Written by PETA
There’s been a lot of talk about the arrest of 75 San Diego State University students in a drug sting recently, and now that the dust has settled a little bit, we figured it was a good time to let students at the university know why eating meat is far worse for you than smoking pot. We just placed an ad in the school newspaper The Daily Aztec, which shows a close-up of a cow's face next to the tagline "Say No to Pot Roast. Don't Be a Meathead. Kick the Habit!" The ad points out that, while there’s no doubt that getting high can hurt your test scores, people who want to stay away from drugs should stay away from meat, which is often loaded with pesticide residues, hormones, and antibiotics. Meat, egg, and dairy-product consumption have also been linked to heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it,
"Students probably are putting more drugs into their systems by eating the burgers and chicken salad in the school cafeteria than from anything they smoke. Chickens, pigs, and cows raised on today's factory farms are fed growth-promoting drugs by the bucketful, and that's passed on to consumers by mouth."
So there you have it, kids. Say “no” to pot roast.
Horrible as it is to watch, this video should be mandatory viewing for anyone who still believes that the egg industry treats chickens humanely. The investigation, conducted by our friends at Mercy for Animals, shows workers at one of the largest egg companies in the U.S. mercilessly abusing chickens who spend their entire lives crammed into filthy cages so small that they can barely move. If this upsets you, there are two things you can do to help. First, you can contact one of the companies that refuses to set humane standards for their suppliers even though the kind of abuse documented here is endemic to the egg industry. But the best thing you can do to help is also the easiest. If you don’t buy eggs, no one has to suffer to make them. Check out this recipe for tofu scramble to get you started.
Update: And we’ve got pics! Lemme know which design you like best for the suggested memorial.
After 122 years in business, the world's largest stockyard closed down last month, holding their very last livestock auction in front of a nostalgic crowd on April 11. After we had finished celebrating here in the office, we decided that, much as one might like to forget them, the actions of South St. Paul Stockyards—where around 300 million cows have been poked, prodded, kicked, and dragged to their deaths in the last century—need to be commemorated. Today, we sent a letter to Greg Miller—president of Interstate Partners, the company that plans to redevelop the stockyard property—urging him to erect a memorial to the animals who passed through the stockyard's gates. As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk puts it:
"Millions of cows were bought and sold at South St. Paul Stockyards with no more regard for their feelings than if they were made of tin. At the very least, they deserve a stone or plinth that helps people remember the suffering the animals endured on their way to people's dinner tables."
You can read PETA’s letter to Greg Miller here. I’ll let you know if we get a response.
BBC News has just released a list of the top 10 most controversial ads of 2007, and our edgy, boundary-pushing counterparts over in the UK made the list with their “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse” billboard, which received a whopping 68 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority in 2007. The way I see it, with literally millions of advertisements bombarding the public every day with messages about how they can make their teeth whiter, or, like, more effectively pluck their eyebrows, creating an ad that makes people stop and think—and that affects some people so profoundly that they’re shocked out of their complacency—is not an easy thing to do. So, excellent work, PETA UK.
It may not be a message that people want to hear, but it’s an important one (a point that was recognized by the Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled that the ad does not trivialize abuse, as complainants had claimed). And, of course, when you consider that feeding kids meat sets them on the road to a higher risk of heart attacks, diabetes, and a whole slew of other health problems, the ad isn’t exactly misstating the case. Here’s the BBC list of controversial ads, and here’s the billboard that’s causing all the fuss. I’d love to hear what you think.
Any good Marketing professional knows their “ABCs of Marketing”* — Ability to persuade, Businesslike demeanor, and of course, Coercion through bribery. Well, yesterday, in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Beckley, West Virginia, PETA’s Lettuce Ladies rocked all three of these important guidelines as they gave away free gas and vegan sandwiches to 100 people in exchange for a brief chat about the benefits of a vegan diet.
