To celebrate the excellent news that Sweden’s last chinchilla fur farm has just been closed down, we decided to take a closer look at these sweet animals – and how they suffer at the hands of the global fur trade.
- Swedish animal rights group Djurrättsalliansen rescued the 243 surviving chinchillas from the farm in Enköping, Sweden, which was closed down following alleged breaches of animal welfare laws.
- The group is now working with the police to press charges against the owner of the fur farm.
- The chinchillas are being transferred to new homes. Some needed veterinary treatment for sores from being forced to wear painfully tight collars around their necks.
- Progress! In 2000, there were 25 chinchilla farms in Sweden – now, there are none, thanks to tireless campaigning by Djurrättsalliansen and other groups.
- But around 80,000 chinchillas are still being farmed for fur across Europe – and many more globally.
- Chinchillas originate from the Andes in South America, where their thick fur allows them to survive cold mountain temperatures.
“DSC05341” by Chris Smith Ronnie Shumate / CC BY 2.0
- Sadly, that same fur has led to millions of them being killed so that hard-hearted humans can turn their skins into coats, scarves and throws.
- In the wild, chinchillas are now critically endangered as a result of humans hunting and trapping them for their fur.
“Chinchilla” by qiv / CC BY-SA 2.0
- Chinchillas are quiet and shy, with a natural lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
- On fur farms, they’re typically killed when they’re just 8 months old – often, in horrible ways.
- One PETA US investigation documented a farmer breaking chinchillas’ necks with his hands as they squealed in terror. In Europe, they’re usually electrocuted before being skinned.
- More than 200 chinchillas may be killed to create just one fur coat.
- Chinchillas are highly social, and in the wild, they live in colonies with more than 100 other individuals.
- On fur farms, they’re likely to be kept in tiny individual cages, piled on top of one another, where they are never able to interact with other members of their species.
- Their natural behaviour includes taking dust baths, exploring rocks and crevices, playing and jumping up to 6 feet.
- In barren fur-farm cages, chinchillas can do none of these things.
- With their huge dark eyes and kooky big ears, chinchillas are ADORABLE.
“Living in the RSPCA” by Daniel Hall / CC BY-SA 2.0
- They’re also notable for being kind to one another. For example, if a chinchilla mum has problems producing milk to feed her babies, another female will often step in to assist, while male chinchillas will often help out with babysitting.
“Wildpark Klosterwald Chinchilla 01” by cherubino / CC BY-SA 3.0
- One day, hopefully, humans will learn to be kind to chinchillas, too, and stop slaughtering them in order to make gruesome pieces of clothing.
- Be part of the solution by pledging never to wear fur and speaking out against retailers that still sell it.
Images 1-5, 13-15, 19-20: Djurrättsalliansen
A pile of naked bodies, covered with blood: When the bodies are human and lying in the middle of Trafalgar Square, it seems like a remarkable and shocking spectacle. But when the bodies of literally billions of animals are hacked apart for meat every year, many people turn a blind eye.
For World Vegan Day this year, we addressed this disconnect with a massive, headline-grabbing demo in the centre of London! This morning, around 100 intrepid volunteers showed up, stripped off and agreed to be splattered with fake blood to help get across the message that flesh is flesh, whatever type of animal it comes from – and to encourage people to adopt a compassionate vegan diet for November and beyond.
Thank you so much to everyone who took part and helped make this event a huge success!
Animals raised on filthy, crowded factory farms are often caged and deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, such as opportunities to forage for food and raise their young. Many are subjected to horrific mutilations, including having their teeth, tails and testicles cut off without any painkillers. Cows, pigs, chickens and sheep often have their throats cut while they’re still able to feel pain.
Do your part to help these animals by signing our 30-day vegan pledge for November (which is World Vegan Month):
And if you want to be part of our next dramatic demo for animals, sign up for our Action Team here:
Inspiring, educational or heartbreaking … these must-see videos will all make you reflect seriously about what (or who) you’re eating.
- Labels vs. reality – find out the truth about “home-grown”, “free-range” and so-called “high-welfare” meat.
- Do more than survive! Vegan free runner Tim Shieff showcases the breathtaking power of kindness.
- Many people don’t realise that the dairy industry is just as cruel as the meat trade. Hollywood mum Emily Deschanel sets them right.
- You might want to have some tissues nearby for this one. Paul McCartney narrates this deeply shocking exposé of how animals are treated by the food industry.
- If you made it through the last video, you’re probably in need of some light relief. This cheeky ad should do the trick.
- Man U football legend Phil Neville shares why he gave meat the red card – and has never felt better!
- Umm, is your breakfast trying to tell you something?
- For environmentalists, animal agriculture is often the elephant in the room. Find out why meat’s not green.
- Fashion legend Dame Vivienne tells you why she ditched meat – while dressed fetchingly in a shower cap!
- Are you brave enough to take this cartoon journey through a slaughterhouse?
- What do vegans eat? A handy summary from reggae artist Macka B.
