Written by PETA
In a news item that dates back to late August but was just reported on in Sunday's Boston Herald, a half dozen staff and students at Harvard Medical School became ill after they drank coffee from a vending machine that had been laced with sodium azide, a preservative that is commonly used in laboratories. The story reported that all the afflicted worked in a laboratory where they torment mice in immune system experiments.
While we would never wish poisoning upon any living being (talk about a painful way to go) it does have us wondering if karma might be at work again.
Recent publications from Harvard Medical School faculty members included experiments in which mice had 25 percent of their skin burned off by placing them in 190-plus-degree water and were then injected with increasingly large doses of E. coli to see at which point 50 percent of the animals would die. In another experiment, mice were injected with cancerous cells to induce the growth of colorectal tumors and then injected with a herpes virus to see how it affected the cancer. At the end of the experiment, the animals who didn't die during the study were killed and dissected.
It does look like some of the animal torturers experimenters at Harvard have gotten a taste of their own medicine—literally. Let this be a lesson to you, Harvard: Never underestimate the fury of a mouse scorned.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Mais oui! The rain didn't keep members of PETA France—or nearly five hundred other demonstrators—away from a massive anti-fur march in Paris on Saturday.
Onlookers learned the stomach-turning truth about fur—that regardless of whether it involves the bloody head-bashing of baby seals in Canada or the skinning of live animals on Chinese fur farms, fur always represents horrible suffering for animals.
As a result of the march, the French television news service M6 even ran a feature against the fur trade. It also polled visitors to its Web site: So far, out of 16,000 respondents, 81 percent favor an end to the fur trade.
So tell us, what's your opinion on fur?
Written by Karin Bennett
If you find yourself in fabulous Las Vegas this weekend and want to win big, be sure to roll by table number 459 at the Sands Expo Center.
There you'll find PETA Prime at the "Vegas@50+" conference, organized by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Our booth features the many reasons to be "Veg@50+," including the following:
Whether you're a baby boomer or part of Generation Y, the odds for healthier living are in your favor when you go vegan. It's a winning gamble!
Shark finning is one of the most disgusting practices of the already disgusting fishing industry. Sharks are caught, their fins are cut off, and they are either left to suffocate or are thrown back into the water to slowly bleed to death or be eaten by other marine animals. All this suffering is inflicted in order to produce horrid "delicacies" such as shark-fin soup.
Worldwide, there is (happily) a movement toward stopping shark finning, but fishing interests in Virginia and North Carolina are, well, swimming against the tide by putting pressure on legislators to exclude some sharks from a proposed federal law banning shark finning.
If you live in North Carolina or Virginia, please contact your senators and ask them to support the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 with no exemptions. To learn about more ways to help sharks and other endangered marine animals, read this and this.
Written by Jeff Mackey
We all know that Stella McCartney's designs put the "hot" in haute couture. Unlike some designers who paradoxically try to revive lackluster collections by tossing in the skins of dead animals, Stella creates stunning designs without so much as a scrap of hideous hides.
In the November 2009 edition of InStyle magazine, Stella takes the gloves off when talking about the colossal fashion faux pas of wearing animal skins:
"Just say no to leather, fur and python. Everyone knows this about me, but even if I liked leather, I just couldn't wear leather pants. It's so soft-rock trashy."
Now I realize why seeing snakeskin on the runway turns my stomach—it's the Muzak of the fashion world! Well, that and because snakes are skinned alive to collect steal it. Now, someone please make sure Marilyn Manson reads this month's InStyle …
Written by Heather Drennan
On-again, off-again fur flaunter Lindsay Lohan recently tweeted that her fur is faux:
We loved the thought of Lindsay going from fur hag to faux fab, but it looks like the tweet from this twit might have just been a passing fancy. We called a rep from her much-ballyhooed (and widely panned) fashion line to see if she's ditched fur there too. Unfortunately, the rep confirmed over the phone that those tasteless stoles in LiLo's collection have, in fact, been ripped from the bodies of animals. So it looks like Lindsay's fashion sense probably is still as dead as her career.
It just doesn't make much sense to stop wearing fur if you still peddle it, Lindsay. If your tweet means that you've turned a new page and are going to trim the fur off your back completely so that you can join the ranks of the stylish women who always forgo fur, please let us know.
Written by Liz Graffeo
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver are four months away, but tomorrow the torch will be lit in an elaborate ceremony in Olympia, Greece. While the torch-lightings for the past few Winter Olympics have been disrupted by weather, it wasn't the clouds that had officials worried at today's final rehearsal …
It was PETA's "seal" and demonstrators who kept everyone on their toes.
As long as Canada, the host of the 2010 Winter Games, continues to allow sealers to bash in the heads of helpless baby seals, we'll continue to expose its shameful cruelty, wherever we can.
Yesterday, the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority ruled against a PETA U.K. ad that the watch group feels the public is too dense to understand. The decision was sparked by a sole complainant who thought that people might be confused by this billboard:
Personally, I think it's pretty straightforward, but moving on: How about this one, which PETA U.K. unveiled yesterday?
Hans-Gerhard Wagner of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization has acknowledged that factory farms create an "opportunity for emerging disease." The meat, egg, and dairy industries keep diseased animals in crowded, filthy conditions and feed them a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive. It shouldn't come as a shock that factory farms provide the ideal conditions for drug-resistant "superbugs" to develop.
