People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world. PETA's blog is your source for up-to-the-minute information about PETA's campaigns; breaking news about victories, new initiatives to help animals, and animal rights information from across the globe.
That magical time of year is upon us again. As you ponder letting go of the old and bringing in the new for 2018, let this list of ethical vegan fashion items and accessories from forward-thinking brands serve as inspiration for your own letters to Santa this year.
Casto Parka: Vaute is spelled like “haute” but with a “v” for “vegan” and pronounced like “vote,” because it’s what we’re doing every time that we reach for our wallets. Luckily for us, the company is offering PETA supporters a 20 percent discount using the code PETALOVE for the week of December 18 to 24, and 10 percent of all online sales will go to help animals! Be sure to take advantage: The brand’s cozy vegan wool sweaters and super-warm down-alternative or vegan moleskin jackets are made with 100 percent recycled fibers that make it easy to do and look good.
Piñatex Watch: This watch company is dedicated to a minimalist aesthetic and to minimizing the suffering of animals for fashion. Its latest straps are constructed with pineapple leather, a biodegradable byproduct from the pineapple harvest that provides farmers with additional income. Sustainable fashion win!
Navy Washed Denim Women’s Del Rey Sneakers: If there’s anything that we love more than a good sneaker, it’s a comfy denim one made with all-vegan materials. Take note, Allbirds! Plus, for every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will give a brand-new pair to a child in need.
Hymnal Watch: This vegan watch brand based in Barcelona, Spain, just won the PETA U.K. Menswear Vegan Fashion Award for Best Watches, and we can’t think of a company that deserves it more. Its vegan leather, wool-free tweed strap and super-chic face make it clear that it’s time to jump on the cruelty-free product bandwagon.
Technik-Leather Clutch: While not a 100 percent vegan company, von Holzhausen aims to phase animal hides out of its collection over the coming months and fully invest in its Technik-Leather—a supple stain- and scratch-resistant vegan material made in Italy and discovered through the founder’s work in the car industry. The company’s clutch is great for day-to-night ensembles. In addition to being focused on sustainability, the company donates 10 percent of its profits to women’s charities.
Wack White Microfiber Sneakers: Calling all good guys! From boots, sandals, and handbags to sneakers, tees, and pins, this brand does it all—and with a lot of heart—from its Paris headquarters. It also takes sustainability just as seriously as ethics and is STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certified.
V for Victory (and Vegan) Ring: Lucy & Jo’s rings are made in Kibera, Kenya, the largest slum in Africa, by three talented brothers who make them in order to build thriving livelihoods. Diamonds may be forever, but this company’s beautiful brass equals love.
Madeline Mini Bucket Bag: This bag, which has a classic silhouette and is made with premium vegan leather, is sold at several Bloomingdale’s locations across the country, proving that vegan is the new luxury. Angela and Roi, a husband-and-wife duo, launched the brand in 2013, inspired by their love for animals and fashion.
Doe Parka: Founders James Yurichuk (a professional linebacker in the Canadian Football League) and Anthony DeBartolo met in 1992 while playing hockey in Ontario, Canada. As their friendship grew, so did the idea for a premium, ethics-oriented outerwear company that keeps its customers warm, inside and out.
Mini Key Post Earrings: The Giving Keys is a Los Angeles–based social enterprise company that sells jewelry in the shape of keys engraved with inspiring words of affirmation, and it helps people transition out of homelessness. The goodwill doesn’t end there: Once recipients embrace the word you chose for them, they’re encouraged to pay it forward by passing it on to someone else they think could be inspired by the message.
Luscious Affair Scarf: This Australia-based company creates faux-fur jackets and stoles in every pattern and color you could think of, because it shares PETA’s belief that “animals are not ours to wear.” Many celebrities—including Jhené Aiko, Penélope Cruz, Taraji P. Henson, and Eva Mendes—are now fur-free. Even first lady Melania Trump gave up fur after talks with PETA, and the Parsons School of Design—the leading fashion design university in the country—cut ties with the fur industry this year.
After over half a century of exploiting animals—most notably, a “celebrity” groundhog named General Beauregard Lee, who’s kept in a tiny cage only to be paraded around on Groundhog Day—the shameful roadside zoo Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, Georgia, has finally closed its doors.
Yellow River was one of the few facilities left in the country that still confined bears to archaic concrete pits—even though keeping them on concrete flooring can cause and exacerbate arthritis. Animals in these pits have virtually nothing to do but beg for scraps of food from tourists. The roadside zoo’s history of noncompliance with animal-welfare laws was so bad that in 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued it an official warning for failing to provide several animals with veterinary care and for its decrepit enclosures.
