Written by PETA
Joan Court is 88 years old, and she's been working on behalf of animals for a very long time. Yesterday in Oxford, she made another powerful statement for animals that has already garnered international media attention. Accompanied by members of PETA UK holding signs reading, "Save Felix - Oxford, Stop Primate Torture", Joan donned a prisoner costume and sat in a small cage as she began a 48-hour fast. Joan’s fast is a protest of the vile brain experiments that are being inflicted on a monkey named Felix by a fellow named Tipu Aziz who, in a more civilized society, would have been tried, sentenced, and exiled to some barren desert a very long time ago. PETA UK is asking members of the public to contact Home Secretary John Reid and urge him to release Felix immediately to an accredited sanctuary and stop the expansion of the Oxford animal laboratory. And the redoubtable Joan Court is making a larger point—since this week is World Week for Animals in Laboratories—about the barbaric nature of animal experimentation. Do you really need an octogenarian in a cage to tell you that torturing intelligent primates is wrong? You can read the full story here, but keep Joan in your thoughts today—she's going to be very hungry.
Finally. This project has been in the works for longer than I care to admit, and it's incredibly exciting for me to see the beautiful, beautiful final product. A lot of people have been working really hard on this, so I did want to particularly thank my friend Drew, who generously donated his time and expertise and was a huge help in the early stages, as well as Shawn from our Web department, who crafted it into the masterpiece it is now—and who had to deal with me making obnoxious demands of him, like, "This is good, Shawn, but can you make a version with Satan in the background?" The generator is all part of the newly revamped Kentucky Fried Cruelty Campaign site, so you should probably check that out too. It’s pretty much the worst thing to happen to Colonel Sanders since people found out he wasn’t really a Colonel.
You can reward yourself for having read all the way through my little self-congratulation fest by clicking the sign below to play around with the generator yourself. It really is something special. And I promise that's the last time you'll see me gratuitously patting myself on the back in this blog.
Like most people, I love to watch the man play football, but if the allegations I heard today are true, I'm not sure I ever want to see Michael Vick suit up for a game again. According to news reports, local and state law enforcement discovered more than 60 pit bulls and other dogs on Vick's property in Surry County Virginia yesterday, who showed signs of serious abuse that is consistent with having been used for fighting. Officials also evidently discovered dogfighting paraphernalia, including a “rape stand” on the premises. These are deadly serious allegations, and it's immensely distressing to see such a high-profile athlete accused of this kind of cruelty. PETA is calling on the Atlanta Falcons to immediately suspend Vick pending the outcome of the investigation, and if animals on his property are found to have been neglected or used for fighting, we're asking that he be released from the team.” You can help out by clicking here to write to the Falcons about this issue, and for more information you can read our letter to Falcons Owner Arthur Blank.
The Atlanta Falcons should be kicking themselves right now that they traded away backup QB Matt Schaub this offseason, but even a year with Joey Harrington at the helm is better than having your team led by someone with a mark like this on their record.
Air Force Drill Sergeant Michelle Manhart made big headlines a little while back when the Air Force got all in a tizzy after finding out she had posed for a spread in Playboy magazine. As you're probably aware, PETA doesn't have quite the same take on public nudity as the Air Force does, especially when it's being used to get people to pay attention to an important issue. Which is why we were thrilled when Michelle agreed to become the latest star of our "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" series. Check out her great interview and the beautiful ad below—it'll make you proud to be an American (unless, like me, you're not an American, in which case you can just focus on the pretty lady in the picture).
You probably remember the Primarily Primates, Inc. (PPI) case we have been working on for a year or so. If not, PPI is the pseudo-sanctuary in Texas where, late in 2005, staff members called PETA to report that animals were suffering horribly and dying and that the facility's director, Wally Swett, was drunk a lot of the time. PPI staff members reported that Swett did the following things:
To make a long story short, on the heels of a lawsuit fueled by PETA, the Texas Attorney General filed its own lawsuit against PPI and the Court appointed a well-known specialist with more than 20 years of primate and rehabilitation experience to bring the place up to some level of decency. She did that, and then some, and things were getting better—animals have received veterinary care, proper feed, clean water, and the comfort of bedding and nesting boxes that was all denied to them previously.
