Written by PETA
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.
John Rich of the country superstar duo Big & Rich upset a lot of fans by wearing a big ol’ fur coat onstage at the Country Music Association Awards, telecast on ABC earlier this month. After hearing from a number of those fans ourselves, we wrote to Rich to explain how dozens of foxes are anally electrocuted for such a coat and sent along a link to Pamela Anderson’s video short on the subject. Well, it turns out Rich is, in fact, a big man, replying to us himself:
"My management wanted to respond to your email, but I opted to respond personally, as I am a rather direct kind of man. I would like you to please forward my apologies to any of your members that are fans of Big and Rich that took offense to me wearing a fur coat on the CMA awards. Trust me, it was never my intent to upset anyone. Also, if any of the world class designers that you mentioned in your previous email would like to send me full length faux fur coats, I would be happy to wear them, and when asked by the press or fans, tell them it is a faux fur. I do not agree with many of your organization’s views or tactics, but I do respect your passion for animal rights, as I am an animal lover as well. I appreciate your willingness to address me on this subject."
One of the duo’s biggest hits is “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,” but judging from Mr. Rich’s straightforward letter to PETA, he’s willing to save a few foxes, minks and rabbits too. Thanks, John, for your compassion—you guys have a lot of fans here—especially Kim in Human Resources!
Hey, I had to use that subject line at some point. Cut me some slack here. The reference is to a fantastic piece by Bill Maher that appeared in yesterday’s Huffington Post, asking George Bush to pardon all the turkeys. Here’s an excerpt:
"I ask you to do what I'm going to do and pardon a turkey this Thanksgiving. It's not hard. Just eat something else (ideas here and here). Not someone else, because it doesn't seem fair to spare a turkey and roast a hunk of pig or cow instead. If we can bow our heads in gratitude for our families, our friends and our big screen TVs, and then carve into a creature who lived a miserable life and died a horrible death, then our ethics are about as sensible as Britney's parenting skills."
You can read the full post here, and be sure to leave a comment telling Bill Maher he’s a badass. Or something more eloquent. In making the case for a vegetarian Thanksgiving, Bill’s piece refers to our investigation into a Butterball factory farm that was a central theme of the recent HBO documentary about PETA, as well as a brand-new PETA investigation into a standard American turkey slaughterhouse, which is required viewing for anyone who is still thinking about cooking a turkey for dinner this Thanksgiving:
Our good friend Kevin Nealon shared his own unique recipe for a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast with us during a PETA Thanksgiving event at Jorja Fox’s house last year. I think Kevin’s brilliant Thanksgiving Wad idea has the potential to be a long-lasting tradition that will forever leave its mark on the holiday. So share it with your friends. And for less adventurous (or more practical) folks, we’ve got a ton of great Thanksgiving recipes here.
Oxfam is a wonderful organization and they do a lot of great things, but their recent attempts to make money by hurting animals need to stop ASAP. Unfortunately, Oxfam has recently begun exploiting people's compassion and generosity by sending them gift catalogs full of adorable looking animals who can be "donated" to impoverished people. Now, everybody likes cute animals, but there’s something particularly sordid about using their images in a fundraising scheme that involves shipping them off to countries with no animal welfare standards, where they will be neglected, starved, and killed in horrific ways. As effective as this little stunt may be for Oxfam’s Membership Department, there are much better ways to alleviate global poverty that don’t victimize animals—and they damn well know it.
Please take a moment to learn more about our efforts to encourage Oxfam to do the right thing, and send them an e-mail about this misguided campaign, by clicking here.
Yes, HBO’s I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA was insightful, well-made, and powerful. I’ll admit that. But WTF, HBO? Didn’t you forget something kind of important? Did all those times I found an excuse to walk by the cameras when you were filming in the office mean nothing to you? Did that week we spent together camped out in a parking lot in New Orleans just completely slip your minds? Or is there something I missed?
As anyone who watched the documentary last night will know by now, this lowly PETA blogger does not appear anywhere in the final cut of the film. Like, there aren’t even any scenes where you can hear my voice off camera, or see me wandering by in the hallways. But with the exception of that massive, massive oversight on HBO’s part, the film, which aired for the first time yesterday at 8 p.m., was absolutely riveting. I won’t give away too much, since you can still catch it on HBO On Demand, but the film takes as its central theme the period leading up to the release of our Butterball investigation, and it provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of exactly how that campaign and a number of other PETA initiatives go from an idea in a meeting to a major media story that highlights the suffering of animals.
If you get a chance to watch the film, you’ll notice that not all the viewpoints expressed in the documentary are flattering about PETA, but as an organization, we’ve never been particularly concerned about flattery—our goal has always been to get people thinking seriously about animal rights, and whenever possible, getting them to sit down and actually confront the horrors that animals are subjected to in the meat, fur, animal-research, and other abusive industries that are so often kept hidden from the public. I Am an Animal accomplishes that in spades, and for that reason I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about why we do what we do. I just hope that when they make the sequel, they’ll give the people what they want and spend a little bit more time filming me.
Despite some of the morbid rituals that it’s often associated with, Thanksgiving has long been my very favorite holiday, because (unlike its overrated rival, Christmas) you don’t have to buy anybody presents for it. There are also not one, but two football games on Thanksgiving, which gives the day another powerful edge over the more popular December holiday (which is often embarrassingly devoid of sporting events), and its central theme—eating—is simple, but consistently satisfying. So, I put it to you that Thanksgiving is in fact the greatest holiday of all—or it would be, if they could only get over that whole unfortunate turkey thing. For more on that, check out this awesome ad we made a little while back to encourage people to give turkeys a break on Thanksgiving Day.
As we normally do at this time of year, we sent a letter to the President this morning asking him to take steps to ensure that the "pardoned" birds receive the care they will need to live out the year. You can read that letter here, and for more information about the conditions endured by the 50 million other turkeys who will be killed this Thanksgiving season, click here.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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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.