Written by PETA
You Howard Stern fans out there will appreciate this pic. Our sexy Fashion Police caught up with Howard's lovely girlfriend Beth Ostrosky at Fashion Week in New York last week. Beth said she was really glad to see that they were out there giving fashionistas the animals' side of the story.
The sudden loss of Dame Anita Roddick, who pioneered the sale of cruelty-free beauty products in her Body Shop stores in the '70s—declaring in letters a foot high, 'against animal tests'—has left us a bit shaken at the PETA offices today.
From the opening of her first Body Shop store in Brighton in 1974 to her decision last year to enter into a partnership with L'Oreal in order to show that company how easy it is to run a successful business without supporting unethical practices like animal experimentation, Anita Roddick never once compromised her stated goal of "putting idealism back on the agenda" or stopped for one moment in her quest to show by example that kindness not only has a role in a successful business but that it can be its driving force.
It is not an overstatement to say that Anita Roddick ushered animal rights into the mainstream with her work to show the strong demand for products not tested on animals. She was a courageous, progressive pioneer, who risked her business to be the first corporation to announce her staunch support for a ban on cosmetics and toiletries tests on animals. She will take her place in history as a woman who helped to bring a sense of social justice and ethical practices into the business world, but we will always remember her as a deeply compassionate soul who was a true friend to animals.
She will be greatly missed, and not the least by our Senior VP, Dan Mathews, for whom she once cooked a vegan breakfast! We are all profoundly indebted to the great strides she took to make the world a better place for humans and animals alike.
"It's nothing to do with animal rights—it's just that I have moved on. I think people should be able to wear what they want and I hate that the PETA people throw blood or paint over people wearing fur. To me that's just rude and if anyone did that to me they'd better be tough because they'd have a fight on their hands."
Yeah, the quote didn't exactly inspire me, either, but hey, at least it's on her radar—and sometimes all it takes for someone to come around is a gentle nudge in the right direction. So we sent her this letter, along with a copy of Martha Stewart's fur exposé in the hopes that she'll figure out why it's actually not OK for people to "wear what they want" when there's live skinning or electrocution involved. I really do think there’s a good chance she’ll change her tune once she sees how fur coats are actually made. I'll definitely let you know if we get a response.
While we're on the topic, I figured this was as good a time as any to point out that PETA has actually never thrown red paint at fur-wearers. Pies, maybe, but never red paint. Just one of those urban legends, I guess.
Score one for freedom of speech in Finland! Remember the story of the Austrian activists who were arrested back in 2003 for going onto a Finnish fur farm to film the horrible conditions? The activists were beaten by the “farmer,” arrested and held for three days by police, and their legal struggle has been on-going for several years now.
Well, they were just found not guilty and are free. Here’s the full story. Congrats guys!
This story was being considered for a web feature, but I grabbed it for the blog because I found it to be incredibly moving. Please share Marcie’s story with your friends and family who still wear wool . . .
When a PETA member found Marcie languishing at a decrepit Colorado farm, she was sick, frightened, and going blind. She had been used as a breeding machine her entire life, and had endured the anguish of having all of her babies taken away as soon as they were born, sometimes even to be killed right in front of her.
After the farmer agreed to relinquish Marcie, she was taken to the Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, a refuge for abused and neglected animals. There, for the first time in her life, Marcie knew kindness instead of cruelty. She was given wholesome and plentiful food and the veterinary care she so desperately needed. But Marcie, shell-shocked and traumatized by her past, never fully recovered.
Despite the best of care, the damage was done: Marcie lost her sight within a year of her rescue. She was terrified of people—it was a year before shelter staff could even touch her—so she sought comfort and security among the goats at the sanctuary. In an effort to “hide,” Marcie camouflaged herself in the resident goat herd, forging a fast friendship with her bovid cousins.
In her final years, Marcie found contentment and peace. But for millions of sheep farmed for their wool, there is no happy ending.
In Australia, where most of the world’s wool comes from, the misery for sheep begins when they are only weeks old. In a misguided attempt to prevent maggot infestation, or flystrike, farmers carve huge chunks of skin from the backsides of millions of lambs a year—without any pain relief—in a crude mutilation called mulesing.
For 200 years, Australian farmers have intentionally bred, and continue to breed, merino sheep who have extra wrinkly skin because more skin means more wool and more profits. This extra skin collects moisture, urine and feces and attracts blowflies which lay their eggs in the wrinkly folds of skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. Rather than spend the extra time and money on effective and humane methods to prevent flystrike, many farmers choose to simply cut the wrinkly skin off from the backside of lambs because it is cheaper and easier than caring for them properly.
Shearing is also a painful, frightening ordeal. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, so they work as quickly as possible, leaving sheep bruised and bleeding. The untreated wounds can attract flies and become infected. Terrified sheep who don’t “cooperate” are often beaten and kicked into submission. When they are no longer profitable for their wool, Australian sheep are often shipped thousands of miles to the Middle East, where they are dragged off trucks by their ears and legs, kicked in the face, and have their throats slit while they are still conscious.
