Written by PETA
It wasn't easy to choose just one winner for PETA's "All-Expenses-Paid Thanksgiving Vacation to NYC" contest from the many video entries we received—but we did it. Ladies and gentleman, meet Kate, who eloquently explains why she and her family will be leaving turkey off the menu this Thanksgiving.
Congratulations to Kate, who's no doubt gearing up for a lot of weekend adventures in the Big Apple—and to everyone who entered, thanks for speaking up for turkeys.
Now the question is how will all of you benevolent busybodies celebrate Thanksgiving Day and Fur-Free Friday?
Written by Karin Bennett
PETA's friend Andy Dick is talking turkey in a hilarious new video featured on AOL's homepage this morning. AOL asked Andy to do a Thanksgiving video after being inspired by the delightfully twisted "Ronald McDonald" interview Andy starred in for PETA.
Check out Andy in action as he valiantly defends his feathered brethren:
Andy's video is amusing, but it also brings up a good question: If turkeys could speak our language, what would they say? My guess is something along the lines of "Give us something to be thankful for—go vegan!"
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
First, can we just address the fact that the yearly presidential pardon of two turkeys for Thanksgiving makes no sense? Presidential pardons are meant to forgive the questionable—or criminal—activities of people. Turkeys don't cheat, lie, or kill (OK, sure—their flesh can kill, but that's not the birds' fault). Every turkey is innocent—and inquisitive and smart. And they all suffer immensely on factory farms, on crowded trucks, and in slaughterhouses.
That having been said, in advance of this year's presidential pardon of two turkeys, PETA's ally and true-blue friend to animals Bill Maher has used his razor-sharp wit to pen a letter to President Obama on our behalf, urging the commander in chief to send the birds to a reputable animal sanctuary. For the past several years, pardoned turkeys have been shipped off to Disneyland and various tourist attractions—hardly a peaceful "retirement" for crippled birds, many of whom die before the next year's turkeys make it to the Rose Garden. Bill wrote, "I realize that in this election year it hasn't been easy for a Democrat to stand up for freedom, but it can be easy for everyone—including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and yes, even Tea Baggers—to stand up for compassion."
While we wait for President Obama's response to Bill Maher's letter, please encourage everyone you know to stand up for compassion—and turkeys—by celebrating with PETA's vegan holiday recipes. They're sure to satisfy every craving, from a savory start to a sweet finish—and all delicious bites in-between.
During our investigations, undercover workers document some seriously sick and disturbing events—including the sexual abuse of animals, from pigs to turkeys. Unfortunately, sexual violence against farmed animals is not an unusual occurrence.
I have to warn you—what you're about to see and read is not for the faint of heart.
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Our undercover investigation at an Iowa pig factory farm revealed that a supervisor rammed a cane into a pig's vagina. That same supervisor said that he thrust gate rods into the anuses of pigs who frustrated him.
At a Butterball slaughterhouse, a PETA investigator saw—in addition to other horrific cruelty—a worker insert his finger into a turkey's cloaca (vagina). Another worker mimed raping a bird whose legs and head he'd shackled.
At Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., in West Virginia, the "world's leading poultry breeding company," a worker was indicted for cruelty to animals after being caught on video pinning a female turkey to the ground and mimicking raping her. When interviewed by police, he reportedly admitted to having done this to dozens of other turkeys.
When writer Jim Mason worked for a day as a turkey breeder, he discovered that since turkeys have been genetically manipulated to grow so large that they can no longer breed naturally, workers must manually extract semen from males and manually inseminate females. On dairy farms, a female cow will often be forcibly restrained so that she can't get away when an insemination instrument is shoved into her vagina. Pig factory farm workers confine boars to tiny "carts" and parade them in front of sows so that other workers can look at and touch sows' genitals in order to determine the best time to insert a tube of pig semen into them.
Cruel, twisted, perverted, and sadistic—and this kind of sexual violence happens every day on factory farms. The meat and dairy industries even consider some of it "standard practice." This is why we're hoping to have this billboard placed very soon, but until then, we're continuing to urge everyone to go vegan. Help end the horrific abuse of animals on factory farms forever!
