Written by PETA
Right before the High Court of Bombay hearing for Mumbai's horse-drawn
carriages on 13 December 2012, PETA released the findings of its latest
investigation of cruelty to horses used by the carriage industry in the city.
See some of the heart-rending photographs from PETA's investigation,
which show sick, injured, overworked and malnourished horses forced to live in
atrociously filthy conditions.
An earlier court ruling suggested that horses
found to be unfit should not be used for pulling carriages again until a
veterinary officer determines that they are fit. As PETA points out, though,
the stables are in decrepit condition, and forcing horses to work in the
congested city, hauling loads on pavement, deteriorates their physical and
mental health. The following are just a few of PETA's findings:
Join the campaign and call for a ban on cruel horse-drawn carriages in
lost a good friend this week with the passing of the legendary sitar maestro
Ravi Shankar. It's hard to believe he's gone – just last week, when the Grammy
nominations were announced, the first thing I did was read the World category
to see whether Ravi had received a nomination. He had. I consider myself very
lucky to have gotten to know Ravi and be invited into his home.
I went to help set up PETA India back in 1999, I set myself a goal to talk to Ravi
about helping animals. When we met, he asked, "You know who you look
like?" I said no, and he said, "Paul McCartney". In fact, the
last time we met, he asked the same question, and I responded, "Paul
McCartney?" He said, "Exactly".
welcoming and also agreed, to my
excitement, to do his first-ever ad for PETA to encourage the Indian
government to strengthen the country’s animal protection laws. Thinking back to
the shooting of the ad in Delhi conjures up more fond memories of Ravi: discussions
of his cats, the time he told me how he and George Harrison went to Disneyworld
in disguise in the '70s and his laughter when a goat attempted to chew on his
priceless sitar and ended up biting his daughter Anoushka’s finger! (It was a
the shooting of the video
public service announcement in Delhi, Ravi wanted to do even more, so he
invited me to his home in San Diego a few week later, where he and Anoushka
shot a print ad – on his front lawn, of all places. He was always eager to
help, whether that meant holding a news conference to highlight PETA India’s Supreme
Court of India case aimed at ending the illegal treatment of animals who end up
in slaughterhouses or speaking out about KFC's lack of animal welfare standards.
He became an honorary patron of PETA India, and just recently, he was talking
with us again about urging the government of India to pass an updated animal
so sad that Ravi has left us, but PETA continues to draw inspiration from his
life and will work to ensure that his efforts to help animals will live on.
Ravi, we miss
When sultry actor, model and singer Sofia Hayat told us she wanted to dedicate her birthday to animals, we knew she'd be
able to turn heads and hearts. Dressed as a sexy bunny, the birthday girl burst
out of a cake at her 6 December bash to urge her guests to buy only cruelty-free cosmetics.
Sofia is the latest celebrity to join PETA's campaign to persuade the Ministry
of Health and Family Welfare to follow the European Union's lead and ban cosmetics testing on rabbits,
mice, rats and other animals.
"There's nothing sweet about harming rabbits and poisoning rats for
lipsticks and eye shadow", said Sofia, who was recently featured in the
Bollywood film Diary of a Butterfly
and has appeared on Bindass TV's Superdude.
In 2013, it will be illegal to test cosmetics and their ingredients on
animals in the EU or to sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals even if
tested in a different country. PETA's proposal for a similar ban in India has
already gained support from the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center
for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education, the Animal Welfare Board of India, international companies The Body Shop
and LUSH and Indian companies Omved and Shahnaz Husain.
1,300 companies around the world have banned all animal tests, but many still
subject animals to painful tests in which substances are smeared on their skin,
sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats. Because of the vast
physiological differences between humans and animals, the results of these
tests are often misleading.
Until the government sees the light and bans animal tests, we can save
bunnies and other animals every time we shop by taking Sofia's advice and
purchasing cosmetics and other products from the growing number of companies that use modern,
effective, non-animal testing methods.
Saturday, 1 December 2012, Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi
Natarajan flew to Chennai to personally inspect 70 beagles who had been
imported from China by Advinus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical laboratory in
Bangalore, following a rigorous campaign for their release by PETA India.
