Written by PETA
When I walked by my boss Ingrid’s office this morning and heard “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” blaring, I knew something fishy was going on . . .
Well, toss your cowboy hat in the air, crank up “On The Road Again” and holler yee haw! Willie Nelson (Yes, THE Willie Nelson) and his daughter have been trying to close horse slaughterhouses in Texas for many years, and today their efforts and the efforts of everyone who was fighting right alongside them won out! The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that the old law on the Texas books prohibiting the operation of these hideous places is valid—meaning that the two remaining horse slaughterhouse in the state have to close! The only other option the horse butchers have is to try their luck in the Supreme Court, but I really don’t see that happening.
To celebrate, I’m throwing a huge party this weekend, and I just bought “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” to start getting pumped up for the big event.
I just love that Willie and his family have worked so hard to help horses. Thank you, guys!
Or should I say “Wer Wird Millionar?” That’s, like, German, because last night on the German version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, a contestant flew the PETA flag in a big way.
My friend Harald, who sent me the pics of his television set, said the dude is still going and will be on the show again Friday. Hopefully he wins mad euros.
Good luck German PETA dude! If you need a lifeline, feel free to call . . .
If you get that subject line, then you’re old enough to remember Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I used to kick it to Good Vibrations back in the nine one. And like the rest of the civilized world, I’ve followed Mark Wahlberg’s career over the years. Basketball Diaries, Boogie Nights, I Heart Huckabees, The Italian Job (with PETA pal Charlize Theron), and oh, let’s not forget the best picture of ’06, The Departed.
Anyway, as you can see, I’m a fan. So I was pretty bummed when The New York Times reported that my boy was spotted eating foie gras, which is so insanely cruel that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning it in California. PETA immediately wrote to Wahlberg asking him if he did in fact dine on the dish of fatty liver—that comes from force-fed geese who have pipes rammed down their throats for weeks before being slaughtered and served. His publicist replied right away saying, “Thanks, Mark did not eat fois gras, though it was on the menu as an appetizer,” which put the PETA posse at ease.
Thank God, because I really didn’t want to have to eBay my Entourage DVDs . . . or get rid of my Funky Bunch cassettes. Yes, cassettes. Give me a break, it was a long time ago.
I just read an article about how "scientists" at Shandong University in China have created the first ever remote-controlled pigeon. This is considerably less fun than it sounds, as it turns out that far from actually creating anything, these people have been torturing birds for God knows how many years by inserting electrodes into their brains to try and control their movements. Well, they've apparently succeeded, and now they have no idea what to do with their work. As the London Times puts it, "The report did not specify what purpose the pigeons may perform." Even if you haven't heard of the scientists responsible for this experiment, you should recognize them. Like most vivisectors, they're grown-up versions of those kids who used to pull the legs off spiders or throw stones at cats just to see what would happen. Here's what happened in this case:
Remember Steve-O’s anti-circus video? I thought it was about the coolest thing ever, on account of the fact that the dude can walk down stairs on his hands. (He also said some pretty good stuff against the circus, incidentally.) Anyway, I’ve been hearing all these rumors about a new ad he was going to shoot for us, and I just found out that it was shot this past weekend.
It won’t be released for a few months, so I can’t tell you too much about it, but what I can tell you is that in true Steve-O style, there will be PG, X, and XXX rated versions, and that Tommy Lee will most definitely be proud.
Here’s a pic from the shoot, with everyone’s favorite porn star Ron Jeremy, who just happened to stop by Steve-O’s place during the shoot. The little hottie with them is my pal Michelle, who works in PETA’s LA office. If Michelle’s parents are reading this, I just want you to know that Steve-O gave her a glowing review and reported that she is not only amazingly professional but also, totally smart and awesome and stuff.
And just because its so frickin' cool, here’s the spay/neuter ad Ron did a while back.
