Written by PETA
After more than 7,000 e-mails of complaint from our wonderful members and supporters, Verizon has pulled an ad depicting two chained pit bulls who were straining at their chains in a junkyard. They may now realize that the sight of miserable, lonely, aggressive dogs just doesn't help them hawk cell phones.
Pit bulls are by far the most abused of breeds, and this ad certainly didn't help boost their image. Since they're seen as the "tough guy's" breed, they all too often end up neglected and chained outside, left to lie amid their own waste through all weather extremes and without adequate shelter, food, or water. If that wasn't enough, even less fortunate ones end up in the hands of dogfighters.
Many thanks to all who participated in our action alert—your pressure helped get this ridiculous ad pulled. Further proof that it's worth it to ruffle a few feathers!
Posted by Sean Conner
Well, that's what I thought when I first saw this news story: "Hogs Gone Wild, 50 team [sic] compete in Eldorado Picnic hog wrestling contest." Surely, I thought, the wrestlers wore pig costumes or something. They didn't actually wrestle with pigs …
But no—there were, in fact, 50 teams of people, all clamoring to wrestle a pig. The goal? To grab a frightened pig and force him onto a padded barrel in less than a minute.
Eldorado's fire chief, who is either PR-savvy or oblivious, says—in the words of the article—that the hogs "are kept cool and treated with utmost respect." But the astute writer of the article observed, "Not buying that for a minute, the hogs huddled together drawing deep furrows in the muck with their snouts. They glared, squinted-eyed, each time a squealing comrade was herded away." I certainly fail to see how terrorizing pigs qualifies as "respect"—just look at the first picture in the photo gallery. Look at the expression on the pig's face—does he look respected or terrified?
This isn't the first time that misguided people have used animal wrestling as a fundraiser. In fact, the Brooks Hill Community Fair in West Virginia—which was just this past weekend—had planned to hold a greased pig race until PETA told them how cruel it would be. The race was subsequently canceled—a victory for PETA and pigs and a show of decency from Brooks Hill! The Delta Fair and Music Fest in Tennessee is another event that decided not to hold their pig-wrestling competition. Good for them.
Of course, if anyone's wondering what the Eldorado Lions and Fireman's Community Picnic might do next year to raise money in a cruelty-free way … might I suggest tofu wrestling instead? We'll even provide the tofu.
Posted by Amanda Schinke
This landmark bill is the first of its kind in the nation to protect sick and injured farmed animals from further torture. Animals on factory farms suffer such injuries so frequently that the industry has a term for them: "downers." Downed animals can suffer immensely as they are either dragged to slaughter or left to die from their ailments—a truly unimaginable hell to suffer through. I think that our downed cow story really had an impact on the passing of this bill. The story is just completely heartbreaking, compelling, and all too common. The good thing is that this story really inspired people to do the right thing and get this bill PASSED.
The frequency of this is staggering. Each year, millions of animals arrive for slaughter either already dead or too sick or injured to walk. This comes from a lifetime of abuse on factory farms, followed by transport to slaughter through all sorts of weather extremes.
"California cannot allow unscrupulous slaughterhouse operators to endanger the safety of America's food supply and engage in grotesquely cruel practices. [This bill] is an important step toward … basic decency to farm animals, and I am delighted that the Governor has signed it into law," said Assemblymember Krekorian, who introduced the bill.
Now if only federal laws were changed to extend this most basic consideration to farmed animals nationwide …
Stay tuned for future victories!
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Chances are that if you live in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, or Mississippi, you've shopped at a Winn-Dixie. Well, you'll be glad to know that this top grocery chain, which operates 520 stores in the South, has just made some improvements in how some of the chickens and pigs killed for its products are treated.
Now before anyone jumps all over us, yes, we are vegans; yes, we spend buckets of money trying to get other people to go vegan; and yes, as long as one chicken is going to be killed because we aren't able to prevent people from buying and cooking birds, we want that death to be as painless as possible.
Following about five months of discussions with PETA (and there was that matter of the shareholder resolution we submitted to the company), Winn-Dixie has adopted an animal welfare plan. The company has agreed to do the following:
Winn-Dixie is following in the footsteps of other major grocery and restaurant companies that have recently made animal welfare improvements after working with PETA. Those companies include Safeway, Harris Teeter (another large Southern grocery chain), Burger King, Carl's Jr., and Hardee's.
While this certainly doesn't mean that the eggs and meat at Winn-Dixie (or any other chain) are produced without causing animals to suffer (check out Meat.org to see what I mean), it does mean that the worst abuses have been eliminated for some of the animals. And we welcome any improvements in animals' living and dying conditions!
If you'd like to thank Winn-Dixie, drop them a line through their online customer service form.
