Written by PETA
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.
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
Well, we took a week off last week ’cuz, to be frank, researching these people can really ruin my Fridays sometimes—and if there was ever a man who could suck all the fun out of your weekend, it’s our latest winner (by a margin of 15-1!), Hagai Bergman, who enjoys romantic movies, long walks on the beach, and drilling holes into monkeys’ brains while they scream for mercy.
While Hagai shuffles into his rightful place as this week’s Vilest Vivisector, it’s time to turn our attention to the new blood. This week, we’ve got two researchers for you from the Yerkes Center at Emory University who are studying the psychology of despair the only way they know how … by inflicting it! So here it is—a PETA Files exclusive sneak peek into the very darkest reaches of two twisted human souls … it’s time to cast your vote for the next Vivisector of the Week!
Stuart Zola, Emory University.
Maria Sanchez, Emory University.
Will Mrs. Sanchez’s diabolical role as a parent who has devoted her life to wrenching infants from their mothers be enough to edge out the sadistic brain butcher Stuart Zola? Find out next week* when we crown the very latest Vivisector of the Week!
*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.
The Emmy Awards are coming up this Sunday, and there are a few nominees that we're going to be rooting for in particular here at PETA. It's a little cruel and unusual of FOX to put three hours of must-see television on, when they know that I will have just spent the entire day struggling through 12 different football games on NFL Sunday Ticket, but duty is duty, and I will be there for the awards. Here are the actors I'm going to be pulling for:
Edie FalcoNominated for: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Sopranos Edie Falco narrated and stared in our anti-violence PSA, to remind people that cruelty to animals needs to be taken seriously—both for the animals' sake, and because it invariably leads to violence against humans.
Simon CowellNominated for: Outstanding Reality-competition Program for American IdolSimon Cowell has spoken out on a number of issues on behalf of animals. Most recently, he starred in our Hot Dog PSA, to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, and he also did this beautiful ad to point out that if you like animals, you probably shouldn't frickin' wear them.
William ShatnerNominated for: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Boston LegalWilliam Shatner, who has been amazing in Boston Legal the past few years, is a longtime PETA supporter. Among the many things Shatner has done to help animals, he wrote the introduction to Ingrid Newkirk's Making Kind Choices, and he also narrated our PSA about looking out for animals during natural disasters. The guy was also Captain Kirk, for God’s sake. He should get an Emmy by default.
Bill MaherNominated for: Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program for Real Time With Bill MaherIn addition to being one of the funniest people in America, Bill Maher has worked with PETA on pretty much every animal issue there is. Here's one of my favorite ads with him:
Good luck at the Emmys, guys! And thanks for everything that you do for animals.
Talking about the cosmetics company here. e.l.f. Stands for "Eyes, Lips, Face," and these guys are pretty rad. In addition to selling 100 percent cruelty-free cosmetics, e.l.f. have teamed up with PETA for a promotion to help draw attention to our fur campaign. They made these handy little tweezers with a faux-leather case so that their customers can be "fur-free" too, and they also released the following statement:
"Millions of fur-bearing animals including foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, bobcats, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others are killed in the wild by excruciating beatings, strangling, and electrocutions. e.l.f. does not test on animals and supports PETA in the Fur Free campaign."
I think it may be time for a Gladiator, Quills, and Walk the Line marathon this weekend, because two-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix has taken time away from promoting his upcoming films We Own the Night and Reservation Road to write to Australian Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran about the cruel treatment of sheep by the Australian wool industry.
Phoenix focused his letter on the two worst abuses sheep face in Australia: mulesing and live export. In case you’re not familiar with these two terms, here’s a quick explanation. Mulesing is a painful procedure in which gardening shears are used to cut skin and flesh from lambs' backsides without any painkillers. It is a crude and cheap effort to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane methods exist. Every year, millions of Australian sheep discarded by the wool industry are shipped to the Middle East and North Africa. They are crammed onto multi-tiered ships where they suffer amid the waste of thousands of other animals for weeks on end. Many suffer and die from smothering, starvation, heatstroke, injuries and disease. Each year, tens of thousands of animals die en route—almost 40,000 sheep died in 2005 alone.
