Written by PETA
OK, so not a bar exactly. Have you heard about the incredible shoplifting seagull from Aberdeen, Scotland? Apparently, the bird waits until the shopkeeper isn’t looking, then casually strolls into the store and grabs a bag of chips and takes off. Once outside, he rips the bag open and shares it with other birds. It’s become a daily occurrence and customers have actually begun paying the bird’s tab. Unreal.
Of course, here in Norfolk, the seagulls don’t have to resort to such shenanigans, as Ingrid Newkirk lives here. And, as evidenced by the industrial-sized bag of bird seed in the corner of her office, let me just say that the birds in these here parts are, umm, well fed.
It's Thursday, which means another slice of genius from the mind of Jeff Corriveau. For anyone not familiar with the campaign, this one is a reference to a little drug called Premarin, which, yes, is made with horse urine. And on that note, here's this week's Deflocked!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Hopefully everyone has checked out our new Animal Birth Control campaign by now, but if not, give it a peek. To promote it, we’re going to make some new stickers with the slogan “I love my [insert incredibly cute word to replace ‘mutt’ here].” We’ve all seen countless “I love my Golden Retriever” stickers, right? Well, that’s the idea, but instead of promoting a specific breed of dog, we’ll be promoting the best kind of dog in the world, the [insert incredibly cute word to replace ‘mutt’ here]!
One of the best things about working at PETA is that I get to share ideas with some of the most creative people I've ever met—the same people who came up with the iconic I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign, and countless other initiatives that have fundamentally changed the way people view animal rights issues. But sometimes, just occasionally, when you get those people in a room together, they just can’t exactly nail it, and they have to ask for help. Well this is one of those times, so please help us.
Here’s our list of finalists. Please tell us which one you like best, and please add your own ideas to the mix. Have fun!
MixterMuttleMixhoundFusionDogAll-American OriginalCustom Blend Canine57 SpecialDiamond in the Woof
Before I go on—if you had a comment that was published but disappeared from the site recently, please be assured that it's nothing personal. We had a small glitch in our blog software, which we're sorting out today.
And for the few people who submitted comments that never got published, sometimes our spam filter picks them up accidentally, so feel free to let me know if you don't see your comment after a couple of days (though, if you're one of those people who submit the ol' "People Eating Tasty Animals" joke as if it were still funny, I wouldn't bother).
In completely unrelated news, U.S. News and World Report just did a great piece about our new Colonel Sanders novelty pen—filled with blood-red ink in order to make a subtle point about KFC's bloody business. You can check the article out here.
And finally, in another total non sequitur, my good friend Holly just reminded me that today is the official Talk Like a Pirate Day, so please don't forget to, um, talk like a pirate. And if you need a little inspiration, check out our amazing Pirates of the Carob Bean video here, and see if you can guess which voices are me.
That is all.
I would comment on this, but I'm still pretty much speechless. It may be one of the greatest videos ever created. Check it out:
There are some more pics and info here.
Following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Bristol last week, PETA UK protesters took to the streets to remind shoppers that the solution to epidemics like foot and mouth, mad-cow disease, and bird flu is actually really, really simple. Go vegetarian. The pics are priceless.
"I was stuck like a worm. My eyes were as big as grapefruits. I can't describe the feeling in my stomach. I can't move up or down. The bars are on your face."
Boy, it must be really unpleasant to be stuck like that, Jack. I know it’s hard, but see if you can grind those mental gears just a little bit more and think about whether there might be something wrong with the fact that your entire career is based on putting animals through exactly the same kind of nightmare.
I know—those khaki pants and that corny sense of humor make Jack Hanna oh-so-likeable, but the bottom line is that he has a simply lousy track record when it comes to animals. It's abundantly clear from incidents like this one that the animals themselves aren't Hanna's first priority, since he clearly feels comfortable lugging them around in crates to be brought out and paraded around for people's amusement, and it shouldn't take a wildlife expert to figure out that this experience can be immensely stressful for the animals involved. You can click here for some more info about the tawdry exotic-pet trade, which Hanna helps to glamorize by pimping leopards and big snakes on TV.
