How do you honor a departed horror-film queen and animal advocate on the first Halloween after her passing? Resurrect her tongue-in-cheek anti-fur ad to remind people that the fur industry is more terrifying than anything Hollywood dreams up.
To honor the life and legacy of Karen Black, PETA has placed her Halloween-themed ad on top of the Bob Barker Building, our Los Angeles headquarters:
Karen's widower gave PETA his blessing and is delighted with the tribute. Although she starred in films by Alfred Hitchcock and Rob Zombie, one of the scariest things Karen could conceive of was how animals are killed for their fur. She believed that bludgeoning, electrocuting, and being skinned alive belongs in the movies, where it's fake and fun—not on fur farms, where animals live out a real-life horror movie every day of their lives.
In memory of Karen Black, let's all leave the horror on the screen and the fur on animals' backs.
Visitors to Jambbas Ranch Tours in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are used to seeing animals confined to cramped, filthy cages …
… with nothing but putrid water to drink …
… and suffering from diseases and injuries.
But this hellhole still manages to hold horrifying surprises in store. A recent visitor was appalled to discover the body of a dead rabbit lying apparently unnoticed in an elevated cage:
PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) about the rabbit's death and the disgusting conditions (see photos above) recently documented at Jambbas. Sadly, this is nothing new. In fact, nearly every USDA inspection of Jambbas for the past seven years has resulted in citations for failing to provide animals with even the minimum care required by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
The zoo's chronic violations of the AWA should disqualify it from having its exhibitor's license renewed, yet inexplicably, the USDA continues to renew Jambbas' license year after year, which prompted PETA and others to file a lawsuit last year to force the agency to take action.What You Can Do
Please urge the USDA to revoke Jambbas' license and let the zoo's captive animals finally retire to reputable sanctuaries, just as Ben, the long-suffering bear, has.
Back in medieval times, people would go to the Tower of London to gawk at the menagerie of bears, big cats, and other wild animals caged there. It seems bizarre to house animals in a castle dungeon, but surely such cruelty is a thing of the past, right? Shockingly, bears are still being housed in similar dungeon-like conditions right here and now—and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is dragging its heels about bringing zoos out of the Dark Ages. So PETA has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force the agency to act.
Life encased in concrete at Cherokee Bear Zoo
More than a year ago, PETA submitted a formal petition to the USDA urging the agency to create specific standards for housing bears in captivity in light of the fact that hundreds of bears are currently being caged in appalling conditions at roadside zoos and other substandard facilities all over the country.
Experts now recognize that bears, who can live for several decades and naturally have home ranges of hundreds of miles, are extremely intelligent and have complex needs. In a study of 33 species in captivity, bears displayed the highest frequency of stereotypic behavior such as pacing, a common indication of captivity-induced mental illness.
A grizzly begs—for freedom?—at Black Forest Bear Park in Georgia.
Despite recognizing that its standards must keep pace with the latest scientific knowledge in order to best meet the intent of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the USDA has completely ignored PETA's 65-page petition, which includes specific recommendations for fulfilling bears' basic needs, such as providing nesting, foraging, and denning opportunities and pools for bathing, as well as space requirements.
That's why PETA filed a lawsuit charging the agency with violating the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires that the USDA respond to a petition like ours "within a reasonable time." We think more than a year is long enough for the bears to wait.What You Can Do
Please join PETA in urging the USDA not to waste any more time in formulating bear-specific standards to be added to the AWA.
A feathered fan of the No.3 University of Oregon's football team—a pigeon dubbed "Timothy," who apparently enjoys blocking one of the school's stadium cameras—has prompted PETA to ask the team to promote respect for all pigeons by posing a scary proposition. In a letter sent to the school's athletic director today, PETA asks the university to debut PETA's tongue-in-cheek Attack of the Pigeons! video short on the Jumbotron during the Ducks' next home game against the No.12 UCLA Bruins on October 26. The video, shot like a kitschy B horror movie, playfully takes a look at what life would be like for humans if pigeons treated humans the way that some members of our species treat them.
