Written by PETA
People have been enjoying soy and reaping its health benefits for thousands of years, but there are still some myths circulating about soy and soy products. Last week, the Guardian printed an eye-opening article that uncovers the shady origins of anti-soy propaganda—most of which can be traced to a group that sings the praises of eating artery-clogging animal fat and tries to scare people away from soy by citing the results of scientifically flawed animal experiments. The article explains the myriad health benefits of soy foods, including protection against diabetes and breast cancer and improved bone health and brain function.
Of course, soy foods are just one option in a nutritious, animal-friendly diet, and it's easy to be a healthy vegan without touching tofu or sipping soy milk. Other excellent protein sources include lentils, nuts, beans, peanuts, seeds, chickpeas, green veggies, and whole grains.
But for anyone who's ever wondered, "Tofu or not tofu," here's the real deal: Soy is safe, smart, and infinitely kinder than dining on decomposing animal flesh or drinking bovine mammary secretions. So discover the joy of soy and wear that "Powered by Tofu" shirt with pride!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Before the drunken partiers filled Pamplona's streets today to kick off the annual Running of the Bulls tormenting of bulls, scores of animal defenders from PETA U.K. and the Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis creatively banded together to put the bulls' perspective in the picture.
During this annual celebration of torture, bulls are jabbed with prods and sharp sticks to whip them into a frenzy. Then the panicking animals are stampeded through crowds of people, slipping and stumbling on the wine-soaked cobblestone streets. The exhausted bulls are later prodded into the bullring, where they are stabbed to death.
The majority of the Spanish population no longer supports this cruelty. In 2004, the Barcelona City Council declared Barcelona an anti-bullfighting city, and 40 other Spanish towns have followed suit. State-run Spanish television has also stopped televising the violence.
Let's call the Running of the Bulls what it really is—sickening cruelty to animals—and call on Pamplona's mayor to ban it.
Written by Karin Bennett
President Obama's new proposal to help pay for the healthcare revamp by taxing tanning salons is almost as brilliant as that tanning-bed afterglow. Obama's tan tax—which some proposals have put as high as 10 percent—attaches a monetary price to the health risk that tanners take when they expose themselves to radiation.
Now, as it turns out, some people have this tan tax business all mixed up, but in their confusion they've actually come up with a great idea. Perhaps addled by the toxins that he breathes every day, a leather tannery employee has sent us hate mail about the "PETA-based tan tax" that he fears could hurt the leather business. We're thick-skinned (geddit?), so the vitriol doesn't get to us, but we really like this tannery tax idea.
Although the president hasn't yet officially included leather tanneries in his proposal, it would be a terrific next step in raising funds for healthcare—especially considering that governmental agencies have already deemed tanneries to be a threat to human health and the environment. Most leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. And each chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of solid waste—including hair, flesh, and trimmings—for every ton of hides that it processes.
Leukemia, lung cancer, environmental destruction, and the exploitation and mutilation of cows—we can't stand any of it. How long do you think it would take a new "tannery tax" to ruin tanneries that are already destroying our health and the planet?
Written by Logan Scherer
As the high cost of health care was debated this week in the nation that was once the most powerful on Earth and is now just the fattest, two announcements were made. Time showed a slab of meat on its cover and declared, "The real cost of cheap food" (meat, in particular) costs Americans big-time when it comes to our health. And KFC--whose suppliers have been caught on camera breaking chickens' legs and wings and scalding the birds to death in order to produce "cheap" chicken--came out with a new "sandwich" that substitutes fried chicken parts for bread and is stuffed with artery-clogging and waistline-expanding bacon and cheese. Why would KFC executives decide to do that? For the same reason that there is a Whopper and a Fifth Third Burger: Because they know that people want unhealthy foods almost as much as they want health care.
Also this week, the fat hit the pan over PETA's pro-vegetarian billboard in Jacksonville, Florida, which read, "Save the Whales. Cut the Blubber. Go Vegetarian," and led to the PETA website where people could download our free "Vegetarian Starter Kit" as well as take the "30-Day Veg Pledge." There wasn't a peep about the advertisements for meals that spell death to one million animals per hour and that contribute to our nation's ever-expanding waistlines. There were no angry phone calls and blog messages about the audacity of the purveyors of the chicken and cheese that is turning humans into blubbery masses, or..."whales."
America's obesity epidemic calls for tough love à la Dr. Phil and America's Biggest Loser, not more coddling and mock shock over a billboard pointing out that the majority of fat people need to have some discipline and remember that being fat means being a bad role model to our children, many of whom are now so fat themselves that "teeter-totter" has come to describe their wobbly gait. Only three percent of the population has a medical condition that genuinely prevents them from losing weight. The rest of the obese people hiding behind them are obese because they shovel in food and haven't a clue (or don't want to have a clue) about a healthy diet. They haven't listened to or perhaps haven't heard the polite admonitions from health experts (real ones) urging them to eat their fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and beans. So America is getting fatter, largely because we don't realize that killing animals and squeezing the cheese out of them, perhaps especially the cheese, is slowly killing us too.
A study published last year in the journal Obesity found that if current trends continue, nearly 90 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by the year 2030 and the number of overweight children will double. This is a serious health crisis: Research has shown that higher body mass index is associated with a greater risk of premature death from all causes. For example, according to the American Heart Association, obesity contributes to heart disease, America's number one killer. What's more, one out of every six health-care dollars will be spent on costs related to our growing girth.
Going meat-free can make a huge difference. Studies show that vegetarians are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters and that a vegetarian diet reduces our risk of heart disease by 40 percent and adds seven or more years to our lifespan. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who eat a low-fat vegan diet (no meat, no eggs and no dairy foods) lose about a pound per week--even without exercising or counting calories.
PETA's billboard was fueled by a healthy respect for all the animals who are raised cruelly and killed in painful ways as well as for our own species's potential to be kind and healthy. I read the communiqués from fat people who said "thank you" and from those who told us where we can go. To all the people considering gastric bypass or tummy-tuck surgery or who tried a low-carb diet and only got constipation and bad breath in return, I say, just try it: Choose the oatmeal with Silk soy milk instead of bacon and milk; the bean instead of the beef burrito; and the mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers instead of the meat balls. All animals would thank you for it if they could, and I'm betting that you will feel better, both inside and out.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
After a two-year stint of showing off his finely chiseled physique in America, David—as in Michelangelo's "David"—is returning home to Italy. Only, he's leaving a new man—or should we say, a new sculpture?
Yes, Michelangelo's most famous sculpture has taken a little bit of the U.S. with him, in the form of 50-plus pounds of extra fat. Looks like David consumed the standard American diet of hamburgers, chicken wings, glasses of milk, and cheese on everything!
The image was actually created by advertising agency Scholz & Friends, which is based in Germany, for an ad campaign they're running to get people up off their rumps and active with healthy doses of daily exercise.
Coincidently, the fat "David" image has surfaced right on the heels of our request to put up ads along the U.S.-Mexican border to warn crossing immigrants about the United States' severely unhealthy meat- and dairy-centered diet.
Obesity is one of the leading health problems in this country for people of all ages—and it's really not shocking, given the poor eating habits and exercise regimens of most Americans.
The good news is that you don't have to be a part of America's expanding-waistline problem. Adults who follow a vegan diet on average weigh 10 to 20 lbs. less than their meat-eating and dairy-guzzling counterparts. Plus, meat, dairy, and egg consumption is linked to asthma and increases a person's chances of getting certain cancers by 40 percent! If you're looking to build the healthy, well-defined body that "David" is best known for, we recommend laying off the animal products. Your looks and health will thank you.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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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.