Written by PETA
The NBA finals are upon us, and Los Angeles Lakers small forward Ron Artest is up to his old tricks—playing lock-down defense on Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and bringing his patented passion and energy to a Lakers team that acquired him in the off-season for just that reason.
Artest may be vying for his first championship ring, but he's already got one accolade in the bag—PETA's Defensive Player of the Year award for defending dogs and cats against the animal overpopulation crisis. Through this eye-catching ad, the tough-as-nails Artest urges his fans to "have the balls" to spay or neuter their dogs:
This busy athlete also took the time to shoot a public service announcement for PETA, asking people to make a difference for animals by getting involved.
We wish Ron-Ron the best of luck in bringing home the title this year! Around the country, fingers (and paws) are crossed in thanks for his full-court-press for animals.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
We’re almost there, folks. If it’s any consolation, this is just as unpleasant for me as it is for you, but we’ve started this thing, so we need to finish it. Last night, Kansas won a stunner in overtime to take the NCAA basketball title, but our parallel tournament to find the college with the most horrific animal experimentation program has just one last round before we can recognize the winner and go home in disgust. They’ve been through a lot to get here, overcoming an unbelievably tough field of cat killers, monkey maimers, and bunny butchers to reach the finals of this notorious event, so hold your noses and steel yourself for one last dance with the March Mad Scientists … ladies and gentlemen, you voted to see them here; now let’s crown our champion:
Arthur Weber, Michigan State
Arthur Weber and the MSU team have been trouncing the competition so far, and last week’s blowout of Alan Schatzberg and the underperforming Stanford brain butchers (with a score of 12 votes to 0!) has effectively silenced the doubters. Weber’s spent 25 years torturing cats by removing their eyes while they’re still alive, and given MSU’s manhandling of the Stanford team last week, anyone going up against Weber and the Michigan state vivisectors should know that, like the cats who go under Weber’s knife, they're in for a world of pain. Leave a comment below to vote for Arthur Weber and MSU to win it all.
Michael Platt, Duke
Like MSU, Michael Platt’s Duke team held their opponents scoreless in last week’s semifinal, and their 4-0 victory was more than enough to earn them a place here on the big stage. Platt brings a one-two punch to the fray that’s going to be tough to defend against—his two-pronged approach to vivisecting involves drilling metal screws into monkeys’ skulls and implanting wire coils under their eyelids. Will Platt’s technical expertise with the brain screws be enough to get him past this final hurdle? Only you can decide. Leave a comment below to vote for Michael Platt and the Duke Devils to bring home the title.
Happy voting, and be sure to tune in next week when we crown the winner and take a nostalgic walk back through some of the tournament’s highlights and disappointments.
After Oprah aired a hard-hitting exposé of puppy mills last week, the folks at the American Kennel Club had the audacity to publicly praise the show, while they were presumably maneuvering frantically behind the scenes to make sure that the breeders they’ve been vigorously defending for decades don’t take a hit as a result. PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote to Oprah yesterday to thank her for doing the show and to point out that the AKC is no friend of dogs and never has been. You can read her letter here.
Hanna will take the stage for a fun-filled presentation highlighting his many adventures with a mix of DVD clips and inspirational stories about conservation, travel and wildlife. His program includes live animals such as panthers, snow leopards, porcupines, kangaroos and penguins. PSBR will present Jungle Jack Hanna with its “Community Service Award,” for his public support of humane animal based research and outspokenness regarding the positive nature of the field of biomedical research.
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up: Jack Hanna, who’s made a career out of keeping animals confined and dragging them along with him on the talk-show circuit, is giving a “fun-filled” presentation about kangaroos and porcupines frolicking in the wild to a room full of people who professionally advocate for increased animal experimentation. Unbelievable.
Thanks to Genevieve H for the tip, and thanks to Jack Hanna for making my day that much more surreal.
