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  • Khan Sisters Show Their Stripes

    Written by Kriti-S

    Here are the Khan sisters like you've never seen them before! Models-turned-actors Gauahar and Nigaar Khan recently posed wearing zebra-striped bodysuits for a PETA and UTV Bindass ad to highlight the cruelty of zoos. The ad was shot by ace photographer Gaurav C Bhat, and the outfits were designed and styled by Hazel Paul. You can watch the Khan sisters' PETA shoot at  7 PM on 28 January on UTV Bindass.

    The Khan sisters said, "We as living creatures love our freedom, and animals are no different. If people want to see animals, a zoo is not the best place. Instead, animals should be observed in their natural habitat like animal reserves, where they are living the life that they were meant to live. If we can't manage to visit them, we can learn about these amazing wild animals by watching videos, television programmes or by reading about them on the Internet or in books and magazines, and that's what we, the Khan sisters, are hoping the audience would understand."

    We thank the duo for the support. You, too, can help animals who are imprisoned in zoos and often denied everything that is natural and important to them by pledging to boycott zoos! Please also join the campaign for animal rights by signing up for our Activist Network

  • And the Hottest Vegetarians of 2011 Are …

    Written by Kriti-S

    Garnering an overwhelming public response, generating headlines and inspiring numerous celebrity tweets, PETA India's Hottest Vegetarian contest couldn't have been more successful. So hold your breath – the verdict is in!

    We proudly present to you PETA's Hottest Vegetarians of 2011 (drum roll, please). The winners are Mallika Sherawat and Dhanush! Other top competitors included Sonu Sood, Shahid Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Kareena Kapoor.

    Dhanush, who created a kolaveri across the country and abroad when millions of people went bonkers over his song "Why This Kolaveri Di?", is also a sweetheart to animals. He says, "Being a vegetarian always made me feel healthy. I've always felt light. Every time I sit down to eat, I'm helping the environment".

    The winner in the female category, Mallika Sherawat, the mallika of Bollywood, has a sexy body that makes many go red with envy, but the secret to her fabulous figure is a green diet. Mallika, who is a vegan, says that the best part about being a vegetarian is having a "clear conscience".

    All we can say is that there's nothing sexier than someone who exudes passion and compassion – and our winners have plenty of both. What say you?

    Thank you to all the people who voted for their favourite stars. Keep visiting our website for more interesting contests and to find out how you can win cool prizes.

    The winners were chosen by PETA India on the basis of the following equally considered factors: the total number of votes each celebrity received, each celebrity's potential to reach a large audience and PETA India's assessment of each celebrity's attractiveness.

  • Win With Anoushka Shankar

    Written by Kriti-S

    Win a cool PETA T-shirt autographed by Anoushka Shankar. The world-renowned sitarist, who is currently in India to perform, is a dear friend to animals. Anoushka has appeared in a PETA ad with her father, Ravi Shankar, calling on the Indian government to strengthen animal protection laws. She also recently appeared in a PETA ad speaking out against cruelty in zoos.

     

    Want to win? It's pretty simple! You just have to comment on this blog and tell us what you think is the best way to learn about animals without cruelly imprisoning them in zoos. The three answers we deem to be most interesting will win a T-shirt.

    This contest is open until 20 February 2012. The winners will be announced on 24 February 2012 and notified via e-mail. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. By commenting, you're agreeing to PETA India's terms and conditions and privacy policy.

    Join Anoushka in boycotting zoos. PETA's investigation of zoos across India has shown that countless animals live in concrete and iron cages that do not have any enrichment or even a blade of grass. Some cages are so small that they restrict the animals' natural movements.

  • One on One With Author Jabeen Akhtar

    Written by PETA

    Long before her hilarious and candid debut novel about a Pakistani-American family started making waves across the country, author Jabeen Akthar  made waves with PETA US. Yep, that's right, we knew her first! A former "Tiger Lady" who bared her stripes in a PETA US circus protest, Jabeen is now a member of PETA US's Regulatory Testing Division. Recently, we sat down with our old pal to talk shop about her new book, her thoughts on animal rights and much more.

     

    Tell us about your book.

    Welcome to Americastan follows a young Pakistani-American named Samira Tanweer, who, through a series of misadventures, learns her name is on the FBI's terrorist watch list. After losing her job and losing her boyfriend to her best friend, Samira returns to her dysfunctional family in North Carolina to make sense of what happened to her life. The novel is a snapshot of life in the US for typical Pakistani-Americans. It addresses serious topics such as racism, assimilation, failure and generational differences, but in the end, I just hope it makes people laugh.

     

    Do you also write about animal rights?

    My involvement in animal rights is the most important aspect of who I am, so it will always find its way into my writing. There is a scene in Welcome to Americastan in which Samira goes to a party full of Muslims and criticizes the practice of slaughtering lambs during the Muslim festival of Eid. I've been asked repeatedly if Muslims are offended by this scene. On the contrary, lots of compassionate young Muslims have been thanking me for putting it out there.

     

    Tell us about how you got involved with animal rights.

    I've been around forever. I was a PETA US volunteer back when the organization had a single office in an old warehouse! It all started with a PETA US newsletter in the 1980s. There was a black and white photo of a cow on the ground, her eyes wide and terrified. She was a "downed" factory farm cow who had been kicked in the face, ribs and back repeatedly by farm workers. Not only was this story devastating to read, it also shook my entire worldview and marked the beginning of my journey to change how we view and treat animals. I shared the newsletter with my family, and we stopped eating meat overnight and never looked back.

     

    What inspired you to go vegan?

