Written by PETA
And here's your chance to vote on the best caption for this week's 10%
Wool cartoon! Here's
how it works: People read Jeff's comic below and submitted their own caption
that they think best complements the image. We've chosen three user-submitted
captions that we think best complement the strip, and now it's your chance to
vote for which of the three you think should be crowned victor. Our winner will
walk away with a black
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Don't forget to check out the archive of past 10% Wool comic strips and get more information on
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Voting will end October 25, 2011, and we'll announce the winner and showcase
the winning caption in a blog post on October 27, 2011.
Knut, the polar bear cub who was the toast of the Berlin Zoo four short years ago, is dead. He was only 4 years old.
trespassers william/cc by 2.0
Months ago, PETA Germany had warned the head of the zoo that Knut was being terrorized by his three female companions, one being his mother, Tosca, (who had once been used in a circus.) He was under constant stress. PETA Germany repeatedly asked zoo authorities to move Knut away from the three females to a different location. Like most captive polar bears, Knut paced incessantly and bobbed his head repeatedly, signs of captivity-induced mental illness common in bears. One German zoologist termed Knut a "psychopath" but zoo officials insisted Knut was “fine.”
Previously, the zoo had tried to unload the less-cute (and less lucrative) adult Knut to another zoo. "It's time for him to go--the sooner he gets a new home the better. Anything else would be financially irresponsible,” said the zoo’s senior bear keeper. The plans were scrapped in the face of public opposition. Polar bears naturally roam vast Arctic expanses and open water—which no zoo can provide. An Oxford University study found that polar bears suffer physical and mental anguish in captivity and noted that a polar bear’s typical enclosure size is about one-millionth of his or her minimum home-range size.
People who care about bears should refuse to buy a ticket to any zoo that profits from their misery.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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.
Written by Karin Bennett
How could we not plug the new, adorable polar bears at the Saint Louis Zoo? After all, we are all about the zoo of the future, and this zoo exhibit is unlike anything we've ever seen before. Instead of flesh-and-blood bears, the zoo is currently displaying electric proxies, and we couldn't be more thrilled.
A study out of the University of Oxford determined that polar bears fare especially poorly in captive situations. These large, roving predators develop neurotic behaviors because of stress when kept in captivity because they are unable to satisfy their instinct to roam. The report noted that "a polar bear's typical enclosure size, for example, is about one-millionth of its minimum home-range size," and the authors concluded that "the keeping of naturally wide-ranging carnivores should be either fundamentally improved or phased out."
The Saint Louis Zoo has a miserable record of polar bear "care." Four years ago, a polar bear named Churchill ate a toxic meal of cloth and plastic and died during his subsequent stomach surgery. Just one month later, the polar bear Penny died from infection. She had two dead fetuses inside her uterus, though zoo officials didn't know she was pregnant. Hope, the zoo's last surviving polar bear, was euthanized earlier this year after veterinarians discovered she had cancer.
We're hoping that the zoo maintains its merry instillation year-round, making every day a cause for polar bears to celebrate. And if they decide that the still-lives don't quite cut it, we'd love to see the zoo invest in animatronic bears that look and act like the real things.
Written by Logan Scherer
Beachgoers at Puri Beach in Orissa, India, were greeted by a little more than just sun and surf yesterday. PETA India recognized World Environmental Day with a giant sand sculpture of a polar bear crushed beneath a larger-than-life shoe and a sign that read, "Your carbon footprints have leather shoes." You can catch the full story here.
The 10-foot-tall sand sculpture coincided with PETA India's new environmental campaign, highlighting the harmful effects that the leather industry has on the environment. And given that India is one of the top producers of leather, the sculpture is perfectly fitting, I'd say.
Leather products full of chemicals, dyes, oils, and finishes cause irreversible devastation not only to the world's waterways and ecosystems but also to human health. And the cruelty involved with the leather industry isn't any better—since leather is the most important byproduct of the meat industry, leather production directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses. And according to a 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gasses than all trucks, cars, planes, and ships in the world combined. The damage caused by India's leather industry makes the country a major contributor to global warming and the further endangerment of polar bears and their natural habitat.
I think PETA India's N.G. Jayasimha puts it best when he says, "Consumers can save polar bears and cows at the same time by giving leather products the boot." And well, we tend to agree.
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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.