My post on Breeders this week seems to have raised enough controversy that it merits a follow-up entry. I followed the comments on this one really closely, and it's pretty clear that there's some interesting stuff going on. PETA Files reader Kelly—who was the most outspoken representative of the forces of good in the comment war on that particular post—made this remark, which inspired me to get out my pipe and Sherlock Holmes hat and do a bit of investigative work:
"Would anyone like to know why the crackpot breeders have come out of the woodwork to come here and spread the usual propaganda about ‘reputable’ breeders? They are all madly messaging each other and emailing each other and exhorting each other on their forums to come here and spread the gospel and try to cover their butts."
Sure enough, when I looked into it, the page was getting some heavy traffic from breeder-focused message boards and sites, and an unusual amount of comments with the standard anti-animal propaganda that people copy and paste from meat-industry front groups when they have an axe to grind about an initiative that's designed to help animals. There was also the standard drivel about "responsible" breeders (as if such a thing existed). Which got me to thinking: What po$$ible rea$on could the$e breeder$ have for coming onto PETA’s blog by the dozen to try and di$courage people from adopting from a shelter? If anyone ha$ any idea$, I'd love to hear them. It'$ a total my$tery to me!
Anyway, by way of an answer to some of the legitimate questions about the campaign that appeared in the comments:
1) Sad as it is to see them there, buying an animal from a pet store just isn't a good way to help them. If you pay for that animal, not only is she going to be replaced right away with another one, but you're funding the pet store's practice with your purchase, and denying an adoptable animal at a shelter a chance at life at the same time.
2) I deliberately didn't draw a distinction between so-called "responsible" breeders and people who run puppy mills. Sure, some of these folks aren’t quite so cruel as the scumbags who torture animals in puppy mill-type operations, but the point here is that there is no excuse for breeding and selling animals when millions upon millions of them are being killed in shelters or suffering out on the streets.
That's it on breeders for now, but keep an eye out for some of the great new stuff we have coming up to expose this vicious little industry for what it is.
OK, so normally I don’t just post links to videos or whatever as the entire content of an entry, but this is the cutest thing I’ve seen in ages, save for that baby hedgehog on cuteoverlord the other day, so I just had to share it.
Alright, altogether now . . . Awwwwww.
It’s being said that Alex’s advanced language and recognition skills revolutionized the understanding of the avian brain. Alex taught many people that yes, even birds have thoughts and feelings and preferences, and the ability to express them. And while that’s all well and good, the important thing to me is what we, as a society, do with that knowledge. We can’t acknowledge it when it’s convenient by ooohing and ahhhing because a bird can say “I love you,” without also accepting the responsibility that comes along with knowing that these animals each have a very real cognitive presence.
There are millions of birds suffering and dying for KFC and dying in Petsmart’s back rooms, all of whom are thinking and feeling and experiencing the world just like Alex did. They just don’t know how to express themselves in a way that we can understand. And if there’s one thing that we should have learned from Alex, it’s that we need to be open and “listen” to animals, even when they’re not speaking our language, because there’s a whole lot more going on inside their heads than we give them credit for.
Check out this great New York Times column from Verlyn Klinkenborg for his take on Alex.
The Mystery Meat photo series has been getting quite a bit of play online lately. The official name of the series is the “Meet Your Meat Photo Tour”, which is of course strikingly similar to our video Meet Your Meat. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, and the photographer came up with his catchy handle on his own. Totally.
Anyway, the idea of this photo thing is to show super close-ups of meat, and man, some of them are beyond gross. Check out this one, for instance. The fat streaks look particularly appetizing, especially the slug looking protrusion on the left side. It reminds me of the bloody, gooey mess that gets sucked out during liposuction, except that this is a picture of someone’s food. Yum.
Also notice the brilliant KFC ad below the pic. They’ve really targeted their demographic well here, as anyone who would find these liposuction-soup-esque shots appealing probably wouldn’t mind eating at a joint that has reportedly served worms, human blood, cockroaches, and other disgusting things in its food.
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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.