Written by Shawna Flavell
MTV Denmark host and FHM cover model Anne Lindfjeld stripped down to her trademark tattoos for PETA's first Scandinavian "Ink, Not Mink" ad, which was unveiled just before the start of the Kopenhagen Fur auction in Denmark, the country that produces the most mink furs.
Lindfjeld joins a long list of tattooed celebrities—including Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, the SuicideGirls, and NBA star Dennis Rodman—who've bared their skin to save animals' skins. Go, Anne!
Written by Heather Moore
Last night, Lady Gaga tried once again to shock the world, this time by wearing a "meat dress" during her acceptance of the Video of the Year award at MTV's Video Music Awards. Lately, Lady Gaga has been having a hard time keeping her act "over the top." Wearing a dress made out of cuts of dead cows is offensive enough to bring comment, but someone should whisper in her ear that there are more people who are upset by butchery than who are impressed by it—and that means a lot of young people will not be buying her records if she keeps this stuff up. On the other hand, maybe it was fake and she'll talk about that later. If not, what's next: the family cat made into a hat? Meat is the decomposing flesh of a tormented animal who didn't want to die, and after a few hours under the TV lights, it would smell like the rotting flesh it is and likely be crawling in maggots—not too attractive, really. The stunt is bringing lots of people to PETA.org to download a copy of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit, so I guess we should be glad.
A wonderful side note to mention, Ellen DeGeneres (who is vegan herself), presented Gaga with a veggie bikini and suggested she try that next time she wants to make a statement. Thanks, Ellen!
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers, but what about the things that come before the meal? This holiday is nothing without pre-shindig anticipation, so here are some tasty tidbits to hold you over before tomorrow's cruelty-free feast:
Written by Logan Scherer
Hey, NBC: We'd like to know … if a family-friendly announcement against abusing turkeys (who live in dark, ammonia-filled sheds where workers clip their beaks, break their legs and wings, and crush their heads) doesn't meet your standards, then what does?
When we first submitted our newest commercial to NBC in the hopes of running it during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the station asked us to give more information about the cruelty behind turkey slaughter to back up the statements made in the ad. But even after we sent the network this New York Times article chronicling the grisly facts about turkey factory farming, it nixed the ad, claiming that "this commercial does not meet NBC Universal standards."
We made this commercial with the parade's kid-centric audience in mind, hoping to empower children to make informed, healthy, and humane decisions about their diets and to stand up for those decisions.
While NBC's standards are a bit foggy, we've made sure that ours are crystal clear.
Every year, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, our nation's president "pardons" two of the 46 million turkeys who are set to be slaughtered for holiday meals. And every year, we write to the president asking him to ensure that the turkeys receive the care necessary to give them the lengthy, happy lives that they deserve.
This year, we're asking President Obama to send the birds to a reputable animal sanctuary instead of to Disneyland, where the pardoned birds are traditionally sent—and where they usually die from agonizing genetic defects within a year of finding "freedom." Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary has already agreed to take the turkeys if Obama makes the informed, humane decision to send them there.
We're also urging Obama to recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who personally pardon turkeys every Thanksgiving by choosing a cruelty-free feast for the first family this year. We're even offering them a sure-to-be-succulent vegan holiday meal—all-American vegan apple pie and soy ice cream included.
Saving lives, being healthy, and fighting climate change—you can never have too many things to be thankful for, which is why a vegan Thanksgiving is the best way to celebrate the holiday. Now, pardon me while I plan a menu.
Written by Logan Scherer
This week, PETA started a national tour to promote a cruelty-free Thanksgiving. Droves of lucky San Franciscans were the first to receive free Tofurky roasts, kindly donated by Turtle Island Foods.
The only thing I can think of that would be more worthy of thanks than gobbling (sorry, had to) up a succulent, savory Tofurky—while saving the lives of turkeys—would be to get one for free. Luckily for you, our turkeys are strutting their way through cities across the country and giving away roasts at each stop.
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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.