Written by PETA
Whoops-a-daisy, AIG. Looks like the insurance giant has been making a couple of teensy-weensy billion-dollar mistakes lately!
Let's see. First, American International Group (AIG) received $85 billion from the Federal Reserve last month in order to stay afloat … and then they reportedly treated their top agents to a $440,000 week at a fancy-schmancy spa. Investigators were not impressed.
But hey, we all make mistakes (though most of mine don't reach the six-figure range), so when AIG needed an additional $37.8 billion, the Federal Reserve was willing to hand over taxpayer money to help out.
And then AIG reportedly spent $86,000 on a hunting trip.
I have to confess here that I don't know how expensive hunting equipment is—I wouldn't come within 50 feet of that cruel and unnecessary "sport"—but something tells me that $86,000 might be a little much.
According to an AIG spokesman, the killing—I'm sorry, hunting—trip "was an annual event for customers" and was "planned months before the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's loan to AIG."
Yeah, I'm sorry, but maybe they should've thought about how this would look to taxpayers. "Gee, thanks for the $37 billion—I'm goin' to England to slaughter some animals!"
To put it mildly, people are rather miffed at AIG's cavalier spending habits. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino called the spa trip "despicable," and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating all these "unwarranted and outrageous expenditures," saying on Wednesday, "The party is over. No more hunting trips. No more luxury resorts. They are not going to have the party and leave the hangover for the taxpayers."
Poor AIG. They just can't get a break—oh, wait, they did, and then they decided to go hunting with it.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Retired/unretired/whatever NFL quarterback Brett Favre isn't just killing his team with big-game interceptions anymore! Now he's moved on to killing animals for fun in a pathetic attempt at a locker room "prank." According to the New York Times, Favre, who is "notorious for shenanigans involving lockers," is reported to have "shot (presumably), bagged and dumped" a dead animal, probably a wild turkey, in a teammate's locker "inside a bag that was filled with blood and guts."
Blood? Guts? HILARIOUS! What do you think he follows this one up with—the old "kitten in the microwave" gag? That one's a real knee-slapper too. I hate to be the one to tell you this, Brett, but people who think dead animals are funny don't typically end up in the Hall Of Fame—sometimes, they end up in custody.
There is, of course, nothing even remotely "sporting" about hunting. Imagine a game of football in which one team has pads, cleats, helmets, set plays, offensive and defensive coordinators—the whole nine yards (zing!), and meanwhile the other team is running around naked and unprepared (no, no, not the Lions). That's about as "competitive" as hunting deer with high-tech camouflage and a sniper rifle.
Some people call guys like Favre who use military-grade weaponry to kill defenseless animals "sportsmen." You know what I call them?
Written by Dan Shannon
At a middle school in Tiny Poplar, Wisconsin, a science teacher is encouraging his kids to shoot animals in the area and share stories of “the kill” with the rest of the class. If the kids eat the dead creatures, they’re allowed to post pictures of their accomplishment on a bulletin board in the classroom. And not a single person in the school gets how fundamentally, deeply screwed up this is.
After concerned members of the community contacted us about this disturbing practice, PETA’s Sangeeta Kumar wrote a letter to the school’s principal informing him of the well-documented link between violence against animals and criminal behavior against other humans (this is especially true when kids start killing at a young age), and asked that he at least include some information on humane treatment of animals in his curriculum so kids could learn that there are other, more enriching ways of interacting with wild animals than shooting at them.
We’re still chatting fairly amicably with the principal about this issue—but it’s frustrating going. You can read more about this (and leave a comment, if you feel so inclined) at TwinCities.com. Note the quote at the end where the school tries to justify this sordid practice with the argument that people used to do it 150 years ago. Kind of like how they used to own slaves and deny women the right to vote.
"I doubt there were many vegetarians 150 years ago. Why was it acceptable for their great grandfathers to hunt?"
Short answer: It wasn’t. I’ll let you know if we get anywhere with this.
In case any of you missed it, actor and gun-enthusiast Charlton Heston died over the weekend. So anyone who’s been patiently waiting in line to try and pry the guns from his cold, dead hands can go ahead and do so now. While part of me is sad to see one of my childhood heroes go (Ben Hur pretty much changed my life), I’m sure there are plenty of orphaned deer who don’t share those sentiments. Anyway, RIP Charlton H. I’m guessing they probably don’t allow people to hunt defenseless animals with high-powered assault rifles in heaven, but hopefully he’ll be able to find a more peaceful hobby in the afterlife.
Fox News Atlanta is currently airing an investigation into the hideous practice of fox penning, in which animals—usually foxes, wildcats, or coyotes—are chased, cornered, and torn to shreds by hunting dogs. Penning events can last up to several days, with the hunters leaving the fenced-in area so that the dogs can “exercise.” You can watch the first part of the Fox investigation here, and learn more about this horrific blood sport on reporter Randy Travis’s blog. It’s great to see that this practice is being exposed for what it is, and hopefully the investigation, which is airing tonight, will go some way to getting it stopped forever.
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 . . .
It’s no secret that Karl Rove is no friend of animals. And given the current state of affairs, I guess it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Dubya’s bag man plans to spend the days immediately following his resignation literally blowing the international symbol of peace into oblivion. That is, he’s going dove hunting.
As you might imagine, PETA Prez Ingrid Newkirk had a few things to say about that, including some friendly advice that next time Mr. Rove takes a hunting trip, he should invite Dick Cheney along with him.
And reportedly, after his Labor Day killing spree, err, hunting trip, Rove is going back to Washington to fetch his wife and dogs before driving to their home in Florida. I just hope he hasn’t gotten any advice about traveling with dogs from Mitt Romney . . .
OK, so it’s no secret how I feel about hunting.
But I just couldn’t resist this one. It seems that from the start, hunters have had trouble not shooting each other with their weapons . . . could it be that this was the world’s first hunting accident?
I hadn't been planning on writing too much more about Michael Vick, given that most people are on the same page that dogfighting is reprehensible and that if Vick is found to have any involvement in the sport—which is looking more and more likely—he needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. But this story I read on The Fanhouse today is just too much. Apparently, the much-maligned Falcons QB is building a second property near the site where 60 abused dogs were found more than a month ago. Vick's plans for the property? To build two horse stables on the land so that he can hunt deer. How is it that, with weeks of scrutiny focused on this guy related to deadly serious allegations of animal abuse, he seems to have completely failed to grasp the fact that now is just a really bad time for him to be seen in public acting out his apparent need to see animals suffer. How about making a donation to an animal charity? Or coming out publicly to talk about the horrors associated with dogfighting? No, Vick’s response to all the outrage is to throw himself into his work building a place where he can kill deer. Regardless of what the legal outcome of this case is, Vick has made it abundantly clear to anyone who's been following this story not just that he couldn't care less about animal abuse, but that he doesn't even see why it's a problem.
Check out this great Boston Globe article about the growth of vegan fashion. While I’m not exactly what one would call an expert in the field, it’s great to see so many companies recognizing that there is a huge market out there just waiting to be tapped. And you know the market is there when there are personal stylists who specialize in vegan fashion . . .
And as always, anyone looking to emulate the ever so hip look I’ve got going on, feel free to get in touch and I’ll try to help you out.
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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.