Written by PETA
Business as usual at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) has just cost the university a whopping $62,500. That's what KUMC has agreed to pay in fines after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found 160 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. This means that KUMC has the distinction of forking over one of the highest settlements ever paid by a laboratory for violating animal protection regulations.
But the cost for the animals was much higher. Monkeys at KUMC were so traumatized that they pulled out their own hair and paced their cages ceaselessly—which is what monkeys do when they're forced to live in tiny, barren spaces without anything to do day after day, year after year, and when the lab staff can't be bothered to provide the psychological enrichment that's required by law. Animals were also denied adequate veterinary care and even pain relief after surgery.
The USDA's citations also confirmed what we uncovered about KUMC last year: Experimenters weren't even providing an adequate rationale for using animals, as the law requires. PETA filed a complaint last December with university officials because KUMC still cuts up pigs for surgery practice, even though more sophisticated non-animal methods are available. Nearly every other medical school in America, including Harvard and Stanford, ended the use of animals long ago for a very good reason: Practicing human surgery on animals is kind of like learning to fly a jet by riding a bicycle.
In April, PETA asked the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds many of the animal experiments at the university, to demand a refund of thousands of dollars of grant money that had been spent on experiments that violate federal regulations. There's still no word on whether NIH plans to add to KUMC's fiscal woes.
Written by Alisa Mullins
It's that time again! Every summer, our Lettuce Ladies station themselves at the U.S. Capitol to serve a free lunch in honor of National Veggie Dog Day. This year, our leafy lovelies were joined by model and smokin'-hot vegetarian Vida Guerra, who spiced up the event by wearing a red chili-pepper bikini as she handed out veggie chili dogs to congressional staffers. Although some legislators recently hand-delivered chili seeds to the arctic "doomsday" seed vault, our duly elected officials had probably never encountered peppers that sizzled quite like this before!
Even Washingtonian wonks want to look and feel good, so we're glad to promote such a great way to improve fitness. Or as Vida put it, "In my business, looks can make you or break you, and nothing has helped me stay fit, trim, and energetic more than kicking the meat habit. The best way to safeguard your health, reduce your carbon footprint, save animals' lives, and look your very best is to go vegetarian."
Written Posted by Jeff Mackey
After finding out that a McDonald's restaurant in his hometown of Liverpool had plastered the walls with photos of him and the rest of the Fab Four, Sir Paul McCartney—who is known by all (except maybe the marooned fighter pilot on Gilligan's Island) as being a longtime and outspoken vegetarian—was less than glad all over.
Refusing to let it be, McCartney urged his fans to boycott the fast-food behemoth. Surprisingly, the notoriously tone-deaf purveyor of patties seems to have gotten the message, and the photos have reportedly gotten back to where they once belonged.
Maybe next McDonald's will agree to make improvements in the way chickens are killed for its restaurants. I'm sure Sir Paul wouldn't object to Meat-Free Mondays at McDonald's, either—or better yet, meatless meals eight days a week.
Fun in the sun means beach towels and bikinis, but forget your sunscreen and you'll be singing the sunburn blues. But there's no chance of that for the clever person who wins a basket of cruelty-free summer skincare lotions from Kiss My Face:
Want to win it? Just let us know what you are doing to help animals this summer. For my part, every time I visit the beach, I pick up each piece of litter I see so that animals don't end up ensnared like this.
Written by Karin Bennett
Show me a bag of pork rinds and two things will happen. First, images like this and that will race through my mind. Then I'll get choked up.
The revolting* "snack" made a truck driver named Edward Sutherland get choked up too—only his reaction was apparently not prompted by thoughts of what animals endured before they went down his gullet. Mr. Sutherland lost control of his rig, which careened across the interstate, jackknifed, and landed in a ditch.
The truck did not hit any other vehicles, and Mr. Sutherland walked away with minor injuries—and a citation for driving with his wheels off the road. Had I been the cop at the scene, I might have let him go with a warning—to eat only Pirate's Booty. How would you complete the following: "____—now that vegan snack is the ticket!"
*If you know any people who don't think that eating fried pigskin is revolting, they just might after you show them this video of how it's made.
