Written by PETA
Update: If you missed the broadcast (or it didn't air in your neck of the woods) you can check out No Country for Animals here.
Tonight, our northern neighbors will get a big dose of animal rights when No Country for Animals airs on television. We haven't seen it yet, but we're optimistic that the documentary, which was cowritten, coproduced, and narrated by Global National anchor Kevin Newman, will give Canadians valuable information about cruelty to animals in their country and the many ways that they can alleviate it. I'm hoping for Food, Inc. meets I Am an Animal with a Canadian flair. What do you think?
Regarding No Country for Animals, Newman says, "We looked at the percentage of animal abuse cases that get convicted in Canada: 0.01 per cent. I can't think of another crime where 99.9 per cent of people charged with it get off. So, something is wrong with the law. It hasn't changed since the Criminal Code was written in the 19th century and it treats animals as property, as having no more rights than a table."
The documentary airs today at 10 p.m. Eastern time, so check your local listings! Watch it tonight with friends and family or anyone else you can find—and then share your review in the comments section below.
Written by Karin Bennett
For years, PETA has been appealing to the leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to do away with three roadside zoos in Cherokee, North Carolina, where bears are forced to live in concrete pits and cramped cages. Almost a year ago, we accompanied animal advocate Bob Barker to make a personal appeal to Principal Chief Michell Hicks, but even Bob was rebuffed. And despite our having presented the U.S. Department of Agriculture with reams of evidence that these cruel conditions violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, that agency has yet to act.
So we're changing our approach. Our private and public appeals to release the bears haven't convinced Cherokee leaders or federal officials that bears who pace back and forth, walk in circles, cry, whimper, fight with one another, and beg visitors for food are under extreme psychological and physical stress. But maybe if we hit the Cherokee leaders in the wallet, they just might rethink their decision to keep these animals in pits. So we are erecting four billboards on highways leading to Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa's Land imploring travelers to drive right past these awful tourist traps.
Please let the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians know that your vacation plans will take you right past Cherokee until the bears are retired to a sanctuary.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Hurrah! Hard work pays off: The Catalan parliament in Spain has voted to ban bullfighting! It was clear that no other outcome was possible after officials were presented with the signatures of 180,000 people who don't believe that bulls should be stabbed to death for entertainment. According to a 2009 Gallup survey, 76 per cent of Spaniards have no interest in attending or supporting bullfights, and public condemnation of this bloody spectacle is growing worldwide. Cities and towns all over the world have taken positions against bullfighting, joining Spain's Canary Islands, which voted to ban bullfighting back in 1991.
Earlier this month, PETA U.K. and the Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis joined forces to give the bulls a say—check it out.
Saucy Spanish entertainer Charo is also jumping for joy in the wake of this news, as she has been working to end bullfighting for years. "I'm more proud to be Spanish today than on any other day of my life," Charo said. "This shows that the new generation in Spain wants to lose this barbaric tradition. And I look forward to doing the cuchi cuchi at PETA's gala in September to celebrate!"
Charo recently joined forces with PETA to fight bullfighting. You can join Charo in speaking out against bullfighting by asking Spain's Prime Minister to ban the cruel blood sport throughout the country.
This week's "Win It" Wednesday prize just might be our most scentsational ever: The big winner will receive a bottle of fragrance of his or her choice from A Perfume Organic—and sample sets will go to three runners-up. Ah, if ever there were a time for virtual scratch and sniff ...
For your chance to win, simply describe the "Sweet Smell of Success"—not the movie—the compassionate action that you took to help an animal, an action that was particularly meaningful to both the animal and you. Here's my example: Years ago, I became a "nosy neighbor" who helped an old, ailing "backyard dog" out of a miserable, neglectful situation. Sheba found relief, and I realized that it's not enough to "wish away" an animal's suffering—one must take action.
The person who describes the most moving "compaction" (compassion + action = compaction) will win a perfume of his or her choice, and three others who offer rousing accounts will each win a sample pack.
Proper permits in hand, PETA Asia conducted a vegetarian awareness demonstration in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday. Braving the searing heat and the crowds of onlookers, PETA Asia Lettuce Lady Amina Tariq proved that she was truly a hero for animals—the event lasted only a few minutes before police officers dragged the lovely lady of leafy greens into a police car and detained her at police headquarters for more than three hours.
The Quran states that animals are communities and nations unto themselves; they are more than just resources for us to use. But on factory farms, animals are treated as nothing but machines. They are confined to tiny spaces and are routinely debeaked, dehorned, castrated, and branded—all without painkillers. During slaughter, many animals are still kicking and crying out as their throats are cut. "Halal" should be synonymous with "humane," but an investigation of a Halal slaughterhouse in India found that animals have been skinned and have had their limbs hacked off while they were still alive—methods that would clearly make the meat taken from these animals haram (forbidden).
Inspired by Amina? Do the right thing for your health, your spirit, and animals by taking our pledge to adopt a vegan diet.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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.
As they say in showbiz, "It's a wrap." I'm referring to the efforts of PETA and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest to convince Dodge officials to show that they care about animal "actors" like Suzie, a young chimpanzee who appears in the company's recent ad.
As soon as we learned about the ad, we contacted Dodge's president and CEO, Ralph Gilles, with details about troubling training methods that can include abuse delivered via fists, sticks, and clubs. We also shared information from chimpanzee expert Sarah Baeckler's undercover investigation of a Hollywood training facility. Dodge officials were quick to decide to edit Suzie out of the commercial. And just like that, Dodge joins Travelers Insurance, AT&T, and Europcar, companies that have pulled or altered ads with great apes in just the last month after being contacted by PETA.
There's still reason to be concerned about Suzie's safety: An anonymous whistleblower from the set of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva contacted PETA after witnessing a trainer allegedly pulling on Suzie's hair and ears and yelling so loudly and threateningly that little Suzie cowered and tried to hide. The episode featuring Suzie aired on July 25.
Now we'd like to direct you to "Action!"—for animals, that is. First, please head over to Dodge's Facebook page to thank the company for being responsive and behaving responsibly in editing Suzie out of its campaign. Then urge Lifetime Television to promise not to exploit chimpanzees for any future television shows.
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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.