Stephanie Swetlishoff Guest Contributor ISKRA ISKRA Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of an interview by ISKRA staff with Arun Gandhi that took place on March 19, 2013. Arun is the grandson of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and heads the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence located in Rochester, NY. He has previously made appearances in Brilliant [...]
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“Tea partiers” aren’t the only ones who’ve been
fixed with the gimlet stare of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Social-action groups such as Greenpeace,
the NAACP, and PETA have also been targeted by the agency, and PETA is calling on the U.S.
Department of the Treasury to expand the recently announced criminal probe into the IRS’ activity
to include several audits that targeted PETA’s tax-exempt status.
PETA has been subjected to three lengthy, expensive, and
disruptive IRS audits, including a 20-month one during the George W. Bush
administration, which IRS agents conducting the audit admitted was the result
of the agency’s bowing to pressure from members of Congress with ties to the meat, the experimentation, and other industries being targeted by PETA
campaigns and/or seeing
their workers forced to answer to cruelty-to-animals charges
as a result of PETA investigations.
PETA came through each IRS audit with a clean bill of health,
but it doesn’t say a lot for our democratic process when Congress, at the
behest of powerful industries, uses tactics worthy of the East German Stasi to
harass and intimidate social-change advocates. For years, PETA President Ingrid
E. Newkirk could not re-enter the U.S. without being escorted into a back room,
having her bags rummaged through, and being detained—sometimes for hours—resulting in missed flight connections.
It doesn’t stop there—ever more repressive state laws are being proposed, the latest
of which are arguably unconstitutional “ag-gag” bills designed to prevent undercover
investigations on factory farms and in slaughterhouses as well as bills to
with or new regulations regarding hunting and fishing.
What You Can Do
Please visit our action alerts page for opportunities to combat cruelty on factory farms, in laboratories, and
wherever else animals are being abused.
recently grabbed Telly
Awards for our raucous “Boyfriend
Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me” cautionary tale, narrated by Kevin Nealon, and Elisabetta Canalis‘ edgy public service
announcement about leaving dogs in hot cars.
though IndyCar driver
Simon Pagenaud has a hot car and a dog, he won’t be mixing the
two. He is fostering Hufflepuff, a dog from an Indianapolis animal shelter who
is looking for a home. And the pup likely won’t be Pagenaud’s last—he says that
he intends to continue fostering for the shelter. PETA sent the pair some congratulatory
toys and treats.
of treats, joining model Jourdan
Dunn on a recent segment of
her popular Internet cooking series, Well
Dunn, was fellow model Karlie
Kloss. Together, they whipped up a delectable-looking veggie
curry and Karlie’s famous vegan cookies (she sells them to raise money for
hungry? Some lucky person will get to dine on Jared Leto‘s favorite vegan pancakes after catching some z’s
in the vegan Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman’s bed. The band is hosting a
contest called “The
Sleepover,” in which fans can win a
trip to see the “lab” where the guys create their music, and one fan
will even get to cuddle up under Leto’s comforter and break some cruelty-free
Constance, and oodles of other celebrities have been keeping their fans up to
date on all their animal-friendly fabulousness on Twitter:
keep up with what all your favorite stars are doing for animals, follow @PETA on Twitter.
was a horrifying sight. The dog’s bloated body was spotted off a pier behind a Newport News, Virginia,
boatyard. The young black-and-white female pit bull
had apparently drowned, as indicated by her clenched
teeth and protruding tongue. But most chilling was that she likely hadn’t wound
up in the water by accident: Tied to her red-and-black harness was an 11-pound
weight that looked like the head of a sledgehammer. This dog was almost
certainly thrown into the water and left to struggle for air until she could
struggle no more.
the dog’s body was found in the hometown of Michael Vick’s ”Bad Newz Kennels,” where dogfighting
and pit bull abuse are still serious problems, we can’t help but fear the worst:
that she was bred, trained, and/or used for fighting; either wasn’t “game,”
lost a fight, or got sick; and was meant to “retire” at the bottom of
the James River.
we learned from the Michael
Vick case, unwanted “fighting dogs”
are often killed in the most horrific ways. Vick and his cohorts admitted to hanging,
shooting, electrocuting, drowning, and slamming to the ground dogs who didn’t “perform”
we may never know if this dog was used for fighting, we do know that someone
did not want her body to be found. A
necropsy report indicates that she suffered a shattered rib, probably inflicted
by the heavy weight when she was thrown into the water. She had recently given
birth and may have experienced complications.
are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and
conviction of the person or persons responsible for this heinous crime.
