Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 5

Animal Writes

  • 22
  • May

STA Travel Stops Promoting SeaWorld and Other Cruel Attractions

Sta portrait

The world’s largest student travel company, STA Travel, has made the adventure even better by pulling promotions for three cruel attractions: SeaWorld, elephant rides and Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple!

After meeting with PETA and learning how SeaWorld confines intelligent orcas to small tanks and forces them to perform meaningless tricks, STA Travel immediately vowed to sever all ties with the unethical business.

This compassionate move will make an impact around the world. STA Travel employs nearly 2,000 people in more than 200 branches across 12 countries. It’s also setting a higher standard for responsible tourism – we’re confident that other businesses will soon follow suit.

At SeaWorld’s theme parks in the US, whales are deprived of everything natural and important to them. Whether they were kidnapped from the wild or born into a life of captivity with no hope of freedom, these magnificent and complex animals are locked up in barren enclosures and separated from their families. They swim round and round in endless circles, day after day – whereas in the wild, they have the whole ocean to roam in and will swim up to 100 miles a day. The oldest orca recorded in the wild is 103-year-old Granny. In contrast, many of SeaWorld’s orcas die before they reach their 20s.

The announcement is part of STA Travel’s plan to reassess the animal-related tours that it offers in order to ensure that its young, adventurous customers can have fun, safe in the knowledge that their holidays won’t have a negative impact on animals.

Help us persuade other travel companies to do the right thing – if you see a business promoting SeaWorld marine parks, please contact its customer service team to explain how disappointed you are and urge it to follow STA Travel’s excellent example.

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  • 22
  • May

Model Elen Rivas: Choose Melons Over Meat

To mark National Vegetarian Week, model Elen Rivas stars in a sexy ad campaign for PETA that showcases the benefits of a meat-free diet.

Model poses naked on fruit stand to spread vegetarian message

The ad, which was shot by top celebrity photographer Pal Hansen, points out the health perks of giving up eating animals. Studies show that vegetarians and vegans are, on average, slimmer than meat-eaters and have lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

Barcelona-born Elen has many reasons for going vegetarian. As she says, “Going vegetarian was one of the best decisions my girls and I have made. It’s had a positive impact on us on so many different levels. It’s healthier, we feel much more alive and we have so much fun cooking delicious meat-free meals!”

Dumping animal products isn’t just good for your health: it drastically reduces your carbon footprint and saves many animals every year from immense suffering on factory farms, in abattoirs and on the decks of fishing boats.

This is not the first action that Elen has taken to protect animals. The Spanish beauty also appeared nude and “bleeding” in a powerful anti-bullfighting ad. Join her in helping animals by downloading our free vegan starter kit and trying out a cruelty-free diet. Just like Elen, we’re sure that you’ll be delighted that you did!

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  • 21
  • May

Heartbreaking Pics Show Sunder Is Still Suffering While He Waits to Be Moved

UPDATE: Sunder’s case was heard in the Supreme Court of India on 29 May. The court passed a judgment in favour of PETA India by ordering that Sunder should be released to an elephant-care centre in Bangalore by no later than 15 June. Read more here, and watch this space for further updates!


Last month, PETA India won a court case to get abused elephant Sunder released to a sanctuary. Now, while Sunder waits to be transferred from the temple where he has endured years of beatings and abuse to a sanctuary, as the court had ordered, it has emerged that he’s suffering from heartbreaking injuries.

During a recent veterinary inspection by an elephant expert, the 14-year-old elephant was found with what the health examination report calls a “MASSIVE wound … as a result of constant tying with heavy chains”. The expert’s report also states that Sunder should be moved from Kolhapur to an elephant-care centre in Bangalore “on an emergency basis”, as directed by the Bombay High Court. The court had ordered the Maharashtra Forest Department to move Sunder to the centre before the start of the monsoon.

But Maharashtra Member of the Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore – who is not the legal owner of Sunder and has kept him on his property illegally – has attempted to block the order by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court.

PETA and its international affiliates have been campaigning for Sunder’s release since 2012. PETA India has been represented before the Supreme Court by leading animal advocate Raj Panjwani.

The finding comes on the heels of video footage from December 2013 showing that Sunder’s mahout beat him with a pole on Kore’s property.

