Written by PETA
This story's got it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's just sort of in reverse order. Think: bad beginning but great ending for a few hundred fish and snails!
On an average day, PETA's Cruelty Investigations Department receives dozens of phone calls from caring individuals who have witnessed—and wish to report—cases of animal abuse. One recent tip came from a Wal-Mart customer, who overheard employees say that the store was undergoing renovations and that it would no longer be selling fish. In theory, that's good news. Unsold fish would have been “dry-bagged,” causing them to suffocate to death.
Our Cruelty Investigations Department immediately swam into action. The result: Wal-Mart agreed to give all the fish to PETA, and our staff rushed to pick them up—with no time to spare. Several hundred fish and snails were removed and many are now living in the lap of luxury with PETA staffers.
This is, I'm sure, a welcome change for the fish, who are intelligent little animals (they can even eavesdrop just as we do!).
While we ordinarily would never advocate putting any fish in a tank, these little guys—who would have suffered a prolonged, terrifying death—are now swimming, jumping, and diving their way around their new spacious tanks, which are full of plants, clean water and shipwreck loads of stimulation to keep them happy. Thanks to the PETA staffers who have graciously provided these fish with a great new home!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Do you know the saying "Don't steal—the government hates competition"? I was reminded of it recently when news broke that the U.S. Army is shooting live pigs in an open range with high-power rifles at a training camp in Hawaii. The Army says it's teaching combat medics how to treat battlefield injuries, but here's the thing: The Army is required—by its own regulations—to use alternatives to animals in any kind of experimentation or training when scientifically valid and comparable alternatives exist. And guess what? Those alternatives exist.
My colleague Shalin Gala rattles off these humane alternatives like nobody's business: the Combat Trauma Patient Simulation System, Simulab Corporation's TraumaMan system (insert superhero figure with a T on his chest), partnering with trauma centers for real-life experience, and Dr. Emad Aboud's "living" cadaver perfusion model. Shalin also tells me that he regularly receives calls from whistleblowers in the Army and the Navy telling him about the use of pigs, goats, and monkeys for trauma training and chemical casualty training—all in apparent violation of regulations.
Kathy Guillermo, the director of PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department, had this to say: "In order to effectively save our soldiers' lives, Army medics should be trained with human trauma patients and advanced simulators that mimic human responses. Shooting and maiming pigs is as outdated as Civil War rifles."
I agree, but I'm kind of stuck on the fact that the horror of the Army's pig shooting in Hawaii goes way beyond just that. Readers of The PETA Files are well aware that you don't have to be Einstein to get your head around the few paltry regulations intended to protect animals in laboratories, but even so, violations of these regulations are rampant. A recent audit noted that nearly a third of U.S. laboratories are failing to search for alternatives. Is it any wonder when the government—charged with ensuring that laboratories comply with the law—doesn't seem to have its own house in order?
Posted by Grace Friedan
You know, we've been partnering with Helium.com and recently gave out a PETA Citizen Journalism Award to Cate Stewart, who published a fantastic essay about clean meat on Helium. You can read this award-winning essay here:
Would you eat animal-stem-cell–grown "clean meat" to protect animals and the environment? Yes, I would definitely eat "clean meat." I'm all for saving animals. And, by growing our own meat, we can save animals from slaughter and pain, and keep them from going extinct. If there was the option of "clean meat" I would buy it without hesitation. It would be a great alternative to eating an animal. If the public's knowledge of "clean meat" increases, it could be sold in restaurants and grocery stores around the world and make the market a healthier place. This would be an amazing way to feed humans and to help animals. "Clean meat" is an all-around fantastic idea. If we could grow our own meats, there would be less of a risk of food poisoning and disease, because "clean meat" would not be contaminated with feces and would be the first disease-free meat. Imagine how wonderful that would be! No more worrying about what the meat you eat has in it, because you know that there's no way disease could be inside. And even if you don't worry about the meat you eat, you will not get sick, as you potentially could. If the "Clean Meat" could provide us with the proper nutrition and proteins needed in a daily diet, I would not hesitate to become a consumer of this product. I also like the idea of "clean meat" because "clean meat" is green meat and would not pollute rivers and streams, use up ground water, or cause deforestation as usual meat production would do. It would also cease the pollution that meat packing plants, slaughter houses, and meat shipping trucks make and we would have less waste from the animal carcasses that are left after slaughter. It would help everyone, from humans, to animals, to the environment. It would also be something to eat for people like me, who can not give up meat for health reasons or for people who do not wish to give up meat for their own personal reasons. Vegans and Vegetarians could eat this meat too, since you do not have to kill an animal to make "clean meat". What a wonderful world! PETA, with the help of scientists, can make this happen, and it will help make a better planet and a healthier population. I am convinced that this is the future of our food, and saving the Earth and its inhabitants is essential. I urge you to look into "clean meat" and consider eating it when it becomes available. You can make a difference.
