Written by PETA
In case it's never been said before, I'm going to go ahead and say it: Colorado activists rock!
Activists in Colorado Springs showed that they are fed up with Fort Carson for stabbing and reportedly burning and shooting live goats in bloody trauma-training exercises that attempt to mimic human battlefield injuries. They staked out a busy intersection near Fort Carson and got busy alerting commuters that the exercises are not only cruel but also archaic and unnecessary.
Oh, did I mention that some of the activists in attendance were ex-military? You know that things are shady when even former soldiers start breaking rank. (I can think of a few other soldiers who would probably agree.)
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
On Sunday, a 45-year-old elephant named Annabel was euthanized after falling into a ditch that surrounded her compound at Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands. For more than two and a half hours, zoo workers tried to help the struggling elephant pull herself out of the ditch. Ultimately, firefighters used a truck to lift her out.
Annabel entered a deep state of shock. Once freed, the 3-ton elephant was unable to stand up, so she had to be euthanized. Heartbreaking images of her struggle can be viewed here.
The zoo was aware that elephants regularly fall into this ditch and strain to drag themselves out, but even after this tragic incident, a spokesperson has announced that the zoo has no plans to modify the elephant's outside area because of space concerns. If this horrible situation doesn't cause the zoo to think twice about the environment it provides for the animals, I shudder to think what would.
No animal deserves to live his or her life in a pitiful cage, but zoos have the obligation to provide—at the very least—a safe facility for animals. In the end, Annabel paid the price for the zoos' irresponsibility. It is time for the zoo community to stop capturing and breeding more animals to be put on display and to leave animals in their natural habitat where they belong.
Please, never support the cruel zoo industry.
Written by Liz Graffeo
When we first announced our plan to find the "Sexiest Vegetarian Soldier," we meant to end up with just one winner. But how could we come up with just one winner when there are five branches of the military that are equally deserving—and equally sexy?
That's why we've selected one winner each from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and Air Force. Of course, we did promise to find the single Sexiest Vegetarian Soldier, so, as much as it pains us, we did have to choose one overall winner—and here he is!
Syracuse-born Erich Allen joined the Army in 2001 and is currently stationed in Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he is attending flight school and earning his degree in History from Columbia College of Missouri. And where does this busy soldier find all his energy? From his vegetarian diet!
"Since I stopped eating meat, I have noticed an increase in my energy and I am able to better control my weight," Erich says. And as for anyone who hasn't yet figured out that the strongest animals on the planet—stallions, elephants, and bulls—are vegetarian, Erich is glad to serve as evidence of the human species' prowess!
And not only is Erich "Army strong," he's also compassionate—his own doggie companion, Vienna, was a stray whom Erich took in and made part of the family. Put that together with his ability to speak German and some Russian as well as his love of the "great outdoors," and you've got somebody who's strong, sweet, smart, and sporty—now that's sexy!
But wait—there's more! Check out the winners from the other branches of the military:
Lovely Katie, pictured here, is stationed in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. She has been a vegetarian ever since she watched a documentary on, as she says, "how they torture animals" before killing them for human consumption, and it made her "totally disgusted." On the other hand, she thinks that being a vegetarian "is the sexiest thing ever besides fighting for our country."
Bob, who is currently assigned as the Assistant Provost and Dean of Students for the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California, recently returned from a three-year assignment as the Naval and Marine Attaché in Hanoi, Vietnam. He has been a vegetarian ever since the life-changing experience of seeing a dog slaughtered for food in a Vietnamese café and now volunteers at the Monterey County SPCA. He was also active in advocating for California's Proposition 2.
Jane had been stationed in California, Washington state, and Hawaii before resigning her commission as a Naval Officer in September 2008 to pursue a career in animal rescue—and not just any career! Jane has since set sail on the Steve Irwin as part of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. That's right, Sea Shepherd—the same rockin' folks we all love watching on Whale Wars! Now that's sexy—a 13-year-vegetarian who uses her abilities to go out and actively, physically save those whales.
