Written by PETA
Every year, we brace ourselves for this predictable—yet avoidable—catastrophe, but it's still upsetting. The first dog has been run to death in this year's edition of the cruel and pointless Iditarod dogsled race: His name was Victor, and he was just 6 years old. Ominously, a Fox Sports article refers to Victor's death as just "the first of this year's race," while an AP story reports that the unusually warm weather is taking a toll on the dogs. We already fear the worst for one dog who went missing after first-time Iditarod driver Nancy Yoshida crashed not one but two different sleds. (You can also click here to read a powerful op-ed ed by PETA staffer Jen O'Connor describing the unseen cruelty of the Iditarod.)
Can we finally put to rest the myth that dogsled racing is OK because the "dogs love to run"? Dogs don't love to run until they collapse from exhaustion, choke on their own vomit, or get killed by a snow machine (as happened last year). That's abuse, not "sport."
It's especially galling to me that I share a last name with the defending "champion," Lance Mackey. I'd certainly leap at the chance to give him a piece of my mind at the Mackey family reunion. While that might not be possible, fortunately, there's plenty that we can all do to help put an end to this annual nightmare for dogs.
For example, be on the lookout for any TV or radio programs that attempt to hide the cruelty that dogs endure during the Iditarod. A recent radio show with travel journalist Rick Steves failed to mention the suffering of the dogs, so perhaps you'd like to let Steves and his producers know what they missed?
Written by Jeff Mackey
My favorite part about the holidays (actually ... maybe my second favorite—next to feasting on my mom's famous Cashew Nut Roast) is how people come together to help those in need. While we're all toasty indoors, dreaming and hoping for a "White Winter," countless "backyard dogs" will not do so well in the ice and snow, struggling just to keep alive on freezing winter nights. To help these dogs, PETA staffers spend every winter weekend helping ease the pain in their joints by delivering sturdy dog houses and straw to man's best friend.
After learning about all this, a class of third-grade students at Samuel Staples Elementary School in Connecticut and their teacher Ms. Ellen Linker raised over $800 for the dogs—for the second year in a row. Wow!
Well, this class definitely gives me that fuzzy feeling deep inside. To show the students how much we appreciate their dedication to animals, we'll be sending along a holiday package filled with comic books, stickers, a copy of Ingrid Newkirk's book 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals, and a card signed by PETA staff members. Please post a comment below to join us in thanking these students who gave up their lunch money and allowances to help animals in need.
I hope the actions of these generous students inspire you to be an "angel" for a freezing, lonely backyard dog this winter. Do you think your school, office, family, or friends would want to pool funds to purchase a doghouse? That would be perfect! Together, we can make sure that dogs who would have shivered through long, cold nights have a dry place to curl up in and try to be warm.
And please remember to tell everyone—maybe put up a flyer?—that animal companions should always be a part of the family. This holiday season (and all year long), please take your dogs inside.
Written by Liz Graffeo
You heard me. We needed to know who was the cutest vegetarian child in the world, and thus began a painstaking, epic search throughout the land for the most adorable—but also compassionate re: animals—young lads and lasses that have been produced in the last 10 odd years of human procreation. Our quest for the World’s Cutest Vegetarian finally came to an end when we happened upon young Caitlin Rosendorn of Bloomington, Illinois, and her male counterpart, the undeniably adorable Ian Kaminski of North Syracuse, New York, both of whom beat out a very tough field of extremely lovable little kiddies. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the winners of this year’s World’s Cutest Vegetarian Kids contest—you can learn more about them at PETAKids.com. Out of sheer laziness, I’ve copied these bios from the text written by my good friend Patricia Trostle who runs our PETA Kids department.
I seriously can’t get over the fact that this young lady is way into Rainer Maria. Not only is she precocious enough to have worked out the practical ethics of meat consumption for herself, but she already has the music taste of a disaffected Brooklyn scenester at the tender age of 6. I love it.
Congratulations, Caitlin and Ian! It’s not always easy to make a compassionate choice like going vegetarian when a lot of your classmates are doing something else, but it’s impressive as hell, and it’s something that you’ll never regret.
After PETA UK released its brand-new "Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse" billboard, a number of groups complained about the ad to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Having a brief look through the list of complainants, it really seems like they all have something in common, but I just can't quite put my finger on it. It does strike me as a bit weird that The National Farmers' Union, the Guild of Welsh Lamb and Beef Suppliers, and the International Meat Trade should suddenly come down with a case of social responsibility, but who am I to question them? I'm sure they're just worried about Britain's children. It's a moot point though, as the ASA rejected the complaints and cleared the ad, because, honestly, if feeding dead bodies to your kids isn't widely considered to be abusive, it probably should be …
Either way, the ad's a classic. Check it 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.