Big dairy better be wary. Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling have helped us expose dairy farms' cruel practice of dehorning calves to the public, and now PETA is appealing directly to dairy distributors' shareholders.
We bought stock in several dairy companies and businesses that have dairy farms in their supply chains so that we could propose shareholder resolutions asking the companies to phase out dehorning. Last week, we attended the annual meeting for WhiteWave, which owns Horizon Organic Milk, and told the other stockholders how the companies' dairy farm workers use searing-hot irons to burn off horn tissue or sharp tools to gouge out, or cut off calves' horns and often the surrounding tissue, too, while the animals bellow and writhe in pain. Not exactly the kind of thing that stockholders want to hear. We'll be piping up at the annual meeting for Domino's and proposing a shareholder resolution asking the company to require its suppliers to phase out dehorning.
PETA is offering both companies an easy solution: breed for polled (hornless) cattle. A single gene determines whether or not a cow will have horns, and this approach has proved effective in the beef industry.
We're also offering consumers an easy way to end dehorning: Purchase only cruelty-free (nondairy) milk. Let's horn in on cruelty, shall we?
Just days after the start of Canada's annual seal slaughter, Anna Karenina star Jude Law appealed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on PETA's behalf, urging panelists to uphold the EU-wide ban on seal fur. The WTO's final hearing on the issue will be held on April 29.
I'm writing to urge the panel to uphold this ban, which is in line with the wishes of compassionate people all around the world, including the majority of European citizens," wrote Law in his letter to the WTO. "Even local sentiment is turning, and a lack of markets has led Canadian officials to seriously examine whether the slaughter should end.
Because of the worldwide outcry, all major markets have banned seal-fur imports, including the EU, Mexico, Taiwan, the U.S., and even Russia, which had been importing 95 percent of Canada's seal fur. The Canadian government is challenging the EU ban as a last-ditch effort to try to revive the trade.
"The purpose of the WTO is to support efficient markets, not government decisions to prop up dying industries like the seal slaughter," Law points out. "Rather than using the WTO to prop up a dying industry, Canada should pursue a buyout of the commercial sealing industry – a move that would help both seals and sealers. The world is watching and waiting – please uphold the EU ban."
What You Can Do
We have reached a tipping point in the campaign but still need your help. Please speak up for seals by taking action.
Americans were outraged last year after they saw video footage released by PETA that showed a U.S. military trauma training course in which goats were moaning and kicking as instructors stabbed them, hacked off their limbs with tree trimmers, and yanked out their internal organs. The video brought national attention to the military's crude trauma training procedures on animals.
But outrage turned to cheers when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill containing a clause requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to create a strategy for replacing the shooting, stabbing, and dismembering of animals in training drills with non-animal methods. It was the first time in history that Congress had passed a measure aimed at protecting animals from abuse in military training exercises.
The deadline has arrived for the DOD to release its strategy, but instead of following congressional orders and taking the opportunity to modernize military training, the DOD instead provided a litany of excuses. Justin Goodman, PETA's director of laboratory investigations, blasted the report in a public statement:
April 18, 2013
The Department of Defense (DOD) report released today is a regurgitation of baseless excuses for the continued shooting, stabbing, dismembering, and killing of thousands of animals in crude medical training drills. The technology to fully replace animals in military training already exists, and military regulations require that they be used. The only thing delaying the complete transition to modern methods that will save human and animal lives is a lack of honesty and political will among the entrenched Pentagon leadership.
The report, mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act, was supposed to provide Congress with a detailed strategy and timeline for the phase-out of these animal laboratories. The report does not do this, though, and it ignores the fact that more than three-quarters of the U.S.' NATO allies currently train military personnel without harming any animals, as do a number of U.S. military installations around the world. The new DOD document also completely omits any mention of the extensive military and civilian medical research showing that existing simulators and other non-animal training methods better prepare medics and doctors to treat traumatic injuries in humans. The DOD has been aware of all this for years and has even admitted that "there still is no evidence that [trauma training on animals] saves lives."
Fortunately, despite this short-sighted and misleading report, the Army recently confirmed to PETA that it has independently taken action to begin a scale-down of animal use in its trauma training programs and has begun by prohibiting nonmedical service members from participating in the killings.
PETA does not intend to let the DOD shirk its responsibility. Help keep the pressure on by urging your congressional representatives to demand that the DOD spare animal lives and better prepare our troops to treat wounded soldiers by replacing animals with lifelike human-patient simulators.
