Chicken doesn't just look like crap—it's covered with it! According to a study by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), almost half of the chicken sold in grocery stores is contaminated with E. coli, an indicator of fecal contamination ("coli" comes from "colon").
But wait, there's more! In addition to E. coli, PCRM President Dr. Neal Barnard says, "Chicken feces may also contain roundworms, hair worms, tapeworms, insect larvae, fecally-excreted drugs and other chemicals, as well as the more normal constituents of feces—bile, undigested food, etc."
How does chicken get plastered in poop? Chickens are already filthy from wading in excrement in factory-farm barns and defecating on each other while crammed together on crowded transport trucks. During slaughter, their bodies are ripped apart, splattering feces everywhere. Then they are dumped into a chill bath in an effort to cause their bodies to absorb water and gain weight (since they are sold by the pound). The bath has been called "fecal soup" because it accumulates the feces from the bodies of all the chickens who are dunked into it.
Hmmm … sounds like Mighty Wings are actually mighty gross. Time to go vegan.
X Factor creator Simon Cowell must be mighty proud of Alexandra. Not only is she one of the most successful talents that the show has discovered, she's also following in Simon's compassionate footsteps and raising her beautiful voice against cruelty to animals.
"I was nervous about posing nude as I've never done it before," she said. "It was uncomfortable initially, but the photographer made me feel relaxed and at ease. Ultimately I love my body, so it was great to do something for such a worthwhile cause."
Alexandra was a natural at going au naturel to save animals, and you can be, too. Just be comfortable in your own skin, and let animals keep theirs.
Update: After PETA contacted Warden Scott Erfe and let him know that the prison is required by law to honor Crosby's religious beliefs, Crosby will now receive a "nutritionally adequate substitute" in each of his meals that would have included fish. You would expect prison officials to encourage an inmate's adherence to the principles of nonviolence, so we are glad that they now are.
Originally posted on September 3, 2013 and written by Alisa Mullins.
Have you ever heard of an artichoke fish? Neither has Howard Cosby, who is currently incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. A practicing Buddhist, Cosby has repeatedly asked to be provided with vegetarian meals in accordance with his nonviolent religious beliefs. The prison has accommodated him—sort of. It provides him with vegetarian meals, except for three times a week, when he is served fish. When Cosby objected, he was told that the prison does not believe that fish flesh is meat.
This week, PETA wrote to the prison in Cosby's behalf, pointing out that a) fish are not vegetables, as most of us learned in high school biology class, and that b) there is ample legal precedent for granting prisoners the right to vegan and vegetarian meals under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits correctional facilities from imposing substantial burdens on inmates' religious exercise.
In one such case, the judge chided prison officials for their refusal to provide an inmate with vegan meals, saying, "[W]hy make a federal case out of it? ... [W]hat the State did here, digging in its heels and saying no, seems quite unreasonable to me."
A National Rifle Association (NRA)–sponsored show that filmed exotic animals meeting a tragic end has breathed its last breath.
Under Wild Skies followed NRA lobbyist Tony Makris as he went on nothing short of a killing spree, gunning down elephants, leopards, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, buffalo, antelope, and other exotic and threatened animals around the globe. In one particularly disturbing episode, Makris jokes as he shoots an African bull elephant in the face and then celebrates with champagne. NBC Sports Network was bombarded with complaints and pulled the show.
NBC was inundated with nearly 40,000 complaints, but when an unrepentant Makris compared his critics to Hitler, well, let's just say that Makris was turning into more of a PR nightmare than Rush Limbaugh. Now Under Wild Skies has shot its last show on NBC—and its last animal.
Thank you to everyone who spoke up and made sure that Under Wild Skies was next to get shot down.
Update: PETA received word today that the district attorney's office will not file cruelty charges against Linda Bean's Maine Lobster (LBML) slaughterhouse after PETA revealed that workers tore fully concious lobsters and crabs apart. The district attorney doesn't believe that invertebrates are protected under Maine's cruelty-to-animals statute, which our reading shows applies to all sentient animals. PETA will be taking that up with his office in an attempt to dissuade him and point out that all animals—including complex, sensitive lobsters and crabs who absolutely do feel pain—are indeed protected from such egregious, illegal cruelty.
