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  • 23
  • Jul

PHOTOS: Spanish Activists Uncover the Bloody Truth About San Fermín ‘Festivities’

Powerful new photos taken by activists from the Spanish group Tras los Muros tell the distressing story of what happens to bulls at the annual San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Spain, each July. The drunken revellers who chase animals through the city’s streets in the morning may not understand how the festival ends for those same animals.

These photographs bring the full horror to light.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Horse blindfolded

Before the fight, horses are blindfolded to prevent them from running from the bullring in terror. They’re often injured during the course of the violence.

Lance in bull's back

A picador on horseback plunges a metal lance into a bull’s back. These armed men will twist and gouge the lances into the animal’s flesh to impair his ability to move.

Matador stabs bull

A matador is about to plunge a knife into a bull, who is already exhausted, injured and bleeding.

Matador prepares to mutilate animal

Encouraged by the crowd, the matador prepares to strike the animal again.

Child forced to watch bullfight

A man lifts up a 2-year-old to watch the carnage – despite a recent ruling from the UN that exposure to the violence of bullfights goes against the rights of children.

Injured bull

The spectacle is over – but the bull’s suffering is not.

Bull in pool of his own blood after fight

Still alive, he lies on the ground, bleeding profusely.

Injured bull dragged across floor

He’s dragged across the floor by his feet, leaving a trail of blood.

Crowd watch bull being strung up by his leg

A crowd – including several children – looks on as the bull is hauled up by his foot.

Bull bleeds to death after bullfight

Then his throat will be cut, and he will be left to bleed to death.

That’s the end for this animal – and thousands of others will be killed in the same slow, terrifying and painful way in the name of a “tradition” that most Spanish people don’t want to preserve.

As attendance dwindles at bullfights across Spain, subsidies and tourism pay for much of this bloodshed. But if travel companies put these pictures in their brochures, many more tourists would steer clear of the Running of the Bulls.

We’ve already helped persuade Thomas Cook, Brittany Ferries and STA Travel to stop advertising trips to the San Fermín festival. If you see any other travel companies promoting torture as a “fun” holiday, share these shocking images with them and ask them to stop (and please let us know about it as well).

Photos © Tras Los Muros

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  • 22
  • Jul

Cornwall’s Foodie Festival Has No Taste for Foie Gras

Cornwall’s Port Eliot Festival, which will be held this weekend and is known for fine food, music and literature, has reassured punters that cruelty to ducks and geese will not be on the menu.

Because of the festival’s emphasis on fresh, locally sourced and sustainable food, you’d hardly expect to find foie gras there, given the deeply unethical methods used in its production, which is so cruel that it’s been banned in the UK. To make the “fatty liver pâté”, vast amounts of corn are pumped into the stomachs of birds via a metal pipe several times a day, until their livers become engorged and they are so ill that often they can barely stand up.

Foie gras production harms welfare of ducks and geese

We wrote to the festival organisers just to make sure that this revolting item would not be making an appearance and received this confirmation from a spokesperson:

“foie gras will not be served at the festival or used in any cookery demonstrations on site. We would be pleased if foie gras were banned from sale in the UK”.

We agree! It’s high time that the UK followed in India’s footsteps by banning the importation of foie gras altogether.

Help us make further progress towards a foie gras–free Britain by speaking out if you ever see the repugnant product on sale. Restaurants are removing foie gras from their menus all the time after hearing from concerned customers.

You can also sign our letter to EU leaders asking them to crack down on foie gras production in Europe, which violates the most basic guidelines on animal welfare.

Add your name here: http://petauk.org/eufoiegras

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  • 22
  • Jul

A Royal Robe Fit for a Future King

What do you get a young prince who has it all for his first birthday? Little Prince George will turn 1 this week, and we wanted to mark the occasion by giving him a compassionate gift which celebrates our nation’s love of animals. What could be better than his very own royal robe made with the softest faux fur to keep him snug, courtesy of The Throw Company?

prince george

It’s never been easier to go fur-free, with so many luxurious, high-quality, eco-friendly alternatives hitting the market. Real fur pelts have to be treated with all manner of hazardous chemicals in order to prevent decomposition, and animals on fur farms live in appalling, filthy, cramped conditions. These animals will then be poisoned, bludgeoned, electrocuted or even skinned alive in order to produce coats, cuffs, collars and other accessories for both adults and children. Millions of animals, including minks, foxes and rabbits, are still killed around the world for fur every year.

