Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Sarah Lawrence College sophomore Shakira Croce has won a College Activist Award from peta2—the world's largest youth animal rights organization—for her unrelenting and successful efforts to make vegan food widely available on campus. Croce is also being recognized for her work focusing attention on the downside of animal testing and the upside of adopting companion animals from shelters.
Visit any of Sarah Lawrence's three dining halls and the first thing you'll notice is the abundance of delicious vegetarian and vegan options, including the entirely meatless menu at the Health Food Bar. Students Promoting Awareness of Animal Rights—an organization that Croce started at her Gainesville, Ga., high school—has worked with the Sarah Lawrence administration and foodservice staff to increase the number and variety of vegan meals and make them more visible to students. Croce knows a thing or two about vegetarian food: She kicked the meat habit when she was 12 after learning about the cruelty of factory farming on PETA's Web site.
Croce is very proud of Sarah Lawrence for being one of the first colleges in the nation to adopt a written policy stipulating that students be provided with alternatives to dissection.
Furthermore, when she noticed that the college was buying cleaning supplies that were cruelly tested on animals, she and her group persuaded the school to switch to cruelty-free products.
In her "spare" time, you'll find Croce passing out PETA leaflets and other literature both on campus and in the local community. She has also invited PETA and peta2 staff members to the campus to speak on a variety of animal rights issues, including the benefits of going vegetarian, the problems with wearing fur and leather, and the cat and dog overpopulation crisis.
"Being an activist for the animals has been one of the most rewarding activities in my life," says Croce. "There was a time when I wasn't aware of the abuses of animals killed for food, but when I found out, I wanted to do something about it. Now, I want to help others learn how they can help stop animal suffering too."
For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here.
After more than 13,000 votes were tallied, 22-year-old Jed Martin, a Hinesburg native who spent a year in Iraq with the U.S. Army, has been chosen from among 10 male finalists—and more than 1,500 nominees—as the winner of the second annual "Cutest Vegetarian Alive" contest. The contest was organized by peta2, the world's largest youth animal rights organization. Martin's photo and bio are available online at peta2.com.
Martin became a vegetarian after playing in bands in the punk and metal music scenes, where animal rights is a popular issue. Currently living in a military barracks in Germany, Martin is unfazed by being surrounded by meat-eaters. He keeps his fridge stocked with vegan Boca Burgers, which taste so much like the "real" thing that even his buddies who haven't kicked the meat habit can't tell the difference! When he's not in uniform, you can spot Martin wearing one of his peta2 T-shirts around the base in order to promote awareness of animal rights. He says that no matter where he's sent, companies like Vegan Essentials make it possible for him to enjoy his favorite foods while serving in the Army.
The "Cutest Vegetarian Alive" contest is a spin-off of peta2's wildly popular "Sexiest Vegetarian Alive" contest, in which visitors to the group's Web site vote for their favorite vegetarian celebrities. Last year's winners were actor Natalie Portman and Good Charlotte star Benji Madden. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.
"More and more young people are choosing a meat-free lifestyle. Martin is living proof that on average, vegetarians are slimmer, trimmer, and generally healthier than meat-eaters, so they're bound to be a lot cuter too," says peta2 Street Team coordinator Pulin Modi. "And of course, nothing's more attractive than a compassionate heart."
For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The world has looked on in horror for years as the Canadian government has permitted the annual slaughter of as many as 335,000 baby harp seals. The terrified seals are beaten with clubs, shot, and impaled on hooks, and as many as 42 percent are skinned alive. This year, the hunt continued—despite the fact that thousands of baby harp seals who haven't yet learned how to swim are drowning because the ice floes on which they live are melting. The seal hunt is fueled by the fur industry—demand for any fur is responsible for this bloody massacre.
"The harp seal hunt is the largest massacre of marine mammals on Earth and is a bloody stain on Canada's reputation," says peta2 Youth Marketing Coordinator Lara Sanders. "It's time for Prime Minister Harper to put an end to this disgrace and make this year's slaughter the last."
Jet and The Vines join an ever-growing list of musicians—including Hawthorne Heights, Pink, The Darkness, and Good Charlotte—who have teamed up with peta2 in speaking out against cruelty to animals. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.
For more information and to sign the petition, please visit peta2.com or click here.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Popular Record Chain Pulls Rabbit Fur From Its Stores Hours After Group Posts Online Action Alert
Just hours after PETA posted an action alert on its heavily trafficked youth Web site, peta2.com, asking visitors to contact Newbury Comics and urge the company to stop selling cat and dog figurines made from rabbit fur, the store removed the figurines from its shelves. Newbury didn't respond to PETA's repeated calls about the items over the past year, but shortly after PETA posted the action alert on April 16, the company announced that all stock had been removed from its stores.
