Written by Michelle Kretzer
As a global leader in the development of
toxicology tests for chemicals, the MatTek Corporation has made quite a name for itself among government agencies and manufacturers of
all types. But one thing you will never hear the company associated with is animal testing, which is why MatTek has scored a PETA
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
"MatTek is extremely gratified to be recognized
by PETA and appreciates PETA's support in its quest to produce new and improved
in vitro test methods that reduce or eliminate animal testing," said Dr.
Mitch Klausner, MatTek's vice president of scientific affairs. The chemical
engineering professors from MIT who founded the company discovered that by
creating in vitro (test tube) test methods using skin constructs made from
human-derived cells, they could not only save companies money and spare animals but also provide
better protection for humans.
Among the advanced
testing methods that MatTek has created is Epiderm, a 3-dimensional model formed from human skin cells. Epiderm provides scientists
with a superior indicator of how human skin will react to corrosive and
irritating chemicals than the skin of live rabbits does. PETA and PETA UK have
helped get Epiderm into use in laboratories around the world, saving tens of thousands of rabbits
every year from having chemicals
smeared onto their shaved, abraded backs to observe whether the substance burns through or irritates the skin. MatTek
has also developed impressive 3-D, human-cell–derived tissue construct models
to replace the use of animals in eye, inhalation, immune, and other tests.
Because MatTek is making toxicology
testing humane, more reliable, faster, and less expensive, PETA is giving the
company its inaugural Laurie and Carlee McGrath Award, in the amount of $5,000.
The award was made possible by the McGrath Family Foundation, which generously supports
PETA's work to replace
animals in laboratories.
Written by Jeff Mackey
As Hollywood's brightest arrived at last night's Academy
Awards, they were sure to be asked, "Who are you wearing?" But the
real story is who they weren't
wearing since cruelly produced animal fur was noticeably absent from the red carpet once again.
The lovely Anne Hathaway won a well-deserved Oscar for her
heart-rending performance in Les Miserables,
but this vegan superstar is a winner for animals every day. Anne has been turning it out all
through awards season, and this time was no exception, landing solidly on
best-dressed lists in custom
vegan heels from Giuseppe Zanotti. That no animals lost their skin to the leather trade for her look gives us even more reason to cheer the spectacular success that
Anne calls "the
cherry on top of a wonderful, wonderful dish of vegan ice cream."
Although his pro-fish
ad for PETA was deemed too controversial for the Oscar broadcast, Best Actor nominee Joaquin
Phoenix was also on the scene. Indeed, PETA
faves abounded both inside and outside the Dolby Theatre, from Best Actress
nominee and vegan Jessica
Chastain and animal adoption advocate Charlize
Theron (who showed off some impressive
dance skills during the show) to the stunning anti-fur crusader Olivia Munn and a glowing Jenna
Dewan-Tatum. The media stars in attendance included PETA pals Kelly Osbourne and Michael Strahan.
So congratulations to the winners—including the animals who
didn't end up on the shapely shoulders and elegant tootsies of the attendees!
Written by Paula Moore
last night's Golden Globe
Awards, the hot topic on the red carpet was the cold snap in L.A.: Temps had dropped to
37 degrees. But not one of the
nominees (and no other celebrity we could find) wore fur. Hollywood has had quite the animal-friendly makeover over the past generation
with PETA on the scene!
majority of fur today comes from fur farms, where animals slowly go insane from the intense confinement. Many animals on fur farms circle frantically in their
cages, a sign of severe psychological stress.
only was the glitzy event fur-free, it also showcased a few of today's most
vibrant vegans! Jessica
Chastain—PETA's reigning Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity—and previous champ Anne Hathaway nabbed the top actress awards.
to our supporters, PETA just brought home the trophy for Favorite Nonprofit
Animal Organization in the 2012 Veggie Awards! The annual
awards, presented by VegNews Magazine, celebrate "the
very best of all things vegan."
sets PETA supporters apart is that you are determined and committed in the
quest for animal rights. When we let you know that someone is abusing animals,
you e-mail the perps, demonstrate, and write and call the abuser demanding an
end to the cruelty. You speak up, march with us, put on costumes, and even
strip down—whatever it takes to make people pay attention to animal welfare issues.
