Written by PETA
It's been an especially bad month for animals on factory farms. Thousands of animals died in fires over the past couple weeks, hens at a Nebraska egg farm were going to be ground up alive until PETA stepped in, and we now have word that nearly 1,000 pigs starved to death after apparently being abandoned on a farm in Fulton County, Pa.
The pigs were discovered by the estranged wife of the farmer who reportedly vacated the property several months ago—and apparently left hundreds of pigs and several calves behind to die. According to a humane society police officer who responded to the scene, evidence indicates that the animals were trapped inside barns and "struggled and fought to get out."
Union Township Supervisor Gary Sheeder, who is an acquaintance of the farm's owner, was appalled by scale of the tragedy. "I can't believe, with as many kids as he had, that life didn't mean more to him," he told a reporter.
The real estate agent who is handling the sale of the death trap farm was more sanguine: "I think this is very normal in a lot of farming operations, that you're going to have dead animals."
Yeah, our undercover investigators have noticed that too.
Fortunately, authorities are taking the case seriously, and several state and local agencies—including the humane society, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania State Police—are investigating and are considering pressing charges. Check back for updates as we learn more.
Written by Alisa Mullins
He's been a favorite of mine from the start and now it’s official: I love Jorge Garcia!
Jorge, who played “Hurley,” the owner of a Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack on Lost, has gone vegetarian! “It's about the animals,” says Jorge, who gave meat the boot after learning how chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals are crammed en masse into filthy factory farms and are often scalded alive in slaughterhouses. Jorge also says that he is enjoying the great health benefits of being a vegetarian. Feels good, doesn't it?
No doubt, Jorge’s many other fans will be happy to hear that he is being so kind to himself and to animals. Congratulations, Jorge, on your healthy and humane new diet!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Ever since half a billion eggs were recalled because of a salmonella outbreak, people have been talking about food safety regulations. Animal welfare issues have been mentioned, but they need to be considered more seriously. The following are some facts to help you tell the hens' side of the story:
There's cruelty in every carton of eggs:Ninety-nine percent of hens used by the egg industry are confined to filthy, crowded battery cages. In June, the owner of one of the egg farms involved in the recall—and of the company that supplies chickens and chicken feed to both farms implicated in the outbreak—pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals and paid more than $130,000 in fines and restitution following an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals.
Salmonella spreads like wildfire on factory farms:Under squalid factory farm conditions, it's easy for salmonella bacteria—which live in the intestines and feces of animals—to spread from bird to bird and from birds to people. Vegan foods don't naturally harbor salmonella bacteria.
Avoiding eggs is the best way to prevent salmonella poisoning and reduce animal suffering:A salmonella vaccine that has been used successfully in Britain is available, but American regulators don't believe there's enough evidence to show that vaccinating hens will prevent people from getting sick. It's obvious that our food safety regulations are not all they're cracked up to be and that the safest and kindest way to prevent salmonella poisoning is to stop eating eggs altogether. PETA is urging Iowa schools to stop serving eggs to children in order to help protect them from food poisoning. You can opt for egg replacer, scrambled tofu, and other tasty vegan foods.
Written by Heather Moore
In a recent fire on an Ohio egg farm, 250,000 hens died after they were left in two sheds that had the electricity knocked out in order to battle the fire. Once the fire was squelched, all the birds were "euthanized" (we don't know how they were killed) because, according to a spokeswoman for Ohio Fresh Eggs, it was the "humane thing to do."
First, take a minute to soak in the fact that there were more than 250,000 hens crammed into two sheds. Chickens on egg farms are packed into battery cages so tightly that they don't even have enough room to lie down, and the cages are stacked from floor to ceiling. They have their beaks seared off without being given any painkillers, and for up to two years they endure relentless cycles of egg-laying. When they become too weak to produce eggs they are trucked to slaughterhouses, where their legs are slammed into metal shackles and they have their throats cut while they are still conscious and able to feel pain.
Animals who are crammed by the thousands into warehouse-like buildings are often out of luck when disaster strikes, because it's not cost-effective for farm operators (and they certainly don't care enough) to take the time to implement evacuation plans. The loss of life caused by fires, floods, and other disasters is all too common on factory farms.
Of course, any animal who has suffered through a tragedy like this should be given a humane release from pain, but the representative also declined to comment on the method that was used to kill these poor chickens. If it's anything like the way many egg farms "euthanize" their male chicks—by leaving them to suffocate in plastic bags or by sending them through giant meat grinders while they are still alive—then I would say that "humane" isn't part of the equation.
Want to make sure that tragedies like these don't continue to occur? Go vegan.
Written by Heather Drennan
Apparently, some people have gotten so impatient when it comes to satisfying their hunger that they can no longer wait for someone to kill their food for them. "Exotic eaters" are resorting to eating live octopi, and it has sparked a lively PETA HQ debate, which I need your help to win.
