Written by Alisa Mullins
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 Michelle Kretzer
One thing wasn't up for debate last
night—PETA's "elephant" turned almost as many heads at the presidential
debate as the motorcades did.
Barack Obama read the elephant's sign and responded with a wave. Mitt Romney likely got the message, too, as he passed by twice. Fox News pundit Juan
Williams took our circus
leaflet and read over it. And Rudy Giuliani and Tom Brokaw checked us out. In addition,
many of the 5,000 members of the media who were there wanted to interview us
and take the elephant's picture.
While our elephant's species might seem
to suggest that she belongs to the GOP, the only party she's concerned with is
the one she'll throw when circuses are no longer allowed to imprison and beat elephants. Help make it a reality for her—go only to circuses that don't use animals.
PETA is dedicated
to stopping the abuse of animals and promoting healthy vegan eating. We take no position in support of or opposition to any
political party or candidate for public office.
Written by PETA
This whale of a tale is true: Dolphin activist
traveled to the White House to thank President Obama for asking Iceland to ban
hunting whales and exporting their meat. Fellow ocean-animal advocates Richard Branson and basketball
legend Yao Ming are calling for a ban
on shark-fin soup
in China, where 95 percent of the cruel fare is served.
Yao Ming isn't the only athlete taking
action for animals. After being vegetarian for four years, Toronto Maple Leaf Mike Zigomanis
has gone vegan as part of his effort to become healthier, stronger, and a
Congratulations to glowing vegan mom Emily Deschanel,
who gave birth last week to her first child, son Henry Hornsby. A rockin'
congrats also goes out to the inimitable Joan Jett for her well-deserved Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
She loves rock and roll … as well as chickens,
Another award we couldn't help but crack
a smile about—furry Kim
was voted the most annoying celebrity. Maybe kind sis Khloe
can teach her how to be more popular.
Speaking of popular—Ellen DeGeneres, Bill Maher, and other celebs helped
make PETA's White House
spay-and-neuter petition one of the first to reach 5,000 signatures and go to the president
for review by tweeting about the dog and cat homelessness crisis. You can join
Ellen, Bill, and many others in sending a strong message about the importance
of spaying and neutering by signing
Written by Michelle Sherrow
© Starmax Inc
Since discovering how much being vegan improved his health, former president Bill Clinton has been belting out praise for plants like he belts out jazz on the saxophone. A new CNN article traces his progression from hamburger-and-fry guy to commander-in-leaf.
Not long after he left office, Clinton's penchant for hamburgers, steaks, and other high-fat foods, coupled with a family history of heart problems, left the ex-president in need of quadruple-bypass surgery, followed by two stents three years later. "I was lucky I did not die of a heart attack," he told CNN.
After Clinton's second surgery, PETA sent him a vegan care package. Then, in spring 2007, PETA Vice President Dan Mathews was seated next to the former President at a dinner party in Las Vegas, and the two spoke at length about the health benefits and ethics of a vegan diet, which Clinton told Mathews had always intrigued him since his daughter Chelsea had been such an articulate vegetarian since she was 10. Mathews followed up by sending Clinton Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. After consulting with Dr. Esselstyn as well as Dr. Dean Ornish and Chelsea, Clinton decided to make the switch to a plant-based diet: "I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette .… So that’s when I made a decision to really change."
So began the era of Bill Clinton, vegan advocate and heart disease survivor. "All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy," he says. We wondered who you think should be the next big political figure to get a smaller figure by going vegan? Will it be Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, or Sarah Palin?
Who do you think should be the next big political figure to go vegan?
Written by Michelle Sherrow
After Al Gore chastised President Obama in a Rolling Stone essay for not being tough enough in combating climate change, PETA, in turn, took the former veep to task for not being tough enough on his own high-carbon diet.
Even though scientific studies show that raising animals for food is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse-gas emissions, Gore continues to chow down on chops. In fact, the official handbook of the Live Earth concerts—which Gore helped organize—acknowledges that abstaining from meat is the "the single most effective thing" you can do to reduce your impact on climate change.
