Written by PETA
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
Shark finning is one of the most disgusting practices of the already disgusting fishing industry. Sharks are caught, their fins are cut off, and they are either left to suffocate or are thrown back into the water to slowly bleed to death or be eaten by other marine animals. All this suffering is inflicted in order to produce horrid "delicacies" such as shark-fin soup.
Worldwide, there is (happily) a movement toward stopping shark finning, but fishing interests in Virginia and North Carolina are, well, swimming against the tide by putting pressure on legislators to exclude some sharks from a proposed federal law banning shark finning.
If you live in North Carolina or Virginia, please contact your senators and ask them to support the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 with no exemptions. To learn about more ways to help sharks and other endangered marine animals, read this and this.
Written by Jeff Mackey
San Juan Capistrano has its swallows and Austin has its bats, but who knew that Singer Island, Florida, has its sharks? Lifeguards have reported seeing a thousand sharks this week off just one beach during the sharks' annual migration south. (Check out this video footage that some surfers shot of a spinner shark leaping and twirling out of the water just a few yards away. Da-yum!)
The enormous number of sharks has forced the beaches to close—but they've also drawn a swarm of gawkers and media cameras. And you have to know that wherever gawkers and media cameras can be found, PETA can't be far away. Yup, we've hired a plane to fly up and down the oceanfront tomorrow bearing the message, "Sharks aren't the only dangerous predators. Go vegetarian."
Every year, more than 50 million sharks and billions of other sea animals are killed and eaten by human beings—in contrast, fewer than a dozen people worldwide were killed by sharks last year. Many species of sharks and other fish have been decimated by overfishing—it's estimated that 29 percent of fish species have "collapsed," or declined by 90 percent over the past 50 years.
That's why we're making the case that the world's most dangerous predators aren't in the water at all—they're lined up at the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.
Written by Alisa Mullins
A distressed female becomes pregnant—but she's still a virgin! Grave danger ensues!
But no. I'm not talking about events in that Little Town of Bethlehem, circa 1 A.D. This happened just last year in Virginia Beach, practically next door to PETA's Norfolk HQ.
In a study reported today, DNA testing confirmed that the embryo carried by Tidbit, a blacktip shark held captive at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, contained no genetic material from a male. That's right—a virgin conception, in our day and age. Holy mother of God … er … I mean … Holy Tidbit!
But wait, that's not all. Tidbit's pregnancy was only discovered when she died after being sedated for her annual health checkup—so there was no virgin birth, only an immaculate conception. The scientists who confirmed the nature of the pregnancy say that Tidbit's pup would almost certainly have been eaten by bigger sharks in the same tank.
Now, those of you who frequent our site know that we're not fans of aquariums and marine mammal prisons … uh, parks. But the above story pretty much says it all. These facilities claim to be helping and preserving marine animals, but they can't even protect a newborn—or the adults, for that matter. In the end, perhaps Tidbit was the fortunate one. At least she no longer has to deal with the daily boredom and stress of her unnatural environment.
Ya know, when we first moved our headquarters to Norfolk, we ran a campaign against this particular aquarium because of its severely inadequate dolphin tanks (among other things). And it always just really frustrated me to know that there were these marine animals locked in a tank right across from the ocean.
Now the Jesus shark comes to this very aquarium and is dead before arrival. The irony is not lost on me!
Staying up 'til the wee hours of the morning to catch your fave Olympians go for the gold in Beijing? That's cool. But what's even cooler is the fact that the best athletes in the world can be found in the animal kingdom, not the Olympic Village. If the Summer Olympics were open to all of the planet's species, humans probably wouldn't even have a shot at medaling—especially if they had to compete against these top five animal athletes:
5. Cows. Natural track and field stars, cows have been known to hurdle a 6-foot fence to escape from a slaughterhouse and trot 7 miles to reunite with calves sold at auction.
4. Ants. Known for their Herculean strength, ants can lift 20 times their own body weight. That's the equivalent of a 200-pound weightlifter bench pressing 4,000 pounds!
3. Cheetahs. The fastest land animal, cheetahs can reach speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. Able to accelerate faster than a Ferrari, cheetahs can go from 0 to 68 miles per hour in just 3 seconds.
2. Sharks. Frightfully fast, sharks are excellent swimmers thanks to scales covered with tiny teeth that enable water to flow smoothly over their bodies. Hoping to reduce drag and increase speed, many Olympic swimmers are now sporting swimsuits modeled after shark skin.
1. Chickens. Chickens know how to bend it like Beckham. Give a small round object to a group of chickens, and they'll happily pass it around, much like they're playing soccer.
Yep, chickens. Take that, all you live-animal markets! Speaking of China not exactly giving a cluck about animal protection (see also: fur farms), I say that we honor the true Olympic spirit of friendship and fair play by treating all animals like gold.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Our beloved Stella McCartney is rightly outraged over the misuse of one of her designs. It seems a sheer black bra from Stella's lingerie collection was used—without Stella's permission, of course—in an ad for a fur boutique.
