Written by PETA
That's right. Every year PETA's crack team of baseball and veggie hot dog experts scours the nation's baseball stadiums to rank the ten best according to an incredibly complex algorithm that takes into account such factors as deliciousness of the veggie dogs, crunchiness of the salads, and variety of the selection. The Philadelphia Phillies grabbed the number one spot this year on the strength of their Philly mock steak sandwich—and you can click the banner below to find out whether your city's stadium made it into the top ten. We also ranked the minor leaguers this year, which you can check out here.
As an Orioles fan, I was pleased to see that Camden Yards got an honorable mention. Enjoy it while you can, fellow O's enthusiasts—it's probably the only thing we'll win at all this year.
Since the latest outbreak of foot and mouth disease is such a hot topic of conversation in the UK right now, PETA Europe held this fantastic demonstration in London yesterday pointing out all of the deadly diseases caused by factory farming, and less than subtly pointed out the easiest fix for all of them: going vegetarian. Great job guys!
Bartiromo is quoted as saying “Chic, sexy clothes are the real me . . . The coat is spectacular; the fur cuffs give it just the right amount of glamour.” But when Page 6 asked about it, her rep insisted that despite the More article, the newswoman doesn't approve of fur, doesn't own any, and that wearing the coat for the shoot was a "mistake." Yes it was.
We’re getting in touch to clarify Bartiromo’s position, and I’ll let you know what we find out.
The other day, my pal Michael had a work assignment I’d have killed for. He went to a photo shoot with the one and only Jenna Jameson. Um, wow . . . Apparently, Jenna saw Earthlings a year or so ago and it changed her life, and we’re certainly glad to have her on board.
Unfortunately, the shots that are going to be in upcoming ads are being kept on the super down low for now, but check out this sneak peek of Jenna looking super hot in our Kentucky Fried Cruelty T-shirt that I was able to get my hands on.
Of course, Jenna isn’t the first hottie to speak out against KFC’s cruelty to chicks. If you haven’t seen Pamela Anderson’s anti-KFC video, you can click here to check that out.
Andy Hurley and Gabe Saporta are in a couple of bands called Fall Out Boy and Cobra Starship that have enjoyed a degree of success. Like, the #1 on the Billboard charts kind of success—which is why it was very kind of them indeed to remember their old friends (those hopelessly trendy Rebels With a Cause over at peta2) and do this interview about what got them into animal rights. This is the first in a series in which Gabe and Andy discuss animal issues with each other, and I can't wait for the next ones to come out. These guys are both articulate, thoughtful spokesmen for animal rights, and it's awesome to see them take time to reach out to their millions of fans about veganism.
Seriously. If you have a store that could use a kickass elephant display for a few months, tell us where, why, and perhaps we can deliver it to you. It stands about 5½ feet tall when on its base, and about 3 feet wide. Ella weighs 150 lbs and the base an additional 700 pounds. A permit may be needed. She's leaving NY and looking for a home since the circus took away her mom. You can read more about Ella’s story here.
There is an end in sight, and while this isn't going to stop us from doing everything in our power to end all abuses of cows right now, the announcement this week by the American Veal Association that they will phase out veal crates by 2017 is a major landmark for the animal protection movement and proof that decades of pressure on the industry to end its cruel practices has paid off.
Veal, which rates a full 10 out of 10 on the WTF? scale, is made by chaining calves by their necks inside solitary crates for up to 23 weeks. The AVA's decision to finally abandon this torture means an end in sight for what will one day be regarded as among the most vile practices in human history.
This announcement marks the latest in a series of victories for the animal protection movement in its long struggle to eliminate the solitary, intensive confinement of farmed animals. Earlier this year, three of the world's largest pig meat producers—Smithfield Foods, Maple Leaf Foods, and Cargill Meat Solutions—took steps to phase out gestation crates for pigs, and recently, following years of discussions with PETA, Burger King made a commitment to buy 20 percent of its pig meat from suppliers that do not use gestation crates and 5 percent of its eggs from sources that do not confine chickens to battery cages. Shortly afterwards, Wendy's followed suit, pledging to purchase 20 percent crate-free pork by the end of 2008 and increase that percentage over time.
This is an important step forward, and, put together with these other victories for animals, it's clearly part of a trend. As Ingrid Newkirk puts it, "While the best way to prevent cruelty to animals is to simply stop eating them, any progress made toward mitigating their suffering is commendable."
The piece is incredibly interesting, especially when you consider Gellman’s perspective. Gellman, a Rabbi, uses moving vignettes from his grandfather (a zookeeper) throughout his article, which is one of the most thoughtful pieces I’ve read in ages on the issue of animals in captivity. Here’s just one interesting bit:
"He would patiently explain to me that they did not want to be in their cages but that we put them there so that little boys like me could see up close what they look like, how they move and what sounds they make. Grandpa explained to me that this was a deal we humans made with the wild animals of the world. We capture and display some of them so that people would feel something for them and protect the wild animals that were not in cages. I asked grandpa if he thought the deal was fair. He thought and said, 'It's a good deal for us, and not such a good deal for them.' I still think grandpa was right."
