Written by PETA
Andy Hurley and Gabe Saporta are in a couple of bands called Fall Out Boy and Cobra Starship that have enjoyed a degree of success. Like, the #1 on the Billboard charts kind of success—which is why it was very kind of them indeed to remember their old friends (those hopelessly trendy Rebels With a Cause over at peta2) and do this interview about what got them into animal rights. This is the first in a series in which Gabe and Andy discuss animal issues with each other, and I can't wait for the next ones to come out. These guys are both articulate, thoughtful spokesmen for animal rights, and it's awesome to see them take time to reach out to their millions of fans about veganism.
Seriously. If you have a store that could use a kickass elephant display for a few months, tell us where, why, and perhaps we can deliver it to you. It stands about 5½ feet tall when on its base, and about 3 feet wide. Ella weighs 150 lbs and the base an additional 700 pounds. A permit may be needed. She's leaving NY and looking for a home since the circus took away her mom. You can read more about Ella’s story here.
There is an end in sight, and while this isn't going to stop us from doing everything in our power to end all abuses of cows right now, the announcement this week by the American Veal Association that they will phase out veal crates by 2017 is a major landmark for the animal protection movement and proof that decades of pressure on the industry to end its cruel practices has paid off.
Veal, which rates a full 10 out of 10 on the WTF? scale, is made by chaining calves by their necks inside solitary crates for up to 23 weeks. The AVA's decision to finally abandon this torture means an end in sight for what will one day be regarded as among the most vile practices in human history.
This announcement marks the latest in a series of victories for the animal protection movement in its long struggle to eliminate the solitary, intensive confinement of farmed animals. Earlier this year, three of the world's largest pig meat producers—Smithfield Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, and Cargill Meat Solutions—took steps to phase out gestation crates for pigs, and recently, following years of discussions with PETA, Burger King made a commitment to buy 20 percent of its pig meat from suppliers that do not use gestation crates and 5 percent of its eggs from sources that do not confine chickens to battery cages. Shortly afterwards, Wendy's followed suit, pledging to purchase 20 percent crate-free pork by the end of 2008 and increase that percentage over time.
This is an important step forward, and, put together with these other victories for animals, it's clearly part of a trend. As Ingrid Newkirk puts it, "While the best way to prevent cruelty to animals is to simply stop eating them, any progress made toward mitigating their suffering is commendable."
The piece is incredibly interesting, especially when you consider Gellman’s perspective. Gellman, a Rabbi, uses moving vignettes from his grandfather (a zookeeper) throughout his article, which is one of the most thoughtful pieces I’ve read in ages on the issue of animals in captivity. Here’s just one interesting bit:
"He would patiently explain to me that they did not want to be in their cages but that we put them there so that little boys like me could see up close what they look like, how they move and what sounds they make. Grandpa explained to me that this was a deal we humans made with the wild animals of the world. We capture and display some of them so that people would feel something for them and protect the wild animals that were not in cages. I asked grandpa if he thought the deal was fair. He thought and said, 'It's a good deal for us, and not such a good deal for them.' I still think grandpa was right."
Amazing . . .
You can check out the full piece here.
The folks in our Regulatory Testing Division are pretty smart, I must say. They spend their entire lives neck deep in scientific papers that would squash the brains of most normal people, so to say that they’re a pretty serious lot is like saying Barry Bonds is kind of good at baseball. So imagine my surprise when I found out about their latest little stunt. Granted, it’s hard to make anything containing words like toxicogenomics and bioinformatics even the least bit fun, but I think they pulled it off here.
Yesterday, PETA sent these little alarm clocks to members of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods—the folks charged with helping streamline the validation and use of modern non-animal testing methods—to remind them that an animal dies every two seconds of every day in a US government mandated toxicity test, and to push them to do their job by helping to implement—not block—alternatives to animal testing.
Check out the letter they sent with the clocks here.
"As an Anaheim Duck, I hate to see real ducks tortured so that a handful of wealthy chefs can serve their diseased organs. Please uphold this compassionate law."
If you live in Chicago, please take a moment to follow Scott's compassionate example, and sign a petition to the Chicago City Council here. It takes, like, 15 seconds, and it will make a huge difference for the ducks and geese who have pipes rammed down their throats so that the aforementioned industry lobbyists can make a few bucks.
PETA Files reader Nancy Winebarger just sent me her own version of the Mercury Poisoning fish billboard I wrote about last week. Here’s what she said:
"I saw the blog today about the Mercury Poisoning billboard being rejected based on the image used, so I thought I'd pass along an idea for something that might be a bit more palatable to the squeamish."
I think both concepts do a great job of alerting people to the issue in a way that grabs your attention in a different way. I’ve posted both Nancy’s and PETA’s version below—which one do you like better?
Sadly, this headline isn’t a joke. To say that our history with the so called environmental group Environmental Defense (ED) is sordid is a bit of an understatement. Let’s just say that it more than ruffles our feathers that ED reps sit on all sorts of gov't panels and always advocate for more animal tests—and against first seeing what previous info there may be on whether people are even exposed to a substance. It also didn’t sit too well with us when PETA reps were walking the halls of the EPA pleading for anyone to look at methods to replace lethal dose testing and ED told us to our face that they were not interested in the alternative method. And it really got under our skin when ED fought tooth and nail against our push (eventually successful) to incorporate some non-animal toxicity testing methods into the HPV program instead of injecting animals with toxic substances into their abdomen.
To say that ED is notorious for pushing animal testing is also an understatement, so I guess it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the group is once again calling for a massive animal-testing program despite clear evidence that animal testing does not protect human or environmental health. Now this organization has set its sights on the new field of nanotechnology and, together with chemical giant DuPont, has designed a testing strategy for nanomaterials that relies heavily on crude and cruel animal tests.
It’s incredibly ironic to me that people involved in a field as cutting-edge as nanotechnology are pushing for the same old animal tests that failed to predict the hazards of asbestos, mercury, benzene, chromium, arsenic, and tobacco smoke, to name just a few. ED should look at the many human-relevant non-animal testing methods available now and use a step-by-step approach to testing. Since even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits that 92 percent of drugs that pass animal experiments fail in clinical trials in humans—and since animal tests are expected to fail even more miserably with nanomaterials because their minute size does not allow efficient tracking in animals—ED's position is indefensible.
Notable scientists specializing in nanomaterials safety research are pushing for the use of existing in vitro (non-animal) test methods and the further development of additional ones. A recent landmark report is pushing for the same. But ED remains oblivious to the recommendations of prominent scientists and refuses to recognize that experiments on animals have severe limitations—both ethical and scientific.
And this is where you come in. Click here to take ED’s online survey and tell them what you think about their pushing cruel animal tests. You can also click here to take action from our site.
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.