Watch to the end, and you can decide the
fate of humanity:
Timothy the Pigeon's popularity creates the perfect opportunity to push for compassion for all our feathered friends. PETA's video is a quirky way to point out that it's not nice to harass pigeons, who are gentle, attentive parents who mate for life and only want to be left alone to raise their families—and maybe take in a ball game or two.
PETA is unwrapping vegan chocolates and uncorking a bottle of champagne today to celebrate a historic day for elephants. After we joined a campaign led by local citizens and rallied our supporters and educated council members, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban cruel bullhooks after a three-year phase-in period. The City Council chairperson looked away after only a few minutes of watching PETA's undercover video of elephants who were beaten with bullhooks, and the council members grimaced as they passed around the PETA whistleblower photos of the baby elephant who was tied down and beaten at Ringling's Florida compound. Actor Lily Tomlin sat front and center to show her support and eloquently answered reporters' questions after the meeting.
Bullhooks—rods with sharp hooks on the end—are used to beat and jab elephants and can be found in the hands of handlers who travel with circuses, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Shrine circuses, which have performed annually in L.A.
Make no mistake about it: Bullhooks are weapons. Trainers sink the sharp hooks deep into elephants' ears, mouths, and other sensitive parts where their skin is paper-thin and swing the rods like baseball bats against elephants' wrists and ankles, where there's little tissue to protect their bones from agonizing blows. When the lights come up under the big top, the trainers, who have spent countless hours "breaking" and abusing elephants behind the scenes where audiences can't see, threaten the frightened animals with bullhooks until they scramble onto tiny stools or perform other tricks to escape the threat of pain.
"This is a smart and humane measure and should be adopted," wrote the Los Angeles Times in an editorial in support of the ban. "If the circus can't come to town without bullhooks, then it shouldn't come."
PETA is not keeping all of our vegan chocolate to ourselves. We are sending a box of elephant-shaped chocolates to the Los Angeles City Council members to thank them for making a compassionate decision that will inspire cities all over the world. L.A. joins two cities in Florida and two counties in Georgia that have already hung out "not welcome" signs for bullhook-wielding elephant abusers.What You Can Do
Stay away from animal circuses and tell friends and family why. Show them how elephants are beaten and broken by the entertainment industry, and learn how you can protest circuses when they come to town.
A quirky short film cowritten and directed by fledgling Brazilian filmmaker Quico Meirelles—who calls himself a "political vegetarian"—has been making the rounds of film festivals and garnering rave reviews everywhere it goes. Tastes Like Chicken? tells the story of life on a factory farm from a chicken's point of view.
The chicken, voiced with haunting, poetic poignancy by Brazilian actor Maria Flor Calaça, has a recurring dream in which she is living free on a bucolic farm.
feel a nostalgia, longing for a life I've never lived.
It's so strong! I can't even explain.
But I am a bird! I see them flying, and I remember I'm a bird.
One day I will learn how to fly that way.
I will get closer to the sun and feel its sheer warmth.
This is a comfort to my soul.
But the chicken inevitably awakens and finds herself back in the crowded, filthy shed with thousands of her "sisters," watching them grow unnaturally large unnaturally fast because of a cocktail of drugs and genetic manipulation.
saw chickens dying of heart attack ….
I saw chickens being overridden.
The horror, the loneliness.
I saw thousands of chickens dying alone in the midst of 50,000 sisters.
The chicken has a vision and realizes with awful clarity exactly what fate has in store for her. But what can she do?
don't know how to escape….
What's the meaning of a life like this one?
What's the meaning of such a preprogrammed living?
Is it worth having been born to live like this?
What will become of the chicken? Will she make it out alive? Watch this powerful little film to find out.
