Written by PETA
I'm having a hard time typing this with a straight face, but scientists at the University of Vienna have recently released a study claiming that, in the words of a news article, "living with humans has taught dogs morals." Apparently, the researchers attribute dogs' sense of "fairness" to their contact with humans.
Are they drinking from their lab-bench pipettes again? I mean, don't you always think of dogs as exemplifying the finest attributes we look for in humans? Loyalty, love, and—of course—fairness … aren't these qualities we can all learn from dogs? With all the human injustices—the wars, rapes, pillaging, cutting other people off in traffic, etc.—it seems a bit grandiose to claim that dogs learned their sense of fairness from us.
Consider this news story from Argentina: A 14-year-old girl abandoned her newborn baby outdoors, in winter, in the middle of the night. When the baby was found, she was being kept safe and warm—not by the human being who left her to die or by any other human but by a dog.
The dog, China, was keeping the baby girl safe among her own puppies and, perhaps seeing that she was weirdly hairless, had even covered her with a rag! Authorities theorize that China found the baby outdoors and carried her back inside. If not for China, the baby would have died unprotected against the cold outside.
So let me get this straight—who should learn from whom here?
Written by Amanda Schinke
Last month, PETA broke the news about barbaric U.S. Army trauma training exercises that were being conducted at a base camp in Hawaii, in which pigs were shot with high-powered rifles. Local Army officials there are standing by their false claims that these exercises are necessary to provide soldiers with the skill to treat trauma victims on the battlefield, even though it seems to us these exercises broke Army regulations by not using available alternatives to the primitive use of animals.
I guess we can sleep well knowing that if a soldier loses his tail during a raid, some well-trained fellow soldiers, thanks to this training, may be able to reattach the necessary posterior appendage.
Given the U.S. Army's apparent outright disregard for their own regulations and the treatment of these animals, PETA is now asking commanding officers at bases in Hawaii and Texas—where a more recent training exercise included breaking and amputating the legs of nearly 1,000 goats with tree trimmers—for a court martial over the shooting, mutilating, and killing of animals during these old-fashioned training exercises.
According to the Army's own regulations, the Army is required to use alternatives to animals in training exercises when scientifically valid and comparable alternatives exist. And they do! The animal exercise should have been replaced with validated, state-of-the-art simulators, such as the Department of Defense's own Combat Trauma Patient Simulator, which more realistically simulates battlefield conditions and, consequently, is considered superior to outdated animal methods. Other viable alternatives include Dr. Emad Aboud's "living" cadaver perfusion model, Simulab Corporation's TraumaMan system, and establishing military level one trauma centers in nearby communities in order to have trainees work with the community to take care of their city's population.
Kathy Guillermo, director of PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department, says, "The Army has regulations in place specifically to prevent this kind of cruelty to animals, but the oversight committee apparently chose to ignore them. Our soldiers deserve to be trained using the most advanced technology available—that means using human simulators."
The U.S. Army does not train soldiers to race into battle zones to retrieve injured pigs, goats, or dogs. That would be great, but let's face it: It's not the government's main agenda. Time, money, and resources could be far better spent.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
We all know exactly how disastrous racing can be for the horses who are whipped and drugged for entertainment. Well, the scandal doesn't stop at the Kentucky Derby—it goes all the way up to the Olympics.
That's right—four horses forced to compete in the Olympics have tested positive, and have subsequently been banned, for the drug capsaicin. Capsaicin is banned because, in the words of one article, "it is derived from the chilli pepper and is used for either medication, as a pain-killer, or for its hypersensitizing properties. In both cases a horse might jump better as a result of its use." Of course, when you mask pain and overuse a limb, the repercussions can be bone-shatteringly bad.
The four horses banned were competing in team show jumping. Their riders have also been banned from participating in individual events—and if more horses are found to have been drugged, the Olympic medals may be shifted around. Of course, this wouldn't be the first Olympics where horse-dopers have been stripped of their medals—Germany lost the gold in Athens for the same crime.
People will be shocked to hear of this scandal—and for good reason. If horses are subjected to this kind of mistreatment at the highest level of the "sport," maybe "sport" isn't the right place for these beautiful, sensitive animals. Horses should not be drugged up and run into the ground by greedy people for money or for medals, even if it means abusing animals whose athleticism wins the gold. Oh, and did you see any of the close-ups, with the horses' heads being yanked all the way to their chests and up again, their eyes almost popping out of their heads as they were jerked around? Nice.
News from Germany this week, where Gana, a gorilla in the Muenster Zoo, has been raising her baby boy, Claudio. This past weekend, Claudio suddenly died, possibly from a heart defect.
Heartbroken, Gana kept carrying her dead baby on her back as she had when he was alive, looking back again and again in the hope of finding him recovered. She held her child up, desperately searching for signs of movement in his limp body, and sat cradling him.
Zoo visitors were visibly moved and many cried upon seeing Gana's grief. But no one who has been paying attention to animals should be surprised by the depth of emotion that Gana showed in her mourning. Animals feel pain, fear, anger, love, and grief. Mother cows bellow for their calves, who are taken away so that humans can drink the milk that they make solely to nourish their babies. Dogs, beavers, and monkeys take pity on orphaned animals and adopt them as their own. Animals—from pigs to porpoises—show concern for humans, too, by going to great lengths to rescue us from peril.
