Written by Jeff Mackey
Following multiple investigation requests from PETA, the Chicago Inspector General (IG) launched a probe of the city's regulation of circuses and other animal exhibitors. Now, the IG has released its report, with recommended changes to licensing and permitting procedures.
Behind-the-Scenes Scandal at Ringling
Public records about Chicago's inspections of the notoriously inhumane Ringling Bros. circus in November 2010 documented numerous untreated medical conditions that appeared to clearly violate state and local animal protection laws. So in December 2010, PETA filed an investigation request asking that the IG determine why, in the face of compelling evidence of cruelty and neglect, the City of Chicago did nothing to provide relief to suffering animals or to hold Ringling responsible for its actions.
As detailed in PETA's request, several issues were noted during the 2010 inspection:
Despite this unequivocal information, no action was taken, and these elephants were forced to perform 20 times during Ringling's Chicago stand. In November 2011, PETA followed up with the IG's office to renew its request for an investigation.
Now, just before Ringling's 2012 Chicago appearances, scheduled for November 4 to 25, the IG has issued a report calling for changes in the way that the city handles circuses and other animal exhibitors, recommending the following:
The report also notes that under a new ordinance, the executive director of ACC has "additional discretion to work with a permittee to correct any violations or to issue fines or impose summary closure upon a finding of imminent hazard to the health of the animals."
PETA will be following up with the city, particularly in light of the fact that Nichole, Karen, and Sara are all scheduled to appear in Chicago again over the next few weeks and a recent independent expert's inspection report reveals that these animals' health still remains of significant concern.
What You Can Do
Please take a minute of your time to help spare Karen, Nicole, and Sara from additional suffering by politely urging Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack to stop folding to pressure from Ringling and to immediately seize these ailing elephants before it's too late—foot disorders and arthritis are the leading reasons for euthanasia in captive elephants.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
Joshua Moore has been indicted on five felony counts of animal torture, five
felony counts of aggravated cruelty, and one misdemeanor count of depicting
animal torture. PETA presented the Chicago Police Department's Animal Crimes Team
with a Hero to Animals Award for its swift work in seizing the abused dogs—five
dogs and five puppies—and promptly charging Moore for his crimes.
A man and a boy who physically and psychologically tortured several small dogs in a series of sadistic YouTube videos have been charged with multiple counts of felony and misdemeanor cruelty to animals, thanks to the swift work of PETA and authorities in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Chicago.
The videos show 22-year-old Joshua Moore and a teenage boy hanging and spinning a dog by a leash, violently ripping duct tape off a dog's testicles, and biting a dog's neck until he cried in pain. The pair is also shown hiding a mother dog's five puppies and watching as she frantically searches for them, repeatedly throwing the mother dog in the air, trying to force a dog to eat feces, and pouring lemon juice down a dog's throat, among other horrors.
The clips have been taken off YouTube, but PETA saved the video evidence (which would have otherwise been lost!) and provided it to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (FWACC) on Sunday. The agency immediately jumped into action to locate Moore, who had posted on his Facebook page that he was living in Fort Wayne.
On Tuesday morning, a Fort Wayne vice and narcotics officer identified Moore, at which time Moore was detained, interviewed by FWACC, and released. The videos, information gained from the interview, and supporting reports were immediately forwarded to the Chicago Police Department, giving that agency the probable cause needed to take action. On Thursday evening, FWACC intercepted the bus that Moore was traveling on from Fort Wayne to Chicago, where Chicago police officers were waiting.
Moore was arrested and charged with four felony counts of cruelty to animals and eight misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. The 13-year-old has been charged as a juvenile with six counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and three counts of animal torture. Ten dogs, including five puppies, were seized and are now in protective custody.
These dogs would still likely be suffering at the hands of their abusers if someone hadn't alerted us to the videos. If you know or suspect that someone is harming animals, don't delay—report cruelty immediately to local law-enforcement officials and animal control authorities, and if you don't get anywhere, contact PETA. You'll help keep the whole community safer by speaking up—animal abusers are bullies who victimize the defenseless, including members of their own species.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
If it walks, hops, crawls, flies, slithers,
has got eyes, a momma and a daddy, it's meat.
If it walks, hops, crawls, flies, slithers,
has got eyes, a momma and a daddy, it's meat.
the first week of the new year, which means that gyms are flooded with folks
determined to keep their resolutions to lose weight and be healthier in 2012. Chicagoans
burning up the treadmill to Fox News Chicago's morning edition got some advice
that may have made them stop panting through the "uphill" setting and
take notice: To lose
weight, go vegetarian.
Terry Mason, chief medical officer of the Cook County Health & Hospitals
System, asked Windy City residents to quit eating meat for a month and see how they feel. And
by "meat" he means, "If it walks, hops, crawls, flies, slithers,
has got eyes, a momma and a daddy, it's meat."
Mason has created the Restart4Health
program, advising people on what
he calls "TLC"—total lifestyle change. For people outside Chicago who
are ready to start giving their bodies TLC in 2012, try the Physicians Committee for
Responsible Medicine's 21-Day Vegan Kickstart.
Written by PETA
Those of us who enjoy the benefits of a green, healthy, and humane vegan diet may be tempted to think of people who still eat meat as dinosaurs, but besides being rude to our fellow man (after all, most of us used to eat meat), we may be slandering real dinosaurs by clinging to such attitudes.