Posted by Christine Doré
Like you, dear reader, PETA is concerned about the sad state of affairs in Washington. Never content to just sit around, though, we're doing our part to get the pork out of politics. And although congressional staffers are used to hearing from folks who have a beef, we arrived without any at all! OK, I'll stop with the puns ...
As those of you who frequent The PETA Files surely remember, every year, PETA heads to Capitol Hill to celebrate National Veggie Dog Day by giving away those meatless treats—along with copies of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit." And if that's not enough to get the attention of those who stalk the corridors of power, there was Playboy Playmate—and PETA member—Lauren Anderson in a lettuce-leaf bikini.
As one might expect, this attracted some attention. Not only did the line stretch around the block, the media showed up in full force as well. (In case anyone wonders why we use tactics like lettuce-leaf bikinis, that's why.)
It wasn't all just food and frivolity, though. We used the occasion to make these Beltway insiders aware of the connection between meat-eating and global warming. As Ms. Anderson put it, "If people thought about the environmental destruction, cruelty to animals, and unsavory-sounding body parts that go into meat hot dogs, they'd be switching to veggie hot dogs faster than you can say 'inconvenient truth.'" Amen! And pass the mustard.
And, yes, we have pictures:
Burberry representatives denied entry to Bruce Friedrich this morning, an action that we believe clearly violates the rules that govern publicly traded companies. Bruce, appearing as a proxy, had registered in time, confirmed his registration, and showed proper identification and a copy of his proxy voucher card to officials—but to no avail.
One might suspect that the problem here is that Friedrich is an outspoken opponent of the use of fur in Burberry’s clothing, and they don't want their shareholders to hear what he has to say.
Bruce was slated to speak and urge shareholders to end the company's use of fur, as stated in the shareholder statement that PETA Europe had sent directly to Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as well as their chair and chief designer. Included with the statement was video footage showing fur-bearing animals caught in traps, animals chewing off their own limbs to escape, and animals on fur farms crammed in tiny, filthy cages until they were killed by gassing, anal or vaginal electrocution, or having their necks broken.
Since Burberry is based in the United Kingdom, where cruel fur farms are illegal, they have resorted to importing animal pelts from Finland. Says Friedrich, "Burberry might not want its shareholders to hear about the company's support for cruelty to animals so extreme that if the practices it supports were conducted in the United Kingdom, they would be illegal, but it has no right to shut out debate".
Posted by Sean Conner
Greetings, true believers! If you're like me, your batarang is all up in a bunch this summer with all the amazing comic-book movies coming out. Between Iron Man, The Hulk, and now The Dark Knight (which opens today), it's like we've died and gone to nerd heaven. So in the spirit of the superhero season, check out PETA's official list of the Top 10 Animal-Friendly Superheroes of all time!
9. Black Panther—As the leader of the African nation of Wakanda, the Black Panther has banned the evil White Gorilla Cult from his country. Members of the cult seek to gain power by killing one of Wakanda's rare white gorillas, bathing in their blood, and eating their flesh (um, gross). The villain known as Man-Ape gained his superpowers by doing exactly that—incurring the wrath of the Black Panther and becoming one of his greatest foes.
8. Superman—In a one-shot "PSA comic" entitled "Superman: For the Animals," Supes rescues a kitten from being thrown off a bridge by a group of kids named (seriously) Ballser, Charlie, Donuts, and Eightball and, in the process, teaches everyone a valuable lesson about not picking on anyone weaker than you—including animals.
6. Thor—In the Ultimate Avengers animated movie, we find Thor out at sea with a group of activists protesting whale slaughter. If only his fellow Norwegians in the real world got the picture that whaling is a thing of the past!
5. Batman—Think of the Caped Crusader, and the first thing that comes to mind is his cape, of course. Animal lovers reveled when they learned that Batman's cape was made of cruelty-free pleather—not leather. This superhero batvocate made pleather cool again, and PETA loves him for it.
4. Beast Boy—Everyone's favorite Teen Titan also happens to be vegan (and not just because he's been hanging out on peta2.com like pretty much every other teenager). You would be, too, if you had the metamorphic ability to turn into any animal and therefore had a little compassion for the ones that get eaten.