Newberry founder and co-owner Mike Dreese, in response to one of the hundreds of e-mails generated by the action alert, said, "The last few dozen leftover, unsold pieces were removed from our stores yesterday. Thanks for your concern and opinion. It was shared by many on staff …." Dreese confirmed the move in a phone call to PETA later that day. Brighton, Mass.-based Newbury Comics is a youth-oriented record chain that sells CDs, DVDs, and novelties and operates 27 stores in five New England states. The company's total annual sales are approximately $78 million.
Why all the fuss over a few furry figurines? Rabbits on fur farms are confined to tiny, filthy cages and never have the chance to touch the ground. They are killed by having their necks broken or their skulls smashed before they are hung upside-down and decapitated. Much of the rabbit fur used to make products sold in the U.S. comes from China—the world's leading fur exporter—where not a single law protects animals on fur farms.
"The way that rabbits and other animals are killed for fur is nothing that any reputable business would want to be associated with," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "We commend Newbury Comics for ridding its stores of fur and refusing to support one of the cruelest industries on the planet."
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site FurIsDead.com.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Seventeen-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident Michael DiMartino has won an "Outstanding Activist" Award from peta2—the world's largest youth animal rights organization—for his unrelenting fight to get KFC to stop its suppliers' worst abuses of chickens and for other animal-related heroics, including getting his school to cancel a pig-kissing contest.
At first glance, DiMartino might appear to be an unlikely candidate for an animal rights activist. His father is a butcher, and he chose to debate against vegetarianism in a 10th-grade public speaking class. But it was his preparation for that debate—in which he visited PETA's Web site to acquaint himself with his opponents' arguments—that began his transformation. After watching PETA's hard-hitting video "Meet Your Meat," DiMartino couldn't wait to join the ranks of his former vegetarian foes.
DiMartino organizes "KFC Cruelty" protests every chance he gets, including one in January, when KFC honchos held a regional meeting in Miami and were greeted by three lovely naked women standing behind a banner that read, "KFC Tortures Chicks." The KFC execs—and nearly all Miami media outlets—took notice. DiMartino isn't just a friend to chickens. When he learned that his school was having a pig-kissing contest, he organized a letter-writing campaign to explain to the administration that such exhibits are no fun for pigs, who are often terrified by the commotion and strange surroundings. Two days before the contest was scheduled to take place, the school announced that instead of using a real pig, a teacher would wear a pig costume and dole out kisses. The event was a great success.
"Michael knows that compassion is a sign of strength, and he's using his to fight animal suffering anywhere he can," says peta2's Street Team coordinator, Pulin Modi. "He's setting an example not only in his school and community but also for hundreds of thousands of other peta2 Street Teamers to follow."
DiMartino will receive a certificate for his efforts, and he is featured on peta2.com as an inspiration to peta2's more than 220,000 "Street Team" members.
For more information, please visit peta2.com or click here to learn more about Michael.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Stunning Shirley Manson is dressed to kill in her new ad for peta2. But the Garbage singer is holding a gruesome accessory—the dead body of a skinned fox—beside the caption “Here’s the Rest of Your Fur Coat.” The ad is a dramatic bid to show people that every fur coat, collar, and cuff is made from many animals who endured tremendous suffering. The campaign debuts in Manson’s hometown of Edinburgh this week, where hundreds of copies of the hard-hitting ad are being posted throughout the city. Manson is also sponsoring a “Fur Is Garbage” giveaway at peta2.com, where visitors can register to win posters of the ad, a signed copy of Garbage’s hit album Bleed Like Me, and a T-shirt autographed by Manson. Manson also talked about her career and her disdain for fur in an exclusive interview with peta2, the world’s largest youth animal rights organization.
Manson declares, “I believe very strongly in the ethical treatment of animals.” She credits her young fans with fostering her awareness of animal suffering. “A lot of my fans are very pro-animal rights, and have often, when I have been wearing fake fur … said, ‘Is that real?’ and really gotten upset, and I have had to reassure them, ‘No, it’s cool, it’s fake, don’t worry.’ They have made me very conscious of it, and I am really grateful that they have made me pay attention.”
Animals on fur farms are killed by poisoning, electrocution, or neck-breaking. Animals trapped in the wild for fur are often left to suffer for day in steel-jaw traps before they are bludgeoned or drowned. PETA has obtained undercover video footage of a fur farm in China—now the world’s leading fur exporter—in which animals are shown being smashed on the ground and skinned alive. Fur from China is sold in virtually every mall in the U.S.
Manson joins an ever-growing list of musicians—including Trent Reznor, Le Tigre, Fall Out Boy, Peaches, Morrissey, and Pink—who have teamed up with peta2 to inspire kids to challenge outdated, cruel attitudes about animals.
