Written by PETA
PETA Files reader Dave Cortright passed this hilarious Onion video on to me and I just had to share.
The sad thing is that animal experiments just as absurd as this fictional one still take place. Take smoking/nicotine experiments, for example. We know that smoking is harmful to human health; we don’t need to shove animals into inhalation chambers or dose pregnant rats with huge amounts of nicotine to confirm it. There are countless examples like this, but this was supposed to be a lighthearted entry, so I’ll stop now . . .
Anyway, if you haven’t seen Testing 1, 2, 3 yet, give it a look and let me know what you think.
I got a real kick out of this Bizarro comic someone scanned from their newspaper and sent in the other day, and the wonderful Dan Piraro, the longtime PETA supporter and animal rights advocate who writes the strip, was gracious enough to send me a high-quality version to put on the blog. Thanks, Dan!
Falcons Owner Arthur Blank gave a press conference this afternoon to present the Falcons’ official position on the Vick case. Here’s what PETA told the media about our reaction:
PETA commends Arthur Blank and the Falcons for not being satisfied with a voluntary leave of absence for Michael Vick. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, truckloads of illegal dogfighting equipment and 66 dogs—many of whom had injuries associated with dogfighting—were seized from Vick’s property. Based on those facts alone, a voluntary leave of absence would clearly not be satisfactory.PETA also commends the Falcons for drafting the paperwork for a four-week suspension, mentioned by Blank as a “first step” in disciplining Vick. We continue to call on the NFL to suspend Vick immediately and to permanently bar him from the league if convicted of the charges detailed in the indictment.PETA appreciates Arthur Blank’s statement, “How anyone could participate in dogfighting is incomprehensible to me,” which echoed the feelings of many millions of Americans and football fans.Because of the Falcons’ willingness to suspend Vick, PETA is canceling plans to protest outside the Falcons’ training camp on Thursday. Instead, PETA will demonstrate outside NikeTown stores nationwide, demanding that Nike—which has stated that it will continue to sell Michael Vick merchandise—drop its corporate partnership with Vick.
PETA commends Arthur Blank and the Falcons for not being satisfied with a voluntary leave of absence for Michael Vick. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, truckloads of illegal dogfighting equipment and 66 dogs—many of whom had injuries associated with dogfighting—were seized from Vick’s property. Based on those facts alone, a voluntary leave of absence would clearly not be satisfactory.
PETA also commends the Falcons for drafting the paperwork for a four-week suspension, mentioned by Blank as a “first step” in disciplining Vick. We continue to call on the NFL to suspend Vick immediately and to permanently bar him from the league if convicted of the charges detailed in the indictment.
PETA appreciates Arthur Blank’s statement, “How anyone could participate in dogfighting is incomprehensible to me,” which echoed the feelings of many millions of Americans and football fans.
Because of the Falcons’ willingness to suspend Vick, PETA is canceling plans to protest outside the Falcons’ training camp on Thursday. Instead, PETA will demonstrate outside NikeTown stores nationwide, demanding that Nike—which has stated that it will continue to sell Michael Vick merchandise—drop its corporate partnership with Vick.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter, whose job entails dealing with a certain dogfighting case that you may have heard of involving Falcons Quarterback (for the time being) Michael Vick has apparently decided to sit around and do nothing instead. A full eight days after the indictment, Mr. Poindexter has yet to file any state charges against Vick. As PETA Director Daphna Nachminovich puts it,
"Short of an engraved invitation, what else will get Poindexter to file charges against Vick? He should be ashamed that it took the federal government to come down here to do his job for him. This case needs to go before a grand jury lickety-split. Vick's name will forever be associated with cruelty to dogs and so will Poindexter's unless he takes immediate action to see that justice is served."
Right on, Daphna. And Poindexter, what the hell are you up to? You can read our letter to the attorney here.
OK, so essentially everyone in the developed world has at least heard of PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign. At least everyone with access to a TV, computer, radio or newspaper. And, to be honest, we’re quite proud of the campaign’s success.
