Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: Good news! We love James Cromwell even more
than we already did because of his willingness to face arrest to help bring attention to cruel brain experiments on cats at the University
of Wisconsin–Madison, and now we love that local prosecutors have declined to bring criminal disorderly
conduct charges against him—as
well as against the PETA staff member who was arrested with him—for pointing out that the
experiments are unethical and must be stopped. The pair have instead been cited for noncriminal
county ordinance violations—similar to a traffic ticket.
The USDA's documentation confirms
that pain was inflicted on cats—including
Double Trouble—who suffered
from chronic life-threatening infections after having
holes drilled into their skulls and metal coils implanted in their eyes and
being constantly starved to force them to obey commands. Please join James
Cromwell today in urging
the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to stop these cruel and deadly experiments.
The following was originally posted on February 7, 2013:
Members of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents sat stunned as actor James Cromwell entered their meeting to challenge them over experiments on cats. Likely the last thing the board expected today was to have an Academy Award nominee rush in, holding a grisly picture of a cat with a large metal post protruding from her head, and exclaim, "This is not science! This is torture! Shame on you!" But James, a longtime PETA supporter, felt that it was high time the board got personally called out for UW-Madison's abuse of cats. Campus police arrested him and a PETA staff member but not before the board had to stare into the face of just one of the many cats who had been tormented and killed in UW-Madison's disturbing brain and ear experiments.
The orange tabby cat whose image has become synonymous with the cruel cat laboratories is Double Trouble. Experimenters screwed a steel post to her skull so that they could immobilize her head and planted electrical devices deep inside her ears. They allowed her massive, bloody head wound to become severely infected, and they then starved her for days at a time so that she would cooperate with them in exchange for a morsel of food to eat. Finally, calling the experiment a failure, they killed and decapitated her.
PETA has repeatedly asked UW-Madison to end its abusive experiments on cats but has received no response. Please e-mail UW's Board of Regents and urge the members to listen to James and the hundreds of thousands of other compassionate people who want the school to end these cruel cat laboratories and switch to modern, superior, non-animal research methods.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Following a complaint filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed PETA's allegations of rampant abuse of cats in a taxpayer-funded brain experiment at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW), where actor James Cromwell was arrested during a protest last month. The USDA also cited UW for violating federal animal protection laws by burning a cat named Broc so badly with a heating pad that she required surgery.
In a scathing report just obtained by PETA, a federal inspector found "a pattern of recurring infections" and that all the cats whom PETA profiled in its complaint had been "diagnosed with chronic infections" after having steel posts screwed into open wounds on their heads and metal coils implanted into their eyes.
The USDA noted that some cats, including Slinky, have died because of these infections and that one cat named NJ even had to have her eye removed after the metal coil became the site of frequent serious infections.
The government report includes never-before-seen heartbreaking photographs of NJ, Broc, and the five other mutilated cats who are still alive in the laboratory. We now know the faces of the other victims of this laboratory besides Double Trouble.
All these new revelations confirm what PETA has been saying for months: UW tortures animals and doesn't mind twisting the truth about it. Even though it knew it wasn't true, in interviews and statements UW has shamelessly claimed that the government had not substantiated any of PETA's allegations and that it wasn't cited for its abuse of cats. In fact, during the same period it was claiming it had been cleared, UW was trying in vain to appeal the government's citation.
What You Can Do
The cats in UW's labs are suffering miserably, and they don't have time for more evasions and excuses—now exposed as deceptive spin. Please urge the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to put an immediate halt to these cruel experiments.
Angeles' STAPLES Center
will become the city's
vegetarian center when Morrissey plays there March 1.
The music legend has asked that no "flesh as food" be served at his shows, but fans will have plenty of festive fare, including
vegan sloppy Joes, vegan sushi, and grilled veggie sandwiches, to munch on
while they rock out to "Meat Is Murder." And as an extra nod to
animals, Moz also required that McCruelty shutter its doors for the day.
Beyoncé took a page out of
Morrissey's songbook when she wanted to drop her baby weight. Bey started eating one vegan meal a day,
and she's kept it up.
Maybe since she's eating fewer animals, she'll consider wearing fewer animals,
what PETA is asking the Buffalo
Sabres to do. When the hockey team
started awarding the "player
of the game" with a fur coat, we wrote to the Sabres' owner, Terry Pegula, urging him to do away with these vile gifts
as the team scrambles to reinvent itself as winners after the highly publicized
firing of head coach Lindy Ruff.
it's Canadian sealers that seals have to worry about, but recently two
young women were caught on
camera hitting and kicking seals who were resting on a
California beach. People were outraged, and Ian Somerhalder, along with many others,
took to Twitter to defend the seals as well as other animals:
Miley Cyrus is always full of sweet
tweets, so of course, she and dad Billy Ray Cyrus were on board to
compete in the Twitter for
the Critters Celebrity Challenge, a Twitter competition
that is raising money for several animal shelters and sanctuaries.
Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith's household may rival
Miley's in number of rescued dogs. The couple adopted two Labrador-shepherd
mixes, a brother and sister. PETA helped welcome the pups to their new home
with toys, treats, and a copy of Let's Have a Dog Party!
screen legend James
Cromwell has also had an
exciting month. He was arrested while helping PETA disrupt a meeting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
to protest the school's
painful and deadly experiments on cats. Then he joined awesome animal advocate Jane Velez-Mitchell on her
show to publicize the school's
crimes against cats even more.
keep up with what all your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
officially award season, the time of year
when our televisions are dominated by red carpets, elegant gowns, and hilarious
Ricky Gervais zingers—and oh, yeah, awards are given out too. If animals had
submitted the Golden
Globes ballots, the roster of
winners might have looked pretty similar to Sunday's lineup:
of fowl Kate Winslet grabbed a Best Actress
statue for her work in the miniseries Mildred Pierce, and vegetarian Peter Dinklage snagged a Best
Supporting Actor prize for Game of Thrones.
another television category, one of my
favorite comedies, Modern Family,
with young star and peta2 supporter Sarah Hyland, claimed top honors.
on the big screen, The Artist, which includes the beloved animal advocate James
Cromwell in its highly talented—albeit silent—cast,
cleaned up with wins for Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Original Score.
to all the winners, and thanks for helping animals win too!
Written by PETA
PETA Senior Vice President of Communications Lisa Lange reflects on the monumental achievements for animals that she's seen in her nearly 20 years at PETA and the events—intentional and serendipitous—that led her to devote her life to protecting animals.
How did you first become involved in animal rights?
I got a PETA magazine in the mail and read about all the atrocious things happening to animals and started to change my lifestyle. A couple of years later, I was helping to protest the largest pigeon slaughter in the country in Hegins, Pennsylvania, with hundreds of other activists. It was like a clay shoot but with real animals. The birds were stuffed into wooden boxes and were sprung into the air a few at a time. Drunk men would shoot the birds from sunup to sundown. They would twist the heads off injured birds or bash their bodies into trash cans. I was arrested for running across the field and creating a distraction while other people freed the birds from the boxes. I was put in a cell with PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. Rather than pay bail money to the city that sponsored the hunt, we spent 12 days in jail. That's where she hired me—in our jail block. Eventually, we got the pigeon shoot stopped.
What was the most unforgettable PETA protest you ever participated in?
There have been a lot of them, but I loved the Wendy's demonstration with James Cromwell where he and some of us staffers did a sit-in at a Wendy's restaurant. We won that campaign and got Wendy's to improve animal welfare and have been pushing them to build on those improvements ever since.
Is there one PETA victory you are most proud of?
The Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. victory is pretty major. We got that awful animal testing facility shut down and got four workers indicted on felony cruelty-to-animals charges. There are so many, though—back in the day, bringing GM to its knees was pretty fantastic. They were the last company to stop doing crash tests on animals, and when they fell, those horrid tests were history. I love all the victories these days where the mere threat of PETA protests does the trick, like with Lipton tea. I love that our reputation as being smart and strong precedes us and that people just don't want to tangle with us.
Are you the next Lisa Lange? Get involved now by e-mailing the Action Team.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
On the eve of the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat star James Cromwell has written to The Jockey Club urging it to adopt PETA's proposed Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund. The plan would require owners and breeders to pay a $360 retirement fee for each new foal they register. The money generated from the fees would be put into a fund to provide care for the 10,000 former racehorses currently sent to slaughter each year.
"These magnificent animals should not end up on a meat hook after a terrifying journey to a terrifying death," writes Cromwell in his letter. "I urge the Jockey Club, as the only official body that deals with every thoroughbred owner in every racing state, to implement PETA's Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Retirement Fund without delay."
Join James Cromwell in asking The Jockey Club to give racehorses the dignified retirement that they deserve.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Newsflash: Cows on dairy farms aren't happy. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
So how is it that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) can continue to claim that the "best" cheese comes from California's supposedly ecstatic cows?
You know the ads—the one with a handful of free-roaming, robust cows cavorting sassily under a cheerful California sky? Apparently we're expected to believe that all cows used on dairy farms in California look like this …
… as opposed to this:
In the past, we've had some choice words on the subject of California's supposedly happy cows. In 2002, PETA filed suit against the CMAB for false advertising—but the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case on the grounds that as a government agency, the CMAB can’t be sued for violating California state advertising laws.*
But we kept fighting the good fight against the CMAB's false advertising with a series of "Unhappy Cow" demonstrations and public service announcements, including a few starring the man himself, animal crusader James Cromwell. And now, on the heels of our most recent undercover investigation inside a dairy farm, the time has come to return to the trenches.
We're filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, calling on it to make the CMAB stop lying to consumers about the way cows on dairy farms are treated. "Happy cow" ads mislead consumers into believing that California dairy cows are pasture raised, free roaming, and grass fed and live in conditions that make them "happy" (i.e., that they are well cared for, content, comfortable, and healthy). In reality, these cows are drugged up, over-milked, and denied even the most basic care. Doesn't sound like a "happy cow" to me.
Written by Amanda Schinke
*Let's put aside how alarming one might find the idea of a government not subject to regulation.
I think I'm finally morphing into a football fan. First, I learned about all the excellent veggie fare at football stadiums, and today PETA released an exclusive interview with hunky football tight end Tony Gonzalez, and his gaga-gorgeous wife, October.
After their sexy shoot for a new anti-fur ad for PETA, the couple sat down to talk about the benefits of a plant-based diet. In the interview, Tony calls the cruel treatment of animals on factory farms "appalling" and describes how his health improved dramatically after ditching meat and dairy products two years ago.
On the many benefits of his mainly plant-based diet, Tony says, "I'm going into my 13th year in the NFL, and I switched over [to a plant-based diet] two years ago. … [T]he day after a game, everybody's sore … and I'm jumping rope and they're looking at me like, 'Man you're supposed to be the old guy on the team. You're acting like you're the youngest guy on the team.'"
I may be Tony's newest admirer, but I have no doubt that many of his longtime fans will follow his lead and explore meat-free cuisine.
Written by Karin Bennett
As a PETA intern, I've had the opportunity to tour several cities protesting everything from the dairy industry to glue traps. But the most attention-grabbing of all the tours I've taken part in involved setting up a steel-jaw trap in cities throughout the Midwest, including Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and Lansing.
Every year, millions of animals are drowned, gassed, electrocuted, and even skinned alive to produce fur coats and trim, yet there are no federal laws to protect animals on fur farms. Covered in blood and wearing a fur coat that was donated to PETA, I had the opportunity to educate people about the horrors of the fur industry by pretending to be trapped like an animal captured for his or her fur.
Some passersby looked on in fear, some stopped to make sure I was breathing, and others thanked us for speaking up for animals. One guy even purchased a vegetarian lunch because of our demonstration.
Many top retailers and designers refuse to sell or work with fur, but callous designers such as Giorgio Armani ignore the fact that synthetics are more practical and just as luxurious—not to mention cruelty-free.
My PETA internship has been a tremendous experience that's allowed me to educate people about the fur industry, meet concerned citizens from around the country, and fight for the rights of animals everywhere. How about you give it a go?
Written by PETA intern Stephanie Boardmen
Litter isn't just ugly and dirty—it kills. Artist Chris Jordan took a series of photographs of albatross chicks, and the photos are so surreal that I thought they were part of some strange pop-art installation meant to shock and disturb the viewer. The genuine shock, though, came when I found out that these are unaltered images of real birds.
Taken at Midway Atoll, a remote stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific, the photographs depict corpses of albatross chicks whose parents mistakenly picked up plastic in the ocean thinking it was food. With bellies full of plastic, the chicks died from starvation, toxicity, and choking.
This isn't the first time that this tragedy has been documented. Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking used her film documentary about the Midway Atoll to get the very first ban on plastic bags enacted in Modbury, England, and her essay about it was published in Ingrid E. Newkirk's book, One Can Make a Difference.
Every year, this lethal diet of trash kills tens of thousands of albatross chicks on Midway, which is 2,000 miles from the nearest continent—proof that the empty lighters and fishing line that people carelessly discard on roadsides and beachfronts suffocates and poisons animals who inadvertently consume it. It takes only seconds for us to throw away our trash instead of littering and putting the lives of countless animals in danger. If you spot litter, pick it up, and if you catch someone littering, say something—you may literally be saving a life. It really is that easy to be kind.
Written by Logan Scherer
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.