Written by PETA
Brattleboro, Vermont, is well-known for its “unique” public nudity laws, so a couple of brave PETA members went down there last week to test them out with a “Bare Skin, Don’t Wear Skin” demonstration. Check out the great pics below, and, as soon as you (a) turn 18 and (b) get home from work, click here to check out the demonstration from, um, behind.
All day today, PETA protesters and hundreds of members of the public stood outside the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia, to call for vigorous prosecution of Michael Vick and the three other men charged in this horrific dogfighting case. Although this story is the first glimpse for many people of exactly what dogfighting is all about, the real tragedy here is that the kind of abuse detailed in Vick's indictment is as widespread as it is horrific. In the last year alone, PETA has responded to more than 14,000 calls and e-mails regarding other dogfighting and individual cruelty-to-animals cases. It's great that there has been so much outrage over this case, and we're certainly going to keep pushing to make sure that it is treated with the utmost seriousness by the courts—as well as by Vick's sponsors and the NFL—but the next step is going to be getting policymakers and law enforcement officers to treat all cases of dogfighting and animal cruelty the same way that they have been prosecuting this case, which happens to be under scrutiny from the media.
The good news is that this is already beginning to happen on the federal level. According to a press release from Senator John Kerry's office today, the senator has announced that he is "introducing legislation to finally eliminate dogfighting, which has been targeted by federal and state laws but by all accounts is more popular than ever." A copy of the proposed bill can be found here, and you can read our thank you letter to Senator Kerry and expression of support for the bill here.
As regular readers of this blog will know, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk is a huge fan of Formula 1 racing. Which means that she is incredibly knowledgeable about things like who has the best pit crew or which motor oil is better. Well, with the nation focused on dogfighting right now following the Michael Vick indictment, a Castrol Motor Oil ad that has been running on SPEED TV which appears to glorify the blood sport has been rightly upsetting a lot of animal lovers. Here's what Ingrid wrote to the company:
"As you know, Michael Vick, NIKE, and the NFL are in the deserved hot seat now for not immediately resigning, pulling ads, and pulling Mr. Vick, respectively. Your ad is "a fight to the death" in a back alley. Everyone realizes that cars don't fight to the death, dogs are made to. It has a sign saying "FIGHT" on the makeshift fence and on your site it refers to it as the "sickest" contest. … I have used your product for decades, even loved smelling it in the old days at the racetrack before synthetics came along, and hate to see a furor over Castrol. Thank you. Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA"
After Ingrid contacted Castrol about the ad, the company immediately responded by assuring us that that while their ad agency was thinking "boxing match," they recognized that the imagery associated with the text implied a dogfight, and they're already working to revise their commercial so that no one will get the impression that dogfighting is something to be anything other than horrified by. With the massive attention to this issue that Vick's case has created, I'm hoping that this will be just one in a long chain of events that will see the blood sport condemned, prosecuted, and ultimately wiped out for good. Thanks, Castrol, for doing the right thing—and thanks to everyone who contacted us about this.
Welcome to Day 7 of the Michael Vick dogfighting indictment. PETA is still being inundated with calls and emails about the case, and we’re still working round the clock to make sure that the NFL and Vick’s sponsors send a real message to fans about the cruelty of dogfighting, rather than just sitting around to see what will happen next. I’ll have some more updates for you in a little while, but in the meantime, here are some great photos from today’s PETA demonstration outside Falcons HQ. You can be certain that there’s more where that came from.
Read PETA’s letter to the NFL Player’s Association
MSNBC covers the story
Falcons owner expected to take action (finally)
Tell the NFL to “Sack Vick”
About an hour ago, PETA campaigners and activists converged on NFL HQ in New York to urge Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL to suspend Michael Vick in light of his recent indictment for alleged involvement in the horrific cruelty associated with dogfighting—including allegations that he was killing dogs by hanging, slamming them to the ground, drowning, and electrocuting them. Surrounded by reporters and TV news crews, more than 75 activists lined the streets in front of the NFL building, holding signs reading “NFL: Sack Vick,” handing out stickers and leaflets to passersby, and making it abundantly clear—just in case Goodell hasn’t figured it out yet—that the NFL’s weak response to Vick’s case is unacceptable.