For all the good he's done for the environment—which, to be fair, is an awful lot—Al’s leaving out a huge piece of the puzzle by ignoring the fact that the devastation caused by the meat industry is among the worst environmental disasters ever to happen to the world. As we told him in our letter, sent earlier this week:
While the steps that you urge people to take in An Inconvenient Truth are inarguably important, the quickest and most effective way to fight climate change will come through diet change.
An inconvenient truth for him, maybe, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Since he might not have seen the recent U.N. reports on the subject, we pointed out to him that animals raised for food generate more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks combined, and that (according to a recent University of Chicago study), switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Prius. We've also offered to cook him some faux "fried chicken" as an introduction to meat-free meals, since, however many documentaries you make, you just can't be a meat-eating environmentalist. I'll let you know if he gets back to us.
If you've never been implicated in a preposterous conspiracy theory, I can highly recommend the experience. It's a roller-coaster ride of emotions from shocked to flattered to downright amused. This is especially true when the person responsible for the conspiracy theory is a high-ranking government official, as we discovered last week when we were tipped off to an alleged claim by U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao that PETA's Kentucky Fried Cruelty Campaign is not what it seems—that it is (wait for it) a cleverly disguised initiative designed to help labor organizations pass bills that will assist in unionizing workers.
In response to Chao's statement, which she evidently made while speaking at one of Grover Norquist’s “Leave Us Alone” meetings, we've sent her a little letter to clear things up and to ask for her support in the campaign. Just so that this point is crystal clear—PETA's campaign against KFC is single-mindedly focused on that company's treatment of chickens (which, by the way, is appalling). On account of we're an animal rights organization. I.e., an organization that concerns itself with the treatment of animals. Like chickens, for instance. Which is why we have a campaign against a chicken chain. I do hope that makes sense to everyone. Anyway, here's the letter:
Do you really need a letter from PETA and an official ban from your school administration to figure out what's wrong with throwing live chickens onto a basketball court during a game? In the case of the moronic Kansas State fans who did exactly that during a game against rivals KU, the answer, of course, is yes, and despite my tone of outraged disbelief, I can't honestly say I'm all that surprised. Especially given the attitude of KU Coach Bill Self, whose reaction to watching animal abuse take place in front of him was that he was glad he didn’t get hit by a chicken himself:
"My first year here one of them hit me. I'm glad we were on the other side of the court this year. It didn't upset me. That's tradition here that's gone on many years, I guess."
The good news is that, after receiving a letter from PETA, Kansas State has banned this tradition, and the story has received a lot of positive pickup in sports press. But seriously, how embarrassing is it to attend a school where your handbook has to have a whole section devoted to explaining why you shouldn't throw chickens at people?
This is an old video we made a while back to talk about why PETA has occasionally resorted to some more colorful tactics like naked protests to get our point across. It must have been put together in the early days of Internet video, when people had the attention span to get all the way through a 7-minute piece, but I highly recommend sticking around through the first 3 and a half minutes to watch George W. Bush reacting to a PETA manure dump a little while before he was elected President. It's seriously priceless.
Her name is Casey Redd, and she just sent in the latest brilliant addition to our Burberry campaign materials. PETA's Art Department does a fantastic job, but this may very well be my favorite anti-fur ad ever. Here's 10-year-old Casey with the ad she made:
I've been at PETA long enough to know that there are a whole lot of different ways to make a naked ad, and I'm always impressed with the way our Art Department manages to capture the particular style of the celebrity who's posing for the ad without losing sight of the message. Over the years, PETA's Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur ad series has ranged from risqué to cute to downright scary.
The latest ad in the series, starring hipster legends Mates of State, is no exception. If you've read any reviews of Mates of State albums, you'll know that music writers find it impossible to talk about their work without first mentioning how much the duo love each other. I've been a fan of Mates of State for five or six years now—I love their music, and I've also always been fascinated by how into each other they seem to be. I think their new anti-fur ad for PETA does a great job of getting that across. Here's the new ad, plus a lovely little interview they did for us about their feelings on fur.
