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.
A drone camera has captured a disturbing image of the trophy-hunting crisis: Lying dead on the ground in Botswana is an elephant with injuries that look to have been inflicted by hunters with chainsaws. Photographer Justin Sullivan captured the picture of the African elephant, whose trunk and tusks appear to have been sawed off, just weeks after Botswana lifted its hunting ban on all species. Prior to the reversal of the ban, many elephant herds in African poaching hotspots had fled to Botswana.
Elephants Without Borders estimates that elephant poaching in Botswana increased by 593% between 2014 and 2018. Hunters looking for ivory first target older males, who have the largest tusks, before moving on to the matriarchs. According to National Geographic, this is especially damaging to elephant populations because “the older females are the repositories of the herd’s collective wisdom. The matriarchs are the ones who know where to find water and food.”
And of course, that statistic doesn’t include the elephants killed legally by hunters who gun them down for entertainment. The African Wildlife Foundation puts the number of elephants killed in Africa every year at about 35,000.
With all the challenges that elephant populations face—including habitat loss, drought, dwindling food supplies, and poaching—hunters can’t argue that these animals need to be killed under the guise of “conservation.”
Urge UPS to stop shipping hunters’ “trophies” for them now:
PETA is calling on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to pull the plug on a set of cruel and scientifically worthless psychological tests on animals carried out and funded by the agency with our tax dollars. PETA’s appeal to end indefensible experiments that terrorize animals follows the release of video footage of an NIMH-funded “social defeat experiment.”
Social Defeat Experiment - YouTube
In the “social defeat experiment,” a small mouse is put inside a cage with an aggressive, dominant one and is attacked repeatedly by the larger mouse. The experimenters do this in order to produce psychological stress and depression in the attacked animal, even though experiments based on this “model” give us insights into the biological mechanisms at work only in mice—not humans—when they’re bullied.
In the video released by PETA, experimenters locked a small mouse inside a cage to be attacked by an aggressive, dominant mouse—producing psychological stress and depression in the assaulted animal.
PETA has determined that NIMH Director Joshua A. Gordon has personally conducted this bizarre, senseless experiment. In his version of it, male mouse urine was rubbed onto young female mice’s vaginas and tails. The females were then placed into cages with larger, aggressive male mice so that they would be assaulted.
Gordon’s atrocities don’t stop there. He’s also conducted three other horrific types of experiments on animals:
The widely discredited forced swim (or “despair”) test, in which mice, rats, or other small animals are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and must swim frantically to keep from drowning
The tail suspension test, in which experimenters tape a mouse’s tail to a bar and hang the animal upside down
The foot shock test, in which experimenters lock mice or rats inside a chamber with an electrified grid floor and repeatedly shock them
All these experiments are useless to humans.
How do we know? Well, let’s put this in a way even Gordon should understand—as it turns out, humans aren’t mice trapped in cages or beakers of water.
Nothing about these tests “models” complex human neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and stress. Reliance on these irrelevant tests is consistently cited as a leading reason why so many neurobehavioral drugs fail in human clinical trials. Has any doctor ever told a patient that they could alleviate their depression by avoiding electrically charged floors or being hung upside down? Come on.
We Can End These Tests Now, but We Need Your Help
Using our form below, please demand that the NIMH stop conducting and supporting these useless tests on small animals and redirect funds to support advanced, animal-free research methods that offer the hope of actually helping human patients.
After British Columbia authorities did not recommend filing cruelty charges following PETA’s release of video footage showing severely injured and lame pigs suffering in dungeon-like conditions at Excelsior Hog Farm, PETA has placed ads on local buses that show a pig’s face next to the words “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.”
“Piglets at Excelsior Hog Farm were left to die, and their bodies were left to rot right alongside their siblings, just out of their mothers’ reach,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s ads will circle Abbotsford to remind everyone that the best way to prevent abuse like this is to keep pigs and all other animals off our plates.”
Misery, Slow Death for Pigs Crated in Filthy Canadian Factory - YouTube
Pigs at Excelsior Hog Farm—which is owned in part by Ray Binnendyk, a director of the BC Pork Producers Association—had sustained bloody lacerations, and some suffered from volleyball-size umbilical hernias. Sows were forced to give birth in farrowing crates barely bigger than their bodies, and while they could nurse, they couldn’t otherwise tend to their babies during the first weeks of their lives, causing many to die unattended.
