Written by PETA
Our Campaigns Department has an uncanny way of turning a wild idea into a reality. Someone said the magic words "Human Glue Trap" in a brainstorming meeting, and, lo and behold, we've got two or three of the suckers ready to go. A few brave activists helped to put pressure on Home Depot to stop selling glue traps—which can cause mice, birds, and other animals to suffer for days before they're killed—with this little demonstration yesterday. According to Ashley, who took part in the protest, one Home Depot employee was so shocked by the glue trap literature they had on hand that he had second thoughts about going into work that day. Awesome work, guys. I love it.
Anyone down with Shepard Fairey art will appreciate this contribution from Stuart from Maine. Our “Not a Nugget” chick (named, oddly enough, “Nugget”) has shown up in some pretty crazy places, but this has to be my favorite so far. What can I say, the nugget has a posse . . .
You may remember that there were hearings last month in support of a bill that would have banned the use of cruel bullhooks in the entire state of California. And no bullhooks means less pain and suffering for elephants in circuses or on the sets of commercials or movies, so it is a super important piece of legislation. It was supported not only by PETA, but essentially the entire animal protection community. The only animal advocacy group who sided with the circus industry in opposing the bullhook ban was the American Humane Association (AHA). I wonder if AHA is more concerned about protecting the film industry, and the huge contributions they receive to monitor films, than the animals they are supposed to protect. . . .
Anyway, here’s the letter we sent the AHA’s board of directors asking them wtf is up. The bill is still in committee and can still be called up for a vote, so for the elephants’ sake, here’s hoping the AHA come to their senses and get behind it . . .
We caught up with Weeds star Kevin Nealon last week to shoot a little PSA in our veggie testimonial series, in which vegetarian celebrities talk about what got them to make the switch to a meatless diet. At the end of the shoot, Kevin wanted to take a few moments to talk about the ridiculous kangaroo-leather bill—SB 880—that's ominously making its way through the legislature in his home state of California. He also took the opportunity to finally speak openly about his deep-seated fears about driving in reverse. If you're from California, and you share Kevin's distaste for anti-kangaroo legislation, you can take action here. If you also share his phobia about driving backwards, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do to help you.
I'm sure the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie is going to be pretty great and all, but do they let you choose how the story ends? I didn't think so. And it probably doesn't even have a talking British monkey in it. Fortunately, PETA has come to the rescue again, and, with the new Pirates movie coming out today, it's just in the nick of time. A few credits first—as Nicole (who did the voice of the Nugget) said she would never speak to me again if I didn't mention her. The rest of the fine voice work was done by Dale, Dan, and yours truly as the monkey. Check it out.
If you live in Chicago, this is especially important for you, because Mayor Richard Daley and Alderman Ed Burke are working hard to repeal one of the most important animal protection laws ever passed, the Chicago foie gras ban. Meat-industry lobbyists are putting enormous pressure on Chicago's aldermen to repeal the law, and the aldermen may vote any day on whether or not to repeal the ban.
For those not familiar with it, foie gras is a “delicacy” made by shoving pipes down the throats of ducks and geese in order to pump massive quantities of fat and grain into their stomachs until their livers become painfully diseased. The ducks are then violently killed, and their bloated, diseased livers are sold as foie gras. Foie gras is so cruel it has already been banned in 15 nations—including the U.K., Germany, Israel, and Switzerland—as well as in the state of California. Even many grocery stores, including Whole Foods, refuse to sell foie gras.
If you live in Chicago, please click here to find out how you can help keep this horribly cruel product banned in your city.
We’re also currently blitzing Chicago TV stations with this ad featuring Sir Roger Moore, the best 007 ever . . .
I'm no football expert, and this isn't exactly a sports blog, but I thought I'd start off the day with three great reasons why Ladell Betts should start instead of Clinton Portis as the Washington Redskins Running Back this year:
For those of you who haven't heard about that last part yet, here's what Portis said to reporters about the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal:
"I think people should mind their business, you know. I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, his dog, if that's what he wants to do, do it. … It can't be too bad of a crime. There's a lot of stuff that's crimes, you know. It's killers on the loose over here and you want to hunt down Michael Vick over fighting some dogs."
