Written by PETA
In February, PETA and Zoocheck Canada, filed a lawsuit against the City of Edmonton, Alberta, on behalf of Lucy, an ailing and lonely elephant whose wretchedly sparse and unsuitable housing in the Canadian city's Valley Zoo is causing her health to deteriorate. Now Associate Chief Justice John Rooke has dismissed the case!
The judge ruled on a procedural issue, not the merits, saying that we should be calling on local officials to ensure that Lucy is being cared for humanely. But we've tried and tried to do just that, so we had to take legal action because Lucy is still living alone in the same cramped enclosure.
We're busy planning our next move, but meanwhile, please urge city officials to do the right thing without a court order and send Lucy to sanctuary now, before the harsh Canadian winter sets in and she is left staring at the four walls of the Edmonton barn where she will be sequestered. Lucy needs to retire and spend what's left of her life in comfort and in the company of other elephants.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Animals Asia Foundation recently released photos of bicycle-riding bears and boxing bears in Chinese circuses, and the pictures are poignant reminders of the misery that animals endure in circuses throughout China. Not that the atrocities done to animals who are touring (if you can call living in a smelly boxcar and then in a dungeonlike stadium basement "touring") with circuses in the U.S. have been stopped. After all, in the U.S., elephants are routinely beaten with rods, sticks, and bullhooks, whipped into submission, and chained so that they are barely able to move.
Of course, no one had to get out the bullhook to convince PETA Asia staffers to work hard on China's first-ever animal protection laws. Earlier this year, they met with Chinese government officials and discussed ways to help animals—including improving conditions for animals in circuses. These photos are further proof of how urgently animals need us. Get the "Hot and Sour Scoop" on PETA Asia's work by visiting the group's blog. And help animals here at home by boycotting the circus.
It's so hot in the city, you'd think I'd be making another batch of lemonade—but I've got a hankering for some Internet Soup. It's been a while since the last batch, so dig in!
Oof! I don't know about you, but I'm full after all that soup—and guac. This Special K needs a siesta. Until next time …
Written by Karin Bennett
For years, PETA has been appealing to the leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to do away with three roadside zoos in Cherokee, North Carolina, where bears are forced to live in concrete pits and cramped cages. Almost a year ago, we accompanied animal advocate Bob Barker to make a personal appeal to Principal Chief Michell Hicks, but even Bob was rebuffed. And despite our having presented the U.S. Department of Agriculture with reams of evidence that these cruel conditions violate the federal Animal Welfare Act, that agency has yet to act.
So we're changing our approach. Our private and public appeals to release the bears haven't convinced Cherokee leaders or federal officials that bears who pace back and forth, walk in circles, cry, whimper, fight with one another, and beg visitors for food are under extreme psychological and physical stress. But maybe if we hit the Cherokee leaders in the wallet, they just might rethink their decision to keep these animals in pits. So we are erecting four billboards on highways leading to Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa's Land imploring travelers to drive right past these awful tourist traps.
Please let the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians know that your vacation plans will take you right past Cherokee until the bears are retired to a sanctuary.
Hurrah! Hard work pays off: The Catalan parliament in Spain has voted to ban bullfighting! It was clear that no other outcome was possible after officials were presented with the signatures of 180,000 people who don't believe that bulls should be stabbed to death for entertainment. According to a 2009 Gallup survey, 76 per cent of Spaniards have no interest in attending or supporting bullfights, and public condemnation of this bloody spectacle is growing worldwide. Cities and towns all over the world have taken positions against bullfighting, joining Spain's Canary Islands, which voted to ban bullfighting back in 1991.
Earlier this month, PETA U.K. and the Spanish animal rights group AnimaNaturalis joined forces to give the bulls a say—check it out.
Saucy Spanish entertainer Charo is also jumping for joy in the wake of this news, as she has been working to end bullfighting for years. "I'm more proud to be Spanish today than on any other day of my life," Charo said. "This shows that the new generation in Spain wants to lose this barbaric tradition. And I look forward to doing the cuchi cuchi at PETA's gala in September to celebrate!"
Charo recently joined forces with PETA to fight bullfighting. You can join Charo in speaking out against bullfighting by asking Spain's Prime Minister to ban the cruel blood sport throughout the country.
This week's "Win It" Wednesday prize just might be our most scentsational ever: The big winner will receive a bottle of fragrance of his or her choice from A Perfume Organic—and sample sets will go to three runners-up. Ah, if ever there were a time for virtual scratch and sniff ...
