Written by PETA
The good folks over at Animal Makers are up to their old tricks. By "tricks," we mean creating amazingly lifelike animatronic models that stand in for real animals in movies and advertisements. Oh, and now we can add that they stand in for real dolphins in "swim with" therapy programs.
We're generally not fans of anything to do with swimming with dolphins (unless it involves a boat and scuba gear out in the middle of the ocean). That's because hotels and aquariums that offer people the chance to "swim" with dolphins really mean that you get to sit with a dolphin in a swimming pool—a pool that is essentially the equivalent of a bathtub to an animal who would naturally swim dozens of miles a day. In addition to the criminal lack of exercise and mental stimulation, captive dolphins are suspected of being driven mad by the sound of their sonar, which constantly bounces off the tank walls.
But thanks to Animal Makers, kids with cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disorders will get a chance to interact with "TADs" (therapeutic animatronic dolphins) that move and even make squeaky dolphin noises at a new facility that is being built in Florida.
Kids get to play with really cool life-like robots, dolphins get a break. It doesn't get any better than that.
Written by Alisa Mullins
With the weather warming up, a lot of fur-wearers will be retiring their pelts to closets and vaults until autumn. But that doesn't mean that "fur season" is over.
Consider this—right now, the following is happening around the world:
But while those winter coats are forgotten about for a few months, there are some people who will still have fur on their mind this summer, including the entire nation of Israel. Israeli Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz has introduced the world's first nationwide bill to prohibit the fur industry. If it becomes law, this bill would prohibit the production, sale, and importation of all fur products throughout Israel. Very cool news for a hot season!
Check out PETA Asia Pacific's site to encourage continued support for this historic bill. And if that just whets your appetite for some serious warm-weather fur-fighting, check this out too.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Wherever American artist Andrew Krasnow displays his maps, cowboy boots, and American flags, controversy is hot on his heels.
Why all the fuss, guys? Using human skin donated to medical science to make a nice pair of boots is a use of flesh that we should all throw our weight behind!
While the photos of his work (which he says is intended to question American ethics and values) might make you a wee bit queasy, Krasnow's creations are far more humane and understandable than leather jackets, snakeskin belts and baby-alligator–skin purses (their small heads included). Those turn my stomach because—unlike the folks who donate their bodies to science—cows, snakes, alligators, and other animals did not sign up to have their skins ripped from their bodies.
Krasnow's next show has been commissioned by the U.K. Human Tissue Authority. Hopefully, the protesters howling outside the show will stop to consider the skins used for their own belts and bags.
Written by Karin Bennett
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of The Engine 2 Diet is Stacey. Congratulations!
Beach season is fast approaching, and we're all scrambling to lose pounds and tone up before hitting the sands. Looking to slim down fast the healthy way? Well, firefighter Rip Esselstyn's 28-day, plant-powered diet plan, The Engine 2 Diet, offers easy tips and recipes that'll have you rocking that bathing suit in no time.
How do you win? Tell us about your motivation to drop pounds for the summer. Planning a vacation to Barbados? Going to a high school reunion? Let us know with a comment below, and someone will take home an autographed copy of Esselstyn's book The Engine 2 Diet.
Written by Lianne Turner
Yesterday, Nicola McLean—model, star of I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, and all-around hottie—teamed up with our friends over at PETA Europe to wish the dastardly European department store Selfridge's an "Unhappy Birthday."
Nicola, flanked by two other models, burst out of a cake in front of Selfridges' Oxford Street store despite the inclement weather. The ladies simply sizzled in yellow bikinis (a nod to the store's centenary Big Yellow Festival celebrations) as they urged the chain to remove cruel foie gras from its shelves.
"While Selfridges celebrates its centenary, ducks and geese who are force-fed for foie gras die before their first birthday and have nothing to celebrate," says Nicola. "I won't be shopping at Selfridges until they stop selling foie gras." You say it, girl!
You can join Nicola in the campaign against the foie gras–peddling store by clicking here.
Written by Shawna Flavell
So long, So You Think You Can Dance?!
Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, I'll be watching the series premiere of ABC's animated sitcom, The Goode Family. Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill and Beavis and Butt-head, is bringing vegans to primetime. The entire Goode family, including the dog, Che, is vegan, and you can bet that their obsessive efforts to be politically correct will create some awkward and hilarious scenarios.
If you can't laugh at a reflection of your own efforts to be green—mine include raising two perfectly happy, healthy vegetarian dogs who don't attack their friend, Frank the cat—what can you find humor in these days?
PETA is poised to take the mic on Wednesday to speak in behalf of chickens at McDonald's shareholder meeting in Oakbrook, Illinois. We're all set to grill CEO Jim Skinner and plan on asking him to change the way that his restaurants' suppliers slaughter birds by switching to controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), a less cruel slaughter method.
For years, we've tried to convince McDonald's to require its suppliers to use CAK, which would eliminate some of the worst abuses suffered by the millions of chickens who are turned into McNuggets every year. But despite our efforts, the company still refuses to implement CAK.
After the meeting at 12 noon, we'll lead a protest at a nearby McDonald's restaurant, during which two PETA members will soak in "bloody" water to draw attention to the fact that many chickens at slaughterhouses that supply McDonald's are boiled alive in scalding-hot water.
If you live in the Chicago area, feel free to join the festivities!
Written by Karin Bennett
Olympic official Carol Gross really wants our Vancouver Olympics 2010 T-shirts off CafePress.com. As in, she literally wants them and all merchandise bearing PETA's anti-fur parody of the Olympic logo removed from the CafePress Web site. Gross e-mailed CafePress asking that it "take necessary steps to prevent Sellers to advertise [sic] Olympic merchandise via use of Olympic trademarks …."
Because this is obviously a parody of that, PETA's legal team sent a letter to Carol Gross explaining why we will continue our efforts to protect seals from the bloody slaughter by selling merchandise bearing our protected spoof logo.
We might be open to striking a deal, though. If the Olympic Committee were to help us convince the Canadian government to stop allowing hundreds of thousands of baby seals to be slaughtered annually, maybe we'd agree to quit parodying the Olympic logo.
Maxim just released its "Hot 100" list, and apparently the editors understand the appeal of kindness toward animals. The list isn't just a "who's who" in hotness—it's a "who's who" in compassion too.
Number one on Maxim's list is Olivia Wilde, who always gets House fans' pulses racing. While she plays a naughty doctor, she still knows how to play nice with animals. You guessed it, Maxim's number one is vegan!
Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, gets her audiences purring with her sultry voice and gorgeous looks, but we're happy as a kitty in catnip over the fact that she helped us promote spaying and neutering.
How much hotness can one woman dish up? Eva Mendes is the answer! Need more proof? Check out her sexy "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" ad. Eh, what'd I tell ya?
Stunning Charlize Theron is as compassionate as she is talented—just ask her dog.
Audrina Patridge's sunny smile could light up Las Vegas—but it's her heart (which has a gigantic soft spot for animals) that we're interested in.
Millions idolize blonde beauty (and Sexiest Vegetarian contest winner) Carrie Underwood, and we can't say we blame them.
Tricia Helfer's luminous looks and love for animals are otherworldly.
The evidence is in: There's no trace of a doubt that Roselyn Sanchez's steamy anti-fur ad is muy bonita.
The reason we're happy that ravishing Joanna Krupa graces magazines all over the newsstand? She refuses to compromise her values and never wears fur.
Written by Karin Bennett
Why has Cheers star Kirstie Alley packed on 83 pounds after her widely publicized diet as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig in 2007?
She told People magazine, "A vegetarian would probably be eating vegetables. But to me being a vegetarian meant I'm going to eat enchiladas with no meat, and I'm going to eat lots of bread, lots of carbs."
Hey, Kirstie: put the slimy, butter-slicked fork down! Vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are, so we promise you'll see results!
If Nia Vardalos can drop 40 pounds by kicking cheese, Kirstie surely would slim down if she said, "Bye, bye, butter!" and gave vegan fare a shot. To help her in this endeavor, a copy of Skinny Bitch is on its way to her, courtesy of PETA.
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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.