Written by PETA
Ask a million different people what happiness is, and you might get a million different answers. Happiness is … a warm dog. A choice. A girls' night out.
Now animal agriculture proponents are talking about launching an ad campaign boasting, "Happiness is a dead animal." That's right—the communications "whiz" who proposed the slogan has got people arguing that it's high time "to take a positive approach and tell [the public] to go ahead, eat that dead cow, it's OK."
Wow. I mean, wow.
When farm operators and immature steak addicts are done yucking it up about this ad campaign, they'll still have trouble explaining how "it's OK" that downed cows are left to languish for days; that male baby chicks, who are "useless" to the egg industry, are ground up alive; and that farm workers get away with kicking, stomping on, and otherwise abusing animals. Good luck telling that umpteenth heart attack victim's weeping wife and children how "it's OK" that all those bacon cheeseburgers helped make their loved one obese and unhealthy and his ticker to conk out at 50 years young.
We're not concerned that this ad campaign will actually get the green light. Oh, no, no, no. That's not it at all. We've already seen this type of sophomoric pro-meat push on T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. Yawn. Been there, done that.
At this point, the biggest concern we have about this moronic ad campaign is that they'll decide not to run it. Someone might figure out that farm operators will have an even tougher time convincing anyone—from Jane Doe to legislators—that they care one bit about the animals in their charge if they announce to the world that they believe "Happiness is a dead animal."
Written by Karin Bennett
You may have heard about this already: KFC is offering to fund pothole repair in five U.S. cities in exchange for ads promoting the decomposing bird bits that the company sells at its fast-food outlets.
KFC even hired a Colonel Sanders lookalike for the kickoff of the program in its hometown of Louisville.
KFC might concentrate instead on improving conditions for the chickens it abuses, but it won't, so we're offering to double the money that KFC offered the City of Louisville—if the city will use our ads against KFC cruelty on its potholes instead. After all, drivers have a right to hear the chickens' side of the story—and it isn't pretty.
Written by Jeff Mackey
As anyone who's seen our Super Bowl commercial can attest, we know a good ad when we see one. We can also spot a bad advertisement, and when we do, we're not shy about sharing our feelings. Every time we see that a company has incorporated a negative—or positive—message about animals into an ad, we immediately contact it with a nomination for our annual Litterbox or Glitterbox awards. We've sifted through the finalists, and we're excited to announce 2008's winners. Drum roll, please …
In the Litterbox category, for ads that stink:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Levi Strauss & Co., for exploiting an orangutan in its recent viral video. Undercover investigations at primate training facilities reveal that trainers rip baby great apes away from their mothers and kick, punch, and beat them in order to force them to perform confusing and uncomfortable "tricks" that they don't understand.
The Silver Scoop goes to … Kansas City International Airport, for its use of a chimpanzee, Kenzie, in an ad that never should have made it off the ground. Chimpanzees can live to be more than 60 years old, but by the age of 8, they become too strong to be handled and are often discarded at roadside zoos, where they can languish in squalor for decades.
And the Bronze Scoop goes to … Citigroup for featuring a live elephant in its commercial "Safari," which showed an elephant sitting on the hood of a family's rental car. Animal trainers want you to think that elephants are treated with love and care, but if that were the truth, don't you think that elephant trainers would be carrying bags of peanuts instead of bullhooks?
Now, for the best ads of the year:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Bridgestone and its ad agency the Richards Group for a charming commercial showing that—thanks to dependable tires—animals don't have to be the victims of drivers' love for the open road. Cars kill an estimated 1 million animals every day in the U.S. alone.
The Silver Scoop goes to … ADT and its ad agency W.B. Doner & Company for showing that the company's Fire Protection Program saves human and animal lives. Dogs are part of the family for about 45 percent of Americans, and it's important to make sure that we take all the necessary steps to protect animals in emergencies.
The Bronze Scoop goes to … Architex International, for an ad promoting the company's authentic faux-leather line, which features four cows and the tagline "Hey, it's no skin off our backs." As if producing this excellent cruelty-free product wasn't enough, Architex goes above and beyond in this ad to let consumers know why faux is the only way to go.
Here's hoping that all companies decide to follow the lead of progressive companies like Bridgestone, ADT, and Architex International and think outside the "litterbox" with their new ads in 2009. We'll be watching.