But just today, the Texas Attorney General has entered into a settlement agreement whereby all charges against PPI are to be dismissed, and he will wash his hands of the obligations of caring for all the animals and turn the pseudo-sanctuary back over to a board of directors that includes Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral, who backed the old regime including its director, Wally Swett, who drunkenly threatened volunteers with a firearm most recently and, in the past, has failed to provide even emergency veterinary care for dying animals.
The court-appointed Receiver (the current administrator of PPI), Lee Theisen-Watt, her attorney, Skip Trimble, and longtime staff member and whistleblowers on site are expressing their outrage. In the settlement, the Attorney General pledges to use his offices to attempt to retrieve the seven surviving former OSU chimpanzees who are now doing well in their rehabilitation at Chimp Haven in Louisiana, a move that will be hard fought. Their return would violate a Texas state and local law prohibiting dangerous animals at a site like PPI, so let’s all hope that doesn’t happen.
Here is PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s statement on this disaster:
“PETA is pleased to have helped gather and organize the evidence that led to a search and seizure warrant being served at PPI in October, 2006. Although it was too late to save animals who had died of outright neglect, some lingering in pain for long periods of time, as a result of that entry into what had been a closed premises, relief was delivered to hundreds of chimpanzees and other animals who had been neglected. Since then, animals have received veterinary care, proper feed, clean water, and the comfort of bedding and nesting boxes that was all denied to them under Wally Swett and Stephen Tellos, and with the protection of Friends of Animals. The Texas Attorney General has now settled the case, much to the distress of those who have come to know and love the animals they have cared for during this interim period, and to the concern of all those who know what Friends of Animals sanctioned and how it stood by and didn’t take action that could have saved animals from suffering. Nevertheless, we live in hope that lessons have been learned and that the facility will no longer be mismanaged and be the place of despair for animals it once was.”
Please take just a few moments to contact these people to politely state your concern:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott:Phone: 512 475-4665Fax: 512-322-0578Governor Rick Perrywww.governor.state.tx.us/contactCitizen's Opinion Hotline: 800 252 9600Main Switchboard: 512-463-2000Fax: 512-463-1849
And just to give you a first-person perspective on this mess, I’ll leave you with a letter written by Chance French who has worked with these amazing animals over the past few months. At the end is a list of animals who will suffer because of the Attorney General’s action:
November 1, 2006 7:30 a.m.This was the first time Christina and I ever stepped foot on PPI's property. Let me tell you it was one of the hardest days in our lives. The abuse and neglect we were shown for the next eleven hours was horrific. The only thing that kept us going was the thought that we were going to be able to make a difference in all of these amazing, forgiving lives. And the next day we begun! Day after day, hour after hour WE MADE A DIFFERENCE! To give a friend (chimp, for those of you who haven't ever heard me speak of them) a blanket when it's cold or uncomfortable on the concrete at night, a toy to play with when bored, a three course meal of produce three times a day when all they've ever had was monkey chow (a damn' dog biscuit), enrichment filled with treats because they deserve it or just those fifteen minute talks throughout the day with them, those times when they look at you and you see in their eyes the joy and happiness it brings each and every one of them. We all were hopeful it would never end. Well it's happened, the attorney general has dropped the case against PPI because the receivership has brought the sanctuary back to the standards it should be at. The truth is the attorney generals office dropped the ball by misfiling and other problems. So to save face and not look stupid they're running! Let me tell you if I could save this place by dancing naked only in a cowboy hat in front of the Alamo in this great state of Texas.................IN A HEARTBEAT! The sad truth is that it will end up back to what it was. And who suffers? TINA CHAMP DEETER JEWEL URI RAISIN KOKO OKO JOSHUA WILLIE CHOBE HARRY SIRI CHEETAH LB ARLENE VANESSA PENNY VIOLET RICHIE SHANNON NICOLE LAURA NAOMI SIERRA JESSIE EFFIE CINDY RUDY JOSIE JASON JONSIE LEAHA HANZIE BANGO OLIVER JUSTIN CLAIRE DEE ROSEMARY HOPE LISA BOBO WANDA HOLLY MANDY ABE CARMEN BUFFY APRIL HOPE AMY THEO THOMAS SUDIO MARION MALLORY STELLA SEAN SHU SHU BAXTER WALTER BUBBA BARBI JULIEAmong hundreds of other wonderful loving animals. I don't know what else to say except they were all stabbed in the back by one elected official. Chance
Please, for all the animals above, take the time to contact the officials listed above. Thanks guys.
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
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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.