For your chance to win, simply describe the "Sweet Smell of Success"—not the movie—the compassionate action that you took to help an animal, an action that was particularly meaningful to both the animal and you. Here's my example: Years ago, I became a "nosy neighbor" who helped an old, ailing "backyard dog" out of a miserable, neglectful situation. Sheba found relief, and I realized that it's not enough to "wish away" an animal's suffering—one must take action.
The person who describes the most moving "compaction" (compassion + action = compaction) will win a perfume of his or her choice, and three others who offer rousing accounts will each win a sample pack.
Proper permits in hand, PETA Asia conducted a vegetarian awareness demonstration in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday. Braving the searing heat and the crowds of onlookers, PETA Asia Lettuce Lady Amina Tariq proved that she was truly a hero for animals—the event lasted only a few minutes before police officers dragged the lovely lady of leafy greens into a police car and detained her at police headquarters for more than three hours.
The Quran states that animals are communities and nations unto themselves; they are more than just resources for us to use. But on factory farms, animals are treated as nothing but machines. They are confined to tiny spaces and are routinely debeaked, dehorned, castrated, and branded—all without painkillers. During slaughter, many animals are still kicking and crying out as their throats are cut. "Halal" should be synonymous with "humane," but an investigation of a Halal slaughterhouse in India found that animals have been skinned and have had their limbs hacked off while they were still alive—methods that would clearly make the meat taken from these animals haram (forbidden).
Inspired by Amina? Do the right thing for your health, your spirit, and animals by taking our pledge to adopt a vegan diet.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Saratoga Race Course has been denied. Well, at least it would have been if freshman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had had his way. Chaffetz is fed up with all the "fluff" bills that Congress votes on every week—bills like those honoring National Pollinator Week, National Dairy Month, and National Train Day, just to name a few. He decided to put his hoof foot down last week when a bill "memorializing" the start of the 142nd season of New York's Saratoga Race Course came up for a vote.
According to the Associated Press, Chaffetz got on his, ahem, high horse out of concern that any kids in the visitors' gallery who might later be asked if Congress had discussed important matters like wars or the national debt would be forced to reply, "Oh no, they were honoring a race course."
We have to say we're with Rep. Chaffetz on this one. But if we have to pick something or someone to memorialize, we should choose to honor the thousands of horses who've lost their lives at Saratoga and other tracks over the past 142 years.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The term "football hero" has become a standard part of the American lexicon, but many players prove to be anything but heroic. (I'm glaring at you, Michael Vick.) So we're delighted to see some football players in Hawaii doing right by animals.
The lights at Vidinha Stadium on Kauai can cause fledgling Newell's shearwaters to become disoriented, and in the past, they have caused the deaths of around 30 of the threatened seabirds—who breed only in Hawaii—each year. Now, to protect the birds, football games during fledgling season will be played on Saturday afternoons instead of Friday nights.
Many thanks to the Kauai Interscholastic Federation for stepping up for seabirds. No matter who prevails on the field, anyone who gives wildlife a helping hand is a champ in our book!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Bullhooks are heavy batons with a sharp metal hook and point on the end. If someone routinely smacked you with one, wouldn't you eventually fight back? Video footage taken at the Toledo Zoo shows that a young elephant named Louie did just that: He charged his bullhook-wielding keeper, leaving him hospitalized with serious injuries. In the video, Louie is shown backing away when he sees keeper Don RedFox approaching him with a bullhook. Louie then turns around and charges at RedFox after RedFox jabs him with the implement.
The Toledo Zoo still uses the archaic free-contact elephant-handling system. In free contact, elephants are dominated and punished with force, and that puts keepers at constant risk. The zoo's use of the free-contact system has previously been discussed in Toledo. The zoo failed to act on a July 8, 2005, "Lucas County Commissioners Special Citizens Task Force for the Zoo Final Report" that confirmed that keepers have been injured under the current free-contact system. Now we are asking the zoo's board of directors to allow us to bring in a team of elephant experts who can train zoo staff to eliminate the use of bullhooks and transition to a protected-contact system, which more than half the accredited zoos in the country already use.
For the elephants' well-being and for the safety of zoo employees, please join us in asking the Toledo Zoo to eliminate cruel and outdated circus-style handling.
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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.