Written by PETA
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Here’s the big news I was hinting at in the last post: H&M, which recently pledged to stop buying wool from Australian sources that still use the mulesing mutilation (essentially, slicing up sheep’s backsides), has set off a chain reaction throughout Europe: Following H&M’s announcement, 17 other major Swedish retailers have made the same pledge, and a coalition of 31 European retailers have announced that they are considering or have decided to stop using wool from mulesed lambs. On top of all this, 10 Danish retailers have withdrawn their support of mulesing, and the Western Australia Department of Agriculture has announced that it will stop mulesing.
What does this all add up to? The total amount of cancelled orders of Aussie wool from Europe as a result of these decisions comes to 550,000 bales of wool. This is a big wakeup call to Aussie wool farmers who continue to mutilate lambs, and a strong message to wool industry executives that their continued refusal to adopt humane practices will directly affect their bottom line.
For more information on the fallout from this recent outcry against the Australian wool industry, here’s the letter that PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week:
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
In 2005, PETA released footage from an undercover investigation into a slaughterhouse run by KFC Supplier Tyson Foods, which showed live chickens’ heads being ripped off, among other acts of unbelievable cruelty. Two new PETA investigations of the company, which have just been released today, reveal that Tyson has done nothing to prevent the torture it inflicts on these animals—and provide gruesome examples of what KFC’s continued refusal to do anything about the cruelty that is endemic to its suppliers means for the animals used by the company. Please click here to write to KFC and Tyson Foods and demand that they follow through with PETA's recommendations to stop this hideous abuse.
According to the movie blog Horror Yearbook, a small group of independent moviemakers are getting strongarmed by KFC into abandoning their project.
Classy stuff, KFC. Really classy. Check it out here.
I guess it’ll probably never get made now, but I think the movie looks effing rad.
I’m going to shut up and let the man speak for himself here in a sec, but I feel like I need to admit that I spent pretty much my entire adolescence in a constant state of anticipation about what John Norris, Kennedy, Duff, or Jon Stewart (different incarnation) were going to say next on the popular music channel “MTV”. John is busy informing a whole new generation on MTV News, but he also took some time recently to talk to my star-struck friend Nicole Nuss about (among other things), why he doesn’t eat stuff made out of animals. The whole thing is just too cool for words.
“Lucy” the sheep is at it again. Today, she joined Aussie Prime Minister John Howard on his morning walk in Sydney, and she’ll be making regular appearances again soon. I mean really, how can Australian politicians ignore the issues of mulesing and live export when there’s an activist in a giant sheep costume everywhere they go? Umm, OK, don’t answer that.
And here’s a story about the newly formed PETA Australia. Yes, I said PETA Australia! More news on that front soon . . .
News flash! New Zealand has just banned the live export of animals from the country. This announcement comes only a few months after New Zealand farmers announced that they were ending the archaic practice of mulesing, which is a procedure where large chunks of flesh are cut from sheep’s hind quarters with no painkillers to prevent flies from laying eggs in their wrinkly skin. Kudos to New Zealand for taking the lead on both of these issues and setting the wool industry animal welfare bar a little bit higher.
Now it’s time for the Australian wool industry to pull its head out of the sand and get with the program. If New Zealand can make these two important changes in its entire wool industry in a matter of months, certainly Australia can follow suit. You can help make that happen by clicking here.
If you’re new to the blog or to this issue, there is a great overview of both mulesing and live export here.
I think it may be time for a Gladiator, Quills, and Walk the Line marathon this weekend, because two-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix has taken time away from promoting his upcoming films We Own the Night and Reservation Road to write to Australian Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran about the cruel treatment of sheep by the Australian wool industry.
Phoenix focused his letter on the two worst abuses sheep face in Australia: mulesing and live export. In case you’re not familiar with these two terms, here’s a quick explanation. Mulesing is a painful procedure in which gardening shears are used to cut skin and flesh from lambs' backsides without any painkillers. It is a crude and cheap effort to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane methods exist. Every year, millions of Australian sheep discarded by the wool industry are shipped to the Middle East and North Africa. They are crammed onto multi-tiered ships where they suffer amid the waste of thousands of other animals for weeks on end. Many suffer and die from smothering, starvation, heatstroke, injuries and disease. Each year, tens of thousands of animals die en route—almost 40,000 sheep died in 2005 alone.
My post on Breeders this week seems to have raised enough controversy that it merits a follow-up entry. I followed the comments on this one really closely, and it's pretty clear that there's some interesting stuff going on. PETA Files reader Kelly—who was the most outspoken representative of the forces of good in the comment war on that particular post—made this remark, which inspired me to get out my pipe and Sherlock Holmes hat and do a bit of investigative work:
"Would anyone like to know why the crackpot breeders have come out of the woodwork to come here and spread the usual propaganda about ‘reputable’ breeders? They are all madly messaging each other and emailing each other and exhorting each other on their forums to come here and spread the gospel and try to cover their butts."
Sure enough, when I looked into it, the page was getting some heavy traffic from breeder-focused message boards and sites, and an unusual amount of comments with the standard anti-animal propaganda that people copy and paste from meat-industry front groups when they have an axe to grind about an initiative that's designed to help animals. There was also the standard drivel about "responsible" breeders (as if such a thing existed). Which got me to thinking: What po$$ible rea$on could the$e breeder$ have for coming onto PETA’s blog by the dozen to try and di$courage people from adopting from a shelter? If anyone ha$ any idea$, I'd love to hear them. It'$ a total my$tery to me!
Anyway, by way of an answer to some of the legitimate questions about the campaign that appeared in the comments:
1) Sad as it is to see them there, buying an animal from a pet store just isn't a good way to help them. If you pay for that animal, not only is she going to be replaced right away with another one, but you're funding the pet store's practice with your purchase, and denying an adoptable animal at a shelter a chance at life at the same time.
2) I deliberately didn't draw a distinction between so-called "responsible" breeders and people who run puppy mills. Sure, some of these folks aren’t quite so cruel as the scumbags who torture animals in puppy mill-type operations, but the point here is that there is no excuse for breeding and selling animals when millions upon millions of them are being killed in shelters or suffering out on the streets.
That's it on breeders for now, but keep an eye out for some of the great new stuff we have coming up to expose this vicious little industry for what it is.
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
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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.