PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 08.04.2011

PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, more than 2,000,000 members
and supporters. Ingrid Newkirk has spoken internationally on animal rights issues from
the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India where she spent
her childhood. She founded PETA over 30 years ago and is responsible for the biggest animal
victories in the history including, she stopped the Department of Defense from using dogs
in their wound labs. She stopped General Motors from using live animals in the car--in the
car crash test. She helped pass the first anti-cruelty law in Taiwan. She is responsible
for moving over a thousand companies from testing on animals to cruelty-free methods.
She is the author of over a dozen books on ethics and animals and a subject of two documentaries
on her life and PETA, one the BBC and one on HBO called "I Am an Animal." And with this,
I'll turn it over to Ingrid Newkirk. Thank you.
>> NEWKIRK: Thank you all very much for coming and for listening wherever you are out there.
Very nice. I'm delighted to be at Google. It is certainly a world and we'll be lucky
if we retain any stuff who have seen your campus. I'm--as Baby said, I am a president
of PETA which means that I am an animal rights activist. And for those of you who are--who
are confused as to what that means, I'm going to give you George Collin's definition. George
Collin said, "Animal rights activists are the kind of people who, if they find cockroaches
in their home, they develop a spray. It doesn't kill the cockroaches, it just fills them with
enough self-doubt that they have to go somewhere and think things over." And I actually love
that example because, in a way, animal rights is being about--about being kinder to even
the least familiar, perhaps the animals that you call ugly or haven't thought much about
or all of them. Before we get to animal overpopulation, the dog and cat crisis and why we do what
we do, I thought that I should give a little primer on our philosophy because sometimes
people get confused by it and it's really easy. It's basically, if you don't want something
done to you, then please don't do it to somebody else who has feelings like yours. And that
means it's the Golden Rule, really, that's all it is, just extended, as I think it should
be to every other living being. And you don't have to love animals to get that. One of my
favorite examples is when Princess Anne in England was made sponsor of the Royal Society
for the Protection of Children. Somebody said to her, "Well, this isn't really up your alley,
is it?" And she said, "Well, I'm happy to do it because you don't have to love children
or even like children to know that they shouldn't be treated badly." And I think that's what
animal rights is all about. What we do, I think, without giving it much consideration
is we treat human beings as if they were gods and we treat all the other beings on the face
of the planet as if they're trash. And when you think about that that doesn't make any
sense because we are certainly all in this together. If you took Biology 101, if you
weren't flirting or looking out of the window, you know that we are all animals. It doesn't
really matter what sort of package we come in. All of us feel pain, we all grieve, we
all feel love and joy, we all want comfort, and we're all afraid of dying badly. Turn
if you can really see this. The detail on it is so beautiful in real life; the proud
father and the proud mother looking at the baby gorilla who is thumping his chest. Some
animals are smarter than others just as some human beings are. And some are actually smarter
than we are. For example, chimpanzees beat out college students in tests where images
appear on a screen and you have to remember them all and then punch in what you remember
when the screen goes blank. And then in 2008, there was a stunning feat. The British card
champion for remembering the order of an entire pack of cards within 30 seconds, which is
really something, was beaten by a chimpanzee and now they're both barred from Las Vegas.
But it's not just the animals that we think of being smart like chimpanzees who are smart,
it's not just the dolphins. I think many of us have seen the videos of dolphins will actually
attach sponges to their noses when they go down onto the rocky ocean floor to protect
themselves. You see these thought processes but it's not just those animals, it's not
just dogs. Like the one--I don't know if you saw Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was on one of
the shows recently with the dog who has memorized--he's been taught--he could probably do more--he's
been taught the names of 12 or 13 or 1,400 toys. So, Neil deGrasse Tyson had the dog
come into the room, the toys are in the adjoining room and he would say "frog" and the dog would
look at him and then go next door and out of this mountainous pile bring him back the
frog. And then Neil deGrasse Tyson would say, "octopus" and off he'd go and he'd bring the
octopus back. So he had this enormous human vocabulary. So what Neil deGrasse Tyson did
was try to stump him by putting a toy in the enormous pile that the dog had never seen
before. And then when the dog looked at him, deGrasse Tyson said whatever it was, "Rutabaga"
and the dog cupped his head, obviously had never heard that word before, went in the
room, came back, looked at him again, deGrasse Tyson said, "Rutabaga." The dog went next
door and brought back the only toy that he didn't know the name of. And I always think
they probably know much more than this, it's just that we don't bother to figure it out.
They have to figure it out. Chris Evans is a university professor and he specializes
in the study of Ethology, which is animal behavior. He makes a very strong case for
the intelligence of chickens. He said, "Chickens exist in stable, social groups. They can recognize
each other by their faces, which sheep can and many other animals can, we just don't
think about it. They have at least 24 distinct cries that we humans have recognized including
cries that tell a chicken if a threat is coming from the sky or it's coming from the ground,
these different alarm calls, and they're very good at solving problems and overcoming obstacles."
