Written by PETA
We were flooded with phone calls and e-mails from ticked-off folks after Land and Sea, a TV show on Canada's CBC network, aired an episode about the annual Canadian seal massacre. But it wasn't for the reasons that you might think. People were outraged because the episode featured the manager of a Newfoundland gift shop recalling that Kevin Spacey bought a pair of slippers made of sealskin while filming a movie in the area.
Kevin Spacey in sealskin?! We've always known Spacey to be a kind person, so we asked him to set the record straight about this rumor. Spacey's rep assured us that the Oscar-winning American Beauty star did not purchase sealskin slippers (or anything else) from that gift shop. So file this one under "false rumor" (or "rumour," for our Canuck compatriots).
If you're fed up with the cruelty of the Canadian seal slaughter—and the lies of its apologists—then please take a minute to add your voice to those calling for an end to the massacre. Then spread the word to persuade other folks to do the same.
Written by Jeff Mackey
The folks at totalbeauty.com have released their roundup of "Eight Cities With the Ugliest Guys." Hagerstown, Maryland, "scored" second place on the list, which cited lackluster libidos, flabulousness, and puny IQs, among other factors.
Axe, schmaxe. PETA's got the cure for homely Hagerstown residents:
Men who go vegan gain instant sex appeal. How so?
To the men of Hagerstown: Take the "Pledge to Be Veg." You'll be saying, "Bye bye, Haggardtown" and "Hello, Handsomeland!" before you know it.
Written by Karin Bennett
Political campaigning can get pretty dirty, and during the weeks leading up to last Tuesday's elections, the New Jersey gubernatorial race was no exception. Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine launched an attack ad against Republican Chris Christie that hit Christie below the belt—implying that he "threw his weight around" as a public official, literally.
While health care and the economy may have been the big issues on the table this election season, a survey by Public Policy Polling found that a hefty 11 percent of Jersey voters said that Christie's bulging waistline was a legitimate election issue, and 19 percent said it made them less likely to vote for him. Maybe Garden State residents are just proud to have the 10th lowest obesity rate in the U.S. and didn't want Christie weighing them down—but I'd say Christie should address this issue pronto.
Despite the obvious fat-bias, Christie came out on top and won the election, and we say, "Well, Chris—you've won, and now it's time to lose." We suggest that Christie enlist some help from carrot-crunching vegetarian Newark mayor Cory Booker—and adopt a vegan diet. Studies show that vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters and that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 50 percent—so it's obvious that going vegan would be the best way for Christie to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
So, what do you think? With 23 percent of adults and 31 percent of children in New Jersey obese, should the governor-elect slim down and set an example of healthy living?
Written by Liz Graffeo
For a minute there, we thought Jeremy "Mercury Poisoning" Piven was serious when he said that he gave up soy milk for fear that it would give him "moobs."
I mean, come on, everybody knows that cow's milk—not soy milk—is the real culprit behind man boobs, right? According to Harvard scientist Ganmaa Davaasambuu, cow's milk "contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones"—especially milk from factory-farmed cows who are kept almost constantly pregnant. She estimates that dairy products account for 60 to 80 percent of the estrogens consumed by the average person.
But wait—there's more! Factory-farmed cows are commonly fed bovine growth hormone in order to stimulate their bodies to produce more milk. Hormone-treated cow's milk contains high levels of Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1), which studies show can cause the dreaded gynecomastia (moobs). Milk consumption, with all its accompanying hormones, has also been linked to prostate cancer and breast cancer.
So, boys, if you're worried about maintaining your manly physique, pour some soy (or rice or almond) milk on your cereal—and pour the moob juice down the drain.
Written by Alisa Mullins
It's not like I don't already watch Bones religiously, but I'm definitely tuning in for this week's episode, in which our intrepid heroes, Brennan and Booth, try to get to the bottom of the murder of a chicken factory farmer. The main suspects are the farmer's neighbors—who are no doubt not terribly keen about living next door to a stinky, putrid factory farm—and animal rights activists. Considering, however, that the show's star, Emily Deschanel, actually is an animal rights activist, I have a feeling we won't be dealt with too harshly.
In the past, Bones has done a great job of exposing the cruelty of dogfighting and horse slaughter, so I'm hoping that the producers will manage to squeeze in some of the factory farm and slaughterhouse footage that we sent them for this episode. It would be pretty cool for the millions of Bones fans to get a look inside a typical factory farm.
