Written by PETA
On July 4, we celebrated Independence Day for greyhounds in New Hampshire when the state's two racetracks closed. Well, get ready to toast "New Life's Eve" for many racing greyhounds: Wisconsin's only dog-killing racing track, Dairyland Greyhound Park, will hold its last race on December 31.
Life in the fast lane is hard and cruel for racing greyhounds, who spend long hours in cramped kennels and sometimes suffer broken legs, heatstroke, and heart attacks. Once their racing days are over, many dogs are abandoned, starved, shot, or sold to laboratories. After such hard living, it's no wonder that dogs who are rescued from racetracks have a tendency to turn into couch potatoes.
One more down, eight more to go …
Written by Karin Bennett
Two years ago, PETA UK began urging Selfridges to drop foie gras from its shelves so that it would stop contributing to the fatal force-feeding of ducks and geese. PETA UK and its supporters dauntlessly demonstrated, sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Selfridges, and placed thousands of phone calls to the retailer. We are thrilled to announce that all this hard work has paid off: Selfridges has pledged to stop selling foie gras forever.
The splendid news comes from Sir Roger Moore, PETA UK's committed celebrity spokesperson, who received the call directly from Selfridges. Moore's unwavering dedication, along with the inspiring passion of PETA UK's campaigners, attracted endless attention on television, in newspapers, and around the Internet—wherever you turned, PETA UK was there, spreading the message to give up foie gras.
This towering triumph is proof that every e-mail, phone call, and letter matters. Please help spread the success by writing to managers of local restaurants that still sell the vile food. Alert them to the gross cruelty behind foie gras, and ask them to remove it from their menus.
Written by Logan Scherer
Update: PETA India has just announced that it will give its 2009 Proggy Award for International Leadership in the Field of Animal Rights to India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in recognition of the government organization's decision to ban the use of elephants in zoos and circuses.
That's right. India, which is home to an estimated 23,900 to 32,900 wild elephants, will no longer allow its most prominent national symbol—the elephant—to be imprisoned in zoos or forced to perform in circuses. The move by India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) comes after years of campaigning by PETA India to improve conditions for captive elephants (it has already succeeded in getting performing elephants banned from Mumbai and other cities). PETA India repeatedly expressed concerns to the CZA about the mental and physical suffering endured by elephants when they are forced to spend all their time standing on hard concrete surfaces while confined to cramped enclosures that severely restrict their movement. Now the government has announced that all the elephants currently living in Indian zoos will be transferred to elephant camps run by the Forest Department. The camps will be located near protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Back in 2005, PETA India embarked on an investigation of 14 major zoos throughout the country and found appalling neglect at every single facility. The group discovered hungry animals who were forced to forage among rotten food and garbage, animals who were confined to barren cages and enclosures without so much as a blade of grass, and animals who were deprived of shelter from monsoons and the blazing Indian sun.
At the Aurangabad Municipal Zoo in Maharashtra, a PETA India investigator found that the elephants were confined to a bleak concrete enclosure. All the elephants were chained, and one was tethered by both front legs with a spiked chain, effectively (and painfully) preventing him from moving more than a few shuffling steps in any direction.
After Rajkumar, an elephant at the Mumbai zoo, attacked his keeper, his intensive confinement prompted PETA India to file a lawsuit against the zoo. The court ruled in PETA India's favor, and Rajkumar was moved to another zoo in 2007.
Over the years, PETA India's campaign against the abysmal conditions for animals in captivity has garnered support from numerous celebrities, including UK Big Brother veteran Shilpa Shetty, Beatles guru Ravi Shankar, and Shankar's daughter Anoushka.
Congratulations to PETA India on this groundbreaking victory. Now, if only North American zoos and circuses would follow suit.
Written by Alisa Mullins
On the heels of Ringling's recent cancellation of its tour in Germany comes another triumph in Europe. Following a campaign by PETA U.K. and other animal protection organizations against cruel Ringling Bros. shows across the pond, Ringling has called off its visit to Valencia, Spain.
PETA U.K. and AnimaNaturalis sent joint letters to Valencia officials informing them of Ringling's history of beating, chaining, and caging elephants, tigers, horses, and countless other animals. PETA U.K. and AnimaNaturalis also had plans to demonstrate outside the arena in Valencia at which Ringling was slated to perform.
With city after city taking a compassionate stance against animal abuse, Ringling's European tour is flailing—but it hasn't completely drowned yet. Ringling still has three stops scheduled on its Spanish tour. Our fingers are crossed that those will be cancelled too, but if they aren't, Ringling can bet its bullhooks that there will be protests at every stop.
Want to help end this transatlantic travesty? Urge the remaining venues in Spain to say "No" to suffering.
For more than eight months this year, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside University of Utah animal labs, where she documented the miserable conditions and daily suffering of dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, mice, rabbits, frogs, cows, pigs, and sheep. Today, The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story about the investigation, including the response from Tom Parks, the university's vice president for research. The response is (not so) stunningly callous: "None of the things she alleges are substantive. It's a remarkably banal list of ordinary events in an animal-care facility."
