Written by PETA
After missing the first part of the season with the Phillies because of a knee injury, Chase Utley has recovered and is ready to knock a few out of the park. But he's already hit a grand slam for homeless dogs and cats by encouraging fans to be all-stars for animals by always adopting and never buying.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
My friends, this is breaking news. There looks to be a serious correlation between the Phillies' year-end season ranking and the ranking of Citizens Bank Park (home field of the Phillies) on PETA's annual list of the Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks.
If you'll take a gander at the nifty graph above, you'll see that 2005 was the first year in which Citizens Bank Park cracked PETA's Top 10, landing firmly in fifth place. The Phillies also improved their record that year. In 2006, despite adding veggie dogs to their munchies lineup—which already included flame-grilled Gardenburgers—Citizens Bank Park slipped a bit in our ratings, landing in seventh position. Subsequently, the Phillies record slipped three games. Coincidence? I think not.
In 2007, Kevin Tedesco, the head of Citizens Bank Park, took it up a notch and added a groundbreaking, delicious faux-steak sandwich piled high with grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, and hot sauce. And Citizens Bank Park finally won the coveted title of the most vegetarian-friendly ballpark—and the players did pretty well for themselves, too, finishing with their best record in years and earning a spot in the playoffs.
During that offseason, Tedesco signed some huge free agents, including mock-chicken sandwiches and "crab-free crab cakes." (Of course, we don't want to forget the role-players, including hoagies with roasted veggies, soups, salads, "The Poppy" sandwiches—featuring roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes—and PB&J for the kids.) The results? Citizens Bank Park took home a resounding victory in Veg Ballparks, and, well—you heard it hear first, folks—the Phillies won the World Series.
What will Tedesco do next year for an encore? Perhaps add pizza with soy cheese? A Gardenburger riblet sandwich on a toasted bun? We don't want to put any pressure on our favorite Philadelphian, but if he continues to stack up the protein-packed, cruelty- and cholesterol-free offerings, we're thinking that Cole Hamels and company might sweep every round of the playoffs in 2009. If you want your home team to offer more humane veggie options (and maybe win the World Series!) be sure to shoot them a note with some tasty ideas.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Back in January, we told you about one of our cheekier stunts in our ongoing quest to help chickens who are raised and killed for KFC. Long story short: It involved the cemetery where KFC founder "Colonel" Sanders is buried and a headstone for PETA's own Matt Prescott (who, don't worry, is still among the living). The headstone is inscribed with a poem, the first letters of which spell out, "KFC TORTURES BIRDS."
Now, granted, we might have a slightly, um, off-center sense of humor, but what we saw as cheeky, others thought of as, well, morbid. One commenter even accused us of having "desacrated [sic] an entire graveyard." (Seriously? And people call us drama queens!)
Fortunately, a lot of other people "got it." Unfortunately, among those who didn't see the humor were the operators of the cemetery (and, just possibly, those chicken-pluckers at KFC). Suffice to say that we now find ourselves in possession of a homeless gravestone.
Cave Hill Cemetery forced us to remove Matt's headstone after cemetery officials caught on to the hidden message it sent. As such a unique piece of activism history, we'd hate to see it collecting dust when it can be out there getting the message out about KFC's real secret recipe. So now this piece of animal rights history can be yours just in time for Halloween, the creepiest holiday of the year—give or take Yom Kippur and Dia de Los Muertos. We're offering you the chance to own something that will scare the bejeepers out of your local trick-or-treaters. So head on over to eBay and make a bid—not only can you own a piece of animal rights history, you can help PETA put an end to the cruelty of KFC and other animal abusers as well.
Written by Jeff Mackey
If you're looking for a truly scary haunt this Halloween, look no further than Postville, Iowa–based Agriprocessors. Seriously folks, it's a real house of horrors for all living creatures. The kosher slaughterhouse is severely lacking when it comes to humane treatment of animals and humans. Here's a perfect example from one of our undercover investigations:
You may remember that a few months back the slaughterhouse was busted because "76% of the 968 employees of Agriprocessors were using false or fraudulent Social Security numbers." This was the nation's largest single-site immigration raid. That's right, the slaughterhouse was almost entirely staffed by illegal immigrants who were exploited to do the dirty work—such as hacking into the throats of cows who were still conscious.
Now, Agriprocessors has something of its own to scream and writhe in pain about. According to the Des Moines Register, the slaughterhouse "faces nearly $10 million in civil penalties for repeated violations of Iowa's wage laws between Jan. 1, 2006 and June 30." And it appears that cattle slaughter at the plant has stalled—which translates into millions of dollars lost for the meat industry. You can check out the specific fines here.
According to the article, Iowa Labor Commissioner Dave Neil said, "Once again, Agriprocessors has demonstrated a complete disregard for Iowa law."