Gina, who is stationed in Hurlburt Field, Florida, has been a vegetarian since the age of six—that's right, six—when she realized that Bambi and his mother were no different from the other animals killed for food. Even though many people told her that she wouldn't be able to maintain her vegetarian lifestyle in the military, Gina not only graduated from boot camp as a Distinguished Honor Graduate—because of her high fitness scores—but also went on to complete four marathons! She is the guardian of two animals (both rescues), has rescued animals at every duty assignment, and hopes to convince the Air Force to switch to leather-free combat boots. And if that weren't enough, she's also a former model—how could anyone argue with this kind of sexy?
Congratulations to our five sexy winners! They will each receive a basket of yummy vegan goodies, as well as a PETA T-shirt—so, ya know, the next time someone dares to doubt their vegetarian sexiness, they'll be able to say, "See this T-shirt? I happen to be the sexiest vegetarian in the whole [insert military branch]. So there!"
Written by Amanda Schinke
As promised, we have an update regarding the relocation of endangered desert tortoises, which army officials began airlifting earlier this year in preparation for the land expansion of Fort Irwin in California.
To jog your memory a bit: The desert tortoises had been living in critical habitats located near (and sometimes on) Fort Irwin–owned land. These protected land areas were created in order to provide protection for these reptiles and boost their dwindling population.
Sadly—but certainly not unexpectedly—phase one of the project has reportedly resulted in the deaths of 90 desert tortoises. Even worse, officials expected there to be some loss of life because of the relocation, but they continued with their plans anyway. Officials clearly underestimated the frailty of these animals and the harm that relocation could cause. It's pretty clear that officials failed to consider all potential threats to these tortoises when they factored into their plans the deaths of up to 136 desert tortoises during the entirety of phase one—not the deaths of 90 tortoises during the initial relocation, as has happened.
Early reports indicated that many of the relocated tortoises seemed to be moving in a direction back toward their original home. Unfamiliar surroundings, lack of shelter, and larger animals such as coyotes put these tortoises in great danger right from the get-go.
On a somewhat positive note, army officials have—for the time being—halted plans for further relocation.
Obviously, we at PETA don't believe that any project that causes disruption and stress to a group of animals can be deemed a success. At least now, army officials have no choice but to consider the welfare of these desert tortoises and possibly to show them a bit of the compassion that they should have shown from the start.
The war in Iraq may be thousands of miles away and across one good-sized ocean, but there's another scuffle going on over desert lands that are closer to home. U.S. soldiers are in a territory dispute with one of the Mohave's oldest inhabitants: California Tortoises.
LA Weekly reports that after years of coexisting with these slow-moving, gentle animals—listed as threatened under federal and state endangered species acts—the U.S. military at Fort Irwin, California, has taken measures to airlift these native tortoises to another section of the Mojave, more than 20 miles from their home.
The tortoises, who in recent decades thrived on the restricted-access lands, are now having to survive on foreign grounds in a much busier, more unstable, and completely unfamiliar environment. Plus, they're now at a greater risk of danger from vehicles, hikers, campers, and mines.
Way back in 1994, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed a Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan, which led to the construction of six critical habitat areas—and guess what? One of those habitats consists of much of the land currently occupied by Fort Irwin—and the land Fort Irwin wants.
The reason for relocating these reptiles? Military folks at the southern California training base need more land space to play their war games. Fort Irwin is a Hollywood-built Iraq—it's a perfect replica, complete with actors who portray shepherds, prisoners, lawyers, and any other individuals who stroll the Iraqi streets.
With all the strategizing, simulating, role-playing, and lifesaving training going on—not to mention the bottomless pit of cash the military seems to be harboring—the military should at least take a few moments to teach their soldiers compassion for all living creatures and be able to devise a better plan for the safety of these animals.
In an attempt to halt expansion plans, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit against the Army and the Bureau of Land Management. This battle is sure to continue, and we'll be on guard.
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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.