Written by PETA
Proving once again that the folks in our Factory-Farming Campaigns Department are just brimming with so much compassion it could make you sick, they've just extended an offer to help our archenemy, KFC, deal with its apparent rodent problem. After video footage of a KFC in Greenwich Village that was overrun by rats on Friday went just about everywhere on the Internet, PETA sent a letter to the eatery’s owner, offering to help him implement a humane rodent-control program at his restaurant. Here's what PETA VP Bruce Friedrich had to say about the incident:
“This store’s lethal attempt to deal with rodents has failed miserably. Although KFC refuses to work with us toward minimizing the suffering of the hundreds of millions of birds killed for its restaurants every year, we hope that this store owner will work with us on a safe, effective, and humane solution to the rat infestation.”
Honestly, all this turning the other cheek and being nice to our enemies has me reeling. I'd go over to the other side of the office right now and congratulate our Factory-Farming Campaigns Department, but I'm worried that I'd be bowled over by all the excess compassion floating around. Here's PETA's letter to the store.
Just in case you weren't aware, you don't need to be a professional activist to make furriers in your neighborhood wish to God that they could just crawl into a hole somewhere, or maybe pick any other profession. All you need are some signs, a few good friends, and an hour or so of free time. Anyway, here are a few great pictures that some folks in Fort Lauderdale sent me from a protest they held outside AA Martin's Furs last week. Setting the animal issues aside for a moment, what the hell do you need a fur coat for in Florida?
According to Michael, who sent in these pics, the owners of the store asked them to call off the protest as they'd had a recent family crisis. Feel free to comment here, because I'll admit that there's the tiniest bit of a gray area: If your job involves paying people to raise animals in cages so small that many of them are insane by the time they're anally electrocuted, do you deserve a little bit of slack from the people who are telling you to stop it if you've had a rough week?
And in more good news for fur-bearing animals everywhere (this time from Portland), check this out.
My new favorite person in the entire world, Forest Whitaker. Forest won the Best Actor Oscar yesterday for his breathtaking portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. I've written about Forest a couple of times before, but given what this guy has accomplished in the last year, I don't think a few more plaudits are out of place. After putting together an utterly riveting performance in Last King (which he prepared for by traveling to Uganda to meet Amin's friends and family, and learning a bit of Swahili for good measure), last night he became the fourth black performer to win the Best Actor Oscar, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx. And of course, he's particularly dear to our hearts here at PETA because both he and his daughter True are outspoken vegetarians and animal lovers. If you haven't seen the "veggie testimonial" Forest and True recorded for us recently, you should definitely check it out.
We've also got a little contest running at the moment, where you can win three of Forest's best-known films, so click the button below to check that out if you're itching to get caught up on the Forest oeuvre, now that he’s officially the best male performer in Hollywood. Anyway, congratulations, Forest—it's so great to see someone with such compassion and genuine kindness recognized for their achievements.
Awww, look at all the adorable rats! In other, extremely important news, KFC is really, really disgusting.
This video puts PETA in a bit of a difficult position, because we wouldn’t want to actively encourage other impressionable rats to eat at KFC—both for their own health and because of the ethical issues involved—but the restaurant does seem to be quite a favorite among rodents. Check it out:
I spent yesterday morning handing out leaflets outside the Ringling Bros. Circus, which is having its last desultory gasp in Norfolk this weekend before it bullies the elephants and other animals back into cramped boxcars and chains them up for the trip to whatever city it's going to inflict its weird, sadistic little show on next week. There are a lot of cities that give Ringling a really hard time when it comes to town, as activists all round the country rally round to get the word out about the circus's long history of animal abuse, safety violations, and the occasional child pornography scandal for good measure, but I'm fairly sure they dread the Norfolk shows more than any other stop on the tour, as the whole office takes a field trip to opening night, along with a bunch of local activists, to make sure that everyone attending the circus gets the elephants' side of the story as well. Apart from the inevitable middle finger or two, most people are really cool about it and grateful for the information—we always hear stories from people who have thrown away their tickets or vowed never to take their kids to an animal circus again. This year some prospective circusgoers even promised to come out leafleting with us on the weekend, which, well, you can't ask for more than that. Anyway, here's a video.