It’s pretty clear we’re all about getting naked for a good cause, so I was thrilled to hear about UK-based Lush Cosmetics’ new “naked” marketing campaign. And since the company is as animal-friendly as they come, I love it even more.
The outcry over Michael Vick's indictment has been enormous, bringing national attention to the horrors inherent in the vicious blood sport he's accused of participating in, and inspiring countless people to speak out against cruelty to animals. Following demonstrations outside the NFL's offices in New York and Falcons HQ in Atlanta, an impassioned letter from Senator John Kerry, and a powerful speech by Senator Robert Byrd in D.C., Commissioner Goodell has finally responded and told Vick not to come to training camp while the NFL reviews his case. This is a step in the direction, but we do need to keep the pressure on the NFL right now to suspend Michael Vick from the team. Given the evidence—rape racks, treadmills, piles of dead animals—no reasonable person would doubt that illegal dogfighting and horrific cruelty to animals have taken place on Michael Vick's property, and that alone—even for those who still believe that Vick was completely oblivious to the major operation that was going on under his nose—is reason enough for Goodell to take strong disciplinary action. You can write to the NFL here.
Now we need to persuade the companies that have yet to address the glaring fact that they are still touting Michael Vick as a poster boy. PETA's letter to Nike, Vick's most prominent sponsor, is available here, and you can contact the company through the form here to ask that they immediately sever ties with Vick in light of these horrific allegations.
PETA will be keeping pressure on the NFL and Nike this week, and we'll keep working to ensure that this issue is treated with the seriousness that it deserves by anyone who continues to try and make money from an association with an alleged torturer.
We are also making certain that everyone has information about exactly what the blood sport of dogfighting means for the animals involved. This PETA PSA, starring heavyweight boxing champion Lamon Brewster has been going out to TV stations around the country all week. If there is a silver lining in this case, it is that the public is now very aware that dogfighting is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently and that strong measures need to be taken to stamp it out forever.
Welcome to Day 7 of the Michael Vick dogfighting indictment. PETA is still being inundated with calls and emails about the case, and we’re still working round the clock to make sure that the NFL and Vick’s sponsors send a real message to fans about the cruelty of dogfighting, rather than just sitting around to see what will happen next. I’ll have some more updates for you in a little while, but in the meantime, here are some great photos from today’s PETA demonstration outside Falcons HQ. You can be certain that there’s more where that came from.
Read PETA’s letter to the NFL Player’s Association
MSNBC covers the story
Falcons owner expected to take action (finally)
Tell the NFL to “Sack Vick”
I’m sure you heard the news that Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker) passed away this weekend after a long battle with colon cancer.
Tammy Faye definitely had it rough, (check out the enjoyable documentary The Eyes of Tammy Faye if you’re interested in that part of her life), but she always managed to face the world with two very important things: her trademark chipper attitude and loads of mascara. And it was those two things that led us to get in touch with her back in 2003 to see if she’d be interested in helping with our Caring Consumer campaign. We found out that Tammy Faye loved animals and she was horrified to find out what happens to them in labs, so she jumped at the chance to help.
Tammy Faye clearly got the concept of true Christian compassion, and we’re proud to have had her grace the cover of our cruelty-free shopping guide.
RIP Tammy Faye.
Is it me or does Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova look more beautiful than ever lately? Well, I think I know why. I just came across this story about how she recently went vegan to make a statement and to save fish, so there ya go.
OK, I guess maybe her perfect genes could have a little something to do with it, but still . . . Seriously though, I can’t think of a better spokesperson for veganism than Petra. You go girl.
Senators John Kerry and Robert Byrd have added their voices to the outrage over Vick's alleged involvement in dogfighting rings and the NFL's continued failure to take positive action in this case. In a letter to Commissioner Goodell, Senator Kerry writes,
I am deeply disturbed by the indictment of Michael Vick for dogfighting charges. I urge you to treat this issue with the utmost seriousness as the case progresses. In light of the seriousness of the charges, I believe that Mr. Vick should be suspended from the League, effective immediately.
And Senator Robert Byrd made this emotional speech on the subject of dogfighting in light of this incident. You can watch an excerpt here, but it included the following statement:
"Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain, from valley to valley across this broad land. May God help those poor souls who would be so cruel. Barbaric! Hear me!"