- A 30-second insight into the experience of fish – featuring a star turn from vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix.
- The violence depicted in Game of Thrones is nothing compared to what happens on factory farms, as veggie Peter Dinklage explains.
- Finally, another rather naughty video made by Fallon, highlighting one of the more unexpected upsides of going vegan.
We hope these videos have left you at least veg-curious.
November is World Vegan Month – and the perfect occasion to try out a plant-based diet for 30 days. Sign our pledge here:
If you’d just like more information about how to switch over to vegan eating, order our free starter kit here:
Fryup, a hamlet located in the stunning North York Moors National Park, has received an unusual request from PETA. To celebrate World Vegan Day, we’re asking Fryup to change its name to Vegan Fryup.
At least one neighbouring councillor thinks it’s a good idea. Speaking to The Northern Echo about the request, Scarborough Borough Councillor Herbet Tindall, who was born in Fryup, said, “I think it would probably go down quite well – it would certainly be a first for my lifetime”.
Fryup seemed like the obvious place to launch our life-saving message because choosing a vegan fry-up lowers people’s risk of needing emergency services or losing their mobility later in life. Consuming flesh takes a terrible toll on human health, taxing your digestive system and increasing your risk of life-threatening disease. Authorities such as the British Medical Association confirm that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. With vegan sausages, “facon” and now even vegan black pudding and tofu eggs, anyone who wants to can still tuck into a full English breakfast seven days a week. And vegans don’t just help save their own lives – they also save many animals a year from immeasurable suffering on factory farms, in abattoirs and on the decks of fishing boats.
If the hamlet takes us up on our offer, we’d be thrilled to coordinate a delicious food giveaway to celebrate World Vegan Day, which takes place on 1 November.
Fryup Sign Photo: “IMG_1553.jpg” by Tom Page / CC BY-SA 2.0
When we heard that yet ANOTHER major UK retailer – Monsoon Accessorize – has just ended the use of angora wool, we had to crack out the champagne!
In a statement on its website today, Monsoon confirmed that, after hearing from customers:
“we have decided to end the use of angora in all future production of our clothing and accessories”.
This is the right decision for bunnies and for fashion – because, ever since PETA Asia’s deeply disturbing investigation into angora fur farms last year, it’s been clear that the British public doesn’t want to wear wool torn from rabbits’ skin.
Video footage revealed how intelligent rabbits are confined for years in isolation to small, filthy wire cages that cut their sensitive paws. They can be heard screaming as they have their front and back legs tethered tightly so that they can be stretched out over a board as sharp clippers cut into their sensitive skin or their hair is ripped out by the fistful – all for a product that no one needs.
Monsoon has joined ASOS, French Connection, Stella McCartney and many other global fashion brands that now no longer sell angora. Help us keep up the pressure by speaking out wherever you see it on sale.
People all over Europe celebrated last year when the ban on animal testing for cosmetics in the European Union came into full force.
So we were deeply concerned when a joint statement from the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) this week confirmed that cruel tests on animals for cosmetics ingredients will continue under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, the world’s biggest animal testing programme.
Here’s our statement on the issue:
PETA believes that the cosmetics testing ban is a vital start, an important and big step forward, but that there is more to be done.
Despite the clear mandate from the public and international governments on this issue, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is still insisting on testing chemicals used in cosmetics for which there is a possibility of workforce exposure during manufacturing processes, and that means that animals will, in fact, continue to die in tests of cosmetics ingredients, something most people in the world do not want to happen.
It is inexcusable in these times that animals can be forced to suffer and die for testing cosmetics ingredients in a saturated marketplace, especially considering the wide availability of vastly superior non-animal tests. PETA and its affiliates are determined to press to uphold the public’s opposition to cosmetics testing and the advancement of innovative, humane testing methods by pushing the ECHA to fulfil the spirit of the law by never testing cosmetics ingredients on animals, no matter what the circumstances are.
Please be certain that you’re not supporting cruel and completely unnecessary tests on animals by consulting PETA US’ international list of cruelty-free companies here.
Image: Doctors Against Animal Experiments
Earlier this year, the results of PETA US’ undercover investigation into Taiwan’s callous pigeon-racing industry made headlines around the world.
Now, it’s made history, by prompting the first-ever mega-raid by police on pigeon racing in Taiwan. Agents from the Criminal Investigation Bureau last week searched the office of the Greater Kaohsiung Zhongzheng Pigeon Society and froze millions of dollars in assets. Police also detained three employees on charges of violating Taiwan’s animal-protection law and illegal gambling.
This move is likely to have a huge impact on the upcoming winter pigeon-racing season in Taiwan and may help save countless birds from terrifying deaths at sea. It’s a promising step forward for compassion!
Here’s some background information:
- Taiwan’s pigeon-racing industry is the cruellest, deadliest and most crime-ridden in the world.
- Millions of animals die every year from exhaustion, get swept away in storms or are killed by racers for being too slow.
- In many races, less than 1 per cent of the birds survive.