Jonathan Babineaux, defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, is facing felony charges in Gwinnett County Court, stemming from his alleged February 18 fatal attack on a dog. Evidently, after arguing with his girlfriend, the 286 pound lineman inflicted blunt force trauma on her dog, Kilo. According to news sources, Kilo vomited blood en route to an emergency vet clinic, and was pronounced dead there.
We're calling on the Falcons to suspend Babineaux without pay until the courts can do their thing, and if he is found guilty we have asked the Falcons to release him from the team. But as if this case isn’t disturbing enough, there have been repeated instances of animal abuse by NFL players in the past. In December, six pit bulls belonging to the Chicago Bears' Tank Johnson were said to have been the subject of public and official concern in Illinois. Leshon Johnson, who played running back for three NFL teams, faced felony charges with 21 others in 2004 stemming from their alleged involvement in a massive dogfighting ring. Former Eagles' safety Damon Moore was accused in 2001 of abandoning his puppy in a soccer field in New Jersey, and former Eagles’ running back Thomas Hamner was twice convicted of beating his dog.
Given the seeming pattern of abuse here, we’ve also written to Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, asking him to implement a strict, clear no-tolerance policy on players' abuse of animals. Surely this issue deserves as much attention from the league as any other illegal or violent player activity, which he swore to crack down on in a recent press conference.
At least there are some NFL players who get it. Check out Giants lineman Michael Strahan’s ad here.
Giant Eagle, which has more than 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio, has just announced that it will no longer sell foie gras! The company's decision was prompted by nearly 250,000 e-mails and countless phone calls from customers and members of the public who expressed their concern that the store was selling a product which is made by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell up, and which has been banned in the city of Chicago and the state of California—not to mention the fact that it is illegal in numerous progressive countries—because of the cruelty involved. In an e-mail to PETA just a few moments ago, a Giant Eagle representative confirmed that “Giant Eagle Market District stores have stopped the sale of foie gras.”
A huge thank you is due to everyone who took the time to contact Giant Eagle about this issue and bring about this massive victory for ducks and geese. Now that more and more major grocery chains like Giant Eagle and Whole Foods are taking a stand against the cruelty of foie gras, and given that the pope himself has spoken out against it, it won't be long before foie gras is nothing more than a nasty little piece of history. Don't hesitate to make anyone you know who still eats the stuff aware of that fact.
We all know that Holland is a pretty progressive place—you know, they ride bikes there, there's universal national health care, good stuff like that*. All cool things, in my opinion, but what I didn’t know is that there is actually a legitimate political party there called "Party For The Animals" that holds a couple of seats in parliament. And that each political party receives a certain amount of free national TV space to use as they wish. Pretty awesome.
Awesomer still is the fact that, after viewing our State of the Union Undress, which leads into Free Me, the “Partij Voor De Dieren” decided to run their own version of our Free Me video on Dutch national TV. You can check out the badass Dutch version of "Free Me" here.
*Yes, I know, pot is legal there too, and you can’t talk about The Netherlands without at least mentioning that fact. I would have included it, but you know . . . the lawyers would have yelled at me. Again.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails since I posted the Young Guns entry asking to see more of the ads that were submitted. We’re going to eventually post them all online, but until then, you just have to trust me when I say that there’s a reason we don’t show you everything that gets sent to us.
Enough said . . . ? Thought so.
I'd love to announce this as an official PETA victory, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the MLB's decision to get rid of all their wool caps in favor of a polyester blend has more to do with the suffering of sweaty baseball players in the heat than with the suffering of merino sheep in the wool industry.
Whatever their motives, though, this is a big deal for sheep like those in Australia who are horribly mutilated at the beginning of their lives and crammed onto ships to be slaughtered in countries with no animal welfare standards at the end. Whether the major league baseball players know it or not, they're doing the right thing by ditching the wool in favor of a humane alternative. So I, for one, applaud them. Except the Yankees. (Like most Orioles fans, I still haven't forgotten 1996.)
Anyway, there you have it—some great news for animals from the MLB. And now, for those of you who'd like a little more info about the issue, here's an important educational video that my friends Joel, Marta, and I made a little while ago. But please do remember, before you watch it, that you will never get those 21 seconds of your life back.
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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.