Written by PETA
It's a hazy day here on the Right Coast. As I watch leaves fall and steam rise from my soy mocha, the mood is set for a lazy (yet highly skilled) meander through gossip rags for fun stuff. Here are my faves:
Thanks for stopping by! Catch you next time, and don't forget to hug all your vegetarian friends.
Written by Missy Lane
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
However, just so everyone is clear on this, there’s reason to believe that this may have been a stunt, and that some parts of this story (such as the starving of the dog) were actually fabricated for the sake of publicity. As this article in The Guardian notes,
“Juanita Bermúdez, director of the Códice Gallery, insisted [the dog] escaped after just one day. She said: ‘It was untied all the time except for the three hours the exhibition lasted and it was fed regularly with dog food [Vargas] himself brought in.’”
Whatever the cruel or weird game that Vargas is playing, if it turns out that he took this animal in and allowed her to go back out on the streets to fend for herself, he still needs to be held accountable for extreme cruelty to animals—but for the time being, the information is pretty patchy.
We’re currently investigating the incident, and I’ll update this blog if we get more information. In the meantime, whether Vargas intended it or not, this whole thing does provide an insight into human nature that will be worth considering once we’re able to look at the big picture: If we can muster up this degree of outrage about one incident of animal suffering, why are we any less horrified by the billions upon billions of similar or worse cases of abuse that we can personally help to prevent?
I’m just going to come out and say this: PETA is offering 1 million dollars (say it in your best Dr. Evil voice) to the first team of scientists that can develop a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro (lab-grown) chicken meat.
The figure was reached by a team of math nerds working in PETA’s basements who have determined that 1 million is actually very close to the number of chickens killed every hour in the United States—so there’s a nice element of symbolism to the offer as well. But symbolism aside—we’re deadly serious about helping to fund developments in this new science, which has the potential to end the suffering of literally billions of animals if a commercially viable lab meat is made available. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it:
"People are surprised to learn that PETA is interested in lab-grown meat, but we have overcome our own revulsion at flesh-eating to champion a breakthrough that will mean a far kinder world for animals. One million dollars is a lot of money, but it's a small price to pay for something that has the potential to save about 1 million lives every hour."
To qualify for the prize, scientists in the field must be able to produce a quantity of meat that is sufficient to market in at least 10 U.S. states at a price that is competitive with prevailing chicken prices.
There’s plenty more information on our contest page. Once you’ve had a look at it, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from both vegetarians and meat-eaters—would you eat lab meat?
In an exclusive interview with PETA, Sir Paul McCartney has a lot to say about why eating meat is the worst thing you can do for the environment. I just want to say this one more time, so I can relish the moment: Exclusive. Paul McCartney. Interview. OK, I’m going to shut up now, and let the man talk.
What do you think is the most personal change a person can make in their own lifestyle to help the environment? Some people often think recycling and taking shorter showers is all they need to do. What wouldyou add?
I think the biggest change anyone could make in their own lifestyle would be to become vegetarian. Although this may seem to some like an unusual answer, the Global Meat Industry and the land & water required to service it is one of the major contributors to Global Warming. This surprising fact has emerged in research over the past fewyears. So I would urge everyone to think about taking this simple step to help our precious environment and save it for the children of the future.
What do you think about the fact that most major environmental organizations and the most prominent environmental advocates are omitting vegetarianism from their list of the top ways to help curtail global warming?
I think it's very surprising that most major environmental organisations are leaving the option of going vegetarian off their lists of top ways to curtail global warming. Of course there are many powerful businesses which would wish to resist this idea but it is becoming clearer that a simple change in peoples' lifestyles could make a major difference to our environment. What is interesting is that nowadays it is so easy to become vegetarian and so many people are reducing meat in their diet. That is a simple but extremely effective step that many people could take to help the environment and improve their own health at the same time.
How do you feel about the disappearance of birds, other wild animals and natural places around the globe?
It is such a pity that the wildlife and natural places of this beautiful planet we inhabit are being destroyed by thoughtless industrialization. This scandal can be halted and there are hopeful signs that people are starting to realize that this must be done to secure a brighter future for our children and theirs.
What do you feel is the best step for a person who is concerned about over-fishing, marine pollution and the clear-cutting of the ocean floor by commercial fisheries, to take?
Unfortunately many people seem to think that vegetarians eat fish but this is not so and when you consider the over fishing, the marine pollution and the huge damage to our precious oceans that are caused by commercial fishing it becomes obvious that a vegetarian lifestyle would greatly improve our environment and help to save ouroceans. The surprising thing is that even though many of us, including me, were brought up as traditional meat and fish eaters, it is a simple matter these days and an exciting one to consider changing your diet to a healthier one which not only brings benefits to the person who does it but also to the planet as a whole.
"Morrissey never dined at STK nor did we report that he did, but as a matter of policy, of course, STK welcomes him and vegetarians of all stripes. There's loads of vegetarian options: roasted beet, organic arugula and hearts of romaine salads; nine vegetable options … and on and on."
And as far as the second point is concerned, you can read my dissertation on the subject here.
Morrissey’s rep also very kindly contacted us last night to alert us to the STK statement and point out that the TMZ piece “also erroneously alluded to a disagreement between Morrissey and PETA who remain mutual supporters and admirers.” True dat!
Following discussions with PETA about the extremely unpleasant habit that Australian Farmers have of mutilating lambs in their care, Hugo Boss has announced that it will phase out the use of Australian wool that comes from lambs who have undergone the mutilation. Here’s what they said:
"HUGO BOSS disassociates itself from mulesing because it contravenes our corporate values … [and] has decided to phase out the use of wool from farms that perform mulesing—including clip mulesing. Should mulesing not have ended completely by 2010, HUGO BOSS will refuse to purchase wool material from farms that perform mulesing."
Hugo Boss isn’t the only company to make such a compassionate decision this month—IC Companys (the massive Danish clothing retailer), has also pledged to get all their wool from outside Australia until the Aussie sheep farmers can figure out a way to raise animals that doesn’t involve slicing them up with gardening shears. Both companies have also rejected the ridiculous “clip mulesing” alternative, which involves using clips to clamp down on the sheep’s skin so tightly that it dies. So the farmers are going to have to figure something out that’s actually humane. We’ve got tons of suggestions.
But don’t take it from me, take it from Kathie Lee! She reminded people that they can donate their old furs to PETA on the Today Show this week. There’s more info on how to go about it here. We give the furs to homeless shelters, wildlife rehabbers, and activists (who use them in anti-fur demonstrations). Many thanks to Kathie Lee for the plug.
Some traditions, regardless of how much fun they may have seemed a hundred years ago, need to just go ahead and die. And any “tradition” that involves beating and abusing living beings needs to do so sooner rather than later. Of course that doesn’t always mean you have to stop doing something you were way into—it just means you have to stop doing the part of it that was stupid and ill-thought-out in the first place. People who can’t live without old-timey rides in New York City, for instance, can still have them after we win our campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city. As this recent article in The New York Post explains in more detail, we want the city’s politicians to replace the carriages with "green" replicas of antique cars like the Ford Model T. I’m way into the idea. What do you think?
In case you've missed the more-or-less nonstop coverage of the Pope's visit to the U.S., here are some pics from his recent appearance in DC. Some of my colleagues were on hand to remind attendees that being a good Christian means being kind to all beings. Which is a sentiment that Pope Benedict has backed up himself, speaking out very eloquently on the cruelty of factory farms.
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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.