Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA has asked the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to open a
criminal investigation after as many as 70 animals endured prolonged agony and died
in the October 6 crash of a cattle transport truck container in Seattle. The
request also urges WSP to bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport
charges against the person or people responsible if criminal actions are
In a jarring reminder that the trucks used to transport farmed animals are no less cruel and treacherous than the factory farms and slaughterhouses that
they travel between, the cattle container came unhinged on Interstate 90 and slid
200 yards along the road when the driver, hauling for J & H Express, Inc.,
rounded a curve. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and
hooves, which were stuck in the container's grated sides. Photos by WSP
responders reveal cattle piled on top of one another and covered with feces.
The animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care.
About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours
of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Washington,
where at least 20 of the injured were reportedly discovered to have died. The
driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP
personnel found that he had "failed to lock down all four corners" of
the container given that two of its locking pins "had no damage or marking
According to Washington law, inflicting needless suffering on
an animal through recklessness or criminal negligence or failing to provide one's
animals with necessary medical attention constitutes second-degree cruelty to
animals if the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain. State
law also makes it clear that causing animals to be transported in a way that
jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is a misdemeanor.
Even without the flagrant and possibly illegal actions that
lead to truck accidents (which happen frequently) and the misery that they
cause, transport is hell on animals, who are often beaten or shocked to get
them to cram into the trailer of the 18-wheeler. During the trip, they are
often deprived of food and water for the entire journey, which may take days.
They suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer and freeze to the sides of the
truck in winter, and they're forced to inhale diesel exhaust and ammonia fumes
from their own waste—if they can breathe at all. After the trauma of the farm
and the truck, many animals are so ill or injured that they're unable to stand
and walk on their own, so they're kicked or dragged off the trucks to their
From birth to slaughter, the life of every animal used for
food is a long procession of indignities
and injuries, which are funded with each dollar spent on meat, eggs, or dairy products. Don't
buy into animals' misery—go vegan today!
Written by PETA
People should be encouraged to dump meat just as smokers are encouraged to give up tobacco, according to The Future of Food and Farming, a British report featuring contributions from 400 researchers around the world.
With the global population expected to jump from 6.8 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, the report predicts that farmers will need to produce 70 percent more food while using the same amount of land. Since this will be extremely difficult—if not impossible—people will need to drastically reduce their meat consumption in order to stave off food shortages. This is because raising animals for food is grossly inefficient: Animals consume large quantities of food but produce comparatively small amounts of meat in return. More than 70 percent of the grain that we grow in the U.S. is fed to farmed animals.
The report's authors expect that efforts to promote plant-based diets will be met with the same resistance from the meat industry that anti-smoking initiatives were initially met with by tobacco companies. But they say that's a small price to pay in order to help prevent poverty, starvation, climate change, loss of wildlife, and environmental damage. Not to mention animal suffering.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
That's our number of the day, boys and girls. Which of the following adds up to 29 million?
If you chose "5," you may be watching too much of the Count (or maybe you just cheated and Googled "29 million"), but you would also be correct.
Of course, the notable fact for our purposes is that 29 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to animals on farms. Quick refresher for those of you who are new to the Files: Animals are routinely fed antibiotics in order to promote growth and keep them alive long enough in filthy, miserable factory-farm conditions to be poked and prodded to slaughter.
This is problematic for those of us who aren't making heaps of money off abused animals' backs, because the overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs," which then proceed to eat our flesh, ravage our lungs, poison our blood, and engage in other nasty, life-threatening behavior.
This is the first time that the government has even attempted to tabulate the staggering amounts of antibiotics fed to animals. One has to wonder what took it so long—although, as nutrition professor and author Marion Nestle points out, "[I]t is a sign that the FDA is taking steps to address this serious public health problem."
What do you say we check back at this time next year to see how much that number has gone up or down?
Written by Alisa Mullins
This landmark bill is the first of its kind in the nation to protect sick and injured farmed animals from further torture. Animals on factory farms suffer such injuries so frequently that the industry has a term for them: "downers." Downed animals can suffer immensely as they are either dragged to slaughter or left to die from their ailments—a truly unimaginable hell to suffer through. I think that our downed cow story really had an impact on the passing of this bill. The story is just completely heartbreaking, compelling, and all too common. The good thing is that this story really inspired people to do the right thing and get this bill PASSED.
The frequency of this is staggering. Each year, millions of animals arrive for slaughter either already dead or too sick or injured to walk. This comes from a lifetime of abuse on factory farms, followed by transport to slaughter through all sorts of weather extremes.
"California cannot allow unscrupulous slaughterhouse operators to endanger the safety of America's food supply and engage in grotesquely cruel practices. [This bill] is an important step toward … basic decency to farm animals, and I am delighted that the Governor has signed it into law," said Assemblymember Krekorian, who introduced the bill.
Now if only federal laws were changed to extend this most basic consideration to farmed animals nationwide …
Posted by Sean Conner
Chances are that if you live in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, or Mississippi, you've shopped at a Winn-Dixie. Well, you'll be glad to know that this top grocery chain, which operates 520 stores in the South, has just made some improvements in how some of the chickens and pigs killed for its products are treated.
Now before anyone jumps all over us, yes, we are vegans; yes, we spend buckets of money trying to get other people to go vegan; and yes, as long as one chicken is going to be killed because we aren't able to prevent people from buying and cooking birds, we want that death to be as painless as possible.
Following about five months of discussions with PETA (and there was that matter of the shareholder resolution we submitted to the company), Winn-Dixie has adopted an animal welfare plan. The company has agreed to do the following:
Winn-Dixie is following in the footsteps of other major grocery and restaurant companies that have recently made animal welfare improvements after working with PETA. Those companies include Safeway, Harris Teeter (another large Southern grocery chain), Burger King, Carl's Jr., and Hardee's.
While this certainly doesn't mean that the eggs and meat at Winn-Dixie (or any other chain) are produced without causing animals to suffer (check out Meat.org to see what I mean), it does mean that the worst abuses have been eliminated for some of the animals. And we welcome any improvements in animals' living and dying conditions!
If you'd like to thank Winn-Dixie, drop them a line through their online customer service form.
Posted by Christine Doré
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.