Written by PETA
San Francisco's gay pride parade—touted as the world's largest—got a healthy infusion of vegetarian pride on Sunday. Working with local group Bay Area Vegetarians, PETA showed up in full force—accompanied by more than 100 men and women who were eager to educate the public about the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Obviously, everyone who participated in the parade had tons of fun—but the icing on the (vegan) cake is that more than 500,000 people attended the event and learned that by cutting meat out of their diets, they could be healthier, reduce their carbon footprint, and save over 100 animals' lives per year.
Check out even more pictures of the parade here.
Written by Liz Graffeo
You may have heard about the possible new "gay friendly" high school in Chicago. Harassment and violence are causing gay students to drop out at alarming rates—and the School for Social Justice Pride Campus would be a place for all students to be able to complete their education in a protected and welcoming environment.
I think this is wonderful news—but hey, we at PETA have always been against all forms of oppression. That's why our director of media relations, Michael McGraw, is writing Chad Weiden, the assistant principal of Social Justice High School (and likely principal of the new Pride Campus), with an important suggestion: Pride Campus should have an all-vegetarian cafeteria.
"It is only because of prejudice that animals killed for food on today's factory farms suffer miserable lives and nightmarish deaths," Michael writes—and it's true! Even though animals love, fear, mourn, and rejoice just like we do, their feelings are completely discounted. They are kept in cramped, filthy warehouses where they are beaten and abused, and at slaughter, their throats are cut or they are boiled alive—just because they don't happen to be exactly like us.
Michael's letter quotes Steven Simmons, a PETA staffer and gay rights activist who died of AIDS in the early '90s, who wrote, "It's time for us to end this hierarchy of who has the right to live, who deserves not to suffer, who should be respected, [the idea] that there's a limit to the amount of compassion that we can have for our fellow creatures." We're hoping that Assistant Principal Weiden will encourage his students to have compassion for today's most vulnerable population—the animals—by keeping Pride Campus meat-free.
You can read Michael's letter to Mr. Weiden here.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Should anyone even care? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but check out what PETA’s Director of Research, Kathy Guillermo, had to say about them in this fantastic op-ed about animal experimentation.
Stop Squandering Resources on Pointless Animal Experimentsby KATHY GUILLERMOAre worms gay? If they are, what does that mean for humans? Such questions may sound entirely irrelevant to anything in our lives, but some scientists, including Erik Jorgensen at the University of Utah, have apparently received money to study these questions. The worms—nematodes, really—are tiny, 1-millimeter-long creatures that live in soil. Most are hermaphrodites, which mean that each worm produces both sperm and eggs. The Times of London reported that Jorgensen activated a gene in the hermaphrodite worms' brains, which apparently convinced them to try to mate with other hermaphrodites rather than just with the male worms.The conclusion, according to Jorgensen's quote in the Times: "We cannot say what this means for human sexual orientation, but it raises the possibility that sexual preference is wired in the brain." Hey, there's something no one ever thought of before.This study serves as a reminder that there are only so many research dollars available, and most of it comes from your taxes. Do you want to foot the bill for experiments that don't have anything to do with preventing or curing illness? Or for studies that are obviously redundant or pointless? Or for experiments that are so cruel that whatever is learned from them simply isn't worth the cost? I'm opposed to using animals for experimentation on ethical grounds, and I believe—as science frequently shows—that most studies on animals aren't particularly relevant to humans. But even those who support research on animals should be careful about accepting the experimentation industry's claim that the use of animals in laboratories will help find cures for Alzheimer's, AIDS, Parkinson's, cancer and other diseases that are frightening just to contemplate. Consider first what some experimenters are paid big money to do.In July, Johns Hopkins University announced that it was attempting to create a "schizophrenic" mouse by inserting a gene from the DNA of a human family with schizophrenic members into a mouse. Yet a diagnosis of schizophrenia hinges on the patient hearing voices that aren't there and seeing things others don't see. How exactly does an experimenter know if this is true of mice, even if a gene has been inserted? At Oregon Health & Science University, experimenter Eliot Spindel injects the fetuses of pregnant monkeys with nicotine and then gives the mothers vitamin supplements to see if that makes it "safer" to smoke while pregnant. Yet we've known since 1972 that smoking is harmful to human fetuses. Spindel's money would have been better-spent convincing pregnant women not to smoke.Under the guise of studying fetal alcohol syndrome, David J. Earnest at Texas A&M Health Science Center examined sleep problems in baby rats that were force-fed alcohol. Perhaps Earnest is unaware that human infants don't binge-drink after birth.At universities and primate centers across the country, experimenters are still tearing infant monkeys from their mothers to observe the detachment and psychosis that result from this trauma. These are variations on the dreadful experiments conducted by Harry Harlow more than 40 years ago. How often do we need to prove that taking love and comfort from a baby monkey will destroy the animal's happiness and ability to cope with life?I could go on and on—monkeys who have the tops of their skulls removed, electrodes stuck in their brains and wire coils implanted in their eyes to look at the connection between eye movement and the brain; birds whose testicles are sucked out so that experimenters can examine what happens to their songs; cats who have their backs cut open and weights attached to their spinal tissue and are then killed, supposedly to study lower back problems in people. The list seems endless.These animals are caged for their entire lives, traumatized, physically and emotionally damaged, killed and cut up for experiments that don't even pretend to be about saving humans. Whether or not you agree with me that it's unethical to do this to animals for any reason, surely it's obvious that much experimentation on animals is a terrible waste of money and lives.
Fearless PETA members Mike Brazell and Jonathan Frank made a provocative statement yesterday in front of the State House in Concord to advocate for gay rights and vegetarianism at the same time. Mike and Jon chose New Hampshire to celebrate the fact that it has recently become the fourth state to authorize civil unions for gay couples. They also brought a big banner with them that read "Vegetarians Make Better Lovers," and then proceeded to prove it for the benefit of a large crowd of onlookers. In between makeout sessions, the dudes had plenty of leaflets with information about the way animals are treated on factory farms just in case anyone who was having a bit too much of a good time at the demonstration.
There was a fantastic article about the event in the Concord Monitor this morning (evidently the good people of Concord were exceptionally good natured about the whole thing), and, just so I don’t leave anyone wanting more, here's a great video from last year's tour. This one also features Mike. With a different guy. Hell, nobody's claiming that vegetarians make loyal lovers.
PETA's Open Letter in Response to OSU and OHSU's ‘Gay Sheep’ ExperimentsAfter being outed by PETA for their cruel and deadly hormone-altering tests on gay sheep, experimenters continue to mislead the public as to the troubling implications of their work.Experimenters Charles Roselli of Oregon State University (OHSU) and Fred Stormshak of Oregon Health and Science University (OSU) have failed to address ethical issues pertaining to their deadly hormone-altering tests on gay sheep and the tests' implications for humans. PETA will continue to scrutinize these and any other experiments to ensure that both animal and human interests are protected and represented. ... [More]
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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.