- Large illegal wagers fuel this multibillion-dollar industry.
- The UK’s Royal Pigeon Racing Association actively promotes the sale of British “racing pigeons” to China and Taiwan.
The British pigeon-racing industry is hardly any better than Taiwan’s. Birds forced to fly in gruelling cross-Channel races of up to 900 miles rarely survive – some races have a 90 per cent death rate. Those who do make it back are often “rewarded” by having their necks broken or being gassed with car exhaust, because they’re not deemed profitable enough.
Please speak out for pigeons by asking Defra to crack down on these cruel “graveyard races”:
This week, we’ve been experimenting with theatrical “blood”, considering the pros and cons of flesh-coloured underwear and e-mailing hundreds of people with requests that they take off their clothes in public.
Why? We’re planning one of our most daring demos yet – and if you know anything about PETA, that’s really saying something!
On Saturday, 1 November – which, not by coincidence, is World Vegan Day – we’ll be staging a huge “die-in” in the middle of Trafalgar Square in order to draw the world’s attention to the 255 animals who are killed for food every single second in the UK. Hundreds of intrepid volunteers of all ages and backgrounds will be braving the elements and lying almost completely naked and covered with fake blood in a huge pile of “dead bodies” to protest the meat industry’s unrelenting massacre of animals.
A few of the participants told us why they’ve decided to take a stand:
“Throughout history, people have used nudity as a tactic to draw attention to a cause, and I’m proud to be able to use my body to bring attention to the plight of animals. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is good to us!”
– Stephanie, Wolverhampton
“I hope this demonstration will propel the issues, especially that of animal suffering, to the forefront of people’s minds and convince even just a few people to think twice about their consumer habits and the industries that they support.”
– Matthew, Hertfordshire
“Animal rights is my passion – I am taking part on 1 November to spread the message of veganism and raise awareness of the billions of animals needlessly killed every year. If being naked in the centre of London can help this aim, then that’s what I’ll do!”
– Daniella, Livingston
This event will make headlines and go down in history as an unforgettable plea for compassion – letting the world know how many people in this country do not consent to the way animals are treated in our food system and want the bloodshed to end.
There’s still time to be part of this exciting event! If you can make it to London on 1 November and are willing to show some skin to help animals, sign up here:
How do public perceptions of the UK meat industry match up with the reality?
Watch the video to find out:
The meat industry often uses labels such as “organic”, “grass-fed”, “free-range” and “high-welfare” to market its products. But these labels are designed to make consumers feel better – not animals.
As our video shows, investigations have revealed time and time again that shocking abuse of animals occurs on farms and in abattoirs that claim to have the highest standards – including those with Red Tractor and Freedom Food certifications.
Examples of cruel practices documented at these facilities include the following:
When it comes to meat, there’s only one guarantee – that animals suffered and were slaughtered at a young age so that their bodies could be dismembered, packaged and sold.
But there is one easy way to make sure that your food was compassionately produced.
Order a free vegan starter kit below and find out why more and more people are choosing a healthy and ethical plant-based diet.
Animals Australia Reveals Unspeakable Abuse of Cows and Sheep
In an extensive new investigation of the Australian live-export industry – which exports up to 4 million sheep and cattle per year – Animals Australia has revealed countless atrocities to animals who are shipped from Australia to Gaza, Jordan, Kuwait and Malaysia for the annual “festival of sacrifice” in October.
Video footage and photos show how exporters make a killing by supplying animals to notorious meat markets and unregulated abattoirs. Some animals are even set upon and killed in the streets.
Watch Animals Australia’s disturbing video here:
Abuses endured by exported animals include the following:
- During the journey, which can last for weeks, animals are loaded onto crowded ships and may be deprived of water in extreme heat or left unable to stand after sustaining debilitating injuries. Thousands of animals die on the open seas.
- When they reach their destination, all that awaits them is further suffering and death. This bull was violently stabbed in front of children until he was unable to stand.
- Thousands of cattle were allegedly illegally smuggled over the border from Israel to Gaza, where bulls had their legs and neck strung out between poles while their necks were roughly slashed open.
- Sheep with broken legs were forced onto trucks for sale.
- In Jordan, sheep were bound, dragged through the streets, stuffed in car boots and killed in painful, frightening ways.
- At a so-called “approved abattoir”, sheep were lined up next to a filthy blood drain and had their throats slit while still conscious.
- According to Animals Australia, there is “an abundance of evidence that ear tags are being removed from sheep and cattle being illegally sold and slaughtered in Jordan, Kuwait and Gaza – to prevent identification of the exporter”.
In addition to being unspeakably cruel, much of this abuse is illegal, according to Animals Australia, since it violates laws that are supposed to regulate what happens to Australian animals once they leave the country. Since the laws are not being enforced, the abuse is continuing unabated.
Read more about the investigation and Animals Australia’s campaign to ban live exports here.
And you can take action in the UK by writing to the Australian High Commissioner and asking him to help end this heartless industry.