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  • Rudolf Schenker: "Scorpions Belong in Your CD-Player -- Not in a Terrarium"

    Written by PETA

    Scorpions.jpgWho better to stick up for scorpions than a fellow “Scorpion”?! That’s why we were super excited to score an exclusive interview with the Scorpion’s Rudolf Schenker. The guitarist for the uber popular German heavy metal band (who can forget their 1980s heavy metal rock anthem “Rock You Like a Hurricane”?), Rudolf recently sat down with PETA Germany to chat about the cruel exotic pet trade. Here is an excerpt from his “stinging” interview: Animals have their own personalities and were not made to entertain us or to be stared at. We have to treat them with respect.

    Animals are already losing their habitats and their freedom. Plus, a lot of people profit from animal suffering and readily accept the death of many of these highly-sensitive beings. People keeping these animals in their living rooms here in Germany might want to have a little piece of freedom but the animal is the one who pays a high price for that. You can’t just deliver nature by mail.

    Why is Rudolf striking out against the exotic pet trade? Scorpions and other animals such as tarantulas, lizards, turtles and snakes who are purchased as pets suffer from the overwhelming stress of unnatural confinement and loneliness, so it's no surprise when they often fail to thrive in captivity or lash out at owners who are usually unaware of their complex needs. Scorpions are highly intelligent and interesting animals. Florescent under ultra-violet light, these little arachnids are also glowing mothers. Giving birth to live young, a mother scorpion will use her folded legs to make a "birth basket" to catch her babies as they are born and assist them in climbing up onto carry her back where they will stay until they are ready to venture off on their own. Some species of scorpion can live up to 25 years. They shouldn't have to spend their lives trapped in tanks.

    If you're looking for an animal companion, take Schenker’s advice: “If animals are already here and can’t be returned, you could think about adopting them from the shelter.” If you ever run into a scorpion or other insect around the house, catch him or her humanely. And if you ever run into a “Scorpion” named Rudolf—ask for an autograph!

    Image credit: CreativeCommons.org / PabloBM

  • A Lesson in Compassion

    Written by PETA

    In case you have not heard, PETA India is celebrating our 10th anniversary – as part of which we are reviewing our many victories for animals, and tipping you off to ways you can be a part of our future successes! In June 2009, Kolkata's South Point School, one of the world’s largest schools, agreed to adopt non-leather school shoes as part of its uniform. Why is this important? India's treatment of cows is amongst the cruelest in the world. Since it is illegal to kill healthy young cows, they are often deliberately maimed – not that too many slaughterhouse workers really care. Cattle are tied together with ropes through their noses and beaten mercilessly in forced "death marches" over hundreds of kilometers. Handlers force them along by twisting and breaking their tails at each joint and rubbing tobacco, chilies and salt into their eyes. By the time they arrive at the slaughterhouse, many of the surviving animals are so sick and injured that they must be dragged inside, where their throats are slit in front of each other, their legs are hacked off while still conscious and they suffer the agony of being skinned alive.

    By choosing non-leather clothing and accessories, as South Point School has allowed, we can help prevent cows from having to endure this suffering. Click here to take the pledge that you will never wear any skin except your own!

  • Saving the Planet One Veggie Burger at a Time

    Written by PETA

    Did you know that you can help save the planet just by choosing a veggie burger over its carnivorous counterpart? It’s true: ditching the meat, eggs and dairy is one of the single most effective things you can do to combat climate change. Which makes sense considering that, according to a 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food creates more greenhouse gasses than all trucks, cars, planes, and ships in the world combined.

    Of course, it’s not only greenhouse gases we have to worry about. Enormous amounts of water and petroleum are required from start to finish in the meat industry, from raising and transporting crops fed to animals, to raising and transporting the animals themselves, to operating abattoirs. Blood and excrement from abattoirs and farms also pollutes wells and waterways.

    Makes a pretty compelling case for going vegan, huh? We at PETA India think so. From educating people about the devastating impact meat has on the environment, animals, and human health, to providing free “Vegetarian Starter Kits” to the masses, to conducting and releasing the results of undercover investigations into the cruel poultry and dairy industries, PETA India has been actively encouraging people to embrace a vegan diet for just over a decade now!