But Wall Street was in for a surprise. We quickly purchased the smallest number of shares necessary to give us the right to attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder resolutions asking for policy changes. Our first order of business as part owners of SeaWorld? Getting the orcas out—including Corky, who has been enslaved by SeaWorld for 44 years
We will educate stockholders about how marine parks tear orcas and dolphins away from their homes and families and imprison them in minuscule concrete tanks, where they suffer from captivity-induced stress and illness.
And of course meanwhile, PETA and our supporters will continue trying to win freedom for orcas and dolphins as soon as possible by telling everyone that these animals live in a SeaWorldofHurt.
Tennessee lawmakers passed the state's proposed "ag-gag" bill, which would require video shot on factory farms in order to expose animal abuse to be turned over to law enforcement within 48 hours. The governor has 10 days to sign or veto the bill, and Tennessee resident Carrie Underwood is determined to stop the unconstitutional bill in its tracks. She expressed her outrage over Twitter: "Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who's with me?"
Advocates for animals and free speech can join Carrie by tweeting polite messages to @BillHaslam.
As always, scores of celebrities reached millions of Twitter users with animal-friendly messages this week:
The mercury is just now starting to rise, but Eva Mendes is already devising ways to make the fall fur-free. Disappointed that designers continue to use real fur, she is releasing her own animal-friendly evening-wear collection. Eva, who proved that she would rather go naked than wear fur, told Look magazine, "Within the fashion industry I can't believe designers still use real fur in their designs when it's so easy to make faux fur. It's cheap and looks great."
And speaking of rising mercury, feast your eyes on PETA India's newest spokesperson, Vidyut Jammwal. You may not be familiar with this Bollywood star and his veggie-powered bod just yet, but you will soon want to be. As one PETA director put it, "Everyone deserves to be able to cast their eyes on him."
To keep up with what all your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is the last facility in the country that still abuses cats for Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training, in defiance of modern science and ethics. Now PETA has obtained alarming undercover video footage of cats being subjected to these cruel training exercises in a recent WUSTL PALS course conducted in conjunction with St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Despite the availability of superior, lifelike simulators, which are used instead of animals at all of the more than 1,000 other PALS training facilities in the U.S., WUSTL continues to lock nine cats in its laboratories. Several times a year, trainees repeatedly force hard plastic tubes down the animals' delicate windpipes in a crude attempt to learn to intubate human infants.A Real-Life Horror Movie
The video shows unskilled trainees struggling for several minutes to intubate two helpless cats named Elliott and Jessie, botching the attempts to shove tubes down their windpipes and mishandling metal instruments in ways that could break the cats' teeth. As several participants in the video note, the inadequately anesthetized cats even begin to wake up during the procedure.
A WUSTL veterinarian is seen discussing how each cat is subjected to as many as 15 intubations each session, even though studies show that intubating animals more than five times per session can cause pain and trauma. The veterinarian and course leader also admit that some cats' windpipes are injured during the exercise, which can cause potentially fatal bleeding, swelling, scarring, and collapsed lungs. Each of the cats held captive at WUSTL is subjected to this miserable procedure up to four times a year.
Even the American Heart Association (AHA), which created the curriculum and sponsors the PALS course, confirmed to PETA last month, "We do not endorse or require the use of animals during the AHA-PALS training because of advances and availability of simulation mannequins."What You Can Do
Please urge officials at WUSTL and St. Louis Children's Hospital to stop causing cats to suffer for intubation training and to use effective, non-animal training methods instead.
The eastern United States is buzzing about the impending cicada season. There are even websites dedicated to the emergence, such as Cicada Tracker, Magicicada, and Cicada Mania on Facebook. Since the periodical cicadas we will see this summer emerge only once every 17 years, here are a few things you may not remember about them from their last appearance in 1996:
1. They offer free lawn care. When cicadas burrow, they aerate the soil.
2. Although they use different sounds to relay different messages, cicadas are often humming to attract mates. When you're listening to that sweet summer sound, think of it as being like a Marvin Gaye song.
3. Periodical cicadas aren't dangerous to plant life. Seventeen-year cicadas aren't fans of vegetables or flowers. They prefer to get their leafy greens from trees. During the month that they live, they don't typically harm trees, but if homeowners are worried, they can encase small trees in pond netting or spun polyolefin.
4. They respect "quiet hour" laws. Unlike the college kids down the street, cicadas play their music loud only during the day.