Prince George’s fur-free robes will put him in the same company with many of Britain’s Lord Mayors and other dignitaries who have updated their traditional robes to include humane faux fur. Here’s hoping he’ll continue to uphold 21st-century values and serve as a compassionate example for future generations. He’s off to a great start!

Although fur farming is banned in the UK, many animals are still suffering and dying on fur farms in Ireland. You can help them by taking action and calling for a ban on all fur production. Sign our letter to Irish Ministers and make your voice heard!

Mink image: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Take Action Now

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  • 18
  • Jul

Eyewitness Investigations Make Waves in the Wool Industry on Two Continents

Sheep maimed, hit and killed for wool

Last week, PETA US released video footage recorded in Australia and the United States showing how sheep are maimed, punched, poked in the eyes and thrown by wool industry workers.

One worker attacked a lamb with a hammer. Another twisted and broke a sheep’s neck during shearing. On dozens of occasions, workers used needle and thread to sew up gaping, bloody wounds on sheep’s bodies – without any painkillers or veterinary assistance.

The undercover exposé has been making waves all around the world. Before these investigations, many consumers had no idea about the cruelty endemic in the wool industry.

The following are some of the things happening now that will prevent sheep from being abused in this way:

  • In both Australia and the US, investigations of the perpetrators are underway.
  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Australia confirmed that the suspects “will be investigated” for potential violations of the New South Wales and South Australia cruelty-to-animals statutes, and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries is investigating the matter in Victoria.
  • In the US, numerous law-enforcement investigations are underway in Colorado and Wyoming, where Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said that the video “is highly concerning and we are taking it very seriously. … If our investigation shows it is warranted, we will file any appropriate criminal charges”.
  • Senior figures from the wool industry have reacted strongly to the video footage.
    The Shearing Contractors’ Association of Australia announced that it is “appalled by the footage” and “applauds the investigation”.
    WoolProducers Australia President Geoff Fisken said the behaviour shown in the video was “unacceptable and unsupportable”.
    An American Sheep Industry Association representative stated, “Rough handling of animals that might result in the injury of a sheep is … unacceptable .… Kicking, throwing and poking the eyes of sheep are also unacceptable practices”.
    The executive director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association joined PETA US’ call for prosecution and said of the video, “Everything about that was wrong”.
    Shearing sheep cruelty video
  • Australian politicians have also expressed outrage. Barnaby Joyce wrote on his website: “There is no doubt these images are disturbing“. Australian Capital Territory Primary Industries Minister Shane Rattenbury added that the video showed “senseless brutality”.
  • PETA and our international affiliates are continuing to raise awareness of how animals are harmed for the sake of fashion, food and other industries – and to help people make kinder choices.PETA sheep expose Australia

What You Can Do

Images: Jo-Anne McArthur / weanimals.org

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  • 17
  • Jul

Flesh Is Flesh – All Animals Have the Same Parts: Try Vegan

PETA Naked Protest in Kent

Readers were shocked by details that emerged during the trial of a Kent man who allegedly groomed a young girl online, intending to rape, kill, dismember and eat her. The disturbing conversations alleged to have taken place on fetish websites frequented by the man are enough to make even the most hardened reader shudder. “I don’t like waste”, he allegedly assured the 14-year-old. “I’ll eat everything from your feet to your face.”

Wait … haven’t we heard this somewhere before???

Human beings do commit similarly vile and depraved acts on innocent victims every day on farms and in abattoirs all over the world. The reality of modern meat and dairy production is every bit as bleak and sinister as the vile acts that this man was proposing. Dairy cows are restrained and forcibly impregnated again and again. When their bodies are spent, they endure violent and premature deaths in slaughterhouses.

People are naturally revolted by the idea of eating a human corpse, so what’s the difference with the corpse of a cow, chicken or fish? To emphasise this point, we pitched up outside Canterbury Crown Court today, where the trial is being held, with vegan model Anita De Bauch to show the public that humans and non-human animals are all made of the same stuff and that all body parts look the same when wrapped in supermarket cellophane. Non-human animals share our capacity to experience pain, suffering and terror, so why do we subject them to the kinds of horrors that make our own blood run cold?