So Professor Evan says he goes to conferences and he talks about these attributes, these
abilities and people he says always think that he's talking about monkeys. And then
he says, "No, inconvenient as this may be, I'm talking about what you may have had for
lunch, these animals." So, judging individuals, any individuals by their intelligence is a
sticky piece of business because as we all know, there are different sorts of intelligence.
You talk about someone who is perhaps uneducated but they're street smart and in a certain
environment, they can certainly do better than someone who is a PhD and something like
metallurgy or astrophysics. Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on primates.
And she once overheard some people who were laughing at the chimpanzee Michael Jackson
used to have, Bubbles, you may remember Bubbles. This was at a party and Bubbles was there,
they had dressed him in a tuxedo, they had plumped him at the table. He had a mug, a
plate, and a knife and fork. He could drink from the mug but he was struggling with the
knife and fork with those hands. And they were laughing at him and they were--not meanly,
just saying, "Well, he is almost human." You know, he is a subhuman. He's struggling here
but he's not up to par with us. And Goodall said to them, "Hang on a minute," you know,
she said, "If you and a chimpanzee or a bird or a squirrel were placed in a jungle somewhere,
in their environment and you didn't have a GPS, and you didn't have a computer, you didn't
have anyone to ask, no street signs, you don't have any clothes. There wasn't a supermarket--all
the things that are--the jungle--who do you think would be the superior being? Not only
who would survive but who would run circles around you, each to their element. It's not
just intelligence. There are other differences that are being used through the ages to justify
prejudices because that's all they are. And I think we have to do our best to get away
from all prejudices. Our society has done terrible things in the past, we all know.
We've institutionalize people with disabilities. Of course, Stephen Hawking would be if you
had been born a hundreds years earlier. We have enslaved others simply because of the
color of their skin or because we had the power to. That's the key element. We've given
pox-infected blankets to Native Americans and much more. The circus used to actually
tour with pygmies and Eskimos that people could gawk at and laugh at. The highly civilized
people were the gawkers and the laughers. We have a project called the Animal Liberation
Project which tours the national mall and university campuses that points up some of
the similarities between what we have done and in some cases, still do to humans that
we shouldn't and things that we still do to the other species. The main point is of course
that, the package and individual comes in should be absolutely irrelevant. If you burn
a pigeon with a cigarette, they hurt. Just as if you whip a child or a horse. They both
hurt. They feel it. So no a matter, the color, the race, the religion, the gender, the shape,
the species, they're all individuals. And that I believe is the heart of what we have
to remember in our treatment of others. So while the animal right's movements is about
animals, it's really about us. It's about human beings and how we conduct ourselves
and if we can overcome the things that we have been taught that aren't fair. The Dalai
Lama who I quote in my "One Can Make a Difference" book gave a talk once. I love the story. He
was outdoors and he has a wonderful sense of humor. It was evening, and the moon appeared
and the Dalai Lama said, "Do you see the moon up there?" And everybody looked and said,
"Yes." And he said, "Isn't it beautiful?" And of course everybody said, "Yes." And he
said, "Yes. But you don't live on the moon, you live here. And our job is to make it beautiful
here." And thought that's a little bit like our job. It's very easy for us to condemn
another nation for bludgeoning seals or for hunting whales or for eating dogs, for example.
But what's different and difficult for us is to look at our own plates, our own habits,
the things we do and decide, "I want to make it beautiful here not just in some far away
area." So kindness is a virtue that must be a virtue in principle and in practice. Take
what we do to animals in laboratories. Once upon a time, and it hasn't been very long
ago, we used orphan children, we used Blacks in the south in syphilis experiments, we used
Irish immigrant women in sexual experiments for surgeries. We used anybody who is human,
we could get our myths on. And today, we can get our myths on the other species, the animals.
By the way, I am delighted. Google has a new science project and no invasive experiments
on animals are allowed. And I am just so thankful. We have whole human DNA on the internet. We
have a vital human clinical and epidemiological studies that are crying out for funding while
we're busy giving cocaine to monkeys in labs. There's a six month to a year waiting list
if you are a human addict and you need to get into a treatment program but you don't
have the money. And it isn't just the experiments themselves which are--need to be examined
so thoroughly, it's the fact that studies have shown that the fear of the animals in
the lab is a factor that deserves attention. Animal's adrenaline, their pulse rates, their
heartbeats goes through the roof just when the knob on the door trance or they hear footsteps
walking down the passage because they know nothing benign is going to happen to them.
