Written by PETA
Today, my love affair with Norfolk's own Bella Pizzeria vegan pizza was solidified. As I was browsing through the morning paper and munching on my heavily soy-milked cereal, I came across this gem, which made me gag a bit.
I was already aware that cheese is a glob of coagulated goo that comes from cow's udders (complete with all the bovine misery inherent in milk production). Apparently, it's much, much more than that.
I'm horrified to inform you that behind the taste of this slimy, smelly concoction lies stomach lining, pesticides, and pure fat. And if that doesn't sound bad enough, experts say that no cheese would taste quite the same without the thousands of bacteria that are in and on it. And the fat is what gives cheese its flavor! Worse? Many of the bacteria in cheese are unidentified by scientists, and nobody knows what effects they may have. If your dinner plans included mac and cheese, you may wish to reconsider. Personally, I'll be ordering one large pizza, with extra soy cheese. To find the best soy-cheese pizza in your area, check out our Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Pizzerias.
Written by Liz Graffeo
When former Dallas cheerleader and sports broadcaster Bonnie Jill Laflin discovered that a Tennessee Titans cheerleader was involved in the gruesome animal testing biz, she got out more than her pom-poms! It was discovered recently that Titans cheerleader Melissa Hodges is working in an animal laboratory at Vanderbilt University's Kennedy Center, and according to the Nashville Scene, Hodges guillotines rats, among other acts. So Laflin has penned a powerful letter to her fellow spirit squadder.
Laflin has graced PETA ad campaigns with her sexy (naked) body in support of vegetarian living and against rodeo cruelty. She also has a big place in her heart for the animals used (and abused) in experiments.
Hopefully, Hodges will be big enough to have a change of heart and take her career to a different, cruelty-free level. I mean, heck, when a woman like this tells you to jump, you just ask how high.
Written by Christine Doré
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is fast approaching, and here at PETA we've decided to take our cue from President-elect Obama, who suggests that you make January 19 a day of service instead of just a day off. We think it's a fantastic idea for everyone to spend their day doing something to make a difference, and we even have a suggestion: Help animals! Luckily, it's easy to get active with PETA, whether you want to put a bumper sticker on your car or organize a demonstration. Check out our Action Center to find out what you can do, or try a few of these ideas:
Step 1: Get SocialYou could throw a banner or two on your MySpace page, support our cause on Facebook, send a tweet on Twitter, embed some of our YouTube videos on your personal Web site, or create an animal-friendly e-mail signature or out-of-office auto-response. It's as easy as that!
Step 2: Participate in Action Alerts Check out our list of Action Alerts for opportunities to sign petitions, send letters, and make a real difference in the lives of animals. Most of these will take less than a minute of your time, and you can forward them to your friends when you're done.
Step 3: Spread the WordOrder some PETA leaflets and set up a table. You can get out the word on anything and everything you feel strongly about, whether it's KFC cruelty or animal birth control. We even have a handy guide to tabling to help you get started.
Step 4: Make It OfficialPETA is always looking for potential volunteers, interns, and employees to help save animals across the country. Check out our job listings or join our A-Team.
Inspired yet? You can also flip through Making Kind Choices or One Can Make a Difference for some more motivating ideas. Post a comment to let us know what your MLK Jr. Day plans are.
Written by Lianne Turner
When it comes to being an animal lover, Kellie Pickler is the real deal—she only wears fake fur. Eagle-eyed viewers of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve spotted the "Best Days of Your Life" singer in what appeared to be a fur coat. But Kellie's publicist just confirmed what we suspected—that the coat was from PETA's favorite furrier: Cincinnati-based Donna Salyers' Fabulous Furs, which makes the most luxurious faux furs available.
"One night I couldn't sleep, and I was up and just Googling random stuff, and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA,'" said Kellie in an interview with People magazine last fall. "I saw all the videos, and I just thought it was horrible. It's animal cruelty. A lot of it has to do with knowing what happens to the animals, and it really bothered me, and so I will not eat meat." Pickler says that she shared her decision to go vegetarian with close friend and PETA "Sexiest Vegetarian" Carrie Underwood right away. She said, "I texted Carrie and was like, 'You're never going to believe this!'" PETA hopes that Nashville's newest vegetarian (in addition to Underwood, Shania Twain and Emmylou Harris also eschew meat) will pose for one of its iconic ad campaigns this year.
Written by Michael McGraw
After years of breeding dogs that end up sick and short-lived (as was brought to light in a special BBC documentary), U.K. breeders are scrambling to change the very breeding standards that they touted a minute ago.
Following the BBC's decision to drop Crufts, the UK equivalent of the Westminster Dog Show, The Kennel Club in the UK has announced new breeding standards for 209 different breeds in an attempt to make the dogs healthier. For example, bulldogs will now be taller, leaner, and have smaller faces. But guess what? I think that I have a much more obvious solution:
Stop breeding dogs!
