Written by PETA
When historians finally compile the collected correspondence of Ingrid Newkirk, Britney Spears, and Kevin Federline into a bound, faux-leather 3-volume set, this one's going to be one of the highlights, in my humble opinion. Yesterday, PETA's president faxed the following missive to K-Fed asking him to please remember that Britney's unlimited capacity for neglect extends to canines too.
As I may have mentioned before, Britney has an extremely unpleasant habit of stopping by the pet store on the way back from the wigmaker's (or wherever it is she spends her time these days) to pick up new puppies, drag them around until she gets sick of them, and then abandon them. Well, since she hasn't exactly been taking good care of her children either, we think it's only reasonable that she let them bring their companion animals along when they go to K-Fed. You can read Ingrid's letter below.
msnbc/Creative CommonsOctober 4, 2007 To: Kevin Federline, c/o Nina Nisenholtz, N2N Entertainment From: Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA Dear Mr. Federline: We know that this is a particularly difficult time for you and your children. We are writing to you today to urge you to amend your filing with the court to also seek consideration for your children's bond with the companion animals they have come to know and to request that the judge also grant you custody of these animals. It is no secret that Ms. Spears' impetuous "pet" purchases and lack of caretaking skills have been a serious concern of ours, in addition to being a source of public criticism. In 2006, Ms. Spears was "the overwhelming choice" for worst celebrity dog owner in a poll conducted by The New York Dog and The Hollywood Dog magazines. This past summer, Ms. Spears bought a Yorkshire terrier puppy from a pet store on impulse, only to casually tote the pup-London-around like an accessory. In recent weeks, the Los Angeles SPCA has investigated reports of Ms. Spears' failure to provide adequate veterinary care for the tiny dog after he apparently suffered a fractured leg after being stepped on.As a father, your main concern is the comfort and stability of your children. London and the other animals whom the boys consider to be a part of the family have provided that comfort and stability. The companionship of beloved companion animals can make a world of difference for the boys during this difficult time, and being separated from the animal friends whom they share a bond with is undoubtedly traumatic for them. For the sake of your children and the animals who are at risk while in Ms. Spears' custody, we hope that you will do the right and best thing for all involved and pursue a custody order for the animals so that your sons can continue to have the company of the animals they've grown to adore. If you have any other thoughts, we stand ready to assist you in placing the animals in a loving environment.Sincerely, Ingrid E. Newkirk President
Update: Click here to read PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s Op-Ed in The Virginian Pilot about why PETA brought Vick into the office.
Contrary to recent news reports, there is absolutely no agreement with Michael Vick to appear in a PETA public service announcement. However, we are in discussion with his representatives to do a PSA that would take the issue of dogfighting head on, dogfighter to dogfighter. But it would be under the strictest of guidelines. The script we discussed was:
“Look at me. I have lost everything—my career, my income, respect, friends. I’ve hurt my family, and I am an object of scorn. My life is ruined. I have gone from being a star to the gutter, and now I’m going to jail. Don’t be a loser like me. If you fight dogs, stop. And if you don’t, don’t start.”
If Vick were to do this, we would be very pleased. Short of that, it’s not happening. But what do you think? Should Michael Vick do a PSA directed at potential dogfighters to send the message that if you fight dogs, you will lose everything?
In 2006, a whistleblower at Vanderbilt University tipped PETA off to reports that a Vanderbilt experimenter named Jeffrey D. Schall was performing brain surgery on unanesthetized macaque monkeys. The whistleblower also forwarded us an email that had been sent to the department that included what was essentially a friendly reminder to researchers not to forget about anesthesia before drilling into these terrified animals' heads.
Vanderbilt has been on our radar for a long time, and Schall has long been known in the animal protection community as one of the most vile torturers in the business. In 2005, Vanderbilt was cited for 13 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and Schall was suspended for a month after performing an unauthorized surgery and withholding water from a monkey. One monkey, called Lil' Wayne, died after seven days without anything to drink. In a separate incident, Schall threatened an animal care technician for reporting to the university veterinarian that an animal's collar had become entangled with the bottom bars of the cage, where he had become trapped.
We have been working for some time now to expose Vanderbilt's abysmal animal welfare record, and I will keep you updated as this case progresses. In the meantime, please take a moment to contact Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos at this e-mail address to request that Schall be be asked to resign. It won't solve all the problems at Vanderbilt, but it’d be a start.
Click here to read more about this case in Vanderbilt's paper.