For future reference, Jack, exotic animals don't belong in crates any more than they belong in a TV studio, no matter how much they pay you. Here's hoping that next time you end up behind bars, it's for good.
Reflecting Hynde’s commitment to animal advocacy and vegan living, VegiTerranean’s gourmet menu will include no meat or animal products. Hynde wanted Akron to be part of the national trend toward meatless dining, and at nearly every stop of her recent concert tour, she visited vegan hotspots, including Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale and Veganopolis in Portland to make sure her menu features the most delectable veggie dishes possible. The eatery will have a modern, Italian flair, and will feature three distinct areas: a coffee bar, bakery and lounge.
Of course, Hynde arrived at the ribbon cutting ceremony on the back of a Harley—and wearing a waitress uniform, just like in her "Brass in Pocket" video. Outside the restaurant she passed out hors d'oeuvres, implored the crowd to consider going vegan, and gave a speech, along with Akron mayor Donald Plusquellic and PETA’s Dan Mathews.
Here’s a great story about the whole event. Weekend road trip to Akron, anyone?
Since we began preparations to launch our new initiative to fight animal overpopulation a little while ago, I've learned an awful lot about animal breeders—who positively swarmed to my recent entry about shelter animals in order to leave lengthy comments trying to dissuade readers from adopting. These folks came from online forums with descriptions like the following: "We discuss how to fight bills or laws negatively affecting pet ownership … Federal, state, local legislation, zoning, breed bans, mandatory spay and neuter, breeder registration, breeder licensing, breeding bans, etc." It became fairly evident to me that these people are going to fight any attempts to reduce animal overpopulation at pretty much every turn, but we're more than ready to get down into the trenches, and our new Animal Birth Control (ABC) Campaign is the first step in a long-term plan to help bring an end to animal homelessness.
Putting the breeders in their place is only one part of the battle here. We need to do everything we can to encourage people to spay and neuter their pets—which means extensive education campaigns and pushing for mandatory spay/neuter legislation—and ultimately, the choice lies with the pet guardians themselves, since anyone who decides to bring an animal into their homes has the opportunity to save a life instead of funding the breeders and the pet stores, who couldn't care less that they're a huge part of the problem in the first place. You can check out our new ABC video below, and there's more info on the campaign here.
For years, singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick has worn her emotions on her sleeve, and used her music to draw attention to issues that are important to her. Well, now she’s speaking up for the millions of homeless animals killed in shelters each year in this stunning new ad promoting responsible animal guardianship. The shot may look familiar to die-hard Ferrick fans; she donated the cover of her 2006 release, In the Eyes of Strangers, for us to use in the ad.
Speaking out on important issues is nothing new for Ferrick, who is openly gay and talks about it in her songs. She burst onto the national scene after she was booked to open for longtime PETA pal Morrissey in the early '90s, and later started her own label, Right On Records. Ferrick is currently gearing up for a fall tour with alt-folk icon Ani DiFranco.
As if anyone needs another reason to not buy Australian wool, a damning new report about live export was just released. The report found, among other things, that on one recent voyage from Tasmania to the Middle East, many of the sheep loaded didn’t even meet the extremely low minimum export standards, that many sheep developed the condition “pink eye” during the voyage, and that about 1,600 out of the 75,000 sheep aboard died on the four week voyage.
The worst part is that the sheep who died en route may have been the lucky ones, as in the Muslim nations of North Africa and the Middle East, ritual slaughter is exempt from humane slaughter regulations. Some sheep are slaughtered en masse in lots, while others are taken home, often in the trunks of cars, and slaughtered individually by the purchasers.
If you need a little background info on the whole live export thing, click here. And please, if you haven’t done so already, join actor Joaquin Phoenix in pressuring Oz Ag Minister Peter McGauran to put an end to this horrible abuse.
