Written by PETA
Georges Laraque (or "Big George" to friends and fans) is known for duking it out on the ice as the star enforcer for the Montréal Canadiens, but these days he's fighting for animal rights.
Georges already protested a fur expo in Montréal, and now he's just delivered a slap shot to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the bloody seal slaughter. Georges sent a letter to Prime Minister Harper, writing, "Blood on the ice is fine when it comes to Canada's national sport because players are willing participants, but the blood of helpless baby seals that stains the ice each year is Canada's shame."
He joins other notables who have denounced the slaughter, including Canadian Senator Mac Harb, British Columbia native Pamela Anderson, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and President Obama.
I think everyone can agree that this hockey champ is a pro at sticking up for animals.
Written by Karin Bennett
With baby seal corpses littering Canadian ice floes, this year's seal slaughter has finally ended—but the outrage over the Canadian government's refusal to stop the killing is just getting revved up.
Outcry against the seal slaughter is echoing around the globe. The European Union and the U.S. have banned seal products, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for an immediate end to the slaughter, and world leaders have spoken out against the massacre. Demonstrations from London to Hamburg and Los Angeles to Toronto have made headlines, and people all over the world have sent a strong, united message that the seal bloodbath must end.
It's clear that the Canadian seal slaughter is quickly losing favor and support: This year, about three-fourths of the seals who were expected to be bludgeoned or shot to death were spared. But we still need your help to make sure that Canada doesn't think the protests will end just because the killing has slowed.
One dead seal is still too many, so we've revved up our campaign to get the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to use its clout to stop the seal slaughter. Check out our new Web site OlympicShame2010.com and give us a hand, won't you?
Written by Shawna Flavell
The mutilation and slaughter of 19 cats in the South Miami-Dade area of Florida has made national news recently. Now that 18-year-old Tyler Weinman has been arrested and charged in connection with the killings, an article published today points out that the accused cat killer participated in classroom dissections last year.
Fearing Weinman might be a danger to himself and/or others, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer has ordered a psychiatric evaluation—and house arrest if Weinman makes bail—noting, "I'm concerned about his safety and the safety of the community.''
Smart woman. After all, most—if not all—notorious serial killers got their start abusing animals (think Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, and the Boston Strangler, just to name a few). Heck, even the main character in Showtime's popular series Dexter is a serial killer whose first victims were animals.
Parents and educators need to be aware that classroom dissections teach students that it's OK to be cruel. Schools should instead be teaching students to respect life by teaching anatomy via any of the many humane alternatives that are available. That's why we've written to the principal of Weinman's school urging him to stop all animal dissections and replace them with non-animal learning methods, which we are offering to provide free of charge. After all, I'm sure he doesn't want to risk adding any of his students' faces to the "Most Wanted" lists of criminals who "graduated" from dissecting frogs, rats, and cats to killing and cutting up men, women, and children.
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winners of the vegan soccer balls are Keren Genet, Rev. Meg Schramm, and Hannah Claire Jarvis. Congratulations!
The World Cup has just started, and you can already spot the true fans. Dedicated soccer (or, if you prefer, "football") enthusiasts all over the world are breaking out their jerseys and dusting off their giant foam fingers.
Before you start practicing your Ronaldinho moves, don't forget to make sure that your ball is cruelty-free. Many sports balls are made of leather, despite the cruelty and human health risks involved in producing it. Hasn't anyone at FIFA ever been to CowsAreCool.com?
For this week's "Win It" Wednesday, we're giving away leather-free soccer balls from Fair Trade Sports so that cows can keep their skins and you can kick butt on the field.
How do you win? Tell us about your favorite animal-friendly athlete in a comment below. The three most fan-crazed comments will win.
Written by Lianne Turner
Did you catch PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk on CNN Headline News last night? She was on Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell to speak out against plans to build a monkey-breeding facility in Puerto Rico.