Remember what Pam Anderson said a few months ago about the whole Uggs craze?
"I feel so guilty for that craze being started around Baywatch days - I used to wear them with my red swimsuit to keep warm - never realizing that they were SKIN! Do NOT buy UGGs! Buy Stella McCartney or Juicy boots - I'm looking for alternatives myself for my boys and the men in my life! I'm designing some right now for my family and will try and have some available on my Web site soon."
Well, Pam dug the original Uggs out of her closet and offered them to us to help draw attention to the cruelty involved in the Australian wool industry (Uggs are made of Australian sheep skins), and this is where you come in. We want to hear your best ideas on how to use them to bring attention to this important issue. Feel free to post your ideas as comments or send them to me directly. We’ll announce the best idea on the blog in couple of weeks.
Here are a couple of my own ideas to get you started, though admittedly these aren’t the most exciting.
Well to be fair, this is more of a Part 1-revisited, so if you totally understood the story the first time, feel free to browse through the archives (maybe cast your vote for this week's Vivisector of the Week), but if you had some questions about the whole thing, here's a quick guide to PETA's reasoning behind providing Michael Vick with information about why animals deserve respect, and some key facts about how it all went down:
I hope that clears a few things up. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions at all.
It’s not like we need another reason to boycott the Australian wool industry, what with mulesing and live export and all that already. But as if those things aren’t bad enough, I just learned that to keep the wool very fine and soft, some Australian farmers actually keep their sheep inside giant warehouses in individual pens that are kind of a cross between veal crates and battery cages.
Here’s a story about it, if you’re interested reading more. And more importantly, here is a link to our campaign to clean up the Australian wool industry once and for all.
I have a feeling that a lot of people would have been pretty surprised if they'd seen Michael Vick walking into PETA's offices recently—not once but three times. You'd think that would be the very last place on Earth he would consider spending time. But it happened, and here's how it came about: After Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk—a great believer in hammering away at the seemingly impossible—contacted him to ask him to hear about animals’ feelings, needs, and desires, and to hear firsthand why people are so outraged by the suffering of the dogs fought and killed in Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting pits. Vick confirmed our belief that he had never before been exposed to this kind of information, and, after a formal preliminary meeting at PETA HQ—during which we reiterated that we're still seeking a strong jail sentence and a lifetime ban on contact with animals—he left with study materials. He returned on September 18 to take an 8-hour course in empathy and animal protection. No cell phones allowed, no going out for lunch, just learning.
The full course that Vick took, which includes homework, workshop outlines, videos, and supplemental course materials, as well as the exam questions Michael Vick returned to answer under his tutor’s watchful eye, is available here. The class included scientific evidence that animals are thinking, feeling beings, capable of a range of behavior and emotions; presentations on the specific needs of dogs; and information about the well-documented link between acts of violence against animals and crimes against humans, which PETA shares with law enforcement officers every week.
I know people can see red when it comes to any mention of Vick, so I do want to be extremely clear about our position here: While we’re pleased to have been able to show Vick facts about animals—many things he’d certainly never heard before in his life—we are in no way going to bat for him. He may have passed our empathy course, but we have asked the judge to send him to jail and bar him from ever possessing or having contact with animals. We believe anyone who might consider abusing animals should see exactly how much a known animal abuser stands to lose.
We've also sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to make our “Developing Empathy for Animals” course a requirement for all NFL players. To help persuade Goodell to make humane education a part of the NFL's basic training for players, please click here.
Following Houston's decision to ban Alicia Silverstone's sexy pro-vegetarianism PSA, one PETA Lettuce Lady took it upon herself to make a personal plea to Texas Governor Rick Perry to encourage Texans to go vegetarian. When the top "fattest cities" in America were announced this year, Texas had four cities in the top ten, so if there's anyone who needs a bit of urgent advice about a healthy diet, it's the good folks in the Lone Star State.
Texas, you've been a very naughty state. But nobody wants to hear that kind of talk from me when they can get it from a lovely Lettuce Lady. Check out the amazing video that the wonderful Nicole Matthews sent to Texas' governor today. How can you say no to this one, Rick?
Now that you've watched the video, please click here to sign our petition asking Governor Rick Perry to get on board with our "Go Veg Texas" Campaign.
I just saw this great story from Time Out New York about which Big Apple residents are currently in our crosshairs. Some, like Ringling, won’t be much of a surprise, but some of the others, well . . . I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so you’ll have to check out the article for yourself. Here's the link again.
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.