Written by PETA
If we needed another reason to love the movie Hop, Universal Pictures just gave us a big one. Besides featuring all computer-generated animals and the voice of PETA U.K. Sexiest Vegetarian Russell Brand, Universal took a big step in helping the non-animated version of Hop's animal star. After we let the company know that animal shelters are inundated with animals after the latest movie-inspired fad has worn off, it posted a message on the front page of the film's website discouraging people from rushing out to buy live versions of the animated rabbits and chicks featured in the movie.
With animal shelters bracing for an onslaught of bunnies abandoned just weeks after being stuffed into Easter baskets like plastic eggs, the message on Hop's website is a timely reminder that rabbits have special needs and require years of care. Unlike a certain recent lizard film that partnered with pet stores and encouraged people to buy animals like the ones they see in movies, Hop's producers are promoting family fun, not animal neglect.
Hop opens in theaters tomorrow. Can't wait 'til then? Catch a sneak peek on YouTube.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Well, we took a week off last week ’cuz, to be frank, researching these people can really ruin my Fridays sometimes—and if there was ever a man who could suck all the fun out of your weekend, it’s our latest winner (by a margin of 15-1!), Hagai Bergman, who enjoys romantic movies, long walks on the beach, and drilling holes into monkeys’ brains while they scream for mercy.
While Hagai shuffles into his rightful place as this week’s Vilest Vivisector, it’s time to turn our attention to the new blood. This week, we’ve got two researchers for you from the Yerkes Center at Emory University who are studying the psychology of despair the only way they know how … by inflicting it! So here it is—a PETA Files exclusive sneak peek into the very darkest reaches of two twisted human souls … it’s time to cast your vote for the next Vivisector of the Week!
Stuart Zola, Emory University.
Maria Sanchez, Emory University.
Will Mrs. Sanchez’s diabolical role as a parent who has devoted her life to wrenching infants from their mothers be enough to edge out the sadistic brain butcher Stuart Zola? Find out next week* when we crown the very latest Vivisector of the Week!
*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.
"It's nothing to do with animal rights—it's just that I have moved on. I think people should be able to wear what they want and I hate that the PETA people throw blood or paint over people wearing fur. To me that's just rude and if anyone did that to me they'd better be tough because they'd have a fight on their hands."
Yeah, the quote didn't exactly inspire me, either, but hey, at least it's on her radar—and sometimes all it takes for someone to come around is a gentle nudge in the right direction. So we sent her this letter, along with a copy of Martha Stewart's fur exposé in the hopes that she'll figure out why it's actually not OK for people to "wear what they want" when there's live skinning or electrocution involved. I really do think there’s a good chance she’ll change her tune once she sees how fur coats are actually made. I'll definitely let you know if we get a response.
While we're on the topic, I figured this was as good a time as any to point out that PETA has actually never thrown red paint at fur-wearers. Pies, maybe, but never red paint. Just one of those urban legends, I guess.
Score one for freedom of speech in Finland! Remember the story of the Austrian activists who were arrested back in 2003 for going onto a Finnish fur farm to film the horrible conditions? The activists were beaten by the “farmer,” arrested and held for three days by police, and their legal struggle has been on-going for several years now.
Well, they were just found not guilty and are free. Here’s the full story. Congrats guys!
This story was being considered for a web feature, but I grabbed it for the blog because I found it to be incredibly moving. Please share Marcie’s story with your friends and family who still wear wool . . .
When a PETA member found Marcie languishing at a decrepit Colorado farm, she was sick, frightened, and going blind. She had been used as a breeding machine her entire life, and had endured the anguish of having all of her babies taken away as soon as they were born, sometimes even to be killed right in front of her.
After the farmer agreed to relinquish Marcie, she was taken to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, a refuge for abused and neglected animals. There, for the first time in her life, Marcie knew kindness instead of cruelty. She was given wholesome and plentiful food and the veterinary care she so desperately needed. But Marcie, shell-shocked and traumatized by her past, never fully recovered.
Despite the best of care, the damage was done: Marcie lost her sight within a year of her rescue. She was terrified of people—it was a year before shelter staff could even touch her—so she sought comfort and security among the goats at the sanctuary. In an effort to “hide,” Marcie camouflaged herself in the resident goat herd, forging a fast friendship with her bovid cousins.