Amazing . . .
You can check out the full piece here.
The folks in our Regulatory Testing Division are pretty smart, I must say. They spend their entire lives neck deep in scientific papers that would squash the brains of most normal people, so to say that they’re a pretty serious lot is like saying Barry Bonds is kind of good at baseball. So imagine my surprise when I found out about their latest little stunt. Granted, it’s hard to make anything containing words like toxicogenomics and bioinformatics even the least bit fun, but I think they pulled it off here.
Yesterday, PETA sent these little alarm clocks to members of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods—the folks charged with helping streamline the validation and use of modern non-animal testing methods—to remind them that an animal dies every two seconds of every day in a US government mandated toxicity test, and to push them to do their job by helping to implement—not block—alternatives to animal testing.
Check out the letter they sent with the clocks here.
"As an Anaheim Duck, I hate to see real ducks tortured so that a handful of wealthy chefs can serve their diseased organs. Please uphold this compassionate law."
If you live in Chicago, please take a moment to follow Scott's compassionate example, and sign a petition to the Chicago City Council here. It takes, like, 15 seconds, and it will make a huge difference for the ducks and geese who have pipes rammed down their throats so that the aforementioned industry lobbyists can make a few bucks.
PETA Files reader Nancy Winebarger just sent me her own version of the Mercury Poisoning fish billboard I wrote about last week. Here’s what she said:
"I saw the blog today about the Mercury Poisoning billboard being rejected based on the image used, so I thought I'd pass along an idea for something that might be a bit more palatable to the squeamish."
I think both concepts do a great job of alerting people to the issue in a way that grabs your attention in a different way. I’ve posted both Nancy’s and PETA’s version below—which one do you like better?
Sadly, this headline isn’t a joke. To say that our history with the so called environmental group Environmental Defense (ED) is sordid is a bit of an understatement. Let’s just say that it more than ruffles our feathers that ED reps sit on all sorts of gov't panels and always advocate for more animal tests—and against first seeing what previous info there may be on whether people are even exposed to a substance. It also didn’t sit too well with us when PETA reps were walking the halls of the EPA pleading for anyone to look at methods to replace lethal dose testing and ED told us to our face that they were not interested in the alternative method. And it really got under our skin when ED fought tooth and nail against our push (eventually successful) to incorporate some non-animal toxicity testing methods into the HPV program instead of injecting animals with toxic substances into their abdomen.
To say that ED is notorious for pushing animal testing is also an understatement, so I guess it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the group is once again calling for a massive animal-testing program despite clear evidence that animal testing does not protect human or environmental health. Now this organization has set its sights on the new field of nanotechnology and, together with chemical giant DuPont, has designed a testing strategy for nanomaterials that relies heavily on crude and cruel animal tests.
It’s incredibly ironic to me that people involved in a field as cutting-edge as nanotechnology are pushing for the same old animal tests that failed to predict the hazards of asbestos, mercury, benzene, chromium, arsenic, and tobacco smoke, to name just a few. ED should look at the many human-relevant non-animal testing methods available now and use a step-by-step approach to testing. Since even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits that 92 percent of drugs that pass animal experiments fail in clinical trials in humans—and since animal tests are expected to fail even more miserably with nanomaterials because their minute size does not allow efficient tracking in animals—ED's position is indefensible.
Notable scientists specializing in nanomaterials safety research are pushing for the use of existing in vitro (non-animal) test methods and the further development of additional ones. A recent landmark report is pushing for the same. But ED remains oblivious to the recommendations of prominent scientists and refuses to recognize that experiments on animals have severe limitations—both ethical and scientific.
And this is where you come in. Click here to take ED’s online survey and tell them what you think about their pushing cruel animal tests. You can also click here to take action from our site.
Sometimes it’s kind of hard for people to make the connection between their pets and the animals they eat, so here are some masks our Production department made to help with that. What do you think?
In case you haven't heard of him, Tom Regan is a philosophy professor at NC State who has been one of the most important and compelling advocates for animal rights in the academic world since early on in the movement. His clarity of expression and his passion for the subject make his thinking accessible to anyone—whether they've studied philosophy or not—and this video, which I discovered recently on YouTube, is a great example of Professor Regan's prodigious abilities, both as a thinker and as an advocate for animals.
The excerpt is from a debate that took place in 1989 for the BBC—it's well worth watching and passing around to friends who may be new to the philosophy behind animal rights.
My boss, Tracy, sent me this great photo her brother Brad took last week while he was touring Russia with the Rolling Stones (yeah, I know, some people just end up with really fun jobs). Here's what Brad said about the image:
"This photo was taken on a back street around the "Novisky Prospekt" neighborhood of St.Petersburg. I was surprised and pleased to see this message in a place where most of the kids you see are homeless and just looking for their next meal or a stronger solvent to inhale. Most of the graffiti I saw in these neighborhoods reflected the blossoming "white power" or "russia for russians" movements at a time when skinheads have just beaten to death 4 African exchange students in St Peterburg. For this reason, this pleasant image really caught my attention with its positive message."