Written by Logan Scherer
P.S. I have concluded (after minimal thought) that so-called "exotic eaters" and I have absolutely zilch in common. My definition of exotic tends to stray toward pyramids and belly dancers.
Despite overwhelmingly sad video and photographic evidence of lame, thin, and downed cows left to suffer and die and a cow whose teat was banded and left to decay and fall off—not to mention expert testimony that all this constituted cruelty—a judge whose courtroom was packed with dairy farmers today found the owners of Reitz Dairy, a filthy Land O'Lakes supplier in Pennsylvania that PETA investigated last year, not guilty.
PETA's investigator found cows on this factory dairy farm collapsed, lame, and struggling to hobble through a deep soup of feces and urine in the perpetually filthy conditions. Cows suffering from painful infections and severe lameness were deprived of even basic care; dying cows were not even put out of their misery. PETA's video shows injured cows as they are kicked, shocked with a high-voltage electric prod, and jabbed along the spine with the open blade of a pocket knife.
A little pat of butter? PETA has brought the abysmal conditions on this farm to Land O'Lakes' attention, but the company is doing nothing to prevent such abuse and neglect on its suppliers' farms and continues to buy from Reitz Dairy.
Cows are great mothers, loyal herd members, wise, and gentle. Studies show that they will sacrifice their own interests for the benefit of the group and that they communicate in subtle ways with facial expressions that we can't even register. When they figure out a puzzle, such as how to open a tricky gate, they have a "eureka moment" and jump for joy.
Because cows cannot rely on the law to protect them, it's up to every concerned person to take a stand—to vote against cruelty with our shopping cart. As this case has vividly demonstrated, milk, cheese, and butter do not come from "happy cows" who frolic in lush green pastures. They come from miserable cows confined to crowded, muck-filled barns—cows who are forcibly impregnated, only to have their newborns yanked away from them so that humans can drink the milk that nature intended for their calves.
That's why we must continue to pressure Land O'Lakes to, at the very least, implement the 12-point animal-welfare program that PETA has recommended. And each one of us needs to "file charges" against factory farms every time we shop by refusing to purchase their ill-gotten products.
The findings of a new report from Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should come as no surprise to anyone with an ounce of sense: Abuse and exploitation run rampant in meat factories, no matter the victim's species.
One in three workers interviewed by the EHRC claimed to have heard or been the victim of verbal abuse by superiors, and one in five admitted to "being pushed, kicked, or having things thrown at them." The report contains testimony from employees who claimed to have had frozen burgers thrown at them by managers and states that workers with bladder conditions admitted to urinating on themselves after they were denied bathroom breaks.
It doesn't take a great leap of logic to understand that the callousness required to hang gentle animals by chains and shackles, cut their throats while they are still conscious, and begin to skin them while they are still blinking will bleed into employee relations, and it's no coincidence that the hardships endured by humans are eerily similar to those endured by animals. If you want to stop human and animal exploitation, the answer is easy: Go vegan.
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:
Ever since The New York Times reminded Americans of the devastating effects of meatborne illnesses, the topic has been at the center of discussion around many a dinner table. It was also the hot topic on Monday night's episode of Larry King Live, in which panelists debated: Should Americans be eating meat?
The answer: No, unless you don't mind that your hamburger patty may contain bacteria-laden meat not just from multiple cows, but from multiple factory farms around the world. Barf.
If you missed the show, we've got the full segment for you right here:
If even infamous foie gras–loving chef Anthony Bourdain is against factory farming, then you know it must be bad. Next time you're at the grocery store looking for some patties to throw on the grill, opt for the veggie burgers.
Written by Liz Graffeo
As horrible as the findings were, our undercover investigation at Aviagen has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving—giving out indictments to those we caught on video abusing animals, that is.
Quick review: A PETA investigator went undercover on Aviagen's turkey factory farms in West Virginia and gathered evidence that workers broke turkeys' necks, stomped on their heads, and shoved feces and feed into turkeys' mouths. This evidence led to the first-ever indictments for felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds, and the first-ever cruelty convictions of turkey factory-farm workers.
Aviagen's farms are spread out over multiple counties in West Virginia, which means that workers were subject to prosecution in each county where they abused or neglected these intelligent, sensitive birds. The first indictments were handed down in Greenbrier County, and now further felony indictments have been issued in Monroe County against Walter Hambrick and Scott White. White was already convicted in Greenbrier County of the cruelty he committed there, and he went to jail. Hambrick—whose charges in Greenbrier County are still pending—now faces three more felonies just a few minutes down the road.
Of course, it's easy as (eggless, nondairy) pie to stop contributing to factory farm and slaughterhouse cruelty—like the kind at Aviagen, Belcross, AgriProcessors, Pilgrim's Pride, and too many others to mention—simply by going vegetarian.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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.