Written by PETA
Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss knows what it's like to be behind bars—and ever since she inherited dozens of exotic birds from an acquaintance who passed away, she's learned firsthand that humans aren't the only ones whose needs aren't met in captivity.
Heidi was fortunate enough to be able to turn part of her home into a huge aviary where her birds can fly free and are never caged, but as she points out, most people who buy birds have no idea how to care for these complex animals. Many people keep birds caged for their entire lives—some birds are kept in cages so small that they are prevented from even stretching their wings, let alone flying.
That's why Heidi is teaming up with PETA to pressure one major purveyor of imprisoned parrots: PetSmart. She'll be speaking on PETA's behalf at PetSmart's annual meeting this Wednesday. Pointing out how much birds suffer in captivity as well as the abysmal record of neglect and abuse by PetSmart's stores and animal suppliers, Heidi will ask the company to begin phasing out the sale of all birds.
Go get 'em, Heidi! We know you're an expert at turning heads—now let's see you change some minds.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignited controversy when he made a speech in which he ostensibly endorsed Palestinian statehood. Unfortunately, the speech didn't go over so well with the Palestinians, who decried it as an empty offer because of the strings he attached to his endorsement.
While Palestinians and Israelis can't seem to agree on where to draw the (geographic) line, we thought the time had come to remind them that there's one thing we can all agree on: Cruelty sucks.
That's why we're bringing back our "Give Peas a Chance" ad, which we had previously proposed placing along both sides of the barriers that run through the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This time, we've turned it into a billboard that we will be trying to place throughout the region.
Wish us luck! After all, hummus is a universal symbol of peace, right? No? Hmmm, I could swear I read that somewhere.
Written by Alisa Mullins
"I just found out that I was voted 'PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian!' How cool is that?!! Thank you so much for voting!! That was totally unexpected!! I was jumping up and down when I heard the news! I even Googled it to make sure I wasn't being punk'd! Ha ha!!"—Kellie Pickler, MySpace.com
Kellie's exuberant reaction to winning our Sexiest Vegetarian of the Year award was too good not to share. Of course she wasn't getting punk'd! We, along with everyone who voted, just believe she has a face as lovely as her heart (and voice). Congrats, Kellie!
Written by Shawna Flavell
Here's a lovely follow-up to a story we mentioned earlier this year: The Cle Elum Seven are now honorary citizens of Cle Elum, Washington.
The Cle Elum Seven are chimpanzees who were living out life in a laboratory, until we helped them gain their freedom and they were given a home at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Washington. As you might expect, the chimpanzees have thrived in the new setting, and their neighbors are clearly pleased. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the chimpanzees' residency, the City Council unanimously issued a proclamation that made the chimpanzees honorary citizens. The proclamation also commends Cle Elum's human residents for donating toys, food, blankets, and time to the sanctuary.
All together now: Awww!
It's beginning to look like a very positive trend is emerging for great apes. Perhaps some day soon, the abuse of chimpanzees and other apes in laboratories and in Hollywood will be a horror of the past.
Written by Jeff Mackey
"Fur is no longer being viewed as a way to floss and show off your status or bank account—it is now a billboard of cruelty on people's back."—Russell Simmons, globalGrind.com
He's the founder of Phat Farm, so if anyone knows style, it's got to be Russell Simmons. In his recent globalGrind blog post, Russell gave a shout-out to Tila Tequila, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and Michelle Obama for speaking out against the fur industry and credited the ladies with marking "a shift in human consciousness." Wow, Russell, we couldn't have said it better ourselves!
Last month, the Newmarket Council in Ontario voted to deny a permit to the Shrine Circus for performances that were scheduled to take place at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex on June 17 and 18 because of safety and other concerns.
Unfortunately, the circus promoter decided to challenge the council's vote. But all is not lost. On Friday, while a judge was scheduled to review the challenge, local residents stood outside the courthouse to show support for the council's ruling. But the hearing was postponed! Undeterred, our heroes hit the streets again today to ask the court to say "No!" to Shrine Circus cruelty.
Newmarket and its residents have good reason to worry about the safety of circuses that use animals, especially elephants. Captive elephants are beaten, chained, and denied everything that is natural and important to them, and they have been known to go on rampages. And because of elephants' tremendous size, even minor accidents can be dangerous. Just three months ago, 12 children were injured when a Shrine Circus elephant bumped into a mobile staircase where the kids were waiting for rides.
While we're all waiting on pins and needles for the judge's decision, we encourage you to reach out to your local lawmakers and urge them to enact legislation banning circuses with animal acts.
Written by Liz Graffeo
There was no love lost between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings as they battled on the ice last night in game three of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but there was love in the stands during intermission when Jason Levy asked his girlfriend, Nicole Hughes, to marry him.
But wait—there's more! While the couple's special moment was rolling live on the stadium's huge screen, Jason surprised the audience when he held up a sign reading, "McDonald's Breaks Birds' Wings and Legs."
Jason jumped at the perfect opportunity to tell thousands of people that the fast-food giant refuses to alleviate the suffering of the chickens killed for its restaurants by adopting an improved slaughter method called "controlled-atmosphere killing." Currently, birds killed for McDonald's are grabbed by their legs and slammed upside-down into shackles, and many are still conscious when their throats are cut and they are immersed in scalding water.
So, to sum up: First, PETA Foundation staffer Alex Bury and her then-fiancé Jack Norris got hitched at a KFC restaurant in Toronto to celebrate the introduction of a faux chicken sandwich at most Canadian KFC outlets. Then, Jason Levy spotlights McDonald's cruelties to birds in his marriage proposal.
Anybody else have any ideas for the "fast-food cruelty nope-tials" (ouch) tour?
Written by Karin Bennett
Canadian hockey hasn't given anyone much to cheer about since the Montréal Canadiens' last Stanley Cup victory 16 years ago. But if PETA has its way, Canadiens fans will get another chance to be victorious on the ice—the ice floes, that is.
The owner of the Montréal Canadiens is considering selling the team, and guess who's throwing an offer on the table? In our letter to team owner George Gillett, we're offering to pay $10,000 Canadian to rent the team for a week, during which time we'd change its name to the Canadian Seal Pups and encourage every spectator to sign and mail our postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to end the seal slaughter.
Give the seal pups some hockey sticks, and then let's talk about blood on the ice.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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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.