Written by PETA
More than 31 major media outlets covered PETA Asia Pacific's pro-vegetarianism photo shoot with Filipina supermodel Alicia Mayer yesterday, and looking at the stunning pictures, I can see why. In case you're wondering, that's PETA Asia Pacific's very own Jason Baker on the right, with the water bottle. I actually haven't spoken to Jason since we were in New Orleans together after Hurricane Katrina more than a year ago, so I'd like to take this opportunity to give him some friendly advice: Get the hell out of the shot, Jason. You're ruining this for me.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Dan Snyder, who owns the greatest football team in the world, has purchased Johnny Rockets, which happens to make the greatest fast-food veggie burger in the world. To celebrate this match made in heaven for vegetarian football fans, PETA has teamed up with Johnny Rockets to give away coupons for free Streamliner veggie burgers throughout the month of March. In the interests of full disclosure here, there are some strings attached, in the sense that you have to buy one first before you get your free one, but it's still a pretty sweet deal—besides, if you can't eat two veggie burgers in a sitting, other vegetarians will think you're a sissy, and nobody wants that. Also, while we're being honest with each other, I totally made up all that stuff about PETA doing this because of the Washington Redskins connection. I just got overexcited and carried away, and I'm sorry. How about I make it up to you with a free veggie burger?
If reality ever catches up with Reality TV, we're going to be in great shape as far as animal issues are concerned (though, like, Flava Flav will probably be President, which might cause some problems). Turns out that in Reality TV, when you make naive comments about how the fur industry works, you get voted off the show. On America's Next Top Model last night, one of the challenges was to tackle a controversial political issue, and poor Kathleen ("I like fur, it makes you look hot"), got stuck with fur. We're always looking for snappy sound bites to get our point across about the cruelty of the fur industry, so I couldn't get my pen and notebook out fast enough when Kathleen let drop this little nugget of wisdom:
"Well, I mean, like, I don't think you should take a live animal and kill it, but I mean, like, if an animal is already dead, there's no reason that you shouldn't take its skin and make a coat."
Awww, sweetie, that's not how they make fur. I got done feeling sorry for her by, like, the fifth time she had to ask what it means to be "anti-fur," but it was a treat to hear Twiggy and the others express some real opinions about how screwed up it is to wear fur before voting her ass back to Brooklyn. If only there were some equivalent way of voting fur-flaunting airheads like the Olsen Twins into oblivion …
Attendees of the invitation-only Christian Lacroix show at Paris Fashion week this afternoon discovered that "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" is a whole lot more than just a catchy slogan when a PETA Europe supporter removed all her clothes, evaded security, and rushed onto the catwalk with an anti-fur banner. Here’s what astonished onlookers saw at the event:
Another protester, this time at the Valentino show, didn't quite make it onto the catwalk. You can click here to check out the NSFW picture of how that went, but before you do (I swear to you I’m not kidding about this), our legal department is making me ask you to check very carefully to make sure both that you’re 18 years old and that publishing or viewing nude photos is legal where you live. If neither of those things is true, don’t come crying to me when the police knock down your door and drag you away from your computer.
By way of a bit of editorial, this kind of tactic always seems to raise a lot of healthy debate, and I've heard good points made on both sides of the issue. Nonetheless, I have yet to hear a good argument made defending the actions of designers like Lacroix and Valentino, who directly fund people who skin, bludgeon, strangle, and electrocute animals for a living. For more information on that, click here. I don't know if I'd ever be able to do what these two activists did in Paris today, but I'm certain that I'd rather go naked than wear fur. If it ever does come to that point, though, I really hope that I’ll be allowed to do it in the comfort of my own home.
Dear Members of the Iditarod Trail Committee,
Every year, around this time, I start hearing about the vicious event you're responsible for in which dogs are beaten and abused into running up to 125 miles a day without any rest. In the last two years, seven dogs have been killed by the Iditarod, through freezing, ulcers, or just plain exhaustion—and I'm certain that similar fates are in store for the animals whose suffering you’re arranging this year. Of course, these casualties are just the ones that are publicized—the dogs who are bludgeoned or drowned by mushers because they don't measure up to Iditarod standards (or the ones who die alone in the tiny kennels they're confined to for most of their lives) tend not to make it into the newspapers that report on your bloody proceedings.
I'm not surprised that, like so many people who profit from archaic and abusive customs, you defend yourselves by invoking "tradition," but I can assure you that as more and more people learn that your tradition is one of cruelty, lies, and abject misery, it's not one that’s going to be around for much longer.
If you'd like any more information about what PETA's doing to ensure that these dogs' misery doesn't go undocumented, you can click here. We're encouraging compassionate people everywhere to contact the sponsors of this event—Wells Fargo, Daimler-Chrysler, and Chevron—and let them know exactly what they're supporting. I look forward to a time when your sadistic little race is a thing of the past.