2. Wolverine and Jean Grey—In X-Men Unlimited #44, Wolverine catches three neighborhood boys in the act of torturing and killing animals for kicks—and offers to return the favor on behalf of his furry friends. Using her psychic powers, Jean Grey instead makes the boys experience in their minds the pain and suffering that they caused to their innocent victims. In the next issue … Colonel Sanders!
1. Wonder Man—In Civil War: Frontline #5, part of Marvel's epic Civil War story arc, Wonder Man is interrupted on his way to an important function by two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents looking for answers about a mysterious aquarium store bombing (read the book). The important function? A PETA banquet. 'Nuff said.
Posted by Dan Shannon
Chances are that if you live in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, or Mississippi, you've shopped at a Winn-Dixie. Well, you'll be glad to know that this top grocery chain, which operates 520 stores in the South, has just made some improvements in how some of the chickens and pigs killed for its products are treated.
Now before anyone jumps all over us, yes, we are vegans; yes, we spend buckets of money trying to get other people to go vegan; and yes, as long as one chicken is going to be killed because we aren't able to prevent people from buying and cooking birds, we want that death to be as painless as possible.
Following about five months of discussions with PETA (and there was that matter of the shareholder resolution we submitted to the company), Winn-Dixie has adopted an animal welfare plan. The company has agreed to do the following:
Winn-Dixie is following in the footsteps of other major grocery and restaurant companies that have recently made animal welfare improvements after working with PETA. Those companies include Safeway, Harris Teeter (another large Southern grocery chain), Burger King, Carl's Jr., and Hardee's.
While this certainly doesn't mean that the eggs and meat at Winn-Dixie (or any other chain) are produced without causing animals to suffer (check out Meat.org to see what I mean), it does mean that the worst abuses have been eliminated for some of the animals. And we welcome any improvements in animals' living and dying conditions!
If you'd like to thank Winn-Dixie, drop them a line through their online customer service form.
The latest podcast on the PETA front is "Vegetarianism in a Nutshell," presented by PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. This talk is seriously fantastic and inspiring. If you're already veg, it'll empower you. And if you're not, well … hell, it'll probably convert you!
Bruce discusses the impact of vegetarianism on our lives and the environment, and the whole thing just makes me want to dig into my fave vegan dish and give KFC the bird!
Seriously, though, sit back … put your nonleather-shoed feet up … and take a gander (or a listen) at our newest podcast.
Our good friends over at PETA Asia-Pacific got some unexpected attention during a protest outside a KFC restaurant in Sydney, Australia, when the police showed up offering the protesters blankets and a free ride to the station.
The three ladies—who had crammed their bodies into a wire cage to protest the cruel methods KFC uses to raise and slaughter the billions of birds that fill its buckets each year—were wrapping up the peaceful demonstration when the swoop occurred (swoop, geddit?) and arrested the activists for ... indecent exposure. Of course, there had been no indecent anything, and the ladies were later released. An apology is in order.
The demonstration was a magnificent follow-up to Pamela Anderson's Australian rendezvous last week, when the actor hand-delivered a letter to the managing director of KFC Australia's parent company telling him exactly what she thinks of KFC suppliers' scalding birds to death.
All our Australian supporters are pushing for KFC restaurants to adopt the same animal welfare standards now applied to chickens killed for KFCs in Canada. The PETA Asia-Pacific crew reached even more blokes and sheilas! Well done!
Check out photos from the demonstration below!
We at PETA like to say that cruelty is the secret ingredient in KFC's buckets (what, with chickens being tormented before they're killed and abused in other horrific ways). But it turns out that at one KFC, there was another secret ingredient: urine.
Yep, you read that right: Chicken was urinated on before being sold to a customer. Feeling peckish? (That's British for "hungry"—geddit?)
A Nebraska police officer and his family have won $40,000 from a KFC outlet that served them food tainted by an employee's spit and urine. The couple sued the offending company when their two sons, 4 and 7 at the time, became ill (one violently ill) after they ate the food. The younger boy vomited for hours and was hospitalized for gastroenteritis and dehydration.
The lawsuit also stated that "[e]mployees maintained 'special servings' of food reserved for ... officers. The 'special servings' had been urinated in or spit in by KFC/Taco Bell employees. In fact, defendant's employees maintained a particular serving pan for use in creating 'special servings' of food plus employee urine."
Finger licking good? I'll pass.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.