Written by Michelle Kretzer
As the Discovery Channel wraps up its
annual Shark Week, TOMS Shoes is making it Shark Year. The philanthropic footwear company created a pair of
shark-silhouette–lined shoes, with proceeds going to protect these often
misunderstood, abused animals.
If the vegan shoe fits, wear it. Former Miss World Rosanna Davison is trading her stilettos for running shoes, training for Ireland's Ironman
Triathlon. She's also trading her vegetarian diet for a vegan one, and she tweeted, "I absolutely LOVE it & have never felt better!
I recommend it to so many people."
is raving about her vegan diet, too, noting that healthy food and regular
exercise have given her the body she wants without having to count calories.
Another great way to get in shape while
helping animals? Running with the PETA Pack. Jillian Michaels and Renee Olstead
were among the animal-friendly celebs running to Twitter this week, with both
gals encouraging everyone to start "packing":
To keep up with what the stars are doing
for animals, follow @PETA
Written by PETA
If you're a regular PETA Files reader, you no doubt know that sharks' bad rap is undeserved. While there are a handful of well-publicized shark attacks around the world every year, humans pose the bigger threat—we kill about 73 million sharks annually. According to the Discovery Channel's Shark Week website, you're more likely to be bitten by another person than by a shark! In honor of Shark Week, here are five other facts about these mysterious ocean dwellers:
1. Sharks may seem to be all business, but they also have a playful side. Porbeagle sharks have been observed playing with objects floating in the water, repeatedly rolling themselves in kelp fronds, and chasing after other sharks who trailed pieces of kelp behind them.
2. Sharks work together to obtain food—and mind their manners when eating. Biologist Peter Best once saw several great whites working together to move the carcass of a partially beached whale to deeper waters so that they could eat it. Caribbean reef sharks follow a pecking order when eating, with the biggest shark eating first.
3. Frightfully fast, sharks are excellent swimmers, thanks to scales covered with tiny teeth that enable water to flow smoothly over their bodies. Several years ago, Speedo introduced a swimsuit modeled after shark skin—but the suits worked too well and were banned from major swim meets for giving swimmers an unfair advantage.
4. We don't know if great whites like Great White (ahem), but they love AC/DC. A charter boat operator in Australia has discovered that great white sharks become less aggressive when songs by AC/DC are played underwater.
5. While whale sharks can give birth to 300 babies at a time, most sharks grow and mature slowly, have long gestation periods (up to two years!), and produce few young—making these animals particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
Written by Paula Moore
Just in time for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week comes news reminding us that sharks are not just predators but also often prey—for humans.
Brazil's Environmental Justice Institute has claimed that one seafood exporter has illegally killed nearly 300,000 sharks—just let that number sink in for a moment—in response to growing demand from an increasingly affluent middle class in China, where shark fin soup is considered a delicacy.
While sharks aren't particularly cuddly, that's beside the point. All animals feel fear and pain, and what kind of justification can there be for the hideous cruelty involved in pulling sharks from the water, cutting off their fins, and then throwing them back into the sea to spin to the bottom while they slowly bleed to death? While sharks' predatory nature may give nightmares to anyone who's watched Jaws, humans beat them by far when it comes to the number of victims each species kills for food. And killing sharks in huge numbers threatens the balance of the marine ecosystem.
To its credit, Discovery devotes resources during Shark Week to raising awareness of finning. In light of Hawaii's recent ban on the possession, sale, trade, and distribution of shark fins, perhaps the tide is turning (geddit?) in their favor, but sharks and other threatened aquatic animals still need help.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Move over, National Garden Week! Out of the way, Waffle Week (OK, maybe you can stay). And get off my lawn, all you prevention and awareness weeks. This is the coolest week ever … Shark Week! Catch this (geddit?): The Discovery Channel's Shark Week is back for its 21st year, and I am pumped. When else do you get a whole week of programming dedicated to these pointy-toothed wonders?
Shark Week has another purpose, though, besides just being scary (which it totally is). Shark Week's programs teach viewers that shark populations on the coast of the Eastern U.S. declined by 80 percent in the '70s and '80s because of shark fishing for "sport" and steak.
Sharks are hunted not only because of the high price fetched by their teeth, jaws, and fins but also because of their reputation as human-killers.
True, an average of 10 humans die each year because of shark attacks. However, this is nothing compared to the 100 million sharks (and billions of other sea animals) killed by humans every year—so that humans can eat them.
When you think about the painful way that all fish are slaughtered for fun and food—suffocated, crushed to death, and cut open alive—shark attacks really don't seem all that unprovoked, do they?
On that note, check out our new billboard. It's going up in the cities that see the most shark attacks:
For more information on sharks and fishing, please visit FishingHurts.com—and watch Shark Week! I will!
Posted by Amanda Schinke
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.