Written by PETA
What if you could help a truly worthy cause, which helps animals who have some of the worst lives on the planet? Well, snap, you can!
Forget Heifer International (I'll tell you why in a minute)—here's the wonderful Animal Rahat, which means "animal relief." Animal Rahat is based in Indian villages that produce bricks and sugar cane and was created (with PETA's help) to provide relief to the working bulls, donkeys, ponies, and horses the impoverished villagers rely on. Animal Rahat has greatly improved the lives of these animals by giving rest to the lame—something the owners could never afford by themselves in their hand-to-mouth existence. Animal Rahat also provides free medical relief to lame, sick, and injured animals. The owners of these animals are often too poor to afford even the most basic nutrients that the animals require to stay strong and healthy—let alone pay for veterinary services.
Animal Rahat has even created a retirement program in which owners are offered a small subsidy to "retire" older animals and allow them to live out the rest of their lives with their human families—rather than send them to hideously cruel slaughterhouses.
With the holidays upon us, kind folks are opening their checkbooks in the spirit of helping others. Please, let's not forget about those hard-pressed working animals who need a day's rest, a poultice for a wound, a bridle that doesn't eat into their faces, and more.
And let's not be fooled by organizations like Heifer International, which send animals to families abroad. This only perpetuates the cruelty to which animals raised for food are subjected—and they always end up slaughtered. And in addition to preventing daily cruelty, it's far more efficient to feed the hungry on a vegetarian diet, as the resources stretch a lot further. After all, it takes 6–16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat—and that's a lot of wasted food …
So, why not save a life this holiday season and help these working animals? You know you want to …
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Earlier this year, I was driving along the crowded streets of Hyderabad in India, near one of the Mahatma Gandhi shrines, when I saw something I'd never seen before that almost flipped my lid. I was there to launch the Indian version of PETA's kids' book, 50 Awesome Things Kids Can Do to Save Animals, and I knew instantly that kids had to get involved in the atrocity that was unfolding right before my eyes.
It was a few days into the annual kite-flying contest, which Hyderabad is known for, and kitemakers were squatting at every curb, spinning colored kite string. However, the string was being coated in spun glass, much as you would coat a stick with cotton candy. This makes the string razor-sharp and able to rip through an opponent's kite in a millisecond.
Errant kites, set free to entangle in phone poles and trees, rip birds to shreds. So I set off with Jayasimha, one of the great movers and shakers in PETA India, to a bird sanctuary where we watched the volunteers gearing up for the coming horror: a grueling three-day festival in which hundreds of vultures, parrots, crows, and other birds were going to be wounded, many of them fatally.
PETA India started a petition asking kids never to buy glass-coated string, called "Manja." And here is the first demonstration against it in Hyderabad:
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
As if there weren't already enough terror attached to the loathsome leather trade, the notoriously cruel Indian leather industry has now been linked to Islamic terrorists groups. According to a recent article in The Times of India, the illegal cattle-smuggling trade, an integral part of the leather supply chain, has been funding terrorism in India. For years now, money made in this thriving racket has reportedly been funneled to various terrorists, including one of the men convicted of killing American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
It's pretty ironic that a country in which cows are considered sacred is one of the largest leather manufacturers in the world. In fact, Indian law makes it illegal to export cows. To get around this, traffickers force cattle to march hundreds of miles across the country. Marched for days without food or water, cows often collapse from exhaustion or despair, To keep them moving, workers smear the cows' eyes with chili peppers and tobacco and break the cows' tails. By the time the cows are crammed into illegal transport trucks and smuggled across the India-Bangladesh border, many are so sick and injured that they have to be dragged into the slaughterhouse—where their throats are slit while they are still alive.
I say we fight the war on terror by buying pleather and signing this petition to the Ambassador of India.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
If I were to say "Hari Puttar," what is the first thing that would come to mind? If you said "Harry Potter," you'd be wrong, according to Mumbai-based studio, Mirchi Movies. They pinky-promise that their film Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors bears no similarity or links to the popular Harry Potter book series/films/franchise/cult-like-following. Apparently, Warner Bros. Pictures thinks anything sounding like Harry Potter is their turf and their turf alone and has filed a lawsuit against Mirchi to protect their "intellectual property."
With all this insanity over a movie title, we'd like to draw attention to a more meaningful issue, like … I dunno … skinning animals and wearing portions of their remains as ridiculous clothing. Call me crazy, but this seems a bit more pressing. In my willingness to compromise, please allow me to call our fur ad series "Hairy PETA!" Enjoy and pass along, please—for wide distribution—PETA's "Hairy PETA" series!
Hairy PETA and the Water Closet of Secrets
Hairy PETA and the Vomit of Fur
Hairy PETA and the Piddler of Litter-Sand
Have a favorite among the action-packed Hairy PETA films? Leave a comment to let me know which one you like best!
Written by Sean Conner
Anjelica Huston has decades of experience on the set, tracing back to watching her father, John, filming during her childhood. Given her experiences with animals on the set, we were excited when she sat down with us to discuss the abuses endured by great apes used in film, television, and advertising.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors have documented that chimpanzees and orangutans were denied even minimal "environmental enrichment" and veterinary care in times of illness. And undercover investigations have shown that trainers beat and scream at great apes in order to force them to perform dumb, confusing tricks, take after take, under the burning arc lights.
