Written by PETA
Kudos to caring California residents, including the folks at Social Compassion in Legislation, for helping to get SB 250, known as the Pet Responsibility Act, passed by the California Senate.
Introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, SB 250 would require that nearly all dogs and free-roaming cats be spayed or neutered. (Breeders would be required to obtain permits to keep unaltered animals.) California spends $250 million every year to shelter homeless animals, many of whom are eventually euthanized.
If it passes the State Assembly, SB 250 will save lives. After Santa Cruz County enacted similar legislation, the number of euthanized animals dropped by 60 percent, so it's crucial that this legislation becomes law.
Concerned Californians—please don't wait to write a letter (calls and e-mails won't be effective at this time) to your state assemblymember in support of SB 250. Put this quick, simple task on today's "To Do" list and it can lead to a huge victory for animals on tomorrow's "Ta-da!" list.
Written by Karin Bennett
First, it swore off Australian wool from lambs who have endured the cruel mulesing mutilation. Now, American Eagle Outfitters has taken another compassionate step that is sure to have mice pumping their tiny clenched paws in victory.
After learning that animals caught in glue traps die a slow, agonizing death by starvation—often after trying to gnaw off their own limbs in a vain attempt to free themselves—the ever-trendy, animal-friendly clothing chain has joined JPMorgan Chase in swearing off the use of glue traps in its stores.
Leave a comment below to congratulate American Eagle, then head on over to our Get Active page and let Lowe's know that it should follow AE's example and stop selling glue traps in its stores.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of the shower radio is Corey Robben. Congratulations!
OK, I'll admit it: I sing in the shower. It's safer than dancing, and everyone knows that lathering up just isn't as much fun without a soundtrack.
Belting it out is much easier when you have accompaniment, so we're giving away one of these super-cute Bug Shower & Bath Radios for this week's "Win It" Wednesday. It's water-resistant, and more importantly (at least to your dog's sensitive ears), it will help you hit those high notes.
How do you win? What's your favorite animal-friendly band? Let us know in a comment below, and we'll pick the most rockin' answer to win the Bug Shower & Bath Radio. (Hint: You can find a bunch of PETA-friendly bands at peta2.com.)
Written by Lianne Turner
You know what I like best about the summer—besides grilling veggie dogs until they turn black?
I'm especially excited this year because The Pretenders are going on tour and PETA has first dibs on their upcoming tour dates.
To find out where you'll have a chance to see PETA pal Chrissie Hynde live and in-person this summer, keep reading—but first:
Here's that sneak peek at a few of The Pretenders' summer dates. Enjoy! And, hey, maybe I'll see you in Central Park this August.
8/10, New York, New York8/14, Washington, D.C.8/18, Chicago, Illinois8/22, Denver, Colorado8/26, Vancouver, British Columbia9/3, Los Angeles, California
Written by Amanda Schinke
Several historic lighthouses in the U.S. and Puerto Rico have been "excessed" by the National Parks Department and are now up for grabs, at no cost, to nonprofits and other eligible entities.
Of course, when we heard this, a light bulb lit up over our heads—a coastal lighthouse would be the perfect place for to set up the national headquarters for our Fish Empathy Project.
In hopes of luring Dan Wenk, acting director of the National Park Service, with our bid, we've written him a letter outlining some of the details of our proposed exhibit.
PETA's center would feature educational displays proving that fish are intelligent animals who learn tasks, use tools, show affection, and feel pain when they are dragged from the sea in nets or impaled on hooks.
The lighthouse would also be home to the world's first Fish Empathy Quilt, a 300-square-foot quilt that pays tribute to the billions of fish who are abused and killed every year—as well as a café serving delicious faux-fish sticks and other tasty fish-friendly foods.
We'll let you know if he bites!
Catch this small sampling of the terrific responses we're getting to PETA's Canadian maple syrup boycott:
And a special thanks to the restaurants and pancake houses that have already pledged not to buy Canadian maple syrup—at least until this massacre ends. Economic pressure is what often makes the difference.
Perhaps best of all are the pictures we've received of people throwing their Canadian maple syrup bottles in the trash can. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. In this case, they're worth about 338,000 (that's the "quota" of baby seals who were clubbed to death this year).
We'd definitely love to see more of these pictures so we can show Canada that its reputation is in the trash can—literally. You can submit your photos here with your name, hometown, and a heartfelt message to the Canadian government. Then look for your picture here on the PETA Files later this month.
On Sunday, a group of visitors to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium took part in what can only be described as one of the most morbid lessons in fish appreciation that we've heard of.
After aquarium patrons had had their fill of staring at aquatic animals in glass prisons, they were taken to a back room and taught how to cut up and make raw sushi out of the dead cousins of the fish and crabs they'd just oohed and aahed over.
It's all part of the aquarium's "Right Bite" program, which aims to teach people that they can continue eating fish as long as it's not an "overfished" species. What the program fails to teach its students is that all ocean animals, whether bluefin tuna or Dungeness crabs, feel pain when they are drug up from their watery home in a net and forced to suffocate on the deck of a ship. Did they miss the recent study about crabs?
This institution says it "connects people to the living world," but it actually teaches visitors—including children—that fish are just things: food without feelings. Any way you slice it, that's just plain wrong.