Clinton, buddy, I stuck by you through your lousy, injury-ridden season last year, but I think this may be the end of the road for us. There's a great article about the story on Fox Sports, which you can check out here. And you can watch a little bit more about what dogfighting is all about here. I'm thinking Portis should be made to review that video while the rest of the team is watching game tape next year.
I'm not sure how many people heard about the “Compassionate Business” Award that PETA gave Mark Mayes, owner of Monte Carlo Cleaners in Scottsdale, AZ, last week, so I wanted to mention it here. Mark received the award for instituting a unique policy of refusing to accept items made of leather, fur and angora rabbit wool, proving that compassion and good business go hand in hand. If you live anywhere near Scottsdale, make sure to give Mark your business, he sure deserves it. Monte Carlo Cleaners is located here. And if you could use a guide to compassionate clothing, check it out here. Thanks Mark, you’re a superstar to all of us.
The voting has officially opened. Last year, Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell took home the coveted prize of World's Sexiest Female Vegetarian, and Prince beat out some of the best-looking dudes in Hollywood to win the award for the guys. According to my source over in our Vegetarian Campaigns department, Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia has taken an early lead in the voting, and Bryce Dallas Howard, who's starring in this summer's Spiderman 3—which, if the box office numbers are anything to go by, everyone in the country has seen a couple of times already—is currently inching ahead in the votes for the ladies.
Remember, it's not that meat-eaters can't be sexy. It's just that they could be sexier. You can pick your favorite vegetarian celebrity by clicking here. I will be voting for Alyssa Milano. Multiple times. Just FYI.
Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group based in Ohio, has just released video footage of an undercover investigation into a House of Raeford Farms slaughterhouse in North Carolina. House of Raeford Farms, which is one of the biggest turkey processors in the country and supplies companies such as Denny’s and Arby’s, turned 250 million pounds of live turkeys into dead turkeys in 2006 and raked in about 276 million bucks for their efforts. If this video is anything to go by, they're not putting an awful lot of that money back into animal welfare. But, as Mercy for Animals point out on their website, the workers responsible for the abuse can't even be charged under federal law, because the USDA's Humane Slaughter Act doesn't protect turkeys and chickens. The blasé attitude towards unbearable suffering and the outright sadism that you can see on this video turns up again and again and again when one of these hellholes is exposed, but you can bet that the poultry industry is going to act like this is an isolated incident and do everything they can to fight the PR fallout, and the absolute bare minimum to correct the abuses this investigation has uncovered. There are hundreds of great reasons for going vegetarian, but honestly, this is the only one you'll ever need:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if hundreds of dogs took over a brewpub? Well, people in Portland, OR, found out yesterday, at the annual Portland “Pug Crawl”, a benefit for the Oregon Humane Society. The event was basically a traditional pub crawl, but dogs were invited along as well.
This little guy’s outfit served two purposes, it protected him from the ever present Portland drizzle, and was a great entree into conversations about KFC cruelty.
Thanks to Donna from Portland for the pics and “Pug Crawl” report.
Like most serious Redskins fans, I have sworn a solemn oath never to say something nice about a Dallas Cowboy, which—as you can imagine—makes this extremely difficult for me. But the unavoidable fact of the matter is that PETA is giving a much-deserved award to Leonard Davis, a Cowboys offensive lineman who went out of his way to rescue a stranded horse when he discovered the animal stuck belly-deep in mud near his home. Evidently, our heroic horse-rescuer noticed that the horse, Ranger, was stuck in a sinkhole across the street, rushed to fasten straps around the animal, then used his John Deere tractor to pull him free from the mud. Davis then hosed Ranger down, as neighbors and emergency responders looked on. To thank him for going above and beyond to save Ranger's life, PETA has given the Cowboys guard its “Compassionate Action” Award, along with a gift basket and a letter of appreciation. Leonard Davis, you're a badass. And now, just because I feel like it, here's a picture of LaVar Arrington ending Troy Aikman's career.
Turns out we have this great kanga costume, which came in really handy in California on Thursday when our Skins Campaign Coordinator Melissa Karpel and six activists (including Rory Friedman, the author of Skinny Bitch) took to the streets to protest the anti-kangaroo bill SB 880, which seeks to make the sale of kanga skins legal in the state. Seriously, you have to be a real jerk to vote for a bill designed to facilitate kangaroo skinning. The incredible hulk certainly seems to think so, at any rate …
Thanks to James over at The Daily Veg for sending in these pics. For more information about what hens have to go through so that people can have eggs for breakfast, click here.
