Written by PETA
Giant Eagle, which has more than 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio, has just announced that it will no longer sell foie gras! The company's decision was prompted by nearly 250,000 e-mails and countless phone calls from customers and members of the public who expressed their concern that the store was selling a product which is made by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell up, and which has been banned in the city of Chicago and the state of California—not to mention the fact that it is illegal in numerous progressive countries—because of the cruelty involved. In an e-mail to PETA just a few moments ago, a Giant Eagle representative confirmed that “Giant Eagle Market District stores have stopped the sale of foie gras.”
A huge thank you is due to everyone who took the time to contact Giant Eagle about this issue and bring about this massive victory for ducks and geese. Now that more and more major grocery chains like Giant Eagle and Whole Foods are taking a stand against the cruelty of foie gras, and given that the pope himself has spoken out against it, it won't be long before foie gras is nothing more than a nasty little piece of history. Don't hesitate to make anyone you know who still eats the stuff aware of that fact.
We all know that Holland is a pretty progressive place—you know, they ride bikes there, there's universal national health care, good stuff like that*. All cool things, in my opinion, but what I didn’t know is that there is actually a legitimate political party there called "Party For The Animals" that holds a couple of seats in parliament. And that each political party receives a certain amount of free national TV space to use as they wish. Pretty awesome.
Awesomer still is the fact that, after viewing our State of the Union Undress, which leads into Free Me, the “Partij Voor De Dieren” decided to run their own version of our Free Me video on Dutch national TV. You can check out the badass Dutch version of "Free Me" here.
*Yes, I know, pot is legal there too, and you can’t talk about The Netherlands without at least mentioning that fact. I would have included it, but you know . . . the lawyers would have yelled at me. Again.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails since I posted the Young Guns entry asking to see more of the ads that were submitted. We’re going to eventually post them all online, but until then, you just have to trust me when I say that there’s a reason we don’t show you everything that gets sent to us.
Enough said . . . ? Thought so.
I'd love to announce this as an official PETA victory, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the MLB's decision to get rid of all their wool caps in favor of a polyester blend has more to do with the suffering of sweaty baseball players in the heat than with the suffering of merino sheep in the wool industry.
Whatever their motives, though, this is a big deal for sheep like those in Australia who are horribly mutilated at the beginning of their lives and crammed onto ships to be slaughtered in countries with no animal welfare standards at the end. Whether the major league baseball players know it or not, they're doing the right thing by ditching the wool in favor of a humane alternative. So I, for one, applaud them. Except the Yankees. (Like most Orioles fans, I still haven't forgotten 1996.)
Anyway, there you have it—some great news for animals from the MLB. And now, for those of you who'd like a little more info about the issue, here's an important educational video that my friends Joel, Marta, and I made a little while ago. But please do remember, before you watch it, that you will never get those 21 seconds of your life back.
A couple of years ago, we went after P. Diddy pretty hard for for his furry ways, and to make a long story short, he wound up meeting with us about the issue. We explained how animals on fur farms are killed by anal or vaginal electrocution, how animals in the wild are often drowned, beaten to death or left to suffer in traps for days on end, we showed him video of all this, the whole nine yards.
Well, I guess it at least had some effect on him because in an interview in the new Blender magazine, he says “PETA has had an effect on me. If you look at a lot of the Sean John stuff, we have gone to faux fur.” Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Sean John, or Diddy, have gone completely fur free, but this is clearly progress. And you can't argue with progress.
I’d show you the whole interview, but alas, our Legal Department won’t let me.
The one from The Dallas Morning News is my favorite, but I must say that the NY Post gets extra credit for including a photo of the fur hag editor of Vogue Anna Wintour with pie on her face.
I really believe the tide has turned on this issue. Prada shows its first fur-free line in decades, other heavy hitters like Calvin Klein, Marc Bouwer, Betsey Johnson, Stella Mccartney, Kenneth Cole, and Ralph Lauren are all fur-free now, and huge retailers like J.Crew, Limited Brands, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and The Gap refuse to sell real fur.
It's a tough time to be a fur pimp.
