Written by Michelle Kretzer
A little-known restaurant in Hermosa
Beach, California, must have thought it was being sly. The restaurant was
selling a hamburger topped with foie gras when California's ban on the sale of the cruelly produced, diseased duck liver went into effect on
July 1. After the ban was in place, the restaurant continued to serve the foie gras burger but tried to be crafty by changing the menu to read that people who
purchased the burger would receive a free
side of foie gras. But PETA wasn't buying it.
We contacted the Hermosa Beach Police
Department, but with a lot on their plates, they haven't gotten around to the
case. So we've taken the matter to court, filing suit against the restaurant,
called Hot's Kitchen, for engaging in unlawful business practices.
Of course, selling foie gras isn't just
unlawful—it's despicable. Every PETA undercover investigation of a foie gras farm has revealed that ducks often choke to death when workers ram hard metal tubes
down their throats to force-feed
them and that ducks' organs often rupture from the excessive amounts of grain
that are pumped into their stomachs. One duck had a gaping hole in his neck
that was so severe that water spilled from it when he drank. And two ducks whose organs had swelled so large that they could not move were being eaten
alive by rats.
Foie gras production is
so cruel that 15 countries have banned it, including the U.K., Germany, and
Australia, and more U.S. states will likely follow California's lead. And PETA
intends to make sure that greedy restaurant owners won't get away with
underhandedly hawking this "delicacy of despair."
Written by PETA
PETA recently received a call about more than 20 rabbits who were crowded into a junk-filled outdoor enclosure at the back entrance of a barbecue joint in Oregon. The restaurant's excuse for the cruel captivity? For the kids to play with, they said. But there was nothing kid- or rabbit-friendly about the squalid setup or the rabbits' garbage-scrap diet.
A concerned passerby reported the rabbits' precarious condition to PETA, and we acted quickly. After several visits from local officials, the restaurant agreed to surrender all the rabbits to a reputable local humane society that will find them loving indoor homes.
Animal abuse isn't always hidden, so keep your eyes peeled for animals in need and always speak up when you see cruelty.
Written by Logan Scherer
Picture it: a dark sushi restaurant on a Los Angeles street, secret agents sitting inside, and a lone car waiting outside. Real-life undercover investigation or Hollywood moviemaking gold? Well, considering that the brave brains behind this very real, very covert operation are also the Oscar-winning filmmaking team behind The Cove, the answer is both!
Back in October, Charles Hambleton—The Cove's associate producer—got word that the Hump, a trendy L.A. sushi restaurant, was serving whale meat, which is illegal in the U.S. Hambleton's informants sent samples of the sushi to Scott Baker, associate director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University, who confirmed that the sample was meat from an endangered Sei whale.
While the consumption of whale meat is practically unheard of in the U.S., it's sold in marketplaces across Japan and is even served in school lunches. All the whale meat consumed by the Japanese comes from the hundreds of whales the Japanese claim to be slaughtering for scientific purposes.
Fast-forward to the week before the Oscars, when Louie Psihoyos—director of The Cove—and the other crewmembers from the film went undercover at the Hump, where they confirmed that the restaurant is still serving whale.
Psihoyos and his team made another visit to the Hump, this time accompanied by federal agents, and were, once again, served whale meat, giving the government officials the evidence they needed to get a warrant to search the restaurant's premises on Friday.
There's been no word yet on what the feds found, but according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, those charged with possession or sale of marine mammals may face up to a year in prison or a $20,000 fine. In the meantime, is anyone else hoping that all this means that the intrepid moviemaking, sushi-spying heroes will team up for another film to save animals?
Despite record low ice levels, Canadian officials seem hell bent on choking down baby seal flesh before they'll willingly choke back their pride and denounce the seal slaughter. According to news reports, tomorrow, in an effort to thumb their noses at the E.U.'s recent seal-product ban, Canada's parliamentary restaurant will be serving seal meat to politicians (and in other news, I just threw up a little).
This isn't the first time that government officials have proposed placing the decomposing flesh of a bludgeoned baby seal on their menu, and according to Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette, the bloody feast is meant to demonstrate "the solidarity of the Canadian Parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt."
(Not so) sorry to break it to Senator Hervieux-Payette, but the commercial seal slaughter, which accounts for 97 percent of seals killed each year, is not a subsistence trade. Profit from the slaughter barely exceeded C$1 million in 2009, and the average pay for a sealer was just C$200.
So, after you RSVP to our International Day of Action for seals, join the more than half a million people who have urged Canada to cancel the massacre.
Ricky Williams is hulking proof that vegan athletes last longer and play harder, and we're sure that his new restaurant, PROOF, will have the same stamina that he has.
PROOF opened today in the Z Ocean Hotel on Miami Beach's Ocean Drive, and the most delectable part of its menu is the Ricky's Picks section. Handpicked by the NFL star so that he "can order entrées," the section's hearty and humane options range from a black-bean burger to rice noodles and tofu.