We need your help. Please watch the video below and urge Linda Bean to at least switch to a less cruel method of killing animals. The best thing that anyone can do is to stop eating crabs and lobsters—or at the very least, to stop buying from Linda Bean until a more humane slaughter method is introduced. That's not too much to ask.
Originally posted on September 19, 2013.
PETA delivered a detailed criminal complaint to authorities in Maine after revealing stomach-turning undercover video footage captured in Linda Bean's Maine Lobster (LBML) slaughterhouse. PETA's nine-page complaint cites 38 incidents captured on video during our investigation related to apparent violations of Maine's cruelty-to-animals law.
PETA's groundbreaking investigation revealed that workers at LBML routinely rip and tear the legs, heads, and shells off live lobsters and break apart conscious crabs' shells with sharp spikes before violently scrubbing off their internal organs with stiff-bristled brushes. Each lobster's claws and tail are saved, while the rest of the body is dumped in bins and left to writhe in agony. The crabs who have been torn apart are still alive when they're lowered slowly into boiling water.
Stop the Mutilation
Other lobster-processing plants use less cruel methods of killing the animals, such as hydrostatic pressure—the method used at Shucks Maine Lobster in Richmond—which Bean once relied on, reportedly because she recognized it as more humane. PETA requested to meet privately with Bean or her staff prior to releasing the results of our investigation but has still not received a response.
Of course, we'd rather lobsters and crabs were left in peace, but there's no excuse for a big company—with the ability to kill them instantly—to kill them slowly and cruelly instead. Maine's laws need to be enforced, and those who are dismembering and mutilating live animals should be prosecuted.
What You Can Do
Please urge Linda Bean to stop the suffering and implement faster, less painful ways of killing crabs and lobsters. Click on the button below to act today!
J.R. has already spent more time in "jail" than many grand larcenists, arsonists, and murderers. J.R. is none of those things. He is a chimpanzee who is believed to have been torn away from his mother as an infant and then sent at a young age to perform confusing tricks in a circus. More recently, he spent a decade in solitary confinement in a cramped cage at a notorious North Carolina roadside zoo that was the subject of multiple PETA complaints before its federal license was suspended in 2008.
From there, J.R. was transferred to another roadside zoo, Buffalo Beals, which PETA has also repeatedly complained about to authorities. Confined alone to a cage no larger than a typical two-car garage, he wandered in aimless circles, screamed in frustration, and repeatedly bit his own arms, a heartbreaking symptom of captivity-induced psychosis.
Now, thanks to a wonderful supporter, J.R. has been transported to a tropical island paradise—the beautiful Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida. There, J.R. is thriving. He has several acres of lush green grass to walk on, palm trees to relax under, "jungle gyms" to climb on, balmy weather to enjoy, and a natural, wholesome diet to eat. During his introductory period and between his frequent trips to one of Save the Chimps' large, lush islands, he stays in the sanctuary's "special needs" area with new friends, like Indie, a gentle and friendly female, who was the first chimpanzee J.R. met after many lonely years in isolation. Eventually, he will be integrated into a larger group of the sanctuary's 250 resident chimpanzees.What You Can Do
Whether they're called "zoos," "animal parks," "refuges," or even "sanctuaries," don't trust any place that sells admission tickets or rents out animals for TV shows, movies, commercials, or circuses. True sanctuaries are nonprofit organizations and generally are not open to the public on a regular basis. The humane way to learn about wildlife is to observe animals in nature, read books, and watch wildlife documentaries, not stare at depressed animals in cages.
Juice Beauty, a favorite of longtime PETA supporter Alicia Silverstone, has ended sales in China until the government's requirements for tests on animals for cosmetics are lifted. The company had been selling its products in China, where tests on animals are required for cosmetics, but after talks with PETA about the cruel tests on rabbits, mice, and other animals that the Chinese government requires, Juice decided to remove its products from the Chinese market and stay true to its cruelty-free principles.
For this compassionate move, PETA is proud to recognize Juice Beauty with our Courage in Commerce Award.
Juice joins a growing list of companies that have chosen principles over profit and pulled their products out of China, including Paul Mitchell Systems, Dermalogica, Pangea Organics, and Nature's Gate. And other top companies, including NYX, Urban Decay, and 100% Pure, have pledged not even to enter the Chinese market until the animal-testing requirements vamoose.
