Written by Michelle Kretzer
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.
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.
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."
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
Written by Alisa Mullins
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.
As President Barack Obama began a tour of the country
to talk about jobs and the economy, PETA met him in Asheville, North Carolina,
and presented him with a job description of our own:
While the president spoke to Asheville residents
about lowering the unemployment rate, PETA asked him to grant retirement to the
bears who are suffering in
another part of the state in squalid roadside bear pits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently suspended the operating
license of one of the pits, the Chief Saunooke Bear Park, after PETA filed multiple complaints about animal abuse there. The USDA cited
the bear pit for, among other abuse, denying the bears adequate food and
Obviously, the Secret
Service took stock of our bear and her message. Here's hoping the POTUS realizes
soon that these bears want to be unemployed,
In just one week, we could require the Obama administration to address the fact that animals are still being killed in gas chambers. It's up to us.
Currently posted to the White House's "We the People" petition site is an appeal asking for federal attention to the suffering that animals endure when they are gassed. It can take as long as 45 minutes for a dog or cat to die in a gas chamber. He or she may convulse, vomit, gasp for breath, attempt to claw through the walls, void his or her bowels, howl in panic, and even be bitten by other frightened animals. And some animals do not die, like Daniel, the Alabama dog who has become the face of the movement to ban gas chambers.
Compare this to an intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by trained professionals, that assures that the animal "falls asleep," the same quick, painless loss of consciousness that we feel when we are given anesthetics before surgery.
But despite the cruelty of gas chambers and the affordability of humane injections, it is still legal to gas animals in 31 states. Let's change that. We have until February 18 to collect 100,000 signatures.
I'm going to add my name to the petition right now. Will you please join me?
Written by Jeff Mackey
When a PETA staffer found this dog named President Obama two
years ago, he was stuck on a tangled lead in a trash-strewn yard without proper
food, water, shelter, or attention of any kind.
He was fed table scraps by his owner, who would not consider
allowing him indoors. Our staff member visited Obama frequently over the next two years, each time
offering to find him a new home but always getting turned down. So PETA did
what we could to keep the little guy healthy and comfortable, including
providing him with a new
doghouse and neutering him.
Recently, when a snowstorm was approaching, PETA's staffer
took Obama some straw for warmth and found him wet and shivering in the freezing-cold
backyard. But this time, the little tyke's owner finally agreed to let PETA
take him, which just goes to show why it's so important never to give up when a chained dog needs help.) Here is Obama in his wonderful new home with his adopted "sister":
As you can see, Obama has made himself right at home with his
new family—and, just like someone else we know, is taking full advantage of his
sierrasportsman | cc by 2.0
As President Barack Obama prepares to release his blueprint for addressing gun violence in the wake of last month's killings of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, PETA has sent him a letter, copying Vice President Joe Biden, with a simple request: Stop pointing to hunting as an example of "responsible" gun ownership. As we explain in our letter, hunting is cruel to the animals who die agonizing and, in many cases, prolonged deaths as well as detrimental to children, who should never be encouraged to hurt or kill animals, since it hardens them to the suffering of others.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing on behalf of
PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters to ask you, as you
prepare your statements this week on gun violence, to reconsider your defense
of hunting and shooting animals for sport as a justification for gun ownership.
In a news conference five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary
School, you stated that "the vast majority of gun owners in America are
responsible—they buy their guns legally, and they use them safely,
whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection." Yet
there is nothing "responsible" about making a sport out of killing,
about hunting, or about teaching children to hunt. As the mother of a child in
elementary school, I cannot imagine telling my son that killing for fun is
wrong when the victim is a human but perfectly acceptable when the target is a
member of another species, say, a deer or a dove. Children must be taught that
all gun violence is wrong, no matter how different from them the victim appears
This mixed message to
children can result in deadly consequences for humans as well as for other
living beings. Often, we hear of a killer who, as a child, first enjoyed
stalking and hunting
or torturing and killing animals in other ways. And
hunting can indeed be torture. Many hunting victims are injured but not
immediately killed, leaving them to endure prolonged, agonizing deaths. So
while a ban on hunting may not be in our immediate future, a change in tone
could easily be had with a stroke of your speechwriter's pen.