More than 31 major media outlets covered PETA Asia Pacific's pro-vegetarianism photo shoot with Filipina supermodel Alicia Mayer yesterday, and looking at the stunning pictures, I can see why. In case you're wondering, that's PETA Asia Pacific's very own Jason Baker on the right, with the water bottle. I actually haven't spoken to Jason since we were in New Orleans together after Hurricane Katrina more than a year ago, so I'd like to take this opportunity to give him some friendly advice: Get the hell out of the shot, Jason. You're ruining this for me.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Dan Snyder, who owns the greatest football team in the world, has purchased Johnny Rockets, which happens to make the greatest fast-food veggie burger in the world. To celebrate this match made in heaven for vegetarian football fans, PETA has teamed up with Johnny Rockets to give away coupons for free Streamliner veggie burgers throughout the month of March. In the interests of full disclosure here, there are some strings attached, in the sense that you have to buy one first before you get your free one, but it's still a pretty sweet deal—besides, if you can't eat two veggie burgers in a sitting, other vegetarians will think you're a sissy, and nobody wants that. Also, while we're being honest with each other, I totally made up all that stuff about PETA doing this because of the Washington Redskins connection. I just got overexcited and carried away, and I'm sorry. How about I make it up to you with a free veggie burger?
If reality ever catches up with Reality TV, we're going to be in great shape as far as animal issues are concerned (though, like, Flava Flav will probably be President, which might cause some problems). Turns out that in Reality TV, when you make naive comments about how the fur industry works, you get voted off the show. On America's Next Top Model last night, one of the challenges was to tackle a controversial political issue, and poor Kathleen ("I like fur, it makes you look hot"), got stuck with fur. We're always looking for snappy sound bites to get our point across about the cruelty of the fur industry, so I couldn't get my pen and notebook out fast enough when Kathleen let drop this little nugget of wisdom:
"Well, I mean, like, I don't think you should take a live animal and kill it, but I mean, like, if an animal is already dead, there's no reason that you shouldn't take its skin and make a coat."
Awww, sweetie, that's not how they make fur. I got done feeling sorry for her by, like, the fifth time she had to ask what it means to be "anti-fur," but it was a treat to hear Twiggy and the others express some real opinions about how screwed up it is to wear fur before voting her ass back to Brooklyn. If only there were some equivalent way of voting fur-flaunting airheads like the Olsen Twins into oblivion …
Attendees of the invitation-only Christian Lacroix show at Paris Fashion week this afternoon discovered that "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" is a whole lot more than just a catchy slogan when a PETA Europe supporter removed all her clothes, evaded security, and rushed onto the catwalk with an anti-fur banner. Here’s what astonished onlookers saw at the event:
Another protester, this time at the Valentino show, didn't quite make it onto the catwalk. You can click here to check out the NSFW picture of how that went, but before you do (I swear to you I’m not kidding about this), our legal department is making me ask you to check very carefully to make sure both that you’re 18 years old and that publishing or viewing nude photos is legal where you live. If neither of those things is true, don’t come crying to me when the police knock down your door and drag you away from your computer.
By way of a bit of editorial, this kind of tactic always seems to raise a lot of healthy debate, and I've heard good points made on both sides of the issue. Nonetheless, I have yet to hear a good argument made defending the actions of designers like Lacroix and Valentino, who directly fund people who skin, bludgeon, strangle, and electrocute animals for a living. For more information on that, click here. I don't know if I'd ever be able to do what these two activists did in Paris today, but I'm certain that I'd rather go naked than wear fur. If it ever does come to that point, though, I really hope that I’ll be allowed to do it in the comfort of my own home.