Try Vegan

For as long as there have been meat-eaters, there have been cannibals, and the two aren’t as far removed as we may think. If you’re uncomfortable with the violent killing and consumption of ANY living being, we urge you to order our vegan starter kit.

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  • 16
  • Jul

A Hot-Weather Warning for Dogs

Life-saving tips for dogs in hot weather this summer

Every summer, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car – even for “just a minute” – while they run an errand.

Parked cars are death traps for dogs in warm weather. Unlike humans, dogs can cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads, and they can die if their body temperature exceeds 41 degrees. They can develop a loss of muscle control, their kidneys can cease to function, their brain can become irreversibly damaged and their heart can stop. This is a terrifying and painful way to die.

On a 26-degree day, the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees in just minutes. Cars parked in the shade aren’t safe for dogs, either, and can quickly become unbearably warm for dogs left inside.

We’re asking for your help this summer in raising awareness of this danger by printing out our hot-weather warning poster and putting it up in your local area – for example, in libraries, in supermarkets and on community notice boards (with permission, of course!).

Download the poster here, and feel free to tweet us a picture of the posters on display.

Here are some more tips for keeping your canine companions safe this summer:

  • Keep animals inside. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress and be physically damaging or fatal.
  • Provide water and shade. If animals must be left outside, they should be given ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
  • Walk, don’t run. Never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog when the weather is hot and humid. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  • Stay alert and save a life. If you see an animal in distress, immediately provide water and shelter and contact authorities right away.

These tips may seem like common sense to most people, but every year, we hear tragic stories of dogs whose guardians didn’t take these basic precautions, with fatal consequences.

So please, share this information widely – it could save a life!

     

Photo: “Sunday Walk” by Martin Pettitt / CC BY 2.0

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  • 14
  • Jul

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite: Animals Will Never Die for My Dinner

Stuart Braithwaite‘s mum once told him that pigs cry when they know they’re going to die – and that image has stayed with him ever since. It’s not surprising, then, that the Mogwai guitarist is a committed vegetarian who decided not to support the industry that makes pigs and other animals cry out in pain, bleed and die.

In an exclusive interview, he discusses his reasons for choosing a more compassionate diet:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACult Scottish post-rock band Mogwai was formed in Glasgow – a city that now has so many vegan options that we named it the most vegan-friendly city in the UK last year! As Stuart notes, these days, wherever you are in the world, it’s getting easier and easier to find delicious meat-free meals, as millions of people make the switch to a plant-based diet.

Study after study has shown that giving up meat doesn’t just stop the killing of animals to satisfy your appetite – it’s also the best choice that you can make for your health. Eating processed meats has been linked to life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Vegetarians and vegans, on the other hand, are typically fitter and healthier and also live longer!

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help:

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  • 14
  • Jul

The Top 7 Vegan Ice Creams

When the weather heats up, our thoughts automatically seem to turn to ice cream. Nothing screams summer holiday like a scoop (or four!) of this delicious frozen dessert. Choosing to shun the cruelty of the dairy industry certainly doesn’t mean that you have to go without the good stuff, and – as more and more people make the switch to ethical vegan eating – the aisles of UK supermarkets increasingly offer a tempting selection.

The Best Vegan Ice Cream: Top Brands and where to buy thm

Here are our top picks for vegan ice creams for this summer – let us know if we’ve missed any great brands by leaving a comment below!

