• Jun
  • 18

Found Nemo. Finding Dory. Saving Tilikum.

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Killer Whale

To avoid supporting the cruelty of zoos and aquariums and the conditions that animals confined to those facilities are forced to endure, compassionate parents and children can seek other venues in order to gain insight into the animal kingdom. One of the best ways that this can be done is by going to the movies, as many excellent movies are being made to educate and entertain the masses about the natural habitats and behavior of different species. One film that captivated audiences around the world was Finding Nemo, a tale of a missing fish who is trapped by humans and a father who swims the ocean in an effort to get his son back.

The sequel to this award-winning film is set to be released in 2016. Finding Dory will reportedly follow the story of Dory, everyone’s favorite swimming buddy, as she attempts to reconnect with her family. Although Pixar is remaining silent about the script and details of the film, one important fact has been brought to light: Pixar is redoing the ending of the film as a response to another phenomenal film, Blackfish.

Blackfish is a documentary that exposes the deplorable conditions that captive orcas endure at SeaWorld and similar facilities around the world. After seeing the responses to the documentary, Pixar officials decided not to risk having Finding Dory get caught up in the controversy surrounding marine parks. The ending of Finding Dory was apparently set to take place in a marine park. Initially, the animals would have been forced to stay. However, the new ending will apparently have the animals in an aquatic center that they will be allowed to leave whenever they please.

Although we won’t know the precise details until the film is released, it is always encouraging to see companies taking the initiative to put animals first.

Post written by PETA Asia intern Victoria Wall

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  • Jun
  • 16

The Truth About Halal Meat

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CowHalal meat has been making headlines around the world recently, with revelations that several major UK restaurants have been “secretly” selling it to customers. Here’s the thing: No religion needs to slaughter animals for food. For anyone who’s concerned about animals raised and killed for food, there is only one label that really matters: “vegan.” Yes, people have the right to know what—or who—is in their food, but the simple solution to avoid mystery-meat scandals is to eat plant-based meals, which are kinder to animals and open to all faiths. And it’s so easy to eat with a clear conscience.

Don’t get us wrong: As long as animals are still killed for food, stopping the most inhumane slaughter methods—in which cows and other animals have their throats cut while they’re still conscious—would be a step in the right direction, but in conventional slaughterhouses, millions of animals are improperly stunned and are awake, alert, and terrified as their bodies are hacked open.

And let’s not forget that the actual slaughter, whether the animal is stunned and killed or just killed, is only part of the long and blatantly cruel process of modern meat production. At the “best” of times, meat is a product of a bloody and violent industry that has no respect for other living beings who value their lives in the same way that we do and experience the same pain and terror that we would if we were killed for a sandwich or a pizza topping.

Chickens are mutilated by having the sensitive ends of their beaks cut off—without painkillers. Pigs are castrated—also without painkillers. Animals may be kept in darkened sheds for their entire lives and never see the sun or confined to cages so small that they can barely turn around. They have their beloved babies taken away from them when they are just days or even hours old. And on their journey to slaughter, they will be crammed into filthy trucks on a punishing journey that can last for days, often with inadequate food or water, before reaching their final destination—all of which directly contradicts the basic principles of compassion and reverence for life shared by most religions.

As the Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness.” And the only diet that expresses kindness, is open to all religions, and truly respects animal rights is a vegan one.

If you care about animals, you can practice what you preach by signing our 30-day vegan pledge.

Posted by Edwina Baier

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  • Jun
  • 12

Victory! Cruel Fetish Animal Torturer Sentenced to Prison

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KittenIn the United States last week, Ashley Richards was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of cruelty to animals. Richards and her co-defendant Brent Justice were both charged with cruelty to animals for their involvement in an international “crush” video sales scheme. Such “crush” videos feature animals, including mice, puppies, kittens, and rabbits, who were slowly tortured to death for the twisted sexual gratification of fetishists.