The high school I went to was a small Catholic school in DC called St. Anselm's Abbey School, which was run by Benedictine monks. Although it was pretty stressful academically—and kind of traumatizing that there were no girls there—the experience was one of the best of my life, in no small part because of the powerful example of wisdom and kindness that all of the monks provided, both in their teaching and in their daily life. (I also really liked the fact that we had a ping pong table in our senior lounge, but that's a different story.) But the point here is, as those of you who have seen the huge breaking investigation on the front page of our website will have guessed, that my personal experience with the genuine compassion that's a fundamental part of the Catholic monastic tradition has made it even more difficult for me to try to comprehend the tragic blindness to horrifying cruelty that is shown by the monks at the Mepkin Abbey, who run an egg factory farm to fund their South Carolina monastery.
One of the worst parts of this video for me is when a monk compares the process of forced molting to a fast that he and his brethren practice to show their devotion to God. The difference—for the benefit of any Mepkin Abbey monks who happen to be reading this—is that a fast is a voluntary religious practice, while forced molting is an excruciating torture in which chickens who are already crammed together in cages so small that they barely have room to spread their wings are starved for up to two weeks to shock their bodies into another laying cycle.
Before I get too carried away here, the point I want to make is that, while torturing birds is particularly reprehensible when you find out that the people who are doing it should damn well know better (because, for instance, they're monks, for God's sake), the truth is that most of the horrific practices documented in our investigation are industry standard. If you're looking for something to give up this Lent, please think seriously about giving up eggs. You can always give up chocolate next year.
I’ve talked before about my friend Dan Mathews, PETA’s fancypants VP, who spends his life jetting around the world getting celebs on board with our campaigns, disrupting fashion shows, and sometimes ending up in the slammer. Every time Dan gets home from a trip, he has another amazing story to tell.
One of Dan's best qualities is that no matter how serious the issue is that he’s working on, he never lets it get him down. He always finds a way to have fun and make our campaigns accessible to everyone. Dan once told me that the way he’s been able to keep working at his crazy pace for so many years is that his first thought when he wakes up every morning is not about work or politics or animal rights or anything like that—it's “How can I have fun today?” That's some pretty solid advice for anyone, and something I should probably try and remember next time I throw my alarm clock across the room at 6:30 a.m. (I'm not quite the morning person Dan Mathews is).
Anyway, the reason for this whole love fest is that Dan just finished writing his first book, Committed: A Rabble Rouser’s Memoir. The book isn’t out until April, but the buzz is already starting, as the crazy stories in it are starting to get leaked. I just saw this one about Chrissie Hynde getting arrested for protesting The Gap right after the company offered her $100,000 to use one of her songs in a commercial and Pam Anderson shooting this ad ... while she was six months pregnant:
Don’t think she looks six months pregnant? During the shoot, Pam told Dan, "Don’t worry. Nowadays, they can airbrush out a baby as easily as a birthmark." Priceless. The book is out April 17, and I'm actually really looking forward to it. If you're interested, you can pre-order that bad boy here.
OK, so admittedly I’m not the world’s biggest fashionista, but even I know that Prada is a big deal in the fashion world. Like, the biggest deal there is. So this is just beyond incredible.
Not even 24 hours after a PETA Europe member disrupted the Prada fashion show at Milan Fashion Week, and less than a month since PETA reps showed this video to Prada execs in Milan, the mood has swung 180 degrees and founder Miuccia Prada received a bouquet of roses from PETA Europe this morning. The sudden about-face happened because, for the first time in decades—yes, I mean literally decades—there wasn’t a single fur item in Prada’s fall/winter collection. And check this: Miuccia Prada herself said that she is “bored” with real fur. It seems that Prada has finally realized what we’ve been saying for years, that designing with fur is unimaginative as hell, not to mention cruel.
Prada’s new line is called “Fake Classic”—I love it. Check out this incredible orange faux-fur coat. I guess this is what “Fake Classic” means.
Prada’s announcement is making headlines worldwide, but my favorite one so far is from a huge paper in Australia: “Animal liberationists scored a victory today when Milan's style matron, Miuccia Prada, proclaimed she was bored with fur.” Are we on a roll or what? We finished up last year with heavyweights Kenneth Cole, J.Crew, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren going fur free, started this year off with a bang with the Marc Bouwer show, and now this amazing news from Prada.
It all just makes Burberry seem that much more out of touch.
Check this ish out—this piece in our local paper brought a smile to my face today, since all of us here at PETA are gonna be out in the freezing cold tomorrow night protesting opening night of the Ringling Bros. Circus.
And they included this beautiful photo of some local kids at an anti-Ringling demonstration. Love it.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.