Written by PETA
Michael Jackson is trickier to find these days than Waldo, but lucky for us (and for animals), we've got some mad detective skills. Do you really think any disguise would prevent us from tracking him down when animals are in danger? Heck no!
PETA's Captive Animal Rescue and Enforcement Department—otherwise known as CARE—shot off a letter to the artist insisting that he take responsibility for the giraffes he once owned at his Neverland Ranch property. You might remember that Jackson sold the animals who were living at his private zoo after the millions of dollars of unpaid debt that had piled up at his doorstep made him incapable of caring for them.
Four giraffes from the ranch were relocated to Arizona after being purchased by a couple who apparently intend to open a zoo. But since the beginning of the year, PETA has received numerous complaints from concerned citizens regarding the well-being of these giraffes. A former volunteer caretaker for the animals has reported that the giraffes do not receive adequate foot care. According to this person, the giraffes have been housed in small, 15 ft. by 15 ft. "temporary" enclosures since the day they were purchased over a year ago. And, with the exception of one giraffe—who reportedly was allowed to bleed for days after giving birth before the couple finally requested assistance—none of the animals have been seen by a vet.
We have reason to believe that one of these giraffes was born at the San Antonio Zoo. Unfortunately, our numerous attempts to contact the zoo to request that zoo officials arrange for the giraffes' lifetime care at a suitable facility have gone unanswered.
Now, it's time for Jackson to put his money where his mouth is and pay to have these animals, whom he once supposedly loved so dearly, transferred to an accredited sanctuary. These giraffes have been suffering for far too long. They deserve to live out the remainder of their lives in a clean, safe environment, where they will receive adequate food, shelter, and veterinary care.
Come on, Michael. It's bad, it's bad, and you know it.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
This year, in response to the gobbledygook that is offered on Butterball's Thanksgiving hotline (tips for stuffing a murdered bird? No, thank you!), you'll never guess who is greeting 1-888-VEG-FOOD callers and asking folks to pardon all turkeys from the horrible fate of being Thanksgiving dinner. A clue? He's "decided" to give the birds a break.
Each year, the president "pardons" two turkeys, who used to be sent to, ahem, Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. Well, instead of letting two overblown, overgrown birds get a few months to hobble around on painful legs, here's an idea: Go meat-free! Of all the tough decisions boggling the Executive-brain, this one should be the easiest to make. The weapons of mass defeathering are well-documented, and are known as shackles, scalding tanks, and blade machines. Check out the words of wisdom:
So, a word to those who would celebrate Thanksgiving with a dead centerpiece: Why not try one of these life-affirming, tasty recipes instead? Or how about a faux turkey? Or a vegan Wellington of mass deliciousness? Yep, healthy, vegetarian Thanksgiving fare abounds, and the turkeys needn't be the only ones doing the gobbling.
Written by Charlotte Gordon
A new report by the auto insurance–funded Highway Loss Data Institute finds that fatalities in collisions between vehicles and animals—mostly deer—have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Hunters are undoubtedly tripping all over themselves in the hope of using this to rationalize killing even more animals—but we believe that the blame for this crisis falls on their shoulders.
You see, hunting increases deer populations. Deer are masters of managing their own populations if left alone to judge how much food is available to sustain their herd size. Pregnant does have been known to reabsorb fetuses if a sharp winter deprives them of the nourishment to sustain a fawn. But, in hunted populations, does are more likely to have twins rather than single fawns (or none), and are more likely to reproduce at a younger age.
The state agencies that are responsible for wildlife "management" know this, of course—but they've allied themselves with hunters, who want there to be more living targets, not fewer!
So, instead of setting up chemo-sterilization programs or letting the deer figure things out naturally, "game" management agencies deliberately do things like destroying the deer's forest homes by clear-cutting in order to increase the amount of vegetation for the deer to eat, and planting browse in order to fool the deer into increasing their populations. These programs help to ensure that there are plenty of animals for these officials and their bloodthirsty buddies to kill as well as plenty of revenue from the sale of hunting licenses.
When hunting seasons make the deer's ever-shrinking territories into war zones, the deer find themselves constantly on the run—and in their panic they often jump right into roadways. A study of collisions between deer and vehicles in Pennsylvania found that the opening day and opening Saturday of deer-hunting season are "[t]wo of the most dangerous days to drive." And the deer have good reason to be fearful: A British study of deer hunting found that more than 10 percent of deer who are killed by hunters had to be shot multiple times before they died—and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying. We suspect the situation is far worse in the good ole U.S. of A.
There is a lot of work to be done to help protect deer and other wildlife. And drivers should slow down and watch the road carefully during hunting seasons. Be aware that most of the time when a car hits a deer, the driver slowed down for one deer, and then sped up and hit another. In other words, if you see one deer, slow down and watch for the rest of the deer family.
So, if you hear someone try to justify hunting with the ludicrous line that "it helps animals," call them out with the facts.
Written by Jeff Mackey
It's not often that we post an entry about octopi, but this story is definitely worth the mention.
When employees at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, were puzzled by the constant short-circuiting of lights, they thought it was a result of technical difficulties. It turns out, however, that Otto the octopus was just trying to get the irritating light turned off. Maybe he'd read that study about how having lights on at night can interfere with your sleep.
It took three days and the detective work of several employees to learn of Otto's clever antics, which included climbing to the rim of his tank and squirting water at the lights above to turn them off. The cephalopod has also been caught redecorating his tank by tossing its contents around, throwing rocks at the tank glass, and juggling hermit crabs.
Otto's pranks may be amusing—especially when they're fooling humans—but they're also a sign that he is bored out of his mind and not receiving the stimulation that any intelligent being needs. They are a cry for attention. Signs of boredom and loneliness are the norm among animals who are imprisoned in tiny, barren spaces; and they can be dangerous too. When the electricity short-circuited, it shut down all the filters and water pumps, putting not only Otto in danger but the other marine life as well. And the hermit crabs most likely didn't enjoy being tossed around.
Octopi are highly intelligent animals with sharp short-term and long-term memory skills. Instead of buying new toys and keeping an eye on Otto, as the aquarium's director has suggested, we vote that he should be released into the ocean where he can live a natural and full life in his vast native environment. All the toys in the world aren't going to make any difference for an animal who is crammed into a tiny, unfamiliar living space that lacks the proper kind of stimulation.
The USDA just completed an investigation of a Butterball turkey slaughterhouse in Arkansas that confirmed PETA's findings of intentional cruelty to animals, including punching, kicking, and tormenting turkeys destined for slaughter. So what happens next? Well, not much, as far as the law’s concerned: Because there simply aren’t any federal legal protections for chickens and turkeys. None. The only thing that can be done is to take matters into our own hands and put pressure on places like Butterball to make changes that will benefit the animals they profit from. And, more importantly, boycott these companies by going vegetarian. Here’s the video of the Butterball supplier’s abuses:
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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.