Written by PETA
Change was a hot topic this election, but we all need to remember the millions of animals whose lives will stay the same even though the election is over—unless we all do a lot of hard work. Breeders and pet shops will continue to contribute to the tragedy of dog and cat overpopulation—just to make a profit. We need to work hard to make spaying and neutering affordable and legally mandated in every community across the country. Although the election is over, let's remember to keep fighting the good fight! We must educate others about the importance of spaying and neutering their animal companions and adopting from shelters instead of buying from breeders and pet stores. If we all pitch in, then eventually the tragic but merciful euthanasia of animals for whom no suitable, loving homes exist will no longer be necessary.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
You can imagine how delighted we were when Russell Simmons received the "I Am Hip Hop" Icon award on last night's BET Hip-Hop Awards. The Icon award is presented to an individual who has made "notable contributions of outstanding significance to the hip-hop community," according to CNN, and Russell definitely fits that description! He was specifically recognized as a "philanthropic inspiration to other artists." Oh, yeah—we can testify to that!
Russell has lent his tremendous star power to many worthy PETA causes. He's stood up for dogs and against dogfighting, he's a vegetarian who wants to kick KFC's bucket, and he spoke out against foie gras last year.
So, not only is Russell generous to the five charities he personally heads—that's right, five—he's always got time to help animals.
So congratulations, Russell! You are one icon well deserving of an award.
Written by Amanda Schinke
We were kind of bummed when we saw a picture of The Killers in which Dave Keuning, the guitarist, was wearing a big ol' furry jacket. "Oh no!" we thought, "and with us so looking forward to their new album." As you can imagine, there were sad faces all around—but not for long!
When we emailed Dave, his rep told us that not only was the jacket totally faux, but also that the entire band is against fur and completely fur-free! This is awesome. It looks like The Killers agree with the long list of stars who refuse to promote, ya know, genital electrocution and other such lovely aspects of the fur industry.
So The Killers are against fur? Hmm … "Rather Go Naked" ad, anyone?
What? Don't look at me like that. You were thinking the same thing … right?
Still don't have a Halloween costume? Too tall to pass for a Trollsen Twin? Take a tip from PETA VP Dan Mathews: be the Colonel.
"Impersonating a scary guy like Colonel Sanders at Halloween is a great way to get a PETA point across at parties and become a frontrunner in costume contests," says Mathews, shown in the accompanying photos in his anti-KFC get-up. KFC is a total house of horrors after all—and our depictions of the colonel are terrifying enough to go along with Saw V. So, why not take advantage of KFC's hideousness and make a gloriously scary Halloween costume? All you need is a white suit and a bloody bucket!
Conveniently, printable versions are available for you to make your very own bucket of blood to accessorize your costume.
Yikes! Terrifying, no? It's a little scary how well Dan pulls that off … of course, he does have experience—no, not as a chicken torturer! In costumes and as a model! Sheesh.
Only eight days left until Halloween! Better get cracking with the corn syrup and red food coloring—you want to have enough blood, don't you?
It's a classic story: Boys play with football, football goes over the fence, elderly neighbor refuses to return football, elderly neighbor is arrested ….
Wait, what? No, seriously—89-year-old Edna Jester of Ohio, in a move straight out of every kids' movie I ever watched growing up, declined to return the errant football that made its way onto her lawn. Here's where the story changes, though; Ms. Jester was then arrested and charged with petty theft for refusing to hand over the ball—and you know we just had to get involved. Fortunately (for Ms. Jester, anyway), the charges have since been dropped.
"But," our hearts cry, "what about the kids who lost their football? Will they ever get it back?"
Probably not—as of yesterday, one of the kids' fathers told news sources that his son just wanted the $15 football back. Well, we hear ya, Paul—and you know what? Being the charitable people that we are, we are more than happy to send your son a football (leather-free, of course) to replace the one he lost.
Heck, we'll even send two. Ya know, in case the first one ends up over the fence.
You can check out the letter we're sending to the boy's mother—or you can check out where you can get your very own leather-free football! (Defiant elderly neighbor not included.)
It's with a proud and ecstatic heart that I report this news today! Our investigation into an Iowa pig farm that breeds piglets destined for Hormel has resulted in 22—that's right, count them—22 criminal charges.
The Greene County Sheriff just announced in a news release that six individuals employed by the farm at the time of PETA's investigation now face a total of 22 counts of livestock neglect and abuse. Those charged include a former farm manager—who we understand still works on another pig factory farm—and a supervisor, as well as two individuals who still punch the clock at the Iowa factory farm as we speak.
A whopping 14 of the counts are aggravated misdemeanors—the stiffest possible charges under Iowa state law for crimes committed against farmed animals—carrying up to two years behind bars. To PETA's knowledge, this is unprecedented.
Charges based on PETA's undercover investigations are now pending against pig factory farmers in both Iowa—the nation's top pig-raising state—and North Carolina, which occupies the second rung on that dubious list!
This is a small victory for farmed animals, but we mustn't forget that Hormel, which financially supports this farm, has by all appearances yet to make any changes as a result of this investigation. It has refused to meet with us or even watch all of the footage, which we have repeatedly offered to show the company. Maybe now that the law has spoken up, Hormel will finally listen.
Please, urge Hormel to take action now.
Written by Christine Doré
I don't know about you, but before last year, all I knew about melamine was that it was used to make a hard resin for shatter-resistant kitchenware and floor laminates. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies in China found another use for it—adding it to foods to make them appear to have higher protein content. This resulted in the illness and deaths of dogs and cats in the U.S. and Europe, and, more recently, of humans (mostly children) in China.
