Written by PETA
With any luck, New Yorkers will soon be munching on vegan eats from VegiTerranean—the Akron, Ohio–based restaurant owned by Chrissie Hynde. As a ruthless advocate for animals and PETA's long-time pal, Chrissie has chosen Freedom Tower as the perfect location for her deliciously indulgent and 100 percent cruelty-free restaurant.
When this memorial tower is complete, it will serve as a monument to the thousands of innocent individuals who lost their lives, sustained serious injuries, or had their lives changed forever on September 11, 2001. We think that there would be no better place to host an eatery that is opposed to the unnecessary cruelty and violence that goes into every hamburger, fish stick, or chicken dinner.
Like the innocent people who were attacked on that horrific day, animals who are confined to to tiny crates, cages, and stalls have no control over their surroundings. They're terrified by the sights they see and the sounds they hear from other suffering animals. They're prodded and hung upside down, and their throats are cut—all while they remain conscious. They have no way out.
Actress Alyssa Milano instantly made the connection between burning human flesh and the flesh of animals who we season, roast, and feed to our families. She ultimately made the decision to kick meat from her diet after a friend told her the smell of burning flesh on 9/11 reminder her of a barbecue. In an interview with peta2, Alyssa said, "The world has so much suffering in it already—choosing to be vegetarian is one thing you can do to reduce the suffering on a daily basis."
If Freedom Tower becomes the new home-away-from-home for VegiTerranean, I'll definitely be making the drive up there. But even if you live across the country and can't make it to New York, there are dozens upon dozens of inexpensive, cruelty-free meals that can easily be prepared right in your own kitchen.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
PETA France got extra lucky when they snagged hot singer Eve Angeli to pose for their newest anti-fur ad. However, this beauty really took it to the next level when she posed alongside a skinned fox and the tagline "This Is the Rest of Your Fur Coat." She really wants the world to see just how gruesome the fur trade can be, and for that we adore her.
Another reason we love Eve is that she's so dedicated. This is not the first time she has signed up to help animals on fur farms. She once stripped down to tell the world she'd "rather go naked than wear fur." She's even done a nude calendar to help animals on fur farms!
Eve became an avid supporter of this cause years ago after she saw pictures of animals on fur farms. In an interview with PETA France, she said, "I saw pictures that traumatized me—at least they shocked me for real. We become aware of the agony of those animals abused on fur farms in confined cages."
If you haven't yet, you should definitely pledge to be fur-free, or as Eve might say in French: Je m'engage à NE PAS PORTER DE FOURRURE.
Written by Christine Doré
She may have a funny name, but she's no classroom cut-up. Just in time for Cut Out Dissection Month (October), PETA intern Jennifer Thornburg has officially changed her name to CutOut Dissection.com. Latin for "compassionate frog lover" (I might have made that up), CutOut Dissection.com is on a mission to cut dissection out of school curriculums.
Why is Ms. Dissection.com hopping mad about dissection? Any way you slice it, dissection is cruelty in the classroom. Millions of frogs, cats, dogs, pigs, worms, mice, rats, rabbits, and fish are killed each year for student dissections. Breeding facilities that supply animals to schools rip animals from their natural homes, and some even use stolen or abandoned animal companions. PETA went undercover at one such supply house and caught employees embalming cats and rats while they were still alive!
Animals deserve to be left in peace, not pieces. CutOut Dissection.com couldn't agree more. Read our interview with this dedicated activist to get the lowdown on her name change and much more.
PETA: What made you decide to change your name?
CutOut Dissection.com: I changed my name in order to raise awareness about the 6 million animals who are killed and processed for dissection each year. These animals suffer painful deaths and their bodies are then used in labs, when computer stimulations, diagrams, or 3D models could be used instead. Cutting up animals in school sends the message to students that an animal's life is worthless. I don't think that's a message teachers should be sending. With so many cheaper, more educational, and humane ways to learn, there is no reason for students to be dissecting in high schools today. I hope to raise awareness on this subject, and to cause teachers and students to say "No" to dissection and "Yes" to alternative ways to learn anatomy.