All the paperwork for Sunder’s transfer has been completed, and now the Maharashtra Forest Department simply needs to set a date for the move. The health examination report also stated that Sunder’s wound can be dressed, he is not in musth (a period of sexual urge in elephants that can make them difficult to handle) and he can and should be transported to Bangalore quickly.

Please help ensure that justice is done and that Sunder gains his freedom as soon as possible. As these photos show, every day that he remains at the temple, he is still in pain.

You can write to Maharashtra forest officials at:

  • The Honourable MK Rao
    Chief Conservator of Forests
    Office of the Chief Conservator of Forests (Territorial) Kolhapur
    Van Vardhan Bldg
    Opposite Principal Post Office
    Ambedkar Chowk, Tarabai Chowk
    Kolhapur 416 003
  • The Honourable Suresh A Thorat
    Additional Principal Chief Conservator Forests (Wildlife West)
    LT Road
    Near Old MHB Bus Stop, Forest Quarter
    Borivali (W) 400 091
  • The Honourable Sarjan Bhagat, IFS
    Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
    Van Bhavan
    Ramgiri Road
    Civil Lines
    Nagpur 440 001
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  • 21
  • May

Why Have We Washed Manchester’s Pavements to Spread the Veggie Message?

“Meat Is Still Murder” – that’s the message that we’ve quite literally taken to the streets of Manchester, with 20 stencils throughout the city to celebrate the 55th birthday of compassionate legend Morrissey!


The innovative street art is an example of “clean advertising”, using stencils to wash the pavement and leave a message behind.


Thirty years since The Smiths first proclaimed that “meat is murder”, the eye-catching campaign in Morrissey’s hometown – which also coincides with National V
egetarian Week
– reminds people that millions of animals a day are still being unnecessarily slaughtered for food in Britain. What’s more, before being killed, most of these animals suffer every single day of their lives, as they are mutilated, imprisoned and denied everything that they need to be happy on severely crowded farms.


Morrissey’s commitment to speaking out against this type of cruelty is continuously inspiring. His many actions to help animals include donating the only signed hardback of his autobiography to PETA last year, raising £8,300 for animals, using a £10,000 settlement he received from Channel 4 to help us campaign against cruel foie gras and posing with a cat on his head to raise awareness of animal overpopulation!

Vegetarians such as Morrissey don’t just save animals from immense suffering on factory farms, in abattoirs and on the decks of fishing boats – they also have a lower carbon footprint as well as a lower risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

It’s also really easy to make the switch to a meat-free diet. Ordering our free vegan starter kit is a great first step – get yours here.

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  • 21
  • May

Peter Gabriel: Don’t Shock, Poison or Kill the Monkey

Rock-and-roll icon Peter Gabriel has just taken time out from his European tour to sound off about an issue that is completely inexcusable – Air France’s involvement in trafficking primates for animal testing. In a letter that he sent to Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac, the “Sledgehammer” singer points out that Air France is the only airline that still transports monkeys to laboratories where they are caged, experimented on and killed. He wrote the following:

Before arriving at their final destination, these intelligent, sensitive primates are torn from their homes and families, locked inside small wooden crates in Air France cargo holds and forced to endure gruelling, frightening flights that often last more than 30 hours.

At the American and European laboratories served by Air France, primates are violently force-fed chemicals, inflicted with brain damage, crippled, addicted to cocaine or alcohol, deprived of food and water, or psychologically tormented and ultimately killed.

Aer Lingus, Air China, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin, United Airlines and all other major airlines have banned the transport of primates to labs.

I urge you to stop supporting the mistreatment of monkeys in painful and deadly experiments and to join other leading airlines in adopting and adhering to a formal policy that prohibits the transport of primates to laboratories.

Peter’s letter comes hot on the heels of an appeal by world-renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall calling on Air France to show compassion to monkeys. Many thousands of people from all over the world have also written to the company explaining that they will be choosing to fly with other airlines as long as Air France continues to ship monkeys to their deaths.

Please add your voice to the movement: Take Action Now

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  • 20
  • May

5 Inspirational Stories About Everyday Heroes to Animals

Like humans, animals often find themselves in situations of need. Thankfully, there are compassionate people who are ready to spring to their aid, sometimes even at the risk of their own safety. Here are some inspiring stories from people who impressed us so much with their compassion that we recognised them with an award!