They may not have to wait long. When PETA first broke the story that some companies claiming to be cruelty-free were secretly paying for tests on animals in China, we immediately initiated a unique effort to put an end to these cruel cosmetics testing requirements and save animals' lives. PETA was the first animal rights group to join forces with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), the leading experts in the field, to work on this issue, and together we've made tremendous progress.
Thanks in part to grants from PETA, scientists from IIVS have set up training laboratories at four universities in China and have been training Chinese scientists in non-animal testing methods. With these PETA-funded scientists' help, the government is in the process of approving the country's first non-animal testing method for cosmetics and now has a five-year plan for the acceptance of all non-animal testing methods used in the European Union.
What You Can Do
When you're in the market to treat yourself to some new beauty products, remember always to shop cruelty-free. You can order a free copy of PETA's global cruelty-free shopping guide to take with you every time you shop, or log on to our website for our list of companies that don't test on animals.
It won a coveted Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions ad awards this summer, and PETA's riveting video "98% Human" is continuing to change the way people think about the entertainment industry's use of great apes.
This week, PETA Vice President Dan Mathews screened "98% Human" at the Great Apes Summit in Wyoming, and Dr. Jane Goodall led the global wildlife experts in a standing ovation for PETA's provocative spot that has prompted numerous top ad agencies to formally swear off using great apes.
PETA isn't measuring the video's success in awards and applause but in results. After Wyoming, Dan flew to New York, where he screened the video at the lively Advertising Week panel that he hosted with BBDO, the mega-agency that donated the spot to PETA. The talk drew hundreds of creative directors from across the country, who pledged not just to leave apes out of ads but also to put pro-animal messages in their campaigns. We're calling "98% Human" 100 percent successful.
Carrie Underwood has a new song in her heart, courtesy of Paul McCartney. "The Cute Beatle" sent the country darling a personal letter giving her his blessing to sing "Yesterday" at the Emmys. Carrie did a beautiful cover of the tune but insists that the best part was the note from Paul, which she will always treasure. Considering that practically everyone cites the Beatles as a musical influence and would love to have an actual Beatle's blessing to cover their tunes, we have a sneaking suspicion that the fact that Carrie is vegan and a fellow animal rights advocate might have had something to do with Paul's decision.
In other Hollywood news:
It seems many other stars were wondering this week, "Why wouldn't you tweet in support of animal issues?"
To keep up with what all your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
The name may have changed, but The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park, formerly known as G.W. Exotic Animal Park, is still up to the same old tricks—it's continuing to abuse animals. And PETA is fighting to shut this hellhole down.
We've called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to refuse to renew the Oklahoma menagerie's Animal Welfare Act license, citing the facility's long history of animal-care violations, including the recent deaths of two tiger cubs born at the facility as well as the deaths of nearly two dozen other tiger cubs in a seven-month period. Joe Schreibvogel, who holds the license authorizing G.W. to exhibit animals, has also incurred enormous debts, totaling between $1 million and $10 million, which inhibit his ability to care properly for the more than 100 big cats and other animals at the facility.
PETA conducted an undercover investigation at the roadside zoo back in 2006 and documented horrific neglect and abuse, including dead, dying, and injured animals; extremely crowded conditions; a serious lack of basic necessities, such as food, water, and veterinary care; inadequate cages; and untrained and insufficient staff, who were intentionally cruel to numerous animals. We documented the following abuses, among others:
PETA's investigator witnessed this litany of horrors just one month after Schreibvogel's license was suspended for 18 months and he was fined $25,000 as a result of more than 197 Animal Welfare Act violations.What You Can Do
Please join PETA in contacting the USDA, and ask that the agency not renew G.W.'s federal license.
Sometimes, even compassionate people seem to disregard fish. I know because I was one of them. Years after I stopped eating meat, I called myself a vegetarian, but I was still eating fish. I justified it because fish aren't raised in the same cramped, filthy barns that cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are on factory farms. They aren't branded, debeaked, dehorned, or confined to tiny wire battery cages. They aren't strung up by one leg to bleed out when their throats are slashed. Fish seemed, I don't know, different somehow. It was a long time before I realized that fish are sentient beings, and that they, too, can suffer and don't want to die.