Kudos to Ricky for creating a menu that makes my mouth water just by reading it. You'll definitely find me seated at PROOF on my next trip to Miami.
Written by Logan Scherer
PETA created a Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Salmon list a couple years ago. With the report of a man contending that he got a 9-foot (!!!) tapeworm after eating undercooked salmon hitting the news cycle, it looks like it's time for the list to be updated.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday, a man said he ordered salmon salad for lunch from Shaw's Crab House in Chicago in 2006 and fell violently ill. He later passed the giant (three yard sticks long!!!) parasite, which a pathologist determined came from undercooked fish, such as, yes, salmon.
So, which current top reason not to eat salmon does a 9-foot (!!!) tapeworm knock off? The Environmental Working Group estimates that 800,000 people in the U.S. face an excess lifetime cancer risk from eating farmed salmon. Would you rather have cancer or a tapeworm? Studies have also shown that children born to mothers who eat fish are slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills and that they have weaker memories and shorter attention spans (fish collect toxins). Hmm … brain damage or tapeworms? Tough choices ahead!
Oh, wait! Sorry for making a big deal about the fact that the tapeworm was 9 feet long. It turns out that tapeworms can measure up to 50 feet long. So I guess 9 feet is nothing to worry about. No big deal.
Take a look at our original Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Salmon list here, and let me know what you think about this whole, um, adventure.
Written by Joel Bartlett
Reflecting Hynde’s commitment to animal advocacy and vegan living, VegiTerranean’s gourmet menu will include no meat or animal products. Hynde wanted Akron to be part of the national trend toward meatless dining, and at nearly every stop of her recent concert tour, she visited vegan hotspots, including Sublime in Ft. Lauderdale and Veganopolis in Portland to make sure her menu features the most delectable veggie dishes possible. The eatery will have a modern, Italian flair, and will feature three distinct areas: a coffee bar, bakery and lounge.
Of course, Hynde arrived at the ribbon cutting ceremony on the back of a Harley—and wearing a waitress uniform, just like in her "Brass in Pocket" video. Outside the restaurant she passed out hors d'oeuvres, implored the crowd to consider going vegan, and gave a speech, along with Akron mayor Donald Plusquellic and PETA’s Dan Mathews.
Here’s a great story about the whole event. Weekend road trip to Akron, anyone?
Since we began preparations to launch our new initiative to fight animal overpopulation a little while ago, I've learned an awful lot about animal breeders—who positively swarmed to my recent entry about shelter animals in order to leave lengthy comments trying to dissuade readers from adopting. These folks came from online forums with descriptions like the following: "We discuss how to fight bills or laws negatively affecting pet ownership … Federal, state, local legislation, zoning, breed bans, mandatory spay and neuter, breeder registration, breeder licensing, breeding bans, etc." It became fairly evident to me that these people are going to fight any attempts to reduce animal overpopulation at pretty much every turn, but we're more than ready to get down into the trenches, and our new Animal Birth Control (ABC) Campaign is the first step in a long-term plan to help bring an end to animal homelessness.
Putting the breeders in their place is only one part of the battle here. We need to do everything we can to encourage people to spay and neuter their pets—which means extensive education campaigns and pushing for mandatory spay/neuter legislation—and ultimately, the choice lies with the pet guardians themselves, since anyone who decides to bring an animal into their homes has the opportunity to save a life instead of funding the breeders and the pet stores, who couldn't care less that they're a huge part of the problem in the first place. You can check out our new ABC video below, and there's more info on the campaign here.
For years, singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick has worn her emotions on her sleeve, and used her music to draw attention to issues that are important to her. Well, now she’s speaking up for the millions of homeless animals killed in shelters each year in this stunning new ad promoting responsible animal guardianship. The shot may look familiar to die-hard Ferrick fans; she donated the cover of her 2006 release, In the Eyes of Strangers, for us to use in the ad.
Speaking out on important issues is nothing new for Ferrick, who is openly gay and talks about it in her songs. She burst onto the national scene after she was booked to open for longtime PETA pal Morrissey in the early '90s, and later started her own label, Right On Records. Ferrick is currently gearing up for a fall tour with alt-folk icon Ani DiFranco.
As if anyone needs another reason to not buy Australian wool, a damning new report about live export was just released. The report found, among other things, that on one recent voyage from Tasmania to the Middle East, many of the sheep loaded didn’t even meet the extremely low minimum export standards, that many sheep developed the condition “pink eye” during the voyage, and that about 1,600 out of the 75,000 sheep aboard died on the four week voyage.
The worst part is that the sheep who died en route may have been the lucky ones, as in the Muslim nations of North Africa and the Middle East, ritual slaughter is exempt from humane slaughter regulations. Some sheep are slaughtered en masse in lots, while others are taken home, often in the trunks of cars, and slaughtered individually by the purchasers.
If you need a little background info on the whole live export thing, click here. And please, if you haven’t done so already, join actor Joaquin Phoenix in pressuring Oz Ag Minister Peter McGauran to put an end to this horrible abuse.
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.