Happisburgh Lifeboat Crew



Labrador Quila had been swept out to sea by strong tides at Sea Palling, just days before Christmas last year. Quila’s guardian had taken her out for a walk along the coast when she spotted a seal pup and ran into the sea to play with the animal. Powerful tides dragged Quila away from the shore, and her guardian soon lost sight of her, fearing the worst.

Braving the waters, Happisburgh lifeboat crew showed courage and determination in finding Quila, whom they discovered on rocks on a reef. Their selfless act undoubtedly saved Quila’s life in what can only be described as a “Christmas miracle”.

DJ Mike Read


In February, a puppy named Digby fell into the fast-flowing River Thames during a walk with his guardian at Henley. He was unable to compete with the strong current and struggled to swim to safety.

After seeing Digby’s situation, former Radio One and Top of the Pops presenter DJ Mike Read heroically came to the puppy’s aid, saving his life. If Mike had not acted, the puppy’s life would almost certainly have ended in tragedy.

Lee Parkinson


In addition to physical acts of bravery, spreading the message of animal rights is hugely important. After seeing the groundbreaking documentary Blackfish about the plight of captive orcas, teacher Lee Parkinson decided to educate his Year 5 class at Davyhulme Primary School in Manchester about the cruelty of marine parks with a creative storytelling project. Thanks to his compassion, the up-and-coming generation learned the vital lesson that animals are not ours to abuse for entertainment!

Josie Russell and Iwan Griffith


Josie Russell, who survived a terrifying hammer attack 17 years ago, demonstrated her empathy and compassion when she was out walking with her boyfriend, Iwan, in Snowdonia and spotted a frightened cat stranded in a flooded quarry. With no escape route, Benny was in great distress and is unlikely to have survived if no one had found him.

Without wasting a moment, Josie and Iwan intervened to save his life. They paddled over in a canoe and coaxed the cat into the vessel with food. Thanks to their quick thinking, Benny was soon reunited with his guardians, safe and sound.

Chris Wright

A defenceless greyhound was being publicly beaten in the street by his so-called “guardian” in Bristol. Loyal by nature, the poor dog would have felt confused and traumatised at his guardian’s behaviour, not to mention the great physical pain.

Chris Wright was with his girlfriend when he came across the appalling scene and knew it was right to intervene. He confronted the thug and asked him to leave the animal alone. The volatile man responded by attacking Chris, breaking his jaw. In a completely inspiring act of bravery and selflessness, Chris put his own life at risk to save the dog. In addition to recognising Chris with an award, we have also offered a reward to help bring the violent dog abuser to justice.



Anyone can be a hero to animals. It doesn’t take physical strength or heroic bravery to help them – just a compassionate heart. If you know anyone who is a hero to animals, let us know in the comments section, as we would love to hear about it. And remember that if you ever see an animal in distress, please do the right thing and help however you can. Animals might not be able to say thank you out loud, but they will be eternally grateful.

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  • 19
  • May

You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi Takes On SeaWorld

“I think we live in a society now where people should be told the truth …”

That was You Me At Six lead singer Josh Franceschi‘s motivation for speaking out, after he saw the mesmerising film Blackfish and learned the real story of how SeaWorld’s orcas are treated.

Watch his exclusive interview:

Josh, who comes from Weybridge, Surrey, describes himself as “a big animal person” and was deeply saddened by the tragic tale of Tilikum the orca at the heart of Blackfish who was kidnapped and taken away from his family when he was just a baby, like so many other captive animals.

He’s been a prisoner ever since.

In the wild, orcas spend their entire lives in pods with their families and swim up to 100 miles a day. In captivity, these extremely social animals are isolated from their families and spend years trapped in barren tanks that provide them with no mental stimulation and are, to them, the size of a bathtub. Unsurprisingly, on average, they live only nine years in captivity, in contrast to wild orcas, who can live for more than 100 years.

As Josh says, “I hope people will look back on this sort of thing and think ‘Why and how did we allow it to go on for this long?’”

If you haven’t seen Blackfish yet, watch it on iTunes or order a DVD – and prepare to have your eyes well and truly opened!

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  • 16
  • May

Vegan Recipe: Spicy Pea and Spinach Soup

We love recipes for dishes that are ready in minutes, taste delicious, pack a hearty health punch and – of course – contain no animal-derived products whatsoever. So we were delighted when we came across this vibrant green soup recipe from lovely vegan food blogger Maria over at My Fridgie. Enjoy!

