Written by PETA
PETA is ratcheting up our campaign against cat and dog breeders, and this beautiful billboard in New York is the first of a number of strong statements you can look for over the next few months designed to remind people that buying animals from breeders or pet stores when millions are dying in shelters is, simply put, irresponsible and cruel. Of course, the real villains here are the breeders themselves. Not only are these people directly contributing to the animal overpopulation epidemic in this country—they’re also making a tidy profit out of it (in case it’s not immediately clear, I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for animal breeders). There’s some more information on this topic here, and I’ll keep you posted as this campaign progresses—we’ve got some great stuff on the way ...
The second lesson to take home from this sad story is as follows: If you have any other choice of transport—be it plane, car, rowboat, whatever—think very seriously about these options before you buy that Nepal Airlines ticket. I won't pretend that I'm up to date on the latest techniques that they're pushing in flight school nowadays, but I can tell you with confidence that when your pilot tells you the plane has been fixed via goat sacrifice, it's time to panic.
You Howard Stern fans out there will appreciate this pic. Our sexy Fashion Police caught up with Howard's lovely girlfriend Beth Ostrosky at Fashion Week in New York last week. Beth said she was really glad to see that they were out there giving fashionistas the animals' side of the story.
The sudden loss of Dame Anita Roddick, who pioneered the sale of cruelty-free beauty products in her Body Shop stores in the '70s—declaring in letters a foot high, 'against animal tests'—has left us a bit shaken at the PETA offices today.
From the opening of her first Body Shop store in Brighton in 1974 to her decision last year to enter into a partnership with L'Oreal in order to show that company how easy it is to run a successful business without supporting unethical practices like animal experimentation, Anita Roddick never once compromised her stated goal of "putting idealism back on the agenda" or stopped for one moment in her quest to show by example that kindness not only has a role in a successful business but that it can be its driving force.
It is not an overstatement to say that Anita Roddick ushered animal rights into the mainstream with her work to show the strong demand for products not tested on animals. She was a courageous, progressive pioneer, who risked her business to be the first corporation to announce her staunch support for a ban on cosmetics and toiletries tests on animals. She will take her place in history as a woman who helped to bring a sense of social justice and ethical practices into the business world, but we will always remember her as a deeply compassionate soul who was a true friend to animals.
She will be greatly missed, and not the least by our Senior VP, Dan Mathews, for whom she once cooked a vegan breakfast! We are all profoundly indebted to the great strides she took to make the world a better place for humans and animals alike.
"It's nothing to do with animal rights—it's just that I have moved on. I think people should be able to wear what they want and I hate that the PETA people throw blood or paint over people wearing fur. To me that's just rude and if anyone did that to me they'd better be tough because they'd have a fight on their hands."
Yeah, the quote didn't exactly inspire me, either, but hey, at least it's on her radar—and sometimes all it takes for someone to come around is a gentle nudge in the right direction. So we sent her this letter, along with a copy of Martha Stewart's fur exposé in the hopes that she'll figure out why it's actually not OK for people to "wear what they want" when there's live skinning or electrocution involved. I really do think there’s a good chance she’ll change her tune once she sees how fur coats are actually made. I'll definitely let you know if we get a response.
While we're on the topic, I figured this was as good a time as any to point out that PETA has actually never thrown red paint at fur-wearers. Pies, maybe, but never red paint. Just one of those urban legends, I guess.
Score one for freedom of speech in Finland! Remember the story of the Austrian activists who were arrested back in 2003 for going onto a Finnish fur farm to film the horrible conditions? The activists were beaten by the “farmer,” arrested and held for three days by police, and their legal struggle has been on-going for several years now.
Well, they were just found not guilty and are free. Here’s the full story. Congrats guys!
This story was being considered for a web feature, but I grabbed it for the blog because I found it to be incredibly moving. Please share Marcie’s story with your friends and family who still wear wool . . .
When a PETA member found Marcie languishing at a decrepit Colorado farm, she was sick, frightened, and going blind. She had been used as a breeding machine her entire life, and had endured the anguish of having all of her babies taken away as soon as they were born, sometimes even to be killed right in front of her.
After the farmer agreed to relinquish Marcie, she was taken to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, a refuge for abused and neglected animals. There, for the first time in her life, Marcie knew kindness instead of cruelty. She was given wholesome and plentiful food and the veterinary care she so desperately needed. But Marcie, shell-shocked and traumatized by her past, never fully recovered.
Despite the best of care, the damage was done: Marcie lost her sight within a year of her rescue. She was terrified of people—it was a year before shelter staff could even touch her—so she sought comfort and security among the goats at the sanctuary. In an effort to “hide,” Marcie camouflaged herself in the resident goat herd, forging a fast friendship with her bovid cousins.
In her final years, Marcie found contentment and peace. But for millions of sheep farmed for their wool, there is no happy ending.
In Australia, where most of the world’s wool comes from, the misery for sheep begins when they are only weeks old. In a misguided attempt to prevent maggot infestation, or flystrike, farmers carve huge chunks of skin from the backsides of millions of lambs a year—without any pain relief—in a crude mutilation called mulesing.
For 200 years, Australian farmers have intentionally bred, and continue to breed, merino sheep who have extra wrinkly skin because more skin means more wool and more profits. This extra skin collects moisture, urine and feces and attracts blowflies which lay their eggs in the wrinkly folds of skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. Rather than spend the extra time and money on effective and humane methods to prevent flystrike, many farmers choose to simply cut the wrinkly skin off from the backside of lambs because it is cheaper and easier than caring for them properly.
Shearing is also a painful, frightening ordeal. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, so they work as quickly as possible, leaving sheep bruised and bleeding. The untreated wounds can attract flies and become infected. Terrified sheep who don’t “cooperate” are often beaten and kicked into submission. When they are no longer profitable for their wool, Australian sheep are often shipped thousands of miles to the Middle East, where they are dragged off trucks by their ears and legs, kicked in the face, and have their throats slit while they are still conscious.
So, what can you do? Please, don’t ever buy any wool. Choose cotton, acrylic, polyester fleece, and other durable, stylish, and warm fabrics. Find sources of animal-friendly clothing at the PETA Mall and in our cruelty-free clothing guide. And click here for more ways to help.
For anyone who still has doubts about the power of the internet, check out this AP story about 14-year-old Amy Bareijan. Amy wanted to go vegetarian after watching Meet Your Meat on YouTube, so she posted her own video asking for people’s advice and personal experiences that may help her. The response was overwhelming, to say the least. Check out the story here.
The video that started it all:
Paul McCartney never misses an opportunity to help animals, and his latest video is no exception. The video, for his new single Nod Your Head, shows the former Beatle rocking PETA’s “Eat No Cow” T-shirt as a helpful reminder to people to stop eating animals.
Check it out!
Dave Warwak, an art teacher at Fox River Grove Middle School in Illinois (and, if I'm not mistaken, a regular commenter on this here blog), has been dismissed from his classroom by the school after teaching his students about factory farming and the other forms of animal abuse that made him go vegan. Apparently, the school's principal ordered Warwak to leave the classroom after he showed his students photos of animals in factory farms and gave them the book The Food Revolution by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author John Robbins.
Let me go over that again, real quick. An Illinois principal just kicked out a teacher for talking to his students about veganism. Does that disturb anyone else as much as it does me? You can read PETA's letter to the school here. Unbelievable.
In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight, Dave. We're all 100 percent behind you.
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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.