A sign at the entrance to the farm identifies it as supplying Johnston’s, a pig slaughterer that claims to have “high standards of animal care.” And PETA has seen similar “high standards” at every farm and slaughterhouse we’ve ever visited. We can’t sit by and wait for other people to stop abusing and killing animals. We can end it ourselves, three times every day. PETA’s vegan mentors are ready to answer any questions you may have and help you discover compassionate eating.
With its star-studded cast (Beyoncé!) and an amazing soundtrack (a brand new Elton John song!), the film is expected to rake it in at the box office this summer. But we’re most excited for its groundbreaking visual effects that bring the animals of Pride Rock to life on screen—without using a single live animal.
Critics are just as obsessed with the film’s technology, calling the movie a “breathtaking visual cinematic achievement” and a “landmark *visual* experience.” To celebrate director Jon Favreau’s decision to keep live animals off his set and his revolutionary use of technology, PETA is honoring him by sponsoring a rescued lion named Louie and asking Disney to commit to not using live big cats in any future film or television productions. We’re also sending vegan lion-shaped chocolates to the film’s cast as a thank-you for lending their voices to these beautiful computer-generated animals.
Louie is a lion living at the Lions Tigers & Bears animal sanctuary in Alpine, California. He was surrendered to the sanctuary by a Hollywood animal trainer after having been taken from his mother as a cub in South Africa and then forced to perform for entertainment. Instead of being exploited for film and television, he now gets to live out his days at a real sanctuary, with all the space, enrichment, and excellent care that he deserves.
Louie was lucky in the end, but countless other animals used for entertainment endure physical and psychological abuse at the hands of trainers. When they aren’t being forced to perform, many animals born into the industry spend their lives inside cramped, filthy cages, deprived of exercise, companionship, and enrichment. Many are even separated from their mothers prematurely—a practice that’s cruel to both the baby and the mother and that denies the infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. And don’t be fooled by American Humane’s (AH) “No Animals Were Harmed” stamp of approval. Despite AH’s “monitoring,” animals used in film and TV are routinely subjected to dangerous situations, which, in some cases, can lead to injuries or even death. AH doesn’t monitor preproduction training techniques or how the animals live when they’re not being used for filming. The only way to protect animals in film and television is not to use them and to opt for humane alternatives such as computer-generated imagery or animatronics instead.
This isn’t the first time that Favreau and Disney have turned to technology instead of exploiting captive wild animals. Their 2016 adaptation of The Jungle Book brought iconic animals such as Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther to life with innovative effects instead of using live animals.
“It’s very hard to teach an animal to talk from what I understand,” Favreau joked in an interview. “So this seemed like a good solution. It’s also better for the animals not to be on set …. I’m a city boy, so I thought CG animals would be the way to go.”
“It’s tangled … it’s tangled. It’s going to drown,” one man can be heard saying. “It doesn’t matter, we’ll get another one,” responds the other. This exchange—an actual conversation between two men caught on camera during the violent capture of wild orcas—appears within the first 70 seconds of Long Gone Wild, a documentary released today that details the plight of captive orcas. The riveting, tear-jerking scenes only get more upsetting from there.
The film picks up where 2013’s critically acclaimed Blackfish left off. Known as the Tilikum biography that exposed SeaWorld and other marine parks around the world for what they truly are (profit-hungry death traps that confine animals to cramped concrete tanks), Blackfish certainly shares similarities with Long Gone Wild. But the new documentary’s story and characters are all fresh—and so is the heartache.
Long Gone Wild sheds light on other marine parks, too. Kshamenk at Mundo Marino in Argentina, Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium, and Kiska at MarineLand in Ontario (aka “The World’s Loneliest Orcas”) are also discussed. Deprived of mental stimulation, these three can often be seen floating listlessly for minutes at a time on the surface of the water in shallow, minuscule holding tanks—as if they’ve given up all hope. And who could blame them?
For nearly a year, 96 captured belugas and orcas have been held in small sea pens. Now authorities say that over the next four months, they will all be returned to the point of capture—1,100 miles away—and released https://t.co/OOLkSEYbCq
The Whale Sanctuary Project and its PETA-backed seaside sanctuary concept—which played a role in speaking out against the recent fiasco in Russia—are given a nod in Long Gone Wild.
What Is SeaWorld Trying to Hide?
“SeaWorld was strictly created as entertainment. We didn’t try to wear this false facade of educational significance.”
