Written by PETA
Fox News host Glenn Beck may not be ready to sign PETA's "Pledge to Be Veg" just yet, but that didn't stop him from dishing up some choice words about Al Gore's continued, convenient omission of any mention of the meat industry's devastating impact on the environment.
"… I am siding with PETA on this one—once again asking Al Gore, 'If you really want to save the planet, put down the cheeseburgers and pick up the veggie burgers. Time for soy milk and Tofurky.' … I've said before I disagree with PETA, but I respect them because they are not hypocrites: They say what they mean and mean what they say. I just disagree with what they say—except when it calls for Al Gore to eat tofu."
Makes me wanna send Mr. Beck some vegan chocolate kisses.
Folks, trying to clean up the environment without going vegan is like trying to mask the smell of rotting garbage by hanging 100 fragrance trees from the ceiling. It doesn't work. The only way to get rid of the stink and cruelty to animals is to change what you put on your plate.
Written by Karin Bennett
There's a lot of buzz right now about proposed legislation designed to revise decades-old regulations of toxic chemicals, which could be wonderful news. Unfortunately, language in the proposed bill—known as the "Kid Safe Chemicals Act"—would protect neither children nor the environment, and it would spell death via poisoning for a staggering number of animals
There is a major P.R. push for this legislation, in the form of a new campaign that you may have heard of—the Million Baby Crawl. This campaign comes from none other than the longtime cruelty-free company Seventh Generation.
We have alerted Seventh Generation to the problems associated with its campaign and hope to work with the company to get better science and animal protection language inserted into the Kid Safe Chemicals Act.
Great strides have been made in biology and toxicology during the past few decades that provide a better understanding of chemicals' hazards without relying on cruel and misleading animal tests. Non-animal test methods are faster and cheaper, so more information about more chemicals can be obtained quicker than through animal testing. Modernization of the underlying science is a crucial piece of any new chemical-management legislation, and it's critical that any new legislation promote the use and further development of modern, humane test methods.
Make no mistake: We are all in favor of protecting kids' health and the environment, but the current method of testing chemicals—poisoning and killing thousands of animals per chemical—provides data that just isn't useful. And considering that there are more than 80,000 chemicals that would undergo testing if this proposed legislation passes, that's an astronomical number of animals!
Who cares about the millions of animals who will suffer and die in these tests? We know you do!
Sign up here if you are interested in doing more. Updates will follow.
Oh, South Park. So irreverent, yet poignant! Consider last night's Whale Wars parody, in which Stan takes Captain Paul Watson's place in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and steps up the conservationists' campaign in a way only possible through cartoon violence. (Yes, there were explosions.)
Amidst the world's rightful outcry at the injustice of whaling, Stan fights the good fight—protecting whales from senseless slaughter—and along the way finds out the real reason why the Japanese government thinks it's A-OK to attack beloved marine life.
More commentary—with spoilers—after the jump.
I know we just talked about Natalie Portman yesterday, but let's face it, she's kinda magical. How magical? Enough to make a steakhouse go vegetarian—at least for one night.
It all went down on last night's episode of Top Chef. (Warning: Spoilers ahead for those who haven't seen it yet.) Like my fellow PETA Files blogger, Missy—who gave us a heads-up about this treat back in July—I'm a fan of the show despite its constant emphasis on serving up, well, dead animals (which the contestants bizarrely insist on calling "protein," as if they're nutritionists instead of chefs).
True to form, the opening "Quickfire Challenge" involved creating TV dinners inspired by iconic TV shows, and all of them ended up meat-centered. So when the chefs were told that the "Elimination Challenge" would take place at judge Tom Colicchio's Vegas steakhouse, Craftsteak, they eagerly began planning which cut of meat to use and how to cook it.
But Top Chef loves its surprises, and this week's came in the lovely form of guest judge Natalie Portman, who told the cheftestants, "I love food. I love eating. I'm pretty adventurous with flavors and different cuisines, and the one thing is, I'm a vegetarian." Cue the dramatic music and shocked faces.
Some of the chefs, like Robin and Mike I., professed confidence in handling a veggie challenge, while others were apprehensive, including Kevin, who had earlier proclaimed, "Cooking meat is me in my element!" But more surprises were in store, as meat-loving Kevin won the challenge with his hearty ensemble of mushrooms, smoked kale, candied garlic, and turnip purée.
I hope this episode provides aspiring chefs—both on and off the show—with food for thought (sorry).
Written by Jeff Mackey
That would be PETA supporters Emily McCoy and Emily Lavender (aka adorable fuzzy seal), who shook things up a bit at the fall conference of the Fisheries Council of Canada.
