Written by PETA
scientists in Dallas may have come up with an invisibility cloak, but octopuses and squid beat them to the punch.
Masters of disguise, among the tricks up their tentacle sleeves is this one: They
manipulate sacs of black pigment on their skin to either shroud them in
darkness to match the water or reveal their transparent flesh so that light
shines through, making others think that they aren't there.
Millipedes are covert operators
too. Certain species toss moss or other plants over their backs while they
biological anthropologist is confirming what many cat people already know—cats grieve over the loss of
a loved one much like humans do. And much like humans, letting animals see (and,
in a cat's case, smell) the body of their deceased loved one can help give them
"closure" and come to terms with the loss.
ravi khemka | cc by 2.0
do the leg- (or wing-) work when you can ride? In Stockholm, Sweden, a flock of pigeons has begun taking the
subway for its daily trips to a crowded shopping center where the animals like
to forage for food. Pigeons have been doing the same thing on the London
Underground for years!
dog takes care of business. After a southwest Ohio couple adopted a dog from an animal shelter, it took only six hours
for him to return the favor. The aptly named Hercules chased a burglar from the
couple's basement, biting him on the ankle for good measure.
of canine good deeds—Titan, a beloved dog from Lawrenceville,
Georgia, became the first canine recipient of the Neighbor of the Year Award after
he got help for his guardian when she suffered from a brain aneurysm and fell,
fracturing her skull.
As soccer fans all over the world are packing up their vuvuzelas, PETA Germany is petitioning for the retirement and release of Paul the prophetic octopus, who correctly chose the winners in eight match-ups, including Spain's win yesterday over the Netherlands. No one deserves to spend an entire life locked in a glass box, but if that's not reason enough to release Paul, here's a short list that should help PETA Germany make the case:
Caring soccer and animal fans from all over the world would certainly celebrate the release of the World Cup's Most Valuable Octopus from his tiny, unnatural confines at the Sea Life center in Oberhausen. PETA Germany promises a vuvuzela-free celebration.
Written by Karin Bennett
We have to thank Joan Jett and her tweeting ways (Joan, you're in close competition with Chrissie Hynde to be my favorite sassy rocker chick) for the great turnout at yesterday's protests against two Queens, New York, restaurants that serve up octopuses and other animals while they're still alive. (No, I am not making that up—I wish I were.)
The owner of East Seafood restaurant was apparently so terrified that a kraken was going to seek vengeance on him for the torture of her smaller brethren that he locked the restaurant's doors for the duration of the protest. Good—no customers!
Please, help stop this abomination by writing to the Queens County D.A. and asking him to press cruelty-to-animals charges against live animal–serving restaurants such as East Seafood and Sik Gaek.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Showing cruelty of gastronomical proportions, restaurants in Queens (Sik Gaek and East Seafood Restaurant) are chopping up and serving live octopuses to customers. Octopuses have their tentacles cut off while they are still conscious and are then served, writhing, while their hearts are still beating. Others are slowly steamed alive in front of customers before their tentacles and upper bodies are cut into small pieces with scissors.
Since we can't "release the Kraken" on these animal abusers, we're unleashing our legal team on the district attorney—calling on the DAs to file cruelty charges against the restaurants. Because octopuses have sophisticated nervous systems and feel pain just as acutely as mammals do, we feel that the restaurants' practices clearly violate the state's anti-cruelty statute.
Recently, octopuses were observed carrying around coconut shells to use as shelter—making these complex cephalopods the first known invertebrate animals to use tools. These "deep" thinkers are also fond of decorating. They decorate their dens with bottle caps, stones, and other objects that they find on the ocean floor. They are so smart that they can also learn how to do things such as unscrew jars by watching someone else do it—once!
Let's hope that the district attorney in this case is just as smart and sentient. You can call or fax the Queens County District Attorney's Office and politely ask that they take action against these restaurateurs. We'll keep you posted. Until then, take this octopus-inspired poll.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Apparently, some people have gotten so impatient when it comes to satisfying their hunger that they can no longer wait for someone to kill their food for them. "Exotic eaters" are resorting to eating live octopi, and it has sparked a lively PETA HQ debate, which I need your help to win.
