Written by Jeff Mackey
Tony winner and Oscar
nominee Viola Davis has sent a letter to state legislators in Rhode Island urging them to support proposed
legislation to prevent elephants traveling with circuses from enduring bullhook abuse and long periods of chaining. Davis was raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and
attended Rhode Island College.
The star of the hotly anticipated Ender's Game hopes the bill will bring about an endgame for the well-documented elephant
abuse by circuses that travel within her home state, including Ringling Bros., Cole Bros., and Piccadilly Circus.
Davis joins Alec Baldwin, Jada Pinkett Smith, Demi Moore, Olivia Munn, and many
others—both famous and not so famous—who have spoken out against the use of
bullhooks and other practices that cause elephants and other animals forced to
travel with circuses to endure great physical and emotional damage.
If you live in Rhode Island, join Viola Davis in asking your state legislators to
support the ban on bullhooks and the chaining of elephants. But no matter where you reside, please do your part to end circus
Written by Michelle Kretzer
Carrie Underwood's pretty pipes have made
her one of the most influential artists in country music. But now she's piping
up about something truly ugly: "ag-gag" bills. Currently being considered
in several states, these unconstitutional bills would make it illegal for
anyone to shoot video on
factory farms in order to expose cruelty to animals, in essence
making whistleblowers out to be criminals. That doesn't sit well with this
vegan gal, who tweeted, "'@nytimes:
Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime nyti.ms/10HpjWn'
What the what? Terrorism? Really? Dumbest. Idea. Ever."
on Twitter, Amanda Seyfried joined multitudes of
celebrities and supporters in defending PETA's euthanasia policy, Ireland Baldwin declared that she's
going to go vegan (with a little help from PETA)—we
sent her a vegan starter kit, Paul McCartney's "Glass Walls" video,
and cookbooks to help her get started—and Leona Lewis vented about England's Grand National horse race:
love our "Never Be
Silent" campaign, and Waka Flocka Flame does, too: He never
passes up an opportunity to speak up against the cruelty of fur. This time, in
an interview with AOL's
TheBoombox, Waka called fur "nasty
couldn't agree more.
and a Half Men's Jon Cryer didn't pass up the
opportunity to brag about his two rescued dogs in his Us magazine "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" article.
over on NBC, Jimmy Fallon's
Late Night audience simultaneously
screamed with delight and "Awww"ed when the host talked about how überhunk Ryan Gosling has teamed up with PETA to ask for more humane treatment of cows on
girl. Ryan Gosling wants you to keep up with what he's doing for animals by following @PETA on Twitter.
Written by PETA
Friday was especially good for
animals. In honor of the Christian holiday Good Friday, PETA pigs were out in
front of the HoneyBaked Ham store in Oakland, California, and lots of other
stores, too, joined by friends holding signs like the one below and "It's
a Good Friday to Go Vegan."
also handed out copies of our "Glass Walls"
video and vegan starter
kits to curious customers, showing them what really happens to pigs before
they become a honey-baked ham. (Spoiler: It's anything but
merciful.) It was plenty of food for thought for Easter patrons.
How does your
faith or philosophy about life influence your compassion for animals? Tell us
in the comments below!
Written by Alisa Mullins
crowds rallied outside the Supreme Court while the justices heard arguments on
landmark cases regarding California's
Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), members of PETA were there to make the point that as Martin Luther King Jr.
said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
other victims of oppression, animals shouldn't be mistreated because they are
different from those in power. We can all stand up to corporate bullies by refusing to buy anything
that comes from cruelty. PETA will be outside the Supreme Court again tomorrow as arguments are heard
President Ingrid E. Newkirk put her money where her mouth is—in a very literal sense—in
an eye-catching protest outside British retailer Fortnum & Mason's Piccadilly store this week.
protest illustrated what geese endure while they are being raised for the foie gras sold in Fortnum & Mason
stores. But in order to replicate fully how foie gras is produced, Ingrid would
have had to be force-fed several times a day for weeks until her diseased liver
had painfully swelled to up to 10 times its normal size.
process is so cruel that it's illegal in the U.K., but Fortnum & Mason
continues to sell foie gras imported from France, where a recent PETA U.K. investigation documented the confinement of geese to crowded, filthy pens and their slaughter
while still conscious.
British venues, including the House of Lords, the
House of Commons, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Wimbledon, Lord's Cricket
Ground, and all the residences of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, refuse to serve foie gras,
and retailers Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, House of
Fraser, and Jenners refuse to sell it. PETA UK won't
stop until it has added Fortnum & Mason to that list.
We have some news to share about a case that we've mentioned recently: Disreputable animal exhibitor Hugo Liebel, facing a hearing next week in Florida, has instead
settled with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding 33 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—several of which sprang from charges that followed
PETA complaints to the agency.
The USDA's consent decision orders Liebel to stop violating
the AWA and to pay a civil penalty of $7,500. While it's encouraging to see
Liebel called to account for causing so much suffering, the fine is vastly inadequate
in light of the severity of his abuse and negligence. (Liebel faced a maximum
penalty of $330,000 as well as possible license revocation.)
More critically, it leaves Nosey the elephant and other animals—as well as the public—in danger from his well-documented recklessness and
disregard of even minimal welfare guidelines.
PETA has been filing complaints against Liebel for nearly a
decade—more than a dozen of them since 2009 alone—about Nosey and the other
animals traveling with Liebel. Yet despite multiple citations, he has
habitually abused these animals. So PETA is calling on the USDA's inspector general
(IG), Phyllis K. Fong, to investigate the settlement.