Why were these two nice ladies attending a conference for the Fisheries Council? Because the Fisheries Department oversees Canada's annual seal slaughter, in which hundreds of thousands of baby seals are bludgeoned or shot to death. Boo, hiss!
The duo chanted and drew attention to the seal slaughter for about 20 minutes, then they were carted off to the pokey. Ah well, all in a day's work.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Well, we tried—but our permit to set up a factory farm display on the steps of the U.S. Capitol has been denied. Apparently, the Capitol Police thought that such a display posed "significant public health concerns about the possible spread of the H1N1 virus."
Hmm. That just might have been our point.
So, it's not safe to allow members of congress and lobbyists to be exposed to factory farms, but it looks like tough luck for the millions of Americans in rural areas who have to live amidst the poisonous waste of factory farms. And although the president has declared swine flu a national emergency, the government continues to prop up the industry that caused the crisis (to the tune of $62.6 million in one year alone—with the possibility of $250 million more in the coming fiscal year).
What do you think?
Written by Amanda Schinke
It's true: Dollar General cares—about its customers' concerns and about animals.
After we received complaints that Dollar General, which has thousands of stores across the U.S., was selling hideously cruel glue traps, we wrote to the bargain retailer. In our letter, we described how animals who get stuck on glue traps can suffer for days before finally dying of starvation or dehydration. Many victims of glue traps rip their skin from their own faces and bodies as they try to escape, and some resort to chewing off their own limbs while trying to free themselves. We also let the company know that there are plenty of humane ways to deal with mice and rats.
Dollar General responded to our letter by announcing that it will stop selling glue traps. Just like that. The company didn't hem and haw—officials simply made a compassionate decision.
Dollar General joins other large retailers, including Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Safeway, that have stopped selling glue traps after discussions with PETA. Please thank the company for its decision—and then ask home-improvement biggie baddie Lowe's to follow suit.
Written by Karin Bennett
Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker is vegetarian once again, and as he explained in an interview with Radio Big Boy, "almost full blown vegan."
We're pumped for Travis's evolving compassionate lifestyle (and we'd like to point out that "Full Blown Vegan" would be an excellent album name). It's also great that he's getting his dad in on the action—as Travis explained, "My pops, he's a Vietnam vet, hard-core, old-school—he used to make fun of me 'cause I didn't eat meat … Now after being on tour and going to some of the spots, he's at home trying to find vegan spots in that area."
As for Travis's decision to start dumping dairy foods? "Once you find out all the crazy stuff with dairy," he says, "you'd probably second-guess it too, man."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Sure, some men joke about how to score with women, but the horse-racing industry's use of stallions to impregnate tens of thousands of mares—in the quest for one big winner—is no laughing matter.
The good news is that thoroughbred breeding stats for 2009 show a decline in the number of horses who were bred. The number of stallions bred dropped almost 9 percent, and the number of mares bred fell 13.5 percent, according to The Jockey Club. Don't misunderstand—there's still a whole lotta suffering in the making. This year alone, more than 45,000 mares were "covered" (bred), which means that tens of thousands of foals will be born into the racing industry and face the risk of suffering broken bones, being drugged, and being abandoned, neglected, or shipped overseas for slaughter when they are no longer considered "useful." Most of the slaughtering of U.S. horses takes place in Mexico and Canada: More than 100,000 U.S. horses per year are trucked to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered (and more than 10,000 of those horses are thoroughbreds formerly used for racing).
The Kentucky Derby and other high-stakes races represent the suffering of thousands of horses—day in and day out, year in and year out. While the drop in breeding means that fewer horses will be born to suffer a lifetime of abuse, there's still much more work to be done. Take a minute to check out our investigation into a Japanese horse slaughterhouse and write to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and demand breeding limits.
When I was in high school, I took a peanut butter sandwich with me for lunch every day. Every. Single. Day. For four long years. My mother probably thought I was being stubborn just to annoy her, but the truth is that even before I stopped eating animals, I couldn't stomach the cafeteria's nauseating (and cholesterol-laden) options, such as greasy chicken nuggets and grayish-greenish Salisbury steak.
For lucky students at one Florida charter school, "mystery meat" is something they'll never have to suffer through. That's because the Alachua Learning Center only serves delicious vegetarian food, all of which is made daily from scratch. Not only is vegetarian food yummy, it's also healthy and is often cheaper than greasy, artery-clogging meat. More and more schools now serve vegetarian and vegan food—which is great news for kids and animals.
It can be tough to get kids to eat healthy meals, but I think black beans with corn and rice sounds way more appetizing than ground-up cow noses on a bun.
Written by Heather Drennan
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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.