Written by PETA
When President Obama received this year's lucky turkey to be pardoned, he had some brow-raising reservations: "I'm told Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson actually ate their turkeys. You can't fault them for that; that's a good-looking bird," he said.
Malia and Sasha's response? No. He. Couldn't.
"Thanks to the interventions of Malia and Sasha—because I was planning to eat this sucker—'Courage' will also be spared this terrible and delicious fate," he said.
To show Malia and Sasha that we're thankful for their lifesaving involvement this Thanksgiving, we're giving the girls an honorary membership to PETA Kids!
Written by Logan Scherer
Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers, but what about the things that come before the meal? This holiday is nothing without pre-shindig anticipation, so here are some tasty tidbits to hold you over before tomorrow's cruelty-free feast:
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
In this letter dispatched to the real President Bush, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk asks him to send this year's "pardoned" turkeys to a proper Washington, D.C.–area sanctuary rather than to a theme park or working farm, where pardoned turkeys are traditionally sent and where they usually die from their painful genetic defects within the first year—or even within days of arrival.
You've probably guessed that pardoned turkeys aren't as "blessed" as this tradition hints at. Like all factory-farmed turkeys, the birds are pumped full of drugs and bred to grow so large so fast that their little legs aren't able to support their massive, unnatural size. As a result, the birds suffer crippling injuries and painful deformities—serious and sometimes fatal conditions that theme parks and working farms don't handle appropriately. Footage released earlier this month from an undercover investigation at a turkey factory farm in West Virginia shows the tremendous stress put on these birds' bodies and the pure hell these animals are put through.
So, President Bush, please give these birds a fighting chance rather than a sad show for the nation, and in return, we'll send you and your family a delicious cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal including Tofurky, meat-free stuffing, and all-American vegan apple pie with vanilla soy ice cream. Oh, and as a bonus, we'll try to forget some of your pronunciation slips and speech mishaps through the years. After all, Thanksgiving is about forgiveness and giving thanks.
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Those poor folks in the airline industry have been hit from all sides in recent years, from heightened security after 9/11 to ever-higher fuel prices. Now, there's more bad news for airlines from our neighbours to the north (for the geographically-challenged, that would be Canada—and did you notice how I spelled "neighbours" with a "u," like proud veggie Bryan Adams and other Canucks do?). The Canadian Supreme Court has just ruled that airlines have to provide an extra seat—free of charge—to morbidly obese passengers.
While the airlines may see this as a blow to their bottom lines, we hope they'll think of it as an opportunity instead. To wit: Bring back the veggie meals! And not just as an option, but for all passengers.
You see, adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. So by putting veggie food on those seatback trays, the airlines can help keep their frequent flyers slim and healthy—and free up more seats for paying customers, as we suggested to the powers that be. You can see our full letter to Air Canada here.
Of course, even if you're not traveling by air this holiday season, it's good to know that there's a way to keep from carrying extra pounds into the new year. To learn more, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Sometimes the headlines I see are just too surreal. This AP story reports that President Bush, who has been notoriously stingy with pardons, yesterday granted pardons to a batch of 14 criminals—among them a man who entered a guilty plea for unlawfully killing three bald eagles in the state of Missouri.
Turns out the convicted criminal, Leslie Owen Collier, laced hamburger meat with pesticide in an attempt to kill coyotes. But, seeing as coyotes aren't the only animals who eat (I think I read that in a book somewhere …), he ended up killing several other animals, including bald eagles. He was sentenced under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Even though the deaths of the bald eagles might be considered accidental, it's still pretty clear that Collier's intention was to poison animals. That's not so much OK in our book.
If we are so forgiving toward those who would wantonly kill wildlife, couldn't we pardon a few more turkeys this year? Or hey, if that's too radical—let's just pardon the turkeys who haven't violated the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, OK?
Written by Sean Conner
In honor of Thanksgiving, we want to share with you one of the things that we're really, really thankful for: Awesome activists doing awesome demos!