In addition to the $10 million in state fines, Agriprocessors is in even more trouble with the feds. A human resources employee pled guilty to conspiracy and identity theft charges, and the former CEO (and owner's son) Sholom Rubashkin was just arrested on similar charges. Heads are rolling at Agriprocessors, but for once they're not bovine heads.
Remember how people were disgusted when we suggested putting human breast milk in ice cream? Compare that to the latest news story out of Australia—the one about the family of vacationers who discovered that, no, that wasn't chocolate ice cream; it was more of a dookie congelée. Now whose ice cream is gross, hmm?
That's right—a pair of guests at the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney were served a nice dish of gelato, complete with its own poop garnish. They believe that they were served the chocolate poo chunk as an act of "kitchen revenge"—the couple had complained about some loud music earlier that evening.
You know what my favorite part of this story is? That "DNA analysis is now being carried out to determine whether the poo was of human or (sic) animal origin." ("I went and threw up, obviously," the woman said. No kidding!)
On the other hand, as Alexia over at PETA Europe points out, is this so very much worse than the frozen secretions in milk? I mean, yeah, it is disgusting, but at least it's not full of pus, right? And hey, both get squeezed out of an animal. … I'm just sayin'.
And wait a minute—it's not like a lot of people aren't regularly eating poop anyway. Think about it: Animals on factory farms are stuck in their own waste all day long—is it any surprise that meat is so often contaminated with feces? And people wonder where salmonella comes from ….
Written by Amanda Schinke
While on the mend for a knee injury, University of Memphis basketball player Pierre Henderson-Niles put on a few pounds—about 70, to be precise. Temporarily stuck with a more sedentary lifestyle and still programmed to eat like the awesome athlete he was, Henderson-Niles jumped from 280 pounds to 350.
With guidance from his coach, John Calipari, he's now working hard to shed the pounds and get back his game, and we at PETA have a novel suggestion to help him manage his weight: go vegetarian.
By going vegetarian, Henderson-Niles would be aligning himself with a host of other successful athletes, including ultimate fighter Mac Danzig, NBA legend John Salley, Salim Stoudamire of the Atlanta Hawks, Kansas City Chiefs star Tony Gonzalez, and Carl Lewis, who was named "Olympian of the Century" by Sports Illustrated.
"[O]verwhelming scientific evidence shows that vegetarians are far less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters and much more likely to be in better overall health," wrote PETA Director Dan Shannon. "While lots of grease might be required to tame Coach Calipari's hair, choking down greasy chicken and ribs just makes people fat and causes heart disease." You can read Dan's full letter here.
Written by Sean Conner
Is there anything more surreal than surviving countless bouts of painfully truthful admissions from the number one most-feared judge on American reality television? Yeah, of course! Just ask Kellie Pickler. The country singer went head-to-head with Simon Cowell in season five of American Idol, but it turns out that she couldn't look her own food in the face and still finish her meal.
People Magazine reports that this country gal, who has been blazin' her own trail of stardom since her elimination from the show, has recently adopted a vegetarian diet. It looks like all that palling around with fellow vegetarian and friend Carrie Underwood has paid off—for Kellie's health and for animals. Oh, and did I mention that Kellie's decision was partly influenced by a Pamela Anderson television PSA that was put out by a somewhat well-known animal rights group that you might have heard of—ah, shucks, it was a PETA ad!
Kellie says: "One night I couldn't sleep, and I was up and just Googling random stuff, and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA.' I saw all the videos, and I just thought it was horrible. It's animal cruelty. A lot of it has to do with knowing what happens to the animals, and it really bothered me, and so I will not eat meat."
Props to Kellie for ditching her beefy ways. It's not always easy, especially when many of the songs in her music genre aren't so—shall we say—vegetarian-friendly. The former rare meat junkie says she already feels healthier, and that is a mighty good thing considering that she just released her self-titled second album.
Maybe on her next album she can sing about pigs in gestation crates or veal calves confined to tiny stalls. No?
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
A milk processing plant in California exploded on Monday. Seriously—it seems that a spark landed in some powdered milk, and the whole shebang went up like a powder keg—or perhaps we should say carton. Tee hee.
Injuries were kept to a minimum, thank goodness. Only one brave employee was wounded—he was helping firefighters navigate the plant, and he had to be treated for heat exhaustion. He's fine now, though!
The milk fire did, however, get pretty big—seven fire engines had to be called in, and the explosion blew a hole in the side of the building. Goodness gracious, we already knew about some of milk's explosive effects, but this is just ridiculous!
Because it pains me to go out on a fart joke, perhaps I'll call your attention to the other dangers that are associated with milk—like breast cancer, heart disease, and prostate cancer—not to mention all the baby calves for whom the dairy industry is, quite literally, deadly.
Also, milk will blow a hole in the side of your factory. I'm just sayin'.
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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.