Written by Michelle Kretzer
is dishing up a partial solution to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's budget shortfall: Don't cut
teachers' jobs—cut animal products instead. We've offered to pay to place ads
featuring our chick mascot, Nugget, on school lunch trays to encourage kids to
if the school board takes us up on our offer, we'll even throw in a lunch of
meat-free chicken nuggets, vegan chili, and corn on the cob for one of the
keeping the school district in the black, the ads could help students and
teachers keep their consciences in the clear. Going vegan is the number one way
that people can prevent cruelty
to animals and environmental destruction.
can't think of a better way for Cleveland to feed students and feed the pig.
Written by PETA
Eden II, a Staten Island school for autistic children, recently lost some electronics and rubber duckies to burglars, but it's the theft of Star, the school's hamster, that has students crying and losing sleep.
In an effort to nix any notion about getting a "replacement" for Star, our TeachKind reps have reached out to Eden II officials, offering to replace the classroom hamster with Webkinz, a humane alternative to live classroom animals that combines toys and technology to allow kids to care for adopted friends online. With Webkinz, kids learn responsibility and kindness without subjecting an animal to possible neglect or abuse.
We are also providing the school with information about pet shop cruelty, because most of the exotic animals in pet shops come from filthy warehouses such as U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), where an undercover PETA investigation revealed shocking neglect and cruelty. Hamsters, prairie dogs, lizards, turtles, frogs, and hedgehogs were kept for weeks packed into cattle-watering troughs, cardboard boxes, and plastic bottles, and countless animals were deprived of food, water, light, and ventilation. There was no veterinary care for countless sick and injured animals, who instead were simply left in freezers to die or carelessly tossed into a waste bin. Fortunately, PETA's investigation resulted in the permanent removal of more than 26,000 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from USGE—but our fight against this kind of common cruelty continues.
Will Eden II officials accept our offer and decide to ban live animals from their classrooms? I sure hope so. After all, I believe that Star would never wish his frightening fate on another helpless animal.
Written by Karin Bennett
Most kids love animals, but not all kids are aware of the horrors that elephants and other animals in circuses face, so PETA and Ellie Elephant decided to tell local kids what goes on behind the big top. Ellie was a huge hit with children and parents, handing out activity books to show kids why circuses are no fun for animals. The kids were excited to get their hands on the fun workbooks, and the parents appreciated the educational message. Check out these photos of Ellie making friends and spreading the word about why elephants would rather be left at home in nature with their families than endure the chains and whips used by circus trainers.
If your kids missed out on Ellie's visit but still want to help animals in circuses, they can check out this fun comic and visit PETAKids.com to find out the facts and get active.
Written by Lianne Turner
We just received possibly one of our oddest donation offers to date: George Clooney's sweat, apparently soaked up by a towel taken from a Washington, D.C., gym. I'll give you a moment to take that in.
We must admit that George is a handsome man, so it was hard for me to overcome the temptation to just sit in a corner and fondle the towel until the end of time, but we learned that there is technology that can convert perspiration into a flavoring! Now, we're always looking out for new ways to spice up our tofu, so we decided we'd see about mixing up a little George Clooney–flavored tofu—"CloFu"—for supper. We wrote to Clooney to see if he finds this idea as amusing as I do.
How does this work? Well, it involves gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, but here's one easy way: Researchers have used a panel of trained individuals with sensitive noses to pinpoint unique components in any individual's odor. Once the odors have been identified, the right combination of flavors can be synthetically replicated, infused in bean curd, and voilà! CloFu.
Some people don't try tofu because they expect it to taste bland, but we know it can absorb any taste—so CloFu could make your taste buds and your heart melt. Of course, what's even better is that after everyone gets a piece of George and realizes how delicious tofu truly is, diets will be revolutionized.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Every year, we brace ourselves for this predictable—yet avoidable—catastrophe, but it's still upsetting. The first dog has been run to death in this year's edition of the cruel and pointless Iditarod dogsled race: His name was Victor, and he was just 6 years old. Ominously, a Fox Sports article refers to Victor's death as just "the first of this year's race," while an AP story reports that the unusually warm weather is taking a toll on the dogs. We already fear the worst for one dog who went missing after first-time Iditarod driver Nancy Yoshida crashed not one but two different sleds. (You can also click here to read a powerful op-ed ed by PETA staffer Jen O'Connor describing the unseen cruelty of the Iditarod.)
Can we finally put to rest the myth that dogsled racing is OK because the "dogs love to run"? Dogs don't love to run until they collapse from exhaustion, choke on their own vomit, or get killed by a snow machine (as happened last year). That's abuse, not "sport."
