Written by PETA
Here’s what PetSmart spokesman Bruce Richardson had to say when he was asked about the shocking video footage revealed by our recent investigation into a PetSmart supplier in Texas:
“I don’t know what those images say. … Just because you see a dead pet, does that mean there was abuse? No. Pets die, particularly when you are dealing with volume.”
“When you’re dealing with volume,” Bruce? Does it not strike you as just a little bit callous to refer to the living, breathing beings that your company trades in as if they were lawn furniture? No, of course it doesn’t. Because that’s exactly the attitude that seems to be driving this business—despite being confronted by scenes of incredible suffering inflicted by a PetSmart supplier, Bruce and his colleagues appear to have seen nothing at all, beyond a few “acceptable losses” of their “product.”
Before I get too rhetorical here, let’s switch gears and watch something a bit more uplifting. It’s good to know, at least, that for every Bruce Richardson there’s also someone out there who’s taking time to make a positive difference for animals. Here’s a creative pro-spay and neuter spot by Alliance for Humane Action that I just came across. I like it because it has cats in it.
Yeah, I know. It’s not exactly the most exciting thing in the world. In fact, the exclamation point in the title may have been more wishful thinking on my part than actual exuberance. But for anyone who’s a) on Facebook, and b) in possession of a little bit of extra spending money, this really is an excellent opportunity to help give a big boost to PETA’s KFC Campaign. Here’s how it works, according to my friend Pulin Modi, who’s working on this project with Facebook (because he’s, like, all Web 2.0 and stuff):
“Facebook.com is hosting a “Giving Challenge” where PETA has an opportunity to win a pretty sizeable chunk of money as well as the attention of many of this site’s members. The goal is to have the most unique donors who contribute at least $10.The “Stop Kentucky Fried Cruelty” cause will generate money for PETA and already has taken in just over $3,000 and helped us make a lot of great connections by building buzz around our work and campaigns! You can check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/causes/view_cause/53026. It’s going well, but we still have a bit to go. If you are able to give $10 that would be great. We’re especially hoping to push for donations between now and 3pm EST tomorrow (January 28) to win an extra $1,000 as a daily award!Tell your friends and family who use Facebook, too. This is something that has to be done through Facebook and is a donation through a secure page, but only takes a minute to set up if you don’t have an account. As I mentioned, there are daily awards, plus the top cause gets $50,000 (with awards of $25,000 and $10,000 for the next dozen causes, too).”
If this sounds like it might be up your alley, you can check it out here. Hooray for philanthropy!
For the second year in a row, an extremely brave PETA member has bared all for our State of the Union Undress. The result is nothing short of stunning, and I can’t say enough about how amazing this young lady has been in helping us put the video together as a way of reaching a wide audience with a message of compassion for animals. I don’t know what to expect from Bush’s speech tonight, but I feel extremely confident in guaranteeing that our State of the Union is going to be a whole hell of a lot sexier.
I’ve written a fair amount about Sheriff J.B. Smith over the past couple of weeks, related to a back and forth he’s been having with us over a letter we wrote to him asking that he put an accused cannibal in his charge on a vegetarian diet. Well, the sheriff (who’s obviously doing a bang-up job over in Smith County, Texas) was in the news again this morning following a major drug bust in which he reportedly uncovered 242 pounds of marijuana hidden in a bin of lettuce inside a truck during a traffic stop. Anyway, the news report about the bust made me laugh out loud—the sheriff obviously has PETA on the brain:
“This was a great stop and it took a lot of drugs off the streets. … We are still working on this and are being assisted by the DEA, so there are still things we do not know.” Smith said his office is trying to contact the company that purchased the lettuce, but if the purchaser did not make immediate arrangements, it would be divided between the East Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army. “We would also keep some of the lettuce and feed it to the (jail) population. This should make PETA happy, because we might be serving more salads in the next few days.”
Keep up the great work, sheriff, and thanks for keeping us in mind.