Over the past two decades, the IG's office has issued four
audit reports finding that USDA penalties were so low that they provided no
deterrent effect and that AWA licensees view them as merely one of the costs of
doing business. Despite assurances that the agency would address this issue
following the last audit, Liebel's settlement makes it clear that the problem
Please join PETA in urging the IG to investigate the USDA settlement
with Liebel and require penalties strong enough to curb animal abuse by
exhibitors. Send polite e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
of the throngs of people who had gathered outside to protest, it was hard to spot
those who were trickling into Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Ringling Bros.
circus's opening night. More than 200 animal advocates came together to make
sure that Ringling's reception was chillier than a New York winter.
half the group circled the block, hoisting signs and chanting, the other half flanked the crosswalks and handed leaflets and educational coloring
books to parents and children.
any of the attendees weren't aware of how Ringling abuses animals, they certainly were after they saw the behind-the-scenes photos of trainers
slamming baby elephants to the ground,
gouging them with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shocking them with electric prods. And if that didn't do the trick, the
screening of PETA's video
exposé narrated by Alec Baldwin, which showed trainers beating and tormenting
elephants, moments before a performance likely did.
of the advocates plan to return to the Barclays Center every night that the
circus is in town to make sure that everyone in the Big Apple gets the message
about cruelty under the big top.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act died last year when the congressional session ended and, along with it, our hope of permanently ending the slaughter of American horses for food in 2012. But we're getting another chance.
Senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle have come together to sponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. The SAFE Act would prevent horse slaughter in the U.S. and would slam shut the loophole that currently allows horses to be shipped to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered.
Last year, more than 160,000 horses were crammed onto transport trucks and sent on grueling journeys across the border. A PETA undercover investigation of one such transport revealed that horses—including thoroughbred horses formerly used for racing—who were being shipped to Canada spent 36 hours on a truck in subfreezing conditions and were not given rest, food, or even a sip of water. Inside the slaughterhouse, workers shot the horses in the head with a captive-bolt gun, but at least 40 percent of them were still conscious after the first shot and had to be shot several times. Then they were strung up by one leg, and their throats were slit.
A full 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter. But just feeling that way won't help. Please, let this be the thing that you do to help animals today. Urge your senators and representatives to support the SAFE Act.
Update 2: Thanks for your calls and e-mails in Nosey's behalf. We have learned that Nosey is no longer
appearing with UniverSoul Circus. PETA will, of course, continue to monitor her
situation, and we'll post updates here. Please learn more about ways to help animals used for entertainment.
Update: As UniverSoul
Circus prepares to force Nosey to perform next week in Tallahassee, Florida,
actor Cheryl Hines has written an urgent letter to the manager of the North Florida Fairgrounds
imploring him to cancel the ailing elephant's appearances. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has also added his
voice in a plea to stop UniverSoul Circus from allowing Nosey to perform. Local activists have
also planned to demonstrate at the fairgrounds in Nosey's behalf.
Originally posted on February 20th, 2013:
Can you help us help Nosey, an ailing elephant exhibited by Hugo Liebel? Recent photographs of her led an elephant expert to conclude that her health is worsening, and PETA is calling on local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to confiscate Nosey, who will soon be forced to perform with UniverSoul Circus.
The photos were taken during a recent Liebel Family Circus show in Davenport, Florida. (PETA had urged Davenport officials to cancel the show, but they failed to act to protect Nosey.) Upon review, a veterinarian with decades of experience treating and caring for elephants determined that Nosey's painful skin condition continues to deteriorate and that she is suffering as a result.
In addition to these welfare concerns, records just obtained by PETA reveal that Nosey tested positive on a StatPak test for tuberculosis (TB) antibodies in January 2012. A positive test can be an early indicator of TB infection, which is highly transmissible between elephants and humans. Indeed, direct contact with a TB-positive elephant is not necessary for transmission of the disease. This is particularly worrisome given Liebel's record of unlawful unsupervised and dangerous contact between Nosey and the public.
Liebel has been abusing and neglecting Nosey for years. PETA has been filing complaints against the circus with the USDA for nearly a decade—more than a dozen of them since 2009. In March, Liebel is set to face almost three dozen formal charges for violations of the Animal Welfare Act—most of them relating to Nosey, including repeatedly chaining her so tightly that she could barely move and repeatedly denying her veterinary care.
Upon learning through a public records request that UniverSoul Circus planned to use Nosey in its Florida shows, PETA implored UniverSoul CEO Cedric Walker to spare the suffering elephant but has received no response, so the group is stepping up its campaign to get Nosey the help that she so desperately requires.
How do horses show love? They nuzzle and groom each other.
How do people show love to horses? By refusing to ride in a horse-drawn carriage.
On most Valentine's Days, record numbers of these sensitive, skittish animals are forced to drag carriages full of people across the hard pavement, dodging loud traffic and breathing exhaust fumes. But this February 14, PETA asked people to celebrate in a truly lovely way: taking a romantic stroll and leaving abused horses out of the plan.
Demonstrators explained that in the past year alone, there have been 13 accidents involving horse-drawn carriages. There were a barrage of supportive honks and thumbs-up signs, and a group of 50 high school students saw us and cheered.
And the efforts paid off: Few people climbed aboard the carriages.
Multitudes have called on New York to ban horse-drawn carriages. Please add your name to the list today.
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.