Written by PETA
Just as David Novak, CEO of KFC's parent company, Yum!, stepped up to address a crowd of Louisville business owners yesterday, two animal rights activists entered the stage, commandeered the mic, and told the assembled captains of Kentucky industry that "David Novak tortures animals," a reference to the millions of chickens who have their wings and legs broken in shackles and transport crates and are scalded alive (among other abuses) by KFC suppliers because KFC won't take any action to stop it.
The women were removed by security, but their words had already caught the attention of reporters and was front-page news on the Louisville Courier-Journal's Web site.
Consummate "suit" that he is, Novak proceeded by leading the crowd in the "Yum! cheer" (which we assume is not to be confused with the Bronx cheer that KFC so richly deserves).
Novak also—presumably with a straight face—told the crowd that he rewards outstanding employees with rubber chickens. I'm not making that up. "It does not take a lot of money to give away a rubber chicken," he said. It wouldn't take a lot of money for KFC to implement the minimal animal welfare standards we've asked for, but that's not of any interest to him. Who came up with this business model—Stalin?
We have some lovely shots of PETA protesters outside the event. Check it:
Written by Alisa Mullins
Barbie turns 50 this year, so of course sista-girl had to come correct with a groovy new vibe. Ever the trend-setter, the Queen of Pink is sporting a new look called Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie. That's right, as the perpetual 18-year-old reaches the dawn of her golden years, she's steppin' out inked up, tattoo gun in hand.
Barbie's a girl after our own hearts, not only for embracing ink over mink (Barbie is officially fur-free, after all) but also for her knack for attracting media attention. Even though some parents are miffed at Barbie's new look, she's still flying off the shelves. So to congratulate Her Plastic Highness on selling out in stores across the U.S., we humbly suggest that these ridiculously adorable tattoos would look stylin' on Barbie, or even you for that matter. You can click here to get a PDF file that can be printed on clear-label paper to create "tattoos" for Barbie and click here for a kid sized version.
Out-of-control cute, right? And just in time for the International Day Against Seal Slaughter.
And who knows? Now that Babs is showing her friskier side, maybe she'll even be interested in taking a cue from a few of her virtual sisters and baring some plastic to save animals' pelts.
BARBIE is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc. Mattel has no affiliation with PETA and does not endorse, sponsor, or otherwise support PETA's activities.
Written by Missy Lane
After Pilgrim's Pride announced that it will be closing its slaughterhouse in Farmerville, Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal immediately put together an emergency task force to strategize a way to stop the plant from closing. We realize that in this unstable economy, losing 1,300 jobs can definitely be scary, so PETA has written to Gov. Jindal with an offer: We'd like to purchase the slaughterhouse and create a chicken empathy museum, which would create jobs and increase tourism in Louisiana.
Of course, the museum would also promote compassion for animals and educate people about the suffering endured by the 9 billion chickens who are killed for food every year. What better job is there for a former factory-farm worker than to educate others about how wonderful chickens really are?
Most people don't realize that chickens are sensitive animals who are as intelligent as cats, dogs, and even primates. Probably the coolest thing that you didn't know (but would if you visited our proposed museum) is that mother hens actually cluck to their unborn chicks, who chirp back to their mothers and to one another from within their shells!
Oh, and did I mention that the museum would also include a fancy restaurant with an array of delicious vegetarian options and would offer free plush chickens to all kids under 12? Post a comment to let Gov. Jindal know that you'll be booking your ticket to Farmerville as soon as the museum is up and running.
Written by Liz Graffeo
With the Canadian seal slaughter about to begin, we're doing everything we can to get it stopped. Hundreds of thousands of baby seals are murdered in this annual massacre. Can you imagine the horror a mother seal experiences when her baby's skull is smashed in right in front of her? We can't either, so this week, we're giving away a limited-edition plush seal pup to help remind the world to hug seals, not club them.
How do you win? Post a comment below letting us know what you're doing to help stop the seal slaughter. The response that shows the most initiative will win a plush seal pup.
Not feeling lucky? You can go ahead and buy a plush pup now. Or two or three. No need to feel guilty for splurging—all the money goes to a good cause!
Written by Lianne Turner
How adorable is Mike White? You can find out for yourself by tuning in to The Amazing Race, which airs every Sunday at 8 p.m. (check local listings). The quirky School of Rock and Nacho Libre writer/director/actor is teamed up with his dad (see "adorable" above) in the latest installment of the hit reality show. We probably love Mike the most, though, for his work on the incredibly touching movie Year of the Dog, about how the love of a dog inspires a life dedicated to animal rights. Not only did the death of Pencil in the beginning of the movie turn me into a hot mess of emotions, but I was thrilled that the movie touched on so many different animal rights issues.
We're rooting for Mike and his dad Mel because Mike is a vegan and an avid PETA supporter who has worn not one but two PETA tees on the show (and we suspect there are more to come!):
The plucky duo have proven to be tough competitors, placing first in episode 3, during which Mike bravely donned a Romanian gymnast's leotard and demonstrated his stylin' moves on the balance beam.
Need more reasons to pull for Mike? He spoke out in favor of the groundbreaking California Healthy Pets Act, which would have mandated that nearly all dogs and cats in the state be spayed or neutered.