PETA founder Ingrid E. Newkirk offers hundreds of simple ways to stop cruelty to animals in her new book, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble, which was released today.
While Ingrid is out on the road promoting kindness on her book tour, PETA's vice presidents are stepping up to our virtual podium for a Q&A with all of you PETA Files readers. They are poised to answer your hard-hitting animal rights and PETA questions. But first, some introductions are in order.
Meet the VPs
Dan MathewsSenior Vice President of Campaigns
PETA's dashing senior VP was once a green-haired punk rocker who flipped burgers at McDonald's. But when this pop-culture junkie breezed through PETA's doors in 1985, it was clear that he was born to lead our campaigns. During his two decades at PETA, this author/concert coordinator/protester extraordinaire has been the brains (and brawn) behind some of PETA's most colorful campaigns, including the ever-popular "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign. Dan lives by his personal motto: "Rest When You're Dead."
Just a sampling of the many PETA victories achieved under Dan's watch include convincing Calvin Klein to stop designing with fur after leading a raid in Calvin's office, pressuring GM to stop using animals in crash tests, and lobbying Gillette to halt product tests on animals. He's lined up stars to protest, pose nude, or even go to jail for the cause, including Chrissie Hynde, Sir Paul McCartney, and Pamela Anderson. Dan was named one of the "Most Influential Gays" of the millennium by Genre and one of the "50 Most Beautiful Guys" by teen magazine YM.
He's so funny and charming that it's no wonder that my mom, Carla of "Ask Carla," ignored her gay-dar and once daydreamed about setting him up with me.
Lisa LangeSenior Vice President of Communications
Lisa coordinated the production of some of PETA's most popular and successful videos and PSAs, including the hugely popular "Veggie Love" ad, a vegetarian ad featuring Alicia Silverstone in the buff, and a series of provocative videos for PETA's Animal Birth Control campaign. She also assisted with the production of I Am an Animal, an award-winning HBO documentary about Ingrid E. Newkirk.
She's influenced millions of viewers to consider animals during her smackdowns of animal exploiters on Today, CNBC, CNN's Crossfire, Larry King Live, and Your World With Neil Cavuto. She's appeared numerous times on The O'Reilly Factor and on countless other television and radio programs.
Lisa epitomizes vegan vitality and never stops thinking of ways to alleviate animal suffering—even when she's doing sit-ups at dawn during her boot-camp workouts.
Tracy Reiman Executive Vice President
Tracy oversees all of PETA's campaigns as well as PETA's marketing, corporate affairs, youth, and Web outreach efforts.
Let me take a deep breath before I start listing just a few of Tracy's accomplishments. Whew. OK. She led successful efforts to persuade Mobil, Texaco, Shell, and other big oil corporations to cap their oil stacks to prevent thousands of birds and bats from burning to death. She participated in the infamous sit-in at Calvin Klein's office (as mentioned above), which tipped the balance in convincing the clothing designer to abandon fur. She was instrumental in stopping NASA's cruel Bion project, which involved sending primates into space. Her investigative and rescue work resulted in the first-ever cruelty charges filed against a factory farmer for cruelty to chickens.
Tracy is fearless and tireless in her efforts for animals, and no matter what the situation, she always remains cool, calm, and collected. I've always considered her a sort of female James Bond for animals.
So, what is it that you're dying to know about these die-hard animal activists? Don't be shy. Leave a question (or two) below, and we'll have each of the VPs answer the most thought-provoking questions later this month.
Written by Karin Bennett
"There wouldn't be a swine flu if we treated the pigs better!"
That was superstar comedian and professional face-contorter Jim Carrey's shout out to pigs during his acceptance speech for Best Comedic Performance at the MTV Movie Awards last night.
While Rob Pattinson cleaned up in every other category and "Bruno" shocked the audience when he stuck his you-know-what in Eminem's face, Carrey's speech took home the golden popcorn for Best Awards Show Moment, at least in our eyes.
Thanks, Jim. If you ever want to put your mug on a pro-pig poster, you know where to find us.
Written by Christine Doré
From Washington state comes another story from the "why you should always adopt, never buy" files.
Today, Benton County law enforcement officials seized more than 400 dogs from a puppy mill owned by 66-year-old Ella Stewart in what they are calling "one of the worst cases" of animal abuse the state has ever seen.
All the dogs reportedly require medical treatment for a variety of ailments, including malnutrition, overgrown nails (which can cause painful foot injuries), and urine burns.
Urine burns! That's because all these pups were found living in makeshift crates (including shopping carts) that were caked with feces and soaked with urine.
You can bet that this isn't an isolated incident. Puppy mills, from which almost all pet stores buy their dogs, are breeding grounds (no pun intended) for disease and neglect. The animals who are unfortunate enough to be housed in these hell holes are viewed as commodities, not as living beings who require exercise, love, and care. They are crammed together into cages that they can barely turn around in, they are fed barely enough to survive, and when they suffer from injuries, their wounds go untreated.
So, the next time you're in the mood to bring a cute, dreamy-eyed pup home, don't support the Ella Stewarts of the world. Stop by your local animal shelter instead.
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.