Written by PETA
Who was most surprised to hear reports that Russell Brand was supposedly sporting snakeskin boots at the Vanity Fair Oscar party? Russell Brand himself.
No one who's familiar with the raucously clever comic—who is a longtime vegetarian and has spoken out for animals on numerous occasions—could believe that he would support the live skinning of snakes. So PETA U.K. went straight to the source and asked Russell whether or not his footwear was really snakeskin. He immediately changed our WTF to FTW by assuring everyone that his alleged faux pas was really fab faux: "They're fake. Specially made, don't panic. I also won 'sexiest smoker' this week in spite of not smoking."
Phew! Now we can trash that "Are your cigarettes cruelty-free?" letter (kidding).
Written by Logan Scherer
In July 2008, PETA received an anonymous letter reporting that "many monkeys" had died at Charles River Laboratory's (CRL) Sparks, Nevada, facility because of a heating system malfunction. We immediately filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which opened an investigation. After the incident, CRL was fined $10,000 for the death of 32 monkeys—and then went right back to selling and experimenting on millions of animals.
Jumping forward to earlier this year, another horror story broke from behind the walls of a CRL lab in Reno, Nevada. Employees at this facility carelessly ran a monkey through a high-temperature cage washer and boiled him alive. CRL was once again fined, this time for $4,000.
Now news outlets across the country are reporting on the combined $14,000 in fines for the deaths of these 33 monkeys—who were forced to endure the excruciating pain of being cooked alive because of employee ineptitude—and people everywhere are crying out for tighter regulations.
Compared to the usual slap on the wrist that abusive companies receive, these fines are hefty. But for a billion-dollar corporation with a long and sordid history of violating federal animal protection laws—and the iniquitous distinction of being the world's largest tester and supplier of animals for use in experimentation—they're like parking tickets. CRL is responsible for the imprisoning, poisoning, mutilating, and killing of literally tens of millions of animals—from mice to dogs to monkeys—in its own laboratories and those of its customers.
While the deaths of these monkeys have shined some light on the horrors that occur inside CRL, it is the everyday operations of this company and others like it that cause animals the most suffering and death.
Lets's hope that CRL's recent closing of a testing facility in Massachusetts is a sign of things to come for the entire nasty company.
"Ready …Set …Um, never mind …"
It seems quite possible that Animal Planet's upcoming reality series starring Mike Tyson might be knocked out of production. (Join us in our sorrow—not.) PETA has identified what might be a fatal flaw in the very premise of Taking on Tyson, which is scheduled to begin filming in Brooklyn next month. See, while pigeon racing is cruel to birds no matter where it takes place, in New York state it's also very likely illegal.
Our letter to Charles J. Hynes, Kings County district attorney, points out that gambling is generally prohibited in New York state—as are races using animals other than horses in which any bet, stake, or reward is involved. Translation: When it comes to racing pigeons in Brooklyn, all bets are off possibly illegal. What's more, trainers are prohibited from making money off such races, and this rule might very well apply to any compensation that Tyson is receiving from Animal Planet.
Considering its inherent cruelties, there's no question that pigeon racing should be illegal. Birds who are forced to race often struggle to survive extreme heat, hail, and thunderstorms, dodging both predators and cruel humans through grueling races that can be as long as 500 miles. Those who somehow do not succumb to exhaustion or injury and make their way home may still have their necks wrung by unsatisfied trainers.
Take a minute to write Animal Planet and politely let the network know that while you love shows like Whale Wars and Animal Cops—programs in which people go to bat for animals—a program in which people bet on cruelty is a bad hand for everyone.
Written by Shawna Flavell
It seems that Gail Shea (the same fool member of parliament who tried pulling this number) has hatched another ploy to try to make the waning interest in the Canadian seal slaughter look stronger than it is.
Earlier this week, Shea announced that the number of helpless victims seal slaughters are allowed to bash, smash, and shot during the seal slaughter will increase by 50,000 this year. Even seal slaughterers seemed to be calling her bluff, as they wondered who, if anyone, would be buying the pelts. And today, in a maneuver that reminds me of the hustlers I've seen working "confidence tricks" on New York City street corners, Shea announced that the upcoming hunt may be scaled back, citing "poor ice conditions."
It seems to me that Shea and her seal-eating cohorts are trying to work a con of their own and trick the public into believing that their struggling slaughter is somehow thriving. Please take action to help seals—and to let Canadian politicians know that you're not falling for it.
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA always tries to explain to people that what is done to animals inside laboratories would be illegal if it happened anywhere else. Burning, shocking, or poisoning a dog would typically land someone in jail. But paradoxically, as long as the abuse happens in a laboratory and is called "science," the people responsible for it are exempt from prosecution under cruelty laws in almost every state. Fortunately, there are some instances in which animal experimenters can be held legally accountable for tormenting animals, but we're learning that even in those cases, experimenters seem to be above the law. As you probably could've guessed, we're fighting to make sure that justice for animals is served!
Last year, Madison, Wisconsin's Alliance for Animals filed a complaint with the district attorney of Dane County alleging that experimenters at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (remember them?) had violated the state's Crimes Against Animals statute by killing sheep in U.S. Navy–funded decompression experiments (killing animals by decompression is specifically prohibited by Wisconsin law). The animals were placed in high-pressure hyperbaric chambers, and some died from the excruciating pain of decompression sickness ("the bends"), which occurs when bubbles of nitrogen gas form in the blood, muscles, and organs, including the brain. Did we mention that the French Navy and the U.K. Ministry of Defence no longer conduct decompression experiments on animals?
Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard investigated and concluded that UW-Madison did in fact violate state law by killing sheep by decompression. Incredibly, he decided that it wasn't worth his time and effort to pursue charges.
Fortunately, there is a Wisconsin law that allows private parties to request that a circuit judge order the filing of a criminal complaint in cases in which a crime has been committed and the D.A. refuses to take action. So PETA and Alliance for Animals have stepped in to petition for prosecution.
We'll keep you up to date on this case as it unfolds. In the meantime, please help us put an end to laboratory atrocities that are still taking place in campuses across the U.S.
Pop quiz: For the creation and testing of which of the following types of consumer products do some companies still force animals to suffer in invasive and deadly laboratory experiments?
If you answered "D," you're correct! But here's an important update: After more than two years of behind-the-scenes discussions with PETA, Japan's ITO EN, Ltd., the world's largest manufacturer of green tea—with more than $3 billion in annual sales and ranked by Deloitte among the top 250 global consumer-product companies—has recently gotten out of the animal-testing business. Writing to us, the company said, "[W]e have decided to stop animal tests on our beverages and foods, considering recent movement and circumstances in other countries on this subject."
We're happy to report that the new policy prohibits all animal testing and makes ITO EN the first major Japanese company that we know of to do so, proving that no animal must be killed in order to make safe and healthy food products.
ITO EN joins other progressive companies such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ocean Spray, Welch's, POM Wonderful, and others who have recently ended animal testing after discussions with PETA.
Please thank ITO EN for its responsible and compassionate decision to ban animal tests, and then learn how you can become a more caring consumer.
P.S. Always remember that for every product you can imagine—including dog food, cigarettes, and, yes, even drinks—there are versions that aren't tested on animals.
I've already taken it upon myself to make St. Patrick's Day into St. Patrick's Week. I've been gorging on "steak" and stout pie and Irish whiskey cake for days now—all washed down with some delicious vegan beer.
"Vegan beer?" you might ask. While hops and oats seem vegan-friendly enough, gelatin, casein, and honey are among the many animal-derived ingredients that may be found in nonvegan beers. But not to fear! From Corona to Miller and from Pabst to Yuengling, tons of widely available beers are cruelty-free, which makes it so easy to make your St. Patty's Day a compassionate one. Here's a list of some of my personal St. Patty's Day favorites:
Today—and every time you drink—make sure that your beverage of choice is cruelty-free by checking out this comprehensive list of vegan beers. What's your favorite humane beer?
Tantalizing, scintillating, provocative—visitors to sex.com are certainly searching for something to fit that description. And if PETA gets its way, we'll be the ones to satisfy their desires.
DOM Partners is hoping to take home a hefty sum by auctioning off the domain name "sex.com" on Thursday, but instead of selling the domain to the highest bidder, we're asking the company to charitably donate the domain to PETA.
PETA is all about using sex to promote compassion toward furry, finned, and feathered individuals. Countless sexy supporters have bared it all for animals—by slipping between the sheets, shedding their skivvies, and stripping in the streets. If the company accepts our proposition, everybody will win: DOM Partners will get a huge tax write-off and PETA would load the site with pages of scintillating and lifesaving information.
Visitors to sex.com would be exposed to PETA's saucy campaigns, which point out, for example, the following:
Millions of people already visit PETA.org every month—just imagine how many more people would see our hot and humane messages for animals if PETA owned sex.com.
After dealing with the pot smugglers who hid almost a ton of marijuana in a banana delivery near the U.S.-Mexico border last month, David Aguilar—the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection—could probably use a boost. So we've got a proposal that's sure to make him smile: Help get rid of another addiction epidemic by hanging our "Say No to Pot (Roast)" signs on the border.
Knowing that meat consumption is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and many types of cancer, you'd have to be on drugs to willingly eat carcasses. And that makes sense because meat-eaters are on drugs. Animal products are loaded with antibiotics, dioxins, and hormones that have all been linked to myriad health complications. The green godsend that we can't get enough of? Vegan cooking.
The Alps. Chocolate. Here's another reason to love la Suisse: Swiss laws already make it illegal to keep fish or any other naturally social animals isolated from others of their own species (no more lonely fish in bowls); require farmers to let horses and cattle out for exercise in winter; and require citizens to make sure that their companion dogs get exercise. And each year in Zurich, a government-paid "animal lawyer" represents between 150 and 200 animals whose rights have been violated in some way. Cases range from a woman with 149 cats to an incident involving an angler who kept a fish dangling on the line for too long.
So it's no surprise that last weekend, 30 percent of Swiss citizens voted in favor of a referendum to expand Zurich's groundbreaking approach to animal protection to the entire country. Although the referendum didn't pass, the vote brought international attention to the importance of expanding and enforcing legal protections for animals. Swiss Animal Protection—the country's largest animal rights organization—has already taken this opportunity to urge officials to step up their enforcement of the country's stringent animal-welfare laws and new Animal Welfare Act.
If you could pass an animal protection law in your state, what would it be?
Written by Logan Scherer
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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.