Yet people often look away from this glaring evidence of sentience. By convincing themselves that animals don't feel deeply—that they're "not like us"—humans have justified inflicting all kinds of horrors on animals. But if people torturing primates in laboratories or slaughtering gorillas in the Congo could look into Gana's shattered heart, they might wake up to the true cost of their actions.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Cheer up, Grey's Anatomy fans! No, we cannot make the new season start any earlier than planned—but we do have some news to tide you over until you can get your weekly dose of medicine, drama, and sticky situations!
It seems that cast member Sandra Oh has been up to a little plot-scheming of her own in the offseason. The vegan vixen has recently divulged her not-so-super-secret plan to turn her costars vegan too!
The television doctor recently treated a group of cast and crew members to a 100 percent cruelty-free lunch at Truly Vegan in Hollywood. Has it worked? Turns out Mr. McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant's chocolate vegan cake, and Ellen Pompeo has become a frequent customer!
Maybe all those script readings and hours on the Grey's set has taught the cast and crew a thing or two about the health benefits of a plant-based diet! Oh yeah, and it probably helps that vegan food doesn't taste like grass and soggy sticks, contrary to what some meatheads and unweaned grownups believe.
One can only wait and see if Sandra's plot will play out in the new season! In the meantime, though, why not make your friends swoon with a delicious cruelty-free concoction of your own?
Happy birthday to the largest and hardest-hitting animal rights group known to humankind! We're bold, pragmatic, and provocative, and in our old age, we're only getting better at meeting the needs of animals the world over—and we even manage to look good doing it. Seriously, have you checked out our campaigns recently? 28 must be the new 20, 'cause we keep getting sexier!
However, some people think that some of our campaigns "cross the line." Hmmm, if you were in a battle for your life—as the billions-with-a-"b" of animals in slaughterhouses, on fur farms, in laboratories, and in circuses are—wouldn't you want a defender to come to your rescue who is mighty ferocious and not afraid to take some flak? Well, in 28 years, PETA has never backed down from a fight. And believe you me, we can take a hit. Lawsuits, federal investigations, infiltrators, slanderous news articles … the list go on. Yet we're stronger than ever in our relentless battle for what's right, and we're gaining momentum every day.
From the boardroom to the classroom, we employ every tactic and tool we can get our eager hands on in the defense of animals, so send us your ideas and we might add 'em. Now, maybe you've only heard about the colorful tactics we use to catch the media's attention, but that's only a fraction of what we do. Here's a quote from PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk:
Few people know the depth of our work, as it is mostly our stunts that make the news. While cruelty to animals is a serious matter that should elicit widespread public outrage, efforts to reach the public through more serious means often fall on deaf ears in a world in which sex sells and there are both a war and an economic downturn. . . . Forgive us our bikinis and our shock tactics, but our message that all beings—both human and nonhuman—deserve compassion and respect is one that we must work hard to make heard.
So, in celebration of our anniversary, we decided to give y'all some free goodies for showing us your stuff. Here's the contest—let us know your favorite PETA victories (you can totally cheat by going to this heartwarming site), and you'll be entered to win a copy of the acclaimed documentary I Am an Animal on DVD. It answers quite a few questions about PETA and our tireless president that you might have had—and it just might get ya fired up enough to join us! If so, we've got a bikini with your name on it!
Written by Missy Lane
After a two-year stint of showing off his finely chiseled physique in America, David—as in Michelangelo's "David"—is returning home to Italy. Only, he's leaving a new man—or should we say, a new sculpture?
Yes, Michelangelo's most famous sculpture has taken a little bit of the U.S. with him, in the form of 50-plus pounds of extra fat. Looks like David consumed the standard American diet of hamburgers, chicken wings, glasses of milk, and cheese on everything!
The image was actually created by advertising agency Scholz & Friends, which is based in Germany, for an ad campaign they're running to get people up off their rumps and active with healthy doses of daily exercise.
Coincidently, the fat "David" image has surfaced right on the heels of our request to put up ads along the U.S.-Mexican border to warn crossing immigrants about the United States' severely unhealthy meat- and dairy-centered diet.
Obesity is one of the leading health problems in this country for people of all ages—and it's really not shocking, given the poor eating habits and exercise regimens of most Americans.
The good news is that you don't have to be a part of America's expanding-waistline problem. Adults who follow a vegan diet on average weigh 10 to 20 lbs. less than their meat-eating and dairy-guzzling counterparts. Plus, meat, dairy, and egg consumption is linked to asthma and increases a person's chances of getting certain cancers by 40 percent! If you're looking to build the healthy, well-defined body that "David" is best known for, we recommend laying off the animal products. Your looks and health will thank you.
You hear politicians and journalists complain all the time about how grueling it is to follow the campaign trail, but none of those guys ever had to do it in a pink pig costume (to my knowledge). So I want to take a moment to recognize my colleague Ashley Byrne and the brave PETA interns Chris Arellano and Lacey Knox who have been showing up at campaign stops around the country to drum up support for PETA’s call for an excise tax on meat. These pics from South Carolina—where the pigs were a big hit with democrats and republicans alike—are pretty damn adorable.
Someone should probably tell this pig and cow that they’re not going to win any elections if their only platform is raising taxes, but the argument is a solid one: In addition to being a leading cause of global warming, meat causes cancer and heart disease—driving health-care costs through the roof. Alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline are subject to a “sin” tax, so meat should be too. We’re asking congress to tax meat at 10 cents per pound to offset its staggering costs, and these two have been following the presidential candidates all around the campaign trail to make that point. In a Mustang Convertible, which gives the whole thing a bit of flair. This pic’s from one of the Iowa stops:
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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.