Written by PETA
Today we released a new investigation inside Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus that shows workers on video as they beat and whipped elephants dozens of times in venues across the country. It's an investigation that I helped work on.
Once investigators capture video from an investigation, my job is to review all the footage and meticulously record the abuses and other notable findings. From that, I prepare condensed versions of the video for the public to view and draft complaints to officials, which in the new investigation into Ringling amounted to nine complaints to a total of 20 federal and state offices.
At times, reviewing so much footage can be tedious and extremely upsetting, but it's nothing compared to the relentless suffering that the animals who are used by Ringling are subjected to.
Most of the investigations that I work on involve farmed animals, in which the longest life span is about two years (for a pig used for breeding purposes). Her two years going from gestation crate to farrowing crate and back, over and over, are miserable, but her suffering comes to an end. For the elephants used and abused by Ringling, the suffering can go on for decades, and there's no end in sight—unless PETA and the public can convince the USDA to seize these majestic, elderly psychologically damaged animals.
Many of these elephants have not known anything close to a "natural" life since they were caught in Asia decades before I was born, but now the USDA has the chance to make things right by moving these animals to a sanctuary where they will be able to roam around the vast area that they need in order to be healthy and happy. Our brave investigator has armed the USDA with the information that it needs in order to make this happen and finally end these animals' decades of suffering.
It is an honor to work on all our investigations, which are the heart and soul of PETA, but it has been the highest compliment ever to be able to work with our investigator to document the heartbreaking plight of the gentle giants who are abused by Ringling and give them a chance to escape from their long years of torment and beatings.
Now that we have given the feds more than sufficient evidence to seize these animals, I hope we will finally be able to make history for elephants.
Written by Dan Paden, Senior Research Associate
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of the To-Fu Kubricks is g.murphy. Congratulations!
I've always proudly displayed my vast snow globe collection, never mind that my husband calls it "junk." But ever since I discovered To-Fu Kubricks by Devil Robots, my snow globe collection is starting to seem a bit ho-hum.
Who can resist these adorable, movable To-Fu Kubricks figures? Certainly not this tofu lover.
We've got one set of five of the smiling collectibles from Series 7 to give to the person who submits the most appealing tofu recipe in the comments section below.
Written by Karin Bennett
We just received word from our friends at PETA Europe that the U.K.'s Home Office—it's like our Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture all rolled into one—has published its 2008 statistics on animal experiments. Sadly, the information in the report is less than encouraging. More than 3.5 million animals were abused and killed in 3.7 million experiments this past year: That's an increase from last year of 15 percent in individual animals and an increase of 14 percent in procedures. This is the highest number of animals used for experiments in the U.K. since the 1980s and the biggest proportionate rise in numbers since the Home Office began keeping records in the 1940s.
To make it all the more frustrating, only 70 percent of toxicity tests—the ones in which animals are deliberately poisoned to test chemicals—were required by law, meaning that nearly 30 percent of these archaic and needless tests could have been abandoned entirely.
While the number of European tests are rocketing up, the numbers of new medical treatments are going down—not to mention that 90 percent of drugs that pass animal trials fail in humans. All of this from a nation that is leaps and bounds ahead of the U.S. in approving non-animal testing methods for lab studies.
These numbers show us just how vital it is for compassionate people to take action. If we don't speak up, the suffering of animals will continue to be ignored.
Written by Shawna Flavell
The title of an LA Times blog says it all: "You Win, PETA. Iowa State Fair Won't Have Michael Jackson Butter Sculpture."
You may remember that we recently wrote to the Iowa State Fair asking it to refrain from making a Michael Jackson statue out of butter and instead to use Earth Balance, a delicious nondairy spread. We reminded the fair that the King of Pop himself—a vocal supporter of children's health charities—would not appreciate his image being carved out of an unhealthy, fatty spread (not to mention one so detrimental to animals).
Well, the fair officials put it to a vote, and after more than 100,000 votes were counted, about 65 percent of fairgoers had voted against erecting the statue. Looks like we weren't the only ones who thought this was a "bad" idea.
Written by Christine Doré
Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) is designing a "biomass-eating" robot for the Pentagon, and it's got some people in a tizzy. Because of some questionable news reports, word has been spreading that the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot—the, ahem, "EATR"—might go marauding across the landscape, feasting upon the carcasses of animals unfortunate enough to have wandered into the metal monster's path.
RTI was quick to release a statement in which it clarified, "Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes 'human bodies,' the public can be assured that the engine … runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips—small, plant-based items for which RTI's robotic technology is designed to forage."
In other words, don't worry. Unlike some machines, these robots are vegetarians.
Since most vegetarians are willing to fight for all living creatures, I feel safer already just knowing that these foraging bots are on our side.
Written by Amanda Schinke
To clarify PETA's position on pit bulls: We're for 'em.
By "for 'em," I mean that we are for pit bull protection, for their happiness, and for treating them like dogs instead of like cheap burglar alarms, punching bags, or gladiators in perverted death matches.
Some pit bull fanciers out there seem to think that PETA is "against" pit bulls because we don't oppose breed-specific measures to address what is obviously a breed-specific crisis. Au contraire. If someone proposed a ban on breeding Labrador retrievers or Chihuahuas or poodles (you get the picture - any dog), we'd be for those too. That's because we don't think any dogs should be brought into the world as long as millions are dying for lack of homes in animal shelters and on the streets every year.