The two Americans are not the only people facing the long arm of the law when it comes to crush cases. Dorma and Vicente Ridon of the Philippines are currently standing trial for videos reported to PETA in 2011. PETA was able to work with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation to track down the Ridons, and they are now facing time in jail for a slew of charges, including cruelty to animals and violations of the Philippines Wildlife Resources and Conservation Act as well as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

The videos that the Ridons stand accused of producing show scantily clad girls—some of them underage—torturing, mutilating, and killing animals. The subjects crushed puppies beneath their feet until they vomited their internal organs, set rabbits on fire, burned a dog with a clothes iron, and stabbed a monkey and dogs in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel. Closing arguments have been heard in the Ridon trial, and a verdict is expected in the upcoming months.

Given the undeniable link between cruelty to animals and other forms of violence, the world is a much safer place when people who make crush videos are behind bars. Both the case in the U.S. and the Ridons case in the Philippines are setting precedent across the globe that cruelty to animals will be punished.

Remember: If you witness cruelty to animals, never be silent. A phone call or an e-mail could be life or death to an animal in need.

Posted by Edwina Baier

 

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  • Jun
  • 10

Get a Feel for Angora

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Imagine having your hair ripped out while you scream in pain. Anyone who’s ever been to a waxing salon is probably shuddering right now—you know that it’s a painful, unpleasant experience. Now imagine that you have hair all over your body and that all your hair is ripped out every three months—and not by choice. There’s no warm wax or a comforting touch. The pain skyrockets to a level that no one could tolerate.

Award-winning ad agency Lowe and Partners created this eye-opening new ad for PETA, which will help consumers get a slight feel for how angora is produced (the rabbits obviously have it much worse). The ad was directed by Olivier Venturini alongside the production company Great Guns.

Last year, PETA released the findings from our investigation of angora rabbit farms in China, the source of 90 per cent of the world’s angora. PETA’s investigator found rabbits screaming and writhing in pain as workers violently ripped out their fur by the fistful. After being plucked bald, the rabbits lay motionless inside tiny, filthy wire-bottom cages, stunned and in shock. Rabbits used for angora endure this terrifying ordeal every three months for two to five years before being killed.

Following the release of PETA’s behind-the-scenes video, retailers all over the world—including Forever 21, Eddie Bauer, PVH Corp. (the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, IZOD, and other top brands), H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Gap, Inc.—either pulled angora products from their shelves or banned angora entirely.

The true feel of angora is pain and death. You can help rabbits by taking PETA’s pledge to leave angora out of your wardrobe.

Posted by Jason Baker

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  • Jun
  • 06

Appalling Animal Attraction: Beppu Jigoku

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ElephantIt’s the one attraction that Beppu, Japan, is known for. The Beppu Jigoku, or “hells” in English, are eight natural hot springs that hundreds of tourists eagerly visit each year. Each jigoku has its own unique atmosphere, and while the hot springs themselves may be pleasing to the eye (and the skin!), the suffering of animals that can be seen at three of the springs isn’t so camera-friendly.

At the Shiraike Jigoku, a small rundown aquarium is secluded behind the glamorous white pond. The aquarium is easy to miss and includes disgusting small tanks filled with miserable-looking fish. Removing the aquarium from the Shiraike Jigoku wouldn’t harm anyone and would provide the fish with a much happier life.

Although the Oniyama Jigoku is often advertised as a breeding ground for crocodiles, the enclosures there are more crowded than commuter trains during rush hour. The water in the pens is dirty, and the crocodiles are obviously denied everything that is natural and important to them. Concrete walls and metal fences cannot serve as adequate substitutes for a crocodile’s natural habitat.

The last and worst abuser on the list is the Yama Jigoku. You can’t help but notice the abused animals who are advertised as denizens of a “zoo.” A hippopotamus is forced to live in an enclosure that is smaller than an average swimming pool. An elephant stands behind metal bars like a prisoner in a jail cell. Other animals are trapped in small cages that would make any compassionate person cringe. The best way to help these animals is not to support this cruel animal exhibit. These animals may not be advertised as the area’s main attraction, but a visit to the hot springs would condone the conditions that they are forced to endure. Please speak out against these abuses.