The massive turnout at this demonstration should be indication enough to Goodell that his decision to allow Vick to play in spite of these disturbing charges is going to be a major PR headache for the NFL, to say the least. Here’s what PETA President Ingrid Newkirk had to say about the NFL’s “wait and see” attitude in a statement to the media yesterday:
“Forget that unless space aliens were on Vick's property putting up an invisibility shield, it is impossible that Vick didn't know (let alone sponsor a fighting dog), that the house he built included designs for dog training facilities and that his relatives were fighting, kenneling, training, housing training equipment, and killing dogs there. There was a time when people under fire for corruption let alone criminal cruelty, resigned. That honorable moment has passed because of the Almighty Dollar. If he won't do the right thing by stepping down until this is resolved (and I'll put a sporting bet on his conviction), the NFL should suspend him. Is the new America only about money or do we still cling to some values? In the courts he may be innocent until proven guilty, and that's fair and fine, but in professional or political life, we have to have a higher standard than "hey, keep raking it in until we see if he gets off.”
The protest was covered on ESPN, and you can watch an interview with PETA’s own Dan Shannon that took place during the demonstration here.
I’ll let you know as soon as there’s more news, but in the meantime, you may want to get your very own “Sack Vick” T-shirt. Love it.
"When Linda died I said I would support cancer charities. Animal rights groups wrote to me pointing out that many were heavily into vivisection - and it's true. A doctor we knew out in America just admitted it as a matter of fact, innocently, like 'Well, sure we do.' What he doesn't realise is that he won't get a donation out of me for that very fact. There are better alternatives but you're not allowed to challenge the status quo."
This sends a clear message to animal experimenters and the charities that fund them that it’s high time to pull their heads out of the sand and embrace modern effective non-animal research.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Alistair.
For a list of charities that do and don’t fund animal experiments, check out this link.
PETA has never been one to let clothes get in the way of a good protest, and this Holiday season is no exception. In Philadelphia this Wednesday, a few lovely PETA ladies let the folks over at Burberry know that they'd rather go naked than wear fur. For anyone who is particularly literal-minded, I should point out that there are countless great alternatives to fur other than Christmas hats, high heels, and your birthday suit, but if you really want people to listen to what you're saying, I highly recommend it as a wardrobe choice.
P.S. If you're planning on doing any last-minute shopping, may I suggest giving Burberry the cold shoulder this Christmas? It'll be good for them in the long run, and fur-bearing animals will be much obliged.
I found this in The Oregonian this morning:
Schumacher Furs & Outerwear, after 111 years of business and one solid year of fervent animal-rights protests, is hanging it up in Portland. …
According to the article, Gregg Schumacher, who owned the place, was all whiney and sad about having to close down his store, but I have to admit I had trouble mustering up a whole lot of sympathy. As In Defense of Animals' Matt Rossell put it,
"I'm sure he'll try to present himself as a victim, as he always does. … The reality, though, is the animals are the victims, not Gregg Schumacher."
In related news, there have been some monumental strides against fur recently in the cartoon world. Forbes just released a survey of cartoon villains and found that Cruella de Vil has had a sharp dropoff in popularity "as demand for fur coats plummeted." And in last week's Simpsons episode, animal rights crusader Lisa Simpson became a PETA member and doused Krusty with a can of red paint. It has to be admitted that victories in the cartoon world aren't exactly PETA's primary goal, but they're nice all the same.
Burberry, still reeling from PETA UK's little visit to their London store last week, got another unpleasant surprise this afternoon when four activists showed up at their 57th Street store in New York. Here's how it went down, according to one of the campaigners who was there:
Two activists went in the store with posters while 2 more waited outside with their bloody fur coats inside out and tucked under their arms. The 2 activists inside were picked up by security (literally) and removed from the store, but not before one activist managed to get inside the Burberry store window and start spreading fake blood all over…
Meanwhile, on the outside, the protesters spread fake blood all over the window display, summed up the finer points of the fur issue for passersby with chants like "Burberry tortures animals!" and (for the visual learners in the crowd) used TVs strapped to their bodies to show footage of animals being skinned alive for their fur. Check it out:
More pics after the jump.
The fine people of Britain weigh in on naked protests for animals.
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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.