It's especially galling to me that I share a last name with the defending "champion," Lance Mackey. I'd certainly leap at the chance to give him a piece of my mind at the Mackey family reunion. While that might not be possible, fortunately, there's plenty that we can all do to help put an end to this annual nightmare for dogs.
For example, be on the lookout for any TV or radio programs that attempt to hide the cruelty that dogs endure during the Iditarod. A recent radio show with travel journalist Rick Steves failed to mention the suffering of the dogs, so perhaps you'd like to let Steves and his producers know what they missed?
Written by Jeff Mackey
It's no secret that sea kittens stay in their schools far longer than humans do. That's why it struck us as odd that Whitefish High School in Montana has failed to stay up to date with the Sea Kitten Revolution. So we wrote to them, tongue-in-cheek (which is better than hook-through-lip), to ask them to consider changing their name to something a tad more sea kitten–friendly. We can see it now: Sea Kitten High School! The coolest school in the whole country.
In his letter, our Dan Shannon included lots of reasons why sea kitten hunting hurts. "We're hoping that this name change will encourage people young and old to start treating these gentle 'kittens of the sea' with respect—and show them the kindness that they deserve."
Because we know that sea kittens are smart, we thought of a few courses that they might like to take at Sea Kitten High—besides marine biology. For instance, some sea kittens are avid gardeners. They'd love a botany class in which they could learn about cultivating their algae patches! And why not give them a choir class to exercise their vocal talents? Some sea kittens sing to their romantic interests.
Any ideas for a sea kitten curriculum?
At a middle school in Tiny Poplar, Wisconsin, a science teacher is encouraging his kids to shoot animals in the area and share stories of “the kill” with the rest of the class. If the kids eat the dead creatures, they’re allowed to post pictures of their accomplishment on a bulletin board in the classroom. And not a single person in the school gets how fundamentally, deeply screwed up this is.
After concerned members of the community contacted us about this disturbing practice, PETA’s Sangeeta Kumar wrote a letter to the school’s principal informing him of the well-documented link between violence against animals and criminal behavior against other humans (this is especially true when kids start killing at a young age), and asked that he at least include some information on humane treatment of animals in his curriculum so kids could learn that there are other, more enriching ways of interacting with wild animals than shooting at them.
We’re still chatting fairly amicably with the principal about this issue—but it’s frustrating going. You can read more about this (and leave a comment, if you feel so inclined) at TwinCities.com. Note the quote at the end where the school tries to justify this sordid practice with the argument that people used to do it 150 years ago. Kind of like how they used to own slaves and deny women the right to vote.
"I doubt there were many vegetarians 150 years ago. Why was it acceptable for their great grandfathers to hunt?"
Short answer: It wasn’t. I’ll let you know if we get anywhere with this.
So a while back, I posted an entry on these here PETA Files calling out the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine about numerous photographs we had received documenting the mutilation of animals who were forced to undergo multiple surgeries before being killed and cut apart at the university. Sounds like a pretty reasonable point for an animal protection organization to raise with a veterinary school, but our letters to the university met with enough resistance that we decided to launch an action alert encouraging people to contact the school about the issue.
The good news is that, after a few weeks of back and forth, the Ross folks cancelled all invasive and terminal dog surgeries, something that we—and a whole lot of dogs—were extremely grateful for. As my friend Shalin points out in his recent letter to the local newspaper, it’s totally cool by us if they want to claim that this development was a coincidence and had nothing to do with our requests—as long as they’re making the changes, that’s the important thing.
But we’re not quite finished yet. Ross is still conducting invasive and terminal surgeries on donkeys and sheep, and that needs to stop, like, ASAP. Plenty of veterinary schools are able to teach students to help animals without killing them first, and Ross should join that club sooner rather than later. They’ve already taken an important step in the right direction. I’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out.
We sent this letter to the St. Kitts Attorney General yesterday urging him to immediately investigate the “teaching” procedures being performed on dogs, donkeys, and sheep at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, which is owned by Chicago-based DeVry, Inc. (of late-night TV commercial fame). We’re also calling for prosecution of any school officials who are found to have been violating the island’s cruelty-to-animals statutes.
All this got set into motion when we received numerous photographs documenting the mutilation of animals who are forced to undergo multiple surgeries before they are killed and cut apart. The key points to remember here are that a) there are numerous humane alternatives to the tests conducted at Ross, and b) it is illegal to cause "unnecessary suffering" to animals under St. Kitts law. As it should be. Here’s what PETA’s research director told the media today:
"Ross University is forcing its students—men and women who will devote their lives to healing animals—to maim and kill dogs and other animals in unnecessary, painful procedures. We're asking the attorney general to help students and animals by enforcing St. Kitts' anti-cruelty laws."
If you’d like write to the veterinary school about this issue, you can do so through the handy webform 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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.