Written by PETA
Bad PETA Germany! What were you guys thinking? Did you even take a second to think that you might be hurting the feelings of the Newfoundland Fisheries Minister when you released a video depicting the horrors of the seal slaughter that he presides over? No, of course you didn’t. And look what happened. Because of your heartless disregard for the complicated emotional needs of Canadian Fisheries Ministers (and this isn’t the first time you’ve upset defenseless bureaucrats, is it, PETA Germany?), you’ve gone and hurt The Honorable Tom Rideout’s feelings. What do you have to say for yourselves?
Here’s how it’s all going down, according to Newfoundland’s Western Star newspaper:
"The provincial government is alarmed by a new anti-sealing video which is being distributed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 2, in Germany. The Honourable Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, expressed his disappointment and concern that this group would draw such a vile comparison to the Canadian sealing industry, which includes one of the most well-managed harvests anywhere in the world. The video compares the harvesting of seals to the violent physical abuse of a human."
And Minister Rideout has been eloquent on the subject of his “disappointment” in a press release that he’s been sending around:
“We are now witnessing a new low on the part of anti-sealing organizations. We in Newfoundland and Labrador have become accustomed to the misinformation and inaccurate depictions of the seal harvest that are presented around this time every year. However, this particular attack is the most vile that I have ever seen myself in my almost 30 years in public life. It is completely indecent for this group of people, who have likely never even visited our province, to present such a disturbing depiction of sealers. It is ironic that this group, which is making such an unethical attack, has the word ethical in its name. Their ethics are certainly nowhere to be seen in this approach to addressing their concerns with the Canadian sealing industry. It is also ironic that this attack is coming from Germany where there is a harvest of wild animals including the hunt of 1.2 million deer and over 500,000 wild boars per year.”
Now, there are those who would say that drawing attention to the vicious bludgeoning and skinning of live seals is worth disappointing the occasional Fisheries Minister, but to those people I ask this question: What about the emotional bludgeoning that Mr. Rideout might have experienced as a result of having to watch video footage depicting the horrific acts that his government is condoning? It almost seems as if my counterparts in PETA Germany (who, as the Minister so astutely points out, live in a country that still allows deer hunting and should therefore not be allowed even to talk about cruel hunting practices that occur elsewhere in the world) don’t care at all about whether their video about the internationally reviled Canadian seal hunt offends some functionary in the Newfoundland Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Unbelievable.
This is the video in question:
And this is the footage it’s referencing. Tom Rideout calls it a “harvest.” I call it an atrocity. You say tomato …
If you speak a bit of German, you can learn more here.
If you guessed 25,703, you’re exactly right! I’ve got some more statistics for you, too, because I wanted to provide some concrete numbers to give a bit of context to this photo, which recently won The National Geographic International Photography Contest. The deeply disturbing image, which shows caged monkeys awaiting their fate at a medical laboratory in Hubei Province, China, depicts one small part of a nightmare that continues every day for thousands of primates who are used in barbaric, wasteful experiments. Some stats:
China, where the award-winning photo was taken, was the source of nearly 58 percent of all primates imported into the U.S.
More than 46 percent of all primates brought to this country were imported by Covance. Covance was also responsible for all 25 of the largest shipments of primates (200 or more) into the U.S.
Just three companies – huge, multi-national contract testing organizations that conduct animal experiments for profit – account for more than 75 percent of primate imports for 2007:
Close to 98 percent of all primates imported into this country are macaque monkeys, like those shown in the photo. These monkeys are imported strictly for vivisection.
And the photo itself is a doozy.
This little piece of good news comes to you courtesy of my friend (and occasional PETA Files blogger) Joel Bartlett, who spends more time in our local Starbucks than some of the people who work there. (Incidentally, Joel, who is PETA’s Marketing Manager, actually seems to have something of an obsession with coffee-marketing news).
“Loyalty benefits. Starting in mid-April, customers who use registered Starbucks cards in select U.S. and Canadian stores will get several benefits: Starbucks will not charge for any syrups, milk alternatives and other extras added to drinks, no matter how numerous or complex. Senior Vice President Michelle Gass said she isn't concerned that will lead to more expensive, time-consuming orders.”From: SeattlePI.com
Soy lattes will always be cooler, more fancy, and less pus-filled than the dairy version, but now they’re just as affordable.
And, for those of you still hankering for more good news on the soy latte front, here’s an update on the Dunkin’ situation. I’ll keep you posted.
Things could get really nasty here, and I can’t help but feel that we’re partially responsible. According to the celebrity gossip blogs (I read them so you don’t have to) Heroes hottie Kristen Bell has been sparring with her co-star Russell Brand about who’s really the sexiest vegetarian of the two. Here’s what Kristen had to say about the escalating battle on the set of Forgetting Sarah Marshall:
"Russell has been a vegetarian for the same amount of time as me. I've been a vegetarian for 17 years and we used to have little arguments because we were both dubbed Sexiest Vegetarian in the World. But I checked out the record books and his is only Sexiest Vegetarian in the U.K. I politely threw that in his face for most of the movie. He got to throw it back at me when I lost my title this year to Carrie Underwood and he kept his title in the U.K. So that's what I get for getting cocky about eating sexy vegetables!"