What You Can Do
you ever suspect anyone of participating in dogfighting, alert authorities
immediately. Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states and is often
associated with other serious crimes, including domestic violence, gang activity,
and illegal drugs, firearms, and gambling. Signs of dogfighting include the
presence of multiple pit bulls chained up in a backyard and paraphernalia such
as treadmills and heavy logging chains.
don’t belong in tiny glass tanks, and India wants to make sure that they won’t
be put there.
PETA India learned that state governments were planning to put dolphin parks in several parts of the
country, it immediately contacted Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan.
The group reminded her that the Animal Welfare Board of India, which must give
its permission before animals may be used in performances, said that it has not granted and will not grant permission for companies to keep dolphins in
captivity, as tearing dolphins away from their families, confining them to tiny
tanks, and forcing them to perform likely constitutes cruelty and violates India’s Prevention of Cruelty to
was in complete agreement with PETA India and the board and announced that the ministry would deny all proposals
for dolphin parks.
the U.S. and Canada, dolphins aren’t so lucky. Animal advocates must continue
to speak out against
aquariums and swim-with-dolphins programs.
The week isn’t going so well for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The company had been benefiting from online promotions through Travelzoo, a site that offers discounts and deals on travel and entertainment. But that was before PETA and its supporters stepped in.
PETA sent Travelzoo information about Ringling’s long history of animal abuse. We detailed how Ringling was handed the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for dozens of violations of the Animal Welfare Act. We revealed how former circus employees admitted that Ringling trainers routinely beat elephants and jabbed them with sharp metal bullhooks in order to force them to perform.
We are pleased that Travelzoo listened and made the compassionate decision to stop offering Ringling ticket deals. Travelzoo joins Lucky Brand, Denny’s, Lukoil, MasterCard, Visa, and Sears, all of which have terminated Ringling sponsorships and promotions. Let’s keep going after Ringling until its trainers stop going after animals. Ask the USDA to seize the ailing elephants used by Ringling and transfer them to a reputable sanctuary.
a dog, being forced to spend every night alone in the dark, locked inside a grimy
auto-repair shop, would be bad enough. But Coco’s situation was far worse. The
tiny poodle was also almost
constantly confined to a crate that was so full of
dust, dirt, and feces that anyone looking at her would think that her fur was
gray or brown—even though it had once been white.
two patrons of the New Jersey garage spotted Coco on a frigid winter day, the
shop was so cold that the water in her bowl had frozen solid. They asked for permission
to give her a bath and fresh water and to take her for a walk. The owner
agreed, and Coco relished every second of her freedom, sniffing everything in
sight, playing with other dogs, and bounding about. The pair begged her owner
to surrender her, but he refused, claiming that the crated, 15-pound
one of Coco’s advocates contacted PETA. The owner wasn’t willing to cooperate
with us, either, so we tried a different tactic. We recruited several PETA
supporters in the area to drop by the shop to check on Coco and suggest to her
owner that she would be happier in a home. We also alerted the local police
department, and officers helped by stopping by and talking to Coco’s owner about
her situation and whether it met legal standards.
tired of people “bothering” him, the owner turned Coco over to the
police. Now she has a loving home, and
her filthy crate is a distant memory.
you like to help dogs like Coco? Join PETA’s Action Team to volunteer to assist animals
in your area.
activist Michelle Doers was reading Animal Times when she first learned
about actor James
Cromwell’s arrest at the University of Wisconsin (UW) for protesting its heinous experiments on
cats. That’s when she remembered reading about something else in the PETA
publication: a woman who wrapped her car in an ad to raise awareness about
animal issues. So Michelle decided to turn her own car into a moving billboard
the next two months, Michelle will be using her car to speak up for animals in
laboratories and encouraging others to buy only cruelty-free
home and beauty products. After that, she plans to change the wrap on her
car seasonally. Her next message will encourage people to boycott Ringling Bros.
for its abuse of elephants.
stellar activist and PETA supporter, Anne Feingold, helped coordinate a joint
letter through her cat rescue organization that was signed by more than 150 cat
advocacy and rescue organizations from nearly all 50 states. The letter, which
unequivocally condemns UW’s cruel experiments on cats, was sent to the
leadership of the university as well as to the federal funding agency that
enables this abuse. Anne also showed impressive initiative and dedication by
contacting local media in Madison, Wisconsin, to alert them to her efforts.
