Written by Jeff Mackey
pledged in 2005
that it would end the sale of large birds in its stores. Last month, a concerned
PETCO customer noticed that a PETCO store in his area had a white-capped pionus,
a kind of parrot, for sale. The bird had apparently spent 14 months in a cage at the store, waiting for someone to buy her.
PETCO's price tag for the bird was $799, but for some time, there was a "Manager's
Special—50% Off" sign on the cage she was in, as if this sensitive bird were
an out-of-style shirt to be placed on the clearance rack.
PETA reached out to its contact at PETCO's corporate office
and got the complainant in touch with the pet trade giant. For once, PETCO did
the right thing and allowed the person who contacted PETA to adopt the bird, since
named Tegan, for a donation to the PETCO Foundation, which provides funds for
animal welfare organizations and spay-and-neuter efforts, among other things.
Tegan now has the run (fly?) of
the house and the company of other birds. The kind man who took her in
says that Tegan is a very affectionate bird who enjoys taking showers and who spends
at least 4 to 5 hours a day riding around on his shoulder, where she seems
happiest. You can find tips on caring for birds on
our companion animals webpage.
Two important lessons emerge from this case. One:
Never hesitate to speak up
when you suspect an animal needs help.
And the other? Don't support the pet trade—shop only at pet-supply stores that don't sell live animals.
Written by PETA
OK, so maybe he wasn't really arrested. But either way, Yosuke the parrot ended up in police custody earlier this month after being rescued from a rooftop near Tokyo. Doing his best stool pigeon impersonation, he didn't talk to the cops. Yosuke was eventually transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital, where he started talking to the vet that cared for him.
Interestingly enough, what he said was his full name—Yosuke Nakamura—and address. The vet checked up on the address and found that it was inhabited by the Nakamura family, which gladly welcomed him back home.
It's not much of a logical leap to assume that Yosuke feels emotions, has desires of his own, and has a meaningful investment in his happiness—as all animals do.
You can see CNN's full story about Yosuke here.
It’s being said that Alex’s advanced language and recognition skills revolutionized the understanding of the avian brain. Alex taught many people that yes, even birds have thoughts and feelings and preferences, and the ability to express them. And while that’s all well and good, the important thing to me is what we, as a society, do with that knowledge. We can’t acknowledge it when it’s convenient by ooohing and ahhhing because a bird can say “I love you,” without also accepting the responsibility that comes along with knowing that these animals each have a very real cognitive presence.
There are millions of birds suffering and dying for KFC and dying in Petsmart’s back rooms, all of whom are thinking and feeling and experiencing the world just like Alex did. They just don’t know how to express themselves in a way that we can understand. And if there’s one thing that we should have learned from Alex, it’s that we need to be open and “listen” to animals, even when they’re not speaking our language, because there’s a whole lot more going on inside their heads than we give them credit for.
Check out this great New York Times column from Verlyn Klinkenborg for his take on Alex.
The Mystery Meat photo series has been getting quite a bit of play online lately. The official name of the series is the “Meet Your Meat Photo Tour”, which is of course strikingly similar to our video Meet Your Meat. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, and the photographer came up with his catchy handle on his own. Totally.
Anyway, the idea of this photo thing is to show super close-ups of meat, and man, some of them are beyond gross. Check out this one, for instance. The fat streaks look particularly appetizing, especially the slug looking protrusion on the left side. It reminds me of the bloody, gooey mess that gets sucked out during liposuction, except that this is a picture of someone’s food. Yum.
Also notice the brilliant KFC ad below the pic. They’ve really targeted their demographic well here, as anyone who would find these liposuction-soup-esque shots appealing probably wouldn’t mind eating at a joint that has reportedly served worms, human blood, cockroaches, and other disgusting things in its food.
PETA is ratcheting up our campaign against cat and dog breeders, and this beautiful billboard in New York is the first of a number of strong statements you can look for over the next few months designed to remind people that buying animals from breeders or pet stores when millions are dying in shelters is, simply put, irresponsible and cruel. Of course, the real villains here are the breeders themselves. Not only are these people directly contributing to the animal overpopulation epidemic in this country—they’re also making a tidy profit out of it (in case it’s not immediately clear, I don’t have an awful lot of sympathy for animal breeders). There’s some more information on this topic here, and I’ll keep you posted as this campaign progresses—we’ve got some great stuff on the way ...
His name is N'kisi, and he's been getting a whole lot of press lately in scientific circles because of his huge vocabulary and his unique sense of humor. Instead of mimicking things he's heard already, N'kisi goes right ahead and invents his own phrases to describe new ideas that he's introduced to, and he even rocks the past and future tenses when he's feeling fancy.
According to the BBC, N'kisi described perfume as "pretty smell medicine," and commented on pictures of Jane Goodall with the very reasonable question, "Got a chimp?" The BBC article also reports on N'kisi's sense of humor:
He appears to fancy himself as a humourist. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: "You got to put this bird on the camera."
Kind of amazing.
On a slightly sadder (and perhaps inevitable) note, the story immediately made me think of the countless African Gray parrots like N'kisi who are sold in stores like PetSmart and destined to spend their incredibly long lives in captivity, without much stimulation beyond the occasional "Pretty Polly" comment through the cage bars. Which, well, is just really depressing. … Soooo, instead of ending this entry on such a depressing note, here's a completely unrelated video of a trapped deer being blown to safety by a helicopter. Hooray!
CareerBuilder (the employment company behind the ad campaign with all those monkeys dressed in suits and ties in an office) is tentatively in our good books at the moment—though we're keeping a wary eye on them. The reason is that they've decided to, as they put it, "evolve," and move beyond using primates—as we've been asking them to for quite a while now, on account of the truly disturbing way these unwilling "animal actors" are abused behind the scenes. I thought that CareerBuilder's Super Bowl spots yesterday, which featured a bunch of office workers battling to the death in the jungle for a promotion, were the best of the bunch—and a sign that using actual creativity is a fantastic alternative to just trawling out the live animals when you're stuck for ad ideas.
Of course, in all the hype about the ads and the halftime hoopla, it's sometimes easy to forget that there's actually a football game going on. If you can call three interceptions, five fumbles, and a missed extra point a football game. Stay tuned next week, when we launch our campaign against Rex Grossman for his shameless cruelty to The Bears this weekend. Oh, zing! And yes, in answer to your question, Chicago, I do think I'm pretty hilarious.
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.