Written by PETA
Update: Great news! The
monks at Mepkin Abbey now have a thriving mushroom business.
After PETA's protests, boycotts, and complaints to government agencies, the
monks re-examined their egg farm and discovered that they can get all their
needs met without harming animals.
The following was originally posted on December 20, 2007:
We've just heard the news that the monks at Mepkin Abbey have decided to phase out their egg-production business over the next year and a half following pressure from PETA, including protests of the monastery that are going on today. According to the Associated Press, Mepkin's Father Stan Gumula said late last night that the focus on the monks' practices as a result of PETA's investigation has been too much of a distraction, and that they will be looking for a new industry to help meet their expenses.
PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich points out that South Carolina had the 6th highest peanut production among U.S. states last year (quite how he knows such things, I have no idea), and recommends that the monks go into the booming business of peanut butter packaging, where they can pack the peanuts as tight as they like without any fear of our getting on their case about it. In fact, we might be their first customers. My own vote is more traditional—there's nothing quite like a good Trappist Ale.
Whatever they end up deciding, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle for the chickens who have suffered for so long at Mepkin Abbey, and we commend the monks for their compassionate decision.
There are two things I really like about the story that hit the wires this week reporting New York’s recent ban on anal and genital electrocution of animals for fur. The first thing’s kind of obvious: Animals on fur farms in New York won’t be electrocuted any more (they’ll still suffer, but their deaths will now, hopefully, be just a bit less painful). In case you haven’t kept up to date on electrocution techniques, this isn’t like sticking your finger into a wall socket: The fur farmers attach one electrode to the fox’s or raccoon’s ear or muzzle and stick the other one in the animal’s anus or vagina. The result is a dagger-like heart attack without loss of consciousness. On one fur farm we investigated, the farmer plugged the chinchillas into the wall socket and timed it by listening to a song on the radio—then skinned them without checking to see if they were dead.
But the thing that should be really remarkable for most people reading this story is not the fact that New York has banned electrocution—but the implication that this is still legal everywhere else. That’s right. New York is now the only state where anally and genitally electrocuting fur-bearing animals (fur farmers do it this way so they won’t damage the pelts) could get you into trouble.
As my friend Melissa put it when she was interviewed for the AP piece, "Anal electrocution is common practice in fur farms across the world. A lot of these methods aren't effective and these animals will wake up while they are being skinned."
That’s all. I just wanted to drive home that point. It’s awesome that New York is leading the way here, and hopefully other states will soon follow suit. But this is also a good opportunity to store away that little tidbit about anal and genital electrocution being 100 percent legal in 49 out of 50 states—just in case anyone ever tries to tell you that wearing fur is anything other than reprehensible.
… it stars me, so it must be awesome. Actually, it stars a bunch of people at the forefront of PETA’s work to help animals, who really know what they’re talking about. I just get to introduce them. This month’s Podcast features PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich talking about how to be an effective advocate for animals (e.g., more with the positive outreach, less with the vegan police force), and it’s really compelling stuff. So if you’ve got 20 minutes to spare this afternoon, get your headphones on, pull up an Excel spreadsheet to make it look like you’re working, and listen to Bruce’s Effective Advocacy tips. Then let me know what you think.
Earlier today, I brought you an image of a giant dinosaur attacking DC to help end animal testing. I’m no mind-reader, but I’m fairly confident that the following, word for word, is exactly what went on inside your heads when you saw that picture:
“This is the greatest thing that I have ever seen. Ever. It will be literally impossible for Jack to top this in a subsequent PETA Files entry.”
Well, you were wrong, people. You were wrong. Because, difficult as it may be for you to imagine, there is one thing that's even better than a giant dino rampaging through our Nation’s capital. And we pulled it off yesterday afternoon in Times Square: The first-ever girl/girl shower demonstration. The purpose of the demo was to remind passersby and the media—just in time for Earth Day—that if they’re worried about the environmental devastation caused by wasting water, they should cut it off at the source … by going vegetarian. Just to spell this point out, it takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat. Which is roughly equivalent to about a full year’s worth of showers (depending on how clean of a person you are).
Now that you’ve patiently sat through the math lesson, here are some pics of two girls and a naked cowboy in a shower. Yup, the naked cowboy himself (who is normally very territorial about his space in Times Square) was gracious enough to hop in with these kickass activists, telling reporters that he was doing it “for the animals — like me.” Glorious.
For reals. The thing is about 25 feet tall, all told, and he’s pretty tough to miss (I did a classic double take when I caught a glimpse of him peering through the window when they were setting up in our parking lot for a dry run last week). This big guy was outside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services yesterday to remind U.S. government officials that testing on animals is about as progressive as the stone age. Yes, I know that dinos were extinct by the Stone Age, but I would hate to have to explain that to a 25-foot tyrannosaurus. He really does look pretty menacing.
For more info on the campaign that inspired these demonstrations, here’s a recent post about a Paleolithic government entity called ICCVAM, who have been making a royal mess of things for about a decade now.
Some traditions, regardless of how much fun they may have seemed a hundred years ago, need to just go ahead and die. And any “tradition” that involves beating and abusing living beings needs to do so sooner rather than later. Of course that doesn’t always mean you have to stop doing something you were way into—it just means you have to stop doing the part of it that was stupid and ill-thought-out in the first place. People who can’t live without old-timey rides in New York City, for instance, can still have them after we win our campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city. As this recent article in The New York Post explains in more detail, we want the city’s politicians to replace the carriages with "green" replicas of antique cars like the Ford Model T. I’m way into the idea. What do you think?
Two PETA carriage horse monitors—who had been watching Central Park carriage drivers to document any cruelty to horses—were recently attacked by a man who shoved them and struck one of them on the head as they videotaped the hack line on Central Park South. We’re still waiting to find out whether the individual involved in the attack was a carriage horse driver himself or whether he’s just, like, a really big fan of their work, but I’ll post an update if we get any more information from the NYPD.
In the meantime, here’s your standard shaky-camera, profanity-laden youtube video of the encounter. For more information about the carriage horse industry and to find out what you can do to help carriage horses in New York, click here.
There was yet another carriage-horse fatality in New York today. How many more horses have to die before New York realizes that this industry has no place in a civilized city? The following is PETA’s official statement on the incident.
PETA has just learned that a horse used to pull carriages in New York City died this afternoon at the Clinton Park Stables. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the horse died of colic, which causes severe abdominal pain. PETA is investigating the circumstances of the horse’s death and reminds New Yorkers as well as tourists that these horses should be in pastures, not locked in dark, damp stalls in warehouse buildings. We renew our call to New Yorkers to help put an end to this inhumane and unsafe industry and to support City Council Member Tony Avella’s proposal to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.
Deflocked, baby. Deflocked.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Now I know why my friends Allie and Virginia came into the office this morning a slightly different color than normal (respectively, a sort of off-yellow and a nice olive green). Pics from this beautiful demonstration in Times Square have been circulating around the ol' blogosphere today—the girls were outside the M&Ms World store to let passersby know that Mars Candy performs cruel tests on animals. In violation of its own written policy, the candy company is currently funding a study at UC San Francisco in which rats are force-fed by having plastic tubes shoved down their throats, then cut open and killed. In addition to our boycott of the company, PETA is filing a legal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over Mars' false statement.
Anyway, enough of the depressing stuff for now. Check out the great pics below, and if you feel like helping out with our campaign, I’ve also posted the code for our anti-Mars Web banner for anyone who wants to put it on their site. You can learn more about the campaign here.
Blogs that have covered this story
Faded Youth Celebrity MoundAll that’s Fab Jonathan Jaxson
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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.