5. According to ancient Chinese tradition, cicadas are powerful symbols of rebirth. The fact that they mature underground for 17 years just to enjoy a few weeks of life gives "YOLO" a whole new meaning. This summer, while you're enjoying the peaceful hum of the cicadas, remember to "LALL": Live and let live.
Great Britain has united against circuses that force wild animals to perform. With the vast majority of the British public behind them, the members of Parliament voted unanimously to ban wild-animal acts in circuses in England and Wales.
Pressure has been mounting for the past few years for the government to make this historic move, particularly after animal rights advocates released an undercover video that showed a groom at Bobby Roberts Super Circus who kicked an Asian elephant named Anne and beat her with a pitchfork. PETA U.K. kept up the anti-circus momentum, with demonstrations, ads, newspaper articles, and action alerts asking its members to e-mail the prime minister. Now Britons can pop a cork and celebrate the fact that legislation to ban all wild animals from circuses is passing through Parliament, meaning no more wild animals will be torn from their homes and families, denied everything that is natural and important to them, confined to tiny boxcars or cages, and forced to perform demeaning and painful tricks for human amusement.
Circuses in England and Wales will go on—but with talented human performers who are there by choice.
We aren't there yet in the U.S.—but the time is coming. Check out PETA's guide "Steps to Take When the Circus Comes to Town" for ideas on how to help. England and Wales are ending these cruel acts, and we can, too.
Karl Mitchell's days of terrorizing big cats in Nevada's Nye County are numbered now that the notorious animal abuser and unrepentant lawbreaker has had his permit to keep exotic animals revoked by the county's board of commissioners based on information that it received from PETA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Like Abu Ghraib for Tigers
Mitchell, who owns an appalling tiger menagerie called Big Cat Encounters, has been exhibiting animals even though his exhibitors license was permanently yanked by the USDA in 2001, meaning that the county shouldn't have issued him a permit in the first place.
In February 2012, PETA called on the USDA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to seek criminal charges against Mitchell for exhibiting tigers and transporting them across state lines without a license. The federal investigations are still pending.
Over the years, the USDA has cited Mitchell repeatedly for a wide range of atrocious Animal Welfare Act violations, which include cruelly withholding water as a training technique, continuing to exhibit big cats illegally, and failing to provide animals with adequate veterinary care and living conditions and palatable food and water—just to name a few. Mitchell has also been slapped with three cease-and-desist orders (which he, of course, defied) and more than $100,000 in fines.
What You Can Do
Although Mitchell is a particularly flagrant and disgraceful example of the low ethical standards of his industry, misery is inescapable for all animals who are imprisoned so that they can furnish a momentary diversion instead of living their natural lives in freedom. Please never patronize any captive-animal attraction.
Now here's some real appointment television: On Earth Day—Monday, April 22—at 7 p.m. EDT (check your local listings for the time in your region), HBO will premiere the documentary An Apology to Elephants. Watch a preview here.
In his review, David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle says that Apology, narrated by Lily Tomlin, is "impossible to ignore because of the irrefutable arguments made by its savvy combination of testimony from animal experts and images of elephants being abused."
Since HBO began working on this project more than two years ago, PETA has been on board offering information and documentation. The documentary features pictures and video footage provided by PETA, including photos from a whistleblower that document the shockingly cruel way in which Ringling Bros. circus breaks the spirit of baby elephants and video footage from a Ringling elephant walk showing bullhook abuse. Viewers will see elephants Maggie—who suffered alone for years at the Alaska Zoo before being sent to a sanctuary following a lengthy PETA campaign—and Nosey, in whose behalf PETA has been working for years.
Among the experts who participated in the documentary are Dr. Mel Richardson and Dr. Joyce Poole. Also appearing is passionate young animal advocate Rose McCoy, who once schooled McDonald's execs over their failure to reduce the suffering of chickens.How You Can Help
Besides watching An Apology to Elephants yourself, encourage others to tune in, too—and tell them never to buy a ticket to any circus that uses animals.
President Barack Obama's new $100 million BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) is intended to provide insight into human brain function and behavior to help find cures for diseases. But considering that the project's leadership committee is dominated by animal experimenters who have little experience in human brain research, it's doubtful that the initiative will be either "advanced" or "innovative" or that it will produce results relevant to humans.
So PETA is appealing to the National Institutes of Health, which was tasked with selecting scientists for the panel, to shake up the leadership committee and include scientists who are engaging in the human-based research necessary to solve human health problems.