Some people associated with the roadside zoo claim that years of advocacy from animal rights groups like PETA were a major factor in its shutdown—and we couldn’t be more delighted.
It’s unclear whether Yellow River has made arrangements to ensure that the hundreds of animals at the facility will be fed and adequately cared for going forward. Rather, reports note that just a couple of employees have volunteered to return temporarily, unpaid, to the facility to feed them.
Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has reportedly said that it would help the roadside zoo with the disposition of the animals. PETA offered to assist both the DNR and the USDA with the animals’ transportation to and placement in reputable sanctuaries. We’re well equipped to help: In the last five years alone, we’ve rescued 65 bears from roadside zoos where they languished in concrete pits or tiny pens.
We’ve tracked this hellhole of a facility for 25 years.
In that time, PETA has submitted several USDA and state agency complaints reporting apparent violations of animal-welfare laws, and the USDA has cited the roadside zoo for violations during an overwhelmingly majority of its inspections.
USDA inspection reports show that over the years, Yellow River had repeatedly failed to notify a veterinarian of animal health issues, most recently two foxes who had ongoing eye discharge, a condition that could indicate serious illness, as well as a sheep who had hair loss and skin lesions.
This kind of neglect is exactly why PETA urges families to stay away from any roadside zoo that exhibits animals.
Help Other Animals Stuck in Roadside Zoos
Never patronize a business that uses wild animals as attractions. Roadside zoos frequently disregard the well-being of imprisoned animals for the sake of a quick buck. Their callous indifference to the suffering of sentient beings must be not only condemned by the public but also sternly punished under the law.
Stand with PETA today—save animals who are denied their fundamental right to freedom and everything else that makes their lives meaningful:
Below, please see a statement from PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews regarding the Philadelphia Carriage Company, which will cease operations as of December 31, 2017, as the result of a settlement agreement reached this morning with the Philadelphia City Council:
PETA thanks Council Member Mark Squilla for leading the charge to shut down this cruel enterprise. This company has illegally forced sick horses to haul heavy carriages day in and day out without a license for six months. As these horses finally head to retirement at a rescue group, PETA thinks that Philadelphians and tourists alike will see that horse-drawn carriages have no place in the 21st century.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about our work is available here.
According to reports, the Coast Guard had to step in to rescue a wild sea turtle who had a life-threating run-in with a patch of “snow.” But this isn’t the type of “white Christmas” you may be thinking of—the turtle’s neck was entangled by cords that were securing a massive bundle of cocaine jettisoned overboard from a ship and left floating in the open ocean. Watch what happened:
Over 3 million people have already seen the video footage above, which was captured during the rescue operation. Carefully cutting away the netted web of cords holding the stash of narcotics together, the Coast Guard heroes were able to free the loggerhead turtle from the snare.
Our actions affect living, feeling beings in ways we may not consider.
While you probably don’t have $53 million worth of cocaine to ditch (we hope!), all litter has the potential to hurt wild animals—on land or in the ocean. Garbage that washes into sewers or gets swept up by the wind from beaches or landfills and blown into the ocean can easily injure or entangle sensitive marine animals. On land, discarded plastic soda rings, bottles, cans, and even straws can kill wildlife as well as companion animals such as cats and dogs. Watch this dramatic video that went viral a few years ago, which shows vets working to dislodge a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nose:
Sea Turtle with Straw up its Nostril - "NO" TO PLASTIC STRAWS - YouTube
Please, don’t ever litter—no matter the size (or worth) of the objects. Animals can mistake trash for food or shelter, which can lead to suffocation or other deadly problems. Hungry animals desperate for even just a few crumbs often get their heads stuck in discarded cans, cups, and jars.
Be sure to cover your garbage cans and recycling bins securely in order to prevent animals from becoming stuck inside. Keep an eye out for other people’s trash, too: Organize a park, beach, or neighborhood cleanup. Remember: Your actions could mean the difference between life and death for an animal!
You can learn more about the ways littering hurts animals—and get tips on how to help animals who become trapped—by checking out our handy guide:
PETA is able to help animals only because of the dedicated activists, donors, and volunteers working with us. We’ve saved thousands of lives this year alone—some just in time for the holidays.
Here’s just a few animals who—thanks to you—will have a merry festive season:
Dozens of Donkeys Rescued From the Blistering Heat and Hard Labor
Earlier this year, Animal Rahat was making arrangements to replace dozens of donkeys with tractors at brick kilns. Many of the animals were run down and had harness sores. Thankfully, they’re now officially retired and spending their golden years in the beautiful green pastures of the cool Nilgiri Hills.
