Not All the Fallen Wear Uniforms

Published by PETA.

Memorial Day is an occasion to remember all those who have died in the service of their country. Since the end of the draft, the U.S. has boasted about our all-volunteer armed forces. But not all those who have served have been volunteers—and many of our military casualties have worn fur or fins instead of fatigues.

Intrepid Malinois|cc by 2.0

With the help of its members and supporters, PETA has brought an end to many of the cruel and lethal practices formerly inflicted on animals by military organizations. Because of these victories, ferrets, for instance, are no longer tortured in intubation experiments at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, dogs and cats aren’t wounded in trauma training, and monkeys won’t be forced to endure drug overdoses at the army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground. But there is still work to be done.

|cc by 2.0

Please join PETA in honoring those animals who have given their lives—though unnecessarily and under duress—in U.S. military operations by assuring that more animals like them will be spared from misery and death:

  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) stabs, cuts the limbs off, shoots, and mutilates goats and pigs in deadly and archaic training exercises for medics and soldiers, even though superior non-animal methods exist and are used in nearly every civilian hospital and in many military trauma hospitals.
  • In other military tests, animals have been poisoned, irradiated, infected, burned, and blown up in order to (poorly) simulate the effects of warfare on humans.
  • Other animals die on the front lines—including dogs deployed with combat troops, dolphins and sea lions used as “lookouts,” birds exploited as early detectors for chemical and biological weapons, and rats forced into mine detection. Even the animals who survive their “tours of duty” can suffer for years afterward.
  • Sonar equipment tested—and proposed for implementation—by the U.S. Navy has caused often-lethal hemorrhages, embolisms, and nervous system pressure in whales and dolphins.
  • More than 90 desert tortoises died when they were ill-advisedly relocated from their homes on land near California’s Fort Irwin so that the Army could conduct war games there. Fortunately, further relocation was suspended before more of these endangered animals died.

|cc by 2.0

Animals don’t recognize differences between countries, and they don’t start wars. One good way to observe Memorial Day is to send a message to the DoD asking officials to protect our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in the line of fire—and leave animals out of it.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind