Written by Michelle Kretzer
A front group
for the meat, puppy mill, tobacco, and alcohol industries as well as other
industries that use and abuse animals is desperately trying to thwart animal
protection efforts by publicly
The group got its comeuppance on Jane Velez-Mitchell's
show Monday night, when the HLN host invited PETA Senior Vice President of
Communications Lisa Lange
to talk about the deceptive group's underhanded attacks. Here is some of the
If the meat, dairy, puppy mill, and
entertainment industries and their shills were genuinely concerned about the plight of homeless dogs and cats,
they would actually do something about it, as PETA is, by conducting massive spay-and-neuter initiatives
and encouraging people to adopt
animals from animal shelters instead of buying them from businesses that
churn out new puppies and kittens to add to the mix.
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
The newly launched triathlon magazine 3/Go features PETA's own senior VP, Lisa Lange, a force to be reckoned with on path or lake. Talking about her passion for triathlons and vegan eating, Lisa told 3/Go, "I feel fresh and able to take on anything that comes my way." We got to have our own Q&A session with Lisa (it helps to have connections) and asked her to share advice for anyone wanting to try triathlons—or just enjoy better health.
What kinds of foods do you eat when training for a triathlon?
Overall, I eat a really healthy diet. Good carbs keep your energy up during training, and then after a long workout, I take in carbs and protein, usually veggies and a protein drink. I love Gardein chicken breasts, as they taste yummy and have a ton of protein, which helps with recovery after a long vigorous workout.
What kinds of foods are best for quick energy?
Before a shorter workout, I eat half a banana or half an energy bar, either that I've made myself or Vega or Lara bars for quick energy. I'll eat them on a long ride, too, and drink coconut water with lemon, ginger, and agave in it. That's very sustaining.
Were you vegan before you were a triathlete? Has your diet helped with your performance?
I was vegan when I started doing triathlons a year and a half ago, and it's a huge advantage energy-wise. I always had a ton of energy, and training has only increased it. I sleep better, too, and I get some of my best thinking done while I'm on the bike or a long run.
If you have a craving for junk food, what do you go for?
After a long race, I love Mexican food or vegan pizza. I also eat tortilla chips and chocolate. That's my indulgence after a hard race. My biggest indulgence is Cap'n Crunch. There's a box in my pantry for after my next Half Ironman in July!
What advice do you have for people considering taking up triathlons?
Read Thrive, by Brendan Brazier about the benefits of being a vegan endurance athlete. It's a very vegan-friendly sport. When it comes to nutrition, there's so much good vegan stuff out there. Whatever you need, there's a vegan version that's easy to find. And when you start training, take your phone with you in case you see an injured or lost animal, which has happened to me. And don't spend time considering triathlons—just do it! It's such a great sport.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
PETA founder Ingrid E. Newkirk offers hundreds of simple ways to stop cruelty to animals in her new book, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble, which was released today.
While Ingrid is out on the road promoting kindness on her book tour, PETA's vice presidents are stepping up to our virtual podium for a Q&A with all of you PETA Files readers. They are poised to answer your hard-hitting animal rights and PETA questions. But first, some introductions are in order.
Meet the VPs
Dan MathewsSenior Vice President of Campaigns
PETA's dashing senior VP was once a green-haired punk rocker who flipped burgers at McDonald's. But when this pop-culture junkie breezed through PETA's doors in 1985, it was clear that he was born to lead our campaigns. During his two decades at PETA, this author/concert coordinator/protester extraordinaire has been the brains (and brawn) behind some of PETA's most colorful campaigns, including the ever-popular "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign. Dan lives by his personal motto: "Rest When You're Dead."
Just a sampling of the many PETA victories achieved under Dan's watch include convincing Calvin Klein to stop designing with fur after leading a raid in Calvin's office, pressuring GM to stop using animals in crash tests, and lobbying Gillette to halt product tests on animals. He's lined up stars to protest, pose nude, or even go to jail for the cause, including Chrissie Hynde, Sir Paul McCartney, and Pamela Anderson. Dan was named one of the "Most Influential Gays" of the millennium by Genre and one of the "50 Most Beautiful Guys" by teen magazine YM.
He's so funny and charming that it's no wonder that my mom, Carla of "Ask Carla," ignored her gay-dar and once daydreamed about setting him up with me.
Lisa LangeSenior Vice President of Communications
Lisa coordinated the production of some of PETA's most popular and successful videos and PSAs, including the hugely popular "Veggie Love" ad, a vegetarian ad featuring Alicia Silverstone in the buff, and a series of provocative videos for PETA's Animal Birth Control campaign. She also assisted with the production of I Am an Animal, an award-winning HBO documentary about Ingrid E. Newkirk.
She's influenced millions of viewers to consider animals during her smackdowns of animal exploiters on Today, CNBC, CNN's Crossfire, Larry King Live, and Your World With Neil Cavuto. She's appeared numerous times on The O'Reilly Factor and on countless other television and radio programs.
Lisa epitomizes vegan vitality and never stops thinking of ways to alleviate animal suffering—even when she's doing sit-ups at dawn during her boot-camp workouts.
Tracy Reiman Executive Vice President
Tracy oversees all of PETA's campaigns as well as PETA's marketing, corporate affairs, youth, and Web outreach efforts.
Let me take a deep breath before I start listing just a few of Tracy's accomplishments. Whew. OK. She led successful efforts to persuade Mobil, Texaco, Shell, and other big oil corporations to cap their oil stacks to prevent thousands of birds and bats from burning to death. She participated in the infamous sit-in at Calvin Klein's office (as mentioned above), which tipped the balance in convincing the clothing designer to abandon fur. She was instrumental in stopping NASA's cruel Bion project, which involved sending primates into space. Her investigative and rescue work resulted in the first-ever cruelty charges filed against a factory farmer for cruelty to chickens.
Tracy is fearless and tireless in her efforts for animals, and no matter what the situation, she always remains cool, calm, and collected. I've always considered her a sort of female James Bond for animals.
So, what is it that you're dying to know about these die-hard animal activists? Don't be shy. Leave a question (or two) below, and we'll have each of the VPs answer the most thought-provoking questions later this month.
Written by Karin Bennett
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.