Take this recent demo in Albuquerque, where a pair of PETA "turkeys" handed out succulent soy-based Tofurky roasts to lucky passersby. The demo was part of the traveling twosome's multicity "Turkey Drive": To avoid ending up as someone's Thanksgiving dinner, the two feathered fugitives were breaking for the border "Thelma and Louise"–style in a red convertible with a sign reading, "Mexico or Bust!" Their goal? To persuade as many people as possible to give up the giblets today in favor of a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast. And by the enthusiastic response they got from the press and passing peeps in New Mexico (every single person interviewed by the Fox News reporter said that they were already vegetarian or didn't eat turkey!), it's a safe bet that there's a lot of Tofurky being gobbled down in Albuquerque today. Which makes this plucky pair very, very happy.
While we're on the subject of "Turkey Drives," check out this banner that activists hung in Orlando to convince travelers to give birds a break.
Turkeys aren't the only animals who need a helping hand this holiday season. Recently, a herd of "ele-friends" got together to protest the death of Mac, a 2-year-old elephant born at the Houston Zoo.
Animals in circuses have nothing to be thankful for either.
In the words of one cyclist who happened upon our Albuquerque Turkey Drive, "Tofurky? Hell Yeah!" Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!
Written by Amy Elizabeth
Gas, trucks, and tigers?! Oh, no they don't!
The Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, has been on PETA's most hideous radar for years. This roadside hellhole, which at one time housed four tigers, now has one, a Bengal tiger named Tony.
Complaints about the welfare of these tigers have flooded PETA's inboxes, mailboxes, and phone lines. We have filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and written to the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop offering to help pay the costs to get the animals transferred to real sanctuaries.
Now, state wildlife officials have joined the growing throng of animal rights organizations (such as the Coalition of Louisiana Animal Advocates, which has battled the truck stop for years) and compassionate people who are fed up with the owner's repeated violations of animal care standards. Violations include having an insufficient number of trained employees, keeping the tigers in unsound facilities, having no veterinary care program for the tigers, and providing improper nutrition for the animals. In a letter to the truck stop owner, officials warn that Tony must be "legally removed from the premises to a Department-approved facility or out-of-state within 30 days …." Thanks, guys. Nice!
Roadside exhibits and novelty displays are worlds away from suitable habitats for exotic animals. Not only are these frustrated animals dangerous, but they quickly become stir-crazy and display stereotypical behaviors within their cramped pens. Hopefully, now, with the state stepping in, the Tiger Truck Stop has exploited its last animal and Tony is off to a great life.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Some cities pass out free meals; others provide free vaccination services during the cold months or weather-emergency kits during hurricane season. Mexico City passes out free Viagra.
Wait … what?!
Seriously. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard has planned a citywide distribution of Viagra to elderly men, aged 70 and above, who suffer from the mojo-busting health problem known as male impotence. City officials hope the free service will boost the sexual health of elderly folks, consequently making them happier and healthier.
Health is important, no doubt. But, the mayor's plan has one elephant-sized flaw that needed to be addressed. So, we sent this letterand a copy of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit" (which is filled with cruelty-free and organ-healthy recipes directly to him, letting him know that the simplest way to combat impotence let-downs isn't by popping pills—it's by going vegetarian! To the mayor we say, put down the pills and promote a diet rich in colorful veggies to your city instead.
A diet consisting of animal flesh, milk, and dairy products can clog arteries and increase cholesterol levels. That's some seriously scary stuff. Even scarier, clogged arteries and high cholesterol are among the most commonly diagnosed causes of male impotence as well as obesity, certain types of cancer (including prostate cancer), and diabetes. Luckily, a vegan diet can help reduce or prevent these ailments! So, why pop a pill for a night of happiness when simply switching to a vegetarian diet can trigger a lifetime of health and happiness?
This morning, Michael Vick appeared in court to enter a plea of "guilty." Of course, PETA was represented as well. PETA members were on the scene with new posters reflecting Michael's embrace of Christianity. The posters displayed horrific and tragic images of injured dogs used in fighting along with the words "Dogfighters, Repent." The message was that anyone else who's involved in dogfighting needs to stop—now—before they, too, end up in jail, with no friends, no money, and no respect.
Photos from the demonstration are posted below. Let's hope that Michael Vick's fallen star will be a permanent lesson to all would-be dogfighters: just don't do it.
Written by Amanda Schinke
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.