Written by PETA
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Fashion-forward blogger Perez Hilton is being named the queen of my "Best-Dressed" list because he has been spotted in a Fabulous Furs faux-fur coat. His look sure beats that of another well-known queen, Aretha Franklin, who just yesterday was announced as the "winner" of PETA's " Worst-Dressed" title for sporting the fur of dead animals.
PETA had this to say about Aretha: "How 'bout some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for animals? Aretha, when you waddled into the Grammys in yet another vulgar fur, you looked as if you were going to perform 'I Am the Walrus' by The Beatles. You may be a queen, but you don't know jack about compassion." Ouch.
Sure, Perez is only on a list of one, but I'd be happy to make it longer—that way, we can have a full-blown, knock-out, throw-down fight for the "Best-Dressed" title next year.
See Perez in his cruelty-free faux fur here, and check out all the hags who made our "Worst-Dressed" list here.
After lengthy discussions with PETA, PETCO has announced that it will reduce the number of animals for sale in its stores nationwide by 30% and revamp its live-animal vendor certification standards to improve conditions at all of its pet suppliers, starting with Rainbow World Exotics (RWE) in Hamilton, Texas.
At RWE—a hellish facility that breeds and brokers tens of thousands of animals who will be sold at pet stores, including PETCO and PetSmart—PETA found abuse and neglect of small animals and birds, including the following:
•Rabbits were neutered by an employee using a dull razor and Clorox wipes on the animals' open incisions. One improperly anesthetized rabbit kicked and struggled during the surgery.•Live hamsters, rats, and mice were dumped into trash cans, and animals were thrown against the floor in an attempt to kill them.•Many animals were denied veterinary care, including a baby Goffin's cockatoo named Angel, who Jack told you about in January; ferrets with rectal prolapses; and a guinea pig with a broken hip.
•Rabbits were neutered by an employee using a dull razor and Clorox wipes on the animals' open incisions. One improperly anesthetized rabbit kicked and struggled during the surgery.
•Live hamsters, rats, and mice were dumped into trash cans, and animals were thrown against the floor in an attempt to kill them.
•Many animals were denied veterinary care, including a baby Goffin's cockatoo named Angel, who Jack told you about in January; ferrets with rectal prolapses; and a guinea pig with a broken hip.
Watch the video posted below for more details on the horrors uncovered in the investigation, and check out the piece from the Today show, where the story broke nationally.
Change is good, but we wish that PETCO would have done even better and kissed its relationship with RWE goodbye. Says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch, "It is astounding that an abusive mill like RWE can still call the nation's two largest pet supply companies its customers." She continues, "The decisions by PETCO and PetSmart not to cut ties with RWE make it clear that to them, the bottom line is far more important than ensuring that tens of thousands of animals avoid pain and suffering. PETA wants consumers to know that animals do not generally fare well in the pet trade. Animal shelters and pounds are the place to go when you are ready to offer a loving, responsible home to an animal."
I couldn't agree more. If you care about animals, don't buy from stores that sell animals.
For what you can do to help, click here.
During my time in Norfolk, Virginia, where I worked at PETA's headquarters, I got to know my local Harris Teeter very well. I'm the kind of person who likes to visit the grocery store on an almost daily basis so that I can load up on the freshest produce or just stroll the aisles. This led to quite a close bond with the store, and I even affectionately called it The Teet.
As you can imagine, when the news of Harris Teeter's new animal welfare policies flew into my in-box minutes ago, I was thrilled to learn that their plan is going to surpass national rivals. Under the new plan, they will do the following:
•Increase its purchases of chickens killed by controlled-atmosphere systems—the least-cruel method of bird slaughter—from 11% to 26% over the next three years. The Teet will also start purchasing turkeys killed by controlled-atmosphere systems, starting with 2% this fall, and giving purchasing preference to controlled-atmosphere systems suppliers. •Increase its purchases of pig meat from suppliers phasing out gestation crates—restrictive metal enclosures that confine pregnant pigs—by 10, 15, and 20% over each of the next three years. Harris Teeter is also giving purchasing preference to suppliers that don't use cruel gestation crates.•Increase the total percentage of its egg sales that represent cage-free eggs from 6% to 9% by 2009, and will work to increase that number to 12% by 2010 (the national average is only 5%). The company's new line of Harris Teeter brand eggs will also be cage-free, and Harris Teeter is giving purchasing preference to cage-free egg producers.
