Written by PETA
I'm a handbag addict, but my cravings are always easily met thanks to a seemingly endless assortment of skins-free styles. Naturally, when I saw the Kerin handbag that's this week's "Win-It" Wednesday prize, I needed it, stat. Feast your eyes:
My birthday's coming up, so I'll have to drop some not-so-subtle hints if I want to add this leather-free looker to my collection (fingers crossed), but you don't have to be a June baby to score it. All you have to do is come up with a clever caption for this photo.
Is that certain someone giving kisses to a vegan fashionista—or blowing a raspberry to a fashion offender dressed in leather? Either way, we've got one bag to give to the respondent who delivers the cleverest caption. Please don't be chintzy with your brilliance—really bowl us over!
Written by Karin Bennett
What do reggae star Matisyahu, the Israeli government, and fur have in common? The compassionate Jewish singer, who recently became vegan because of his disgust toward factory farms and to strictly adhere to Torah principles, has written a heartfelt letter on behalf of PETA to Israeli government leaders urging them to support a bill currently in the Knesset that would ban the fur trade in Israel. If the bill passes, Israel would be the first country to prohibit the production, sale, and importation of all fur products (with the exception of shtreimels, traditional fur hats worn by some Hasidim).
Matisyahu rightfully points out that stomping, beating, and bludgeoning animals violates the fundamental principle of tza'ar ba'alei chayim, which forbids gratuitous cruelty to animals.
In light of our recent undercover video about Chinese fur farms, it's time right now for governments and the public to turn their backs on fur.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
The two things at the top of my mile-long "Likes" list are handbags and catnaps—and after racking my brain trying to choose one favorite purse from Susan Nichole's online shop, I seriously think I need to lie down.
Hopefully, the winner of this week's "Win It" Wednesday giveaway will be more decisive in choosing one of Susan's stylish, all-vegan creations, because the winner of this week's contest gets to take home the bag of his or her choosing.
You want to win it? Simply come up with a funny caption for the photo below, which features my fellow handbag and catnap lover, Ginger (who, also like me, doesn't much like being disturbed during sleepy time):
Before you start, please note the following:
There are two things I love about the new paperback version of PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk's book, One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World. First—and most importantly—it includes a brand-new essay written by none other than actor Mickey Rourke. In his contribution, which is exclusive to the new paperback version, the Golden Globe winner writes about his struggle to overcome his personal demons and about the six rescued dogs who helped him succeed.
"There isn't much worse than being a 'has been,' being used to sitting at the best table in the fanciest restaurant just by showing up, and then reaching a point where the restaurant won't even take my call," he writes. "It was a humbling experience for me, and the dogs were the biggest help in getting me through because I could see that the dogs from the pound are like me. Bad things have happened to them, too, and they bear the scars."
Second, the lighter version is easier to stick in my purse, so I can have it handy to read while commuting.
Other celebrity contributors to One Can Make a Difference include Sir Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Brigitte Bardot, and so many more. The new paperback version is available here, so check it out!
Written by Amanda Schinke
Today is Gandhi's birthday, and it's also the second day of Vegetarian Awareness Month. I can't think of a better way to celebrate both than by giving a vegetarian diet a try.
Gandhi ardently advocated nonviolence and campaigned to end poverty, expand women's rights, encourage self-reliance, and promote peace and respect for all living beings. He believed that "the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
If you think about the billions of animals who suffer in America's filthy, crowded factory farms and who are cruelly killed in slaughterhouses every year, it's clear that this nation has a long way to go to become "great" and "moral."
So if PETA's sexy babes haven't yet inspired you to go vegetarian, check your pulse. Then read Gandhi's book The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism and PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's The PETA Practical Guide to Animals Rights.
Apparently he wasn't content with going all "crocodile hunter" on an anaconda, as he did during the last off-season. Now Texas Rangers infielder Omar Vizquel has expressed the desire to take up bullfighting in his home country of Venezuela during this year's off-season. He has also said that he hopes to attend all the Triple Crown horse races after he retires.
Is there no animal safe from Omar's down time?
Upon hearing about Omar's ghoulish vacation plans, we dashed off a letter to the aging shortstop asking him to solve his midlife crisis in a way that doesn't involve torturing and killing animals.
Buy a convertible, go skydiving, date a woman half your age—just don't drag animals into it, OK, Omar?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Here is a story that answers the question, "What's wrong with supporting 'free-range' farms?"
PETA caseworkers recently worked on a case in New Mexico involving a mother cow who suffered for days after she became stuck in the mud around a watering hole.
The cow was part of a small cattle herd living on a ranch. There was no caretaker residing on the property to watch over the animals. The cow was pregnant when she became stuck in the mud, and she was forced to give birth while she was trapped. Her newborn calf became stuck as well.
PETA contacted local authorities as soon as we were alerted to this cow's plight, but the officials refused to help the cow until they could locate the owners. The decomposing bodies and bones of other cattle around this watering hole were evidence that this was not the first time that the negligent owners had left animals to die. The owners reportedly rent the property as a place to "store" their cattle, and they don't make regular visits to care for them.
Luckily, a concerned individual in the region was able to free the calf from the mud and tend to his suffering mother—who was languishing in the blazing sun and was only able to move her head—while we continued to try to find her the help she needed.
Our calls to state and local authorities finally resulted in action, and the inspectors who were sent out to the farm were quickly able to euthanize the suffering animal.
This is not an isolated case. Animals on farms all over the country face starvation, disease, and exposure to all weather extremes. Farmers often consider these animals to be as disposable as light bulbs. It's not always profitable to monitor and provide specialized care for individual members of herds, and this can result in agonizing and lonely deaths for many animals.
Fortunately, this mother cow and her calf were spared such a fate thanks to the kindness of a caring citizen and PETA's intervention. Please, don't support an industry that treats animals as nothing more than parts on a cheap-meat (dis)assembly line.
Written by Heather Drennan
You probably know him from his roles in movies such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Traffic, 21 Grams, Sin City (my personal favorite), and many others. He's also won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and a SAG award. Now actor Benicio del Toro is adding one more bullet point to his résumé: animal defender.
The Puerto Rican actor has penned a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico urging him to halt the construction plans for Bioculture's massive monkey-breeding facility. As you might remember, Bioculture—a company that supplies primates to laboratories—plans to capture monkeys from their homes in Mauritius, hold them captive in Puerto Rico, and then sell thousands of their babies for use in painful and deadly experiments around the world.
You can read Benicio's full letter here. To write your own respectful letter to the governor to ask him to stop Bioculture, please click here.
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
Here’s a sneak preview of a pair of ads targeting the cruel exotic-skins trade that will be featured in the latest issue of PETA’s Animal Times magazine.
We have a ways to go before people stop abusing these amazing animals for the sake of fashion accessories, but I did get one piece of good news today on the issue—Yves St. Laurent, who are among the worst offenders when it comes to using exotic skins in their designs, now have a vegan men’s Oxford shoe. It’s just a tad out of my price range, but a great sign of things to come.
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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.