So, what can you do? Please, don’t ever buy any wool. Choose cotton, acrylic, polyester fleece, and other durable, stylish, and warm fabrics. Find sources of animal-friendly clothing at the PETA Mall and in our cruelty-free clothing guide. And click here for more ways to help.
For anyone who still has doubts about the power of the internet, check out this AP story about 14-year-old Amy Bareijan. Amy wanted to go vegetarian after watching Meet Your Meat on YouTube, so she posted her own video asking for people’s advice and personal experiences that may help her. The response was overwhelming, to say the least. Check out the story here.
The video that started it all:
Paul McCartney never misses an opportunity to help animals, and his latest video is no exception. The video, for his new single Nod Your Head, shows the former Beatle rocking PETA’s “Eat No Cow” T-shirt as a helpful reminder to people to stop eating animals.
Check it out!
Dave Warwak, an art teacher at Fox River Grove Middle School in Illinois (and, if I'm not mistaken, a regular commenter on this here blog), has been dismissed from his classroom by the school after teaching his students about factory farming and the other forms of animal abuse that made him go vegan. Apparently, the school's principal ordered Warwak to leave the classroom after he showed his students photos of animals in factory farms and gave them the book The Food Revolution by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author John Robbins.
Let me go over that again, real quick. An Illinois principal just kicked out a teacher for talking to his students about veganism. Does that disturb anyone else as much as it does me? You can read PETA's letter to the school here. Unbelievable.
In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight, Dave. We're all 100 percent behind you.
Time for your weekly glimpse into the seedy underbelly of the animal-experimentation industry! This Friday, we have two "scientists" going head to head for the coveted PETA Files "Vivisector of the Week"* award, granted to the most cold-hearted, unethical animal researcher in academia—with extra points awarded for sheer stupidity of the experiments. Swallow hard and get ready to be revolted, because here are the two contenders for this week's prize:
David Waitzman, UConn.
George Fahey, UIUC.
Please cast your votes now, or if neither of these mad scientists does the trick for you, feel free to nominate a write-in candidate. See you next week!*
*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.
Hunting has been on the decline for years, and CNN just reported that the latest numbers are that it’s down another 10% over the last ten years. Hunting in the water, err, I mean fishing, is also down around 15%. And call me crazy, but I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that while hunting and fishing numbers are steadily on the decline, new federal data shows surging numbers of birdwatchers, wildlife photographers and other wildlife watchers. They increased from 62.8 million in 1996 to 71.1 million in 2006.
Of course, as the numbers of hunters and fishers decline, so does the money in state wildlife agencies’ coffers, since most of their revenue comes from hunting and fishing licenses. And of course hunters and the agencies themselves are quick to go into panic mode, saying that “conservation” will suffer if these agencies don’t receive the money from hunting licenses, when in reality the only “conservation” they actually pay for is breeding more animals for hunters to blast into oblivion. So, perhaps it’s time for a policy shift here. I think it makes much more sense that wild areas be paid for out of regular taxes, since they sustain the earth and they are vital to life itself. It should be free and encouraged to watch birds and appreciate nature, and our state wildlife agencies shouldn’t be begging people to go out and kill animals simply so they can stay in business.
Man, it really is a bad time to be a hunter. First, CNN reports these new declining numbers, then the news that hunting may put men’s hearts at risk.
And perhaps most disturbing is the recently released DMGDRO report on the link between hunting and, how shall I put this … diminutive male genitalia, which, now that I think about it, may explain Dick Cheney’s obsession with playing with really big guns . . .
Scantily clad in sexy pleather uniforms, high-heeled boots, and police hats and holding signs that read, "Animal Skins Are a Fashion Felony," PETA's pair of sexy "fashion police" are taking New York fashion week by storm. They’re handing out violation notices resembling citation tickets to fur-, leather-, and wool-wearers for "violating the code of common decency." This dedicated duo is staking out the shows at Bryant Park and anywhere else suspected violators—including designers—gather. And get this, at their first outing yesterday, they even gave a citation to the notorious pelt pushing fur hag Anna Wintour.
Here are a few pics of their first outing.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get a shot of them ticketing Wintour, but I like this shot of the hag getting a pie in the face in Paris a couple of years ago better anyway . . .
And without further ado ... This week's Deflocked!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
PETA's Marketing Department (myself included) is in love with Blog ads. Advertising your site or your campaign on a good blog with a sympathetic audience is a fantastic tool for getting your message out there. So we're all very excited about the contest we have running for people to create their own blog ad about one of PETA's websites for a chance to win a $500 Apple gift card.
Well, this was all fun and games until Amy Cook, the upstart writer for PETA's Veg Cooking blog, posted this incendiary little entry on her blog. You want war, Amy? You got it. But let me tell you a couple of things first: For a start, just because your last name is Cook doesn't mean you know how to cook. And more importantly, your daddy apparently didn't tell you that you NEVER bring a knife to a gun fight. Steppin' to Jack'izzle is like steppin' to death row, straight up.
