Written by PETA
After noticing that a female lobster in the tank at the Men’s Club of Reno was pregnant and carrying eggs, the club’s promotions director and lifelong vegetarian, Aquila Nelson, sprang into action. She convinced the club’s manager to let her free the lobster and called us for instructions on what to do. To make a long story short, the lobster has since been released in protected waters in New Hampshire! Check out what Aquila had to say about the ordeal: "I couldn’t bear the thought of this animal and her babies being thrown into a pot of boiling water. Whether they have claws or paws, no animal deserves to be tortured like that." Aquila, you're awesome.
A little drama unfolding in the UK this week: Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who is a good friend of Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. Posh Spice) has found himself in a bit of a pickle after asking Victoria to let his lambs graze on the land at her home in Hertfordshire because his own London garden was too small. Victoria was perfectly happy to oblige … until she found out what Ramsay intended to do with the lambs that she had grown to love (fricassee them, to be precise). As her spokeswoman put it:
"She was more than happy to let the sheep roam around her grounds, but as a devout vegetarian, she will be distraught to learn that they're going to be killed."
And now PETA Europe has joined the fray, with the following quote from PETA Europe Director Poorva Joshipura making the rounds of the British press:
"People are rallying to spare the lambs Posh grew to love. With soy 'lamb' kebabs and marinated mock meats, everyone wins, including the animals."
Maybe there's hope for these lambs yet. Thank you Victoria, for bringing their plight to the public's attention! You can read the full story here.
Well, it wasn't exactly with the Flaming Lips—more like at a Flaming Lips show, but it was a pretty swell evening nonetheless. If you're not familiar with the band, you can check them out here, but as rad as their music is, you're missing a big piece of the puzzle until you see them live. By the end of last night’s show, the entire floor was so covered in confetti that all the people in animal costumes were slipping on it. Amazing. Truth be told, I just kind of wanted to rave about the show because I had such a good time, but there is an animal connection here, since Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips interviewed with those authority-questioning scene queens over at peta2 last time the band played in Norfolk, and even allowed a bunch of PETA folks in animal costumes to do a little backup dancing during their set. If you want to find out what Wayne had to say about the whole animal costumes business, you can read the full interview here.
I've posted a couple of pictures in the past with some of the lovely ladies of PETA getting nekkid to help animals, so I figured it was high time I published a few pics of the dudes. This photo’s from a Tax Day demonstration conducted by PETA Campaigner Mike Brazell in Philadelphia to let people know that donating fur coats to PETA is tax-deductible. Mike quickly recognized that, while this is an important and useful piece of information, it doesn't exactly grab the attention like some of PETA's campaigns—so he did what any resourceful campaigner is trained to do in a difficult situation and removed his clothing. Nice work, Mike! Here are the results:
These particular photos reminded me of one of my favorite stories about my friend Matt Rice. PETA had sent out a press release about a demonstration that was going to take place in Corpus Christi, which went something like this:
"Nearly naked and covered head to toe in tiger body paint, one of PETA's beautiful "Tiger Ladies" will be in a cage in Corpus Christi this Friday to protest the cruel treatment of animals in the circus"
The press release did the trick, and a ton of media promised to come out and report on the event, which was all well and good until Matt got a call from the "Tiger Lady" at the last minute to say she couldn't make it. Fortunately, nothing fazes Matt Rice. Here's how he handled the crisis:
Rawr! Matt, you're a hero.
If for some reason you're still starving for pics of scantily clad PETA dudes, you can check out our old Broccoli Boys website here. That'll cure you for sure.
Pamela Anderson is truly amazing. Seriously, could the woman do any more for animals? This time, she got wind of KFC’s plans to expand in Russia, and jumped at the chance to write the president of KFC’s partner company there, urging him to use his influence to convince the company to protect the 850,000 chickens it kills from the worst abuses they suffer.
And of course, the Russian press was all over the story.
Here’s a copy of Pam’s letter, and I’ll let you know if we get a response.
I could seriously sit here all day trying to muster up sympathy for these guys and not succeed. Since that's probably not going to happen, I'll just give you the details of the story instead (I will make every effort not to be gleeful about it). Apparently, more than 100 seal-hunting boats became trapped in an ice-pack yesterday and are still waiting for help from Canada's Coast Guard icebreakers. The London Times reported on the story this morning, and you can read more about that here. Maybe a couple of days waiting to get rescued will give them some time to reflect on the large-scale misery they had been planning on inflicting over the next few weeks. Here's a picture of the boats trapped in the ice fields, which, as much as being stuck in inclement weather probably sucks, it doesn't even begin to compare with the horrors these profiteers had in store for their victims.
I wrote about JM Coetzee a little while back, after he gave an amazing speech in Sydney about animal rights and the ethics of industrialized slaughter practices. But the Nobel Prize winner just came through for animals again by writing to the European Parliament on PETA's behalf to ask that they support a ban on bullfighting in Europe. You can read about Coetzee's letter here. The translation's a bit wobbly, but it's a great story. I figure the members of the European Parliament who are unaffected by the Running of the Nudes protest that PETA UK holds every year in Spain will respond to an entreaty from a leading figure in the world of letters. Something for everybody, you know?