Post written by PETA Asia intern Victoria Wall

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  • May
  • 30

“It Was Raining Pigeons”: Millions Die in Taiwan Sea Races

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racing pigeons in loftMore than a million homing pigeons die every year during Taiwan’s seasonal pigeon races, grueling sets of seven races over the open ocean from ever-increasing distances. Young birds—not even a year old—are shipped out to sea, released in the middle of the ocean, and forced to fly back home, sometimes even in typhoon-strength winds. Most often, less than 1 percent of these highly intelligent birds complete each seven-race series—many drown from exhaustion, die in the storms, or are killed for being too slow.

PETA US investigators recently went undercover at the largest pigeon-racing club in southern Taiwan. They infiltrated this secretive industry, obtaining access to racing lofts, “shipping night” (during which the birds are registered and put in cargo crates), and even a ship from which the pigeons were released. Investigators recorded officials and participants admitting to illegal bets of hundreds of millions of Taiwan dollars and to the massive losses of birds as a result of this ruthless “sport.”

Top racers and high-ranking club officials admitted to deadly conditions for the birds, who fly with untreated injuries, without enough rest between races, and through heavy rainstorms. PETA US investigators captured video footage of a race in which tens of thousands of birds disappeared in a matter of hours and were presumed to have drowned. Even birds who survive these extreme conditions may be killed or discarded by their owners if they do not make the qualifying time for the next race in the series. Pigeons are smart, gentle, and loyal birds. They bond for life and can live for more than 20 years. Yet almost all the birds who begin their lives as racing pigeons in Taiwan die in their first year of life.

“It was raining pigeons—literally. I’ve never seen such a scene. … Every one of them crashed onto the boat. … Some crashed into the ocean. … About one hour after the pigeon rain, you could see the whole surface of the ocean filled with dead pigeons.” —Taiwanese fishing boat captain

Money—not just entry fees but vast, illegal wagers—fuels the multibillion-dollar pigeon-racing industry in Taiwan. Wealthy racers pay upwards of US$100,000 for imported breeder birds, and top racers admitted to making millions on a single race. “Prizes” such as refrigerators are listed on gambling sheets as a cover for the cash bets that are the main draw of these events. Racers boasted that government law enforcement “can’t catch us.” The chance to win staggering sums leads to extortion, the drugging of birds, and even the kidnapping of birds for ransom. In order to prevent cheating, pigeons’ leg ring numbers are covered so that the birds are anonymous, and photographs of their feathers are meticulously compared.

An international web of commerce supports Taiwan racing: Breeder birds are bought and sold for tens of thousands of dollars from U.S. and international dealers, then kept as “prisoners” and left to constantly reproduce while their offspring are serially exterminated in race after race.

Billions of dollars are wagered on these races, but for the pigeons, it’s always a losing bet.

You can help speak out against the cruel use of pigeons for gambling by sending an email to service@npa.gov.tw, asking Wang Cho-chiun, director-general of the National Police Agency, to investigate the billions of dollars in illegal bets and untaxed winnings associated with pigeon racing in Taiwan.

Posted by Jason Baker

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  • May
  • 21

Malang the Crocodile Swims Free, Once Again

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crocodileAfter Malang, a freshwater crocodile who was rumored to be the largest ever caught, was illegally trapped in Liguasan Marsh, PETA sent an urgent plea to Mlang Mayor Joselito Piñol asking him to release the reptile. Mayor Piñol quickly reassured us that the municipality never intended to keep Malang and that she would be released back into the marsh after veterinarians checked her health.

PETA thanks the local government of Mlang for taking a firm stance on wildlife protection and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for advocating the release of Malang and not allowing her to meet the same fate as the saltwater crocodile Lolong did. Lolong’s capture and subsequent exploitative confinement caused his untimely death. A necropsy found that he had died from late-stage pneumonia, cardiac failure, multiple organ failure, and non-adaptive stress response—all of which can be attributed to his captivity. In the wild, crocodiles spend hours swimming and can regulate the buoyancy and temperature of their bodies, which is called “thermo-regulation.” No enclosure—no matter how large—can provide crocodiles with everything that is natural and important to them.