Look, up in the sky! It's a bird … it's a plane … it's a PETA Air Angel! Just in time for the first day of bowhunting season in Massachusetts, PETA supporters took one of our brand-new "Air Angel" drones for a test flight, and the winged bunny's virgin mission went off without a hitch.
The drones are being sold in our catalog, and PETA aims to see a fleet of Air Angels patrolling the skies this fall, capturing footage of hunters engaging in cruel and/or illegal activities—such as shooting deer from the side of the road, baiting fields for ducks or geese, or using dogs to chase turkeys. The footage can be streamed live via the Internet, uploaded to the Air Angels page on PETA.org, and delivered to game wardens in order to apprehend and prosecute offenders.
Research shows that 60 percent of animals who are shot by hunters flee into the woods to die slowly and in pain. For every animal killed by a bowhunter, another escapes injured. Wounded animals can suffer for days or even weeks before dying. In addition, when a mother is shot, her offspring are often left behind to starve to death or be killed by predators.
Wildlife watchers outnumber wildlife killers five to one—and if even a fraction of these kind people use Air Angels, they'll go a long way toward exposing hunters' dirty secrets. With PETA's drones soaring overhead, we hope wildlife scofflaws will think twice before heeding the call of the vile.
Toka, Thika, and Iringa—the three elephants from the Toronto Zoo—have finally arrived in California, two years after the Toronto City Council overwhelmingly agreed that the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary is a much more appropriate home for them.
PETA and our colleagues at Zoocheck Canada kept up the pressure, writing to council members and mobilizing Canadians to make their opinions known. We also gave our Compassionate Legislator Award to three members of the Toronto City Council to thank them for spearheading the 2011 vote to send the three elephants to PAWS
Now, these three elephants have traded their cramped 1-hectare zoo paddock for the sanctuary's 35 hectares of rolling grasslands dotted with trees, lakes, meadows, a walnut orchard, three heated barns, and even a Jacuzzi, all of which they will eventually share with three other resident African elephants once they become acquainted.
TV icon and animal defender Bob Barker, who paid for the elephants' 2,500-mile trip to the sanctuary at a cost estimated to be between $100,000 and $300,000, was on hand to greet the elephants. Iringa, the first to be unloaded at the sanctuary, loudly trumpeted, as if to announce her arrival.What You Can Do
Now, it's Lucy's turn. Please click here to ask Edmonton officials to follow their Toronto counterparts' lead and send this ailing and lonely elephant to PAWS.
Rise Against aims its lyrics at fighting injustice, and drummer Brandon Barnes takes that cause to heart. When he learned that his alma mater, the University of Colorado (CU)–Boulder, was having students perform cruel and crude classroom experiments on animals (with some of the animals fully conscious), he tried to drum up some compassion.
Students in biology and psychology classes at CU-Boulder cut off frogs' heads and experiment on the animals' muscles, skin, and nerves. They force terrified rats to swim through water mazes and cut open living rats to apply drugs to their exposed, beating hearts. When Brandon learned about the experiments from PETA, he was horrified and sent an urgent appeal to Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano:
Treating other sensitive, intelligent beings like disposable laboratory equipment is wrong, and—although I was a business and music major at CU-Boulder—I know that there must be better ways to teach undergraduates than by having them needlessly torment, maim, and kill hundreds of animals. In fact, apparently even CU's campus in Denver, where I grew up, does not include any experiments on live animals in similar courses. I understand that experts such as CU-Boulder emeritus biology professor Dr. Marc Bekoff have provided your faculty members with information on interactive computer simulations and other humane methods available to teach students—a growing majority of whom now oppose animal testing—without hurting animals.
Join Brandon in urging CU-Boulder to implement the same humane, non-animal teaching methods that are already in use at schools across the country.
