Written by Jeff Mackey
Following her marriage to Prince William earlier this year, Kate Middleton—now the Duchess of Cambridge—became a role model for young people in Britain and around the world. That's why we were thrilled to learn that during her first Christmas with the Royal family this year, Kate has chosen to forgo shooting in the annual Boxing Day pheasant hunt.
The Duchess' decision (which would make a great romance-novel title) comes on the heels of a letter sent to her last week by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, asking Kate to follow the example of Princess Diana, who did not believe in hunting for "sport," and to stay away from the bloody Christmas tradition. As Ingrid explained, the pheasants used in these shoots are raised in intensive confinement, and if they aren't killed outright during the shoot, their necks are wrung. Many are simply left to bleed to death.
If you're going home for the holidays and family members begin telling you about their hunting habits, tell them to close their eyes and think of England—and its queen-to-be, who, as Ingrid phrased it, "rather than emulating Diana the Huntress, is taking after Diana, the Princess of Hearts."
Written by PETA
Hasn't anyone ever told the Royal family that it's highly impolite not to answer letters? Lucky for animals, the beautiful, talented, and outspoken Pink is not discouraged that the Royals have failed to respond to her—not once, but twice!
Attempt 1: Five years ago, the longtime PETA supporter turned down an invitation from Prince William to perform at his 21st birthday party. She declined because of his hunting habits, and then posed a question of her own to the future king, asking him why he hunted animals at all. And … she's still waiting. Maybe he is too busy, or maybe he hasn't figured out why. You choose.
Even with her brand-new album, Funhouse, scheduled for release October 28 and an insanely hectic schedule, the singer has not forgotten about Prince William's lack of response, recently saying, "It's a bit rude, isn't it?"
Attempt 2: This time, Pink challenged The Queen. The star asked Queen Elizabeth II why the bear fur on The Queen's Guards' caps hasn't been replaced with a synthetic, cruelty-free material, as PETA Europe has suggested repeatedly.
Perhaps the Royal family needs to pass more Royal edicts, like this one from Prince Charles, who kicked foie gras off all Royal menus this year.
And seriously, respond to Pink's letter. She's waiting, PETA's waiting, and the bears are waiting. This rock star means business … have you seen that billboard in Times Square?!
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
We at PETA have long loved Zappos.com for its amazing selection of leather-free shoes. In fact, we recently ranked Zappos.com the number one best vegan shoe retailer. So needless to say, when we found out that Zappos.com was selling lots of fur products, we were none too pleased.
Back in August, we wrote to the company about this, urging it to adopt a fur-free policy. At the time, the company said that it would look into the issue to gauge people's thoughts on it. So, to help speed that process up, we launched an online marketing campaign, getting members of the public to write to Zappos.com's CEO and urge him to send the pelts packing—and more than 11,000 of you did! The campaign became totally viral and social networking played a huge part—many people posted tweets on Twitter, passed around our petition on Facebook, and much more.
I mean, seriously, is this the first campaign in history ever to be won by tweeting and the slick use of other online tools? It's pretty exciting if you ask me—and also pretty novel! We are paving the way of the future, my friends.
Well, it seems that Zappos.com got the message that people hate fur, because yesterday, the company officially adopted a permanent policy never to sell any products containing the fur of an animal!
Thank you SO much, all you fantastic online activists, for helping—and thank you, Zappos.com, for making the kind decision to forgo fur now and in the future. This will help spare countless minks, rabbits, foxes, and other animals all the horrors of fur farming and trapping, such as being electrocuted, bludgeoned, and skinned alive.
Now that we're all rightfully pumped up about this exciting victory, we've decided to take on a new campaign—because, well, we can't be stopped! Please join us in asking Amazon.com to follow Zappos.com's lead and go fur-free. For those who want to learn more about the issue and find other ways to help, please visit FurIsDead.com and be sure to check out our compassionate clothing guide here.
Written by Christine Doré
As promised, we have an update regarding the relocation of endangered desert tortoises, which army officials began airlifting earlier this year in preparation for the land expansion of Fort Irwin in California.
To jog your memory a bit: The desert tortoises had been living in critical habitats located near (and sometimes on) Fort Irwin–owned land. These protected land areas were created in order to provide protection for these reptiles and boost their dwindling population.
Sadly—but certainly not unexpectedly—phase one of the project has reportedly resulted in the deaths of 90 desert tortoises. Even worse, officials expected there to be some loss of life because of the relocation, but they continued with their plans anyway. Officials clearly underestimated the frailty of these animals and the harm that relocation could cause. It's pretty clear that officials failed to consider all potential threats to these tortoises when they factored into their plans the deaths of up to 136 desert tortoises during the entirety of phase one—not the deaths of 90 tortoises during the initial relocation, as has happened.
Early reports indicated that many of the relocated tortoises seemed to be moving in a direction back toward their original home. Unfamiliar surroundings, lack of shelter, and larger animals such as coyotes put these tortoises in great danger right from the get-go.
On a somewhat positive note, army officials have—for the time being—halted plans for further relocation.
Obviously, we at PETA don't believe that any project that causes disruption and stress to a group of animals can be deemed a success. At least now, army officials have no choice but to consider the welfare of these desert tortoises and possibly to show them a bit of the compassion that they should have shown from the start.
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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.