In her final years, Marcie found contentment and peace. But for millions of sheep farmed for their wool, there is no happy ending.
In Australia, where most of the world’s wool comes from, the misery for sheep begins when they are only weeks old. In a misguided attempt to prevent maggot infestation, or flystrike, farmers carve huge chunks of skin from the backsides of millions of lambs a year—without any pain relief—in a crude mutilation called mulesing.
For 200 years, Australian farmers have intentionally bred, and continue to breed, merino sheep who have extra wrinkly skin because more skin means more wool and more profits. This extra skin collects moisture, urine and feces and attracts blowflies which lay their eggs in the wrinkly folds of skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. Rather than spend the extra time and money on effective and humane methods to prevent flystrike, many farmers choose to simply cut the wrinkly skin off from the backside of lambs because it is cheaper and easier than caring for them properly.
Shearing is also a painful, frightening ordeal. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, so they work as quickly as possible, leaving sheep bruised and bleeding. The untreated wounds can attract flies and become infected. Terrified sheep who don’t “cooperate” are often beaten and kicked into submission. When they are no longer profitable for their wool, Australian sheep are often shipped thousands of miles to the Middle East, where they are dragged off trucks by their ears and legs, kicked in the face, and have their throats slit while they are still conscious.
So, what can you do? Please, don’t ever buy any wool. Choose cotton, acrylic, polyester fleece, and other durable, stylish, and warm fabrics. Find sources of animal-friendly clothing at the PETA Mall and in our cruelty-free clothing guide. And click here for more ways to help.
For anyone who still has doubts about the power of the internet, check out this AP story about 14-year-old Amy Bareijan. Amy wanted to go vegetarian after watching Meet Your Meat on YouTube, so she posted her own video asking for people’s advice and personal experiences that may help her. The response was overwhelming, to say the least. Check out the story here.
The video that started it all:
Paul McCartney never misses an opportunity to help animals, and his latest video is no exception. The video, for his new single Nod Your Head, shows the former Beatle rocking PETA’s “Eat No Cow” T-shirt as a helpful reminder to people to stop eating animals.
Check it out!
Dave Warwak, an art teacher at Fox River Grove Middle School in Illinois (and, if I'm not mistaken, a regular commenter on this here blog), has been dismissed from his classroom by the school after teaching his students about factory farming and the other forms of animal abuse that made him go vegan. Apparently, the school's principal ordered Warwak to leave the classroom after he showed his students photos of animals in factory farms and gave them the book The Food Revolution by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author John Robbins.
Let me go over that again, real quick. An Illinois principal just kicked out a teacher for talking to his students about veganism. Does that disturb anyone else as much as it does me? You can read PETA's letter to the school here. Unbelievable.
In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight, Dave. We're all 100 percent behind you.
Hunting has been on the decline for years, and CNN just reported that the latest numbers are that it’s down another 10% over the last ten years. Hunting in the water, err, I mean fishing, is also down around 15%. And call me crazy, but I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that while hunting and fishing numbers are steadily on the decline, new federal data shows surging numbers of birdwatchers, wildlife photographers and other wildlife watchers. They increased from 62.8 million in 1996 to 71.1 million in 2006.
Of course, as the numbers of hunters and fishers decline, so does the money in state wildlife agencies’ coffers, since most of their revenue comes from hunting and fishing licenses. And of course hunters and the agencies themselves are quick to go into panic mode, saying that “conservation” will suffer if these agencies don’t receive the money from hunting licenses, when in reality the only “conservation” they actually pay for is breeding more animals for hunters to blast into oblivion. So, perhaps it’s time for a policy shift here. I think it makes much more sense that wild areas be paid for out of regular taxes, since they sustain the earth and they are vital to life itself. It should be free and encouraged to watch birds and appreciate nature, and our state wildlife agencies shouldn’t be begging people to go out and kill animals simply so they can stay in business.
Man, it really is a bad time to be a hunter. First, CNN reports these new declining numbers, then the news that hunting may put men’s hearts at risk.
And perhaps most disturbing is the recently released DMGDRO report on the link between hunting and, how shall I put this … diminutive male genitalia, which, now that I think about it, may explain Dick Cheney’s obsession with playing with really big guns . . .
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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.