Written by PETA
If you were paying attention to the news yesterday, you may have seen quite a few stories about PETA—apparently, we were quite busy!
The biggest story came from NPR, which reported on our efforts to save animals from the humiliation of having losing sports teams named after them. Our joint effort with the Humane Society, "Stop Teams Everywhere From Animal Mascots (STEAM)," has reportedly supported legislation in Michigan, Maryland, and Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Tor.com discussed our indecision regarding the Furry community (Animal-friendly? Unfriendly? Too-friendly?), and Aero-News.net announced our intention to seek $250,000 in damages (as well as an apology) for the geese killed in the "Miracle on the Hudson."
Our friends at ecorazzi highlighted Al Gore's new and non-environmentally-hypocritical line of organic vegan frozen foods—first up, "Al Gore's Vegan Nubs." And Groovy Vegetarian lamented the sad news that our president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, was caught chowing down on a Burger King Whopper.
Now, come on, people, you didn't really believe any of these stories, did you? I mean, everybody knows that we'd ask for way more than $250,000 … I kid, I kid. So, yes—we found ourselves the subject of a number of April Fool's jokes. And don't worry, we had our share of the fun too. C'mon—squirrel underpants? Pheromone-fueled hunter-targeting snake attacks? A Photoshop job this bad on a PETA ad?
I hope you all knew better than to fall for that one!
Written by Amanda Schinke
Check out this van:
This van is our Animal Birth Control (ABC) mobile spay-and-neuter clinic. And do you know what makes it even snazzier? It's just one of the low- to no-cost mobile veterinary clinics that we operate. Our other one, SNIP (Spay/Neuter Immediately, Please!), performed our 50,000th sterilization surgery today in Hampton Roads. And, if you add in all the other surgeries that we pay private vet clinics to perform, that means that way more than 50,000 animals have benefited from the free and low-cost services that we offer inside that van. It's seen more surgeries than my car has miles!
But it's not just the van. You need people to operate on patients. Our SNIP staff members are out of bed early, every day of the week, trying to make a dent in the animal overpopulation crisis, and they are doing a great job. By performing those 50,000 surgeries, they have saved 116,660 puppies and kittens from being born into a world that would otherwise cast them away.
Take a look at just a few of the lives they have affected:
We are super-proud of our SNIP staffers, and I hope you'll leave a comment congratulating them for all their hard work.
Written by Shawna Flavell
If you have a flight scheduled into or out of Seattle-Tacoma airport, congratulations. You'll be in the good hands of the most progressive airport in the nation.
When thinking airplane safety, most airports don't do a whole lot to take into consideration all the birds who are forced to share their airspace with us—which results in 7,000 to 8,000 bird strikes (i.e., dead birds) reported to the Federal Aviation Administration every year. Seattle-Tacoma airport is doing its part to reduce those numbers. And, no, this isn't because of that famous splash-down on the Hudson.
Seattle-Tacoma uses several techniques in its fight to keep birds (and humans) safe. A staff wildlife biologist, who has been there for 30 years, uses radar to detect birds who may intercept flights. Once birds are detected, the airport uses lasers to try to scare them away, and if the lasers don't work, it uses "thunderclap" fireworks. With an animal-friendly lightshow like that, it's no wonder that we're awarding Sea-Tac our Most Progressive Airport Proggy.
This has me thinking about other ways that airports can save animals. Don't you think that they should take PETA up on some of our ideas?
Finally. After PETA has spent the past 10 years hammering away at the Environmental Protection Agency over its absurdly archaic, repetitive, and wasteful—not to mention cruel—chemical-toxicity tests on animals, the agency has at last released a strategic plan for improving toxicity testing that basically says, "Yeah, what PETA said."
OK, that's not exactly what it says, but the report is very encouraging, nonetheless. What it does say is that the current testing programs, which rely largely on animal tests, are costly, time-consuming, and basically not up to the task of accurately and adequately assessing the toxicity of tens of thousands of chemicals.
As the Boston Globe wrote just this week, even many researchers are now acknowledging that animal research "isn't even the best science" and that "[r]eplacing animals with human tissue has already proven to be [a] good business bet."
So, the EPA is now proposing a new "paradigm" that focuses on computer models, molecular biology, and cell cultures, using data from the human genome project, clinical trials, exposure assessments, and other technologies that the EPA calls "new"—even though many of them have been around for more than a decade now. Some of the technologies are even being developed at the EPA!
Here's a direct quote from the report: "The overall goal of this strategy is to provide the tools and approaches to move from a near exclusive use of animal tests for predicting human health effects to a process that relies more heavily on in vitro assays, especially those using human cell lines."
Can I hear an "Amen"?
The new EPA report is based on the findings of a National Research Council report released in 2007 that said essentially the same thing. This makes sense, because the EPA actually commissioned that report—though it's taken the agency nearly two years to evaluate the report's findings. What can we say? The wheels of justice grind slowly.
Now, if we can just get all parts of the EPA to act on its own report, we'll be getting somewhere. I say that because, just yesterday, PETA research associate Joe Manuppello testified at a hearing (which we called for) about proposed high production volume chemical tests that would kill another 10,000 animals. The proposed tests involve 15 chemicals, including sorbic acid (a naturally occurring fatty acid), castor oil, and oxalic acid, all of which are already known to be either safe or extremely toxic, based on years of experience and existing data from previous tests. At that hearing, we pointed out that the tests contradicted the EPA's own strategic plan as well as the basic animal welfare principles that the agency put into effect 10 years ago (under pressure from PETA). Those principles state that chemicals should not be retested if sufficient data already exist concerning the safety or toxicity of a chemical. According to all reports, the EPA officials found Joe's testimony riveting. (You have to wonder—if PETA can find the data, why can't the EPA? Is it just a matter of caring enough to find it?)
EPA, you're moving in the right direction. Now we just need all parts of your agency to walk the talk. Until you do, you can bet that we'll be pushing you every step of the way.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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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.