•Increase its purchases of chickens killed by controlled-atmosphere systems—the least-cruel method of bird slaughter—from 11% to 26% over the next three years. The Teet will also start purchasing turkeys killed by controlled-atmosphere systems, starting with 2% this fall, and giving purchasing preference to controlled-atmosphere systems suppliers.
•Increase its purchases of pig meat from suppliers phasing out gestation crates—restrictive metal enclosures that confine pregnant pigs—by 10, 15, and 20% over each of the next three years. Harris Teeter is also giving purchasing preference to suppliers that don't use cruel gestation crates.
•Increase the total percentage of its egg sales that represent cage-free eggs from 6% to 9% by 2009, and will work to increase that number to 12% by 2010 (the national average is only 5%). The company's new line of Harris Teeter brand eggs will also be cage-free, and Harris Teeter is giving purchasing preference to cage-free egg producers.
I am in no way saying that these changes make eating animals, eggs, or dairy products OK in my book—they don't. I still believe the best thing anyone can do to end cruelty to animals is to go vegan, but this is a small step in the right direction. And now I don't have to feel as guilty about my little love affair with a grocery store anymore.
Many of you have asked what PETA's response is to the recent recall of 143 million pounds of beef. Well, we're doing a mass mailing of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit," of course!
We've sent copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit" to school boards across the country and urged them to add more vegetarian options to school cafeteria menus. But we're not simply saying that vegetarian options should replace the tainted beef. Oh, no. Vegetarian options should replace all beef because of beef's dangerous levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can be an even bigger threat to human health than E. coli and salmonella.
Beef and other animal products have been conclusively linked to America's top killers: heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer. Meat-eaters are 10 times more likely than vegetarians to suffer from heart disease, and a low-fat vegetarian diet has been proved to reverse heart disease.
PETA's Lindsay Rajt summed it up nicely by saying, "The diseases we may catch from downed cows are far less likely to kill us than the fat and cholesterol we get from their flesh. The best way to protect the health of the nation's school kids is to encourage them to eat more vegetarian foods."
For more details on the connection between your health and eating meat, please check out the health section of GoVeg.com.
Since being named the sexiest vegetarian of 2007, Kevin Eubanks has clearly embraced the prestigious title. So much so that the Tonight Show bandleader decided to write, direct, and star in a new ad for us that boasts about the benefits of a meat-free diet.
Kevin's ad is just one in a series of vegetarian testimonials—others feature Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, and Kevin Nealon—but Eubanks' hilarious video has a certain something not seen in the others.
Maybe it's the giant strawberry costume he's dressed in. Maybe it's his reference to wanting all his organs to work just fine (because of the connection between eating meat and impotence). Or maybe it's the date he has planned with pineapples, melons, and other fruits. OK, I think it's all of the above.
While Jack is away in Cali, I pledged that I wouldn't make The PETA Files too girly. Not that I'm really known to be the type of girl who focuses on clothes or make-up more than, say, how the Saints are a better football team than the Redskins. But in the absence of the second-best PETA blogger, I vowed to keep girl talk to a bare minimum—that is, until I found a reason to write about H&M.
In addition to turning out trendy clothing that is both affordable and stylish enough for all of us hipster wannabes (Jack included), H&M is now on my list of top places to shop for an even better reason. The international retail giant has pledged to stop buying cruelly produced Australian wool!
That's right! In addition to already carrying a wide variety of synthetic leather purses and an abundance of cruelty-free clothing, H&M is going a step further by pledging to buy more wool from countries that don't use mulesing—the crudest, cruelest, and cheapest method used for flystrike "prevention." H&M also vows to ensure that the Australian merino wool used in its designs comes only from farmers that don't practice mulesing.
To learn more about mulesing—in which Australian farmers use shears to cut chunks of skin and flesh from lambs' backsides, without any painkillers—please visit SaveTheSheep.com.
I’ll leave the historians to argue about how accurate that Lincoln quote is, but it’s a hell of a nice sentiment. While we’re waiting for them to figure that out, here are some other historical animal lovers for your viewing pleasure.
I almost forgot! I’m going to be away next week in sunny Berkeley, California, but my arch-rival Amy Cook, whom you may know from the Veg Cooking Files (or whatever it is she calls her blog) will be running the show in my absence. What Amy lacks in worldliness and savoir faire, she makes up for with a certain plodding intellect (she’s also a keen typist), so you’ll be in good hands until I return. Amy is also a lot prettier than I am, so please don’t get too attached before I come back next Friday. Have a great week!
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.