PETA: Did you dissect in high school?
CutOut Dissection.com: In middle school I dissected a chicken. I wasn't into the idea of dissecting an animal, but when I asked my teacher for an alternative, he said that I could only have it if I went vegetarian for the two weeks leading up to the dissection. I thought that was crazy at the time, so I went through with the project. Looking back, I can't remember much from the actual dissection; I know now that using an alternative would have been much more educational, and I also know that it's definitely not crazy to be a vegetarian too.
PETA: What do people call you now?
CutOutDissection.com: My fellow interns call me CutOut, but my family still calls me Jenny. My favorite thing to do is to introduce myself to people as CutOut Dissection.com, which always raises a few questions. This gives me a chance to explain a few facts about dissection—such as how cats are sometimes pumped with formaldehyde while they're still conscious.
PETA: What have people's reactions been to your name?
CutOut Dissection.com: CutOut is one of those names that you have to say three times, spell out, and use in a sentence before people process it. Once people get my name down, they normally want to know why I changed it. This gives me a chance to tell them about the estimated 6 million animals used in high school dissection labs throughout the United States every year. Once people learn how the animals are gassed, pumped with formaldehyde, drowned or otherwise inhumanely killed for dissection, they are shocked and want to know what they can do to help.
PETA: You're obviously very passionate about educating people about dissection. Why is that?
CutOut Dissection.com: Two years ago, I was an active peta2 Street Team member. I was trying to rake up some points to trade in for a shirt, and I got an e-mail saying that anything that I did relating to dissection during the month of October would be worth double the points. Because of this, I decided to work on getting a dissection-choice policy passed at my high school. When I started to research policies and why dissection is bad for the school, students, and animals, it became an obsession of mine. My senior exit project and my junior year were both dedicated to getting a dissection-choice policy passed at my high school. I was shocked when I read about how much more educational the alternatives to dissection can be, how much money they can save for the school, and how many lives could be spared. It's shocking to me that schools still use dissection as a part of their science lessons when there are so many humane and equally educational alternatives out there that will also save schools money.
PETA: I know you got the policy passed at your school. Congrats! How excited were you?
CutOut Dissection.com: I was super-excited, to say the very least!
PETA: I can imagine. What did the DMV say when you got your new license?
CutOut Dissection.com: It took me two tries to get my license. On the second try, the DMV worker looked very amused and confused, but also looked like she was afraid to ask for an explanation. When she finally did ask about it, I had a good conversation with her, explaining that CutOutDissection.com is a real Web site and then explaining why I'm against dissection. She seemed repulsed by the thought of animals being drowned, pumped full of formaldehyde, and gassed as a way of death. She also looked shocked when I told her that it affects 6 million animals per year. When she called over another worker to be a witness to my paperwork, the other worker grinned and said, "Oh, I remember her!" (It happened to be the worker I had talked to on my first attempt to get my license). Overall, it was a great opportunity to start a conversation about alternatives to dissection!
Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, or concerned taxpayer, you can act to end dissection in your town's school system. Visit CutOutDissection.com (the Web site, not the person) for tips on what to do and help getting started.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
A distressed female becomes pregnant—but she's still a virgin! Grave danger ensues!
But no. I'm not talking about events in that Little Town of Bethlehem, circa 1 A.D. This happened just last year in Virginia Beach, practically next door to PETA's Norfolk HQ.
In a study reported today, DNA testing confirmed that the embryo carried by Tidbit, a blacktip shark held captive at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, contained no genetic material from a male. That's right—a virgin conception, in our day and age. Holy mother of God … er … I mean … Holy Tidbit!
But wait, that's not all. Tidbit's pregnancy was only discovered when she died after being sedated for her annual health checkup—so there was no virgin birth, only an immaculate conception. The scientists who confirmed the nature of the pregnancy say that Tidbit's pup would almost certainly have been eaten by bigger sharks in the same tank.