I’m not sure who has the strongest argument here, but for what it’s worth, I’m rooting for you, Kristen.
Do it. It’s amazing.
Here’s the big news I was hinting at in the last post: H&M, which recently pledged to stop buying wool from Australian sources that still use the mulesing mutilation (essentially, slicing up sheep’s backsides), has set off a chain reaction throughout Europe: Following H&M’s announcement, 17 other major Swedish retailers have made the same pledge, and a coalition of 31 European retailers have announced that they are considering or have decided to stop using wool from mulesed lambs. On top of all this, 10 Danish retailers have withdrawn their support of mulesing, and the Western Australia Department of Agriculture has announced that it will stop mulesing.
What does this all add up to? The total amount of cancelled orders of Aussie wool from Europe as a result of these decisions comes to 550,000 bales of wool. This is a big wakeup call to Aussie wool farmers who continue to mutilate lambs, and a strong message to wool industry executives that their continued refusal to adopt humane practices will directly affect their bottom line.
For more information on the fallout from this recent outcry against the Australian wool industry, here’s the letter that PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week:
I just got an email asking why I never posted about PETA's recent Chipotle victory and pointing out that for activists, hearing about these successes can make a huge difference as far as showing that their hard work is paying off and that, slowly but surely, we’re changing both public opinion and the attitudes of large corporations about how animals should be treated. Which, well, fair enough. So this post’s all about good news. Check it:
All this in just the past couple of weeks. Boo ya!
For a little behind-the-scenes info about our Corporate Affairs Department, which has been an integral part of getting a lot of these things done, check out this piece that recently appeared in The Boston Globe.
I’ve got another victory coming your way, but this one’s so big it merits a separate post. Stay tuned!
At 7 p.m. tonight, at the Paley Festival in Los Angeles, the stars and creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are reuniting for a panel discussion about the Buffy phenomenon and the future of the Buffyverse. If you already knew this, then you’ll probably be as excited as I am about the fact that I have, right here, a PETA Files exclusive interview with not one, but two Buffy alumni. And if you have no idea at all what I’m talking about, you need to run (do not walk) to your nearest video store, rent seasons 1 through 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and maybe stock up on food, water, and Depends on your way back so you can watch the entire show uninterrupted. I’m deadly serious here, people.
Amber Benson, who played 'Tara' in Buffy, is starring in the upcoming comedy Kiss the Bride, and Tom Lenk (Buffy’s “Andrew”) is currently performing with the Upright Cabaret in Los Angeles. They are both awesome and I love them. Here's what they had to say:
When and how did you first become aware of PETA's work?
I think it was in middle school. All I can remember was that it had something to do with the B-52's and their "Cosmic Thing" album...
What animal issues are especially dear to your heart?
In high school I worked after hours at a Veterinary office, mopping and cleaning. It was a horrible job and I was not very good at it. And side note, I am TERRIBLY allergic to cats, so vaccuming up cat hair every day might not have been the best career choice. Anyway, there was always a constant rotation of abandoned, homeless pets in need of medical care. They were in pain a lot of time, or being nursed back to health. It was devastating. Some nights I would show up at work and they would just be gone, and I would never know if someone adopted them or if they had passed away. I never asked though...it was just too sad. So clearly pet overpopulation is an animal issue close to my heart. Thank you to PETA for continuing to spread the word about always spaying and neutering your pets.
Do you have any animals at home? If so, tell us about them.
I am currently Godfather....or should i say Dogfather and regular dogsitter to two crazy poodles. Penny and Mr. Teets. Penny belongs to my friend Elisa, and Mr. Teets to my friend Jenny. I once tried to set the two dogs up on a date. Mr. Teets immediately peed at Penny's floor and refused to play with her. I even took them to the dog park. Penny organized a pack of small dogs into chasing her feverishly. Clearly she likes attention. Mr. Teets watched all of this from my lap and silently judged all of them. He couldn't be bothered with their dog-like behavior. Mr. Teets may be under the impression that he's just a very small man. I've attatched some pictures. Penny has recently started modeling. Doesn't she look gorgeous in her purple Bolero coat? And teets in denim sportcoat? Coats made of cotton and acrylic fibers only of course.
What do you think of PETA's sometimes controversial campaigns?
All publicity is good publicity. Controversy gets people talking and sends more people to your website where they can get informed.
Your fans from Buffy know Andrew as the reformed bad-guy who helps save the world from the end of the world. If you could do one thing for animals that you think would make the world a better place what would you do?
I would put this woman behind bars:
Andrew was known for being a story teller. Do you have any stories you could share with us about any animals in your life?