  1. Swedish Glace Neapolitan: Perhaps the most widely available vegan ice cream, Swedish Glace is stocked in larger branches of Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. It’s a soya-based Italian-style ice cream that is deliciously creamy and comes in a range of classic flavours.
  2. Bessant & Drury’s Vanilla: This fresh coconut-based dessert is light in texture and was a winner in the 2013 FreeFrom Awards. Stocked in selected Waitrose and Tesco stores and available online from Goodness Direct, it is gluten-, soy- and GMO-free, with no artificial additives.
  3. Booja-Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate: If you’re after something a bit special, these Booja-Booja cashew-based ice creams are raw, organic and seriously decadent. Promising no more than four to five ingredients and with creative flavours, they are definitely a treat worth investing in. Booja-Booja is available in Whole Foods Market and selected Waitrose stores.
  4. Food Heaven Wild Blueberry: This range of dairy-free soya iced desserts by Food Heaven has even beaten off competition from its dairy-laden rivals to win an international award. Pretty impressive! Find it in selected branches of Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s or in independent retailers.
  5. ZenZen Maple, Pecan & Banana: Find this luxurious yet reassuringly healthy coconut-milk ice cream in selected health-food stores across the country.
  6. Marks & Spencer Lemon Lush Sorbet: OK, so this isn’t technically ice cream – but it is a delicious, fruity, affordable and widely available frozen vegan dessert, so we thought we’d include it anyway. All major UK supermarkets offer their own version of this refreshing treat.
  7. Homemade: The best thing about vegan ice cream is it’s really easy to make at home, with no need for special equipment or multiple ingredients. All you need are frozen bananas and a blender, and you can start from there. Why not try this three-ingredient vegan ice cream recipe. It’s delicious, customisable and so healthy that you could even eat it for breakfast. (You’re welcome.)Easy homemade vegan ice cream recipe

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Apologies if all this talk of ice cream has got you craving something sweet, but these delicious desserts are all the more reason to ditch the dairy and look forward to a cruelty-free summer! Why not take our vegan pledge and try it for yourself? You can have as much ice cream as you like. Promise.

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  • 11
  • Jul

GOOD NEWS: India Bans the Sale of Foie Gras!

India GeeseIndia has become the first country in the world to impose a complete ban on the production, import and sale of foie gras. The pressure has been mounting on India’s Ministry of Commerce from animal-protection organisations, including PETA India, and officials have now finally elected to impose the ban, which will see to it that no more of this vile product makes it into the country.

Ducks reared for foie gras spend their lives confined to tiny cages and subjected to barbaric force-feeding several times a day via a metal tube rammed violently down their throats in order to pump grain into their stomachs. Over time, their livers can swell to up to 10 times their normal size, causing yet more suffering for the birds before they are slaughtered. Premature deaths on foie gras farms are commonplace, and many birds never make it to the abattoir.

Despite the horrific cruelty of foie gras, India is currently the only country to have imposed a full ban on its production, import and sale. More than a dozen other countries, including the UK, have banned its production. This bold statement on India’s part should serve as an example to governments in the EU and beyond as we continue to push for an end to this unnecessary and barbaric foodstuff.

If you’re one of the two-thirds of Britons who are opposed to the import and sale of foie gras in the UK, please add your voice and speak out against foie gras by helping us urge the EU to wake up and crack down on foie gras production by adding your name to our letter to the European Commission.

 

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  • 10
  • Jul

More Great News From World’s Largest Youth Travel Company as It Ends Running of the Bulls Promotion

After meeting with PETA UK last month and learning about the world’s cruellest travel attractions, STA Travel quickly pulled all promotions of SeaWorld abusement parks, elephant rides and Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple. Since then, we have been advising the company on further improvements to its animal welfare policy, and we’re delighted to announce that STA Travel has now also discontinued the sale of San Fermín festival tours in Pamplona, Spain!

This is great news for bulls. Many tourists who travel to Pamplona to run with the bulls are unaware that every single one of the 48 animals chased through the cobble-stoned streets is later barbarically stabbed to death in the bullring in front of a jeering crowd.

Since STA Travel is the world’s largest youth travel company, its compassionate move will have an impact around the world. It joins a growing list of companies, including Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries, which have stopped promoting blood sports after hearing from us.

Pamplona PETA

But we’re not resting on our laurels – we’ve been organising iconic protests in Pamplona for more than a decade, and we won’t stop until unethical bullfights are relegated to the history books. We’re also campaigning against the massive EU subsidies that prop up the bullfighting industry, and we’re working hard to persuade other travel companies to stop promoting cruel animal attractions.

What You Can Do

If you’re visiting Spain, never attend bullfights. And if you see a company advertising or promoting bullfighting or the Running of the Bulls, please write to its customer service department to let it know how disappointed you are. Finally, please share our hard-hitting video “Bullfighting in 60 Seconds” so that more people can learn exactly what happens in bullfights – and why this cruelty needs to stop.

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