Written by PETA
Former bear wrestler and longtime PETA foe Sam Mazzola was found dead recently, handcuffed to a waterbed and bound with chains and padlocks. He apparently choked to death on a sex toy that was lodged in his throat and that obstructed his breathing. He was also wearing a leather mask with the eyes and mouth zipped shut and a two-piece metal sphere covering his head.
Mazzola's history of dominating, controlling, and humiliating powerful animals may now make sense.
Prior to the bizarre circumstances of his passing, Mazzola was perhaps best known for the death of Brent Kandra, who died last year after being mauled by one of Mazzola's bears.
But Mazzola—who for years, until PETA got his license pulled, took bears out on the road and charged people to "wrestle" them—had brushes with the law and spent time in prison for trafficking in cocaine. His federal license to exhibit animals was permanently revoked in 2009, and he was fined nearly $14,000 for multiple violations of federal law, including threatening federal agents and falsely claiming that an inspector solicited a bribe. One of the bears he kept caged escaped Mazzola's compound and attacked a neighbor, causing injuries and property damage. Another young man was killed by a bear in the compound last year. PETA had petitioned the local government to close Mazzola's place down, move the animals out, and charge Mazzola with negligent homicide. An investigation was in progress.
Some animals, including bears, wolves, and big cats, still remain in small barren cages on Mazzola's property, and others have already been transferred to questionable operations.
Please join PETA in asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to seize all the animals over which they have jurisdiction and to see that they are placed in reputable sanctuaries. And please refuse to fund deplorable roadside zoos with your entry fee.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Socrates and Aristotle, make way for Fido and Rover. According to a new theory of ethics, the social order of dogs, wolves, and coyotes may be the best source of insight into the roots of human morality.
After years of closely analyzing the ways in which dogs play with each other, Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce—whose new book Wild Justice is slated for a May release—concluded that dogs follow a rigid code that prevents their seemingly violent play from becoming a fight. By bowing to each other, showing signs of apology, and adapting their strength to the abilities of their playmates, dogs safely control themselves when they play, promoting fairness and preventing injuries. Bekoff and Pierce claim that the "moral intelligence" of dogs, "probably closely resembles that of our early human ancestors. And it may have been just this sense of right and wrong that allowed human societies to flourish and spread across the world."
Dogs frequently risk their lives to save their canine friends and their human companions. Seriously—you think you trained your dog well? What does it mean that it's really dogs who have trained us?
Written by Logan Scherer
As one of his first orders of business, President Barack Obama has suspended a plan to remove several gray wolf populations from the Endangered Species List. Originally, the Interior Department wanted to remove the wolves from the list, thereby exposing them to harm and slaughter.
By taking this action, President Obama has saved some lives. It's estimated that as many as two-thirds of the gray wolf population would have been affected by the plan—meaning that 1,000 out of almost 1,500 wolves would have been in deep trouble.
Bravo, Mr. President!
Written by Lianne Turner
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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.