoonosis (a disease spread from animals to humans) after cleaning hotel rooms occupied by lemurs, spider monkeys, a parrot, and a five-foot long alligator named Bob. I kid you not.
Part of a traveling zoo hired by Busch Gardens, Bob and his buddies allegedly left lots of dander, urine, feathers, and feces for Ms. Valdez-Castillo to clean up. After falling seriously ill, she was hospitalized for two weeks with skin lesions all over her body, which doctors attributed to coming into contact with exotic animals. Five years later, she still has recurring lesions and a painful infection that has spread to her nervous system. But wait, there's more: Ms. Valdez-Castillo also claims that she was kidnapped by two men who took her to a cemetery and warned her to drop the lawsuit (I'm thinking that Valerie Bertinelli should play her in the Lifetime movie).
So what did lawyers for Busch Gardens have to say about all this? It's Valdez-Castillo's fault that she was allergic to the animals. In other words, stop bitching and take a Benadryl. Honestly though, how much sympathy can you really expect from a corporation that carts animals around to "entertain" at basketball games, schools, and other events? After all, animals used in roadside menageries and traveling zoo exhibits are deprived of just about everything that is natural to them. Their lives are a constant cycle of traveling in cramped cages and being gawked at, poked at, and mishandled by noisy crowds. Not to mention the fact that animal exhibits are public-health disasters waiting to happen. We're talking tens of thousands of cases of salmonella and E. coli from casual contact with animals every year!
So, what have we learned? Let's see—steer clear of all animal exhibits and hotel rooms with monkey crap on the carpet.
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
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.