Written by PETA
We at PETA have long loved Zappos.com for its amazing selection of leather-free shoes. In fact, we recently ranked Zappos.com the number one best vegan shoe retailer. So needless to say, when we found out that Zappos.com was selling lots of fur products, we were none too pleased.
Back in August, we wrote to the company about this, urging it to adopt a fur-free policy. At the time, the company said that it would look into the issue to gauge people's thoughts on it. So, to help speed that process up, we launched an online marketing campaign, getting members of the public to write to Zappos.com's CEO and urge him to send the pelts packing—and more than 11,000 of you did! The campaign became totally viral and social networking played a huge part—many people posted tweets on Twitter, passed around our petition on Facebook, and much more.
I mean, seriously, is this the first campaign in history ever to be won by tweeting and the slick use of other online tools? It's pretty exciting if you ask me—and also pretty novel! We are paving the way of the future, my friends.
Well, it seems that Zappos.com got the message that people hate fur, because yesterday, the company officially adopted a permanent policy never to sell any products containing the fur of an animal!
Thank you SO much, all you fantastic online activists, for helping—and thank you, Zappos.com, for making the kind decision to forgo fur now and in the future. This will help spare countless minks, rabbits, foxes, and other animals all the horrors of fur farming and trapping, such as being electrocuted, bludgeoned, and skinned alive.
Now that we're all rightfully pumped up about this exciting victory, we've decided to take on a new campaign—because, well, we can't be stopped! Please join us in asking Amazon.com to follow Zappos.com's lead and go fur-free. For those who want to learn more about the issue and find other ways to help, please visit FurIsDead.com and be sure to check out our compassionate clothing guide here.
Written by Christine Doré
As promised, we have an update regarding the relocation of endangered desert tortoises, which army officials began airlifting earlier this year in preparation for the land expansion of Fort Irwin in California.
To jog your memory a bit: The desert tortoises had been living in critical habitats located near (and sometimes on) Fort Irwin–owned land. These protected land areas were created in order to provide protection for these reptiles and boost their dwindling population.
Sadly—but certainly not unexpectedly—phase one of the project has reportedly resulted in the deaths of 90 desert tortoises. Even worse, officials expected there to be some loss of life because of the relocation, but they continued with their plans anyway. Officials clearly underestimated the frailty of these animals and the harm that relocation could cause. It's pretty clear that officials failed to consider all potential threats to these tortoises when they factored into their plans the deaths of up to 136 desert tortoises during the entirety of phase one—not the deaths of 90 tortoises during the initial relocation, as has happened.
Early reports indicated that many of the relocated tortoises seemed to be moving in a direction back toward their original home. Unfamiliar surroundings, lack of shelter, and larger animals such as coyotes put these tortoises in great danger right from the get-go.
On a somewhat positive note, army officials have—for the time being—halted plans for further relocation.
Obviously, we at PETA don't believe that any project that causes disruption and stress to a group of animals can be deemed a success. At least now, army officials have no choice but to consider the welfare of these desert tortoises and possibly to show them a bit of the compassion that they should have shown from the start.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
One month ago, we released shocking footage from an undercover investigation of a factory farm in Iowa that raises pigs who are destined for Hormel. The public was rightly outraged by the horrific findings of PETA's investigators, who found that workers repeatedly hit pigs with metal gate rods and canes, a worker slammed the heads of piglet "runts" into the floor, and a supervisor shoved a cane into a sow's vagina and talked about sexually abusing pigs.
Even after the farm changed ownership and management during the investigation, this disgusting treatment and abuse of animals continued.
That being said, we have just released previously unseen footage from the investigation, apparently showing the farm manager kicking and shocking a pig. Unbelievably, he is still the manager of the farm!
In the video, the farm manager is seen shocking a pig with an electric prod and kicking her—both in apparent violation of the farm owner's own written policy—in a prolonged attempt to make her stand, which is a requirement for pigs who are sold for slaughter. The suffering sow, who was unable to stand due to crippled hind limbs, was left in the pen for two days, bleeding from a severed hoof, until she was ultimately shot and killed.
This shocking footage of the farm manager was recorded the very next working day after PETA's undercover investigator reported to the farm manager the abuse that he had documented at the farm.