Nine Inch Nails has a brand new album out this week: Year Zero has been getting a lot of love from the critics, and it's awesome to see Trent Reznor back in form. And, of course, we're all big fans of Trent here after he took time out of his schedule to narrate our exposé of the cat and dog fur trade in China. You can watch Trent's narration here, but I should warn you that the footage is tough to deal with.
You’ve probably heard some buzz about this album already, since Nine Inch Nails has been using this brilliant viral marketing campaign to get the word out about Year Zero. They are hiding USB drives containing the new songs in cities nationwide and using several mysterious websites (like AnotherVersionOfTheTruth.com and ThePriceOfTreason.net) to give fans some new material and the back story to the new album.
I’m always happy to support artists like Trent who use their celebrity to make a real difference. And it helps when they write kickass songs as well. I'm going to have Head Like a Hole stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Which, in some ways, why in God's name was a comic-book store selling fur in the first place, but hooray for those early-adopting scene-hoppers over at peta2 for helping to persuade the chain to stop! It's nice to see that they actually do some real work in between hobnobbing with indie-rock icons and droning on about their latest trendy thrift-store "finds".
After peta2 launched their campaign on Monday morning to get the New England music store chain to stop selling animal figurines made from rabbit fur, more than 700 people sent e-mails to Newbury Comics. Within a day, the store's co-owner and founder, Mike Dreese, responded by saying that Newbury Comics has stopped selling products made of fur, and “the last few dozen leftover, unsold pieces [fur figurines] have been removed from our stores this morning.”
Hipsters can accomplish so much when they really put their minds to it. Amazing work, peta2, and everyone who wrote in to the company! Give yourselves a big pat on the back, then go out and buy the new Bright Eyes album as a treat.
Yeah, I know, it's kind of a no-brainer. But the relative cuteness of mermaids versus cavepeople was really hit home to me today when I received images from two different protests conducted by PETA UK yesterday. The first, from a demonstration in Edinburgh to encourage people to cut the fish out of their diets, gets 10 points out of 10 for being just as cute as can be. I frickin’ love those mermaid outfits.
But I don't think this next picture from an anti-Burberry protest (designed to make the point that fur is for cavepeople) would make the cut over at Cute Overload. Still, a pretty striking demonstration, in my opinion.
Anyway, the point of all this is please don't eat fish or wear fur. kthx.
Maybe Britney should stick to her trademark crotch shots, because her new post-rehab look definitely isn’t working for her. Unless of course she’s actually going for the whole "street walker" look, in which case she nailed it. I’m referring to this pic from an article talking about her supposed “comeback”:
I realize the girl has had it rough and the whole teen star aftermath meltdown was inevitable, but now that she’s got a couple of husbands and a stint in rehab behind her, one would think she’d get over her desperate need for attention and ditch the furs. Anyway, if you’d like to send her some inspirational thoughts to help her get over her current fur addiction, you can do that here (click on the star).
And of course, if the furs are fake Britney, I totally take back the whole “street walker” thing. I was just joshing with ya.
Word on the street is that fashion maven Tim Gunn is going to be introducing Dan Mathews at his New York booksigning for Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir tonight. If you live in NYC, I highly recommend making the trek to the Chelsea Barnes and Noble at 7 p.m., as any evening with Dan is bound to be, um, interesting to say the least, if this pic from one of his runway takeovers in Milan is anything to go by:
The other dates of Dan’s whirlwind tour are on his MySpace page. Dude has been on MySpace for, like, five months and he already has almost 700 friends, which makes me feel a bit lame, given that my friend list has barely progressed beyond Tom and Princess Cuteyface in three years. Maybe I need to get into the book game.
You know what was sweet? PETA's "Eat The Whales" Campaign. For those of you not familiar with it, the concept behind this campaign was to encourage people who just "can't do without meat" to limit themselves to really, really large animals in order to minimize the number who had to die for their flesh addiction. I always bring that point up when people say "I only eat white meat." As if eating more chickens were somehow better than eating a combination of chickens and cows.
"Eat The Whales" was launched outside the 2001 International Whaling Convention by PETA activists "distributing 'Eat the Whales' leaflets," as the press release puts it, "displaying a colorful 'Eat the Whales' banner, and serving 'whale meat' to nonvegetarians, pro- and anti-whalers alike," and it made (excuse the pun) a really big splash. I've always thought of "Eat The Whales" as one of the best things of its kind that PETA has done. The campaign immediately grabs your attention, because, well, why in God's name would PETA be encouraging people to eat whales? But it also raises some really important questions about the arbitrary lines we draw when it comes to what kind of killing is acceptable to us. Why do some of the same people who get up in arms at the notion of a whaling ship harpooning a whale have no qualms whatsoever about eating a ham sandwich?
