Written by PETA
After years of trying to persuade Mary Kate and Ashley to stop flouncing around in dead animals, those impish provocateurs over at peta2 have launched a full-fledged campaign to shame the twins into ditching the fur coats and giving up their thoughtless (and persistent) promotion of the fur industry. As damaging as this campaign may be to the Olsens’ reputation, it wasn’t without its share of blood, sweat, and tears for us—as your self-sacrificing PETA blogger had to watch about 40 cumulative hours of Full House to pull this video together (I still wake up in the middle of the night humming that profoundly disturbing theme song). If you have a few minutes to spare, you should definitely check out the brand-new Trollsen Twins site,* which also features a dress-up game and an online store, then write to the Olsens here to tell them to just stop it already. But first check out Full House of Horrors. It might just change your life.
*This site didn’t just make itself—a huge thank you is due to Karen Nilsen (who designed the whole thing), Elizabeth O’Mara (who pulled it all together), and Jamie Linder (who, in the course of filming and editing the video, had to see me naked—for which I apologize from the very bottom of my heart).
When we announced our top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks, part of the idea was to encourage more people to check out a game or two at those stadiums and sample their vegetarian fare. Same sort of deal with our top 10 colleges—one effect of publicizing their veg-friendly cafeterias was that more people would want to go there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if this latest top 10 list gets you all amped about the prospect of going to one of these prisons, you may want to set some slightly more ambitious goals for yourself … but for the people who—through bad luck or poor planning—are on their way there, this will come as some very good news.
We get calls all the time from inmates who want to make a positive change in their lives by going vegetarian, and in the course of responding to these individuals, we’ve assembled the following list of the top 10 vegetarian-friendly prisons in the United States as a tidbit for curious citizens, a resource for prisoners’ rights groups, and, well, a menu for future inmates. Whichever category you fall into, I hope you enjoy it.
Click here to read Newsweek’s coverage of the story, and check out the top 10 below:
Hundreds of PETA members and other concerned citizens gathered outside the Michael Vick hearing in Richmond today to ask that the court send a message to any dogfighters that this horrific blood sport will not be tolerated, and that its practitioners will be penalized to the fullest extent of the law. The latest news is that Michael Vick has been sentenced to 23 months in prison, which is almost twice the amount initially recommended by prosecutors. We’re still waiting to hear for certain whether he has received a ban on contact with animals, which is an essential provision in any cruelty case, given the high likelihood of repeat offenses where animal abuse is concerned.
Vick will be facing state charges following his federal sentencing, and we’re calling on State Prosecutor Gerald Poindexter to consider this case with the same seriousness that has been applied to his federal sentencing—i.e., to make sure this admitted animal torturer is made to answer in full for the crimes he has committed. I’ll post updates with any breaking news as this case develops, but in the meantime, you can write to Mr. Poindexter through this page to remind him that vigorous prosecution is essential in cruelty cases like this one in order to prevent repeat offenses and to deter others from committing similar crimes.
Given the high-profile nature of this case, the statement made today and at the state proceeding will have a far-reaching effect on prosecution of dogfighters for years to come, and we need to ensure that Mr. Poindexter follows in the footsteps of the federal authorities and demonstrates for the countless people following this case that Virginia will not tolerate cruelty to animals.
That’s right, it’s time for another arbitrary assortment of at least tangentially animal-related links that I’m too lazy to write a full post about. Actually, that doesn’t sound very appealing at all. Ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome to this week’s Internet Soup—a wild and wacky collection of the latest animal rights news, videos, and photos painstakingly researched by everybody’s favorite PETA blogger* and served up piping hot with a pithy little introduction that’s guaranteed to tantalize and amuse! Here we go:
Hopefully that’ll be enough to tide you over through the weekend, and if you’re in the mood for something a little more arcane, you can always check out my fictional blog—a little slice of the 17th century that my closest friends have described as “completely unreadable.”
And finally, we’re going to be doing a bit of maintenance on the ol’ blog this weekend, so the comments may be down for a little while, but everything will be up and running by Monday. Have a good weekend!