To be honest, I don't think the Iditarod Trail Committee is going to be swayed by my letter, since it seems pretty clear that they're not exactly dog-lovers, but the companies that continue to sponsor this event need to know why they shouldn't. You can contact Wells Fargo here, Daimler-Chrysler here, and Chevron here.
The dreaded Olsen Twins have been spotted again, hiding their evil, flinty little eyes behind dark glasses and draping their malformed bodies in the skins of tortured animals. No need to hide your children and bar the windows just yet, though, as our dashing hero, PETA VP Dan Mathews, has come to the rescue with a trademark snarky comment:
"Maybe their granny left them those ratty furs. They should have buried the coats with her."
If you do happen to come across Ashley or Mary Kate in a dark alley somewhere, it's important not to panic. But do be sure to call animal control immediately if it looks like any of those minks are still alive. And if you happen to run into Dan Mathews, try not to be sassy with him. It never goes well.
TMZ has the full story.
I'm going to come clean with you guys and admit that I didn't know what Uggs were until I heard about this. I try to be trendy and keep my ear to the ground about this sort of thing, but apparently the whole Ugg thing has completely eluded me for, like, 10 years. Anyway, I'm told by my colleagues that they were this huge fashion phenomenon that got off the ground in a big way when Pamela Anderson started wearing them in her Baywatch days. Well, Pamela isn't wearing them anymore, and the story has gone everywhere—starting with People magazine. Here's what she had to say on the topic.
"I feel so guilty for that craze being started around Baywatch days - I used to wear them with my red swimsuit to keep warm - never realizing that they were SKIN! Do NOT buy UGGs! Buy Stella McCartney or Juicy boots - I'm looking for alternatives myself for my boys and the men in my life! I'm designing some right now for my family and will try and have some available on my Web site soon."
I know I've said this before, but I love you very much, Pamela. On a related note, you should check out the new design for Pam's website. It's very, very animal friendly. Did I mention that I love her?
Nothing says "Stop the bloody seal hunt" like a pile of dead, naked seal people outside your front door. We're hoping that the Canadian Prime Minister got that message loud and clear last week when these brave souls stripped off, covered themselves in fake blood, and held a “die-in” outside his office to symbolize the bloody seal-killing that happens every year on the ice floes off Newfoundland. Canada, I really do love you guys: the hockey, the maple syrup, the kickass national anthem—all that great stuff—but WTF with the baby-seal bludgeoning? Seriously: worst idea for a national tradition ever.
The geniuses over at NoMoreStrays.com, a website designed to raise awareness about the animal-overpopulation epidemic that this country is facing, have come up with what may very well be my favorite Flash-animated castration game of all time. I defy anyone to find a better game than this in the testicle-removal category. Check out the game, and don't forget to spay and neuter your pets (though for God's sake, do it by taking them to the vet—yes, the carny with the cleavers is a metaphor for your friendly local veterinarian).
The internationally renowned Australian novelist and Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee gave a speech in Sydney last week, where he made a powerful case for animal rights—with a particular focus on the food industry, which, as he puts it, "dwarfs all others in the number of individual animal lives it affects." Two moments in his speech really stood out for me—in the first, he compares factory farms to death camps, concisely making the point that so many people miss when they encounter this controversial comparison for the first time: That the practice of degrading living beings to the status of production units should be rejected out of hand, regardless of the victims. Here's what he says:
"Of course we cried out in horror when we found out what they had been up to. We cried: What a terrible crime, to treat human beings like cattle! If we had only known beforehand! But our cry should more accurately have been: What a terrible crime, to treat human beings like units in an industrial process! And that cry should have had a postscript: What a terrible crime, come to think of it - a crime against nature - to treat any living being like a unit in an industrial process!"
Another comment Coetzee made that really struck me related to the way children perceive animals—his remarks hint at the disturbing fact that, as we grow up, the process of socialization itself can blind us to uncomfortable truths about the wrongs that our society inflicts on others. That children are much better equipped than we are to see the horror of factory farming for what it is, and that those of us who choose to ignore it, or attempt to excuse it, do so only because we have been duped and misled by our own greed and the complacence of others:
"Given half a chance, children see through the lies with which advertisers bombard them (the happy chooks that are transformed painlessly into succulent nuggets, the smiling moo-cow that donates to us the bounty of her milk). It takes but one glance into a slaughterhouse to turn a child into a lifelong vegetarian."
At their core, the main principles of the animal rights movement are simple and intuitive—easy enough for a child to understand. But it's inspiring to see them expressed with such thoughtfulness and eloquence by one of the world's greatest writers. You can read an edited extract of J.M. Coetzee's speech here.
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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.