Mutts are usually far healthier than "purebreds," and millions of these angels are being euthanized every year because so many people search for the "perfect" bred dog. Breedism is sicker than the dogs it creates, and it is directly responsible for robbing shelter dogs of their chances to find happy homes!
The kennel clubs need to stop trying to sweep their abysmal code under the rug and drop the whole concept of breeding standards. Just pack 'em up and move 'em out already. The man who said, "[A] lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me," is being sworn in on January 20, and everyone needs to swear by mutts from now on.
Next week's historic presidential inauguration is being touted as the "greenest" of all time, so of course, we at PETA will be there in all our green glory!
Tomorrow, we'll already be on the streets of D.C. handing out fur coats to the homeless. Yep, you read that right. See, fur does nothing to raise a person's social status. On the contrary, only if you have nothing do you actually have any real excuse for wearing someone's cast-off fur. Next—to show our appreciation to all the fur-free folks attending the inaugural festivities in the cold—we'll be serving free hot soy cocoa in PETA cups printed with the message, "Thank you for not wearing fur."
If you'll be in D.C., keep an eye out for PETA staffers and members dressed as foxes, raccoons, and rabbits and wearing pins that read, "Be Fur-Free."(Yes, they'll pose for photos.) If that isn't enough excitement for you, the peta2 "not-a-nugget" chick, "cows," and "pigs" will also be working the crowds with signs reading, "Yes We Can: Go Vegetarian!" They'll also be handing out copies of our free "Vegetarian Starter Kit." Even if you don't spot a PETA mascot, you'll probably catch a pedicab adorned with PETA's anti-fur ads.
As you know, fur is anything but green, folks. It's treated with chemicals (to keep it from decomposing, ewww), and the production of the ugly stuff pollutes rivers and streams with tannery runoff. It also takes 15 times the energy to produce a fur coat than it does to produce a faux-fur one. Then there's the business of ripping animals from their natural environment and killing them painfully. We're thinking that if Styrofoam isn't allowed, then fur certainly has no place at the inauguration.
So, here's to a truly green inaugural celebration.
Also, if you would like to donate your "change of heart" fur to us, click here. We'll make sure it is put to good use: We send donated furs to animal sanctuaries so that rescued animal orphans can be comforted by them. We also cut them up for refugee children in war zones and use them in educational displays.
Written by Missy Lane
IndyACT—a Lebanon-based league of social rights activists—has launched a "Stop the Carnage" ad campaign dedicated to combating rising fur sales in the Gulf and Middle East. The ads tie responsibility for individual animals' lives (spelling out exactly how many animals are skinned for each coat) to a strong, clear message: If you buy fur, the blood of animals is on your hands.
Are you as surprised as I was to hear that fur was catching on in the Middle East? I mean, it's mostly desert. Apparently, though, the recent influx of wealth, couture, and western luxury to cities such as Dubai—where ice skating rinks and air conditioned malls are springing up faster than a guest on Jerry Springer—has lead to an increase in popularity for this cruel commodity. The new ads will hopefully encourage consumers to reject cruelty to animals. If you like the ads as much as I do, please give props to IndyAct by posting a comment below.
Thanks Osocio for the heads up! We love you!
I've got some exciting news for you! Well, exciting in the sense that a hideous sport has made an improvement that makes it a bit less hideous: The National Western Stock Show has banned electric prods!
The group SHARK gets a shout-out as big as the wide-open plains for persuading National Western to put an end to the use of the painful shocking device, which is often used on broncos to cause them to bolt from the gate. As you can imagine, frequent exposure to these electric shocks causes the animals considerable physical and mental distress.
The National Western Stock Show has also announced heftier fines for "jerk-downs"—the act of violently jerking a calf backward and roping the calf simultaneously. Competing rodeos have followed suit: Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Greeley Stampede have also banned electric prods. Now, if they'd just replace the broncs with mechanical bulls, we'd be as happy as a hog let loose in the tater patch.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
OMG … this is the cutest, most fascinating video that I've seen in a long time. Prepare yourself for intense adorableness.
You are now officially armed with even more proof that animals are emotional, sensitive, and complex beings.
What might have been just another story of shoddy circus animal handling came to a karmic conclusion last week when a tiger trainer, Josip Marcan, agreed to pay nearly 1 million bucks to settle a lawsuit resulting from a huge traffic accident. The accident was apparently caused when one of Marcan's tigers escaped into the wilds of NYC—in this case, the Jackie Robinson Parkway—while traveling with the Cole Bros. Circus.
Demonstrating the spirit that has made the business of using and abusing animals in circuses the very definition of heartlessness, Marcan blamed everyone but his own whiny self. He called the injured drivers "reckless" and slammed the NYPD officers on the scene, saying "they just wanted to shoot the tiger."
Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for the tiger, Apollo, who was captured and returned to circus life.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.