Written by Jeff Mackey
At the Los Angeles County Science Fair, PETA presented its
first Special Award for Humane Science—along with a $500 cash prize—to Palos
Verdes Peninsula High School senior Shu Hee "Sophie" Kim for her mathematical model that accurately predicts the growth of breast cancer
cells in patients after they receive radiotherapy treatments. Sophie's project
has also been selected to advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering
Fair (Intel ISEF) next month.
Here's Sophie and her award-winning project
When compared with results from in vitro tests using human tissue, Sophie's model—which she
developed working with a mathematics professor at the University of California–Irvine—accurately
predicted outcomes, which may help doctors better anticipate the effectiveness
of treatments for breast cancer and other forms of cancer.
This award is part of PETA's work to promote humane and
progressive non-animal research. In 2010, after discussions with PETA, the
Intel ISEF—of which the Los Angeles fair is a satellite event—adopted a policy that "strongly endorses the use of non-animal research methods and
encourages students to use alternatives to animal research."
Animal-based breast cancer research typically involves
injecting animals with chemicals or cancer cells and forcing them to endure the
growth of painful tumors until they die or are killed. These cruel studies have
still not identified a cure for the disease, in part because, as National
Breast Cancer Coalition founder Fran Visco has stated, "[a]nimals don't
reflect the reality of cancer in humans."
If you want to donate to the fight against breast cancer,
make sure you're giving to organizations
that won't waste your money on shabby and cruel
experiments on animals.
Written by PETA
Update: Great news! The
monks at Mepkin Abbey now have a thriving mushroom business.
After PETA's protests, boycotts, and complaints to government agencies, the
monks re-examined their egg farm and discovered that they can get all their
needs met without harming animals.
The following was originally posted on December 20, 2007:
We've just heard the news that the monks at Mepkin Abbey have decided to phase out their egg-production business over the next year and a half following pressure from PETA, including protests of the monastery that are going on today. According to the Associated Press, Mepkin's Father Stan Gumula said late last night that the focus on the monks' practices as a result of PETA's investigation has been too much of a distraction, and that they will be looking for a new industry to help meet their expenses.
PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich points out that South Carolina had the 6th highest peanut production among U.S. states last year (quite how he knows such things, I have no idea), and recommends that the monks go into the booming business of peanut butter packaging, where they can pack the peanuts as tight as they like without any fear of our getting on their case about it. In fact, we might be their first customers. My own vote is more traditional—there's nothing quite like a good Trappist Ale.
Whatever they end up deciding, this is nothing short of a Christmas miracle for the chickens who have suffered for so long at Mepkin Abbey, and we commend the monks for their compassionate decision.
may be what you're used to thinking of as an anti-viv poster:
nowadays, you're just as likely to see this as an anti-viv poster:
because PETA has a squadron of scientists
who meet with government regulators, serve on expert working groups, put
pressure on international corporations, publish in scientific journals, and make
presentations at international scientific conferences like the one that took
place in August in Montréal.
World Congress on
Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
is the premier international conference on alternatives to animal
testing. (Yes, we know that the "and"
in the title should be "to" and have mentioned that to the organizers.) Even
though animal experimenters attend the conference and peddle their wares and displays
touting cruel experiments like force-feeding animals Jerusalem artichokes
(seriously), there is also a lot of excellent information presented on
non-animal testing methods and strategies.
PETA scientists presented displays and gave talks at last week's conference
about ways to avoid using animals in endocrine testing,
and other tests. Our
presentation on vaccine
evidenced how PETA has succeeded in using a variety of pressure points to save
thousands of animals from being used in cruel vaccine testing, including convincing
the U.S. government to replace the use of pigs in painful erysipelas vaccine tests. Another
PETA scientist addressed attendees regarding new non-animal technologies that
can replace the use of mice in antibody production work.
With close to 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries at the
conference, PETA's scientists were encouraged to note how many companies and
laboratories represented at the Congress are actively working on technology and
testing methods that can reduce or replace the use of animals. Not only are
these methods 100 percent humane, they are also less expensive, more effective,
and faster than animal tests.
Really-old-but-still-totally-relevant history lesson (it's quick—I promise!): The Ancient Greeks were so awed by dolphins, whom they deemed friends to humans, that every time they spotted one swimming behind a ship, they considered him or her a good omen. Now, a new study suggests that in order to respect our marine friends and cognitive cousins, we must simply stay away from them. Findings from researchers at Newcastle University suggest that human interactions with dolphins—from following them in tourist boats to swimming with them to touching them—are harmful to these intelligent, sensitive mammals.
The report claims that when humans swim near bottlenose dolphins and touch them, they inflict severe stress on them, "preventing them from resting, feeding or nurturing their young." The study found that whenever tourist boats are present, dolphins become unsettled, and according to Newcastle University's Dr. Berggen, "[T]he dolphins are using more energy than they are taking in because they aren't resting or feeding as much but are swimming more as they try to avoid the tourist boats." This has a negative impact not only on individual animals but also on the population as a whole, and long term, it could be devastating.