I have so many animal stories, I don't know where to start. I'm actually working on my latest solo comedy show or rather solo tragi-comedy show...tentatively called Tom Lenk's Heavy Petting Zoo. It's a collection of hilarious and sometimes devastating stories about all of the pets I had as a kid. I grew up in an hour north of L.A. in Ventura County in an old Farmhouse complete with barn and underground storm shelter. We had soooo many pets through the years and it was so odd, because we never bought any of them...people would give us them, we'd rescue them, and a lot of times they just wandered into our yard. I had a pet duck, Peepers, that i found in my driveway in 6th grade. We never could figure out where he came from. I scooped him up and he was so tiny, fluffy and yellow. He was too young to be away from his mother or live outside, so i fashioned him a little house out of a cardboard box, complete with a warming light in case he got cold...and he stayed in my room. I named him Peepers because at night he would start peeping so loud! I think because he missed his family. :( I would pick him up and hold him and he would nuzzle up against my stomach and finally go to sleep. Then I would gently put him back in his little house, and of course he would wake up again and I would repeat this process several times through the night. Finally I realized he just wanted to know that someone was there. For several weeks, I ended up sleeping on the floor next to his box with my arm dangling inside it. The mere sight of my hand inside the box calmed him for some reason. When he became an almost full sized adolescent duck, Peepers had his own fenced in yard complete with child's swimming pool. His own puberty was mimicking my own. His once tiny high pitched "peep" was gradually and awkardly becoming a deep adolescent "quack". And since he was an orphan and the closest thing to a duck was our dogs, his "quack" sounded a lot like a dog's "bark." Peepers was so sweet and tame that anyone could hold him and pet him and he would follow me around like a puppy dog...I miss that duck.
Andrew had the power to control the behavior of animals. If you could control the behavior of humans instead what would you do that would help animals?
He had that power? Hmm...i'll have to do some research.
How do you feel about the development of Andrew in the comic book? Is it strange to watch this amazing character you created take on a life of its own?
Well, to be honest I don't know if I created him. I think the writers on the show created him. And in fact I guess I should thank actor Brad Kane who was unable to film the role of Tucker, so they created Tucker's Brother, Andrew. Lucky me. When I first read the comicbook and saw Andrew for the first time and he was talking about Lando or something...it made me a little sad. I realized I missed him. But he seems to be doing just fine without me. :)
If you were the writer in what direction would you take Andrew's character?
Maybe he starts working out a lot and I get in really great shape and I become some sort of leading man type despite my odd voice and quirky mannerisms...I mean HE, um Andrew. Yeah that's what I meant.
What do you have coming up? Any live performances?
Catch me performing with Upright Cabaret, L.A.'s wayward home for Broadway singers! And I will keep you posted with dates for "Tom Lenk's Heavy Petting Zoo." Hmmm, cross promotion and possible fundraiser? Let's discuss.
Amy from the VegCooking blog here. It's that time of the year again for The Great American Meatout—the annual grassroots diet education campaign. Supporters worldwide donate a little of their time to educate the public about delicious vegan cuisine by giving speeches, leafleting, providing food samples, and giving cooking demonstrations. This is exactly where I come in.
I'm confident in saying that I am more of a food expert than Jack, who has admitted to making the same meal for dinner every night for months at a time, which is why I'm here to share a Meatout recipe with you. Trust me, you should be happy it's me and not Jack. He would tell you to open a container of store-bought guacamole and just call it a day.
Since the goal of this day is to encourage meat-eaters to kick that nasty habit (and take the pledge to be veg), I think it's the perfect time to feature a faux-meat recipe. Sure, there are many great products you can buy from the store that require little to no preparation (a few good ones to try are the Morningstar Farms Meal Starters, Boca Chik'n Patties, and Tofurky slices), but if you want to put in a little extra effort—which might be all that's needed to convince your loved ones that they, too, can go veg—try this recipe below for mock crab cakes served up on toasted crostini and topped with a little lemon-dill mayo. Yum.
When your loved ones are done eating, and in awe of how fantastic vegan food can be, don't forget to ask them to take the pledge to be veg.
Mock Crab Cakes With Lemon-Dill Mayo
For the Cakes:1/2 cup finely diced onions1/4 cup finely diced carrotsOil for sautéing 2 tsp. minced garlic 2 lbs. firm tofu, crumbled 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1/8 cup dry white wine 1 Tbsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper Juice of 1 lime
By this point, the entire world knows that Eliot Spitzer’s call girl was on Girls Gone Wild, but I bet she never did anything quite like this. While I focus my full attention on resisting the urge to make a joke featuring the word “udderly,” please take a moment to enjoy these pictures of Cassandra—star of PETA’s Milk Gone Wild 2: at the Carwash—baring it all for the Spring Break crowd at Miami Beach. She reeled them in with the free soy ice cream and the prosthetic udders (who could possibly resist that combination?), then hit ‘em with the “Milk Sucks” information. According to Cassandra, one photographer was so moved by the Meet Your Milk video that he stuck around to help her pass out leaflets. Well played, young lady. Well played.
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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.