My first clue came from PETA. I read on the group's website how fish are smart. They use tools and have both impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures. I also learned that fish, like all living beings, feel pain. A recent undercover investigation inside a fish slaughterhouse showed conscious fish struggling while workers cut off their fins with knives and used pliers to peel away strips of their skin. And of course, there is such a thing as fish farming. Aquafarms, where many fish spend their entire lives, consist of cramped, filthy enclosures. Many fish held on aquafarms suffer from parasitic infections, diseases, and debilitating injuries. PETA named September 28 Fish Amnesty Day to remind people that fish do suffer and deserve compassion.
Not long after this fish epiphany, I joined a group of friends at the park on a Sunday afternoon. One of them was catch-and-release fishing, and it wasn't long before he yanked a small green fish into the air. I watched the animal struggle frantically as my friend tried to remove the large hook that was piercing her mouth. I watched her writhe in pain from the wound and the lack of oxygen. I felt sick as I realized that she had the same desire to live and to be free from pain as every other animal. I would never eat another fish.
I've learned that even though fish are smart, eating them is, well, not so much. Fish flesh is frequently contaminated with mercury, and the most recent studies show that in some fish, mercury levels are only going to rise. And since our water supply is contaminated with medications, household chemicals, PCBs, DDT, and other toxins, fish ingest those and pass them on to us as well.
And if we still keep gobbling them up, there won't be any fish left. Scientists say that two-thirds of all tuna, grouper, cod, and other "predator fish" have been caught and consumed by humans—and the rest will likely perish in the decades ahead.
If you know someone who claims, "I'm a vegetarian, but I still eat fish," perhaps you can use Fish Amnesty Day as a way of illustrating that, as Bruce in Finding Nemo taught us, "Fish are friends, not food."
The four grizzly bears imprisoned in barren concrete pits at the notorious Cherokee Bear Zoo (CBZ) have gained two very influential—and compassionate—friends. According to news reports, two tribal elders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Amy Walker and Peggy Hill, put the longstanding PETA target on notice by announcing their intent to file suit under the Endangered Species Act in behalf of the grizzlies, who are enduring extreme deprivation on Cherokee land.
These bears can't see over the concrete walls of their pit, let alone spend 18 hours a day foraging for food and digging in the soft earth, brush, and leaves, as they would in their natural habitat. Instead, they're forced to stand on hard concrete, which can seriously injure their feet and cause skeletal problems. Visitors can buy kibble to throw at the bears, who spend their days begging for morsels of food. Mindlessly circling their prison, the animals are unable to take cover from storms and are forced to drink the dirty water that they also use for bathing.
Walker says it best: "The Cherokee Bear Zoo is an open concrete grave for these intelligent animals and they must be move[d] from the despicable facility to a place where they'll [be] cared for, not abused and neglected."
PETA has advocated for these bears for years, and we will continue to do so until the CBZ is forced to release them to a sanctuary, just as another PETA-exposed Cherokee facility, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, did.What You Can Do
Politely urge the owners of Cherokee Bear Zoo to release the bears to a reputable sanctuary.
Yesterday morning, a horse pulling a carriage in busy New York City traffic got spooked, collided with parked cars, flipped over the carriage, and became pinned under the wreckage. While the carriage driver screamed at the thrashing horse, Good Samaritans worked to free him by lifting up the carriage and cutting him loose from his traces. After being freed, the horse was able to walk under his own power, but witnesses reported that he appeared to be limping and bleeding from a wound on his leg.
DANGERS OF HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES: Jerry's
collapse and death last month are tragic evidence that horses don't belong on sweltering, traffic-filled
More than 18 accidents involving horse-drawn carriages have occurred in New York City in the past two years alone, putting horses, passengers, and bystanders at risk, which is why PETA, politicians, and many others want the carriages to be replaced with vintage electric cars. That move still needs more support in the City Council but is currently being held up by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.What You Can Do
If you live in New York City, please contact your City Council member and ask him or her to support Intro. 86A, which would replace horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly vintage cars.
Would you declaw your cat if the procedure were called "de-toe-ing" or a "toe amputation"? Jennifer Conrad, D.V.M., doesn't think you would. So she set out to reveal the truth about declawing in an effort to see it banned in America, as it has been in nearly two dozen other countries. Her 12-year battle against declawing is chronicled in an inspiring new documentary named after her anti-declawing organization, The Paw Project.
