Written by Michelle Kretzer
Smithfield Foods, Inc., the world's largest pig supplier, announced yesterday that
it will phase out
gestation crates for pregnant sows by
2017. Let's hope it keeps its word this time. Smithfield has promised this
Female pigs at Smithfield are forced
into continuous cycles of pregnancy and birth, only to have their piglets
ripped away from them within weeks. The pregnant pigs are confined to metal-barred gestation crates so small that they are
2007, Smithfield agreed to
phase out the crates in 10 years. The decision
followed pressure from animal advocates, including PETA's public protests,
meetings with Smithfield executives, and a shareholder resolution to ban the
crates. But after two years, the company dropped the plan, citing economic woes.
month, PETA launched a "hashtag hijack," flooding a Smithfield
Twitter event with tweets from supporters demanding the end of gestation
crates. Smithfield has now agreed but has given itself another five years to
comply and said the ban would apply only to farms owned by the company, not its
many contract farms.
company that earned record profits last year off the misery of pigs could start today to
end one of its worst abuses. And it should require its contract farmers to do
the same. Hopefully, Smithfield won't renege again and will listen to our calls
to ban all gestation crates. Animal
advocates can continue to cut into the company's profit margins by refusing to eat Smithfield
products—or any pigs.
Written by PETA
Which animals easily master skills such as "sit," "fetch," and "jump"?
Which animals like to relax in the sun, play ball, and come when called by name?
Which animals have saved humans' lives on numerous occasions?
If you answered "dogs" and/or "pigs" to each of these questions, congratulations—they're both correct. Pigs have many personality traits that are similar to dogs' and are said to be smarter than 3-year-old human children. You would never dream of eating your dog, but would you eat a pig? If so, World Week for the Abolition of Meat is a great time to stop.
Mother pigs are confined to cramped gestation crates too small for them even to turn around. They are impregnated again and again until their bodies give out, and then they are sent to slaughter. Piglets are taken away from their mothers after just a few weeks and have their tails chopped off and the ends of their teeth broken off with pliers. The males are also castrated, and it all happens without any pain relief. A typical slaughterhouse may kill hundreds or even thousands of pigs every day, making proper stunning of each animal impossible. Many pigs reach the scalding-hot hair-removal tank conscious and screaming in pain.
If you wouldn't want these atrocities inflicted on a dog, please don't pay someone to inflict them on pigs. Visit our "Vegetarian Living" page for delicious pig-friendly recipes.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Yesterday was a momentous day for animals living on farms in Michigan, where Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill into law that phases out veal crates, battery cages, and gestation crates on farms across the state!
Michigan farmers have been given three years to phase out veal crates and 10 years to get rid of gestation crates and battery cages. This means that farmers will no longer be allowed to immobilize calves in crates that are so small that the animals can barely take a step in any direction. Pregnant pigs will no longer be forced to live in their own excrement in a space too small to turn around in, and hens will get a chance to stretch their wings.
The news comes just a day after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill making it illegal to dock cows' tails in California, where gestation crates, veal crates, and battery cages were banned last year. Now that Michigan has become the seventh state to ban gestation crates, the fifth to ban veal crates, and the second to ban battery cages, we're hoping that laws improving conditions for animals on factory farms will continue to take the nation by storm.
Of course, the best way to prevent animal suffering is to adopt a vegan diet, stat.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Two PETA Europe members who recently fell victim to swine flu set out to show the people of Brussels that no one is immune to the diseases that are bred on factory farms—not even those who wouldn't dream of eating animal flesh.
These two lovely (and now recovered) ladies crammed themselves into tiny "gestation crates" to illustrate the fact that the cramped, filthy conditions on factory farms are breeding grounds for swine flu and other deadly viruses and bacteria.
What's the best way to shut down disease-incubating factory farms? Stop supporting them: Go vegetarian.
