Written by PETA
PETA is calling upon the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) to investigate whether the owner of a New Jersey roadside zoo and pet store did enough to prevent a fire
in which two giraffes, up to 15 parrots, and several dogs and cats died. The letter
also asks the USDA, "[I]f this loss of life is found to have
been preventable, … hold Sipp and Animal Kingdom Zoo responsible."
Every day has its
share of tragedy for captive wild animals forced to languish in cramped
enclosures at roadside
and pet stores.
The fire at Animal Kingdom Zoo is the second since April, when a fire killed
Burton Sipp's wife, Bridget. In the latest fire, a mother giraffe and her calf
were locked inside a building, and the mother was crushed to death by a falling
wall, raising questions about the facility's structural integrity. Her calf also
did not live through the night. Indeed, just over two weeks before this lethal
fire, the USDA cited the facility for 19 violations
of the Animal Welfare Act, including
failure to maintain the structural strength of the giraffe enclosure and
numerous other animal enclosures.
Please never visit
roadside zoos or facilities that sell animals. You can also help animals at three roadside zoos—Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa's Land—by
clicking here to urge officials to close these dilapidated facilities.
by Heather Faraid Drennan
Political campaigning can get pretty dirty, and during the weeks leading up to last Tuesday's elections, the New Jersey gubernatorial race was no exception. Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine launched an attack ad against Republican Chris Christie that hit Christie below the belt—implying that he "threw his weight around" as a public official, literally.
While health care and the economy may have been the big issues on the table this election season, a survey by Public Policy Polling found that a hefty 11 percent of Jersey voters said that Christie's bulging waistline was a legitimate election issue, and 19 percent said it made them less likely to vote for him. Maybe Garden State residents are just proud to have the 10th lowest obesity rate in the U.S. and didn't want Christie weighing them down—but I'd say Christie should address this issue pronto.
Despite the obvious fat-bias, Christie came out on top and won the election, and we say, "Well, Chris—you've won, and now it's time to lose." We suggest that Christie enlist some help from carrot-crunching vegetarian Newark mayor Cory Booker—and adopt a vegan diet. Studies show that vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters and that a vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 50 percent—so it's obvious that going vegan would be the best way for Christie to shed pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
So, what do you think? With 23 percent of adults and 31 percent of children in New Jersey obese, should the governor-elect slim down and set an example of healthy living?
Written by Liz Graffeo
Brookstone's "Frog-O-Sphere"—a tiny plastic box containing two African frogs and a snail—is a guaranteed death sentence for these animals, who are slowly poisoned by their own waste in these mini-prisons.
Brookstone store employees—many of whom are straight out of high school, not vet school—are the sole caretakers of these animals while the Frog-O-Spheres are in the stores. According to Brookstone's head honchos, the only time these frogs receive any "care" is when employees briefly peer into the Frog-O-Sphere to check on the animals' condition. After performing these spot checks, employees are instructed merely to write down whether the frogs are "expired," sick/injured, or healthy. Despite any store's claim that it has a veterinarian on file (per the Frog-O-Sphere SOPs), sick or injured frogs never receive medical attention. Instead, these animals—who are sensitive to sound and even minimal changes in temperature—are merely stashed in the back of the store until they either die or recover on their own.
Turns out this is illegal—in the Garden State, at least.
We did some digging and discovered that pet shops in New Jersey are required to provide veterinary care for sick or injured animals and must be licensed with the township in which they're located—both are details that Brookstone seems to have missed.
After we brought this to the attention of NJ authorities, PETA received word from across the state that inspectors were on the case (PETA quickly confirmed that a Princeton-area Brookstone has no license on file, and alerted local health authorities, who immediately issued a cease and desist order to the store.). The state's Office of Animal Welfare has also taken an interest in this matter because Brookstone was informed about the various permits that were needed before its stores even began selling these tiny torture chambers, but the company failed to obtain them.
Click here to tell Brookstone that it's time to stop selling living beings at all its stores.
Written by Jeff Mackey
As a woman and an as-proud-as-you-can-be resident of New Jersey, I have to say that this latest piece of news frightened me right down to my … toes. The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling was seriously considering a ban on any and all waxing of our lady-parts—particularly "Brazilians"—after two women wound up hospitalized with infections they contracted following their, ahem, extreme waxes. The idea of a ban has been dropped but that’s not stopping us here at PETA. As you know, we are decidedly anti-fur—at least when it comes to fur that's been stolen from animals—and think women should have the right to shed as much fur as they want!
I mean, let's face it—if you're popping into the back room of your nail salon for a $15 Brazilian, you're probably going to get what you pay for, but that's no reason to consider a universal ban on waxing.
With that in mind, we're dispatching our lovely Leopard Ladies to the garden state to speak up for every woman's right to go as bare as she dares—and, more importantly, to call attention to a much grosser type of fur trim. You know, the stuff you see on the coats and jackets of people who don't know any better? And what better way to get tongues wagging about this very important issue than a billboard—specifically, this billboard:
Look out, Trenton! This will hopefully be coming soon to a billboard near you.
Written by Amanda Schinke
Just a stone's throw away from my favorite New York City restaurant is an Urban Outfitters store, whose aisles I've been known to peruse after a hearty meal of soul "chicken" and homemade "ice cream" (all vegan, of course!). Imagine my shock when, during a recent visit, I spotted fur in Urban Outfitters. Not acceptable. It's 2009, and with major retailers such as Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gap, Nike, JCPenney—and just about everyone else under the sun—going fur-free, Urban Outfitters should have known better. But we all make mistakes … unfortunately.
Well, after several personal e-mails to Urban Outfitters' CEO followed by a PETA action alert, I'm happy to report that just a few months—and a few thousand e-mails—later, Urban Outfitters has become fur-free! In an e-mail I received from the company late last week, a representative wrote, "[T]here is no fur in our stores, and this will continue to be the case."
Kudos to Urban Outfitters for making this compassionate decision, and kudos to all our great supporters who help us win victories for animals by participating in campaigns like this one.
Unfortunately, not all companies are as easily convinced. We sure could use your help persuading Macy's to go fur-free.
Written by Matt Prescott
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
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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.