We send our condolences today to Joyce Brabner, the widow of underground comic book genius Harvey Pekar, who recently died. We remember the days when Joyce visited our office in sparkly Wizard of Oz Dorothy slippers and colored ankle socks. She is a socially astute fighter for animal rights who created the classic Animal Rights Comics. The two-issue set of comic books is based on PETA's precedent-setting "Silver Spring monkeys" case, which resulted in the first arrest and criminal conviction of an animal experimenter in the U.S. on charges of cruelty to animals, the first confiscation of abused animals from a laboratory, and the first U.S. Supreme Court victory for animals in laboratories. Joyce recognized it as a landmark case—one that led to countless other undercover investigations—and so she decided to memorialize it.
If anyone out there has copies of the now out-of-print comics, please let us know. We have a set in our archives, but it would be nice to know that there are more copies in circulation. If there's enough interest, perhaps one day they will be reprinted. Joyce, from our hearts to yours, we wish you the best.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Rocsi Diaz, the bubbly and beautiful host of BET's 106 & Park is known for bringing viewers the hottest music videos straight from the streets of Manhattan. But the Honduran mamacita recently stepped away from the streets to hang out on the beach with one of her adopted dogs, Chi Chi, and she used this R&R time to shoot a new peta2 "Adopt an Animal" ad. Check it out:
Rocsi also sat down in front of the cameras and used her veejay personality to encourage people to help dogs and cats by rescuing them from the streets or adopting them from shelters—and by having them spayed or neutered.
Want to see the interview and hear what the Midday Mami has to say about companion animals? Head on over to peta2.
Written by Heather Moore
"Ethically handsome" blogger Joshua Katcher, a multitalented artist, a writer, a producer, and an eco-style guru, has created an epically handsome ad that shares some baaad (sorry) news about one of climate change's lesser-known black sheep (sorry)—the wool industry:
Did you know that sheep outnumber people by more than four to one in Australia, one of the world's largest wool-marketing nations? Not only do all those poor sheep create an awful lot of climate-cooking methane gas as a result of, ahem, "enteric fermentation," they also produce an enormous amount of waste, which contributes to both air and water pollution. Sheep farmers also love to douse animals with toxic "sheep dip" and advocate killing off all manner of wildlife (kangaroos, dingoes, and rabbits in Australia and coyotes in the U.S.) in cruel ways (poisoning, trapping, etc.) because they compete with sheep for land and, in some cases, harass and kill sheep before the farmers can do that themselves. And don't even get me started on the mulesing mulitation, which is definitely in the running for the world's cruelest "standard agricultural practice."
So, if a fleecy three-piece is out, what shall Cinderfella wear to the boardroom? Try this on for size, you handsome devil angel, you.
Via The Discerning Brute
Some 58,000 stray dogs have been shot dead in Baghdad over the past three months, and people around the world are outraged. No animal deserves to be killed simply for the "crime" of not having a home
But while we shake our heads in disgust over what's happening overseas, frustrated that we can't do anything there, we can do something equally important, totally relevant, and incredibly helpful right here. Here in the U.S., right in our backyard, many more dogs and cats are being killed—and not always humanely—because people are still buying animals from pet stores and breeders while open-admission animal shelters overflow and "no-kill" shelters slam their doors in animals' faces.
So what can we do? If you haven't already done so, please pledge today—right now—to help get dogs and cats who belong to your friends, family, or people in an impoverished area of your city fixed. You can help by educating, persuading, and even—bless you—donating to no- to low-cost spay/neuter facilities such as PETA's SNIP and ABC clinics. In June alone, PETA's clinics sterilized a record 1,011 animals, preventing hundreds of thousands of animals from ever having to compete for homes. Here are some of our happy clients:
Even those dogs and cats who are lucky enough to find loving, lifelong homes often spend many lonely days or weeks behind bars, and it is often impossible to find homes for the animals no one wants—those who are sick, injured, unsocialized, elderly, or not cute enough to be in a calendar.
Spaying and neutering saves more lives than trying to find homes for each one of the thousands of animals who can trace their roots back to one unsterilized cat or dog—and it spares animals and those who care about them immense heartbreak.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
As soccer fans all over the world are packing up their vuvuzelas, PETA Germany is petitioning for the retirement and release of Paul the prophetic octopus, who correctly chose the winners in eight match-ups, including Spain's win yesterday over the Netherlands. No one deserves to spend an entire life locked in a glass box, but if that's not reason enough to release Paul, here's a short list that should help PETA Germany make the case:
Caring soccer and animal fans from all over the world would certainly celebrate the release of the World Cup's Most Valuable Octopus from his tiny, unnatural confines at the Sea Life center in Oberhausen. PETA Germany promises a vuvuzela-free celebration.
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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.