Many of us may well wonder why it took us until 2013 to get here, but P.S. 244 in Queens, New York, set out to change the face of education when it announced that it would be making the switch to an all-vegetarian lunch program. And when students' attendance, energy levels, and attention spans—and, thus, their test scores—all improved, everyone cheered! After just one semester, the number of students who were classified as overweight or obese dropped 2 percent, according to Principal Robert Groff.
Considering the program's success, we're encouraging more schools to hop on the vegetable truck with P.S. 244. So, we're pitching a great idea to New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.: Improve the health and performance of all students by implementing an all-vegetarian lunch program in all public schools statewide.
Eating vegan will provide children with all the protein, vitamins, and fiber that they need without the artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat found in meat and dairy products. In fact, the late Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote, "Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer."
Here's hoping the education department is wise to the value of the veggie. But parents and educators everywhere can help their kids get healthier with a little help from PETA Kids.
Former Speaker of the House Thomas S. Foley passed away today at the age of 84. While the world mourns the influential man's ability to work with both sides of the aisle, PETA remembers his compassionate contribution to animal welfare.
In 1971, Foley was awarded the prestigious Schweitzer Medal by the Animal Welfare Institute for his "outstanding contributions to animal welfare" after leading the fight to pass amendments that expanded the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in 1970. One of the amendments required researchers to consider "the appropriate use of anesthetic, analgestic and tranquilizing drugs" for animals used in laboratory experiments. For the first time, laboratories had to file yearly reports documenting their standards of care, including the treatment and use of animals and pain relief. Before the amendment, the AWA didn't require researchers to account for—or even pay attention to—the pain that thousands of primates, cats, dogs, and other animals experienced when they were cut open, burned, poisoned, and mutilated.
PETA works each day to expand Foley's efforts, and we will press for federal protection and pain relief for animals who aren't yet covered by the AWA, including mice, rats, birds, and reptiles—until all animals are out of laboratories and researchers use only relevant and efficient non-animal methods.
It's a good thing Washington, D.C., is one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the country, because New Jersey just elected Newark mayor and PETA Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity nominee Cory Booker to the Senate! We're betting that on Cory's watch, special interests such as big ag are going to have a hard time getting bills pushed through that allow animals to be abused. This is, after all, the mayor who was so moved by the story of a tortured pit bull that he set out to build a state-of-the-art animal shelter in the dog's honor, rescued a dog during freezing-cold weather, saved another dog who was left outside in a tiny cage in the rain, and ate vegetarian on food stamps for a week. If government officials want to cut the pork, we think they've found their man.
In other celebrity news:
To keep up with what all your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
The trailer for the new action flick Escape Plan includes an especially silly scene in which Arnold Schwarzenegger sneers at costar Sylvester Stallone and says, "You hit like a vegetarian."
But what is intended as a withering put-down is actually a compliment. After all, Germany's strongest man, Patrik Baboumian, is a vegan, as are professional arm-wrestlers Rob Bigwood and Big Bald Mike.
And I guess the creator of that bon mot doesn't follow mixed martial arts fighting, or he or she wouldn't have risked incurring the wrath of these guys:
How long do you think Arnie and Sly would last in a cage with vegan King of the Cage World Champion Mac Danzig?
Or maybe I'm being overly sensitive, and Escape Plan's screenwriters were actually making a sly reference to PETA's pie-throwing prowess.
You hit like a giant chicken carrying a tofu cream pie.
Hit like a vegetarian? You'd better hope your opponent doesn't hit like a vegetarian—or you might wind up with cauliflower ear.
Not content to rest on his laurels after creating a plant-based faux chicken that many people (including Bill Gates) consider to be almost indistinguishable from the real (cruel) thing, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown is now calling out poultry producers' lack of ethics. He posted on the Beyond Meat website an open invitation for anyone to tour the facility at any time, and he challenged the CEOs of the nation's biggest chicken producers to do the exact same thing.
It's time to make a change. …You
have the right to safe and clean protein. I can't control what animal meat
producers do in their facilities, but I can promise you that we'll always put
your health and safety first.