*That’s right, Amy and Karen. I said it.
Australian supermodel Imogen Bailey has helped us with numerous campaigns over the years, speaking out on issues as diverse as the fur industry, rodeos, and elephants in captivity. And she’s just launched a whole new website devoted to educating people about animal rights and giving animal-lovers a forum to discuss the issues. So I wanted to give it a quick shout out: You can check out Imogen Bailey’s ImForAnimals here. But before you go, have a look at this stunning ad she made to let people know about the cruelty behind rodeos. You’re a star, Imogen.
This one’s for our campaign to encourage Chicago to maintain its ban on foie gras. With a different slogan, it could probably also be pressed into service as a reminder to tip your waiters. Either way, I’m a big fan of it. It features the wonderful Brooke Johnson, and a plea to Chicago’s alderman to put a stop to the hideous practice of force-feeding ducks and geese so that rich people can pretend there’s something civilized about chewing on their livers. Check it out:
This news pretty much made my day. According to Britain’s The Independent, Madrid’s state radio and television network has left bullfighting off of its “obligatory programming” list for the first time since it started showing the bloody spectacle back in the deezy. The pro-bullfighting lobby was quick to announce that this is no big deal and won’t affect the popularity of the blood sport. The following is a transcript of an imaginary conversation I just had with the pro-bullfighting lobby:
Pro-bullfighting lobby: “Whatever. This won’t affect the popularity of our event.”Jack: “Yes, pro-bullfighting lobby, it will. When your country’s television station takes your event off the air, it actually is a big deal. Just look what happened to the XFL.”Pro-bullfighting lobby: “What the hell is the XFL?”Jack: "Exactly."
You can read the full article here.
Eva Mendes—the gorgeous star of Training Day, Hitch, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Ghost Rider, and most recently the brilliant We Own the Night featuring Mark Wahlberg and our old friend Joaquin Phoenix—is also the new face of our winter anti-fur campaign. Once you’ve had a long look at this stunning new anti-fur ad, take a deep breath and check out what Eva had to say when she sat down with us for this PETA Files exclusive interview about what led her to speak out about the cruel treatment of animals in the fur industry:
How did you come to get involved with helping animals? Did you have any animal companions growing up?
I love animals, but I hadn't had a pet since I was a kid. I recently got a dog and he's not only made me a happier girl—he's made me much more sympathetic to animal rights. I look at my beautiful dog and think, "Of course I'd never eat him or skin him for his fur, so why would I be okay with eating a cow or wearing a cheetah?" It's just not right. It's a contradiction.
Do you have any animals? Can you tell us about them?
I recently got the most beautiful dog in the world! He's the sweetest thing ever. He's fully trained and all his commands are in French. Too cute! So I'm learning French and he's learning Spanish!
What drew you to the idea of working with PETA on our "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" Campaign?
I wasn't familiar with PETA early in my career. I remember having my first premiere in New York City and being so naive that I didn't have a coat with me. My stylist sent me a fur wrap for the evening and I ignorantly wore it.
PETA then wrote me a beautiful letter commenting on my less-than-educated choice. I was so impressed that I vowed to them and myself to never wear real fur on the red carpet or in my life again.
As a fashion icon in Hollywood, do you find that people put pressure on you to wear fur on the red carpet? If so, how do you handle that?
A lot of the high-end designers are unfortunately still big on fur, but I simply let them know that I won't wear it on the red carpet or for photo shoots. People are pretty respectful and don't try to pressure me to wear fur (smart for them … haha).
Can you tell us about the projects you are working on right now and also about your film We Own The Night?
We Own The Night is a crime thriller set in the late 1980s about two brothers on opposite sides of the law. I play the girlfriend of Joaquin Phoenix, a manager for a club involved with the Russian Mafia, whose brother (played by Mark Wahlberg) is a cop targeting the Mafia for drug involvement. It's a great cast, and it was such a thrill to play opposite actors like Joaquin, Mark, and Robert Duvall. I've also just finished filming The Women, which was very cool, and I’m just starting a really amazing project called The Spirit.