Right on, Senators. I’ll let you know how the NFL responds—but it’s pretty clear that the pressure is seriously mounting.
About an hour ago, PETA campaigners and activists converged on NFL HQ in New York to urge Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL to suspend Michael Vick in light of his recent indictment for alleged involvement in the horrific cruelty associated with dogfighting—including allegations that he was killing dogs by hanging, slamming them to the ground, drowning, and electrocuting them. Surrounded by reporters and TV news crews, more than 75 activists lined the streets in front of the NFL building, holding signs reading “NFL: Sack Vick,” handing out stickers and leaflets to passersby, and making it abundantly clear—just in case Goodell hasn’t figured it out yet—that the NFL’s weak response to Vick’s case is unacceptable.
The massive turnout at this demonstration should be indication enough to Goodell that his decision to allow Vick to play in spite of these disturbing charges is going to be a major PR headache for the NFL, to say the least. Here’s what PETA President Ingrid Newkirk had to say about the NFL’s “wait and see” attitude in a statement to the media yesterday:
“Forget that unless space aliens were on Vick's property putting up an invisibility shield, it is impossible that Vick didn't know (let alone sponsor a fighting dog), that the house he built included designs for dog training facilities and that his relatives were fighting, kenneling, training, housing training equipment, and killing dogs there. There was a time when people under fire for corruption let alone criminal cruelty, resigned. That honorable moment has passed because of the Almighty Dollar. If he won't do the right thing by stepping down until this is resolved (and I'll put a sporting bet on his conviction), the NFL should suspend him. Is the new America only about money or do we still cling to some values? In the courts he may be innocent until proven guilty, and that's fair and fine, but in professional or political life, we have to have a higher standard than "hey, keep raking it in until we see if he gets off.”
The protest was covered on ESPN, and you can watch an interview with PETA’s own Dan Shannon that took place during the demonstration here.
I’ll let you know as soon as there’s more news, but in the meantime, you may want to get your very own “Sack Vick” T-shirt. Love it.
"When Linda died I said I would support cancer charities. Animal rights groups wrote to me pointing out that many were heavily into vivisection - and it's true. A doctor we knew out in America just admitted it as a matter of fact, innocently, like 'Well, sure we do.' What he doesn't realise is that he won't get a donation out of me for that very fact. There are better alternatives but you're not allowed to challenge the status quo."
This sends a clear message to animal experimenters and the charities that fund them that it’s high time to pull their heads out of the sand and embrace modern effective non-animal research.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, Alistair.
For a list of charities that do and don’t fund animal experiments, check out this link.
Since taking over the job, Commissioner Roger Goodell has talked a big game about cracking down on character issues in the NFL—and until now, he's backed up his commitment, doling out tough penalties to Bengals receiver Chris Henry for DUIs and Bears tackle Tank Johnson for charges related to illegal firearms possession, and suspending Titans cornerback Pacman Jones for a full year following his troubles with the police. But now, in the face of national outrage over Vick’s indictment on dogfighting charges, Goodell has announced that Vick will be allowed to play when the season starts in September. Why, Roger, are you folding now when one of the NFL's biggest stars (who's certainly been no stranger to the courtroom since he was drafted by the Falcons) has been indicted for a crime that is nothing short of torture? What kind of a message does this send to the communities that are working so hard to stamp out this crime, or to the young fans of Michael Vick who are waiting to find out whether dogfighting is something that will get you into trouble? Goodell's weak response to these deadly serious allegations is tantamount to admitting that the National Football League doesn't consider ties to dogfighting rings a character issue at all.
Starting tomorrow, we will be holding demonstrations calling for Vick's suspension from the league, so I'll keep you posted with details, and if you want to let Goodell know that he's made the wrong decision, you can contact him about the issue here.
There is some good news, though. I know a lot of people have been contacting Vick's sponsors asking that they sever their ties with him, and it looks like some companies have been listening: Nike just announced that they will be suspending the release of the Air Zoom Vick V this summer. You can read about that here. You can be certain that we'll keep the pressure on Vick's other sponsors and the NFL to do the right thing here, and I'll let you know as soon as there are more developments in the story.