We’re just doing our part to help get a bit of money back for the government. And by “we,” I mean my colleague Justin Goodman, who, as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, worked tirelessly to expose the hideous experiments carried out by David “The Butcher” Waitzman (I just made that nickname up, but who knows—maybe it’ll catch on with his students) who used a sizeable grant from the NIH to, among other things, drill holes into monkeys' skulls and implant steel coils into their eyes. Well, according to this morning’s Hartford Courant, the university has been ordered to return $65,005 of the grant as a result of animal welfare violations in Waitzman’s lab that were exposed during a USDA investigation prompted by Justin’s complaints.
Not only is this wonderful news for people who care about animals, but it will also serve as a powerful warning to other animal experimenters like Waitzman: Even if massive public outcry leaves them cold, you can bet that they’ll sit up and take notice once they know that someone like Justin is on the case—and that it may not be very long before their grant money’s on the line as well.
You hear politicians and journalists complain all the time about how grueling it is to follow the campaign trail, but none of those guys ever had to do it in a pink pig costume (to my knowledge). So I want to take a moment to recognize my colleague Ashley Byrne and the brave PETA interns Chris Arellano and Lacey Knox who have been showing up at campaign stops around the country to drum up support for PETA’s call for an excise tax on meat. These pics from South Carolina—where the pigs were a big hit with democrats and republicans alike—are pretty damn adorable.
We’re just knocking them out of the park at the moment. Literally two hours after posting an alert on our site asking members to contact the American subsidiary of Russian oil-giant Lukoil about their promotion of the Ringling Bros. Circus, the company has made the compassionate decision to cut all ties with the circus due to its history of animal abuse. Or, as they put it in their email to us: "Per our conversation today, we do not have a sponsorship/partnership with Ringling Bros. and are not going to in the future."
Thanks, guys! And thanks to everyone who helped us out by letting Lukoil know what they were getting into.
Ami James, the star of the hit TLC reality show Miami Ink, is also the new face of our anti-fur campaign, showing off his 40 colorful tattoos in a new “Ink, Not Mink” ad for PETA. He’s unveiling the ad at his Miami club—the Love Hate Lounge—this evening, and will be renaming the venue “Love Animals, Hate Fur” for the night. Needless to say, we’re really excited about Ami’s involvement with this campaign. You can see Ami’s new ad and tattoo design here, but in the meantime here’s a PETA Files exclusive video interview with Ami James that took place at the ad shoot:
A little while back, we wrote to the county jail holding alleged cannibal Christopher Lee McCuin, asking that they put him on a flesh-free diet ASAP—since, apart from anything else, there really is something horribly perverse about feeding the guy body parts given the circumstances surrounding his arrest. We received a prompt response to our letter from one Sheriff J.B. Smith, who pointed out (very reasonably) that intentionally altering McCuin’s meals without changing all the other inmate’s meals might be viewed as prejudicial treatment, and asked if we could provide some documentation to support our statement that vegetarian meals promote nonviolence in correction facilities.
Our follow-up letter, which was faxed to the sheriff’s office today, does exactly that. Complete with references to Pythagoras, Albert Einstein, and Tolstoy, along with some information about trial programs at correctional facilities that have given all the inmates vegetarian food, it makes for a pretty good read. Here it is in full.
Update: You can watch the Today Show segment about this investigation here.
As you may have noticed from the front page of our site, PETA released the details today of a major investigation into a PetSmart supplier in Texas. You can learn more about that investigation on our brand-new PetSmart Campaign website. The whole thing is pretty disturbing, but the footage depicting the treatment of a baby Goffin’s cockatoo named Angel is utterly devastating. From the beginning of Angel’s “life,” which was spent in solitary confinement, until an agonizing death after four months wasting away from an untreated disease, Angel’s experience was characterized solely by suffering. It’s difficult to watch, but this video should be mandatory viewing for anyone who has ever considered buying a bird from a pet store.
You can contact PetSmart and ask them to immediately end all animal sales through the web form here.
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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.