Written by PETA
Bodies may not be buried at Churchill Downs, but with so many horses having drawn their last breath there after having been run to death, it might as well be a cemetery. And for two days it will be, because PETA has erected 265 headstones outside the racetrack this week.
Why 265, you ask? We included 263 headstones to represent the horses who have died on the track since last year's Kentucky Derby and whose names we know, one headstone for the approximately 832 other horses who have died but whose names are not known—because racetracks are so bad at reporting breakdowns and deaths—and one headstone for the approximately 12,000 thoroughbreds who are sent off to slaughter each year.
Churchill Downs is, of course, home to the Kentucky Derby and is where Eight Belles lost her life one year ago. Since the Eight Belles tragedy, Churchill Downs has made some reforms in the ways that horses are treated on its track, but banning the use of legal drugs to mask injuries hasn't been one of them. PETA is calling on the people who run the track to ban the use of all drugs in the week before a race. By bringing attention to the thousands of lost lives that don't make headline news, our display will hopefully inspire horse-racing officials to take action.
After all, by my calculations, the horse-racing industry has caused 13,095 horses to die this past year. That's enough to fill a cemetery plus some.
Update: Check out these pictures from the unveiling, then go browse more art by Dan Lacey, who painted the gorgeous picture of Eight Belles.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Curious about the names of the horses who have died on racetracks during the past year? Click here.
There are a lot of sexy individuals on People's Most Beautiful list (OK, to be precise, there are 100), but People's done us proud with it's number one: Christina Applegate.
We can tell you firsthand that Christina truly is beautiful inside and out. When she was 15, she learned about the horrors of the fur industry, and a few years later, she was caring enough to strip down for a PETA anti-fur e-card.
So congratulations, Christina! You deserve it. You are a beautiful person, with no lack of either passion or compassion.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Back in January, we told you about one of our cheekier stunts in our ongoing quest to help chickens who are raised and killed for KFC. Long story short: It involved the cemetery where KFC founder "Colonel" Sanders is buried and a headstone for PETA's own Matt Prescott (who, don't worry, is still among the living). The headstone is inscribed with a poem, the first letters of which spell out, "KFC TORTURES BIRDS."
Now, granted, we might have a slightly, um, off-center sense of humor, but what we saw as cheeky, others thought of as, well, morbid. One commenter even accused us of having "desacrated [sic] an entire graveyard." (Seriously? And people call us drama queens!)
Fortunately, a lot of other people "got it." Unfortunately, among those who didn't see the humor were the operators of the cemetery (and, just possibly, those chicken-pluckers at KFC). Suffice to say that we now find ourselves in possession of a homeless gravestone.
Cave Hill Cemetery forced us to remove Matt's headstone after cemetery officials caught on to the hidden message it sent. As such a unique piece of activism history, we'd hate to see it collecting dust when it can be out there getting the message out about KFC's real secret recipe. So now this piece of animal rights history can be yours just in time for Halloween, the creepiest holiday of the year—give or take Yom Kippur and Dia de Los Muertos. We're offering you the chance to own something that will scare the bejeepers out of your local trick-or-treaters. So head on over to eBay and make a bid—not only can you own a piece of animal rights history, you can help PETA put an end to the cruelty of KFC and other animal abusers as well.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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.