Written by PETA
Saratoga Race Course has been denied. Well, at least it would have been if freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had had his way. Chaffetz is fed up with all the "fluff" bills that Congress votes on every week—bills like those honoring National Pollinator Week, National Dairy Month, and National Train Day, just to name a few. He decided to put his hoof foot down last week when a bill "memorializing" the start of the 142nd season of New York's Saratoga Race Course came up for a vote.
According to the Associated Press, Chaffetz got on his, ahem, high horse out of concern that any kids in the visitors' gallery who might later be asked if Congress had discussed important matters like wars or the national debt would be forced to reply, "Oh no, they were honoring a race course."
We have to say we're with Rep. Chaffetz on this one. But if we have to pick something or someone to memorialize, we should choose to honor the thousands of horses who've lost their lives at Saratoga and other tracks over the past 142 years.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The term "football hero" has become a standard part of the American lexicon, but many players prove to be anything but heroic. (I'm glaring at you, Michael Vick.) So we're delighted to see some football players in Hawaii doing right by animals.
The lights at Vidinha Stadium on Kauai can cause fledgling Newell's shearwaters to become disoriented, and in the past, they have caused the deaths of around 30 of the threatened seabirds—who breed only in Hawaii—each year. Now, to protect the birds, football games during fledgling season will be played on Saturday afternoons instead of Friday nights.
Many thanks to the Kauai Interscholastic Federation for stepping up for seabirds. No matter who prevails on the field, anyone who gives wildlife a helping hand is a champ in our book!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Chelsea Clinton is getting married this Saturday, and while everyone seems to be fascinated with the luxury porta-potties that are being rented for the occasion, I was more excited to hear about what's going to be on the menu at the reception. We've always known Chelsea to be a vegetarian, but Life & Style magazine is reporting that Chelsea is a vegan and that guests at her wedding will get to dine on fabulous vegan food!
To congratulate the soon-to-be newlyweds we've sent Chelsea and her fiancé a Tea for Two Teapot from Daisy Dog Studios.
Planning a trip down the aisle? Why not take a cue from Chelsea and say "I do" to elegant and ethical vegan fare?
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
This film educates its audience about polar bears—and the animals don't seem to mind that they're being spied on. Not so in the case of the video below: Shot by a giggling zoo visitor, it shows how polar bears suffer in captivity (so much so that some animals are given mood-altering drugs) and how naïve zoogoers misinterpret the animals' neurotic behavior.
The typical enclosure for a polar bear at a zoo is a mere one millionth the size of a polar bear's minimum home range in the wild.
And if the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre has its way, more bears will be taken captive. The center's plan is to seize polar bears from the wild in Manitoba and dump some of them at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg and others at zoos around the world. The export of polar bears from Manitoba was stopped in the 90s after animals were found languishing in all sorts of places—even, as PETA discovered, in a Mexican circus. But now, some are determined to resurrect this cruel practice.
And others are determined to stop it: John Youngman, a lawyer and former president of the Zoological Society of Manitoba, wrote this enlightening commentary. Every sentence underscores how misguided the center's plan is, but I think my favorite point might be the following: "As for educational value, the only substantive thing a polar bear in captivity teaches kids is that it's okay to ruin an animal's life for our viewing pleasure." Or maybe it's this: "There is no 'conservation' value in capturing wild polar bears and putting them in zoos. Nor is there any known program for successfully rehabilitating orphaned or captive-born polar bears back into the wild."
Tell us which point in Youngman's piece you think hits the hardest, and if your local zoo houses polar bears, please ask it to phase them out. As long as there is a demand for keeping these animals captive, the industry will look for ways to abduct them from their homes.
Written by Karin Bennett
Michael Moore, for those of you not familiar with him, is a fat, bearded dude who makes political documentaries and occasionally angers conservatives. His latest work is a film called SiCKO—which exposes the inadequacies of health care in the U.S. and played to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. It's going into wide release on June 29. Well, PETA's president, Ingrid Newkirk, has a few words of advice for him: As she points out in the letter she sent him this week, the best way to fight the U.S. health care bureaucracy is to take some personal responsibility and make positive changes that will lead to a healthy lifestyle—and there’s no better way to do that than by adopting a vegetarian diet. As Ingrid puts it,
“Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.”
PETA is challenging Michael Moore to reduce his risk of fat-related illnesses by taking PETA's 30-day Veg Pledge. The idea is that if people didn't make themselves unhealthy in the first place by eating meat products that are known to cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, the situation would easier for everyone. As Ingrid puts it, "Yes, America’s health care system needs to be fixed, but personal responsibility is a big part of why people look and feel as ill as they do." Here's hoping Michael Moore puts his money where his mouth is.
You can read Ingrid's letter to Michael Moore here. I'll let you know how he responds.
Jason Bayless, our Lead Circus Monitor (i.e., the dude whose nerve-wracking job it is to follow Ringling Bros. around everywhere and document their abuse of animals), is about to embark on tour with the circus next week, so we fitted him out with a nice new set of wheels that will let circusgoers know exactly what he's there for. Jason's just going to have to rely on his natural charm if he wants to make friends with any of the Ringling employees during the six-month tour—the van itself isn't exactly designed to ease the longstanding tension between PETA and the circus …
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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.