10 of the Worst Things Still Happening to Animals Today and What You Can Do About Them

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5 min read

You won’t believe how animals are being abused today—but there’s hope! Below, learn more about 10 of the worst things happening to animals, then discover ways to help stop this abuse. PETA makes it quick and easy to take action for animals by using a phone or computer.

1. Animals’ Eyes and Skin Are Damaged With Chemicals

Did you know that chemicals are still being put in rabbits’ eyes or on their skin and that rats are still being poisoned in order to test chemicals? These painful and deadly tests are often legally required in order for companies to import and sell their products. Testing just one chemical can include hundreds or even thousands of animals—including birds, dogs, fish, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, and rats—who are forced to ingest or inhale a test substance, or have chemicals applied to their bare skin or sensitive eyes.

10 worst things still happening to animals

PETA’s scientists are working to advance superior, non-animal test methods that can replace these cruel tests and better protect humans.

2. Horses Are Drugged, Killed, and Eaten 

Every year, tens of thousands of horses in the U.S. are crammed into livestock trailers and trucked to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Many of them were formerly companions to humans or were used for racing. Some horses sent to slaughterhouses are beaten and have been given drugs that aren’t safe for human consumption, like these U.S.-bred horses used for racing who were filmed in PETA’s undercover investigation in South Korea.

3. Dogs Are Left Outside to Freeze and Die

10 worst things still happening to animals - dog at end of heavy chain

For many people, dogs are family. But the title “man’s best friend” is not enough to protect some of them from a life spent on a chain. For “backyard dogs,” there is little relief from summer’s blazing heat or the freezing winter months. But there’s hope. Thanks to generous sponsors, PETA’s fieldworkers are able to deliver durable doghouses and straw to these animals, providing some comfort. Won’t you help, too?

4. Dolphins Are Sexually Abused by Humans

In nature, beluga whales and bottlenose dolphins maintain dynamic relationships with large social networks, choose their own mates, and swim free in the ocean. But at SeaWorld, they’re used as breeding machines to create generation after generation of animals who are also imprisoned for life in cramped concrete tanks.

5. Experimenters Routinely Tear Baby Monkeys Away From Their Mothers Within Their First Year of Life

10 worst things happening to animals - experiments on primates

Mother macaques screamed in anguish as workers at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) run by the University of Wisconsin–Madison forcibly separated them from their babies.

Macaques are devoted, protective mothers who live in large family groups, gaze lovingly into their babies’ eyes, and even kiss them. In nature, the grief of a mother monkey whose infant has died can be so overwhelming that she may carry the limp body around for days.

But at WNPRC, pregnant monkeys give birth alone in wire-bottomed cages and their babies are taken away from most of them before their first birthdays.

6. Feathers Are Torn From Live Birds’ Skin 

PETA’s investigations have exposed the immense suffering of birds who are imprisoned and eventually killed in the down industry. Many geese are plucked alive so that their down can be cruelly torn out multiple times throughout their short lives. The terrified birds shriek as they’re restrained, sometimes with a human’s entire bodyweight pressing down on their delicate necks.

Labels may make shoppers feel better, but they’re meaningless to birds trapped in the cruel down industry. Some companies claim to use “responsible” or “non live-plucked” down, but our investigations have revealed that these labels are frequently meaningless.

Moreover, all birds whose down goes into commercial goods are ultimately shipped to slaughterhouses, where they’re hung upside down, their throats are cut, and their bodies are plunged into the scalding-hot water of a defeathering tank.

7. Body Parts Shipped by UPS

Walter Palmer smiles over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted only to be left in peace.
Walter Palmer smiles over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted to be left in peace.

More than 40 airlines have banned the transport of wildlife trophies so that hunters such as Walter Palmer can’t import the heads of animals like Cecil the lion. However, UPS refuses to join the ban and continues to support the hunting of exotic animals—even in the wake of the recent slaughter of Zimbabwe’s largest elephant. You can tell UPS that supporting trophy hunts is unacceptable by clicking below.

8. Sheep Are Beaten, Kicked, and Stomped On

Everywhere that eyewitnesses from PETA and its affiliates go, they see the same disturbing behavior: Sheep are beaten, kicked, stomped on, mutilated, and killed in the wool industry.

9. Live Pigs and Goats Are Cut Into for Military Training

PETA’s eyewitness investigations have documented that pigs are shot in the face and cut open while still alive and that goats’ legs are hacked off with tree trimmers during military trauma-training courses.

Please send a polite e-mail urging the Department of Defense to end the use of animals in all of its military trauma-training programs and to use superior human-simulation technology instead.

10. Animals Are Killed for Food

On today’s farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages and metal crates. With so many delicious plant-based options on the market, it’s hard to believe that anyone is still supporting this cruel industry. You can pledge to go vegan today, order a vegan starter kit (on us!), and start saving nearly 200 animals a year.

pigs in holding pen on factory farm

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