    PETA India’s efforts to promote vegetarianism have also gotten quite a boost from celebrity supporters over the years. Model and actor Aditi Govitrikar posed in outfits made entirely from vegetables to encourage viewers to kick the meat habit, while Anil Kumble showed off his “Go Veg” cricket bat. Mahima Chaudhary did an “angel for the animals” ad; lifelong vegetarian Devang Patel grimaced as he held a chicken drumstick; Madhavan was crammed in a cage to show people how chickens suffer; and Channel V mascot Professor Simpoo turned veg for the animals and for his health.

    Luckily, you don’t have to be famous to make a positive difference in the world. You have the power to help the planet and all of its inhabitants by simply changing what’s on your plate. So what do you say? Take the plunge and take our pledge to go vegan today!

  • Dissection? Cut It Out!

    Written by PETA

    As the celebration of PETA India’s 10th anniversary rocks on, we’re continuing our review of some of our most outstanding achievements, while also looking forward – after all, we don’t want to just sit on our, uh, laurels!

    Case in point: Dissecting animals in school is not just cruel, but utterly antiquated. Most medical schools in the US, Canada and the UK – including the highly regarded US institutions Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University – have stopped using animals in their classes, and we stepped up our efforts to persuade India’s universities to follow suit. In June 2008, we were thrilled to announce that New Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University had agreed to cut out dissection in the new school year. But did we stop there? We did not – and by the following June, Gujarat University, Mizoram University, Bharathiar University and Alagappa University had each replaced dissection with humane current methods in some or all of their classes.

    These victories are important, but many medical colleges across India are required to continue conducting cruel animal experiments because of the Medical Council of India's (MCI) regulatory requirements. We are fighting to convince them to change their policies, and we need your help. Go here to send a message to MCI and the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) that it is time to stop forcing medical students to use animals in experiments. After all, the world is spinning forward with newer and safer technologies, and India should be leading the way, not trailing behind!

  • Compassionate Kids Honoured for Animal Rights Films

    Written by PETA

    Good news for animals! The next generation's filmmakers will be making films to demonstrate their plight. At the recent Iceplex Ad Film Awards (IAFA) 2009 – a fun film making programme for students ages 11-19 – two out of the five winners for the event's contest made compelling films about animal protection issues.

    IAFA%20Film%20Awards.JPGPETA's Ambika Shukla honouring a compassionate student

    One of the winners addressed the issue of homeless animals, while the other painted a soulful imagery of how caged birds long to fly free in her film.

    PETA honoured these young guns with certificates signed by noted filmmaker Pritish Nandy and PETA India Founder and Director Ingrid Newkirk, presented by PETA India’s Marketing Head Ambika Shukla.

    The contest winners, Aman Das and Aditi Krishnamurthy, were overwhelmed to receive this honour from PETA.

    Want to join Aman and Aditi in speaking up for animal rights? Join petaDishoom's Street Team to get active for animals in your area.

  • Helping Dogs and Cats Get 'Control'

    Written by PETA

    As we keep the party going to celebrate PETA India’s 10th anniversary we are taking a look at some of our biggest victories – and looking forward to see what still needs to be done!

    In March 2009, PETA India launched our Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign, and by October we had already won an important victory when the Animal Welfare Board of India agreed to direct many municipalities to implement programmes to spay and neuter animals. Why is this so important? There are so many more animals than available homes, so millions of cats and dogs are abandoned, abused, starved, procured for laboratories or die of disease or accidents on our roads. Whether in a breeder’s kennel or on the street, every newborn puppy or kitten means one less home for a dog or cat in need.

    Programmes like ABC make a massive difference for homeless animals, and you can play a part! Always adopt dogs or cats from shelters or the street – never ever buy from a pet shop – and have them spayed or neutered. Plus, step up in your community to sterilise stray animals (making sure to return them exactly where you found them), and to persuade officials to make spaying and neutering mandatory. Together, we can kick animal overpopulation to the curb!

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