Written by PETA
The annual Glitterbox Awards are PETA’s way of recognizing companies that advertise their products in a way that promotes kindness to animals, and this year’s big winners are General Motors and Georgia-Pacific’s Brawny paper towels for commercials which, respectively, raise awareness about vegetarian diets and protecting the environment, and depict a “man’s man” as someone who humanely removes a spider from the house. You can watch GM’s veg-friendly Chevy ad here. I can’t find the Brawny ad on YouTube, but here’s one from last year where the Brawny man saves a baby bird. Seems like they’ve got a good thing going over at Brawny.
Lest we get overwhelmed by all this positivity, we’ve also handed out two Litterbox Awards to companies that advertise in ways that show a lack of respect for animals or handle animals irresponsibly. CDW hauled in the dubious honor this year for a series of commercials featuring a man and his chimpanzee sidekick. There’s some more info here about the lousy conditions that chimpanzees used by the ad industry have to endure. And the other Litterbox Prize goes to a Singapore Airlines print ad, which shows a man holding a bullhook as he forces an elephant to bow. I’m not going to link to either of these ads, because, well, they suck.
Last week, there were a lot of news reports mentioning the fact that President Bush had turned up for a dinner with Saudi King Abdullah wearing a full-length fur-lined robe. It’s probably for the best that there aren’t any available images of this little fashion disaster, but we did confirm that the President had received the robe as a gift from the king, which prompted this response from PETA VP Dan Mathews:
"President Bush should learn from his mother, who refused the offer of a free fur coat for his dad's inauguration. I can't imagine he'd embrace the pimp look anyway."
The damage is done as far as the animals are concerned, but we’re hoping the President will consider donating the robe to our anti-fur campaign. We have a great program in which old furs are given to homeless people who can't afford to buy coats (the only people who have any excuse to wear fur), so we’d be sure to put it to good use. You can read PETA President Ingrid Newkirk’s appeal to the President here.
In response to a request from PETA, DirectBuy, which had been selling fur coats, hats, and wraps, has agreed to remove all the fur from its catalogs. DirectBuy is the nation’s largest franchiser of members-only consumer buying centers with 149 showrooms across the U.S. and Canada (thank you, Wikipedia), so that’s a whole lot of fur not being sold anymore. If you see what I mean. Hooray!
But everybody had a good time in the end. Ben Franklin himself—who once suggested that the turkey should be America’s national bird instead of the bald eagle—tried some of the delicious faux turkey sandwiches distributed by PETA’s lettuce ladies at his birthday bash in Philadelphia, and commented that he was the person who first brought tofu to the U.S. Thanks for that, Ben. Seriously. Here are some pics:
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has been in India for the past couple of weeks on a tour for the Indian version of her book “50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.” We’ve been getting daily updates about the demonstrations, rallies, and educational events she’s been attending to fight animal abuse in India, and it’s all been pretty amazing stuff. But this morning’s news was the most interesting yet:
According to India’s national newspaper, The Hindu, Ingrid was arrested last night in Coimbatore for blindfolding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Park to protest the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to legalize a stupid macho ritual called jalikkattu, in which a crowd of men take turns taunting and abusing a terrified bull, who is forced to drink alcohol and deliberately agitated by having chili peppers rubbed in his eyes before being released into the crowd.
According to the news reports, Ingrid urged children to speak out against jallikattu, arguing that the cruel blood sport was a direct violation of Gandhi’s principles of non-violence. Ingrid described the protest as a symbolic action to close Gandhi’s eyes “towards the horror meted out to animals in the name of jallikattu.”
After detaining her for some hours, Indian police eventually allowed Ingrid to leave the city, and her Indian visit is going ahead as scheduled. I’ll keep you posted …
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After receiving a frantic e-mail that was being circulated by a Purdue student who was desperate to find a home for one of the dogs used in her class, we dug up some extremely disturbing information about Purdue University’s Veterinary Technology Program. As part of this program, catheters are inserted into perfectly healthy dogs, who are killed following the experiment if students are unable to find homes for them.
According to the information we received, the students themselves are burdened with the task of finding homes for the animals used in these unnecessary procedures—and the penalty for failure is death for the dogs. "It became our responsibility to find all 10 of these dogs homes by the end of the semester or else they would be euthanized," wrote the student in her e-mail.
There’s so much wrong with this whole hideous program that it’s difficult to know where to begin, but the most obvious starting point is this: Vet-tech students can easily learn this stuff without hurting healthy animals—so how about making that the new SOP? We contacted Purdue this morning to make exactly that point, and ask the school to perform the procedures only on animals who are living in homes and who will receive a direct medical benefit from them, and to begin working with veterinarians in a clinical setting and with mannequins.
Or, as PETA’s Director of Research puts it,
"Purdue is exploiting these dogs and its students. Dogs aren't test tubes with tails. Holding the threat of death over students' heads is traumatic for the students, and it also means that the dogs could end up in unsuitable homes where they may face even more abuse and neglect."
You can read PETA’s letter to Purdue here.
In 2005, PETA released footage from an undercover investigation into a slaughterhouse run by KFC Supplier Tyson Foods, which showed live chickens’ heads being ripped off, among other acts of unbelievable cruelty. Two new PETA investigations of the company, which have just been released today, reveal that Tyson has done nothing to prevent the torture it inflicts on these animals—and provide gruesome examples of what KFC’s continued refusal to do anything about the cruelty that is endemic to its suppliers means for the animals used by the company. Please click here to write to KFC and Tyson Foods and demand that they follow through with PETA's recommendations to stop this hideous abuse.
According to the movie blog Horror Yearbook, a small group of independent moviemakers are getting strongarmed by KFC into abandoning their project.
Classy stuff, KFC. Really classy. Check it out here.
I guess it’ll probably never get made now, but I think the movie looks effing rad.
I’m going to shut up and let the man speak for himself here in a sec, but I feel like I need to admit that I spent pretty much my entire adolescence in a constant state of anticipation about what John Norris, Kennedy, Duff, or Jon Stewart (different incarnation) were going to say next on the popular music channel “MTV”. John is busy informing a whole new generation on MTV News, but he also took some time recently to talk to my star-struck friend Nicole Nuss about (among other things), why he doesn’t eat stuff made out of animals. The whole thing is just too cool for words.
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.