Written by PETA
Yesterday, Nanci Alexander—one of our most generous and tireless friends to animals—joined a myriad of PETA supporters in D.C. to cut the ribbon and officially open the doors to PETA's Washington home, The Nanci Alexander Center for Animal Rights:
Nanci, whom Ingrid E. Newkirk describes as "an animal rights activist's activist," is the woman to whom Newkirk dedicated her book One Can Make a Difference. She is also the founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida and the creator of Fort Lauderdale's fabulous all-vegan world cuisine restaurant Sublime, where Sir Paul McCartney and Steve-O have enjoyed meals, and as Ingrid says, if George Bernard Shaw and the Buddha were alive, you'd find them eating there too. She was among the first to spark debate over SeaWorld's horrible confinement of killer whales and dolphins and was also behind Florida's pig gestation-crate ban.
Finding herself seated next to President Bush the elder one day, Nanci asked him to do one thing: think about the suffering of the animals he shoots. If everyone spoke up that way, the world would be a far kinder place. Nanci has devoted her life to waking people up to cruelty to animals and changing everything from what they think to what they eat. PETA plans to do great things from the building now named after her.
Written by Logan Scherer
I have a feeling that a lot of people would have been pretty surprised if they'd seen Michael Vick walking into PETA's offices recently—not once but three times. You'd think that would be the very last place on Earth he would consider spending time. But it happened, and here's how it came about: After Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk—a great believer in hammering away at the seemingly impossible—contacted him to ask him to hear about animals’ feelings, needs, and desires, and to hear firsthand why people are so outraged by the suffering of the dogs fought and killed in Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting pits. Vick confirmed our belief that he had never before been exposed to this kind of information, and, after a formal preliminary meeting at PETA HQ—during which we reiterated that we're still seeking a strong jail sentence and a lifetime ban on contact with animals—he left with study materials. He returned on September 18 to take an 8-hour course in empathy and animal protection. No cell phones allowed, no going out for lunch, just learning.
The full course that Vick took, which includes homework, workshop outlines, videos, and supplemental course materials, as well as the exam questions Michael Vick returned to answer under his tutor’s watchful eye, is available here. The class included scientific evidence that animals are thinking, feeling beings, capable of a range of behavior and emotions; presentations on the specific needs of dogs; and information about the well-documented link between acts of violence against animals and crimes against humans, which PETA shares with law enforcement officers every week.
I know people can see red when it comes to any mention of Vick, so I do want to be extremely clear about our position here: While we’re pleased to have been able to show Vick facts about animals—many things he’d certainly never heard before in his life—we are in no way going to bat for him. He may have passed our empathy course, but we have asked the judge to send him to jail and bar him from ever possessing or having contact with animals. We believe anyone who might consider abusing animals should see exactly how much a known animal abuser stands to lose.
We've also sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to make our “Developing Empathy for Animals” course a requirement for all NFL players. To help persuade Goodell to make humane education a part of the NFL's basic training for players, please click here.
Sure, Steve Carell is funny and everything, but being British and all, I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the cast of the original version of The Office. I absolutely love it. So imagine my delight when I found out that PETA UK just released an ad with Lucy Davis, who starred in Britain’s The Office and stateside, Studio 60. Now imagine my delight to find out that it was a naked ad urging the Ministry of Defense to stop using bear skins for the traditional caps the Queen’s Guards wear. Double wow.
Here’s what Davis had to say about it, “So much money is spent, and so much cruelty is spent, on what at the end of the day is a hat—and that is it. Not only was I horrified to find that it was one bear to make one hat, but also it's not really just one bear—in a way it can be one whole family. … That whole family dies, and again, it's just for a hat." Well put, indeed.
You can join Lucy in pressuring the Ministry of Defense to switch to cruelty-free headgear by clicking here. And be sure to catch her in the much anticipated David Duchovny series Californication on Showtime.
I think I've talked before about how amazing PETA Germany is at coming up with stuff that's totally out of left field. They're literalists, when it comes to demonstrations, and the results are often indescribably compelling. Faced with the problem of how to convey to people just how gruesome the force-feeding of ducks for foie gras is, the Germans simply brushed aside all objections and created the world's first-ever Force-Feeding Demo. Great work, PETA G. You guys rule.
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.