Now comes word that melamine contamination appears to be responsible for killing 1,500 Chinese raccoon dogs. As horrible as it is to die from melamine poisoning, the alternative isn't much better for these animals, because raccoon dogs in China are commonly raised and skinned alive for their fur.
Either way, the responsibility for these horrible deaths falls squarely on the shoulders of those who support this cruelty by buying fur. If the raccoon dogs had been left alone in their native habitats, they wouldn't be eating an artificial, contaminated diet—and they certainly wouldn't face having their skin ripped off their bodies while they are conscious and in agony.
So, as the weather turns colder, if you see any fur-wearers, be sure to ask them if they prefer that the money they spent for that coat, collar, or cuff caused animals to die in agony from toxic kidney failure, or like this:
Written by Jeff Mackey
Yesterday, PETA sent a letter to the Australian wool industry on behalf of numerous major clothing retailers—including Gap, Liz Claiborne, Nordstrom, Haggar Clothing, Coppley Apparel, Austin Reed, Carter's, C&A Europe, Bestseller A/S, and Matalan Retail Limited—encouraging the addition of a "clip mulesing" tick box to the industry's new nonmulesed-certification form.
In addition, Nike, Lindex, Marks & Spencer, and H&M sent their own letters urging the industry to add clip mulesing to the certification.
So, what is this tick box, and why is it important? Well, the wool industry has made a certification form to allow retailers to purchase wool from lambs who haven't undergone the mulesing mutilation. (Yay!) But under the current certification, if a retailer also doesn't want wool from lambs who have undergone clip mulesing—where their skin is painfully killed using tight clamps—they can't get it. (Boo!)
So PETA flexed a little muscle and got 15 major clothing retailers, whose sales total more than AUD $100 billion (yes, that's "billion" with a "B"), to send a strong message to the wool industry that they oppose clip mulesing and want to avoid mulesing of any kind in their supply chains.
Of these companies, one—Nordstrom—stands out. Nordstrom was ready to pilot the certification program for all its own-label 2009 men's merino wool sweaters. After figuring out that the industry couldn't guarantee that no clip mulesing was used for the sweaters, Nordstrom backed out of the program. But then it went even one step further and decided to source all that wool from outside Australia instead!
Kudos to Nordstrom and these 14 other retailers for helping send the strong message that clip mulesing is not acceptable and that real alternatives to mulesing must be put in place.
The world is watching, Australia ….
Written by Matt Prescott, PETA Corporate Affairs
The latest edition of Curve Magazine features the gorgeous Mia Kirshner in something that looks suspiciously furry. But fear not! For no, that's not a fox carcass strewn across her lovely shoulders; it's merely a convincing imposter. Thankfully, both Mia (aka Jenny Schector of HBO's The L Word) and the editors of Curve are staunchly anti-fur and would never stand for such a gruesome abuse of fashion. Since the magazine began 18 years ago, it's actually had an anti-fur policy (a policy? Could it be any more fly?!), and it also regularly contributes to PETA. Holla!
Mia, who is promoting her new book, I Live Here, actually posed for the photos ages ago. In the article, Mia says that she regrets wearing something that even looks like fur and would never be caught dead wearing something so realistic again. Bless her sexy self! She even tried to have the image pulled, but it had already been sent to press. Brilliantly, the opportunity to help more animals through this embarrassing little mishap was not lost.
To make sure there's no mistake about its cruelty-free stance, Curve placed a bold disclaimer on the cover declaring, "This is definitely FAKE fur!" Then, seizing the opportunity to educate readers about why fur is so disgusting, there's a very impressive letter from the editor that does all animal defenders proud!
A portion of the letter reads, "Why should you care? Even if you're a carnivore, you probably would be shocked at the torture and cruelty that goes into creating real fur, from the tiny cages to the horrid electrocutions. Don't believe me? Check out furisdead.com. You only had to look at last summer's headlines—in which it was revealed some manufacturers had actually used dog and cat hair as fur—to see how dead it is."
Whew! They took the words right out of our mouths!
Written by Missy Lane
Hasn't anyone ever told the Royal family that it's highly impolite not to answer letters? Lucky for animals, the beautiful, talented, and outspoken Pink is not discouraged that the Royals have failed to respond to her—not once, but twice!
Attempt 1: Five years ago, the longtime PETA supporter turned down an invitation from Prince William to perform at his 21st birthday party. She declined because of his hunting habits, and then posed a question of her own to the future king, asking him why he hunted animals at all. And … she's still waiting. Maybe he is too busy, or maybe he hasn't figured out why. You choose.
Even with her brand-new album, Funhouse, scheduled for release October 28 and an insanely hectic schedule, the singer has not forgotten about Prince William's lack of response, recently saying, "It's a bit rude, isn't it?"
Attempt 2: This time, Pink challenged The Queen. The star asked Queen Elizabeth II why the bear fur on The Queen's Guards' caps hasn't been replaced with a synthetic, cruelty-free material, as PETA Europe has suggested repeatedly.
Perhaps the Royal family needs to pass more Royal edicts, like this one from Prince Charles, who kicked foie gras off all Royal menus this year.
And seriously, respond to Pink's letter. She's waiting, PETA's waiting, and the bears are waiting. This rock star means business … have you seen that billboard in Times Square?!
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.