Manson’s dress was designed by Stella McCartney, and the ad was shot by top photographer Frank W. Ockenfels. To register for the giveaway and read more of Manson’s interview, please visit peta2.com or click here.
Monday, March 19, 2007
“Love Animals—Don’t Eat Them. Go Vegan,” says veteran singer-songwriter and Pharmacists frontman Ted Leo in his new ad for peta2, the world’s largest youth animal rights organization. Visitors to peta2.com can view the ad and register to win a copy of Leo’s newest album, Living With the Living—which debuts March 20 from Touch and Go Records—as well as an iPod shuffle. They can also hear how going vegan has helped define who Leo is today in an informal interview taped during the shoot.
A New Jersey native who got his start in the East Coast post-hardcore scene of the late ’80s, Leo has managed to stay true to the sound of punk all these years. Living With the Living—produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty—is no exception. The album has the added bonus of a subtle infusion of soul and R&B. As singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the group, Leo has never shied away from speaking his core beliefs or expressing them in his music.
“If someone sees the ad that I’m in, and they haven’t thought about these things before, and it leads them to think about them, that’s fantastic,” says Leo, who went vegetarian at 18 and vegan not long after.
Leo joins a growing list of musicians—including Forrest Kline of hellogoodbye, Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie, Meg & Dia, and Mates of State—who have teamed up with peta2 to inspire kids to challenge outdated, cruel attitudes about animals. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.
For more information, to register to win the album and iPod, and to see the interview, please visit peta2.com or click here.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Mililani, Hawaii — Fifteen-year-old Mililani resident Alvin Park has won an "Outstanding Activist" Award from peta2—the world's largest youth animal rights organization—for his unrelenting fight to get KFC to stop its suppliers' worst abuses of chickens and for his protests of the cruel fur industry.
Park—who went vegetarian at age 13 after watching PETA's shocking video "Meet Your Meat"—has been spearheading local action as part of peta2's international "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" campaign and organizing regular protests at KFC restaurants. KFC suppliers breed and drug chickens to grow so fast that many become crippled under the weight of their massive upper bodies. Many have their throats slit and are scalded to death in defeathering tanks while they are still conscious. Park has also protested the Canadian seal hunt and the Jungle Fun store in Honolulu's Ala Moana Mall, which sells toys that are made of rabbit fur.
"I left anti-fur stickers and leaflets around the [toys] and voiced my opinion about it rather loudly, despite angry glares from employees," says Park, a sophomore at Mililani High School. "This store doesn't seem to care that it's profiting off the bloody deaths of millions of animals."
Park will receive a certificate for his efforts, and he is featured on peta2.com as an inspiration to peta2's more than 220,000 "Street Team" members. Also featured on peta2.com are celebrity interviews, message boards, merchandise, downloadable voice-mail recordings, and chances to win great prizes like free concert tickets, iPods, and more.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The soulful singer, who has been vegetarian since birth and was voted the "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" in a 2005 peta2 poll, says, "I wanted to do the shoot because I feel there is no need to cause another living thing pain or harm. There are so many other things we can eat. I have never eaten meat in my life, and I'm 5 feet 10 inches and not exactly wasting away. A wise man once said, '[A]nimals are my friends and I'm not in the habit of eating my friends.' That is exactly how I feel."
After racking up several nominations, Stone took home this year's Grammy for "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group" for her vocals on "Family Affair" with John Legend and Van Hunt. Her powerful voice has spurred the sale of millions of her albums, and her fan base spans all ages and backgrounds.
Friday, March 2, 2007
In the PSA, Kori Gardner (vocals and electric organ/keyboard/piano) and Jason Hammel (vocals and drum set) bare it all in a sensual embrace to make an inspirational statement to fans: "We'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur."
Why have Mates of State teamed up with peta2 to ask people to stop wearing real fur? Animals killed for fur are poisoned, gassed, anally or vaginally electrocuted, have their necks broken, and many are skinned alive. Millions of dogs and cats are killed in China for the international fur trade—their fur can wind up anywhere in the world, because it is often intentionally mislabeled as fur from other species. Kori and Jason jumped at the chance to shoot a PSA for peta2 urging their fans to shun fur. Kori explains, "Anti-Fur is something I have always believed in…I've always just felt really at odds with people wearing fur, so of course we'd want to be a part of an anti-fur campaign." She continues, "Every time I see someone wearing fur, I…really just cringe."
Mates of State join an ever-growing list of musicians—including The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and Tegan and Sara—who have teamed up with peta2 to inspire fans to challenge outdated, cruel attitudes about animals.
For a direct link to the peta2 web feature, please click here.