Written by Alisa Mullins
PETA's Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters
has a new moniker—the Sam Simon Center—in honor of entertainment giant Sam
Simon, the multiple Emmy
Award–winning co-creator of The Simpsons and the writing genius behind
hit shows like Taxi, Barney
Miller, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, The Drew Carey
Show, and Charlie Sheen's new FX series, Anger Management. Accompanied by a
Dixieland jazz band, Simon arrived by boat to cut the ribbon at a dedication ceremony today, which was
also attended by New York Jets safety Bret Lockett and other luminaries, including the glamorous Jennifer Tilly, TV host and producer Mark Thompson, and World Series of
Poker champion Phil Laak.
Simon, who serves on PETA's
Executive Committee, has been a vegetarian since he was 19 and a vegan
since joining PETA years later. He is known for his
work with The Sam Simon
Foundation, which rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to help
soldiers who return from war with physical and mental trauma. He attacks
animal homelessness at its roots by sponsoring spay and neuter surgeries in
low-income areas of Los Angeles. He also helped PETA launch our newest mobile spay-and-neuter clinic
and hosts annual PETA fundraisers at his home in L.A.
Perhaps because he works in the entertainment industry, the
plight of animals in entertainment is especially close to Simon's heart. He is
an outspoken opponent of cruelty in circuses, roadside zoos, and marine
parks, and he recently attended a PETA news conference with Bob Barker to call
attention to the plight of
animals on TV and movie sets. "[I]f you can't afford the CGI [computer-generated imagery], either do a
rewrite," he said, "or do a cartoon show like I did."
Simon once donated his fee for an episode of The Drew
Carey Show to PETA because
the plot involved greyhound
racing, and he felt that he could not in good conscience keep the money. As if he's not
busy enough, Simon also hosts a weekly Friday Internet radio show on Radioio.com in which he always keeps animal issues in the spotlight.
"Sam Simon may be a big Hollywood figure, but it's his
big heart that makes him a PETA soulmate," said PETA President Ingrid E.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Eight trainers at Marineland in Niagara
Falls, Ontario, have handed in their resignations and are speaking out to the Toronto Star about the cruel and abusive conditions at the marine animal
prison, which PETA has been after for years.
Because they were made to sign nondisclosure
agreements about what goes on behind the scenes at the park, many of the
trainers asked not to be identified by name. But former trainer Phil Demers,
who quit the park after 12 years, gave a daring on-camera interview describing the abuse he witnessed:
(Video courtesy of thestar.com)
has had our sights on Marineland for some time, writing letters to Canadian
officials and asking them to take action to improve conditions at the park.
Now, Marineland owner
John Holer's own trainers are
accusing the park of cruelty to animals, including the following:
When questioned about the insufficient
staff, dirty water, and untimely death of a baby beluga, Marineland owner John
Holer offered this chilling answer: "[F]or people and all living things,
there is a time to live and a time to die."
Perhaps his cavalier attitude explains
the more than 40 whale and
dolphin deaths at Marineland since the park's
inception. The park, along with fellow marine animal prison SeaWorld, earned a spot on PETA's list of deadly destinations, a register of places that
anyone who cares about animals should avoid like the plague.
Please voice your objections about the lack of adequate laws
to protect captive animals to Premier Dalton McGuinty:
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario
Rm. 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A4
Written by Jeff Mackey
There's big news today in a case that PETA has been
tenaciously pursuing for some time: Consistent with the citations issued against SeaWorld in 2010, Administrative Law Judge Ken Welsch of the Occupational Safety and
Health Review Commission (OSHRC) found that SeaWorld is culpable for allowing
its employees to interact directly with potentially dangerous orcas.
Olivier Bruchez|cc by 2.0
For years, PETA has implored SeaWorld to transfer the marine
mammals it enslaves to transitional coastal sanctuaries because confining animals
of such great size to severely inadequate tanks leads to miserable lives of
desperation and frustration—and dangerous conditions for SeaWorld staffers.
After one orca, Tilikum, killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in front of horrified visitors at SeaWorld Orlando, PETA urged the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pursue a citation against SeaWorld
and provided it with compiled research on the history of deaths and injuries at
the park and orca aggression in captivity. Today's OSHRC decision affirms that
SeaWorld knew that allowing its employees to interact directly with orcas such
as Tilikum could have serious or fatal results.
While the judge modified the citation for "willful"
violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to "serious,"
adjusting the fine accordingly, he found that SeaWorld knew that there was a "substantial probability that
death or serious physical harm could result" from these
interactions, yet it continued to allow them. He found SeaWorld's arguments
that it wasn't aware of these hazards to be implausible and lambasted its corporate
culture of placing the blame for dangerous incidents exclusively on trainers
and discouraging trainers from stopping a show—even after an attack.
