Written by PETA
In keeping with today’s theme of having other people do my work for me while I type up my notes from SXSW, here’s an animated short by Mark Fiore that my friend Matt just sent me. Enjoy!
Posting may be a little bit erratic today, as I’m trying to type up about 3 billion pages of notes from the South by Southwest Interactive Media Conference I attended last week. More on that later, but in the meantime, you may want to check out this awesome interview with PETA’s irreverent VP Dan Mathews, who’s about to embark on a nationwide tour in support of the paperback release of his book, Committed. Check the calendar on his myspace page if you want to catch one of his upcoming booksignings.
PETA’s original Milk Gone Wild video was one of the most successful things we’ve ever done online, reaching a completely new audience with a message about why milk is cruel and unnatural, and totally grossing out literally hundreds of thousands of people in the process.
Soooooooooo, here’s a DIY sequel that we made in the parking lot outside the office one day. It stars my friends Allie, Sarah, Cassandra, Erin, Ryan, Peggy, Joel, Tanner, Caleb, Bob, Chris, and Pulin, whom I will never look at the same way again. Please watch at your own risk.
Don't ask me what I was doing nerding around at Wordsmith.org this morning, but this particular Internet detour turned out to be felicitous and surprisingly, um, appurtenant.
Turns out that today's Word of the Day is "Speciesism," which the good folks at Wordsmith have defined for us as "The assumption of superiority of humans over other animal species, especially to justify their exploitation."
There’s also a nice story in there by Charles Darwin’s biographer, James Moore, who quotes Darwin as follows: “To say man is the pinnacle of creation and all things were created for him ... Darwin says that is the same arrogance we see in the slave master.”
Anyway, there you have it. “Speciesism” = today’s word of the day. A small step, in the scheme of things, but a step nonetheless. There’s also a book on the subject, which I can highly recommend for anyone who wants to pursue this topic further.
It's been 16 long weeks since we last had a Vivisector of the Week to vote on, but we're going to make up it for all in one go right here: You asked for it (OK, whatever, you didn't ask for it), so here it is … just in time for March Madness, 16 of the nation's most reprehensible, university-funded animal torturers going head-to-head in PETA's first-ever Vivisector of the Week tournament—ladies and gentlemen, meet the March Mad Scientists!!!
For the next four weeks, I'm going to be highlighting one of the biggest showdowns in the tournament, then opening up voting for the remaining contenders. If you want to do this scientifically, you can check out this handy cheat sheet to get an idea of which institutes of learning have the most sick, pointless, and barbaric animal-experimentation programs hidden away in their basements. Or you could just vote for your hometown school and pick a bunch of other ones at random (that's pretty much how I'm doing my NCAA brackets). So let's get this thing underway—here's the top bracket in this week's … Sick Sixteen!
Patrick Kochanek, Pittsburgh.
Down in Pittsburgh's secretive laboratories, a team of experimenters led by Dr. Patrick "Frankenstein" Kochanek are working deep into the night to reanimate the corpses of dogs, pigs, and mice. Seriously, I couldn't make this crap up if I wanted to: Under Kochanek's cold-hearted guidance, a group of "scientists" drain the blood from animals for up to three hours, pump an ice-cold salt solution into their veins until they're scientifically dead, then shock them back alive. The animals usually suffer massive physical and psychological trauma in the process, but that's a small price to pay for a zombie army, right? Right??
Arthur Weber, Michigan State.
Michigan State University’s Arthur Weber ain't afraid of no zombies. This guy has a signature move that would frighten even the undead. This cat torturer's got his technique down pat: First he injures their optic nerve, then he dissects the overlying tissues, inserts a surgical hook, and places a clamp on the nerve. Next on the agenda: Wait for seven days until it's time to remove the cats' eyes while they're still alive! Then it's killing time, and onto another batch of kitties—Weber's been at this game for more than 25 years. That's a whole lot of cats!
Only one of these contenders can advance to the next round, so choose carefully! Cast your vote for the vilest vivisector using the form below, and feel free to leave a comment explaining your selection.
