Join Keltie Knight, Peter Dinklage, Jason Biggs, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Marc Maron, and more in celebrating all of PETA's lifesaving work in 2014!
With industry-shaking undercover investigations, eye-catching celebrity campaigns, groundbreaking technical innovations, and much more, there have never been more reasons to celebrate for animals than in 2014.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters.
PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other "pests" as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.
Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat industry. Leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning.
With every pair of leather shoes that you buy, you sentence an animal to a lifetime of suffering. Instead, you can choose from hundreds of styles of nonleather shoes, clothing, belts, bags, and wallets. Check out PETA’s cruelty-free clothing guide for great tips on where to find fashionable yet compassionate clothing. Fashion should be fun, not fatal!
On today's factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and confined to wire cages, gestation crates, barren dirt lots, and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything that is natural and important to them. Most won't even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. The green pastures and idyllic barnyard scenes of years past are now distant memories. After you watch these videos, will you be able to support this cruel system? Stop the cycle. Go vegan!
As with other industries where animals are raised for a profit, the interests of the animals used in the wool industry are rarely considered. Flocks usually consist of thousands of sheep, and individual attention to their needs is virtually impossible. Many people believe that shearing sheep helps animals who might otherwise be burdened with too much wool, but without human interference, sheep grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes.
Australia produces about a quarter of all wool used worldwide. Within weeks of birth, lambs' ears are hole-punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated without anesthetics. Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. Says one eyewitness: "[T]he shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals ... I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep's nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off ..."
In Australia, the most commonly raised sheep are merinos, specifically bred to have wrinkly skin, which means more wool per animal. This unnatural overload of wool causes animals to die of heat exhaustion during hot months, and the wrinkles also collect urine and moisture. Attracted to the moisture, flies lay eggs in the folds of skin, and the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. To prevent this so-called "flystrike," Australian ranchers perform a barbaric operation—mulesing—or carving huge strips of flesh off the backs of lambs' legs and around their tails. This is done to cause smooth, scarred skin that won't harbor fly eggs, yet the bloody wounds often get flystrike before they heal. Every year, hundreds of lambs die before the age of 8 weeks from exposure or starvation, and mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter, and neglect. To learn more, visit PETA.org.