Displaying a crocodile would not bring fame or honor to the Philippines or Cotabato. Keeping Malang in captivity would have shown only a lack of regard for animal welfare, and PETA applauds the city of Mlang for recognizing that.

Do you want to help crocodiles and all animals languishing in captivity? It’s as easy as never patronizing zoos and entertainment parks—take the pledge here.

Posted by Ashley Fruno

 

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  • May
  • 19

China Southern Airlines Fined for Illegally Shipping Monkeys to Labs

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monkey in cageThe U.S. Department of Agriculture has fined China Southern Airlines U.S.$11,600 for illegally shipping 1,380 monkeys over a six-month period in 2013 from breeding facilities in China to laboratories in the United States without a federal license to do so. The agency’s action was prompted by a complaint that PETA U.S. filed after they received a tip from a concerned whistleblower. China Southern was also fined $14,000 in 2012 for shipping primates without a license and not providing them with adequate food, water, and veterinary care, leading to the deaths of 16 monkeys.

Thankfully, China Southern’s monkey shipments—legal or not—are now a thing of the past because (and following three years of campaigning by PETA and our international affiliates), China Southern recently announced that it would join almost every other major airline in the world—including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways, Air China, El Al Israel Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and dozens of others—by refusing to continue to take part in this violent industry.

As more and more airlines have agreed to stop shipping primates to laboratories—where they are poisoned, crippled, and mutilated—experimenters have had a more difficult time getting their hands on monkeys to torment in their archaic procedures.

Tell Air France That Cruelty Doesnt Fly

Now that China Southern is off the market, please help us convince Air France to stop transporting primates to deadly laboratories. Take action today!

Posted by Jason Baker

 

 

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  • May
  • 02

Start an Animal Rights Group in 5 Easy Steps

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Rat Malaysia ProtestDoing outreach solo is a great way to help animals, but by forming a local animal rights group, you can increase your effectiveness and your clout. The media, the government, and the public will often give more serious consideration to the views of a group. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Get together! A group can start with just two people. The important thing is to decide from the beginning what issue you want to work on. Maybe you met other activists at a circus protest, and ending the use of animals in entertainment is your priority. Or perhaps you and a vegan friend want to educate people about the many benefits of adopting a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle.
  2. Get a name! Regardless of what issue you’ve decided to focus on, be sure to create a catchy name for your group that people will easily remember and that also reflects your cause.
  3. Get educated! Now that you have a group, a cause, and a name, begin educating yourself as much as possible. For example, familiarizing yourself with the laws regarding animals in your country will only strengthen your cause. You might get started by searching the Internet, conducting research at your local library, or writing a letter to request information from your local government.
  4. Get organized! Call your first meeting and discuss tactics. At this meeting, you should decide who will be responsible for which tasks, what your group’s goals are, and how often you want to meet. Be open to new ideas, and encourage people to express themselves. You can also consider starting a group page on a popular social-media website such as Facebook, which has the potential to increase the number of people you reach exponentially.
  5. Get in touch! PETA can provide you with digital leaflets and other materials, so be sure to drop us a line at Info@PETAAsiaPacific.com. We’d love to work with you!

Need some event ideas to help you get started? Try these:

  • Hold a vegan bake-sale fundraiser.
  • Table at a community event.
  • Plan a lunchtime protest at the local KFC.
  • Host a vegan potluck.
  • If a circus is planning to come to your town, get together and hand out leaflets in advance so that compassionate people will know not to buy tickets.

Remember to have fun and stay positive! Even if members disagree during meetings, you are all there for the same reason—because you love animals and want to end their suffering!

Inspired to help animals? Join our Activist Network now!

Posted by Edwina Baier

 

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  • Apr
  • 30

Protected: Powerful Video Shows the True Pain of the Angora Industry

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