Researchers at Chicago's Field Museum have theorized that many theropods—members of a family of dinosaurs that included legendary predators such as Tyrannosaurus rex and the velociraptors—were vegetarians. This comes on the heels of findings that contradict the previously held notion that large carnivorous dinosaurs roamed Australia during the Cretaceous Period.
Not only is this fascinating, it also has practical uses—if your dino-loving kids balk at eating salads, just tell them it's the dinosaur way to dine!
Honorary PETA director Bea Arthur had no intention of letting a little thing like, say, death stop her from speaking out against cruelty to animals. The Golden Girl is taking on the Golden Arches' chicken abuse in a full-page PETA ad in Thursday's Chicago Tribune—paid for by Bea herself through a gift in her will.
PETA members dressed in black will also hold a spirited protest outside a downtown Chicago McDonald's to mark the ad's debut and the one-year anniversary of beautiful Bea's passing.
Will Bea's plea from beyond the grave inspire McDonald's to lessen the hellish suffering of the chickens who are killed for its restaurants? Please join Bea and PETA by taking action and urging McDonald's to demand that its suppliers switch to a less cruel slaughter method called controlled-atmosphere killing. If Bea's eternal activism has inspired you, please also consider joining PETA's Augustus Club (which Bea helped launch) to ensure that your efforts to help animals live on long after you've gone!
I'll take a Venti soy mocha Frappuccino with no whip, please. (Oh, how I've longed to utter those words.) Apparently, Starbucks has been getting all those requests that I've been stuffing into its suggestion boxes, because it's introducing vegan Frappuccinos nationwide starting May 5!
Frappuccinos − dairy = frozen dream come true. And did I mention that Starbucks also carries yummy vegan cookies? Sweet.
Via Quarry Girl
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
The recent theft of bleachers from Chicago's Orr High School has left students without seating and robbed them of their school spirit. "It felt good to be out there beating on the drum, rooting the team on. All the people from the community coming to support us and everything. And now you wake up and all the seats are gone," said one student.
Well, PETA has just the thing to raise morale at Orr High and the community's awareness of the suffering that's endured by chickens who are killed for McNuggets. We're offering the school $5,000 and a veggie-burger lunch in exchange for placing this McCruelty ad on its new bleachers:
If there's one thing rivaling teams and fans can agree on, it's that scalding chickens in defeathering tanks is a real fumble. By spreading the message that McDonald's needs to push its suppliers to adopt controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK)—a less cruel method of slaughtering chickens—Orr High could rally for chickens every day of the week.
Written by Logan Scherer
This is one of those bizarre stories that could easily stump the panel on a "Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me!" pick-the-fake-news-story segment.
On Wednesday night, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources dumped 2,200 gallons of deadly poison into a 5.7-mile stretch of a canal in order to prevent Asian carp from escaping the canal and entering Lake Michigan while an electronic barrier was turned off for servicing. They poisoned every single fish in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with Rotenone, which kills fish by depleting oxygen from their blood and causes them to float to the surface of the water, where they gasp for air as they slowly suffocate.
Tens of thousands of animals lost their lives in order to kill a few carp who they thought might be in the waterway. So far, a lone carp has been found among the carnage. At a price tag of somewhere around $3 million, that has to make him or her the most expensive dead carp in history.
Asian carp, who consume nearly half their body weight in plankton every day, were originally imported in the 1970s to clean aquaculture and wastewater treatment facilities' retention ponds. Flooding throughout the 1990s allowed the fish to escape into the Mississippi River, which is connected to the Great Lakes through a series of rivers and canals. If the fish reach the Great Lakes, it is feared that they will crowd out other species of fish and threaten the lucrative sport and commercial fishing industries.
In other words, this is a manmade threat to manmade industries that carp and other fish are paying for with their lives.
I know what you're thinking: Surely they would only kill thousands of animals if there were no alternative? But you would be mistaken. The fish could have been kept at bay with sonic and light deterrents or by simply closing the locks while the barrier is down. But the latter would have caused shipping delays, and we can't have that.
We understand that a plan for a back-up barrier is in the works, which is great—it just would have been nice if they'd thought of that a little sooner, before killing tens of thousands of animals and threatening the lives of other animals and humans who may inadvertently come into contact with the toxic stew they have created.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Last year's McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago was chock-full of behemoth balloon characters and live entertainment (was that the cast of Jersey Boys I saw serenading their way down State Street?), but something was missing …
Wait, I know! Where was the killer clown? Considering that McDonald's refuses to adopt controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK)—the less cruel slaughter method that would spare birds from having their throats cut while they're still conscious and from being scalded alive—no parade sponsored by the fast-food fiend would be complete without a bloodstained float full of terrified birds being butchered by "Raging Ronnie," the grand marshal of gore. That's why we recently submitted a request to sponsor the following float in this year's parade:
This float idea? I'm totally lovin' it. No word yet on what the parade organizers think. While we're waiting for an answer, tell us about an animal rights–themed float that you would like to see in a major parade …
Written by Amy Elizabeth
How would you react if you learned that your father was Charles Manson?
DJ Matthew Roberts was adopted as an infant. When he recently found out that his biological father is the infamous criminal, he made it very clear that he's nothing like his old man:
"My hero is Gandhi," said Roberts. "I'm an extremely nonviolent, peaceful person and a vegetarian. I don't even kill bugs."
By not eating meat, Roberts is saving the lives of more than 100 animals each year. File this one under "sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree."
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.