Declawing involves 10 separate, painful amputations. Each toe is amputated at the last joint, including the bones, tendons, and ligaments, not just the nail. It is a serious surgery, and complications include gangrene, permanent nerve damage, scar tissue formation, arthritis, bone chips, and abnormal regrowth of the nail.
Dr. Conrad first noticed the adverse effects of declawing in the captive big cats she was treating, and the film contains heartbreaking footage of cats large and small attempting to walk on their painfully deformed feet.
In addition to physical scars, declawed cats can also develop behavioral problems, including urinating outside the litterbox (proving that there's more than one way to ruin the furniture). Declawed cats may also become depressed, reclusive, and withdrawn or irritable, aggressive, and unpredictable.
Declawed by his previous owner, Teddy developed litterbox issues after surgery.
A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 33 percent of declawed cats developed at least one behavioral problem and 80 percent had more than one medical complication. Perhaps because of these complications, contrary to the claims of declawing proponents, declawed cats are actually more likely to be surrendered to shelters.
"Why would anyone want to declaw a cat?" asks a baffled lawmaker in the film. Good question.
Dr. Conrad's group spearheaded the landmark declawing ban in West Hollywood, California, 10 years ago, as well as subsequent bans in Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Monica, California. Hopefully, after people see this powerful movie, more cities will follow suit.What You Can Do
Never declaw a cat, and tell every cat guardian you know about the dangers. Round up all your friends and go see The Paw Project. It will be officially premiering this month in New York City on September 27. For more screening dates and locations, visit PawProject.org.
What's crustier than a crustacean? An angry former Marine who was so sickened after watching video footage captured by PETA in Linda Bean's Maine Lobster (LBML) slaughterhouse that he dashed off an angry e-mail to Ms. Bean herself:
Dear Ms. Bean:
I have been a customer of … LL Bean for over 30 years. I charge 98% of my expenditures on my Bean card. I pay my bill early each month in full. To find out that I am supporting such inordinate cruelty to animals is disquieting to me. Don't get the wrong idea. I am a former Marine Infantry sergeant and I don't back away from a fight, but this is uncalled for. If you continue with this I will cancel my Bean card forever.
A recent undercover investigation by PETA showed workers at LBML routinely ripping and tearing the legs, heads, and shells off live lobsters and leaving them in bins to writhe in agony until they died. Workers were also documented ripping off the top shells of conscious crabs with sharp spikes before violently rubbing off the animals' internal organs with a rapidly spinning, stiff-bristled brush.
PETA has filed a cruelty complaint citing 38 incidents captured on video during our
investigation related to apparent violations of Maine's cruelty-to-animals law.
Protesters gathered in Florida outside Delray Beach's Linda Bean's Perfect Maine Lobster to show shocked customers the less-than-perfect ways in which crabs and lobsters are torn apart while alive and fully conscious at LBML.
And to lend lobsters and crabs a helping hand, we've created another outstanding ad for people to share on Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness about LBML's cruelty to crustaceans:
Lobster: © iStockphoto.com/IvanMikhaylov'Don't Back Away From a Fight'
Join PETA and the brave men and women mentioned above and demand that LBML stop dismembering crabs and lobsters while the animals are alive and conscious!
PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) delivers doghouses, straw bedding, toys, and affection to forgotten dogs in deeply impoverished areas of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. These neglected dogs have seldom if ever been cared for, much less shown any kindness. They are chained 24/7 through bone-chilling winter nights, raging storms, hurricanes, and blisteringly hot summers. Last winter, PETA staff and weekend straw-delivery volunteers found hundreds of dogs in desperate trouble—among them, Dynasty, Blue, Ice, Diamond, and Dallas.
Last February in Portsmouth, Virginia, volunteers spotted a plastic dog crate partially concealed by a doghouse. Since the carrier was old, dirty, and surrounded by trash and there was no food or water nearby, they thought at first that it had been junked, but then they heard movement inside: A dog who was trapped inside began barking, thumping his tail, and jumping up in excitement. With mounting horror, they noticed that there were actually two dogs in the carrier—and one of them wasn't moving.