You proudly sport our shirts
and bumper stickers, proclaiming to everyone
that animals are not ours to use and abuse. You drive out in the middle of the
in the middle of a hurricane—to rescue animals in peril. And you donate
your money to fund undercover
investigations, literature, doghouses, spay-and-neuter surgeries, emergency animal rescues, and everything else
that we do.
You are the reason
that PETA can save as many
animals as we do, so we thank VegNews and you. We are honored to share
the award for Favorite Nonprofit Animal Organization with every one of you.
Written by PETA
Congrats to PETA pals Kyra Sedgwick, Jane Lynch, and Edie Falco for their well-deserved Emmy wins last night. Another big winner was HBO's Temple Grandin, a film about the life of an extraordinary person who has helped reduce the suffering of millions of animals and advocated for autism education. Helping animals is its own reward, but winning a gold statue has to feel good, too!
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
Back in December, we announced the winners of our annual "Proggy" awards, which recognize animal-friendly people, companies, and products. One of those companies is CeeTox, a Michigan firm that develops humane alternatives to cruel and archaic animal tests. Well, the good folks at the Kalamazoo Gazette just did a nice story about CeeTox and the award. Check it out here.
What CeeTox does is so great because many chemical-testing methods still involve pumping substances into animals' stomachs and lungs and dripping chemicals into animals' eyes or onto their raw, shaved skin. CeeTox, by contrast, uses in-vitro (test tube) toxicity screening to test drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and consumer products. This enables research and development organizations to assess the toxicity of chemicals using pioneering and humane cell-based technology.
Besides being kind to animals, these modern, non-animal tests are cheaper, faster, and more accurate. What's not to like? Well, unfortunately, the wheels of progress grind slowly at the EPA, which lags far behind European authorities in validating modern test methods. But thanks to the work of CeeTox and other companies like it, it's becoming obvious that animal testing is long overdue for the old heave-ho.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Is your sweetie sweet on animals? Don't say that we at the PETA Files never gave you anything. Check out these Cupid-approved, cruelty-free gifts from PETA's catalog:
But wait—there's more! If you order $40 or more worth of goodies before Monday at PETACatalog.org, enter the promotion code VALFB, and you'll get $5 off. Consider it a Valentine's Day present to yourself.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Last fall, PETA announced a partnership with Helium.com, a site that promotes the open exchange of ideas—something we're all for.
Now we're taking it to a new level. Announcing—drum roll please—the PETA Citizen Journalism Award! Each month, we'll name a title. All you have to do is write an article based on that title. If we think yours makes the best case, not only will you win a customized award plus a $50 gift certificate that you can use to snag swag from the PETA catalog but we'll also feature your article right here on The PETA Files. That's a pretty big deal, right? (Please say yes—those of us who post here have such fragile egos!)
To give you a head start, this month's title is "Would you eat animal-stem-cell–grown 'clean meat' to protect animals and the environment?" If you don't quite get what that's about, be sure to read about our $1 million challenge first. If you need more information to help you write your article, there's a ton of useful, fascinating stuff on GoVeg.com.
One of our most popular anti-fur slogans here at PETA is “Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people”. And we’ve got some great ads to back it up. But the pictures that have been circulating of Aretha Franklin at the Grammy awards last week don’t even really need the tagline to drive that point home. She looks like a walrus in a cat costume. Except, like, nowhere near as cute as that sounds.
Here’s the note that PETA VP Dan Mathews sent to Aretha, who got all in a tizzy yesterday about the fact that Beyonce called Tina Turner “the Queen” and not her.
Dear Aretha-Music lovers may think of you as a "queen," but to animal lovers, you are a court jester. I'm sorry, Aretha, but your furs make you look like a clown. Why not shed the old-fashioned look that adds pounds to your frame and detracts from your beautiful voice? Won't you donate your furs to the poor as "queen of compassion," Mariah Carey, did? You'll get a tax credit for the donation, and we at PETA will all sing your praises.Dan MathewsVP, PETA
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.