In case any of you missed it, actor and gun-enthusiast Charlton Heston died over the weekend. So anyone who’s been patiently waiting in line to try and pry the guns from his cold, dead hands can go ahead and do so now. While part of me is sad to see one of my childhood heroes go (Ben Hur pretty much changed my life), I’m sure there are plenty of orphaned deer who don’t share those sentiments. Anyway, RIP Charlton H. I’m guessing they probably don’t allow people to hunt defenseless animals with high-powered assault rifles in heaven, but hopefully he’ll be able to find a more peaceful hobby in the afterlife.
April 4 marks the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. As we reflect on the violent killing of a man who stood for peace and equality, it’s a good time to ask ourselves what we are doing — because there’s so much we can do - to help humanity reach those goals.
We may not be able to stop all the violence in the world, but each of us has the power to end the violence and suffering we’re responsible for every time we sit down to eat, simply by choosing humane vegetarian foods instead of meat, dairy, and eggs. The animals who are killed for our food never have the freedom to do anything natural or enjoyable. They spend their frightened often pain-wracked lives crammed into tiny and filthy cages or pens before being violently killed (many have their throats slit and are scalded or dismembered while still conscious) in slaughterhouses.
After all these years, it is high time we opened our hearts and spoke up to oppose violence in all its forms. We can all make a start by showing others how easy it is to wipe violence off our plates.
-Ingrid E. Newkirk, President, PETA
The votes are in, and the contest is getting even more intense, as the four remaining universities square off in this week’s Fatal Four! We’ve had some nailbiting upsets and some unseemly blowouts since this competition began a few weeks ago, but I can say without reservations that the four remaining contestants deserve to be here. So let’s bring this thing to its breathtaking conclusion: Leave a comment to vote for the two schools you want to see next week … in PETA’s March Mad Scientist Final Showdown.
Here are your matchups:
Michael Platt drills metal screws into monkeys’ skulls for a living, and he’s not afraid to implant the occasional wire coil under their eyelids when push comes to shove. It’s this “nothing’s impossible” attitude that has helped Michael get the Duke team in contention to win it all this year, despite an extremely strong field consisting of some of the cruelest vivisectors in the world.
Ei Terasawa, UW-Madison
Regardless of which team wins in the end, UW-Madison’s Ei Terasawa will most certainly be in contention for “MVP of the Tournament” honors. Ei’s signature move, the “push-pull perfusion” technique, involves a two-chambered pipe, a few bottles of chemicals, a restraint chair, and a live monkey’s brain. It’s Ei’s unique ability to combine these objects in surprising ways that has brought her team all the way to the Fatal Four. Will it be enough to get them to the finals?
We highlighted Arthur Weber in the Sick Sixteen a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t need any help to advance his team in the tournament. Arthur’s longtime practice of removing cats’ eyes while they’re still alive is more than enough to make Michigan State a strong contender to take home the big prize this year.
Alan Schatzberg, Stanford
But don’t discount Alan Schatzberg and his colleague David Lyons! These guys have put Stanford in a position to pull off a big upset this week, with their hard work in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences traumatizing the hell out of some monkeys. Schatzberg and Lyons’ signature move of implanting wires into primates’ brains may be just enough to get them into the big show.
Leave a comment to vote for the winner of each matchup, and we’ll see you next week in the finals!
Oprah Winfrey is going to be tackling puppy mills on her show today, so be sure to check it out (or Tivo it) if you get a chance. Puppy mills, which keep large quantities of purebred dogs in overcrowded, often shockingly inhumane conditions, are a well-kept secret of the pet-trade industry, and the animal protection community is extremely grateful to Oprah for exposing this major cause of pet overpopulation to a wide audience.
It’s standard practice for puppy mills—which supply animals to pet stores and purebred enthusiasts, without any concern for the millions who will die in shelters as a result—to keep animals in constant confinement, without proper veterinary care or socialization. It’s common to hear stories of puppy mills that are shut down on cruelty to animals charges (I posted about one a couple of weeks ago), but it’s nowhere near common enough—and these sordid operations will continue to thrive for as long as people support them by purchasing animals from pet stores or seeking out purebred animals from breeders.
You can find out what time the show will be airing where you live on Oprah’s site, and there’s more information about puppy mills, and you can learn more about PETA’s campaign to help companion animals here.
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.