Easy healthy vegan soup recipeSpicy Pea and Spinach Soup

700 g cooked peas

1 tsp sugar

1/2–1 tsp harissa paste

250 g fresh baby spinach

1 handful parsley

700 ml vegetable stock

2 Tbsp vegan margarine

2 cm chopped fresh ginger

  • Put all the ingredients in a large pot and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the baby spinach leaves soften.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Purée the ingredients into a soup with a hand blender.
  • Serve garnished with a few sprigs of fresh parsley and croutons.

Makes 4 servings

For more simple and delicious vegan recipes, order our free vegan starter kit: PETA.org.uk/vsk.

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  • 14
  • May

Nathan Cleverly: Knock Out Cruelty!

Boxer stars naked in anti-fur ad for PETA

Welsh boxer and former world champion Nathan Cleverly is the latest sports star to pose in his tattoos – and little else – in aid of a good cause.

In the anti-fur ad, which was shot by celeb photographer Trevor Leighton, the light-heavyweight shows off his impressive ink as well as his big heart. He explains:

As a boxer, I face my fears whenever I step into the ring, but I still can’t imagine the fear an animal experiences as they’re beaten and skinned alive for their fur. I hope my PETA campaign gets people to pause and think before buying fur.

Ninety-five per cent of the British public have said that they would never wear fur – unsurprisingly, given that it usually comes from animals who have spent their entire lives in cramped, filthy cages before being drowned, beaten, strangled, electrocuted or skinned alive.

If you haven’t already, please sign our pledge never to wear fur. You’ll be joining Nathan and other athletes who pull no punches when it comes to opposing this vile industry, including footballer Tim Howard, rugby player Danny Cipriani and martial artist Jimi Manuwa.

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  • 13
  • May

Bullfighting: A Global Update


Efforts to end cruel bullfighting are ramping up, as people from all corners of the globe recognise that stabbing a frightened animal to death is not “entertainment”.

We recently represented the UK at the 2014 International Anti-Bullfighting Summit in Lisbon, which brought together groups from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the U.K., among others, to come up with new strategies for ending the barbarity of the bullfights.

Hot on the heels of the excellent news that India has just banned bullfights, bull races and the violent tradition of jallikattu, the following are some updates from other parts of the world:

  • Spain: It’s long been common knowledge that the majority of Spanish people oppose bullfighting – in the most recent poll, 76 per cent of Spaniards said that they had no interest in the so-called “tradition”. In 2012, bullfighting was banned throughout Catalonia, including in its capital, Barcelona, and there’s now further evidence that the industry as a whole is in decline: according to CAS International, in 2013, there were 111 fewer events with bulls in Spain than in the previous year, and since 2008, the number of events has halved.
  • Portugal: The country is currently considering a draft law to make the minimum age to participate in bullfights 16 years old. If the long-overdue law passes (which looks likely), children will be protected from having to put their own lives in danger while deliberately causing harm and suffering to animals.
  • Colombia: The tide has been turning against bullfighting since 2012, when the capital city, Bogotá, banned bullfighting and transformed its bullring into a centre for culture, replacing the bloody and archaic ritual of torturing and killing animals with a celebration of contemporary culture that can be enjoyed by everyone.
  • Ecuador: Quito, the country’s capital, banned killing bulls in 2011, and in 2012, bullfighting came to an end in the entire country because of high levels of opposition to the cruel “sport” among compassionate Ecuadorians.

While these promising developments encourage us to continue our fight for bulls, there is still work to be done before bullfighting is consigned to the history books where it belongs.

Three Things You Can Do to Help Stop the Cruelty

  1. Never go to a bullfight or attend events such as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. Many tourists don’t realise that they are propping up the vile bullfighting industry in countries such as Spain, where attendance by locals is dwindling.
  2. If you see travel companies advertising bullfighting or the Running of the Bulls, please let us know. We’ve already persuaded Thomas Cook, Brittany Ferries and others to stop promoting cruelty.
  3. Send a message to the European Union asking that it stop subsidising bullfights. An estimated £30 million per year goes to support Spanish bullfights – a shameful subsidy for a blood sport that is abhorrent to the majority of European citizens.



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