Smashing Pumpkins founder and frontman Billy
Corgan is the latest star to speak out against the cruel practice of dehorning cattle.
Billy is calling on California
Pizza Kitchen to make the responsible and ethical decision to demand that its cheese
suppliers stop this barbaric mutilation.
have viewed the photos
and watched PETA’s investigative video
of these procedures, and I was appalled to see young calves who struggled and
writhed in pain as searing hot irons burned their heads. The industry has noted
that the burns are so severe that they may damage the underlying bone. Other
practices, which include using caustic chemicals to eat away at the horn-bud
flesh via a chemical burn, are no better. … I strongly urge you to take
immediate action to stop this unspeakable barbarism by requiring your suppliers
to phase out dehorning.
Instead of using
these excruciating dehorning methods, farmers can instead breed for naturally
hornless, or “polled,” cattle. Just as farmers select for traits such
as coat color, they can select for the hornless gene. And since a single gene
determines whether a cow will have horns and the polled gene is dominant over
the horned gene, with selective breeding new generations of cows can be born
without the gene for horns.
other companies have taken steps to eliminate dehorning, and Billy urges California Pizza Kitchen to follow suit. He is one of several
celebrities, including Ryan
Gosling and Casey Affleck, who want to see an end to this painful, and unnecessary mutilation immediately.
What You Can Do
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today vetoed the state’s “ag-gag”
an attempt by the
agriculture industry to prevent American consumers from learning about the
cruelty inherent in factory farming. The governor agreed
with animal advocates and legal scholars who loudly criticized the bill, acknowledging
concerns that it was “constitutionally suspect” and
that it “actually makes it more difficult to prosecute animal cruelty cases.”
when it appeared certain that Haslam would sign the bill into law, animal advocates
in Tennessee and across the country refused to back down. Tens of thousands of
kind people like you reposted PETA’s action alert, spoke out against the bill, and
flooded Haslam’s e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts with messages urging
him to veto it. A long list of celebrities also voiced their opposition,
including Emmylou Harris,
Carrie Underwood, Wynonna Judd, Miley Cyrus, Tish
Cyrus, Ellen DeGeneres, Tony Kanal, CMT President Brian
Philips, and Republican strategist
Mary Matalin—who also sent lawmakers a video in which she highlights the importance of PETA’s
undercover work in prosecuting animal abusers.
And we won.
take a moment to tweet
@BillHaslam and thank him for
showing some mercy to animals on factory farms.
NEWS ALERT: This morning, Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee vetoed the legislature’s proposed ag-gag bill, squelching the only state anti-whistleblower measure that made it to a governor’s desk this year. See our full statement on this major outcome for our…
gorgeous new ad featuring 2012 Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door winner Zachary Koval offers living proof that you don’t need beef to be buff.
Fitness guru David Barton—whose motto,
“Look Better Naked,” is something we can certainly get behind—hosted Zachary and PETA for the
official unveiling of the ad (which has already been featured on the Men’s Health website) at his sizzling-hot eponymous gym in New York City’s Astor Place, marking PETA’s first-ever gym partnership.
Zachary, a David Barton Gym regular, also presented a free
talk explaining the advantages of plant-powered fitness, from the best vegan
proteins for bodybuilding to why so many of today’s most admired figures—from Carrie Underwood and Natalie Portman to pro fighters Jake
Shields and Mac Danzig—are enjoying veggie vitality.
A slammin’ body can be sexy, but combine it with a humane (and healthy) heart and you get off-the-charts hotness. Ready to turn some heads and open
some eyes? Just do like Zachary and the 2013 Sexiest Vegan Next Door winners, Yerika and John—get fit the vegan way!
When he introduced himself as the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to his nurse, her instantaneous response that she was the queen of England! This began a courtship that led to their marriage and a life filled with love, laughter and song which my brother, Tushar and I have had the privilege to share in with [...]