Chimpanzees can live to be 60 years old and orangutans can live to be 50, but they grow too strong to be handled around age 8. That's when, useless to the industry, most are dumped in roadside hellholes, where they can live in barren cages, languishing amid their own waste or sold for use in experiments. There is no Hollywood actors' retirement home for them. You can see Anjelica's video about this business here:
Anjelica also spoke with us after the filming of the video, telling us how she grew so passionate about this issue, and why the abuse of great apes will never happen on her set:
I think without question that [when] one forcibly takes small simians, small apes away from their parents at [a young] age … and manipulating them into some sort of fake response for the amusement of humans or indeed human children—it's a very bad ethic. … I remember seeing this terribly sad, lonely elephant in Bath, England, at the zoo in the pouring rain with nothing but a football for companionship, and thinking, "No child on Earth would want to see that. No child on Earth who understands the predicament of this animal could possibly approve it."
Check out the b-roll from the video shoot here:
Thanks, Anjelica, from us and from them!
Regular readers know that mulesing is a process whereby sheep farmers in Australia turn lambs upside-down and cut off the skin and flesh on their rumps with a pair of gardening shears and without any pain relief. Now there are reports that Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), in response to PETA's campaign to end mulesing, has developed another new mulesing alternative, but being hopeful of progress by AWI is something that makes me nervous to no end.
This alternative is an injection that smoothes out the animals' skin (when it's all full of folds, maggots can hatch and eat the sheep alive). The injection is not perfect—the animals are still stressed out from being handled—but it seems relatively painless, which is a huge step forward in embracing the concept that less pain doesn't equal no pain).
We won't break out the champagne yet. In 2004, AWI agreed to end mulesing by 2010, but they've been dragging their heels disgracefully. Then they developed a different (but still very painful) type of skin-removal technique called "clip mulesing," in which big clips are clamped onto lambs' bottoms so tightly that the flesh dies and falls off, and called it "humane." Rotting, dying skin. Ewe.
So we raised a ruckus in the clothing retail industry, causing companies like H&M, Perry Ellis, and Adidas to reject all wool from mulesed lambs (including those mulesed using the hideous clips).
The injection, however, just might be a most-welcome forward movement for all those Aussie lambs.
Written by Matt Prescott
Did you hear? Dave Freeman, the author of 100 Things to Do Before You Die, has died, just like that, at 47! He fell and hit his head. Honestly!
It just goes to show that you have NO idea how long you've got. And to keep the cheery theme alive, consider all the people who have become paralyzed by falling off their mountain bikes, etc.
You can't lock yourself in your room, and even if you did, you could be hit by a chunk of toilet ice falling out of a plane and through your roof, struck by lightening as you took a shower, or … well, you get it. Life is fleeting. In fact, that's been a theme of mine for a while. In Making Kind Choices, I wrote about how amazing it would be to have a wristwatch that would tell you not what time it is now but how much time you had left so that you could know what's important to cram in. You'd look at it and see "40 days, 3 hours, and 2 minutes," and you'd think, "OMG! Better get a move on!"
So ask yourself: Are you putting off asking that special person for a date, telling your friend you are sorry for some remark that ended your friendship, or, most importantly … buying vegan groceries? Wouldn't you rather die than have your last meal on Earth cause animals fear, pain, and death?
Oh, and Dave Freeman took this stuff seriously (yes, he didn't fully "get it," seeing as how he went to Pamplona and ran with—shouldn't that be "against"?—the bulls), so he had made a will. Now some of his leftovers, including some useful money, will go to a children's charity. Good for him! Please follow his lead and put a charity—may I suggest PETA?—in your will, too, or else the state rather than animals will benefit from your death (and you know they'll only use the money to buy something stupid).
Written by Ingrid Newkirk
I wonder who in today's day and age thought that bullock carts were still a good idea.
After teaming up with Bollywood celebrities to protest this inhumane use of bullocks, PETA India has now turned to a creative street-demo approach! In Mumbai—a traffic-congested, bustling rich city—the local kerosene companies (which are not poor by any stretch of the imagination) use bullocks to pull rickety carts heavily laden with kerosene barrels. Between shipments, the bullocks are also forced to stand for hours without any shade in the sweltering sun and are not given sufficient food or anywhere near the amount of water they need. PETA India has discovered that sick and injured bullocks are being forced to pull the extremely heavy oil carts through the city and that they do not receive any veterinary care.
Join PETA India—and the Bollywood humane set—and sign the petition asking Mumbai's controller of rationing to end this cruelty to bullocks. Also, check out these great photos from the PETA India demo
PETA India activists just held a protest outside Hotel Tunga Paradise, in a suburb of Mumbai, where a crab eating festival was taking place. My pal Nikunj told me that people were actually quite receptive, most never having thought of crabs as individuals who are capable of feeling pain when their legs are torn from their bodies in nets or when they’re thrown into scalding hot water while they are fully conscious.
One of my favorite things about PETA and its affiliates is that we don’t shy away from speaking up for even the most unpopular and least cute and cuddly animals, so a big “Woo Woo” to the peeps in India for stepping it up with this great demonstration.
As the Michael Moore juggernaut continues unabated, I thought it might be nice to take a quick breather and check out some of the amazing work that PETA India has been doing this week, which, because it's not quite so sensational, probably won't be getting the attention it deserves. Animal Rahat is a program that works closely with PETA India to bring relief to working bullocks, donkeys, ponies, and horses in India by giving them the rest, drinking water, and veterinary care that they so desperately need.
The sad situation for most working animals in India is that the people who use them simply can't afford to ever give them a day off, let alone veterinary care, and the reports and pictures that we get from India about these animals' lives and deaths are heartbreaking.
Which is why it's always so great to get photos like these, from the team at Animal Rahat, who spent last weekend fixing water troughs in a local square near their facilities.
If you'd like to sponsor a working donkey, buffalo, bullock, or pony in India through Animal Rahat, you can learn more here.
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.