But don't take my word for it. Please come visit and watch us make your food. … Our doors are open for you.
So now the ball is in your court, Ron Foster (Foster Farms), Donnie Smith (Tyson), Jim Perdue (Perdue), Bill Lovette (Pilgrim's Pride) and other protein providers. Will you pledge to open your processing facilities to the public?
The chances that any of the poultry pimps will accept Ethan's challenge are about as slim as the chances that they will serve Beyond Meat at the company holiday party. After all, these are the same people who support ag-gag bills that would make undercover investigations of factory farms illegal, so they're not exactly known for throwing open the doors and rolling out the welcome mat.
But they know that there are growing numbers of people who support transparency in the food industry and that we are squawking just as loudly as the chickens they sell for profit.
Celebrate "Clucktober" (and another blow to the meat industry) with a coupon for Beyond Meat and a chance to win free Beyond Meat for a year.
When PETA caught wind of Air Canada's recent loss of Larry—a dog who was forced to fly "cargo" to his new home—we wrote the airline an urgent letter asking it to change its live-animal transit policy.
Larry—an Italian greyhound who had already lost so much, including his beloved guardian to cancer—went missing more than a week ago after an Air Canada employee let him out of his crate in San Francisco during a flight delay. Packed with "absorbent material[s]" like baggage, Larry had been scheduled to fly "cargo" to meet his new family in British Columbia.
Larry's story is not unique. Every year, frightened companion animals are lost, injured, and even killed after airline employees let them out of their carriers during layovers—and many are never seen again. Others are cooked alive or die of hypothermia when cargo-hold temperatures become deadly in minimally ventilated spaces meant to transport luggage, not living beings.
Not only is PETA asking Air Canada to prohibit the flying of animals in aircraft cargo holds, we're also asking Air Canada to convert two rows of seats in every aircraft into cabin kennels for dogs who can't fit under seats—a move that will surely enhance Air Canada's standing among customers.
Air Canada has already shown itself to be a leader among airlines by banning the shipment of primates destined for laboratories last year. By charging a premium price for safe companion-animal seating, Air Canada would continue to be a compassionate industry stand-out to animal guardians who are willing to pay a little extra in order to keep their family members safe.
To learn more about what you can do to keep your animals safe while traveling, read PETA's vacation tips.
Photo by Amy Meyer
Notice how he holds the torture devices in full view of the elephants in order to remind them what will happen if they get any ideas about refusing to perform confusing tricks or even just about reaching for a few leaves on a tree. I wonder if the elephants have ever thought about wrapping their trunks around one of those things and showing Mr. Scummy Handler exactly how it feels.
Was Bones guilty of manslaughter? We may never know for sure, but what we do know is that he deserved better than winding up in a shallow grave in a "rehabber's" backyard.
Exactly how the 130-pound dogo Argentino died is still a mystery, but this much we know: His suffering may only have been prolonged by The Lexus Project, a "no-kill" organization that seeks to gain custody of dogs who have been involved in an attack (or multiple attacks) serious enough to warrant a court order to confine or euthanize them.
Bones was believed to have been involved in such an attack. He was found alone in his guardian's apartment with the body of the guardian's roommate, who had died after sustaining bite wounds. After Bones languished for months in a cage as a result of legal wrangling, The Lexus Project gained custody of him and shunted him off to a so-called "rehabber" in Toledo, Ohio. Less than two years later, Bones was dead.
The rehabber claimed that Bones had been "stolen" while she was attending a funeral. However, nine months later, members of The Lexus Project, acting on a tip, discovered Bones' remains buried in the woman's backyard. The group believes that he had become ill and been denied veterinary care, eventually starving to death.