Set your DVR: "The Tough Man in the Tender Chicken" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST. In the meantime, you can get a sneak peek at the action in this slideshow:
The number of cases of swine flu and E. coli is on the rise, reminding us that the dangers of factory-farm–bred pathogens and meatborne illnesses have become impossible to ignore. The most recent E. coli outbreak, which killed two people and sickened dozens more, has been traced directly to the New York–based ground beef producer Fairbank Farms—which recalled more than 545,000 pounds of meat on October 31.
In the wake of this deadly outbreak, we're launching our "Meat Kills" billboard to let New Englanders know that the safest thing to do with meat is to throw it out:
Meatborne illness is just one symptom of a very sick and cruel industry. The threat of E. coli infection, listeriosis, campylobacter infection, and other bacterial infections is only the beginning of the devastating health effects of eating the dead, rotting flesh of a tormented animal. Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and their chance of getting cancer is 40 percent lower than that of meat-eaters. Plus, meat-eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than vegans are.
It's obvious that the best thing anyone can do for his or her health is to ditch the deadly meat and adopt a vegan diet. So what are you waiting for?
Written by Liz Graffeo
Achoo! Swine flu?
Sunshine State residents who feel under the weather should know that Florida has had 141 confirmed swine flu deaths. Sounds to me like Florida residents would do well to learn about ways to stop the spread of swine flu—hence our action in Jacksonville this morning.
Evidence is growing that the meat industry is responsible for the swine flu outbreak, just as it was largely responsible for outbreaks of MRSA, mad cow, E. coli, and bird flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, studies have shown that 30 to 50 percent of pigs raised for food in the U.S. have been infected with some strain of swine flu. That shouldn't come as any surprise, considering that jam-packed, filthy factory farms are breeding grounds for disease.
The best way to help guard against future swine flu outbreaks? Swear off the ham, Spam, and snouts—and go vegan.
Written by Karin Bennett
A beluga whale named Nico died this week at SeaWorld San Antonio, where he was being temporarily housed while the Georgia Aquarium underwent renovations. This marks the third time in the last three years that a beluga whale from the Georgia Aquarium has died.
The cause of Nico's death has not yet been determined, but according to aquarium officials, he was already ailing when he was obtained from a Mexican aquarium along with another beluga whale, Gasper, who died in January 2007. The aquarium's two surviving whales, Maris and Natasha, are on loan from the New York Aquarium. A third beluga whale from New York, Marina, also died in 2007.
In a chirpy news release announcing the arrival of Maris, Natasha, and Marina in 2005, the aquarium expressed the hope that "we soon [will] have baby beluga whales."
In the same news release, the aquarium announced the arrival of Ralph and Norton, two whale sharks who—you guessed it—are now dead. Seeing a trend here?
Instead of swimming freely in the sea, animals at aquariums are relegated to a world that's measured in feet instead of fathoms. Beluga whales are extremely social animals who—when left to their own devices—play, chase each other, and interact in extended pods. They have been called "sea canaries" because of their complex vocalizations, which they use to communicate with each other.
In captivity, these whales have little room for exercise and are cut off from their natural social groups. While they might not have to face natural enemies, the stress of captivity is apparently the scariest "predator" of all.
Purrrrr. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to make disabling declawing cats illegal, and other California cities are set to vote on similar measures this week.
Painful and traumatic, declawing is really 10 separate amputations in which the last joint of every single toe gets cut off along with the nail. Declawing a cat is the equivalent of cutting a person's fingers off at the first knuckle and leads to gradual weakening of cats' legs, shoulders, and back muscles. Declawed cats are more likely to have behavior "problems" such as avoiding the litterbox and biting, and they are commonly surrendered to shelters by frustrated guardians.
Germany and other parts of Europe have outlawed declawing as a form of cruelty, and many conscientious veterinarians in the U.S. refuse to declaw because they realize that all someone needs to do to save their furniture (or whatever other lame excuse people come up with to justify mangling their kitties) is take the time to simply trim their cats' nails and buy proper scratching posts.
The Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Berkeley city councils will be considering or voting on declawing bans this week, so please tell anyone you know in these cities to send an urgent e-mail to their councilmembers today.
Written by Heather Drennan (with help from Wellington)
My husband, Tim, thinks that I'm rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series because he's a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan (i.e., Yankee hater). It's fine with me if I get extra points for rooting "against" the Yankees, but I'm really rooting for the Phillies because of second baseman Chase Utley.
Chase and his wife, Jen, are huge advocates for animals. They've participated in "Save a Pet at the Park," and they organized the Utley's All-Star Animals fundraisers, which raised more than $200,000 for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Even if the Phillies don't win this year's World Series, Chase Utley has already proven he's top dog when it comes to caring about companion animals.
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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.