Written by Heather Drennan
In July, thousands of pigs lost their lives when a factory farm in Alberta, Canada, was ravaged by fire. Our friends at Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals (CETFA) obtained photos of the aftermath, which show that before succumbing to smoke inhalation, the panicked pigs frantically trampled each another in a futile attempt to escape.
Pregnant sows, trapped in gestation crates, tried desperately to jump out of their stalls or squeeze through the bars. Instead, they died in their cramped prisons. Many of them suffered from ruptured bellies, and their unborn piglets were killed.
On poorly regulated factory farms, where so many animals are crammed together in confined spaces, fires are all too common, and they cause the horrible deaths of thousands of animals.
Please head over to CETFA's Web site right now and support that organization's initiative to prevent the deaths of animals in factory farm fires.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Aerosmith's oldie album, Toys in the Attic, includes a naughty number, "Big Ten Inch Record," which fans suspect wasn't really about a record. For decades, many listeners have wondered if a certain band, er, member was the inspiration for the song.
Well, after a recent interview with the pro-hunting rag-azine, Outside Living, I think we can all agree that the song is not about Aerosmith's Joe Perry.
In the interview, Perry said, "(Hunting) really gives you a great opportunity to keep in touch with reality," to which PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange shot right back, "People who take out their aggressions and frustrations on helpless animals are usually compensating for other shortcomings in their life." She added, "We don't know how Joe measures up, but it's interesting that he seems to feel so satisfied when he's handling long phallic-looking weapons."
Now that I know Joe Perry likes to harass and shoot helpless animals for "fun," I'll forever hum out loud another oldie whenever I see his mug. It goes, "Ding-a-ling …"
Written by Karin Bennett
From the folks at Ecorazzi comes the number-one reason for rushing out to see The Cove: It saves dolphins' lives.
The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, was supposed to start yesterday, but all's quiet in the cove:
Compare that with last year at this time:
Ric O'Barry, the famous former (and reformed) trainer of TV's Flipper, has been battling Taiji's dolphin slaughter for years. He reports that instead of being filled with dolphin killers, the cove was filled with news reporters, including—for the first time ever—Japanese film crews.
Looks like Japan's dirty secret is no longer a secret.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Eight raging wildfires have consumed more than 140,000 acres in California over the past week. While thousands of people have been evacuated, crews of brave firefighters have headed in to battle the flames.
As a way of thanking the courageous firefighters for all their hard work, PETA sent a contingent of "cuties" to California with delicious, dairy-free Tofutti Cuties frozen desserts.
If only the fires would disappear as quickly as our tasty treats.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Everyone seemed to have something to say about our recent billboards in Jacksonville, Florida. Some people loved one or both, while others loathed the first and were bored by the second. But regardless of where you stood, please help us decide what billboard should go up next.
We've narrowed the options down to four billboards that make the point that a vegetarian diet is brain food. First, read this and then please vote for your favorite billboard, invent your own, or heck, even tell us not to run any of them. It's in your hands.
A recent article in New Scientist reveals that researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles have discovered that as people age, the bigger their body mass, on average, the smaller their brain, "with the frontal and temporal lobes - important for planning and memory, respectively - particularly affected."
No wonder Grandpa can't remember where he put that "Double Down."
Since a vegan diet (no fatty, cheesy crap) is almost guaranteed to make you slimmer, it can likely also increase your odds of staying sharp as you age. Our four billboards drive home the point that a pure vegetarian diet is a smart diet. Cast your votes here.
My dog, Charlie, loves to swim and goes nuts for the Crazy Daisy. But he won't go outside if it's raining. He plants his butt on the floor and refuses to budge—until I bring out the treats.
After all these years, I've think I've finally figured out why Charlie balks at walking in the rain. He can't bear the idea of being dried off with that old, faded beach towel.* It makes sense. After all, a distinguished dog like Charlie deserves a Soggy Dog towel, made just for dogs.
Actually, every dog deserves one—especially yours. Score one for your best friend by submitting the funniest caption for the photo below in the comments section.
*Sure, Charlie's really holding out for the cookies, but I'm still getting him the fancy towel.
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.