Written by PETA
TMZ hypothesized that the folks at Chrysler "must have purposely wanted" to annoy us when they released this memo, which says that "all employee's [sic] shall not wear any shoe with open toe or open heal [sic], Canvas, Suede, Mesh, plastic, pleather or any shoe with a raised heal [sic] on it will not be allowed on the workplace floor. Only shoes / Boots of solid leather composition are allowed …." And what's more, those who don't adhere to these leather-only guidelines will be sent home to change—without pay!
TMZ might be on to something, frankly. Besides the composition of the memo itself (which is making me a little, ahem, sic), there's the fact that the Chrysler folks are totally ignoring all the many rugged, non-porous leather alternatives out there. Of course, nobody on a factory floor should be wearing peep-toe stilettos, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good pleather—which, you might notice, is specifically outlawed. Work boots work if they have steel toes and are made of a sturdy material; the skins of dead, abused animals are not required.
Plus, as PETA Director of Corporate Affairs Matt Prescott points out in his letter to Chrysler—oh yes, of course we wrote them a letter—this policy might "discriminate against employees whose religious beliefs forbid or discourage the wearing of leather such as Jains, many Hindus and Buddhists, and others"—not to mention those, for example, who refuse to wear skins for other ethical reasons (hmm … do I know anyone like that?).
So seriously, Chrysler, discriminating against employees while promoting an industry that is cruel to animals and toxic to the environment? Not cool. But the news this morning is cool: Chrysler did consider changing its tune and says that no one who doesn't adhere to the leather rule will be punished.
They might also want to consider hiring a proofreader, but we're content with the cruelty-free boots.
Written by Amanda Schinke
They've both been featured in killer PETA street demonstrations this month! Now, we're known for being clever, sexy, and interesting when it comes to our eye-catching demos, but in my opinion, the last few weeks have really taken the cake. Check it:
Written by Christine Doré
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk's new book One Can Make a Difference is a collection of essays by some pretty awesome people—and one of my favorites is the wonderful Stella McCartney. You can't help but love Stella; she is not only a fabulous (and award-winning!) fashion designer but also a staunch opponent of fur and leather.
Even when asked to use animal skins in her clothing, Stella's always said no. In her essay, she writes, "I'm actually quite proud that I stuck to my decision never to touch the products of such outright cruelty." Right on, Stella! We're proud of you, too!
Another fantastic part of her essay is when she talks about this PETA fur exposé, which she narrated:
She sent copies to a bunch of designers who continue to use fur, but not all of them were willing to watch it. "Karl Lagerfeld, rather predictably, felt he needed to return the video to me!" Stella writes. "Dolce & Gabbana were disgracefully rude about it, too."
Why the lack of manners? Stella has one hypothesis: "I frankly don't think most designers have the balls to watch animals writhing and being slaughtered; they don't want to admit they're responsible for such suffering."
Well, Stella's got the cojones, so to speak—and for that, we adore her. And speaking of One Can Make a Difference, Ingrid launched the book last night in New York at an extremely successful book signing. Check out the fantastic turnout and click here to order your own copy:
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
Beachgoers at Puri Beach in Orissa, India, were greeted by a little more than just sun and surf yesterday. PETA India recognized World Environmental Day with a giant sand sculpture of a polar bear crushed beneath a larger-than-life shoe and a sign that read, "Your carbon footprints have leather shoes." You can catch the full story here.
The 10-foot-tall sand sculpture coincided with PETA India's new environmental campaign, highlighting the harmful effects that the leather industry has on the environment. And given that India is one of the top producers of leather, the sculpture is perfectly fitting, I'd say.
Leather products full of chemicals, dyes, oils, and finishes cause irreversible devastation not only to the world's waterways and ecosystems but also to human health. And the cruelty involved with the leather industry isn't any better—since leather is the most important byproduct of the meat industry, leather production directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses. And according to a 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gasses than all trucks, cars, planes, and ships in the world combined. The damage caused by India's leather industry makes the country a major contributor to global warming and the further endangerment of polar bears and their natural habitat.
I think PETA India's N.G. Jayasimha puts it best when he says, "Consumers can save polar bears and cows at the same time by giving leather products the boot." And well, we tend to agree.
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Here’s a sneak preview of a pair of ads targeting the cruel exotic-skins trade that will be featured in the latest issue of PETA’s Animal Times magazine.
We have a ways to go before people stop abusing these amazing animals for the sake of fashion accessories, but I did get one piece of good news today on the issue—Yves St. Laurent, who are among the worst offenders when it comes to using exotic skins in their designs, now have a vegan men’s Oxford shoe. It’s just a tad out of my price range, but a great sign of things to come.
So a while back, I posted an entry on these here PETA Files calling out the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine about numerous photographs we had received documenting the mutilation of animals who were forced to undergo multiple surgeries before being killed and cut apart at the university. Sounds like a pretty reasonable point for an animal protection organization to raise with a veterinary school, but our letters to the university met with enough resistance that we decided to launch an action alert encouraging people to contact the school about the issue.
The good news is that, after a few weeks of back and forth, the Ross folks cancelled all invasive and terminal dog surgeries, something that we—and a whole lot of dogs—were extremely grateful for. As my friend Shalin points out in his recent letter to the local newspaper, it’s totally cool by us if they want to claim that this development was a coincidence and had nothing to do with our requests—as long as they’re making the changes, that’s the important thing.
But we’re not quite finished yet. Ross is still conducting invasive and terminal surgeries on donkeys and sheep, and that needs to stop, like, ASAP. Plenty of veterinary schools are able to teach students to help animals without killing them first, and Ross should join that club sooner rather than later. They’ve already taken an important step in the right direction. I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out.
Field Cate is the 10-year-old star of ABC’s smash-hit dramedy (Wikipedia assures me that this is a real word) Pushing Daisies, and he is more knowledgeable about a wide array of animal issues than most people twice his age. Here he is, holding forth on the ethics of vegetarianism, pet care, dissection, circuses, and animal testing. Seriously, when Field’s finished with being a TV star, he should run for president.
There’s more info, and a contest for kids to win a signed T-shirt, here.
In late June the Montreal Symphony are hosting a TV Special to salute Buffy Sainte-Marie's 50th year making music. I am honored to be asked to take part. I first bought a Buffy Sainte-Marie record when I was 12, and her music has always remained with me. In the 1960s, as a political activist, Buffy's lyrics were fearless, and I'm very grateful for all the risks that she took.I am also pleased to be asked to join the bill at the V Festival at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and also at Fort Calgary in Calgary.However, as we all know, the psychologically and constitutionally sickening Canadian seal-kill has started and is once again in full-cry.The horror of the Canadian seal-kill is untranslatable, and although I fully realize that highly concentrated evil exists in other countries - Japan's dolphin slaughter, Iceland's newly-revived whaling, the cat-skinning trade in Switzerland, and China with just about every injustice imaginable - there is something especially menacing about Canada's seal-kill.Loyola Sullivan (Canada's Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation) is a man of glacial coldness who claims that the seal-kill is "humane" - a view he might alter if his own skull were cracked open with a spiked axe.The fact that the seal-kill provides a livelihood for fishermen is an insultingly dim excuse for it to take place - after all, the German gas chambers of World War 2 also provided work for someone.The seal-kill takes place to satisfy greed for fur-pelts, and this Canadian government is happy to drag the global image of its own country down, and make it a place that people such as I couldn't bear to visit.-Morrissey, 29 March 2008.
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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.