"As you know, going vegan will help reduce animal suffering, your waistline, and your impact on the planet, so it's a win-win situation for everyone," wrote PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a letter to Gore. "After all, it wouldn't do to challenge the president's 'climate of denial' while ignoring your own book's excellent advice."
One of the things that I like most about Michelle Obama (besides her penchant for home-grown veggies and her rockin' biceps) is her sense of style. A fashion icon who has been compared to Jackie O, Michelle O is notably fur-free.
In the hopes of persuading the FLOTUS to banish all skins from her closet, PETA sent her a stylish faux-leather jacket from asos.com.
In a letter accompanying the jacket, we explained how cows raised for their flesh and skin endure branding, dehorning, castration, and tail-docking, all without painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, many are improperly stunned, meaning that they are skinned and dismembered while still conscious.
I look forward to seeing how great the perennially polished patriot looks in her cruelty-free coat and the example that she'll set for stylish and conscientious American women.
Rock icon and animal defender Pink recently fired off a letter to President Obama asking him to find out why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has closed three investigations into serious allegations of cruelty to animals by the Ringling Bros. circus without taking action. The investigations expired because of the statute of limitations—a delay caused by the USDA, the very department that was supposed to be investigating Ringling!
PETA is challenging the Office of General Counsel to reopen these investigations because the following animals suffered and died while in Ringling's "care":
Five years ago, while still serving as a senator, Barack Obama asked the USDA on PETA's behalf for an update on these pending cases and was assured that appropriate action was being pursued.
The lack of action in these investigations is particularly troubling since government officials have already been found to be in cahoots with Ringling.
We're also calling on the USDA to seize four elephant traveling with Ringling right now who are suffering from painful arthritis. Please don't wait to speak out for these animals—they need you now.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
The truth will set you free—free of any chance that you might accidentally buy real fur, that is. President Obama has signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act into law, which now requires that all products containing any animal fur—no matter how little—be labeled by species and country of origin. Under the previous law, manufacturers weren't required to label or identify the fur as real on an article of clothing unless it cost more than $150, leaving people in the dark about whether they were buying real or faux fur.
Just ask Diddy. The music mogul had a "faux no" moment when he recently found out that jackets from his Sean John clothing line that were labeled as having fake trim actually contained raccoon dog fur (insert shudder here).
pkuczynski/CC by 3.0
Speaking of garments made of real fur, I'll leave you with comedian Elayne Boosler's take on the new law: "Congress passes Truth in Fur Labeling Act! From now on, every fur coat will have a label that says, 'This garment being worn by a shallow, narcissistic, selfish creature.'"
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Last night, longtime PETA booster Sir Paul McCartney rocked the White House. He sang "Michelle" to the first lady, and played to a packed crowd of celebs (including fellow PETA pal Emmylou Harris). To cap it all off, President Obama presented him with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Of course, Sir Paul rocks on and off the stage. All about living la vida vegetarían, he's been a driving force behind the international "Meat-Free Monday" campaign. He's also urged Giorgio Armani to go fur-free, gone after KFC, and drummed up support for a worldwide boycott of McDonald's.
So congratulations, Sir Paul, and thanks for everything that you do for animals!
Via Vegetarian Star
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Every year, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, our nation's president "pardons" two of the 46 million turkeys who are set to be slaughtered for holiday meals. And every year, we write to the president asking him to ensure that the turkeys receive the care necessary to give them the lengthy, happy lives that they deserve.
This year, we're asking President Obama to send the birds to a reputable animal sanctuary instead of to Disneyland, where the pardoned birds are traditionally sent—and where they usually die from agonizing genetic defects within a year of finding "freedom." Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary has already agreed to take the turkeys if Obama makes the informed, humane decision to send them there.
We're also urging Obama to recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who personally pardon turkeys every Thanksgiving by choosing a cruelty-free feast for the first family this year. We're even offering them a sure-to-be-succulent vegan holiday meal—all-American vegan apple pie and soy ice cream included.
Saving lives, being healthy, and fighting climate change—you can never have too many things to be thankful for, which is why a vegan Thanksgiving is the best way to celebrate the holiday. Now, pardon me while I plan a menu.
Written by Logan Scherer
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.