Dear Members of the Iditarod Trail Committee,
Every year, around this time, I start hearing about the vicious event you're responsible for in which dogs are beaten and abused into running up to 125 miles a day without any rest. In the last two years, seven dogs have been killed by the Iditarod, through freezing, ulcers, or just plain exhaustion—and I'm certain that similar fates are in store for the animals whose suffering you’re arranging this year. Of course, these casualties are just the ones that are publicized—the dogs who are bludgeoned or drowned by mushers because they don't measure up to Iditarod standards (or the ones who die alone in the tiny kennels they're confined to for most of their lives) tend not to make it into the newspapers that report on your bloody proceedings.
I'm not surprised that, like so many people who profit from archaic and abusive customs, you defend yourselves by invoking "tradition," but I can assure you that as more and more people learn that your tradition is one of cruelty, lies, and abject misery, it's not one that’s going to be around for much longer.
If you'd like any more information about what PETA's doing to ensure that these dogs' misery doesn't go undocumented, you can click here. We're encouraging compassionate people everywhere to contact the sponsors of this event—Wells Fargo, Daimler-Chrysler, and Chevron—and let them know exactly what they're supporting. I look forward to a time when your sadistic little race is a thing of the past.
To be honest, I don't think the Iditarod Trail Committee is going to be swayed by my letter, since it seems pretty clear that they're not exactly dog-lovers, but the companies that continue to sponsor this event need to know why they shouldn't. You can contact Wells Fargo here, Daimler-Chrysler here, and Chevron here.
The dreaded Olsen Twins have been spotted again, hiding their evil, flinty little eyes behind dark glasses and draping their malformed bodies in the skins of tortured animals. No need to hide your children and bar the windows just yet, though, as our dashing hero, PETA VP Dan Mathews, has come to the rescue with a trademark snarky comment:
"Maybe their granny left them those ratty furs. They should have buried the coats with her."
If you do happen to come across Ashley or Mary Kate in a dark alley somewhere, it's important not to panic. But do be sure to call animal control immediately if it looks like any of those minks are still alive. And if you happen to run into Dan Mathews, try not to be sassy with him. It never goes well.
TMZ has the full story.
I'm going to come clean with you guys and admit that I didn't know what Uggs were until I heard about this. I try to be trendy and keep my ear to the ground about this sort of thing, but apparently the whole Ugg thing has completely eluded me for, like, 10 years. Anyway, I'm told by my colleagues that they were this huge fashion phenomenon that got off the ground in a big way when Pamela Anderson started wearing them in her Baywatch days. Well, Pamela isn't wearing them anymore, and the story has gone everywhere—starting with People magazine. Here's what she had to say on the topic.
"I feel so guilty for that craze being started around Baywatch days - I used to wear them with my red swimsuit to keep warm - never realizing that they were SKIN! Do NOT buy UGGs! Buy Stella McCartney or Juicy boots - I'm looking for alternatives myself for my boys and the men in my life! I'm designing some right now for my family and will try and have some available on my Web site soon."
I know I've said this before, but I love you very much, Pamela. On a related note, you should check out the new design for Pam's website. It's very, very animal friendly. Did I mention that I love her?
Nothing says "Stop the bloody seal hunt" like a pile of dead, naked seal people outside your front door. We're hoping that the Canadian Prime Minister got that message loud and clear last week when these brave souls stripped off, covered themselves in fake blood, and held a “die-in” outside his office to symbolize the bloody seal-killing that happens every year on the ice floes off Newfoundland. Canada, I really do love you guys: the hockey, the maple syrup, the kickass national anthem—all that great stuff—but WTF with the baby-seal bludgeoning? Seriously: worst idea for a national tradition ever.
The geniuses over at NoMoreStrays.com, a website designed to raise awareness about the animal-overpopulation epidemic that this country is facing, have come up with what may very well be my favorite Flash-animated castration game of all time. I defy anyone to find a better game than this in the testicle-removal category. Check out the game, and don't forget to spay and neuter your pets (though for God's sake, do it by taking them to the vet—yes, the carny with the cleavers is a metaphor for your friendly local veterinarian).
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.