Amy is asking people to enter PETA's contest by creating an ad for The Veg Cooking Files, or whatever her blog is called, so let me be the first one to step up with an example:
And now that we've gotten that out of the way, onto the big guns. Here's my sample blog ad for The PETA Files. Try and keep this one in mind when you enter the contest.
Well, that was quick! Here’s what she said on The View this morning:
"Let me really just reiterate this for everybody: I was not condoning nor was I saying I thought Michael Vick did anything right—I did not say that I thought he was good in what he did. … I watched the show on another network that is a sports show, and what I saw made me take a minute to think about what happened with this kid, because they were talking about the culture of dogfighting, and so I thought to myself—well, if you're raised in it, that may be a reason why you're acting the way you have been acting. So I went on to pose this as a discussion, and somehow—I don't know how this happened, if you read the papers today—I'm eating dogs, I'm swinging them by their tail. … I love my animals. I have cats. I've adopted cats from various shelters, but I also believe that if there's a problem out there that we can address by checking out where it stems from, that we need to take a look at this in this high-profile area so we can mark it for the future. That was my point, and I'm very, very sorry—PETA and I are very close and we’ve talked about it a lot.
Thanks for clearing that up, Whoopi, and keep up the great work. Your fans appreciate it.
"He's from the South, from the Deep South ... This is part of his cultural upbringing"
I have no idea where she got that one from, but I can tell her right now that there are an awful lot of people in the South who'd be pretty upset by the implication that electrocuting animals is somehow "part of their heritage." Or, as PETA President Ingrid Newkirk put it in the letter she wrote to Whoopi yesterday,
"Those who fight dogs do so in New York, Chicago and even the Republic of Ireland, and what unites them is lawlessness and callousness, not whether they eat grits or Belgian waffles for breakfast."
Michael Vick needs a lot of things right now—some serious counseling for a start—but he doesn't need anyone to give him lame excuses for his decision to torture dogs for pleasure and profit. He needs to face that horrible fact all by himself.
Ingrid spoke with Whoopi on the phone last night after she received the letter, since Goldberg actually has a good track record with animals outside of this incident, and Whoopi explained that she had never intended to appear accepting of cruelty. Let’s hope she makes up for it with some positive comments about animals on The View after this rocky start.
For readers who may be unfamiliar with the British vernacular, a "21 bum salute" is a charming, classically understated English way of saying "Hey chaps, we respectfully disagree with your actions. Any chance you might reconsider?" By way of an example, here's a pic from PETA UK's recent protest against the Queen's Guards' use of bearskin hats. Note the lovingly painted Union Jacks and the looming rainclouds in the background. Makes me proud to be British.
You can read more about the protest in this weekend’s Sun.
At a weekend religious youth rally in Italy, Pope Benedict XVI told the more than 500,000 attendees that young Catholics should take the lead in the fight to save the earth. Check out what he said, “Before it's too late, we need to make courageous choices that will recreate a strong alliance between man and Earth … We need a decisive 'yes' to care for creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.” Amen to that.
Makes this ad even more apropos, eh?
Last week, handbag company Hogan found themselves in a bit of an awkward spot after releasing promotional materials proclaiming that they had named a new pony-skin handbag "The Chrissie," after Pretenders singer and anti-leather crusader Chrissie Hynde. The folks at Hogan are backpedaling furiously, but Chrissie Hynde is not pleased about the situation in the least. You can read the letter she sent them this morning here.
In other Chrissie news, if you have a moment, you should definitely check out this article in The Miami Herald about how a badass like Chrissie Hynde deals with those endless nonsensical questions vegetarians often get from die-hard meat-eaters about their diet choice. Priceless.
Who the hell sends their friends Labor Day cards? Well, we do, I guess. For some reason I feel duty-bound to post PETA's official "Labor Day E-Card" for your edification and viewing enjoyment. After all, we did go to all the trouble of making it back in the day. I'd just like to point out that this one was made before they put ol' Jack in charge of making e-cards for PETA. If it puts you in the mood for some Jacktastic e-card action, you may want to check out last year's Santa Got Run Over by His Reindeer e-card. It's a classic, and, well, Christmas is right around the corner …
Anyway, Happy Labor Day. For reals. Now get to work surprising and confusing your friends by sending them their very own PETA Labor Day e-card!
In the wake of last week’s news about Spain banning bullfights from national TV comes this story from The Guardian about a man being gored to death while participating in a bull run. 30-year-old Jose Antonio Vaquero was tossed around on a bull’s horns while other runners tried to distract the animal, but apparently it was too little too late.
Sadly, this kind of thing is par for the course when it comes to bull runs and bullfighting, and is another reason for Spain to step into the 21st century and ban the cruel bloodsport once and for all.
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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.