Sometimes photos just speak for themselves, so I’m going to let this one do just that. Okay, just a few words first: Kudos to everyone at PETA Asia Pacific for putting together this demonstration at the Manila Zoo, in the Philippines. It really says it all about zoos in just a few words, don’t you think?
PETA India activists just held a protest outside Hotel Tunga Paradise, in a suburb of Mumbai, where a crab eating festival was taking place. My pal Nikunj told me that people were actually quite receptive, most never having thought of crabs as individuals who are capable of feeling pain when their legs are torn from their bodies in nets or when they’re thrown into scalding hot water while they are fully conscious.
One of my favorite things about PETA and its affiliates is that we don’t shy away from speaking up for even the most unpopular and least cute and cuddly animals, so a big “Woo Woo” to the peeps in India for stepping it up with this great demonstration.
It's pretty much a no-brainer that elephants, who roam up to 30 miles a day, don't belong in zoos, and Anchorage, like most northern zoos, is far too cold for an elephant, meaning that she spends many months out of the year locked indoors.
You may remember that Maggie was in the news recently after a failed attempt by the zoo to provide her with a treadmill to give her exercise. Following this incident, and two subsequent collapses by Maggie due to failing health, attitudes from locals and the media changed, and more and more people began calling for her release to a sanctuary.
As PETA Director Debbie Leahy says,
“We applaud the Alaska Zoo for its compassionate decision to move Maggie to a warmer climate where she will be able to socialize with other elephants for the first time in 10 years. By taking action now, the zoo has ensured Maggie's future happiness and probably saved her life.”
The zoo plans to finalize the agreement with PAWS within two weeks, and hopefully she'll be headed to the sanctuary before winter. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen!
PETA has donated $10,000 dollars toward Maggie’s long-term care—we hope she gets well soon.
It's that time again, folks, where we pick out one researcher from a pool of the most cold-hearted animal abusers in the business who has distinguished himself over his colleagues with an unswerving dedication to senseless cruelty and bad science. The voter turnout for last week was abysmal, since most commenters were so disgusted that they couldn't choose between the two candidates, but the show must go on—and last week's winner (by a hair) was UConn's David Waitzman, who got a last-minute boost in the voting after his sick practices were outed on the front page of his own University's newspaper.
Now it's time to reach for those barf bags and hit the ballots, because we've got a tight head-to-head battle this week between a cat-torturer and a man who has killed almost every kind of animal in his 30-year career. Drum roll, please …
Moshe Solomonow, UC Denver.
Thomas Langfitt, UPenn (deceased).
That's all for now. Don't forget to vote, and stay tuned next week,* when we'll be talking about some folks who really don't like mice.
*The PETA Files cannot guarantee that they will remember to do this next week.
The Emmy Awards are coming up this Sunday, and there are a few nominees that we're going to be rooting for in particular here at PETA. It's a little cruel and unusual of FOX to put three hours of must-see television on, when they know that I will have just spent the entire day struggling through 12 different football games on NFL Sunday Ticket, but duty is duty, and I will be there for the awards. Here are the actors I'm going to be pulling for:
Edie FalcoNominated for: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Sopranos Edie Falco narrated and stared in our anti-violence PSA, to remind people that cruelty to animals needs to be taken seriously—both for the animals' sake, and because it invariably leads to violence against humans.
Simon CowellNominated for: Outstanding Reality-competition Program for American IdolSimon Cowell has spoken out on a number of issues on behalf of animals. Most recently, he starred in our Hot Dog PSA, to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, and he also did this beautiful ad to point out that if you like animals, you probably shouldn't frickin' wear them.
William ShatnerNominated for: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Boston LegalWilliam Shatner, who has been amazing in Boston Legal the past few years, is a longtime PETA supporter. Among the many things Shatner has done to help animals, he wrote the introduction to Ingrid Newkirk's Making Kind Choices, and he also narrated our PSA about looking out for animals during natural disasters. The guy was also Captain Kirk, for God’s sake. He should get an Emmy by default.