The cheat sheet will help you decide which other universities deserve to advance, and we'll be back next week with the Evil Eight! Stay tuned!!!
I’ve been following the continued exploits of the black bear who’s been showing up at all of Prince Charles’ appearances in the Caribbean lately, to help remind the Brits that the Queen’s Guard’s regiments should make their hats out of, well, something that’s not bears. Shenanigans have been unfolding on the trip with a good degree of regularity, and the reports from the bear and her companion, Melissa, make for excellent reading. Here’s an example from last week:
Subject: Report from Montego Bay, 3-13 - PETA bear crashes royal party!
Today we drove 4 hours to Montego Bay where we’d arranged for a boat to take us as close as possible to The Prince’s yacht, The Leander. When we arrived security was familiarly tight so, we asked around and discovered C&C were having a party at the same resort, right near the beach where we’d board.
Here’s a photo near The Leander.
Then we headed back to the resort JUST in time for the party but we had to be subtle so, the bear laid down in the boat as we approached:
We disembarked just steps from the royals’ reception:
And were greeted by some of the children there to perform and greet the royals:
And then we just walked in…
We mingled with a few guests.
More of the children, of course.
And even British members of the press who refused to take photos of us. So, we took photos of them.
Then we were spotted by one of Charles’s chief security officers. We know him. He knows us. :)
These people seem not to like bears seeing as they kill them and kick them out of parties.
We were escorted off premises.
And we were interrogated for a long while.
Because we’d reserved the boat ahead of time and paid the resort, threats of being charged with trespassing didn’t stick. Tomorrow we return to Kingston, home of Bob Marley.
According to the British music magazine NME, Irish sperm donors are in short supply and one enterprising sperm bank has come up with an incentive scheme in time for St. Patrick’s Day (donations in exchange for contest tickets).
“Sperm donors are to be offered free tickets to any music festival in Europe under a new initiative. Irish stocks are apparently dwindling, with demand far higher than is sustainable, and donations down by 40% over the last four years.”
Always ready to help (and mindful of how good fruit and veggies prove in fertility studies), PETA is offering a special St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt to help remind anyone with a touch of the Blarney that drinking milk can lower their sperm count. I defy anyone to choose a pint of milk over a pint of Guinness after looking at this particular masterpiece.
Anyway, good luck lads, and happy, um, donating.
They’re new to the public eye, so there’s a few little things they’re going to have to learn—but socially appropriate attire is as good a place to start as any. Politico’s Anne Schroeder has the full story, and you can read PETA’s letter to New York’s soon-to-be first lady Michelle Paige Paterson about this photograph below.
Dear Mrs. Paterson, I hope that this finds you well. As you may know, PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 1.8 million members and supporters dedicated to the protection of animals. We’re writing today after receiving several phone calls and e-mails from our supporters — many of them New Yorkers — who were disappointed to see that you were wearing what appears to be a real fur coat in a photo on this Web site: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/8982.html. Please know that animals killed for their fur endure immense suffering and that most fur comes from China, where there are no laws that protect animals on fur farms. A recent undercover investigation of Chinese fur farms revealed that workers swing raccoon dogs and foxes by their hind legs and smash their heads on the ground, injuring them but often leaving them conscious as they are skinned alive. In light of this information, please consider donating your fur coats to PETA’s fur-coat giveaway program. Every year, PETA holds “fur kitchens” at homeless shelters around the country in which we distribute dozens of free fur coats — donated to PETA by former fur-wearers — to those who have no other means of staying warm. And we’ve even shipped hundreds of furs to help warm the women and children freezing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although nothing can bring back the animals who were killed in order to make these coats, we believe that this is one way to honor their lives while helping people who so desperately need protection from the cold. You’d be in great company. Other compassionate women who have participated in PETA’s anti-fur efforts include Charlize Theron, Stella McCartney, Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, and Martha Stewart. I can be reached at 323-644-7382, extension 25, or MichelleC@peta.org. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Michelle Cho PETA
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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.