The visit comes after PETA notified the
Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on
Animals that it was falsely stated on an Animal Quarantine & Certification
Service document that the dogs were "pets", rather than for
experiments. PETA also learned that Cathay Pacific Airways, which has a strict
policy against transporting animals to laboratories, was misinformed by the
supplier, Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co., Ltd., that the dogs would not be
used by or killed in a laboratory. PETA is calling on the government to release
the dogs to PETA, People For Animals Chennai and Blue Cross Chennai to be put
up for adoption.
government investigations also revealed that there was a mismatch in terms of the
number of dogs requested by the Bangalore-based laboratory, the number imported
by them and the number of animals really used for various tests by the
inspection, Natarajan, in addition to affirming her commitment to this
investigation, informed the media that she will make it a priority to focus on the
Animal Welfare Act 2011, which if passed in the form drafted by the Animal
Welfare Board of India, would strengthen India's weak penalties for cases of cruelty
commends and thanks Natarajan for giving the serious attention to this case
that it deserves.
More than 50,000
people have written to authorities calling for the beagles' release. Are you
one of them? Please take
The following are updates from our friends at PETA US on The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey's alleged cruelty
UPDATE (November 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time): Following PETA's release last week of disturbing whistleblower reports
of 27 animal deaths during the filming of The
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we have asked authorities in New Zealand, where The
Hobbit was filmed, to
investigate and pursue appropriate criminal charges if warranted.
UPDATE (November 20, 2012, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time): PETA responds to
Peter Jackson's statement: Five whistleblowers reported more than two
dozen animal deaths during the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected
Journey. They raised concerns not just once but repeatedly to both the head
wrangler and the head of production about the unsafe housing conditions for
animals and about Shanghai the horse, who was hobbled (his legs reportedly tied
together when he proved to be "too energetic" for his rider). But
their concerns were outright ignored.
With the exception of the hobbled horse, all claims of animal injury and
death are directly related to how the animals were housed and fed. Jackson
attempts to deflect these serious charges by talking about the use of animals
during action sequences—even though these damning incidents did not take place
when cameras were rolling. Two horses went over steep embankments and died (one
was found with her head submerged in water), a horse sustained a severe injury
after being put in with other horses despite known problems, sheep broke their
legs in sinkholes, and chickens were mauled by dogs—all instances of extreme
negligence. It seems to PETA that instead of vainly defending himself, Jackson
should be giving a firm assurance that this will never happen again. He is the
CGI master and has the ability to make the animals and other interesting
creatures in his movies 100 percent CGI, and PETA calls on him again to do so.
Send a message to filmmakers that hurting and
killing animals for a film is unacceptable and refuse to see movies that do.
Peter Jackson to hold himself and his crew responsible when it comes to animal
safety on film sets.
The new face for PETA's pro-vegetarian
campaign is the World's Oldest New Dad!
Holding his new baby
boy, 96-year-old Ramajit Raghav – who, on 5 October, broke his own record as
Guinness World Records' World's Oldest New Dad – stars in a brand-new ad
campaign for PETA. Shot by photographer Gaurav Sharma, the new ad shows Raghav
and his son Ranjit next to the words "Vegetarians Still Got It at Age 96".
PETA plans to post the new campaign near fertility clinics around the world.
Says Raghav, "I have been a vegetarian
all my life, and I credit my stamina and virility to my diet of vegetables and
grains. Being a vegetarian is the secret to my strength and good health". Check out what he has to say!
What makes vegetarians so healthy? For
starters, meat clogs arteries and slows blood flow to all the major organs – not
just the heart. Vegetarians are, on average, fitter and trimmer than
meat-eaters are. They're also less likely to be afflicted with heart disease,
diabetes and cancer – all of which are major health problems in India. And
since each vegetarian saves the lives of many animals a year, their consciences
are lighter, too.
Want to live long?
Take the pledge to go meat-free today.
The competition was fierce in PETA India's
annual Hottest Vegetarian Next Door contest, but after tallying the votes
(thanks to all who voted!) and weeding through the top picks, we've selected
the winners. Without further ado, we're proud to crown Vikramajeet Singh and Amrita
Chaturvedi as the Hottest Vegetarians Next Door of 2012 (insert a round of
applause here)! They both, incidentally, hail from Lucknow.