Millions, people. Millions of dogs just like the ones you share your homes with have to be euthanized because too many people fail to spay and neuter their animals and choose to buy from breeders and pet stores instead of saving lives by adopting from animal shelters. Wouldn't we be derelict in our duty if we didn't support laws that would alleviate suffering and reduce those numbers? If those laws saved just one animal from suffering a miserable life or a painful death, wouldn't they be worth it?
Pit bulls are often singled out by legislators because they are involved in so many attacks on humans and other dogs—as well as horrific cruelty cases. Our fieldworkers know firsthand just how frequently and mercilessly pit bulls are abused. These dogs are hands-down the most common victims of heartbreaking abuse and severe neglect that our caseworkers encounter.
I'm going to warn you—the following pictures, which were taken by our caseworkers of pit bulls they have helped, are graphic and disturbing. But I hope you'll steel yourself to look at them and decide for yourself whether or not these suffering dogs would have been better off if they had never been born:
This is Rikus.
PETA fieldworkers found him cowering in his doghouse with a gaping wound on one of his legs, exposing muscle and bone. His face was swollen to the size of a melon because of infected wounds that he had suffered during a dogfight.
Music was nothing more than skin and bones when we found him, without food or water, and with nothing but a rusty pile of junk for shelter. He was shivering in freezing weather, trapped at the end of a heavy chain.
Music's ears were shredded and his body was covered with scabs and scars—an indication that he had been forced to fight with other dogs.
In December of last year, PETA staffers found Zoo—also skin and bones—chained and starving in Suffolk, Virginia.
Our vet determined that Zoo was 20 to 30 pounds underweight. Zoo tested negative for intestinal parasites—meaning that his emaciated body condition was because of starvation. He was also filthy, flea-ridden, and heartworm positive. We charged his callous owners with cruelty to animals. They pleaded not guilty in court, but the judge saw through their lies and convicted them. They were sentenced to 30 days in jail (suspended) and forced to pay fines of $250 each as well as restitution for Zoo's veterinary bill.
On New Year's Day, heartbroken PETA staffers discovered this angel, Hugo, dead inside his PETA-supplied doghouse. A necropsy report confirmed that Hugo had been starved to death—the only contents of his stomach were grass and orange peels. He had scars consistent with dogfighting and had a fractured rib that was the result of trauma. We worked with law enforcement officials to bring charges against the person who was responsible for Hugo's prolonged suffering and death. A judge sentenced the defendant to 120 days in jail and five years of probation during which time he is not allowed to inhabit a residence that has any animals in it.
Blackie was chained to an old carrier with no food or water. He was painfully thin, and his right rear leg had a compound fracture that had been left to rot for weeks.
For more information about PETA's position on pit bulls, check out our new pamphlet on the subject.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The adorable peta2 mascot, Not a Nugget, is out to educate people about an issue that is near and dear to his heart: the abuse of chickens killed for McDonald's Happy Meals. To alert young and old alike to the suffering that goes into every McNugget, Not a Nugget is embarking on a tour of the U.S., tirelessly handing out free Unhappy Meals to each and every McDonald's customer who crosses his path.
Want to know when Not a Nugget is going to be in your town? Sign up for our Action Team today and find out about demonstrations in your area.
Written by Liz Graffeo
"Would you go to see a brilliant actor who's been framed for something that he didn't do, and put him on a stage and say he's going to do Hamlet for you, and why don't you enjoy it? That's a hell of an analogy, but it's about the same thing."
That's what comedian Jerry Stiller had to say as he was leaving a screening of The Cove, a documentary about the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. During the slaughter, some of the young dolphins are captured and sent to aquariums to be put on display. But Stiller won't be going to see them—and neither will many of the other people who see this powerful movie.
Look for The Cove at a theater near you on July 31.
Elvis swiveled his hips to that hit single decades ago, and today his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, is singing a similar tune in behalf of a baby chimpanzee who is named after her.
An anonymous whistleblower at an Illinois Park District contacted PETA after witnessing the owners of Ed and Annette's Monkeys & More—a company that provides animals for parties and other functions—transport Lisa Marie (the baby chimpanzee) in a Rubbermaid bin to and from events.
Ed and Annette purchased Lisa Marie from a Missouri primate breeder who removed her from her mother within weeks of birth. Now, when she's not being dragged to community events and children's parties, Lisa Marie lives alone in a barren cage. She will likely grow too strong for her handlers by the time she's 8 years old and be tossed aside to a roadside zoo to languish for decades—if she doesn't have a breakdown and hurt someone first.
To show support for our efforts to rescue Lisa Marie and other baby chimpanzees from abuse in the entertainment industry, Lisa Marie Presley has written to Ed and Annette's Monkeys & More urging them to release her namesake to an accredited sanctuary.
As a lifelong Elvis fan, I think he'd agree that any business that cashes in on chimpanzees is "Too Much Monkey Business."
Here's your first look at PETA's newest campaign: "Animal Testing Breaks Hearts."
We first launched "Animal Testing Breaks Hearts" as a youth-oriented peta2 campaign, but the reaction from everyone, regardless of age, was "Awww!"
So below are pictures of our first "Big PETA" "Animal Testing Breaks Hearts" campaign event. We promise more to come. So who knows? You just might be greeted by our giant, loveable rat on your next trip to the pharmacy. He's traversing the U.S. and letting everyone who crosses his path know that reducing animal suffering is as easy as refusing to buy products from companies that test on animals.
So next time you head to the store to stock up on cosmetics and household products, arm yourself with PETA's free shopping guide and don't go breakin' any hearts.
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.