Forgo the surgical masks, folks. The safest, easiest way to prevent animal-borne disease epidemics is to go vegan.
Written by Karin Bennett
The following is the winning PETA article on Helium.com and was written by Amanda Day.
Factory farms' presence increased significantly over the past fifty years. Continued growth will cause further environmental damage. Factory farms also known as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as facilities that confine and feed livestock for 45 days or more in any 12 month period and the area is absent of grass and vegetation typical of natural conditions. Traditional, pastoral, American farms where animals graze and exercise their natural behaviors have been replaced by factory farms where animals processed for food live in filthy, cramped, unnatural conditions detrimental to animals and our environment. Factory farms' deplorable practices compromise our water, soil and air quality. They must be removed from our landscape.
Contaminated water is unpleasant, dangerous and responsible for endangering ecosystems and diminishing biodiversity. Fertilizer ingredients sprayed on animal feed including potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus naturally occur in our environment, but accumulation of these elements is hazardous. Excess amounts spill, leak and runoff into the ground, fouling water and encouraging algae to grow which depletes oxygen and kills fish and other aquatic animals. Factory farms' sizes make these occurrences frequent. Each incident jeopardizes species by rendering water and terrain uninhabitable. If factory farms continue to operate and expand, less water and land will be available for growing whole foods which can sustain a greater number of people using natural resources more efficiently.
Fertilizers represent only the beginning of factory farms' harmful affects on our environment. Manure and urine pollute the air and further taint already spoiled water and soil. Four gases mainly responsible for the stench wafting into our atmosphere are methane, ammonia, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. All of these gases in excess are known to cause considerable health problems including eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, lack of coordination, nausea, liver and kidney damage, central nervous system complications and certain cancers. High levels of carbon dioxide released by factory farms prevent tissues and organs from absorbing oxygen triggering chest pains, fatigue and decreased concentration as well as vision and brain impairments. Odors and poor health often indicate air pollution. Climate changes ensue when these gases get trapped in our atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect.
Why such an excess of gas? Animals processed for food in factory farms increased about 60% within the past five decades. Increased animals means increased animal waste. Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, noted that consumers today spend about $110 billion annually eating four times the amount of chicken and three times the amount of beef and pork compared to previous decades explaining the continued growth and profitability of fast food establishments. Growing consumer demand for cheap meat and dairy products perpetuates the existence of factory farms on a global scale inhibiting governments' abilities to regulate and hold CAFOs accountable for environmental damage.
Farming methods practiced by traditional farmers had less of an impact on the environment than factory farms. Traditional farmers conducted business on a long cycle meaning they often raised livestock and crops simultaneously using a conventional fertilizer method, composted manure. Wealthy CAFOs operate on a short cycle focused on quantity. Even if animal waste were properly composted and utilized on nearby crops, the amount would be excessive. When lagoons, where animal waste is held, are not properly managed, waste leaks into our groundwater and emits high levels of gases into the atmosphere worsening global warming. The inability of traditional farmers to compete with CAFOs is partly the reason factory farms dominate our landscape.
Soil, water and air quality diminish as factory farm numbers grow. Fertilizers and animal waste contribute to environmental destruction while medications foster new bacteria. Factory farm managers use antibiotics to prevent outbreaks of sickness resulting from animals being confined in unnatural, cramped settings filled with their own excrement. As strains of bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, new bacteria strains develop and pose serious problems to our environment. A foreign introduction into any surrounding disrupts nature's equilibrium.
With a disruption of our environment's balance, conserving natural resources becomes even more crucial, but that is not what happens. The amount of energy required to manage CAFOs further taxes our polluted environment. "Beef production alone uses more water than is consumed in growing the nation's entire fruit and vegetable crops" [Motavalli, Jim. "So You're an Environmentalist; Why Are You Still Eating Meat?" AlterNet.]. A typical dairy farmer will use 150 gallons of water per day on each cow to wash and flush out the manure system. In addition to high volumes of water usage, land that could be used to grow crops for people is used to grow animal feed not to mention all the transportation required to ship animal feed and animals to be processed.
Companies have taken a captive supply and/or vertical integration approach to agribusiness. Captive supply is when a packing company owns contracts for cattle giving them a market advantage because they do not have to bid on cattle for slaughter in the open market. Vertical integration gives an even greater advantage because the company owns the entire process—factory farms, fertilizer manufacturing plants, feed sources, slaughterhouses, packaging and distribution centers as well as technology like genetic engineering and irradiation. These companies are modern day monopolies. To save our environment from further adverse effects of factory farms, they must be either preferably dismantled or held accountable for their negative impact on our environment.
Factory farms profit at the expense of animals and our environment. Their wealth and power influence government policies. We may not pay at the checkout line, but we pay when we visit the doctor for health problems directly correlated to factory farms' callous operations and with our tax monies to subsidize the meat and dairy industries as well as clean up their toxic waste. One way to combat factory farms' adverse effects on the environment is to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Consumers unwilling to give up animal products should purchase responsibly and write representatives urging them to enact harsher penalties for factory farms' spills, leaks and runoff disasters.
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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animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
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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.