Written by PETA
My friend and colleague Melissa sent me a couple of pics of her baby sisters’ college graduation over the weekend, and when I opened the email, I was totally expecting to see a couple of the usual stock family photos and move on. But instead I saw these amazing shots . . .
World, meet Stephanie and Kimberly Carpel, animal activists extraordinaire. They both just graduated from California State University—Northridge, where they started Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. After the graduation ceremony, their Mom and Dad (both vegan as well) threw them a huge reception (all the food was vegan of course) that wowed both the vegans and non-vegans alike.
Kimberly and Stephanie have a pretty exciting summer ahead of them as well. They’re soon heading off to Spain for the annual Running of the Nudes and shortly thereafter, they’ll be arriving here in Norfolk to intern at PETA for the summer.
Can’t wait to meet y'all!
Here's another classic from the PETA vaults, which I came across a little while back and filed away for summer barbeque season. The website, which you can find here, starts off like this:
Summer’s Nearly Here! Toss Some Roadkill on the Grill! PETA is urging die-hard meat lovers to help save animals by scouring the streets and turning vehicular victims into vittles. If you’re wondering why the world’s largest animal rights organization would encourage consumption of roadkill kebabs, read on!
And on it goes. As usual with this sort of pro-vegetarianism campaign—see, for instance, Eat the Whales and Say No to Pot (roast)—the underlying point is the same as ever: "Eating animals is weird and gross, and it sucks for the animals involved." But the sad fact of the matter is that a lot of diehard meat-eaters just zone out when you say stuff like that to them. Telling people that you're thinking of firing up a roadkill barbeque, however, tends to wipe that long-suffering "preached at" look right off their faces. And the message is ultimately the same: “Dude. Go vegetarian.”
Anyway, that's my two cents, but please do check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.
Since 1975, there’s been this kickass law that protects baby turtles from being bought and sold as pets for kids who are likely to mistreat and eventually abandon them. All well and good so far, but all of a sudden this law is facing a serious threat of being overturned from the commercial turtle lobby (no, I didn’t realize there was a commercial turtle lobby either). Turns out that selling turtles for meat is a $9.4 million industry, and some turtle-hating Louisiana farmers have banded together to pressure the federal government into legalizing the sale of baby turtles in the U.S. The bill, introduced in Congress as HR 924 and S 540, is called the Domestic Pet Turtle Market Access Act of 2007, but despite the stupid name, this irresponsible, profit-driven idea stands to cause a huge amount of suffering to animals, as well as putting unwitting purchasers of pet turtles at serious risk from salmonella poisoning (since most reptiles carry the bacteria and often pass it on to humans). Anyway, if you’re looking to give your Monday a bit more meaning by doing something positive for animals, may I suggest that you click the button below to learn more and then contact the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to ask them not to cave to this weird, shady Turtle Profiteers lobby and leave the current, perfectly sensible ban as it is.
I've been refraining from touching this story for a while now, partially because I didn't want to give any publicity to a lousy father who thinks that killing animals on the weekend is a good way to teach his son to be a productive member of society. But the latest twist in the sad tale of "monster pig" seems at least worth a mention. For those of you who missed it, some kid in Alabama shot a 1,000 pound wild hog, and the picture of his senseless act went pretty much everywhere on the Internet because, well, it really was a surprisingly large animal. As it turns out, though, far from being a wild "monster pig," as he came to be known, Fred was actually a companion animal who had been raised from birth by a couple named Phil and Rhonda Blissitt. Don't feel too sorry for the Blissitts, since they saw fit to sell their pet to a hunting preserve for some reason, but I do think this latest development adds a certain poignancy to Fred's already sad story. Hopefully it will be harder for people to take pleasure in this animal's suffering now that they know he had a name.
What do you do when you have more naked activists than life-size, cellophane-wrapped meat trays? Double up. At least that was how they handled it at Princeton University yesterday, to striking effect. The demonstration, which was a joint protest organized by PETA and the Princeton Animal Welfare Society to draw attention to the suffering of animals used by the meat industry, got two different front page stories in the Daily Princetonian, including this one, about a follow-up presentation given by Dan Mathews to explain in a bit more detail why PETA does these kinds of demonstration instead of just putting on a suit and tie and pointing out the various inadequacies in the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act. (The short answer, by the way, is that we do both, but people don't always show up for the latter presentation.) Anyway, here are some pics:
OK, so there is plenty of talk about the whole meat-eating/impotence connection. I mean, who can forget Rocket Boy, Brad and all the rest? But the new research in the UK linking meat consumption by pregnant women with low sperm counts in their sons 25+ years later is seriously disturbing.
The gist of it is that scientists now believe that steroids and sex hormones, like estrogen and testosterone—used to make cows grow faster—could interfere with the development of unborn babies, affecting male sperm production later in life. It makes perfect sense if you think about it: cows eat hormones/steroids, women eat cows, fetuses exposed to insane levels of hormones. As if there aren’t enough reasons to stop eating animals already ...
You can check out what the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has to say about vegan diets during pregnancy here, and if you’re already a parent, there's some good information on raising healthy veggie kids here.
For all the good he's done for the environment—which, to be fair, is an awful lot—Al’s leaving out a huge piece of the puzzle by ignoring the fact that the devastation caused by the meat industry is among the worst environmental disasters ever to happen to the world. As we told him in our letter, sent earlier this week:
While the steps that you urge people to take in An Inconvenient Truth are inarguably important, the quickest and most effective way to fight climate change will come through diet change.
An inconvenient truth for him, maybe, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Since he might not have seen the recent U.N. reports on the subject, we pointed out to him that animals raised for food generate more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks combined, and that (according to a recent University of Chicago study), switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Prius. We've also offered to cook him some faux "fried chicken" as an introduction to meat-free meals, since, however many documentaries you make, you just can't be a meat-eating environmentalist. I'll let you know if he gets back to us.
After PETA UK released its brand-new "Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse" billboard, a number of groups complained about the ad to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Having a brief look through the list of complainants, it really seems like they all have something in common, but I just can't quite put my finger on it. It does strike me as a bit weird that The National Farmers' Union, the Guild of Welsh Lamb and Beef Suppliers, and the International Meat Trade should suddenly come down with a case of social responsibility, but who am I to question them? I'm sure they're just worried about Britain's children. It's a moot point though, as the ASA rejected the complaints and cleared the ad, because, honestly, if feeding dead bodies to your kids isn't widely considered to be abusive, it probably should be …
Either way, the ad's a classic. Check it out:
So, for the past few months we’ve had this awesome intern named Ilze around PETA HQ here in Norfolk, VA. I didn’t know much about her, other than that she was from Europe and had a cool accent, but as it turns out, Ilze is from Latvia (my favorite Baltic state), is a kickass activist, and is pretty amazing all around.
A huge national magazine back home got wind of her US exploits and did this great feature on her. Those of you who haven't bothered to learn Latvian yet will just have look at the pictures.
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal had a great front page piece about the ethics of corporate lobbying on Capitol Hill. And while that is interesting and all, the best part is that PETA is included in the handy guide to the new rules about wining and dining lawmakers.
What would you rather see—a bunch of geriatric baseball players handing out pig parts or a pair of Playmates dishing out veggie viagra?
I rest my case.
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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.