Written by Liz Graffeo
We approached Spirit Airlines about buying ad space for our G-rated and quite cute "Let Birds Keep Their Wings" ad, which promotes going vegetarian. After Spirit offered us some bogus reasons for rejecting the ad (too small a buy, it only accepts industry ads), we got to the bottom of it. Spirit admitted that it just doesn't want to work with us at all, period. It would rather carry on irritating its flight attendants and captains with ads that have caused a staff uproar for featuring specials for "Double D's," "Red Light Specials," and a "MILF Sale." See our proposed ad below:
We have sent a letter to Patricia Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants–Communications Workers of America, asking for support. We figure that most flight attendants would prefer not to have to deal with heart-attacks that may be linked to meat-heavy diets anyway.
Written by Lianne Turner
Going green is on everyone's mind lately—but unfortunately, Indiana is having trouble in that area because of a severe shortage of another type of green …
Basic recycling programs have come under the budget-cutting ax. But don't go grey over it: We've got a suggestion that could save our Hoosier cousins from a real trash flow problem.
We've written to Thomas Easterly, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, offering to pay to put creative advertising all over the state's recycling trucks. Check out our letter to Mr. Easterly here.
PETA's point is that in addition to causing immense suffering to animals, meat production is the leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions and contributes to other forms of pollution such as depletion of aquifers and pollution of waterways. But a picture is worth a thousand words, so check this out:
Written by Christine Doré
San Juan Capistrano has its swallows and Austin has its bats, but who knew that Singer Island, Florida, has its sharks? Lifeguards have reported seeing a thousand sharks this week off just one beach during the sharks' annual migration south. (Check out this video footage that some surfers shot of a spinner shark leaping and twirling out of the water just a few yards away. Da-yum!)
The enormous number of sharks has forced the beaches to close—but they've also drawn a swarm of gawkers and media cameras. And you have to know that wherever gawkers and media cameras can be found, PETA can't be far away. Yup, we've hired a plane to fly up and down the oceanfront tomorrow bearing the message, "Sharks aren't the only dangerous predators. Go vegetarian."
Every year, more than 50 million sharks and billions of other sea animals are killed and eaten by human beings—in contrast, fewer than a dozen people worldwide were killed by sharks last year. Many species of sharks and other fish have been decimated by overfishing—it's estimated that 29 percent of fish species have "collapsed," or declined by 90 percent over the past 50 years.
That's why we're making the case that the world's most dangerous predators aren't in the water at all—they're lined up at the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Sorry to burst happy bubbles everywhere, but here's the downer: Viagra is not always effective. Up to 40 percent of men who take Viagra report no result at all. We firmly believe that no one should have to live an unsatisfying life. If you're looking for a good time in the bedroom, you can improve your satisfaction tenfold by making a few simple changes in the kitchen.
Obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, prostate cancer, and hormonal imbalances are just some of the health problems that cause male impotency. Ditching artery-clogging meat and dairy products—and eating a diet rich in leafy greens, fruits, and grains—will lift your mood, get you back into action, and get your blood pumping to all the right locations.
So whether you're a wannabe manly man or a wannabe Mata Hari, pick up a banana and put down the prescription pills. Vegetarians do make better lovers. And you know what else we make? Some pretty darn cool ads! Here are PETA's top 10 impotence ads:
10. A Vegetarian Lover Gives You Something to Wake Up For—Last night was great, but there's nothing like rekindling the fire with some morning wood.
9. Rude Food—Nothing compares to hooking up with a really, really hot dish …
8. Santa's Not Coming This Christmas—Ho, ho—oh no! "Jolly St. Nick" can't get his jollies 'cuz milk's made his mojo a no-go.
7. Kevin Eubanks Vegetarian Testimonial—The juicy confessional of a former "World's Sexiest Vegetarian"
6. I Threw a Party but the Meat-Eaters Couldn't Come—Leaving a beautiful girl in a red-white-and-blue bikini standing there holding a limp sausage? Well, that's just un-American!
5. Tofu Wrestling—Everyone knows that ladies love extra-firm soy and extra-firm boys. Here's proof that tofu is so freakin' cool that bikini-clad beauties will wrestle over it in a kiddy pool.
4. Three Stages of a Wiener—Three more reasons to skip the wieners for a watermelon salad
3. PETA's Make-Out Tour—Who can turn away from a sexy couple engaged in some passionate PDA on the pavement? Plus, it's got a much better soundtrack than that annoying "Viva Viagra" song.
2. Eating Meat Got You Down?—It takes a "stiff" competitor to bed a babe. There's nothing sadder than when a guy realizes he just can't keep up with the "Johnsons" anymore.