Have you heard about former fashion writer Peter Braunstein, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a co-worker, and plotting to kill inamous fur hag Vogue editor Anna Wintour? Check out the story here; it’s wild stuff for sure. A psychologist for the defense told jurors that Braunstein is the most clinically textbook case of paranoid schizophrenia she had ever diagnosed, but I’ll tell you what, he appears to be pretty close to the truth when he assesses Wintour's character. Who else but an egotistical “skank” would continue to turn a blind eye to the suffering of animals killed for her many fur coats?
It’s time for Wintour to take a page from the book of her favorite designer. Miuccia Prada recently announced that she would no longer design with fur, saying she was “bored” with it. And I have to agree, nothing is quite so passé as torture, killing, and bloodshed—unless you’re a paranoid schizophrenic of course.
And just for posterity’s sake, I don’t think it’s right to mention Wintour’s name without showing this pic of her after getting a face full of tofu cream pie from an anti-fur activist in Europe.
Of course, the lawyers upstairs would like me to mention that I don’t condone the pie thing. In fact, I have no opinion of it all, I’m just reporting that it happened. There, happy Paula?
Check out this KFC protest organized by PETA Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong yesterday. This is truly a global campaign, with demonstrations happening in about 100 countries so far. KFC needs to wake up and realize that people all over the world are against grotesque cruelty to animals, and the sooner it makes the simple animal welfare improvements we're pushing for, the better.
Want to organize a demo like this where you live? Get in touch here.
Designer and Project Runway star Michael Kors recently pacified representatives from the Humane Society of the US by agreeing to stop using raccoon dog fur in his clothing lines. Unfortunately, Kors is turning a blind eye to the suffering of the countless other animals he still uses for their fur. It won’t result in fewer animals dying—just different animals dying. This “pledge” to not use the fur from just one species completely ignores the simple fact that millions of other animals, including foxes (also members of the canine family), are beaten, strangled, anally or genitally electrocuted and skinned alive for their fur. I’m sorry, but this step just isn’t enough, especially given that so many top designers—including Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Betsey Johnson, Marc Bouwer, Rebecca Taylor, and Kenneth Cole, to name just a few—are totally fur-free.
As you probably know, we are all about rewarding companies for taking incremental steps forward. This, however, is not a step forward. Fur is the one issue where there is no middle ground, and the reality here is that this will do absolutely nothing to stop animal suffering overall. Michael Kors’ PR director confirmed to us yesterday that the “MICHAEL” Michael Kors label may in fact still include the fur from other species (as will all other Kors labels).
Well, we’re not willing to take the scraps that Michael Kors is throwing out. It is the year 2007 and it is high time that Kors stops using all fur for good. Please help convince him that there is simply no excuse for using any fur at all by taking action here.
And here is the letter PETA prez Ingrid Newkirk fired off to Kors yesterday.
Dear Mr. Kors:The bone that you tossed to The Humane Society about dropping raccoon dog and raccoon fur may have pacified Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, but it leaves a bad taste in our mouths. As you know, there’s not a lick of difference between beating and skinning live raccoon dogs and doing the same to foxes, who are also members of the canidae family. The rest of the animal protection community knows that when it comes to feeling the pain of being beaten, strangled, genitally electrocuted, and skinned alive, a raccoon is a coyote is a fox is a mink. To PETA, it isn’t whether or not the animal looks like a raccoon or barks like a dog—suffering is suffering. Foxes, too, have central nervous systems, as do the minks who have their necks broken for your “coffee mink tunic dress.” Having met with your team twice—including your head designer—and shown them a video that reveals the horrific suffering endured by animals used for fur, we are sure this must not have trickled down to you. I urge you to take five minutes to watch this exposé of the fur trade, which is narrated by Martha Stewart, who had a change of heart herself about fur. I think it might help you understand why removing fur from one fur-bearing animal in your collections and replacing it with another is totally unacceptable. Top designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Betsey Johnson, Marc Bouwer, Rebecca Taylor, and Kenneth Cole have all chosen to take a compassionate stand and rid their lines of fur—or have never used fur at all. We call on you now to do the same. Sincerely, Ingrid E. NewkirkPresidentPETA
Dear Mr. Kors:
The bone that you tossed to The Humane Society about dropping raccoon dog and raccoon fur may have pacified Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, but it leaves a bad taste in our mouths. As you know, there’s not a lick of difference between beating and skinning live raccoon dogs and doing the same to foxes, who are also members of the canidae family. The rest of the animal protection community knows that when it comes to feeling the pain of being beaten, strangled, genitally electrocuted, and skinned alive, a raccoon is a coyote is a fox is a mink.