Speaking of which, check out Mike's interview with PETA in which he talks about Year of the Dog and why he went vegan:
Alright, 'fess up—scores of you loyal PETA Files readers are just as out-of-your-mind obsessed with America's Best Dance Crew as I am. C'mon! Who among us hasn't called upon our inner Justin Timberlake and tried a move or two—hopefully with no sprained ankles or dented walls resulting.
Last season's finale was foot-stompin', hip-poppin' insane. Drop for drop, the talented ladies of the Beat Freaks commanded the stage. Shockingly, they didn't win. What's up, America?
It's alright, though, because these ladies are about as cool as cool can get. Aside from their rockin' moves and killer style, the Beat Freaks have huge hearts—several of them are vegetarian. Even hotter—these ladies were spotted sportin' PETA T-shirts during a recent interview. Check out the interview for yourself below. Skip forward about one minute and 50 seconds to see which shirts they wore on camera.
Now, I can't help you master that head spin, but if you want to look fabulous and help animals like the Beat Freaks do, the PETA Catalog is your one-stop shop.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Update 03/25/2009 Here's another video in which the Beat Freaks rep PETA.
In case you needed any more evidence that chimpanzees don't want to be locked up in zoos, a chimpanzee named Santino in a Swedish zoo has been collecting hundreds of stones to throw at zoo visitors. On many mornings, Santino calmly gathers rocks into a pile, waits until the zoo opens, and then uses them to dispel the crowd of gawkers surrounding his enclosure.
Can you blame him? If I'd been snatched from my family and forced to live on public display, I'd probably start throwing things too. Santino has also been observed tapping on concrete boulders to find weak spots and breaking off loose chunks to add to his arsenal.
Researchers say that Santino is demonstrating the ability to plan and think about the future. We thought this was already obvious, but some people persist in the mistaken belief that animals act only on "instinct," while we humans always act with intelligence. Well, guess what? Chimpanzees are clearly intelligent, and yet they are still bred and raised to be shown off in zoos, circuses, and other forms of so-called "entertainment." What will it take for these animals to get the respect that they deserve?
If you aim a wind-up toy at a brick wall, logic would tell you that the toy is going to continue slamming into the wall unless the wall is removed, right?
Well, as long as the horse-racing industry exists, tragedy is going to follow. Case in point: Two more horses at the Aqueduct Race Track had to be euthanized last week after suffering broken legs on the track. One of the breakdowns was so catastrophic that five horses slammed to the ground. You can watch footage of the race below.
One would think that the horse-racing industry would at least make some changes to protect these horses better, such as mandating turf track, which is softer than either dirt or synthetic tracks. Instead, as The New York Daily News reports, the industry simply tries to cover up fatal falls. When questioned about its decision not to show footage of the fall that brought down five horses, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) claimed that it didn't want the footage to get into the wrong hands, meaning animal rights groups. Oops! Looks like that didn't work out so well, did it?
My favorite quote about the decision not to air the footage comes from a NYRA spokesperson, who said: "It was a judgment call on a particularly scary-looking spill."
Exactly. Don't want to scare off those railbirds and their lucrative bets, do we? As if the tragic deaths of Eight Belles last year and Barbaro in 2006 haven't already given race fans enough to think about.
Pink and Stella McCartney took time out of their busy schedules this afternoon to unveil our new TV ad, "Stolen for Fashion," at Paris' fashion week. In the 30-second spot, a loveable alligator, voiced by Pink, and a feisty rabbit, voiced by U.K. funnyman Ricky Gervais, confront the fashion felons who stole their skins. Check out pictures of the unveiling below:
Oh, and if you haven't seen the ad yet, check it out here. Don't forget to post a comment below letting us know what you think!
Twelve children were treated by paramedics on Saturday when an elephant who was being forced to give rides at the Indiana State Fairgrounds bumped into the mobile staircase on which kids stood awaiting rides, knocking it down. The rides were being given between performances of the Murat Shrine Circus. Luckily, the kids only suffered minor injuries, but people involved in other elephant-ride incidents haven't been so lucky.
The staircase collapse isn't the first dangerous incident involving an elephant used by a Shrine Circus. In 2005, a trainer working for the Shrine Circus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was stomped to death as he loaded elephants onto a trailer. In 2003, an elephant at the Shrine Circus in Muskegon, Michigan, escaped from a tent and fled into a busy downtown area. In 2002, two elephants with the Shrine Circus in Dunn County, Wisconsin, bolted out of a circus tent, scattering frightened circusgoers.
In other Shrine Circus news, we've learned that an exhibitor whose bears were used during a Shrine Circus performance last year at Knox County Middle School in Tennessee was cited by the USDA for serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including seating people within 20 feet of the bear without a barrier of any kind. We've written a letter to the school principal urging him to ban circuses with animal acts from appearing on school grounds in the future.
Many people don't realize that the Shriners do not operate their own circus. Shrine temples either hire an existing circus or put together a collection of animal exhibitors and other acts that perform under the Shrine Circus name. Many of the animal exhibitors the Shriners hire have deplorable records of animal care. Click here to read our factsheet on the Shrine Circus.
People, run—don't walk—away from any circus that uses animals. And whatever you do, don't let any guy in a fez talk you into placing your tots on the back of some poor elephant whose own kids have been taken away from her and who now spends her days being chained up and jabbed with a bullhook. Today just might be the day she snaps. And really, who could blame her?
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
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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.