Bill MaherNominated for: Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program for Real Time With Bill MaherIn addition to being one of the funniest people in America, Bill Maher has worked with PETA on pretty much every animal issue there is. Here's one of my favorite ads with him:
Good luck at the Emmys, guys! And thanks for everything that you do for animals.
Talking about the cosmetics company here. e.l.f. Stands for "Eyes, Lips, Face," and these guys are pretty rad. In addition to selling 100 percent cruelty-free cosmetics, e.l.f. have teamed up with PETA for a promotion to help draw attention to our fur campaign. They made these handy little tweezers with a faux-leather case so that their customers can be "fur-free" too, and they also released the following statement:
"Millions of fur-bearing animals including foxes, raccoons, minks, coyotes, bobcats, beavers, muskrats, otters, and others are killed in the wild by excruciating beatings, strangling, and electrocutions. e.l.f. does not test on animals and supports PETA in the Fur Free campaign."
I think it may be time for a Gladiator, Quills, and Walk the Line marathon this weekend, because two-time Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix has taken time away from promoting his upcoming films We Own the Night and Reservation Road to write to Australian Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran about the cruel treatment of sheep by the Australian wool industry.
Phoenix focused his letter on the two worst abuses sheep face in Australia: mulesing and live export. In case you’re not familiar with these two terms, here’s a quick explanation. Mulesing is a painful procedure in which gardening shears are used to cut skin and flesh from lambs' backsides without any painkillers. It is a crude and cheap effort to reduce maggot infestation, even though humane methods exist. Every year, millions of Australian sheep discarded by the wool industry are shipped to the Middle East and North Africa. They are crammed onto multi-tiered ships where they suffer amid the waste of thousands of other animals for weeks on end. Many suffer and die from smothering, starvation, heatstroke, injuries and disease. Each year, tens of thousands of animals die en route—almost 40,000 sheep died in 2005 alone.
Time for your weekly dose of Deflocked!
My post on Breeders this week seems to have raised enough controversy that it merits a follow-up entry. I followed the comments on this one really closely, and it's pretty clear that there's some interesting stuff going on. PETA Files reader Kelly—who was the most outspoken representative of the forces of good in the comment war on that particular post—made this remark, which inspired me to get out my pipe and Sherlock Holmes hat and do a bit of investigative work:
"Would anyone like to know why the crackpot breeders have come out of the woodwork to come here and spread the usual propaganda about ‘reputable’ breeders? They are all madly messaging each other and emailing each other and exhorting each other on their forums to come here and spread the gospel and try to cover their butts."
Sure enough, when I looked into it, the page was getting some heavy traffic from breeder-focused message boards and sites, and an unusual amount of comments with the standard anti-animal propaganda that people copy and paste from meat-industry front groups when they have an axe to grind about an initiative that's designed to help animals. There was also the standard drivel about "responsible" breeders (as if such a thing existed). Which got me to thinking: What po$$ible rea$on could the$e breeder$ have for coming onto PETA’s blog by the dozen to try and di$courage people from adopting from a shelter? If anyone ha$ any idea$, I'd love to hear them. It'$ a total my$tery to me!
Anyway, by way of an answer to some of the legitimate questions about the campaign that appeared in the comments:
1) Sad as it is to see them there, buying an animal from a pet store just isn't a good way to help them. If you pay for that animal, not only is she going to be replaced right away with another one, but you're funding the pet store's practice with your purchase, and denying an adoptable animal at a shelter a chance at life at the same time.
2) I deliberately didn't draw a distinction between so-called "responsible" breeders and people who run puppy mills. Sure, some of these folks aren’t quite so cruel as the scumbags who torture animals in puppy mill-type operations, but the point here is that there is no excuse for breeding and selling animals when millions upon millions of them are being killed in shelters or suffering out on the streets.
That's it on breeders for now, but keep an eye out for some of the great new stuff we have coming up to expose this vicious little industry for what it is.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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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.