Here's a list of the things the university considers "banal"—part of an "ordinary" day in the "animal-care facility":
Brain injections, desperate thirst, tumors, and holes in skulls: just another banal day in the lab, right?
We have filed complaints against the university with the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local law-enforcement officials, and you can take action to help animals at the University of Utah too.
Written by Logan Scherer
Tel Aviv has become the first city in Israel to prohibit horse-drawn carriages, thanks largely to years of tireless campaigning by Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI) and its sister organization, Hakol Chai. Their efforts included organizing international letter-writing campaigns, educational presentations in schools, a benefit concert, and a rousing demonstration outside City Hall.
Because CHAI and Hakol Chai were determined to make a difference, exhausted, sick, and injured horses and donkeys will no longer be beaten and whipped by metal and junk peddlers who force them to pull huge, heavy carriages in dangerous, busy traffic in Tel Aviv.
This success story has inspired me to try to score a similar victory for exhausted, abused horses closer to home, so I've added, "Write to New York City councilmembers—again—re horse-drawn carriages," to the top of my to-do list. Won't you do the same?
Written by Karin Bennett
I enjoy cooking, and my chocolate pie is pretty delicious, if I do say so myself. Luckily for me, my friends and family like the pie, because, frankly, besides that one delectable dessert, I'm not a good cook. I'd be in quite a pickle if I couldn't bring my old crowd-pleaser to our yearly vegan Thanksgiving Day potluck dinner.
But this year, I'm thinking about mixing things up and surprising* (and possibly delighting) everyone at the dinner table by also bringing a few bottles of Tofurky and Gravy. That's right—just in time for vegan Thanksgiving Day celebrations everywhere, Jones Soda Co. has created a limited-edition Tofurky and gravy–flavored soda, which they are delivering along with a few dessert treats in an adorable metal lunch box. Feast your eyes, folks:
Want to win one of these fantastic gift packs? Of course you do. Just jot down your favorite Thanksgiving Day recipe below. It can be sweet or savory—just bowl us over. The two people who submit the most scrumptious recipes get the goods.
*Fortunately our host doesn't dictate which dishes we can bring to the annual soirée.
It's been years since my high school biology class, but I still remember the smell of the rotting pig corpses that we mutilated over the course of a nightmarish three-day lab. Piled in the corner of the room in a black garbage bag, the carcasses emanated a rancid smell that only got worse each day, and after each lab period, we all ate lunch in the same room—the lab doubled as our cafeteria.
Today, though, it's the sweet smell of victory that I'm waking up to. Nine months ago, a compassionate student at Oakton Community College contacted PETA about a professor who was having students in an anatomy and physiology class cut open live rats and mudpuppies to observe how their organs worked. We immediately contacted school officials to share information on the intelligent, complex animals who were being tormented and killed for these experiments and presented officials with cruelty-free and effective educational alternatives. This week, Oakton Community College let us know that it has stopped using live animals in ALL of its classes!
We're urging all schools (hear that, ASU?) to follow Oakton's enlightened path and replace their cruel classroom animal experiments with modern, more effective non-animal learning methods. Biology is the study of life—it just doesn't make any sense to kill animals to teach it. Urge schools in your area to get smart and go cruelty-free.
It's true: Dollar General cares—about its customers' concerns and about animals.
After we received complaints that Dollar General, which has thousands of stores across the U.S., was selling hideously cruel glue traps, we wrote to the bargain retailer. In our letter, we described how animals who get stuck on glue traps can suffer for days before finally dying of starvation or dehydration. Many victims of glue traps rip their skin from their own faces and bodies as they try to escape, and some resort to chewing off their own limbs while trying to free themselves. We also let the company know that there are plenty of humane ways to deal with mice and rats.
Dollar General responded to our letter by announcing that it will stop selling glue traps. Just like that. The company didn't hem and haw—officials simply made a compassionate decision.
Dollar General joins other large retailers, including Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Safeway, that have stopped selling glue traps after discussions with PETA. Please thank the company for its decision—and then ask home-improvement biggie baddie Lowe's to follow suit.
If you've stopped by your local drug store lately, I bet you've noticed all the Christmas cards and candy starting to make their way onto the shelves. It's only October, but apparently, Christmas is just around the corner. Personally, I think we should get past Halloween and Thanksgiving before pulling out the lights and ornaments, but maybe I just don't think far enough in advance.
For those of you who are ready to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping, we have another clothing outlet you can add to your online shopping list. Women's fashion retailer Boston Proper has announced that it has immediately stopped buying fur and will be completely fur-free as of January 1, 2010!
After receiving complaints from concerned PETA members and supporters who were outraged that Boston Proper was selling fur in its catalogs and online, we immediately contacted the company and urged it to go fur-free. Boston Proper listened to our concerns about the cruelty that animals on fur farms endure, including being bludgeoned, beaten, and then skinned alive.
Boston Proper has joined forward-thinking clothing retailers like Urban Outfitters, Zappos, Juicy Couture, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, Forever 21, and dozens of other companies and designers in no longer supporting fur-industry cruelty.
I hope that you'll take a moment to contact Boston Proper and thank the company for its compassionate decision to go fur-free and maybe stay to browse the Web site for that perfect holiday sweater.
Written by Shawna Flavell
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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.