Information that came out of the testimony during a two-week
hearing before Judge Welsch, as well as during previous proceedings, includes the following:
While SeaWorld's own corporate incident
log contains reports of more than 100 incidents of orca aggression at
its parks, government attorneys brought up incident after incident that
were left out of the log, including the attack leading to Brancheau's death and
attacks by an orca who had a penchant for grabbing trainers' ponytails. Yet despite the premature deaths of four human
beings—one from extensive internal bleeding—and more than 20 orcas at SeaWorld's
parks, the company continues to put profits over humane concerns. Dawn
Brancheau would be alive today if SeaWorld had heeded PETA's advice.
Please join PETA in politely asking David Michaels, assistant
secretary of labor for
occupational safety and health,
to prohibit all direct contact with potentially dangerous animals. And, of
course, never, ever go to SeaWorld or any other marine-animal park.
Despite the endangered-species status of the southern resident orcas, the federal government is refusing to offer imprisoned orca Lolita the same protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that the rest of her family pod enjoys.
Rojer | cc by 2.0
You may recall that the National Marine Fisheries Service classified Washington state's southern resident orca population as endangered, giving it protection from being harmed or harassed under the ESA, but without explanation, it excluded Lolita, who was captured from the pod as a calf and has been held prisoner and forced to perform for the last 42 years. PETA called foul on the unlawful double standard and filed suit on Lolita's behalf, joined by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), Washington residents, and a former employee of the Miami Seaquarium, where Lolita is held captive.
The Miami Seaquarium and the federal government filed motions to get the case dismissed, and the judge acquiesced on timing grounds—he didn't address the merits of the case—meaning that the Miami Seaquarium can continue to confine Lolita to the smallest orca tank in North America (the orca equivalent of a bathtub), prevent her from interacting with any members of her own species, deny her appropriate protection from the sun, and force her to perform silly tricks. But PETA and the ALDF are already regrouping and planning our next move, and the lawsuit's dismissal is merely a hitch in our efforts to see Lolita released into a seaside sanctuary in her home waters.
Please send a polite e-mail to Eric C. Schwabb, assistant administrator for fisheries, urging him to give Lolita her rightful protection under the ESA.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
protest held by PETA, Animal Concerns
Puerto Rico, and the
Puerto Rico Committee for Free Dolphins against a proposed San Juan, Puerto Rico, dolphinarium went swimmingly as dozens of supporters came out to explain why the
facility would be bad for dolphins and the city.
Comité por Delfines Libres de Puerto Rico
facility would purportedly use the dolphins to work with children with disabilities,
including autism, but San Juan's mayor and other proponents ignore the fact
has been discredited, with experts calling it downright dangerous. Who wants to
risk having their child sexually molested by a randy dolphin?
countless studies show that confining highly social, intelligent dolphins
to cramped concrete tanks is akin to torture for them. Glen Venezio, who helped
organize the protest, urged the city to embrace "the concept of live and let live. Leave the dolphins
alone, in their ocean world where they belong." PETA supplied the local group with posters and other
materials for the protest.
your city has a marine mammal park or zoo, if you learn about an event
featuring animals as prizes, or if there's any other situation harmful to
animals in your community, contact PETA's Action Team
to get help organizing a local protest or outreach. E-mail ATeam@peta.org or click here
to join the Action Team and receive e-mail updates about events in your area.
the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed the Southern Resident
killer whale population as endangered, affording them protection from being
harmed or harassed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the agency left out one lone orca.
Lolita was captured from the Southern
Resident population off the coast of Washington in 1970 as a calf and has been held
captive in a tiny cement tank—forced to perform at the Miami Seaquarium—ever
cited these captures as the likely reason for the population's decline, yet
it still denied protection to Lolita, the only surviving victim.
Together with the
Animal Legal Defense Fund, local residents, and a former Seaquarium employee, PETA filed a lawsuit against NMFS in Lolita's behalf alleging
that her exclusion from the ESA was unlawful. If we are successful, the Miami
Seaquarium will be prohibited from harming or harassing her—and PETA could then
try for precedent-setting improvements for Lolita, such as a larger tank, no
more forced performances, or even release to a sea pen in her native waters.
While we go after marine-mammal abusers in the courtroom, you can go after them at the bank by
refusing to fund this cruelty with your admission fee. Please also click here to send a
polite e-mail to Eric C. Schwaab, assistant administrator
for fisheries, asking that the agency ensure that Lolita
is given the protection that she is rightfully due under the Endangered Species
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.