Vikramajeet, the male winner, feels that "vegetarianism
is the only answer to the colossal problems of population growth and world
And the female
winner, Amrita, says, "A vegetarian lifestyle helps maintain a balanced
ecosystem and save species from extinction".
We think it's safe to say that these neighbours can borrow a cup of
sugar (or tofu) any time they want.
winners will receive a sash, a trophy and, most importantly – bragging rights.
And who wouldn't want to brag about following a plant-based diet, which decreases
the risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity; shrinks your carbon footprint and
spares the lives of many animals a year?! So how about going vegetarian
yourself? Getting started is as easy as checking out these hot dishes and
helping yourself to this
hot read. Who
knows? You might even be inspired to enter the contest next year …
PETA India is one of the winners of LUSH Cosmetics' first-ever global prize for its work to stop cosmetics testing on animals. LUSH – an
international cosmetics company with more than 700 stores and operations in
over 40 countries – granted PETA the prize of 5,000 British pounds in the
Lobbying category. That's because PETA has worked to modernise product testing
by working with the Bureau of Indian Standards and persuading its relevant
committees to accept non-animal methods approved by the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development in place of animal tests, including a
non-animal skin-sensitisation test. The organisation was also recognised for
its efforts to encourage the Indian Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to
consider a complete ban on cosmetics testing on animals.
phased-in ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals is
scheduled to take full effect in 2013. PETA is calling on the Indian government
to base its ban on the EU model. PETA's call for an end to cosmetic tests on
animals has also gained support from the Indian Council of Medical Research.
More than 1,000 companies around the world have banned all animal tests, but
many still choose to subject animals to painful tests in which substances are
smeared on their skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats.
Because of the vast physiological differences between humans and the animals
used in these tests, the results are often misleading.
None of LUSH's
products or ingredients are tested on animals, and its vegan items (no
animal-based ingredients) are conveniently marked with a bright green "V".
You can help by
urging the government to ban testing cosmetics and household products on
to save the 70 beagles held in quarantine before they are sent to be used for
deadly experiments has just received some high-profile support. On behalf of
PETA, three-time South Filmfare Award–winning actor Trisha Krishnan has sent an urgent letter to Mr MF Farooqui, chair of the
Ministry of Environment and Forests' Committee for the Purpose of Control and
Supervision of Experiments on Animals, urging him to allow PETA to find loving
homes for the dogs – who were falsely marked as "pets" on an Animal
Quarantine and Certification Services no-objection certificate, even though
they are destined for use by Advinus Therapeutics in Bangalore, a
pharmaceutical laboratory that performs painful and deadly experiments on
also took to Twitter, calling for the dogs to be saved from experimentation. Hema Malini, Gul Panag, Rahul Khanna,
Priya Anand, Regina Cassandra, Rajniesh Duggall, Celina Jaitly, Neha Dhupia, Sonu Sood, Kunal Khemu and cricketer Kartik Murali all tweeted the following
message: "Help @PetaIndia save 70 #Beagles wrongly transported as pets to
India for #laboratory testing http://bit.ly/PJwvzp".
You can also help us save
these beagles. Take
English Vinglish beauty Priya Anand wants
fans to know that cages are not for the birds! Dressed in white attire, Bollywood, Kollywood and
Tollywood hottie Priya Anand took part in a PETA campaign to point out
that birds were born to be free and that locking them in cages and denying them
their freedom and the opportunity to fly is cruel. The compelling campaign was
shot by leading photographer Sunder Ramu,
and Priya's beautiful outfit was designed and styled by Chaitanya Rao.
"Birds are born to fly free and no one should
steal their freedom from them", says Priya Anand. In nature, birds
engage in social activities such as taking sand baths, playing hide-and-seek,
dancing, building nests with their mates and nurturing their young. But when
they're caged, these same vibrant animals become depressed and
Keeping birds in cages is also often illegal. The
Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the amendment added to it in 1991
ban the capture and trade of all 1,200 varieties of indigenous birds in India.
In spite of this, 300 species of birds are openly sold in markets, including
munias, mynas, parrots, owls, hawks, peacocks, parakeets and other species.
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