Written by PETA
Nothing says "Stop the bloody seal hunt" like a pile of dead, naked seal people outside your front door. We're hoping that the Canadian Prime Minister got that message loud and clear last week when these brave souls stripped off, covered themselves in fake blood, and held a “die-in” outside his office to symbolize the bloody seal-killing that happens every year on the ice floes off Newfoundland. Canada, I really do love you guys: the hockey, the maple syrup, the kickass national anthem—all that great stuff—but WTF with the baby-seal bludgeoning? Seriously: worst idea for a national tradition ever.
The geniuses over at NoMoreStrays.com, a website designed to raise awareness about the animal-overpopulation epidemic that this country is facing, have come up with what may very well be my favorite Flash-animated castration game of all time. I defy anyone to find a better game than this in the testicle-removal category. Check out the game, and don't forget to spay and neuter your pets (though for God's sake, do it by taking them to the vet—yes, the carny with the cleavers is a metaphor for your friendly local veterinarian).
The internationally renowned Australian novelist and Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee gave a speech in Sydney last week, where he made a powerful case for animal rights—with a particular focus on the food industry, which, as he puts it, "dwarfs all others in the number of individual animal lives it affects." Two moments in his speech really stood out for me—in the first, he compares factory farms to death camps, concisely making the point that so many people miss when they encounter this controversial comparison for the first time: That the practice of degrading living beings to the status of production units should be rejected out of hand, regardless of the victims. Here's what he says:
"Of course we cried out in horror when we found out what they had been up to. We cried: What a terrible crime, to treat human beings like cattle! If we had only known beforehand! But our cry should more accurately have been: What a terrible crime, to treat human beings like units in an industrial process! And that cry should have had a postscript: What a terrible crime, come to think of it - a crime against nature - to treat any living being like a unit in an industrial process!"
Another comment Coetzee made that really struck me related to the way children perceive animals—his remarks hint at the disturbing fact that, as we grow up, the process of socialization itself can blind us to uncomfortable truths about the wrongs that our society inflicts on others. That children are much better equipped than we are to see the horror of factory farming for what it is, and that those of us who choose to ignore it, or attempt to excuse it, do so only because we have been duped and misled by our own greed and the complacence of others:
"Given half a chance, children see through the lies with which advertisers bombard them (the happy chooks that are transformed painlessly into succulent nuggets, the smiling moo-cow that donates to us the bounty of her milk). It takes but one glance into a slaughterhouse to turn a child into a lifelong vegetarian."
At their core, the main principles of the animal rights movement are simple and intuitive—easy enough for a child to understand. But it's inspiring to see them expressed with such thoughtfulness and eloquence by one of the world's greatest writers. You can read an edited extract of J.M. Coetzee's speech here.
Proving once again that the folks in our Factory-Farming Campaigns Department are just brimming with so much compassion it could make you sick, they've just extended an offer to help our archenemy, KFC, deal with its apparent rodent problem. After video footage of a KFC in Greenwich Village that was overrun by rats on Friday went just about everywhere on the Internet, PETA sent a letter to the eatery’s owner, offering to help him implement a humane rodent-control program at his restaurant. Here's what PETA VP Bruce Friedrich had to say about the incident:
“This store’s lethal attempt to deal with rodents has failed miserably. Although KFC refuses to work with us toward minimizing the suffering of the hundreds of millions of birds killed for its restaurants every year, we hope that this store owner will work with us on a safe, effective, and humane solution to the rat infestation.”
Honestly, all this turning the other cheek and being nice to our enemies has me reeling. I'd go over to the other side of the office right now and congratulate our Factory-Farming Campaigns Department, but I'm worried that I'd be bowled over by all the excess compassion floating around. Here's PETA's letter to the store.
Just in case you weren't aware, you don't need to be a professional activist to make furriers in your neighborhood wish to God that they could just crawl into a hole somewhere, or maybe pick any other profession. All you need are some signs, a few good friends, and an hour or so of free time. Anyway, here are a few great pictures that some folks in Fort Lauderdale sent me from a protest they held outside AA Martin's Furs last week. Setting the animal issues aside for a moment, what the hell do you need a fur coat for in Florida?
According to Michael, who sent in these pics, the owners of the store asked them to call off the protest as they'd had a recent family crisis. Feel free to comment here, because I'll admit that there's the tiniest bit of a gray area: If your job involves paying people to raise animals in cages so small that many of them are insane by the time they're anally electrocuted, do you deserve a little bit of slack from the people who are telling you to stop it if you've had a rough week?
And in more good news for fur-bearing animals everywhere (this time from Portland), check this out.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails since I posted the Young Guns entry asking to see more of the ads that were submitted. We’re going to eventually post them all online, but until then, you just have to trust me when I say that there’s a reason we don’t show you everything that gets sent to us.
Enough said . . . ? Thought so.
At PETA, we've always subscribed to the notion that if you have something really important to say that not everyone wants to hear, you just have to persevere until your message is heard. If that doesn't work—which, honestly, it often just doesn't—you take all your clothes off. And, just in time for this year's State of the Union Address, that's exactly what one brave PETA member has done. We're calling it PETA's State of the Union Undress, and we're hoping very, very, very much that President Bush doesn't do the same thing at the actual State of the Union on Tuesday. Check it out:
As winter grips the country, animals find ways to keep warm …
KFC employees who are used to seeing PETA's crippled chicken hobbling across the street or watching Colonel Sanders burned in effigy in front of their restaurants are in for a pleasant surprise: The KFC Campaign is finally going naked, with our brand-new "Naked Truth" demonstrations. The bad news for the company is, unfortunately, that the "naked truth" about KFC is that it's gross and unethical and abusive and, seriously, don't even think about eating there. Even if there are attractive naked girls outside. Our first Naked Truth protest was immediately picked up by the Associated Press, proving, once again, that taking your clothes off really is a great way to help chickens on factory farms—though that line never works for me for some reason.
PETA has never been one to let clothes get in the way of a good protest, and this Holiday season is no exception. In Philadelphia this Wednesday, a few lovely PETA ladies let the folks over at Burberry know that they'd rather go naked than wear fur. For anyone who is particularly literal-minded, I should point out that there are countless great alternatives to fur other than Christmas hats, high heels, and your birthday suit, but if you really want people to listen to what you're saying, I highly recommend it as a wardrobe choice.
P.S. If you're planning on doing any last-minute shopping, may I suggest giving Burberry the cold shoulder this Christmas? It'll be good for them in the long run, and fur-bearing animals will be much obliged.
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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.