Inside the crate, they discovered the remains of a skeletal female pit bull named Dynasty. The surviving dog, a male pit-bull mix named Blue, was also malnourished, and his white paws were stained yellow from having to stand in his own urine. The crate was so small that Blue couldn't move without stepping on Dynasty's body. The volunteers called the police, and Dynasty's remains along with Blue were both relinquished to PETA. Thankfully, Blue was eventually adopted into a loving home. An examination by a veterinarian revealed that Dynasty didn't have a single ounce of fat on her body and had been suffering from an untreated broken femur. The only contents of her stomach were a few pieces of straw that she had eaten in an attempt to sustain herself. Blue and Dynasty had evidently been put in the crate the day before PETA found them so that they would be out of the way while their owner and his family decorated their house for a birthday party.
On Tuesday—after a judge heard testimony from PETA and a veterinary expert from the Virginia Beach SPCA—the dogs' owner, Adriane Mason, was found guilty of cruelty to animals for starving Dynasty to death and depriving her of emergency veterinary treatment. Mason faces a sentence of up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine and will be sentenced in December. The horrified judge said that he wished he could impose on Mason a sentence similar to the one that Mason had imposed on Dynasty and Blue—confining him to a crate without food or water in the middle of winter—but, he said, that would amount to "cruel and unusual punishment."
In another horrifying case of starvation and neglect, PETA also gained custody of two adult pit bulls and a puppy in Bertie County, North Carolina, after finding the severely malnourished dogs chained amid junk, filth, and their own waste last winter.
The puppy, Ice, was near death and was rushed to a veterinarian, who determined that he was critically anemic and emaciated. Ice's gums were chalk-white, and he weighed just 16 pounds, less than half of the normal bodyweight for a dog of his size.
The dogs' owner refused offers of free veterinary care for the remaining dogs, Diamond and Dallas. PETA persisted and gained custody of both adult dogs, who were dangerously emaciated but, fortunately, bounced back with care—Dallas gained more than 30 pounds, and Diamond more than 25, in less than a month.
This week, the man responsible for keeping these pit bulls chained and starved was found guilty of cruelty to animals, ordered to pay restitution to PETA for the cost of the dogs' veterinary care, and, most importantly, prohibited from ever owning or harboring any animals ever again!What You Can Do
Donate here to support PETA's efforts to expose cruelty, push for the prosecution of abusers, and save animals' lives. If you suspect that animals are being neglected or abused, call your local animal control or police department immediately. If the agency isn't responsive, contact PETA.
Update: Aquarium owner Ammon Covino and his business partner Chris Conk have pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to buy animals without permits. Covino and Conk, who cofounded the Idaho Aquarium, were caught trying to purchase spotted eagle rays and lemon sharks illegally in Florida to be shipped to Idaho. The two will be sentenced in December in federal court in Florida, and each faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Originally posted on August 23, 2013.
In just three months at the Portland Aquarium, more than 200 animals have reportedly lost their lives. Bamboo sharks, sea horses, stingrays, garden eels, and many species of fish have died from starvation, infections, a power outage, attacks by incompatible tank mates, getting caught in drain screens, being hit by falling rocks, escaping from their tanks, and unknown causes. A marine biologist at the facility stated that it was "cutting corners to save money" and that "so many deaths … were … preventable."
The Oregonian newspaper reported that since February—almost seven months ago—the aquarium has not had a veterinarian on contract to care for the approximately 10,000 animals it confines. Also according to The Oregonian, the aquarium owners, Ammon and Vince Covino, "acknowledge that the facility has gone without regular veterinary services." The Oregon Humane Society has launched an investigation, and PETA has asked it to pursue criminal cruelty-to-animals charges against everyone responsible, including the Covinos.
Meanwhile, we've turned our attention on the new aquarium that the Covinos want to open in Austin, Texas. Even though they apparently haven't obtained all the required building permits, reports indicate that they have started construction and may already be holding animals at the site, including sharks, iguanas, lizards, a kinkajou, and possibly a crocodile. PETA has contacted Austin Animal Services and asked it to conduct an inspection to determine whether the animals are suffering as a result of abuse, neglect, or stress from the loud construction noise.
We're also calling on the City of Austin's Health Authority to get involved because the agency is charged with enforcing Austin's prohibition on keeping dangerous animals, which the law defines as any animal who is "capable of inflicting serious bodily injury to a human." Iguanas can suddenly charge and bite without warning, sometimes causing serious injury, and captive kinkajous are also known to bite and scratch humans. Crocodiles are reported to be 168 times more dangerous than sharks, killing 2,500 people every year. PETA is urging the City of Austin's Health Authority to take custody of all the dangerous animals being held at the site.WHAT YOU CAN DO
While we go after marine-animal prisons through legal channels, you can help go after them via the accountant's office by never buying a ticket.