And now, ladies and gentlemen … your weekly installment of DeFlocked!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
While the rest of us were working our fingers to the bone responding to the Michael Vick indictment yesterday, PETA Campaigner Mike Brazell got to traipse off to DC to live out my greatest fantasy—eating veggie dogs with a pair of Playboy Playmates (hey, I'm a man of simple desires.) I will keep you up to date throughout the week as the Vick case develops, but I think something a bit more lighthearted is in order for this morning's entry. Besides, these pictures, from yesterday's "Congressional Veggie Dog Lunch" are just too good to pass up.
And now, with those pictures to bolster you up against the trials of the day, back to Michael Vick …
Sign Russell Simmons and Al Sharpton's pledge to stamp out dogfighting
Sun Times Columnist says Vick must go
Court date is set for next week
ESPN talks animal rights
And finally, despite leading The Girls of Norfolk High to the Fantasy Super Bowl last year (we lost), Michael Vick will definitely not be making my fantasy roster when the draft begins in August. I can only hope the Falcons management makes the same smart decision to suspend him from their team.
Please click here to contact Roger Goodell about this news and ask him to immediately take action. We're doing everything we can to ensure that the news of Vick's alleged involvement in this horrific cruelty is not swept under the rug. I can only hope that the high profile nature of Michael Vick's case helps to shed light on an epidemic that, too often, is not treated with enough gravity by law-enforcement officials, and that needs to be stamped out immediately.
Please click here for an update.
Michael Vick has just been indicted in the investigation of dog-fighting on his Virginia property. I’ll give you more information tomorrow, but in the meantime, this is PETA’s official statement on the topic:
PETA’s offices, located just over an hour away from Michael Vick’s rural mansion—where we now know dozens if not hundreds of dogs were forced to fight to the death in the pit—has been receiving vague allegations of Vick’s involvement in illegal animal fighting activity for years, sadly without much concrete evidence to back it up. While local authorities—who have historically mishandled dogfighting cases—sat on evidence in this case, the U.S. Attorney’s office was obviously determined to get the job done. The professional sports world is plagued with players who have been accused, charged, or convicted of cruelty to animals, abusing pit bulls, and dog fighting, and we hope that this indictment sends a loud and clear message to players and the NFL that celebrity is not a sufficient excuse for breaking the law, and that animal abuse should never be tolerated under any circumstances. -PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch
"Britney needs a new puppy about as much as Lindsay Lohan needs a drink. She can barely look after herself and her kids, and she's tossed away so many dogs before. The only dog Britney is responsible enough to care for is a stuffed toy."
Spears, who was awarded the title of World's Worst Celebrity Dog Owner in 2006 by The Hollywood Dog Magazine, has already been photographed carrying her new Yorkie like a handbag, and spotted bringing the unfortunate animal to an L.A. night club, which is about as suitable a place for a puppy as it is for a recovering alcoholic mother of two.
MSNBC covered the story, and you can read that here.
The company—whose reaction to the 2005 investigation was to use its lawyers to try and strongarm PETA and PETA Europe into removing the footage from the Web—was eventually cited for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In a separate case, five Covance facilities were cited by the USDA for instances of animal abuse, including deliberately starving a dog and depriving her of veterinary care. These guys are the world's largest breeders of dogs for experimentation, and you can bet that there were more horrors in store for the dogs made to suffer through the 28-hour-long trip in a Japan Airlines cargo hold. A Covance promotional pamphlet recently obtained by PETA shows dozens of beagles in rows of cages, with the tagline "Helping to bring miracles to market sooner."
Thanks to Covance, it's too late for these particular beagles, but we're asking Japan Airlines to follow the lead of Air Canada and other compassionate airlines by refusing to transport dogs and other animals to vivisection laboratories in future. No responsible business should associate with monsters like Covance, and we're working very hard to ensure that Japan Airlines gets that message. If you'd like to help out, you can write to the airline's CEO through this form.
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.