Dogs crowded in a garage at a "no-kill" shelter
PETA is calling for an investigation into Bones' death and for appropriate cruelty charges to be filed. But part of the blame in cases like this one lies at the door of "no-kill" groups that are so anxious to save animals at any cost that they fail to screen adopters, volunteers, and "rescues" properly before placing vulnerable animals with them—and the animals end up paying the ultimate price. This isn't "saving" animals. It's betraying them.
PETA is calling on Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, to shutter its deadly and cruel elephant exhibit after an elephant attack this morning left senior zookeeper John Bradford dead.A Legacy of Misery
It's no surprise that the elephant, Patience, lashed out after years of stress-inducing, unnatural imprisonment. Patience had been taken from her family when she was captured from the wild. She was shipped to the U.S. and then moved from zoo to zoo. She is now confined to a tiny 1.5-acre enclosure, unable to travel more than a few yards, let alone the 30 miles a day that she might have walked with her mother, aunts, and other family members, had she not been kidnapped from her home and deprived of their company.
Not only did Patience have her freedom taken from her, her son was also stolen from her when he was only 18 months old. Elephants are sensitive and careful mothers, nursing their children until they are at least 5 years old. Males stay with their mothers until they reach adolescence, and females stay with their mothers for life. Patience doesn't know that her baby died six months after being shipped off to Six Flags.Culture of Death
John Bradford is one of many who have died in Dickerson Park Zoo's substandard and unsafe elephant exhibit. Of 10 baby elephants who have been born at the zoo, only two are still alive today. Many died after contracting EEHV, a deadly herpes virus that is virtually unknown in the wild and has been linked to the stress of captivity. And at least one was abused: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) fined the zoo for abusing one elephant with a bullhook—a sharp metal-tipped weapon that resembles a fireplace poker and is routinely used to keep elephants "in line."
Bradford's death was wholly preventable, had the zoo left Patience with her herd as nature intended. It also would not have occurred if the zoo had handled Patience only in protected contact—the safer, more humane management system used by all reputable sanctuaries and zoos. PETA is calling on the USDA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate the incident.You Can Help
Contact Dickerson Park Zoo and demand that it close its elephant exhibit and send Patience and the three other remaining elephants to a reputable sanctuary. Never go to a zoo or circus in which elephants are abused for "entertainment."
Ke$ha loves her animals—both her fans and her furry ones. So when she adopted a new cat, she let her fans name him. Ke$ha tweeted, "new kitty was in a tiny cage for 8 months …. I just couldn't leave him!! now he has his own bedroom… just need a name …." And after Ke$ha Instagrammed the handsome fellow's picture, the suggestions started pouring in, including the one that Ke$ha chose: Mr. Fluffy Pants. The newly christened feline even has his own Instagram account now: @i_is_mrfluffypants.
Mr. Fluffy Pants would surely appreciate all the animal-friendly tweets that we spotted this week:
In other celebrity news:
To keep up with what all your favorite celebrities are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
PETA is no stranger to creating controversy by asking sports teams to change their exploitative mascots, but in this case, we're offering to help a football franchise fend off criticism.
After the Washington Redskins came under renewed pressure to change the team's name as a result of its racial implications, we leapt to the rescue with an ingenious—and healthy—solution.
Don't change the legendary Redskins name. Just change the logo.
When you hear the word "redskin," what do you immediately think of? Potatoes, of course! And who could be offended by a harmless redskin potato—except, maybe, for the Yukon Gold lobby (and if Alaska had a football team, rest assured that we'd be the first to suggest the Yukon Gold Diggers as a franchise name).
The redskin potato would be a noble mascot for a variety of reasons. Potatoes are also native Americans, having been cultivated in Peru for millennia. A tasty, versatile, animal- and environmentally friendly vegan staple, potatoes are now the most popular vegetable in the U.S. They are loaded with nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein, and red potatoes in particular are high in antioxidants. (Take that, Cheeseheads.)
By keeping the name and adopting a heart-healthy, appeeling logo, the Washington Redskins would set a powerful example on and off the field. And that's no small potatoes.
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