Written by Michelle Kretzer
in Flushing might be blushing today. Public School (P.S.) 244 in that Queens
neighborhood in New York did something royally kind to animals by becoming the country's first all-vegetarian traditional
public school, so PETA's humane-education
division, TeachKind, is giving the school its Compassionate School
P.S. 244, going vegetarian
was an easy decision
because the school has incorporated healthy eating and living habits into its curricula for
years. Other schools in the district are considering adopting meat-free menus,
too, depending on the success of P.S. 244's program. And if the students' and
parents' reactions are any indication, cruelty-free meals are a hit. As one
9-year-old charmingly put it, "It's much more healthier. It helps to make
our bodies stronger."
P.S. 244 has inspired you to make a school in your area kinder, check out TeachKind's plethora of free
lesson plans and materials.
Written by Jeff Mackey
We're tickled countless shades of pink to report that NYX Cosmetics has affirmed its commitment to producing 100 percent cruelty-free cosmetics by pledging not to sell its products in China until animal tests are no longer required there for makeup and personal-care items. To applaud the company's commendable choice to stay out of this large consumer market so that not even one animal will be harmed for its products, PETA has given NYX Cosmetics our Courage in Commerce Award.
We hope NYX won't have to wait too long before marketing in China. Thanks to training and outreach partially funded by PETA, China is poised to begin accepting its first-ever in-vitro (non-animal) test for cosmetics ingredients soon. In the meantime, though, the only way into the Chinese cosmetics market is over the dead bodies of animals.
Unlike corporations that sell out animals in hopes of a larger market share (or refuse to say whether they pay for animal testing or not), NYX Cosmetics and other principled cosmetics and personal-care companies, including Paul Mitchell and Urban Decay, are making ethical conduct a top priority, and they deserve our support.
What You Can Do
Ready to change your look? Starting your holiday shopping? Before you hit the stores, make sure you're not buying into cruelty by checking PETA's list of companies that don't test on animals—it's the numero uno resource for up-to-date info on cruelty-free businesses.
Long after Wells Fargo
retired the horses that used to pull its trademark stagecoaches, the bank is
helping animals again. After Wells Fargo executives heard from PETA about how
mice and other animals suffer when they are ensnared in glue traps, the bank banned all such vile traps from its 6,200 national locations, earning
itself a a Compassionate Company Award and a big box of vegan chocolate mice,
which PETA sent to the company's San Francisco headquarters.
Beige Alert | cc by 2.0
PETA explained that mice, birds, and other small
animals struggle to free themselves after being caught in these pans of pain, often
ripping out their fur and feathers and breaking their bones before they
eventually succumb to their injuries or to blood loss, dehydration, shock, suffocation,
or exhaustion. Wells Fargo refused to support such cruelty.
Now three of the Big Four banks (Wells
Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase) as well as 13 of the top 25
financial institutions have pledged never to use glue traps.
Written by PETA
Summer hasn't even officially kicked off, but the folks at the Today show were talking Thanksgiving this morning—or, rather, discussing PETA's Thanksgiving Day public service announcement (PSA), which was just named one of the "Best Commercials of the Year" by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP).
As AICP President and CEO Matt Miller noted, many networks refused to air PETA's PSA—in which an adorable young lady educates her family about the violence on turkey factory farms—but the Today show coverage ensured that millions of viewers saw and heard our "potent message" (Matt Lauer's words).
Curious and caring Today show viewers who are compelled to educate themselves about how turkeys are abused on factory farms and in slaughterhouses just might opt for Tofurky on Thanksgiving Day.
Written by Karin Bennett
Given the escalating violence among young people, it's impossible to understand how anyone can cheer for 12-year-old bullfighter Michel Lagravere, who boasts that he has stabbed seven bulls to death. It's also disturbing that people continue to egg the young man on even after he was recently tossed around by a bull in a Mexican bullfight:
The misguided child walked away with only minor injuries, but that bull's days are still numbered. Bulls don't stand a chance in the arena—especially not when even a 12-year-old is permitted to torture them to death.
Did you know that bulls are physically harmed and provoked before they are let into the arena? They are beaten and sometimes have their horns shaved. Then, surrounded by the screaming crowd, the confused bulls will naturally fight for their lives as men on horses run them in circles and stab them with knives until the animals are dizzy and weakened from blood loss. Finally, the matador comes in for the killing stab when the exhausted bull is already near death.
Please contact Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhán to politely voice your objection to bullfighting and to tell him that you won't be vacationing in Mexico until bullfights are banned for good.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Congratulations to white-hot menswear designer John Bartlett, who just received the American Image Award for Designer of the Year from the American Apparel & Footwear Association. This trendsetting designer is as notable for his compassion as he is for his clothing—he recently announced that he has gone vegan and that the collection that he showed in February will be his last to include leather!
As Bartlett explained, "After working in the fashion industry for over 15 years, I have had a recent awakening of sorts and am committed going forward to discontinue all use of leather. I am very alarmed by the recent resurgence of fur on the runways and will be reaching out to my colleagues about the realities of this horrific aspect of our industry. I am presently working to develop a vegan shoe and accessory line and have gone vegan after discovering the devastating state of factory farming."
And if that's not enough to make you a fan, consider this: When asked by an interviewer what he would do if he weren't a designer, he said he thought that he would be working with dogs in animal shelters. Awwww. Way to go, John!
The following is a post that originally appeared on PETA Prime.
Because of your support, PETA is able to work in local communities, helping individual animals in need. Thousands of animals are helped by PETA's Community Animal Project (CAP) each year. This is the second in a series of posts chronicling the work of CAP—this post is from Amanda Kyle, fieldworker for CAP. The first post can be found here.
