Written by PETA
Yesterday was the official first day of summer, but PETA's Web site has been scorching for days, thanks to our Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity contest. We're into the final heat—voting ends this Wednesday, June 23—so if you haven't weighed in, don't let those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer get you just yet. Put the pedal to the metal and vote now to help us choose this year's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity. Here are some of the current frontrunners:
I know it's tough to choose just one man and one woman, but if I can do it, so can you. My personal faves: The Howard Stern Show cohost with the infectious laugh, ravishing Robin Quivers, and the achingly handsome actor Joaquin Phoenix. Now go cast your vote for two sexy veggie celebrities to help us decide the Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2010.
Written by Karin Bennett
*We all know that you can't be a meat-eater and call yourself an environmentalist.
Last fall, a jury found Sholom Rubashkin, former Agriprocessors CEO, guilty on 86 federal financial fraud charges. Now, a judge in the case has announced that Rubashkin will be sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $31 million in restitution!
This is the culmination of a long, sordid history of financial crimes at the plant as well as violations against humans and animals dating back to PETA's original undercover investigation in 2004.
This undercover investigation exposed that Agriprocessors was hacking out the tracheas and esophagi of cattle immediately after the kosher slaughter cut, when the animals were still conscious and able to feel pain. Many animals remained conscious for prolonged periods, some even struggling to their feet in agony three minutes after their throats were cut, their organs dangling from their necks.
Dr. Temple Grandin, the world's leading slaughterhouse expert, called this "the most disgusting thing [she'd] ever seen." The USDA agreed with PETA and cited Agriprocessors for "engaging in acts of inhumane slaughter." Sholom Rubashkin tried to defend these egregious methods, but PETA undercover investigations in both 2007 and 2008 caught his facilities again performing dressing procedures on conscious animals. Dr. Grandin said, "The undercover video clearly showed that when they think nobody is looking, they do bad things in this plant."
At least Sholom Rubashkin will not have the opportunity to harm any more animals for the next 27 years.
Written by Shawna Flavell
You may remember that a couple of months ago we blogged about Daniel Bryan, an up-and-coming vegan wrestler in the WWE. Bryan was making waves and had even defeated one of the WWE's top superstars, The Miz. But in a controversial decision that has outraged fans, stars, and wrestling legend Shawn Michaels, Daniel Bryan was fired from the company.
Now, there's a grassroots movement to bring him back, and PETA is tossing our name in the ring in support. Check out the letter we just sent to WWE CEO Vince McMahon, and send a polite comment to the WWE asking it to bring Daniel Bryan back!
Written by Chris Holbein, manager of PETA's Special Projects Division (and resident WWE super-fan)
Actor Seth Rogen has played freaks, geeks, and police, but in my opinion his recent "role" reading the children's book The Story of Ferdinand (commonly called Ferdinand the Bull) to a group at The Colburn School in Los Angeles was his best yet. This book is about a bull named Ferdinand who reasonably wants to smell the flowers instead of being stabbed to death in a bullfighting arena.
Of course, back in 1936 when the book was written, sensibilities were of the "kill 'em and hang 'em on the wall" variety, so author Munro Leaf didn't go into detail about how bulls who are used in bullfighting are beaten and sometimes have their horns shaved (to keep them off-balance) before they are let into the ring. Because this is a book for kids, Leaf also didn't mention that bulls are repeatedly stabbed with knives (called banderillas) until they are dizzy, weakened from blood loss, and suffering agonizing pain. Even though the goal is to kill the bulls, they are often still conscious when their ears and tails are cut off as trophies and they are dragged from the ring.
There's no question that bulls would rather be doing anything other than becoming victims of bullfights. Take a minute to speak up for bulls by signing this petition to end the Running of the Bulls.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
"I am not a guinea pig." That's the ironic name of the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) new campaign to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). I say "ironic" because, as the EDF itself points out in a blog post debuting the campaign, humans are not guinea pigs. And yet the very thing that EDF is relentlessly promoting is a never-ending list of chemical toxicity tests on guinea pigs and other unfortunate animals—despite the fact that humans do not respond to chemicals in the same ways that guinea pigs (or mice, rats, or dogs) do.
The EDF says that it wants a policy that "protects all Americans from toxic chemicals." If that were the case, surely it would be working hand-in-hand with PETA to try to reduce the number of chemical tests that are conducted on animals and to replace those tests with modern alternatives that are faster, cheaper, more efficient, and more useful in ensuring protection of people and the environment.
If you really want to protect all Americans from toxic chemicals (and I would argue that that includes animals who spend their lives suffering in American laboratories), take a moment to urge your congressional representative to support TSCA reform that requires the use of humane and scientifically superior non-animal tests.
Written by Alisa Mullins
There's nothing to celebrate about how elephants are treated in the circus: They are constantly beaten with sharp bullhooks, electro-shocked, whipped, and kept chained for days on end. But we can honor these beleaguered animals by speaking out and using our materials—from comic books to videos—to spread the word far and wide in order to get others to avoid circuses that use animals.
June 24 is "Remember an Elephant" Day. Tie a string around your finger and wear it all day. When people ask what the string is for, tell them about how elephant babies are taken away from their loving mothers and "broken" by being tied down by all four legs and beaten. Remind your friends, family, and coworkers that every ticket bought to a circus that uses animals perpetuates that cruelty. Show our video to someone with kids, and encourage him or her to join you in remembering elephants on this special day.
Elephants never forget, but people quickly do. Head over to Facebook to RSVP for the event, and don't forget to check out our cool new T-shirts and other good stuff that will help you educate others all year long!
One of our top activists has just been arrested for participating in an anti-circus demonstration in Dallas. Her crime? You tell us, Dallas P.D.! No one will even tell us why she was arrested! Watch the action for yourself:
Thanks to Animal Connection of Texas for capturing this on video, and hang in there, Meggan! We'll update you as soon as we know more.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
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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.