Written by PETA
It's a hazy day here on the Right Coast. As I watch leaves fall and steam rise from my soy mocha, the mood is set for a lazy (yet highly skilled) meander through gossip rags for fun stuff. Here are my faves:
Thanks for stopping by! Catch you next time, and don't forget to hug all your vegetarian friends.
Written by Missy Lane
In case it's never been said before, I'm going to go ahead and say it: Colorado activists rock!
Activists in Colorado Springs showed that they are fed up with Fort Carson for stabbing and reportedly burning and shooting live goats in bloody trauma-training exercises that attempt to mimic human battlefield injuries. They staked out a busy intersection near Fort Carson and got busy alerting commuters that the exercises are not only cruel but also archaic and unnecessary.
Oh, did I mention that some of the activists in attendance were ex-military? You know that things are shady when even former soldiers start breaking rank. (I can think of a few other soldiers who would probably agree.)
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
On Sunday, a 45-year-old elephant named Annabel was euthanized after falling into a ditch that surrounded her compound at Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. For more than two and a half hours, zoo workers tried to help the struggling elephant pull herself out of the ditch. Ultimately, firefighters used a truck to lift her out.
Annabel entered a deep state of shock. Once freed, the 3-ton elephant was unable to stand up, so she had to be euthanized. Heartbreaking images of her struggle can be viewed here.
The zoo was aware that elephants regularly fall into this ditch and strain to drag themselves out, but even after this tragic incident, a spokesperson has announced that the zoo has no plans to modify the elephant's outside area because of space concerns. If this horrible situation doesn't cause the zoo to think twice about the environment it provides for the animals, I shudder to think what would.
No animal deserves to live his or her life in a pitiful cage, but zoos have the obligation to provide—at the very least—a safe facility for animals. In the end, Annabel paid the price for the zoos' irresponsibility. It is time for the zoo community to stop capturing and breeding more animals to be put on display and to leave animals in their natural habitat where they belong.
Please, never support the cruel zoo industry.
Written by Liz Graffeo
As the highly anticipated trial concerning the abuse of elephants by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus rolls on, Kenneth Feld, the head of the company that owns the evil Ringling empire, has taken the stand.
On Tuesday, the multimillionaire CEO spewed his slick half-truths about how Ringling's elephants live (they live in cramped barns, where they are chained much of the time and are at risk of developing tuberculosis) and how bullhooks are just used to "guide" the animals. He actually said, "I don't view what I've seen as abuse."
Feld's self-serving double-talk is sickening, but this trial has him backed into a corner. The fact that he can no longer deny that circuses use beatings and chains to force majestic elephants into a lifetime of servitude is exciting news for elephants.
Now for those of you a-wonderin', here's a point-by-point refresher course on Ringling's checkered history of animal care. It'll help you see through this smooth-talking CEO's elephant pucky.
In case you needed another reason to love British funnyman Ricky Gervais, we've got one for you. Ricky was on the David Letterman show last week, and when Letterman asked him what he got for Christmas, he responded that the worst gift he received was "the gift of a goat." He explained that a goat was donated to a family in Africa in his name. Letterman looked puzzled. Gervais continued:
Ricky: They're 50 quid down, I've got nothing, the African family's going, "Not another mouth to feed." It's ridiculous. There's nothing in it for the goat. The goat wakes up in barren land going, "Where am I? A week ago I was gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades and then someone just kidnapped me, put me on a boat, took me to Africa." It's like Roots in reverse. I bet he didn't want to go to Africa. I think the goat had no choice. …
Letterman: There may be another way to look at this, but I accept your point.
Ricky: I can't see one.
Ricky is right! Donating animals is no gift for the animals who are "gifted" (they must forage in a dust bowl where they often can't find water, and they end up tethered and are usually slaughtered!). And it can actually make things worse for the impoverished family that receives them. Luckily, there are great alternatives. Ricky's friend could have donated to Food for Life or The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation instead, both of which support sustainable (and cruelty-free) programs to combat hunger. Take a leaf from Ricky's book, and let the goats continue "gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades" or wherever they belong.
Written by Lianne Turner
Last month, PETA broke the news about barbaric U.S. Army trauma training exercises that were being conducted at a base camp in Hawaii, in which pigs were shot with high-powered rifles. Local Army officials there are standing by their false claims that these exercises are necessary to provide soldiers with the skill to treat trauma victims on the battlefield, even though it seems to us these exercises broke Army regulations by not using available alternatives to the primitive use of animals.
I guess we can sleep well knowing that if a soldier loses his tail during a raid, some well-trained fellow soldiers, thanks to this training, may be able to reattach the necessary posterior appendage.
Given the U.S. Army's apparent outright disregard for their own regulations and the treatment of these animals, PETA is now asking commanding officers at bases in Hawaii and Texas—where a more recent training exercise included breaking and amputating the legs of nearly 1,000 goats with tree trimmers—for a court martial over the shooting, mutilating, and killing of animals during these old-fashioned training exercises.
According to the Army's own regulations, the Army is required to use alternatives to animals in training exercises when scientifically valid and comparable alternatives exist. And they do! The animal exercise should have been replaced with validated, state-of-the-art simulators, such as the Department of Defense's own Combat Trauma Patient Simulator, which more realistically simulates battlefield conditions and, consequently, is considered superior to outdated animal methods. Other viable alternatives include Dr. Emad Aboud's "living" cadaver perfusion model, Simulab Corporation's TraumaMan system, and establishing military level one trauma centers in nearby communities in order to have trainees work with the community to take care of their city's population.
Kathy Guillermo, director of PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department, says, "The Army has regulations in place specifically to prevent this kind of cruelty to animals, but the oversight committee apparently chose to ignore them. Our soldiers deserve to be trained using the most advanced technology available—that means using human simulators."
The U.S. Army does not train soldiers to race into battle zones to retrieve injured pigs, goats, or dogs. That would be great, but let's face it: It's not the government's main agenda. Time, money, and resources could be far better spent.
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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.