As a CAP fieldworker, I was out one day delivering doghouses and straw bedding to dogs who are forced to live outdoors when a passerby alerted me to two semi-feral dogs suffering from severe skin infections. When I stopped by to check on the situation, I found these two frightened puppies living on what appeared to be an abandoned property. They wouldn't let me get close enough to touch them. Both dogs had bloody sores and were missing a lot of hair. No one was home, so I left a note, gave the dogs food, and put straw bedding inside a wooden box that seemed to serve as their "house."
I tried for several days to track down these suffering puppies' guardian—I talked to neighbors and stopped by at different times but could find no one who seemed to know anything. The puppies had been surviving off scraps that neighbors and passersby left for them.
Days later, when I stopped by, this time at night, the temperature was 18 degrees, and the note I left the first day was still on the door. I couldn't leave these puppies out there any longer. I can't even imagine how painful the below-freezing temperatures must have felt on their cracked, bleeding skin. I spent hours trying to catch these poor, frightened puppies, and I finally succeeded in coaxing them into carriers.
A vet determined that they both had a severe case of mange covering about 80 percent of their bodies. Their skin was also badly infected from the bleeding wounds, and they were suffering from a severe hookworm infestation. The vet who examined them gave medications to give them a little relief while we continued our search for the puppies' guardian, but the vet recommended euthanasia because of the severity of their condition. By this time, the two puppies seemed to have realized that my team and I were all there to help, and they warmed up to us quite well. They even let us pet them, so we were able to give them the love and attention that they craved—likely the only time they'd ever received any at all.
While I spent several more days trying to track down a guardian for these pups, another one of our fieldworkers brought the puppies home to stay with her and her two dogs. For those few days, these two sweet pups got to experience things that all dogs deserve to have every day, all their lives—shelter, regular meals, veterinary care, companionship, and compassion.
Even though the puppies were so much better off than when I found them, they were still suffering terribly. The medication gave them only a little relief from the infections that had grown so severe during the months with no medical treatment and poor nutrition. Had I left them where I found them—abandoned, freezing, and hungry—their condition would only have gotten worse and caused them even more pain over the days or weeks before they succumbed to their ailments. They likely would have died a miserable death. Because of their terrible suffering, we took the veterinarian's recommendation of euthanasia and gave these angels a peaceful release from their pain and suffering.
Even though this was such a sad case, I'm so thankful that we got the chance to give these dogs some care and much-needed relief. Part of what is so important about CAP's work is that I get to help animals for whom no other help is available. PETA's spay-neuter clinics are lowering the number of homeless animals in this region so that in the future, all pups (and kittens) will be born into loving homes, not on the streets. Until that day, we won't turn away from those who are in need, even though our hearts break while carrying out this work.
Amanda Kyle goes out into the community every day to rescue and improve the lives of animals in PETA’s own neighborhood.
Move over, Smart car: There's an even smarter car in town. Unlike some so-called "green" carmakers that offer leather seats and trim, Wheego Electric Cars will not use a stitch of cow (or any other) hide in any of its models. That's why we go for Wheego, and we're awarding it our Proggy Award for the Best Green Car Company of 2010.
Including real leather in a car that's touted as "eco-friendly" is pretty fake (yes, we're talking to you, Smart car). Most leather is chrome-tanned, even though the Environmental Protection Agency classifies chromium as a hazardous waste. Studies have also found that groundwater near tanneries is tainted with everything from arsenic and lead to cyanide and PCBs and that human cancer rates are higher in those areas.
If you want to green your ride this Earth Day, why not give leather-free Wheego a spin?
Written by Paula Moore
This is one of those stories that starts off sad, but gets better—I promise!
Earlier this summer, a man in Louisville, Kentucky, threw a puppy off a bridge and into the Ohio River. Kelsey Westbrook, a college student who works part-time at a riverfront restaurant, saw the dog swimming in circles and immediately raced down to the water's edge and helped nearby firefighters guide the dog to safety.
Although Kelsey had originally planned to find a good home for the dog—whom she named Sunny for her loving disposition—the bond between them grew, and Kelsey soon realized that Sunny had become part of her family. So, Kelsey and her other dog—a 2-year-old rescue mix—asked Sunny to stay.
The warm-fuzzies don't stop there. Kelsey has decided to turn the attention she's receiving towards the issue of cruelty to animals. She's organizing a fundraiser at the restaurant next month, and the proceeds will go to local low-income spay-and-neuter clinics. Now that's compassionate. And because Kelsey keeps going that extra mile to help animals in need, we're happy to be sending her a Compassionate Action Award—along with some treats for Sunny, of course.
Written by Amanda Schinke
After much anticipation, the new music video for Modest Mouse's "King Rat" was released this week—and it was worth the wait. The video, which was directed by Heath Ledger, is great not only for its artistry (I am always in favor of a touch of the Gilliam) but also for its message. It highlights cruel (and illegal) whale poaching by depicting a boatload of whales who capture and slaughter a pod of humans.
Our friends at ecorazzi have the whole story, but this wasn't Heath's only foray into whale protection. Heath was also a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society advisory board and, according to ecorazzi, had expressed "extreme interest" in playing the role of Captain Paul Watson in a film about the captain's life and work.
Because so many people have already been touched by this video, we're presenting Heath—care of The Masses, who finished the project he directed—as well as Isaac Brock and the rest of Modest Mouse with Compassionate Artist Awards for opening so many eyes to the violent reality of whaling.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.