According to the Ladies, there were huge crowds gathered to take advantage of the freebies and find out what all the fuss was about after a news report announcing this unique demonstration, and they gave away hundreds of vegetarian starter kits to a very receptive audience, who were stunned to learn that eating just a single pound of meat is the environmental equivalent of driving more than 40 miles in an SUV. Here’s what my friend and professional Lettuce Lady Colleen Higgins had to say about the experience: "In a time of rising gas prices and rising concern for the environment, we're going the extra mile to help Americans fill up on vegan fuel for their tummies and gas for their tanks." Good stuff.
*I just made these up.
I wanted to do a joke here about the fact that “gosling” means baby goose, but it’s not coming, so I’ll just play this one straight: Ryan Gosling, the Oscar-nominated star of Lars and the Real Girl, Murder by Numbers, and Half Nelson, has just fired off a letter on behalf of PETA to John Bitove (who runs the show for most KFCs in Canada, Ryan’s home country) urging him to stop Canadian KFCs' suppliers worst abuses of chickens, who are killed when they’re still just babies. "The time is ripe to do the right thing," he writes. "By adopting the basic recommendations made by PETA and scientific experts (including raising birds in a more natural manner and employing less cruel slaughter methods), you could dramatically improve the lives and deaths of chickens …."
Image credits: DeadlineHollywoodDaily, BBC / CC
And if you haven’t seen Lars and the Real Girl yet, you should rent it. Definitely one of my favorite movies this year.
As you’ll be well aware if you live anywhere near here, our area got hit by a tornado yesterday. 200 people were injured, a lot of people had to leave their homes in a hurry, and …here we go again…animals were left behind, plus authorities have refused to let people who tried to go home after work return to their homes. We’ve been rushing around today trying to help those animals out. There’s plenty more info below about what you can do if you live in the area.
PETA, the Virginia Beach SPCA, and Suffolk Animal Control have joined forces to help local tornado victims. Because the storm hit suddenly, many people fled their homes leaving dogs, cats birds and other animals behind. The Virginia Beach SPCA has set up an emergency response center at the Suffolk Animal Control Bureau, located at 124 Glen Forest Drive in Suffolk. The shelter will be staffed 24/7 to receive animals as long as there is a need.If you know of an animal in need, whether lost or left behind, please call 757-409-7729, or email info@VBSPCA.com. PETA’s Community Animal Project is available to assist in rescuing animals who are trapped in or under homes and assist in capturing frightened animals running at large.At least 100 birds have already been displaced by the storm and taken for emergency care. For information on how to help stranded wildlife, please visit VBSPCAWildlife.com.
PETA, the Virginia Beach SPCA, and Suffolk Animal Control have joined forces to help local tornado victims. Because the storm hit suddenly, many people fled their homes leaving dogs, cats birds and other animals behind.
The Virginia Beach SPCA has set up an emergency response center at the Suffolk Animal Control Bureau, located at 124 Glen Forest Drive in Suffolk. The shelter will be staffed 24/7 to receive animals as long as there is a need.
If you know of an animal in need, whether lost or left behind, please call 757-409-7729, or email info@VBSPCA.com. PETA’s Community Animal Project is available to assist in rescuing animals who are trapped in or under homes and assist in capturing frightened animals running at large.
At least 100 birds have already been displaced by the storm and taken for emergency care. For information on how to help stranded wildlife, please visit VBSPCAWildlife.com.
… But, as our friend Moby shows in this sketch, sometimes you also need to be, like, interesting. This one’s just for fun.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should check out this beautiful website, which has been designed to house all the veggie testimonials we’ve made recently with celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Alicia Silverstone, Forest Whittaker, Casey Affleck, James Cromwell, and others. There’s also a section where you can upload your own video testimonial about what made you go vegetarian, ‘cuz we’re all Web 2.0 like that. To kick things off, I made my own version. Check it out, then make your own and follow the directions here to submit it. There are some T-shirts and an iPod up for grabs for the best submissions. Plus everlasting Internet notoriety, of course.
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
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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.