Reports that this breeding farm would be stocked with monkeys snatched from their native homes in Mauritius are nightmarish enough, but the babies would then be sold for laboratory experiments. You know, like at Columbia University and Covance? Yikes!
Props to Jane Velez-Mitchell for recognizing that this story is newsworthy and for treating it—and folks concerned about animal rights—with respect. If you missed it, you should definitely check it out. Then head over here and tell Puerto Rico to cut out the monkey biz.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss knows what it's like to be behind bars—and ever since she inherited dozens of exotic birds from an acquaintance who passed away, she's learned firsthand that humans aren't the only ones whose needs aren't met in captivity.
Heidi was fortunate enough to be able to turn part of her home into a huge aviary where her birds can fly free and are never caged, but as she points out, most people who buy birds have no idea how to care for these complex animals. Many people keep birds caged for their entire lives—some birds are kept in cages so small that they are prevented from even stretching their wings, let alone flying.
That's why Heidi is teaming up with PETA to pressure one major purveyor of imprisoned parrots: PetSmart. She'll be speaking on PETA's behalf at PetSmart's annual meeting this Wednesday. Pointing out how much birds suffer in captivity as well as the abysmal record of neglect and abuse by PetSmart's stores and animal suppliers, Heidi will ask the company to begin phasing out the sale of all birds.
Go get 'em, Heidi! We know you're an expert at turning heads—now let's see you change some minds.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignited controversy when he made a speech in which he ostensibly endorsed Palestinian statehood. Unfortunately, the speech didn't go over so well with the Palestinians, who decried it as an empty offer because of the strings he attached to his endorsement.
While Palestinians and Israelis can't seem to agree on where to draw the (geographic) line, we thought the time had come to remind them that there's one thing we can all agree on: Cruelty sucks.
That's why we're bringing back our "Give Peas a Chance" ad, which we had previously proposed placing along both sides of the barriers that run through the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This time, we've turned it into a billboard that we will be trying to place throughout the region.
Wish us luck! After all, hummus is a universal symbol of peace, right? No? Hmmm, I could swear I read that somewhere.
Written by Alisa Mullins
"I just found out that I was voted 'PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian!' How cool is that?!! Thank you so much for voting!! That was totally unexpected!! I was jumping up and down when I heard the news! I even Googled it to make sure I wasn't being punk'd! Ha ha!!"—Kellie Pickler, MySpace.com
Kellie's exuberant reaction to winning our Sexiest Vegetarian of the Year award was too good not to share. Of course she wasn't getting punk'd! We, along with everyone who voted, just believe she has a face as lovely as her heart (and voice). Congrats, Kellie!
Here's a lovely follow-up to a story we mentioned earlier this year: The Cle Elum Seven are now honorary citizens of Cle Elum, Washington.
The Cle Elum Seven are chimpanzees who were living out life in a laboratory, until we helped them gain their freedom and they were given a home at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Washington. As you might expect, the chimpanzees have thrived in the new setting, and their neighbors are clearly pleased. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the chimpanzees' residency, the City Council unanimously issued a proclamation that made the chimpanzees honorary citizens. The proclamation also commends Cle Elum's human residents for donating toys, food, blankets, and time to the sanctuary.
All together now: Awww!
It's beginning to look like a very positive trend is emerging for great apes. Perhaps some day soon, the abuse of chimpanzees and other apes in laboratories and in Hollywood will be a horror of the past.
"Fur is no longer being viewed as a way to floss and show off your status or bank account—it is now a billboard of cruelty on people's back."—Russell Simmons, globalGrind.com
He's the founder of Phat Farm, so if anyone knows style, it's got to be Russell Simmons. In his recent globalGrind blog post, Russell gave a shout-out to Tila Tequila, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and Michelle Obama for speaking out against the fur industry and credited the ladies with marking "a shift in human consciousness." Wow, Russell, we couldn't have said it better ourselves!
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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.