Posted by Christine Doré
The latest podcast on the PETA front is "Vegetarianism in a Nutshell," presented by PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. This talk is seriously fantastic and inspiring. If you're already veg, it'll empower you. And if you're not, well … hell, it'll probably convert you!
Bruce discusses the impact of vegetarianism on our lives and the environment, and the whole thing just makes me want to dig into my fave vegan dish and give KFC the bird!
Seriously, though, sit back … put your nonleather-shoed feet up … and take a gander (or a listen) at our newest podcast.
Ready for even more good news? HSN has also agreed to donate any furry items leftover at the end of the year to PETA so that we can use them in our anti-fur campaign.
Way to go, HSN!
Although dozens of companies have adopted fur-free policies—including Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and the Gap—some callous companies still insist on using the fur of tortured animals to make their products. One of these companies is ShopNBC. Take a few seconds (literally, like 10 seconds) to send ShopNBC an automated message urging them to follow HSN's lead by dropping fur once and for all.
In March, a video surfaced on online showing a smiling Marine throwing a live puppy off a cliff while another Marine laughs. People everywhere were outraged, PETA was immediately flooded with calls and e-mails from people who wanted to know how they could help get justice for the puppy.
PETA's Emergency Response Division immediately contacted the Commanding Officer at Marine Corps Base Hawaii urging strong action on this case. In addition, we launched an online action alert, which allowed tens of thousands of outraged people to share their feelings with Marine Corps officials and ask for court-martials and severe penalties for those involved.
Today, we received the long-awaited results of the Marine Corps' investigation. According to news sources, the soldier shown tossing the puppy has been expelled, and another Marine in the video apparently faces disciplinary action. A big, big thanks to everyone who took action and let the Marine Corps know that cruelty to animals is never acceptable—no matter who the abuser is.
PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch has these strong words on this matter:
The Marine Corps is right to expel David Mortari and discipline the other Marine who was involved in videotaping the pitching of a tiny puppy off a cliff in Iraq. We only wish that Mortari could face a proper trial; courts all over the U.S. sentence animal abusers to jail time nowadays—and such a punishment would certainly be in order here. Mortari embarrassed the U.S. and its military, and we hope to see his dismissal send a strong message that cruelty to animals simply will not be tolerated in our military ranks.
And here are my words:
Puppy torturers and people who perpetuate the torture of animals deserve to rot in prison.
- Joel Bartlett
If I were to list the most interesting experiences I've had in my 26 years of life, I'd say that eating a meal of vegan fried chicken with the president of the company that coordinates the purchasing of chickens for all Canadian KFCs at the PETA HQ—in the midst of our bitter five-year battle with the chicken chain—would make the top 10.
That was back in December. Six months later, I'm happy to report that our bread-breaking (along with negotiations, dozens of e-mails and phone calls, and a meeting in Toronto that preceded my "chicken" dinner) was successful: PETA has officially ended our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign in Canada. Our decision came with a new animal welfare plan that will affect all chickens killed for KFCs in Canada.
For one thing, 100 percent of the chickens killed for Canadian KFCs will be purchased—through a phase-in program—from suppliers that use "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK), the least cruel method of bird slaughter available. CAK works by replacing birds' oxygen with a mixture of nonpoisonous inert gasses to gently put them "to sleep." It may sound horrible—because killing animals for a fleeting taste sensation always is—but for animals killed for food, it's a 180° turnaround. Gone will be the days of broken bones, abuse by workers (because with CAK, workers never handle live birds), electric shocks, and live throat slitting and scalding.
The conditions for animals on farms will also be improved. In addition, the company that coordinates the purchasing of chickens for all Canadian KFCs will encourage the chicken companies supplying Canadian KFCs to move away from the cruelest breeding and farming practices and will also form an animal welfare advisory council.
But I haven't even gotten to the best news yet. That vegan fried-chicken meal that I ate with the head honcho in December might not be his last. Most KFCs in Canada will now be adding a vegan chicken item to their menus. That means that at least 65 percent of KFCs in Canada will now have a totally cruelty-free option (ask for the item, called the Classic Vegetarian Sandwich, in a wrap and with no mayo to make it vegan). Not too paltry, huh? (Get it?)
As for our campaign against KFC, it continues in full force everywhere else. In fact, I sent a letter to the CEO of KFC's parent company, Yum! Brands, today urging him to make the same changes that are being made in Canada.
Thank you to everyone who helped us win this historic victory by staging protests, writing letters, and forwarding videos (among other things).
To everyone who has yet to help: Lend a hand by logging on to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com and signing our petition urging KFC to improve animal welfare worldwide.
Posted by Matt Prescott, Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs
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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.