More Than 150 Greyhounds No Longer Forced to Endure Their Blood Being Stolen
Five weeks after a PETA exposé revealed that roughly 150 discarded greyhounds kept in decrepit conditions were being farmed for their blood at The Pet Blood Bank in Cherokee, Texas, the facility shut down. The dogs were transferred to adoption programs, finally free from the miserable conditions and treatment at the facility.
This Bullock Has Been Blessed in His New Home
Caro came to the Animal Rahat sanctuary in India with a nasty face wound and terrified of people. Now, the rescued bullock has a new foster herd and a safe place to live! Here’s Caro shortly after having been blessed by his caretaker:
Storm and Rain Made Landfall
Storm and Rain were two animals among those that PETA’s rescue team evacuated from the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey. Still together, the two adorable feline refugees now have a place to call home.
These Ducks Are Safe From Dangerous City Life
A visiting PETA staff member found these ducks—Sonny and Chong—wandering the busy streets of Mumbai desperate for food and water. The duo received a bath at the PETA India office, and after staying in the office temporarily, have now gone to a vegetarian farm with a big pond.
And of Course, Christmas the Puppy Is Ready to Celebrate His First Holiday With His New Family
Christmas was found by PETA Asia on a volcanic island in the Philippines. He was a shadow of a puppy, with open wounds and lice. His transformation into this happy doggo is a sight to behold.
This Video Will Melt Your Heart: Christmas the Puppy’s First Holiday - YouTube
Together, we can make the world a better place for all beings.
Anything is possible when we all help animals. Learn how you can make a difference by joining our team:
A Compassionate Fire Department Award is on its way from PETA to Landover Hills Station 830, part of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, for rescuing a dog from an icy ravine on W. Forest Road in Hyattsville on Friday.
Responding to an emergency call from a concerned citizen, the firefighters arrived at the ravine with a ladder in tow. Team member Jesse McCullough carefully climbed down the snowy dam to reach the dog, who was stuck in the freezing water below, shaking and exhausted. The firefighters then rushed the dog back to their firehouse to dry him off and feed him before taking him to the Prince George’s County animal shelter, and he was later returned to his guardian. Video footage of the rescue is available here.
“These brave firefighters wasted no time in rescuing this dog from a freezing and frightening predicament,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA is recognizing the Landover Hills Station 830 team for its swift action, which we hope will inspire everyone to come to the aid of animals in need.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reminds all dog guardians to keep their animal companions near them on walks using a leash and a comfortable, secure harness and to keep a close eye on them when they’re outdoors.
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department will receive a framed certificate, a box of delicious vegan cookies, a letter of congratulations, and a copy of The Engine 2 Diet, a Texas firefighter’s 28-day plan for staying in prime firefighting shape by eating vegan meals.
Sometimes the most effective way to raise awareness and spark compassion is to present a visual image so jarring that it literally turns heads. That’s exactly what PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk did on December 14 by dressing like an elephant and being “beaten” by a handler at a popular Jaipur tourist spot to promote banning elephant rides in India.
Chained for effect, Ingrid and her mahout (elephant trainer) demonstrated to members of the media, Jaipur residents, and Amber Fort visitors how elephants who are forced to give tourist rides are enslaved, beaten until their spirits break, and denied all freedom. To make Ingrid’s demonstration even more realistic, she used the heavy wooden rod that a handler tried to hide when she caught him thwacking a sick baby elephant—also blind in one eye—at the nearby Elephant Village, which operates as a zoo, even though it doesn’t have permission from the Central Zoo Authority.
Ingrid’s decision to demonstrate at Amber Fort was strategic. This June, a group of American tourists there witnessed two elephants reach their breaking point and try to escape the misery of lugging tourists uphill to the top of the fort, over and over again, in the unbearable heat. Ride operators armed with weapons that they hide inside the howdah (the structure on the elephant’s back) recaptured the animals and beat one continuously for approximately 10 minutes, forcing the animal to comply out of fear and pain.
The nightmare of captivity is constant for elephants who are forced to haul tourists, even when they’re injured, lame, or blind, as many are. They endure barbaric training to “break” them as youngsters and then routine beatings and psychological torment. Trainers even pierce elephants’ sensitive ears and drill holes into their tusks, which contain live bone. Instead of spending their days socializing and foraging for food as they do in nature, captive elephants are chained when they’re not working—sometimes with spiked hobbles—and forced to stand on hard concrete floors, which causes painful and sometimes fatal foot problems.
Baby Elephants Are KIDNAPPED so That Tourists Can Ride Them - YouTube