What issue involving animals is dearest to your heart? Also, you have a lot of fans out there which gives you a powerful platform to reach people and make a difference: What is your message to them about having compassion and getting active to help animals?
I'd say the closest animal rights issue to me right now is being anti-fur. I feel like in recent years, due to pop culture, fur has made a comeback. Some people still see wearing fur as glamorous and a sign of prosperity. Personally I think wearing a baby chinchilla says, "I'm ignorant," vs. saying "I'm a badass." I don't think you can force people to change their attitudes, but you can help to educate them and to lead by example. … There are way too many amazing faux fur options out there for people to still be wearing real fur. I want people to know that there are options; that killing a poor animal and wearing it isn't cool. But respecting all life forms is cool. Very cool.
You may remember the uproar surrounding our recent investigation into the Oregon National Primate Research Center, which found apparent violations of animal protection laws and monkeys who were living in constant fear, confined to small cages and traumatized by rough handling. Well, the latest news we’re hearing from Oregon is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is charged with responding to animal abuse complaints such as this one, has investigated the ONPRC and come up with nothing. A representative of ONPRC, Michael Conn, responded to these reports with the following little piece of Orwellian spin:
"Our business involves offering hope to people with disease. My colleagues and I will not be deterred by extremist organizations or those who choose to campaign based on false information and harassment."
The “false information” that Mr. Conn is referring to is incontrovertible video evidence from a painstaking four-month investigation that yielded extensive documentation of abuse, mishandling, and bad practice at the institution. What he means by “harassment,” I can only assume, is the fact that PETA dared to bring the ONPRC’s dirty secrets to the attention of the public. And, of course, when Conn talks about “offering hope to people with disease,” he is presumably referring to the fact that his organization takes the public’s money to perform redundant and inconclusive experiments on defenseless animals—including injecting pregnant monkeys with nicotine and killing their babies to investigate just how bad smoking is for you, and psychologically abusing infant primates to study whether trauma is traumatic.
PETA’s Director of Research, Kathy Guillermo, responded to these reports today with the following letter to the editor. Check it out, and then watch the video of our investigation for yourself to decide whether the primate center deserves anything short of being shut down forever.
Editor:If the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) really has found no problems at the primate center, either the law needs to change or the inspectors do. The evidence gathered by PETA’s investigator was shattering: Monkeys screamed in terror as employees chased them around gang cages, grabbed them and pinned their arms behind their backs. An infant monkey, taken from her own mother rocked inconsolably on the floor of a cage, clutching her arm—her only source of comfort. Monkeys, cornered in their small cages, couldn’t escape the needle-sharp spray of high pressure hoses. Animals driven mad by confinement and isolation whirled in their cages, unable to find comfort. See video of all this at StopAnimalTests.com. More likely, this is a shameful whitewash by the primate center, and this inspection is just one part of a larger, ongoing investigation. It would be impossible to examine fully—in just 2 days—every example of abuse PETA’s investigator documented. USDA inspectors normally spend many, many months, reviewing documents, photos and video, and interviewing the whistleblower. The real tragedy is that the primate center continues to make disingenuous excuses rather than taking meaningful action to alleviate the terrible suffering witnessed by PETA’s investigator.Sincerely, Kathy GuillermoDirector of Research
The British Olympic committee is off to a lovely start. They’ve evidently refused to allow an animal rescue group to save feral cats living in a colony on the future site of Olympic Park in London. What this means, in effect, is that these animals will be starved, crushed, and buried before building begins for the British Olympics. Not exactly the most auspicious foundation on which to construct the British Olympic hopes—and, given that an animal rescue group is standing by to take care of the problem in a humane way, it’s just not an acceptable way of carrying on.
Please click here to tell the British Olympic Delivery Authority to stop being such a bunch of heartless bureaucrats and allow the Celia Hammond Animal Trust to save the feral cats at Olympic Park before demolition begins. Thanks.
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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.