Every dolphin is a self-aware individual with a unique personality, so it's no surprise that these animals are perceptive to their surroundings and susceptible to stress-related illnesses. If they're so intensely affected by the mere presence of humans, just imagine the kind of irreparable trauma they suffer when pulled from the ocean and placed in SeaWorld's chemically treated prisons. The only way that we can ensure that they'll live natural, happy, and peaceful lives? Leave them alone—no matter where they are.
Written by Logan Scherer
Not even kidding. According to The Austin American Statesman, grief counselors were made available to employees of the University of Texas Keeling Animal Research Center after an adult chimpanzee who escaped from the experimentation facility was shot and killed near the campus. Anyone else find it odd that employees of a facility that cages animals and performs cruel experiments on them against their will would need specialists to comfort them when the animals die due to their facility’s negligence?
PETA filed a formal complaint today, calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate the laboratory for alleged violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including failure to ensure that personnel are qualified to perform their duties and failure to provide structurally sound housing for nonhuman primates. Here’s what PETA Primate Specialist Dr. Debra Durham told the media:
"Chimpanzees are intelligent, sensitive, and resourceful—they shouldn't be incarcerated in laboratories in the first place. Research on chimpanzees is banned in many countries. The very least that this laboratory can do is ensure that these animals have safe living spaces."
Which doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment, given that this is the second chimpanzee escape from the facility in the past six months. You’d almost think these animals don’t want to be there.
Maybe they can send in a team of basic human decency counselors along with the grief folks. Just a thought.
A couple in Tucson was caught by Arizona authorities this week with close to 800 dogs (mostly Chihuahuas) and 80 parrots in filthy conditions inside their trailer. CBS News quoted workers on the case as suggesting that the owners were “breeders with good intentions,” which is rather like calling someone a well-meaning child abuser. According to the news reports, more than a dozen dogs were found stuffed inside a single crate in some cases. Some dogs had reportedly been found missing paws from fighting with cage mates.
The story has received national media attention (including an interview with PETA VP Lisa Lange on Nancy Grace last night), and we’re hoping that, as horrible as it is, it helps to dispel myths about breeders being people who care about animals. It seems pretty clear that these folks were running a puppy mill for profit, and PETA is calling on authorities to take this case extremely seriously, including vigorously prosecuting the couple and, should they be convicted, pursuing a provision in their sentencing to ensure that they never be allowed to have even one animal again.
Did anyone catch the America’s Next Top Model last night, where the models wrapped themselves in meat and paraded around a slaughterhouse? I honestly don’t know what to say about this, except, like, please don’t do that anymore, ANTM. You’re going to alienate a lot of viewers who care about animals.
Fortunately, we have a Communications Department for these sorts of occasions, and (thankfully) they’re way more articulate than I am. So here’s PETA’s official response to the ill-conceived show for those who have been writing in about it:
No matter how beautifully it is presented, flesh from a tortured animal is flesh from a tortured animal. Meat represents bloody violence and suffering, so if that’s the look they were going for—they achieved it. Instead of swathing models in meat, we wish they had followed in the footsteps of PETA pinups Pamela Anderson and Alyssa Milano who show off their “natural beauty” in outfits made of lettuce leaves for PETA’s “Let Vegetarianism Grow on You” ad campaign.
dListed has pics and details.
I’m back! A few of this blog’s more diligent readers will have noticed that I didn’t write any of the posts over the last week. Some things that might have tipped you off were the 100 percent increase in entries devoted to Cajun Cuisine (which, until reading the post, I had thought just meant adding hot sauce to stuff), the frequent and disturbing appearance of the words “love” and “hugs” on these pages (you can expect a dramatic decrease in this kind of new-age tomfoolery now that I’m back), and the fact that all of the posts were signed “Christine <3” (something I would only normally do in an emergency).
So thanks to everyone who held on while I was away—and for those of you who actually preferred Christine’s thoughtful, engaging, “feel-good” approach to blogging over my own vaguely coherent ramblings, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s another SXSW Interactive Media conference next year, so I expect she’ll be pressed into service again in March 2009. Anyway, here’s a picture of me looking cool:
I just got this email from Debbie Leahy, the director of PETA’s Captive Exotic Animals Department:
Sad news. A dear friend, Delhi, passed away on Tuesday, March 11. Delhi was the first elephant confiscation in U.S. history. After an extensive campaign by PETA, the USDA seized Delhi from Hawthorn Corporation and transferred her to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee after determining that she was in imminent danger from lack of veterinary care. Delhi had been suffering from abscesses, lesions, osteomyelitis, and severe chemical burns to her feet. She was originally captured in India and acquired by Hawthorn in 1974. At the sanctuary since November 2003, Delhi enjoyed leisurely grazing in the sun, playing with toys, and napping on a shady hillside with the companionship of many other elephants. She was lucky to have kind, nurturing care in her final years.
Sad news indeed. But it’s comforting to reflect that she escaped the horrible fate of most elephants held in captivity for her last years.
Jeff Corriveau knocks another one out of the park. Enjoy.
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
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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.