To PETA, it isn’t whether or not the animal looks like a raccoon or barks like a dog—suffering is suffering. Foxes, too, have central nervous systems, as do the minks who have their necks broken for your “coffee mink tunic dress.”
Having met with your team twice—including your head designer—and shown them a video that reveals the horrific suffering endured by animals used for fur, we are sure this must not have trickled down to you. I urge you to take five minutes to watch this exposé of the fur trade, which is narrated by Martha Stewart, who had a change of heart herself about fur. I think it might help you understand why removing fur from one fur-bearing animal in your collections and replacing it with another is totally unacceptable.
Top designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney, Betsey Johnson, Marc Bouwer, Rebecca Taylor, and Kenneth Cole have all chosen to take a compassionate stand and rid their lines of fur—or have never used fur at all. We call on you now to do the same.
Ingrid E. NewkirkPresidentPETA
Because milk doesn't actually help you lose weight, which makes the ads ("Milk your diet. Lose weight!) just a teensy bit misleading. Here's how it went down, according to The New York Times: The ads, which were overseen by our old friends the USDA (whom you may remember from such hijinx as failing to enforce their animal welfare regulations and having lousy, inadequate regulations in the first place) made claims such as that three servings of dairy products a day can help people stay thin, and featured celebrities such as Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez to help promote those claims. But, two years after the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine petitioned the F.T.C. to argue that the ads were misleading (on the grounds that there's just no substantial scientific evidence for the claim), the Dairy Council has decided to withdraw the ads "until further research provides stronger, more conclusive evidence of an association between dairy consumption and weight loss." Here's what PCRM's president, Dr. Neal Barnard had to say:
“I think people will start to recognize that the dairy industry, which used to have a mom-and-pop image, is a huge commercial entity that will exaggerate to sell its products.”
This isn't the first case of misleading ads from the Dairy Industry. You may remember the "Happy Cows" ads from the California Milk Board, which had the tagline "Great cheese comes from happy cows" and the insidious implication that the living conditions for California's dairy cows made them happy—which is like saying that Abu Ghraib was a five star hotel. Though PETA sued the Milk Board in that case, it was eventually decided that the state is exempt from its own false-advertising laws, so the ads were allowed to stand. I’m not even kidding. As you can imagine, watching the Dairy Industry finally being held accountable for its misleading advertising is immensely satisfying. Let's hope this trend continues.
My friend Joel Barlett’s girlfriend made this cute cartoon about soybeans and their childhood dreams. Sorry everyone, Joel made me share.
You’ve probably heard about the horrible piece of legislation currently under consideration in California that, if passed, will make it legal to sell products made of kangaroo skins there. There has already been a huge public outcry against the bill, but just in case Cali lawmakers need another reason to kill it, here ya go.
It occurred to me the other day that this is no way for the Golden State to welcome David Beckham, and his wife Victoria, to the neighborhood. The Euro “it” couple is moving to LA this summer, where David will play for the LA Galaxy, in possibly the biggest money deal in professional sports history, reportedly worth several hundred million dollars over five years.
It’s no secret that Posh and Becks are big animal lovers. It’s been reported that Posh is a “devout vegetarian,” and just four years after signing a multi-million-pound contract with Adidas to wear and promote Adidas Predators shoes (made of kangaroo skins), David switched to a synthetic model after watching a video of baby kangaroos being ripped out of their mothers’ pouches and beaten to death. Last year in Australia, more than 3.9 million adult kangaroos were killed for the meat and leather industries, and baby kangaroos, or “joeys”, are considered useless by-products of this barbaric industry.
The couple clearly cares about animal welfare, so hopefully this bill will be killed before they arrive in California. Otherwise, who knows, maybe the new slogan for this campaign will become “Boycott Like Beckham” . . .
And finally, this horrible video is why the bill needs to be defeated, like ASAP:
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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.