    In the 80s and early 90s, being a vegetarian animal rights activist was considered hardcore. The concept of veganism hadn't reached the mainstream. For many years, I was under the false impression that I was doing enough by not eating meat. I soon couldn't deny that I was contributing to the meat industry as much as any meat-eater by continuing to eat dairy products and eggs, so I rid my diet of those products altogether. It's awesome – I'm savings animals by being vegan, and my diet has never been more diverse and exciting. And going vegan is a downright blast – check out my new favorite vegan chef

     

    What do you do for PETA US, and what does the department you work for do?

    As a former US government employee, I found the perfect home in PETA US's Regulatory Testing Division – a team of highly credentialed and dedicated scientists and researchers who push the US government as well as international organizations to develop and use incredibly effective and sophisticated non-animal testing methods in their testing programs. I manage research projects by helping the team navigate through complex federal regulations, help publish research articles in scientific journals, and generally keep the department running as smoothly as possible given the heavy workloads our scientists have.

     

    What achievement are you most proud of in your work for animals?

    So much of what we do for animals is teamwork, so I can't take credit for any one thing. Over the years, I've participated in numerous campaigns that closed fur stores, saved animals from painful and lethal experiments, and banned gestation crates for factory-farmed pigs. On a regular basis, I look out for injured wildlife on the roads and get them medical treatment, and I have rescued countless stray cats. Most importantly, by just showing people the video "Meet Your Meat" and fixing them yummy vegan meals, I've helped a lot of people go vegetarian and vegan!

     

    What would you say are some of the most pressing issues regarding animal experimentation in India?

    I'm pleased to see Indian educational bodies like the University Grants Commission and the Pharmacy Council of India finally embracing sophisticated non-animal teaching methods in the classrooms. No student should ever have to use an animal for dissection or research when there are so many alternatives available. In the US, some states even have laws protecting the rights of students who refuse to dissect. It's also time to see cosmetics testing on animals banned in India – something we've already seen happen in the European Union. With India's booming economy and growing presence on the world stage, there's no reason it should fall behind the West in moving away from animal experimentation and toward cheaper, more efficient and humane methods.  

     

    Anything else you'd like to add?

    I knew a girl in college who constantly debated my views on animal rights and said my activism was a waste of time. Fifteen years later, I see her running toward me at an animal rights conference with a T-shirt that says, "Vegan," and she tells me I'm the reason she's there. I'm still not sure what I ever did or said to make her change her mind, but the bottom line is this: you never know whom you're encouraging to help animals, so don't give up on anyone!

  • John Abraham to MoEF:Enforce Jallikattu Ban

    Written by Kriti-S

    John Abraham sure has a golden heart when it comes to animals. This desi boy has been a long-time supporter of PETA India, so it's no surprise that when he learned about the plight of bulls who are abused for jallikattu, he sprang into action.

    Even though the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) made jallikattu illegal by banning the use of bulls as performing animals, the Madras High Court Bench gave permission for jallikattu to be held in Tamil Nadu. John recently fired off a letter to Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan to urge her Ministry to enforce the ban.

     

    John wrote, "As an actor, I choose to perform, but animals used for jallikattu and bull races don't. During jallikattu, bulls are deliberately terrorised and made to suffer for entertainment. They are taunted by crowds, pushed, hit and wrestled to the ground. During bull races, the animals are often beaten with nail-studded sticks".

    Thanks, John! PETA has held demonstrations on the streets of Delhi and Chennai to highlight the urgent need to enforce the ban on jallikattu. Bulls need you to speak up for them. Support John by taking a moment to write to the Ministry.

  • Win a Vegan Handbag From Canvas Creations

    Written by Kriti-S

    Everyone carries a handbag, but you can carry a piece of art! If you are bored with identical-looking factory-made bags and prefer creative, out-of-the-box designs, Canvas Creations has a lot to offer you!

    Canvas Creations was started by an artist father and his two marketing-savvy daughters. They are raising the bar of creativity in the bag industry by crafting sturdy canvas bags that are hand-painted by artists.

    And best of all, the bags are absolutely vegan and cruelty-free. Renowned artist and owner of Canvas Creations Bijit Mukherjee says, "Canvas Creations believes in playing with paint and not with blood". Hear hear, Mr Mukherjee!

    Enter to win one of these snazzy handbags by telling us your favourite places to shop for leather-free goods? Send us your entries by commenting below.

    The contest is closed now!

  • 2011: A Banner Year for Animals

    Written by PETA

    What was the best thing about 2011? It was a banner year for animals in India! Yes, with your support we won many victories. Here's a quick recap:

    After years of extensive campaigning, we were able save millions of animals from being tortured each year in the name of science. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) agreed to retire to sanctuaries many of the monkeys who were kept in tiny, cramped cages for many years and made significant improvements in the care of other animals at its central animal facility in New Delhi. In a groundbreaking decision, with your help and the pushing of progressive scientists, the University Grants Commission called for an end to animal dissection and animal experimentation for university and college zoology and life-sciences courses across India.

    The year also brought relief for bulls who are kicked, punched, jumped on, dragged to the ground and otherwise tormented in the bloody "sport" of jallikattu. PETA’s efforts, your letters, e-mails and phone calls, in addition to Hema Malini's appeal, and the work of other caring groups together led to one of the biggest victories for bulls in India when the Ministry of Environment and Forests banned the use of bulls as performing animals. This law also makes any of kind of bull racing illegal now in India!

    Our young animal rights brigade, PETA Youth, tabled at hundreds of colleges, gathering the support of countless passionate students from all across India and turning them into animal rights activists.

    We made headlines in the media for our eye-catching demonstrations, animal rescuescelebrity ambassadors and innovative methods of animal rights activism.

    There are far too many victories, both large and small, to list them all here, but there is one thing that remains constant through all our accomplishments: your support. Support our fight for animal rights by making a donation or joining our Activist Network

    We hope 2012 will be even better for animals!

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