Written by Logan Scherer
P.S. I have concluded (after minimal thought) that so-called "exotic eaters" and I have absolutely zilch in common. My definition of exotic tends to stray toward pyramids and belly dancers.
Here's a phenomenon that'll stick in your memory like an octopus sticks to a … coconut shell:
With the recent discovery that the veined octopus sometimes carries around a coconut shell to use as impromptu shelter, this eight-legged wonder is now the first known tool-using animal without a backbone. According to the biologists who made the discovery, the use of tools to build shelter is such a complicated skill that even some of smartest animals, like chimpanzees, can't do it. (Um, the only self-enclosing "skill" I have is my sofa-cushion fort-building ability, which hasn't been tapped since 1994—so who knows if it's still even in me.)
Octopi are brilliant animals with sensitive short-term and long-term memories and a complex brain, so it's no surprise that their capabilities are extensive and intricate—from mastering mazes to distinguishing between different shapes. And their intelligence runs in their extended cephalopod family. Squids send messages via dermal patterns of light and color, so think twice before you eat calamari again—those are fried little Einsteins on your plate! If scientists have only just now discovered the tool-using skills of octopi, imagine all of the other talents these mollusk marvels and their relatives have got up their tentacles.
It's not often that we post an entry about octopi, but this story is definitely worth the mention.
When employees at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, were puzzled by the constant short-circuiting of lights, they thought it was a result of technical difficulties. It turns out, however, that Otto the octopus was just trying to get the irritating light turned off. Maybe he'd read that study about how having lights on at night can interfere with your sleep.
It took three days and the detective work of several employees to learn of Otto's clever antics, which included climbing to the rim of his tank and squirting water at the lights above to turn them off. The cephalopod has also been caught redecorating his tank by tossing its contents around, throwing rocks at the tank glass, and juggling hermit crabs.
Otto's pranks may be amusing—especially when they're fooling humans—but they're also a sign that he is bored out of his mind and not receiving the stimulation that any intelligent being needs. They are a cry for attention. Signs of boredom and loneliness are the norm among animals who are imprisoned in tiny, barren spaces; and they can be dangerous too. When the electricity short-circuited, it shut down all the filters and water pumps, putting not only Otto in danger but the other marine life as well. And the hermit crabs most likely didn't enjoy being tossed around.
Octopi are highly intelligent animals with sharp short-term and long-term memory skills. Instead of buying new toys and keeping an eye on Otto, as the aquarium's director has suggested, we vote that he should be released into the ocean where he can live a natural and full life in his vast native environment. All the toys in the world aren't going to make any difference for an animal who is crammed into a tiny, unfamiliar living space that lacks the proper kind of stimulation.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
You know, very few things will bother vegetarians like assuming that we eat fish. Um, so, like, what plant is it exactly that you think fish grow on?
By saying "you," I don't mean you, of course. After all, you already understand that fishing hurts, and you're totally down with lobster liberation, right? And you've made it clear to your friends and family where you stand. But they still guilt you into going along to that seafood place they like, saying, "OK, you don't eat fish or lobster, but why can't you have the calamari?"
First of all, "calamari" is one of those nice-sounding words that restaurants use to sell something not so nice—in this case, chopped-up and baby squid. But it can be hard for people to feel a lot of affection for a squid. They live way down underwater, and even baby squid—unlike, say, chicks or piglets—aren't all that cute, to put it mildly. But what they lack in looks is more than compensated for in fascinating ways. If you don't believe me, check out this video:
Anyone who has ever tried to chat up someone in a bar has to stand in awe of the squid's smooth seduction technique, which simultaneously warns rivals to stay away. Not to mention the deep-sea light shows and color-changing camo effects of the jellyfish, octopuses, and cuttlefish that put Industrial Light & Magic to shame. In fact, this stuff is so amazing that you can easily get your friends and family to watch it just for its entertainment value—and then remind them of it the next time you join them for dinner as you explain why you'll all be going to your favorite restaurant instead.
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.
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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.