We are seething mad that the farm manager retains his position as farm manager and has been allowed to continue to supervise other employees and their treatment of pigs. It is painfully obvious to us that all factory farms—as long as they exist—must be managed by individuals who are competent in humane handling of animals and who can lead by example. We'll let you determine whether he fits the bill.
We stand firm in our demand that Hormel take action against these abuses, despite the company's continued failure to respond to our attempts to work with it. Join us in renewing our pressure on Hormel. Demand that the company enact meaningful reforms to prevent this sort of abuse from occurring on its suppliers' farms.
Update: We wanted to make sure that it's clear to our readers that we offered several times to show Hormel and the farm's management ALL the footage that was taken during PETA's undercover investigation at the supplier's farm—including the above footage of the manager. Neither Hormel nor the farm's management took us up on our offer.
We at PETA were all saddened to hear about the passing of fashion maven Mr. Blackwell. Before the Fug Girls took up their Fugging and before Joan Rivers attacked the red carpet, Mr. Blackwell was releasing his yearly "Ten Worst Dressed Women" list.
There are a couple of reasons why Mr. Blackwell was so well-loved at PETA. First, his list was the inspiration for our own infamous Worst-Dressed List of notorious fur-addicts. His lists included the most biting barbs and were packed with puns and alliterative allusions (he rhymed, too, but I'm not very good at that). We loved that his 2006 list included fur hag Sharon Stone, whom he described as "an over-the-hill Cruella DeVille." Of course, we had already included her in our 2001 list, saying, "Put your fur coat away, Sharon. We saw enough of that tired old beaver in Basic Instinct."
We've agreed with Mr. Blackwell on more than just those two occasions, though. He described Madonna as follows: "From Ghetto Glam to Rhinestone Cowgirl to Mrs. Guy Ritchie. Any way you label it, she's still just kitschy, kitschy, kitschy." We said of the Material Girl: "The animal on her back is as dead as her film career—and duck-hunting hubby Guy Ritchie is not going to revive either." Whoopsie, I guess those little barbs aren't too relevant anymore!
Mr. Blackwell also agreed with us on the subject of the Trollsen Twins, saying of Hairy-Kate, "She resembles a tattered toothpick trapped in a hurricane." And finally, both we and Mr. Blackwell elected to pull Britney Spears off of our respective Worst-Dressed Lists in 2007; PETA decided that she needed a break from everyone, and Mr. Blackwell decided it was inappropriate to mock her "when her personal life [was] in such upheaval."
What can we say? Great minds think alike, and Mr. Blackwell was truly a great mind—2008 won't be quite the same without his list. It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our inspiration: the king of catty, Mr. Blackwell.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Nebraska has a unique new "safe haven" law. Most states have laws that allow panicked parents to leave their infants in safety—better to surrender a baby to a hospital or police station than to leave him or her in a dumpster (or worse)—but Nebraska's law doesn't place an age limit on surrendered children.
Since this law went into effect three months ago, a total of 18 children—many from out of state—have been abandoned at hospitals and police stations in Nebraska. The children, whose ages range from 20 months to 17 years, include a 13-year-old boy from Michigan whose mother drove more than 12 hours last week to leave him at a Nebraska hospital.
This is obviously an upsetting situation, and the law is already under fire across the nation. And although we at PETA are also upset by the lack of responsibility demonstrated by this level of abandonment, we're not surprised. After all, 25,000 unwanted animals are abandoned at animal shelters in Douglas and Sarpy counties in Nebraska each year.
And think about it: The dogs and cats who end up in animal shelters are the lucky ones. There are countless others who end up abandoned on the streets—neglected, starving, and sometimes abused, with no "safe haven" at all.
This is why PETA has created a billboard that stresses the importance of taking care of all who depend on us—animals and children alike.
Dogs and cats can live for 16 years or longer—almost the same amount of time, you might note, that responsible parents spend raising a child. Bringing an animal into your home is a lifetime commitment—and as PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch says, "Children and animals deserve better than to be dumped on a doorstep when they become inconvenient."
To learn how to provide better care for your animal companions or to find out how spaying and neutering keeps dogs and cats out of animal shelters, please visit HelpingAnimals.com.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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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.