Now, those of you who frequent our site know that we're not fans of aquariums and marine mammal prisons … uh, parks. But the above story pretty much says it all. These facilities claim to be helping and preserving marine animals, but they can't even protect a newborn—or the adults, for that matter. In the end, perhaps Tidbit was the fortunate one. At least she no longer has to deal with the daily boredom and stress of her unnatural environment.
Ya know, when we first moved our headquarters to Norfolk, we ran a campaign against this particular aquarium because of its severely inadequate dolphin tanks (among other things). And it always just really frustrated me to know that there were these marine animals locked in a tank right across from the ocean.
Now the Jesus shark comes to this very aquarium and is dead before arrival. The irony is not lost on me!
Written by Jeff Mackey
So, last month we sent off a letter to Ben & Jerry's to urge the ice cream giant to drop cow's milk from its menu and start churning out recipes that use the only milk intended for human consumption—breast milk. It's a pretty simple concept to grasp. I mean, you don't see doctors taking newborn babes from their mothers' arms and suckling them up to a cow in a "drinking room" next to the infants ward. C'mon! That's absurd. Really.
Our letter to the company has garnered so much attention—and by that I mean impossible-to-walk-down-the-street-without-someone-asking-questions sort of attention—that stories about breast milk have been popping up everywhere! Not that we like to brag—OK, we love it!—but I do think our buxom beaut of an idea got the ball rolling.
Whether it's Angelina Jolie breast-feeding for a W magazine cover, the illegal duplication of breastfeeding pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears (which has prompted a federal pornography investigation), or—my personal favorite—the guy-next-door who sells his wife's breast milk for money (these are hard times, folks), stories about breast milk are spreading through the newspapers like a wildfire!
Of course, one of our favorite writings about breast milk appears in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's newest book, One Can Make a Difference. Check it out: An entire chapter in the book focuses on how human breast milk is better for babies than cow's milk is: A pediatrician in India in the 80s found that if she urged people to switch from formula and animal's milk to human breast milk (she even started a human-breast-milk bank!), she could reduce incidences of diarrhea—which were leading to deaths! Deadly diarrhea—do you really think that does a body good? Neither do we.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Aw, McDonald's—it's having a pretty rough week! First, a McDonald's in Liverpool decided to "acknowledge the outstanding contribution the Beatles made to both local and global culture" by using photographs of the band to decorate its walls. Our beloved Sir Paul McCartney, like me (great minds and all …), thought McDonald's might really just have wanted to use the Beatles to sell hamburgers, and he wasn't buying it. Having been an outspoken vegetarian for 30 years, he's calling for a worldwide boycott of McDonald's.
Then, while Sir Paul was urging everyone to avoid McDonald's all-flesh patties, Venezuela simply removed the option altogether. That's right—according to news reports, the nation shut down all 115 McDonald's branches for a full 48 hours as punishment for "alleged tax irregularities." Must've been pretty irregular (no jokes about what eating the McD diet will do to you, please)!
But then on Wednesday—and I almost can't believe this—a TMZ reporter went into an L.A. McDonald's and ordered a Happy Meal (why, oh why?)—and when she got her order, the box advertised an electronic "Michael Vick football" game. Nothing says "great for kids" quite like that, right?
As for the McDonald's folks, it was a big "whoops" from them—the Happy Meal box was from 2004, and, McDonald's says, "does not reflect any current partnership with Michael Vick."
But, as PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich says, "Given that McDonald's lets its suppliers cram animals into metal cages and crates and boil chickens alive, it's sad, but it doesn't shock us. At this point, even Michael Vick himself would probably prefer this particular Happy Meal to be a happy memory."
So, too bad, so sad for McDonald's and the issues it's facing this week—although, considering what it does to animals, I'm not convinced that it deserves a break today.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Though we can all agree that neglecting to feed an animal companion is pretty low, what about knowingly starving or denying an animal water until he or she dies? Well, that's what glue traps do, which is why selling them makes Lowe's the lowest of the low.