Stella—who is totally dedicated to her anti-fur and -leather stance—only found out about the ad when she saw it in the latest issue of Vogue. There it was: one of her designs—partially covered by a ghastly mink coat and accessorized with a ghastly leather belt. Stella had lent the bra to a stylist for use in an editorial photo shoot, but the stylist had a mix up and used it for the advertisement instead—without asking for Stella's permission.
The story is that when Stella saw the ad, she "hit the roof and said that she planned to sue." Good for her! Stella doesn't want to support the cruelty of the fur industry. (Heck, I wouldn't like it if my second-grade finger-paintings were used to promote those animal killers.)
As for the fur boutique, they have already issued a "grovelling apology" and will not be using the ad again—which is quite a blow for them, considering that the ad would've cost £10,000 (about $19,000) to shoot in the first place—and about $50,000 to place in Vogue! That's a lot of money for a boutique to lose, even for one that regularly peddles $10,000 animal skins.
It's nice that the boutique has apologized to Stella. I don't suppose there's any chance that they'll next apologize to the countless animals who are caged, electrocuted, and skinned alive in the name of "fashion" … ?
Written by Amanda Schinke
OK, I'll go easy on the impotence jokes here. I promise—just straight-up hard reporting on this one. Damn…
Anyway, I'm happy to announce that Rocket Boy, an old-school ad featuring an impotence-fighting boy astronaut, is back and ready to go where no PETA ad has gone before: outer space. You see, Virgin chair Sir Richard Branson just unveiled the WhiteKnightTwo, a carrier aircraft created to launch a commercial six-passenger spaceship within the next decade. PETA wants Rocket Boy to be onboard, so our VP Bruce Friedrich sent Branson a letter asking to buy ad space on the seat backs.
In his letter, Bruce writes:
By following our advice and ditching meat, your male passengers could rise to new heights. Cholesterol and saturated fat clog arteries and block blood flow to all of a man's vital organs—not just to his heart. Physicians report that the link is clear: Eating meat can cause impotence. Any of your passengers who have trouble "lifting off" will be glad to hear that impotence—as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and prostate cancer—can likely be prevented and even reversed by switching to a healthy vegetarian diet.
No word back from Mr. Branson yet, but here's Rocket Boy, all suited up and ready to launch:
Remember the Sanchong animal shelter outside Taipei, where PETA Asia-Pacific found suffering dogs kept in horrific conditions? Well, thanks to all your calls and e-mails, the city's mayor is going to meet with PETA Asia-Pacific. He wants to discuss reforms like fixing the shelter's floor and developing SOPs for caring for the sick and injured animals. But we want more—much, much more—and we need your help!
Conditions at the shelter are so bad that redoing the concrete floor and putting up a tarp to help keep out torrential rain isn't going to do it. So long as the same lazy louts are still in charge—people who stand around joking while dogs convulse at their feet—we'd like the place to be closed down and the money to be used to move strays straight from the street into veterinary care. Please tell Sanchong to use the shelter for something else, to reassign the callous workers, and to send dogs straight to the vet for treatment or euthanasia if they are pain.
PETA Asia-Pacific's Coco and local volunteers held a great demo (see below).
Ever wondered what it'd be like to roll around in Jenna Jameson's bed sheets? Well, now you can! Whoever leaves a comment below with their favorite naked PETA ad will be entered to win the autographed sheets and pillows that she posed nude on for this ad.
Gossip gurus are all worked up over recent rumors that PETA supporter Jenna Jameson is pregnant. Jenna recently stripped down to her birthday suit and slipped beneath the sheets (again, which you can win!) to appear in our new animal birth control ad.
Jenna definitely knows a thing or two about birth control—and she understands the necessity of birth control for animals too. Why is it so important? She says:
Until dogs and cats can go on the pill or wear condoms, we need to help them practice safe sex—by spaying and neutering. Millions of homeless animals are turned in to shelters every year because there simply aren't enough good homes for them all. The answer is as easy as ABC: Animal Birth Control, which means get your Fido of Fluffy fixed!
Jenna can decide for herself whether or not she has the time, love, patience, money, and desire to have a baby—animals cannot.
KFC is known to work with suppliers that breed and drug chickens to grow so large that they can't even walk, cut off baby birds' sensitive beaks without any painkillers, and drop birds into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious. KFC accepts these cruel practices because they help fill the chain's buckets of chicken at a cheap price.
To highlight the twisted practices of a company that focuses on its wallets while ignoring animal welfare, we've created a series of provocative billboards. "Another Life, Another Dollar," "3 Lives for $2.99," and "Cheap Chicken Means Animals Pay a High Price" are just a few of the taglines. Hey, we never said subtlety was our forte.
Check out the ads, and then tell us which is your favorite by leaving a comment below!
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
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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.