1. Sexy Sausage Ad (Director's Cut)—In a business where talent is measured in inches, what's a porn director to do when his meat-head star goes soft? Luckily, a hot vegan guy shows up to turn this Super Bowl party into a sausage fest.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
OK, there are tons of perks when it comes to working for PETA. I'm talking cool coworkers, a kick-ass cause, a vegan vending machine, and a multi-office building with lots and lots of windows overlooking the Elizabeth River. But as is often the case, every perk comes with a price. And I'm not just talking about the small fortune I've invested in Twizzlers (I wish I could quit you, vending machine!). I'm talking about having HUGE windows. Honestly, we love birds, but we really, really don't want them to literally crash our meetings.
You see, we PETA folks like our views, but unlike a lot of other offices, we also care about how our feathered friends view us. Luckily, some of those cool coworkers I was bragging about earlier have come up with some pretty tight tactics to keep birds from colliding with windows, and we urge you to implement them not only at home (if there's a problem there) but also at work (if there's a problem there):
1. Play detective. Are there certain windows in your home or office that attract more collisions than others? A little detective work goes a long way in helping you determine which windows to focus on.
3. Decorate with decals. We highly recommend clear decals that reflect ultraviolet light, which is visible to birds and allows them to steer clear and stay safe. If you're more of a DIYer, bust out some "MacGyver" ingenuity and use tape, adhesive film, or other items on your windows to make them more visible.
4. Explore all your options! Look for ways to cover the maximum amount of surface area outside your window. We went with window tinting after putting interns on our balconies with glow sticks didn't pan out (they left work and went dancing instead).
5. Avoid a "dine and crash" situation. Place birdfeeders and nest boxes at least 30 feet away from windows or within 2 to 3 feet of them.
6. Help our feathered friends. If you find a bird who is dazed and confused (face it, we've all been there), put some gloves on and place the bird somewhere safe and quiet to recover for an hour or two. According to our wildlife expert extraordinaire Tori, they can normally be cleared for takeoff after a brief rest and quick eval.
7. Be prepared if the birdie doesn't bounce back. If your patient requires more medical attention, call animal control (have the number handy BEFORE something happens, and know what action to take for after-hours emergencies). If animal control can't help, they should be able to refer you to a wildlife center, rehabber, or veterinarian who can. And remember, it's illegal in most states to try to rehab a wild animal yourself, so you MUST take him or her to one of these places.
Posted by Amy Elizabeth
So PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has sent a letter to Sen. Barack Obama and his family stressing this very point—and urging them to adopt a "pound pup," or Great American Mutt, rather than buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store.
In her letter, Ingrid says, "Senator, no one needs to tell you that this country is proud to be a melting pot and that there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog. Millions of Great American Mutts—the dog that should be our national dog—are set to die in our nation's extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes. When you are ready, please adopt a homeless pound puppy—a grateful refugee from a society that has not always treated the true "underdog" kindly—rather than cater to special interests who do not have dogs' interests at heart."
Let me break it down for you: Mutts want to live in a good home, eat good food, and live with responsible, loving, patient caretakers just as much as any purebred dog does. It doesn't take a genius to see that if we as Americans were treated the same way that we treat mutts—essentially, ourselves in the dog world—then we'd all be locked up, wasting away in cages, and hoping for someone to take us for "walkies." If we can't be true to mutts, then we can't be true to ourselves.
Note: PETA supports animal rights and opposes animal neglect and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
Move over, National Garden Week! Out of the way, Waffle Week (OK, maybe you can stay). And get off my lawn, all you prevention and awareness weeks. This is the coolest week ever … Shark Week! Catch this (geddit?): The Discovery Channel's Shark Week is back for its 21st year, and I am pumped. When else do you get a whole week of programming dedicated to these pointy-toothed wonders?
Shark Week has another purpose, though, besides just being scary (which it totally is). Shark Week's programs teach viewers that shark populations on the coast of the Eastern U.S. declined by 80 percent in the '70s and '80s because of shark fishing for "sport" and steak.
Sharks are hunted not only because of the high price fetched by their teeth, jaws, and fins but also because of their reputation as human-killers.
True, an average of 10 humans die each year because of shark attacks. However, this is nothing compared to the 100 million sharks (and billions of other sea animals) killed by humans every year—so that humans can eat them.
When you think about the painful way that all fish are slaughtered for fun and food—suffocated, crushed to death, and cut open alive—shark attacks really don't seem all that unprovoked, do they?
On that note, check out our new billboard. It's going up in the cities that see the most shark attacks:
For more information on sharks and fishing, please visit FishingHurts.com—and watch Shark Week! I will!
Posted by Amanda Schinke
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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.