We've sent out one of our custom campaign vans to visit Lowe's stores in North Carolina, to remind shoppers of what, exactly, the glue traps that Lowe's sells inevitably do—cause immense suffering and ensure a slow death to whatever animal is unlucky enough to touch one.
Check out the photos from our demo (and just imagine what you'd think if you passed this van with our mouse friend here in the driver's seat … yeah, we're good at grabbing attention):
Unlike other major retailers, such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Albertsons, and Safeway, Lowe's has refused to drop these deadly devices from its inventory. Join Ms. Giant Rat in encouraging Lowe's to change its cruel policy.
Written by Sean Conner
So as you know, Giorgio Armani has been on PETA's bad list lately. Promising to go fur-free and then reneging on the idea altogether in order to make rabbit-fur outfits for babies really just isn't something we appreciate (I think the animals would agree …).
Hearing this loud and clear, A-list actress and compassionate PETA friend Gillian Anderson really came through to lend her support to this issue. Her voice can now be heard narrating a shocking, moving investigation video that takes you into the depths of rabbit fur farming.
The video was unveiled earlier today at a news conference outside Armani's Michigan Avenue store in Chicago. I strongly encourage you to watch this video and pledge to be fur-free. Gillian, PETA, and all the rabbits of the world will thank you for it.
Hold on to your cruelty-free hats for this one, folks. We've got a case of the hideously cruel and ridiculously obvious to break.
In early September, we learned about the death of Diamond, a Rottweiler who died while in the custody of a Clay County, Florida, animal control officer. The poor dog likely died from heat shock, allegedly because the animal control officer left her in the back of the seething-hot van with no air conditioning, water, or fresh air on an 85° day—after riding around with her for an hour or so and while he attended a meeting.
A necropsy came up inconclusive but suggested that the death was related to heat stress. This was not good enough for Clay County officials, evidently, and they actually decided a reenactment was necessary so they could prove that the officer wasn't at fault. Ready for it … WHAT?!!???!!
Yeah, you can't make this stuff up. They placed a homeless shelter dog who was "of similar size and weight" as Diamond into the exact same box, in which the heat reached more than 86 degrees, and waited—presumably to see if the dog would die. This lasted for more than one hour. I think we need one more resounding WHAT!???!!??? I mean, seriously, people, this is just completely insane—not to mention horrifically cruel. The fate of that poor dog has not been made public.
While it's bad enough that a dog died in the county's custody in the first place, this whole aftermath reenactment just makes me physically ill. Naturally, PETA Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch immediately sent off a letter to Clay County blasting them for their senseless decision to subject a second dog to obviously potentially fatal conditions.
If you are as outraged by Clay County's actions as we are, please take action!
Retired/unretired/whatever NFL quarterback Brett Favre isn't just killing his team with big-game interceptions anymore! Now he's moved on to killing animals for fun in a pathetic attempt at a locker room "prank." According to the New York Times, Favre, who is "notorious for shenanigans involving lockers," is reported to have "shot (presumably), bagged and dumped" a dead animal, probably a wild turkey, in a teammate's locker "inside a bag that was filled with blood and guts."
Blood? Guts? HILARIOUS! What do you think he follows this one up with—the old "kitten in the microwave" gag? That one's a real knee-slapper too. I hate to be the one to tell you this, Brett, but people who think dead animals are funny don't typically end up in the Hall Of Fame—sometimes, they end up in custody.
There is, of course, nothing even remotely "sporting" about hunting. Imagine a game of football in which one team has pads, cleats, helmets, set plays, offensive and defensive coordinators—the whole nine yards (zing!), and meanwhile the other team is running around naked and unprepared (no, no, not the Lions). That's about as "competitive" as hunting deer with high-tech camouflage and a sniper rifle.
Some people call guys like Favre who use military-grade weaponry to kill defenseless animals "sportsmen." You know what I call them?
Written by Dan Shannon
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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.