I know this one is controversial, and I know that not all animal activists share my enthusiasm for it—but my attitude towards "Eat The Whales" has always been this: I can guarantee you that whether people took it seriously or not (the “whale meat” PETA handed out was vegan after all), there wasn't a single person who actually ate more whale because of the campaign. But a lot of people who were outraged at the very suggestion that anyone would kill and eat these wonderful creatures were also forced to ask themselves whether, just maybe, they shouldn't be eating any animals at all.
Have you seen the stories about the child who died from salmonella he got from a pet turtle? It's so sad, and is yet another reminder of the dangers of keeping turtles in captivity. According to the FDA, there are more than 74,000 cases like this per year, so clearly more people need to hear about it.
And while it's awful that people get sick and all, let’s not forget that keeping turtles in aquariums or cages is certainly no fun for them either. Far from it. The best solution for everyone involved is to simply leave the turtles alone and let them live where they belong, in the wild.
So the next time you see someone selling little turtles in a souvenir shop or in a bodega in NYC (they are super popular in Chinatown), speak up. And remember that it’s actually illegal to sell turtles with shells less than 4” long, so if you spot that, report the place to the authorities.
I know I've said this before, and I don't want to sound fickle, but this time I really mean it: I am very much in love. Holly Madison stars in a reality TV show about the Playboy mansion called The Girls Next Door, which I intend to begin watching immediately. She is also a big animal lover, and—judging from the interview she recently did with PETA—she may be the sweetest person ever. In other, extremely important Holly Madison news, she is naked in this stunning new anti-fur ad. It's just all so overwhelming.
I know I just talked about Year of the Dog last week, but I wanted to mention it again because it looks like it’s really going to be great. It’s getting rave reviews all over the place.
For those of you in New York and L.A., you can see it tonight, but the rest of us will have to wait a while longer, since it’s rolling out everywhere else over the next few weeks. Oh well, the anticipation is half the fun, right? Anyway, the movie's star and director, Molly Shannon and Mike White, did some great interviews with PETA recently, so hopefully these will tide everyone over until the movie comes out. Check it:
Your weekly installment of things I’ve found even slightly funny or interesting on the internet. Here we go . . .
If you know what “counting the omer” is, then you will love this veggie take on the Jewish tradition.
I know it’s a little creepy, but my friend Marta absolutely worships Zach Braff, and she made me post this. I apologize in advance.
Pigs are smart. And cute. Please go vegetarian.
Who says don’t bite the hand that feeds you?
Check out this amazing story about a very unique Canada goose. You've got to wonder if her mate fell victim to a hunter, since these birds normally mate for life.
Kind of cool anti-seal hunt cartoon.
Never, ever, ever forget that when it comes to dolphins and unicorns, dolphins are cuter. I know its kind of old, but I just rediscovered it this week!
And finally, I know this post is supposed to be all about the internet, but this is so cool that I just had to share. Ad agency DDB Warsaw and AMS Outdoor Advertising have teamed up to run this amazing ad all over Warsaw, Poland. It is one of the finalists our Young Guns ad competition.
Nobody can make you feel stupid quite like the French can. They have it down to an art. This picture, from a protest against the Canadian seal hunt in Paris this week, just says so much. I love the juxtaposition of disgust conveyed by the signs, and outright contempt conveyed by the dude wearing a silly beard to look like a sealer. That's how you do a demonstration. Nice work, the French.
You may remember Smithfield Foods' big January announcement that it is phasing out the use of gestation crates, followed shortly by Maple Leaf Foods' decision to follow suit, and Burger King's recent adoption of a new animal welfare plan that includes, among other things, reducing the amount of pig meat it purchases from suppliers that use crates. Well, we just got word from execs at another major pig meat producer (one of the world’s largest, in fact), Cargill Foods—which we had been encouraging to follow Smithfield’s lead—that it's going to come through in a big way: Cargill has stopped using gestation crates in 50 percent of its pig factory farms!
We’re not breaking out the champagne just yet, as the company hasn't agreed to a total phase-out of gestation crates, but this is a firm step in the right direction, and just another positive sign of big changes to come throughout the industry. Of course, PETA doesn't make a secret of the fact that we don’t want any pigs bred or slaughtered for food, but the pigs who are there right now don't have the luxury of hunkering down for a long campaign to win people's hearts and minds about the injustices of industrialized farming. While we keep pushing companies behind the scenes to stop torturing animals, like, at all, millions of animals right now will experience a significant improvement in the quality of their lives. Which is pretty good for a given work day. I'll let you know once they've gotten rid of gestation crates entirely. We're working on it.
The Onion struck a blow against the cruel confinement of animals in zoos this week by broadcasting a chilling interview with Yun Mei, a panda who has finally had enough. And yes, in case you're wondering, I do get all my news from The Onion. I find tragedy much more palatable when they funny it up. Thanks again, Onion!
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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.