The View has been in the news a lot lately, with the addition of Whoopi Goldberg to the show. But yesterday, the show was in the news for a different reason. One of the hosts, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, revealed what she thought was the “funny” news that she has decapitated a chicken. She even demonstrated with hand motions how to do it “correctly,” horrifying the audience and co-hosts Joy Behar and Barbara Walters even more than she usually does.
Here’s a video of the incident.
And here’s what a PETA rep told TMZ about it:
"PETA has two words for Hasselbeck, 'Cluck you!' Next to Barbara and Joy, who expressed compassion, Elisabeth sat there chirping about the joys of killing defenseless birds. Conservatives love animals too, and she ruffled a lot of feathers today. Now that Whoopi has joined the show, maybe it's time for Hasslebeck's head to go on the chopping block."
Yesterday in Los Angeles, Paris and Britney look-a-likes took to the streets to lead a hilarious protest against pet stores and breeders at the site of our new ABC (Animal Birth Control) billboard. Obviously, this protest was meant to be lighthearted and fun, but the issue is deadly serious for the animals involved. For every dog or cat purchased from a breeder or a pet store, another dog or cat on death row at an animal shelter must be killed. Here’s what PETA’s Director of Domestic Animal Issues had to say about it all, “Forget jail or rehab; these selfish stars should do a stint in an animal shelter, where they would witness the plight of dogs who end up there after being bought on an impulse."
Sooooooo, a lot of blogs have been talking about this weird new concept of "Vegansexuals". Some psychologist in New Zealand coined the word after conducting a study which found that some vegans just don't really like to do it with meat-eaters. A high percentage of respondents evidently reported that meat-eaters smell funky. Tucker Carlson reported on the story last week, and made the claim out of left field that being a vegan kills your sex drive. I have no idea where Tucker pulled this myth from (maybe a bad experience with a lethargic hippie in college?), but I can guarantee that if he just finds the right vegan girl, he'll change his mind quicker than it takes him to put on that dapper new tie of his in the morning.
Tucker did follow up the story the next day with a nice piece in which he read our statement on the topic—he claims he hasn’t changed his opinion yet, but he’ll come around. … Anyway, onto PETA's position: We're pro inter-dietary dating for about a million reasons; for one thing, if you're ever going to persuade someone that they need to stop eating animals, you need to be around them, talk to them, listen to their point of view, and, hell, sometimes even sleep with them. Being vegan isn't about being in a club, and while there's nothing wrong with having a preference for someone who shares your views, I wouldn't want anyone to think that giving up meat means you have to drain the ol’ dating pool at the same time. As Tucker pointed out, going vegetarian is supposed to get you girls, not cut off your options.
Finally, on a more personal note, sometimes it’s difficult enough as it is. I'll take it where I can damn well get it.
P.S. Eating meat causes impotence.
Jerry Ringlien, who created the disturbing “My bologna has a first name” campaign for Oscar Mayer in the ‘70s, died yesterday of a heart attack in North Carolina. As someone who works in a Marketing Department, I certainly have a lot of respect for people who can craft the kind of iconic ad campaign that Ringlien created, but it’s so tragic to me when such obvious talents are used in the service of promoting something like the pig industry—which crams animals into metal crates and kills hundreds of millions of them a year in the most gruesome ways imaginable—rather than something less hateful, or (God forbid) even helpful.
If you’re someone who can make a product that’s made from stomach, snout, intestines, spleen, and lips and that is known to increase the risk of cancer and (yes) heart attacks seem like a fun lunchbox item for kids across America, you can clearly sell any idea to anyone. I only wish that Mr. Ringlien had used his creativity to help animals instead of hurting them.
Today in London, acclaimed novelist, playwright, actor and social justice leader Benjamin Zephaniah helped PETA Europe launch its new “Animal Liberation Project,” which points out some pretty shocking parallels between injustices of the past and the treatment of animals today.
The exhibit forces people to think about whether or not it is appropriate to compare perpetually chained performing bears to shackled human slaves. Or battery-caged hens to child sweatshop workers. Or painful procedures performed on unwilling human subjects to the experiments that torture and kill millions of animals in laboratories. But really at its core, the exhibit is all about challenging the “might makes right” mentality that was the very foundation of human slavery, child labor and the denial of women’s equality and which is also responsible for factory farming, animal experimentation and other abuses to animals—and people—today. The launch of the project was timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the British Parliament’s ban on the human slave trade and took place in London along the Thames, where more than 750,000 captured Africans were once traded. Powerful stuff, for sure.
Check out what Benjamin had to say about the exhibit here, in an op-ed he wrote for The Guardian. And click here to see the full Animal Liberation Project and judge it for yourself.
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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.