—George Millay, one of the founders of SeaWorld.
But sometime between SeaWorld’s 1964 founding and now, the marine park did begin to hide behind a smokescreen—disguising contributions to its own bottom line as funds toward bogus educational efforts and sham ocean conservation efforts.
If you still feel positively about SeaWorld or other marine-mammal parks, you likely won’t by the end of Long Gone Wild. The new documentary takes SeaWorld’s former “mom and apple pie” reputation (as Dr. Naomi Rose puts it in the film) and tears it to shreds.
Will Long Gone Wild Offer These Animals Hope?
In 2013, Blackfish helped to rally a worldwide movement to send captive orcas and other animals to seaside sanctuaries, a movement that PETA helped to kick off. Long Gone Wild is essentially a “Blackfish effect” booster shot, one that will undoubtedly inspire a whole new crop of activists to speak up in behalf of these imprisoned individuals.
How to Watch Long Gone Wild
Long Gone Wild is available on multiple video-on-demand services including Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon, Vimeo, VUDU, and Fandango NOW. Cable providers—including DIRECTV, xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, Sling, Google Fiber, Frontier, CenturyLink, Mediacom, Suddenlink, dish, and Rogers—will also be screening the film. Check Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, or Best Buy to purchase it on DVD.
Most people like to share a smooch with their sweetie while enjoying a romantic dinner, walking through a picturesque garden, clinking glasses of champagne, taking a dip in the ocean, or gazing at a starry sky. Two trophy hunters apparently prefer to kiss over the dead bodies of animals they’ve just gunned down.
Darren and Carolyn Carter from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, were on a hunting trip in South Africa when they decided to take a picture of themselves snuggling and kissing next to the body of a large awe-inspiring lion they had just shot to death for fun.
Darren & Carolyn Carter & the lion whose life they snuffed out for kicks in South Africa. YOU can share your thoughts with them at their taxidermy biz in Alberta: 1-780-690-6911. https://t.co/29Efl7RosJ
Media reports indicate that the lion was bred in captivity and imprisoned in a small enclosure on a canned hunting ranch, making him an easy mark. The couple, who operate a taxidermy business, said that they typically spend their vacations “either hunting or going to taxidermy seminars.”
As the disturbing photo continues to spread across social media, both the couple’s Instagram account and the Facebook page of the tour operator, Legelela Safaris, seem to have been deleted. The now-infamous picture has spurred renewed calls for bans on trophy hunting, bans on the importation of body parts taken from animal victims, more legal protection for endangered species, and the closure of canned hunting ranches.
The vast majority of people oppose trophy hunting. We must continue to make our voices heard and force businesses and lawmakers to listen. You can help by urging UPS to stop importing hunting trophies today:
A peaceful, costumed “elephant” holding a sign reading, “Facebook, Stop Censoring PETA,” walked into the lobby of the hotel where the secretive Allen & Company conference at Sun Valley Resort was being held. The activist was there to “message” attendee Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s and Instagram’s increased use of warning screens over PETA videos that show incidents of cruelty to animals. Security threw the “elephant” out, seized his car, even riffled through the car without a warrant. Security then detained him before police arrived. Authorities gave the activist a trespassing warning, even though he was staying in the hotel. Who says Facebook is heavy-handed?!
Our supporters have taken over 80,000 actions urging Facebook to stop censoring our content exposing real-life incidents of routine cruelty. Facebook at times even allows other pages to post the same content PETA posts without warning screens, but it censors much of our material—even videos and images that wouldn’t be considered graphic by most people.
The practice of sharing eyewitness video footage directly with the public through social media has played a vital role in many of PETA’s victories—including leading major companies to end appallingly cruel experiments on animals, forcing many circuses that use animals to shut down or stop using them, and persuading hundreds of retailers to ban fur, angora, and mohair. Metrics show that warning screens significantly reduce the number of people who view and would have their eyes opened by PETA’s videos.
PETA is calling on Facebook to implement an “opt-in” feature—like the one Twitter has—that allows users to decide for themselves whether they want warning screens to appear over graphic content.
Urge Facebook to Stop Censoring Our Videos Exposing Cruelty to Animals
People want and deserve unfettered access to footage showing what animals endure in laboratories, slaughterhouses, and roadside zoos and in other abusive situations so that they can help stop the violence.
Using our form below, send Zuckerberg and Facebook a message.