Sixteen of the 17 panel members are involved primarily in archaic animal experiments, which have consistently failed to find cures for human brain disorders because of fundamental biological differences between species. In fact, in a recent Reuters article on the BRAIN Initiative, Dr. Christer Nordstedt, Eli Lilly and Co.'s vice president of neuroscience research, said, "We've been handicapped by the fact that we have been studying diseases in animals that don't really exist in animals. Mice don't get depression. They don't get schizophrenia. They don't get Alzheimer's disease."
Including at least some of the thousands of researchers who use ethical, human-based research methods, such as advanced imaging and other modern technology, will offer insights into the human brain that are not possible through experiments on animals. That means that the initiative will get closer to finding cures without tormenting animals in cruel and deadly experiments and wasting more taxpayer money.
You can help by e-mailing your senators and representatives and urging them to divert taxpayer funds away from animal experiments and into relevant, lifesaving human-based research.
Every day, PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) staffers respond to calls about animals who are malnourished, feral, sick, injured, trapped in storm drains, stuck in trees, dying on the side of the road, or kept chained 24/7 365 days a year. Mya and Becky are two formerly chained dogs who were rescued, thanks to PETA.
Mya had nothing more than a crumbling lean-to for shelter amid piles of trash. But after a social worker saw her living in such deplorable conditions, she asked the owners to consider parting with her. After they agreed, the social worker immediately called PETA.
PETA staffers spotted Becky while they were delivering straw bedding to chained dogs elsewhere. This beautiful dog spent all day every day dragging a heavy logging chain around a ramshackle pen.
After CAP's repeated visits to the home to give Becky straw, toys, treats, and TLC, her owners agreed to give her a shot at finding a home where she would be allowed to live indoors with the rest of the family. Again, our good friends at the VBSPCA stepped up, and now things are looking up for Becky.
What You Can Do
Nickelodeon star Daniella Monet unveiled her new ad for peta2—in which she encourages young people to let fish off the hook by not eating them—at a star-studded reception at the wildly popular all-vegan Sublime restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday.
In an interview that can be viewed on peta2.com, Monet explains why she went vegetarian at the age of 5: "I went to a dude ranch with my family, and I asked a lot of questions. And I got answers that I probably needed to hear." As for people who say that they're "vegetarian" but still eat fish? "Fish aren't veggies," she says. "Fish have feelings, too, and fish are trying to live a life as well." She adds, "You don't need fish. Let the fish swim with the mermaids."
Monet also presented 12-year-old Rose McCoy—a lifelong vegan and animal rights defender—with the Nanci Alexander Activist Award, named for the owner of Sublime and a longtime PETA member. Among Rose's many accomplishments, she has spoken (remember—she's 12) at a McDonald's annual meeting and at New York City Council meetings, has formed an animal rights club, and donates a portion of her cat-sitting money to PETA's spay/neuter mobile clinics.
Also in attendance were Mexican soap star Pablo Azar, who showed off his dramatic new anti-circus PETA ad, and NY Ink star Ami James, who did likewise with a new ad starring himself and his adorable dog, Bella.
Among other stars lending glamour to the festivities was model and TV host Elisabetta Canalis, a vocal animal advocate who would rather go naked than wear fur and who memorably locked herself in a sweltering car last summer to illustrate the need to protect dogs from the heat.
Buried deep in President Barack Obama's 244-page budget proposal is this gem: a reprieve for America's horses. The new budget plan includes a request for Congress to reinstitute a prohibition on the funding of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors at horse slaughter plants, which would effectively put the kibosh on budding plans to resume slaughtering horses on U.S. soil. Translation? The Obama administration wants horse slaughter to stay illegal in the U.S.
A similar spending prohibition was implemented in 2005, but it was struck down in 2011. And now several companies are trying to reopen horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico and other Western states.
This defunding measure would be an invaluable stopgap to prevent horses from being slaughtered in this country while Congress debates the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would not only outlaw horse slaughter in the U.S. but also close the loophole that currently allows horses to be cruelly shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. This bill must pass or American horses will continue to die—even if it's not on our own soil.
What You Can Do
Please contact your congressional representatives and urge them to support this budget measure. And to protect horses in the long term and prevent them from being shipped over the border to slaughter, please also urge them to support the SAFE Act.
The TOS-USA does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of statements posted. Opinions expressed in postings do not necessarily represent the opinions of TOS-USA.