The notoriously substandard Las Vegas Zoo, where 150 animals are confined on just three acres, has finally closed its doors after all its zookeepers mysteriously quit earlier this week, and the zoo's owner, Pat Dingle, isn't talking.
cockatoo, seen at the zoo on July 29, 2009, did not look well and was panting
vigorously and feather-plucking.
The zoo has been the target of PETA efforts for years. In 2009, we called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revoke the zoo's license after a 10-year-old lion named Midas died after eating a ball that had been thrown into his enclosure from a nearby store. In 2012, PETA was instrumental in helping the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration successfully prosecute and fine the zoo $4,200 for allowing employees to have dangerous direct contact with macaques.
Despite pressure from PETA for years to release a solitary chimpanzee named Terry to a sanctuary, Dingle has steadfastly refused, even though the Animal Welfare Act specifies that chimpanzees, as social animals, should live with other members of their species.
Terry was seen by a PETA activist who said his space was "littered with rotten bananas, one shriveled orange and … filthy water."
With the abrupt departure of Dingle's staff, PETA was worried that no one was caring for the animals, so we contacted animal control, which, with the USDA, is reportedly already removing animals from the property. We are hopeful that Terry will be sent to a sanctuary so that he can finally live with other chimpanzees after 18 years in solitary confinement.
This zoo's long-overdue closure seems to be part of a trend in the Las Vegas area toward growing awareness of the needs of captive wild and exotic animals. PETA has had recent successes in getting permits denied for several exotic-animal exploiters, including Mike Casey, The Fercos Brothers, and Karl Mitchell and we are now helping local officials strengthen regulations pertaining to the private ownership of wild and exotic animals.
Kids say the darnedest things. So what would they say about a Thanksgiving table with a Fido centerpiece? That's what PETA wants to find out with billboards that we're trying to place near schools throughout Canada just before our neighbors to the north celebrate Thanksgiving:
Turkey: © iStockphoto.com/James Steidl • Dog: © iStockphoto.com/Eric Isselée
Turkeys are actually a lot like dogs. They are smart, love to be petted, and will even sing along with music like some dogs do. They are curious and love to investigate new sights and smells and greet new visitors. They also have tight bonds with their babies—a mother turkey will courageously defend her family against predators. And just like dogs, turkeys value their lives and don't want to be slaughtered, stuffed, and stuck on a platter in the middle of the table.
PETA is hopeful that our pre-Thanksgiving billboards will inspire kids to ask their parents why they eat turkeys if they wouldn't eat dogs—and to give everyone a reason to stop dogging turkeys.
For your own Thanksgiving inspiration, check out some of PETA's tasty vegan recipes.
Following the announcement that Maricopa County jails will be ditching meat in favor of healthier meals, PETA staffers stood up and applauded (with one of those slow, dramatic claps that gets everyone's attention). Not only will the county's inmates reap the health benefits of going vegetarian, its taxpayers will also save $100,000. That, my sirs and mesdames, is no chump change!
PETA was so excited by Maricopa's move that we dashed off a letter to Charles Ryan, the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), and asked him to take it a step further and institute a plant-based diet in all prisons in the state. And to sweeten the deal, we offered to pay for a vegan chef to plan the menus!
If the ADC accepts our offer, not only will it be able to make the bold—and completely truthful—claim that it's saving animal lives, it will also help keep its prisoners and its coffers healthy, too.
It's simple: Lentils, beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, and other plant-based staples cost far less than meat, which is harder to transport and store. And vegetarians are generally healthier than meat-eaters: According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes than their meat-eating counterparts. Not only will the ADC save money on food, it will save money on health-related costs as well.
Take a Cue From the Maricopa Jails and Release Animals From Theirs
Although they've committed no crime, animals on factory farms are treated worse than most human inmates. They're confined to filthy cages, warehouses, and sheds, and most never see the sun, breathe fresh air, or feel grass under their feet before they're transported to slaughter.
Stop this pain and torture and save your health. Go vegan today!
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