Americans' views are
evolving on many issues, from same-sex marriage to gun control, and the time is
right to reconsider the dangerous message that the practice of killing animals
for fun is acceptable and should even be protected. The tragedy that our nation
experienced in December presents a perfect opportunity to speak out against gun
violence of every kind. In your news conference today [January 14], you
should we be doing to make sure our children are safe and reduce incidents of
gun violence?" And you went on, "If there
is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in
Newtown, we should take that step." Supporting hunting not only
promotes violence to animals but also puts our children at risk by teaching
them that taking aim at a living creature is nothing but sport. Either our country is against senseless violence and
slaughter, or it isn't. Please do the right thing. Thank you for your time and
Executive Vice President
Written by PETA
Could the Brosnans be any kinder? First, Pierce helped homeless animals by designing a spay-and-neuter license plate, and now Pierce and his wife, Keely, are leading a truly vigorous international effort to make sure that the worldwide ban on whaling—which is now in jeopardy—remains intact. The ban has been in effect since 1986, but the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is considering lifting it if the three countries (Japan, Iceland, and Norway) that are currently ignoring the ban will reduce the number of whales they kill each year. In short, the IWC is proposing to reward these countries for their continued whaling during the international moratorium.
In the weeks leading up to the IWC's vote on this issue, more than 144 scientists and experts have signed a petition urging the IWC to keep the ban on whaling. Pierce has also made this heartfelt plea to the Obama administration not to support a proposed plan that would allow Japan, Iceland, and Norway to continue killing whales while the moratorium is in place: Please, listen and act: The time is now!
Join Pierce, Keely, and other compassionate people who are working to save whales by urging President Obama to take a strong stand against the slaughter of these animals. Call and fax, and get everyone you know to do the same—this minute. If we can't save the whales, what hope is there for other animals?
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
While U.S. residents watch and worry about the oil spill, a different kind of oceanic nightmare is brewing, one that will cause immense suffering and death for countless whales for many years to come.
On June 20, the International Whaling Commission will meet in Morocco to vote on a proposal to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway, and Iceland—the three countries that have pretty much thumbed their noses at the ban. The Obama administration backs the lifting of the ban. Anyone who knows anything about the history of the ban—which has slashed the killing from somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 whales a year to between 1,200 and 1,700—is outraged that the president is going back on his election pledge to strengthen a ban and instead throwing the country's might behind lifting it.
We know some fascinating things about whales: Humpbacks create "bubble-netting" by blowing a stream of bubbles to surround their prey, and females form long-lasting friendships with each other. Many people know that sperm whales have the biggest brains of any living being, but did you know that they're able to dive more than a mile? Or that they communicate by clicking? Or that some scientists believe that sperm whales "are so self-aware that they might have begun to evolve a concept of religion."
We also know that if the whaling ban is lifted, whale families will be torn apart as more are slaughtered. Act now to help animals: Politely tell President Obama that you oppose the cruel slaughter of sentient beings. Then prove it by going vegan if you haven't already.
Written by Karin Bennett
Just about everyone has an opinion on who President Obama should nominate to the Supreme Court. Should the nominee be a mother? Should religion be a factor?
I say appoint a vegan for the post. A vegan Supreme Court justice would be another historic first and a clear indication that our nation is continuing to progress.
Cass Sunstein, the president's pick for "regulatory czar" of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, supports strong animal protection laws and has encouraged people to reduce animal suffering by refusing to eat meat.
By putting a vegan on the bench, President Obama could help discourage animal abuse and bring about a more equitable society. We'd likely see more factory-farm and slaughterhouse workers held accountable for stomping on turkeys, hitting pigs with metal rods, or dismembering cows while they're still conscious.
All decent people, including conservatives such as Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for President Bush and author of Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy, believe that animals should be treated justly. A vegan Supreme Court justice could help ensure that there truly is justice for all.
Written by Heather Moore
President Obama's decision to allow oil and gas drilling along the East Coast isn't sitting well with some politicians and environmentalists, who worry that new infrastructure and possible oil spills will harm the environment and animals. But there's a bigger culprit: factory farming.
More than one-third of all the fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food, and factory-farm waste lagoons are a leading source of water pollution in the U.S. People can best help conserve resources, save the environment, and save animals' lives by kicking the meat and dairy addiction. To spread the word, PETA has asked the Department of the Interior to "dress up" oil rigs with educational banners and to serve only vegan meals aboard the drilling rigs.
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.