Somebody is there to take a biopsy or a blood sample or drag them out of the cage. I'm going
to show you a very short video here of what's done to animals in one of the--in the largest
testing laboratory in the world, it's called Covance. And we were there undercover to shoot
this video. There is no sound but you can imagine the sound and better quality video
is on our website if you can't see this very well. And you could just see they're
tattooed. The heartbeat of that monkey--and imagine being stuffed into a plastic tube
or strapped into a metal chair. The panic and the fear is phenomenal. The workers in this lab also screamed at the monkey,
slam them into the metal cage bars and more. When Covance found that we had that video,
they went very swiftly into court in the United States and in the U.K to get us to be barred
from showing it. But as you can see--luckily, we won. I have shown that at scientific conferences
all over the world. People have the right to know. I think it's that simple and yet,
fortresses are being made out of laboratories and farms now. There is even legislation pending
in Iowa to make it a crime to film in a farm without permission. So I think these extra
protections are not what our society--a free and open society should need. People can choose,
you can buy a shaving cream, floor cleaner, anything you want that is not tested on animals,
that's tested inhumane ways. So, we have a compartmentalized view of animals, some we
love dearly and we would defend as we would defend our child. We don't even think about
that. And then there are others like, Tilly who is an orca, a killer whale, who is taken
from his pod from his mother--his family when he was three years old in the waters of Iceland
and shipped to Sea World in Orlando, Florida where he has remained in a concrete box basically.
Only--not even able to swim the length of his body for a long, long time. You can see
him on Google Earth. You can look down on him and see him in his concrete box; never
able to swim or smell anything or meet any other orcas, just his life given over to entertainment.
I don't think you can see this picture of the circus monkey--its--she's absolutely sad,
dressed--she's in her little dress waiting to go in to a traveling show. And here is
a picture of a Ringling Brothers' elephant baby. This is what they do. They take them
away from their mothers when they're very, very young. And the mother stands and watches
so she remembers what happened to her. And the mother--the baby knows that the mother
could no longer help. They tie them down by all force and they beat them. You can see
the man's holding the bullhook which is like a fireplace poker with a metal hook that they
jab them under the ears, under the backs of the thighs and all these places where you
can't see them bleeding. And some of them, as they grow up have heavy scarring. This
is how they're tortured, with the bullhook tying down an electric shock for the circus--for
the circus. The circus would like you to believe that they train with peanuts but they train
with the bullhook and the electric probe. I'm going to just show you a little tiny snippet
of training behind the scenes, other trainers being trained on how to deal with elephants,
behind the scenes. >> Tear that foot. Sink it in the foot. Tear
it off. Make them scream. Yes, [INDISTINCT]. All right, that's it. You mother fucker. Use
your foot. Get it up. Mother fucker. Come here, Daffy. Move out, Daffy. Move out, Daffy.
Tough. Danny, come here, training time. Don't touch them. Hurt them. Hurt them. Don't touch
them. Make him scream. If you're scared to hurt them, don't come in the barn!
>> NEWKIRK: There's much, much more. And when you see them, an elephant holding another
elephant's trunk or tail, they use the trunks and hold the tail and they're in a line, never
forget, they break their tails deliberately. Ringling's elephants have broken tails. The
pain of that is extraordinary. And when they make those elephants hold the tail of the
elephant in front of them, then what they do is they jab the elephant--the lead elephant
so everybody has to move up. And that's what makes them move is the pain and the fear of
the bullhook. But when you think about it, what do animals need? They don't need very
much. They don't need the right to vote, even though in the past they might done a better
job than we did. They don't need supermarkets, plastic bags, skating rinks, shopping malls,
fastfood, restaurants. They don't really need much at all. All they need is to be allowed
enough basic food, basic water, shelter from the elements or allowed to have it; their
homelands, allowed to exist and they have precious little of that with our construction
and what we do. Many of the--of us in our society, we use them as hamburgers, handbags,
tools for research, amusements, these kinds of things. And what they need is a little
respect and the greatest respect of all for most of them is just to leave them in peace.
I have something else the Dalai Lama said that I love, which should be our motto which
is, "No matter which religion you have or none, the best religion of all is kindness."
And while I'm quoting, I'm going to throw in the American Indian poet, Joseph Bruchac
who wrote "The old man must have stopped his car two dozen times to climb out and gather
into his hands the small toads blinded by our lights and leaping like live drops of
rain. And I kept saying, 'You can't save them all, accept it, get in, we've got places to
go.' But leathery hands full of wet brown life knee deep in the roadside grass; he just
smiled and said, 'They have places to go too.'" And that would be a wonderful thing to remember.
So that's the philosophy. And I'll give you a little bit of the nitty-gritty. People ask
me, what is the most important thing you can do if you care about animals and you don't
like what's happening to them. And I have a whole book of ideas you're very welcome
to take called "Making kind choices." But the most important thing is to go vegan. The
nags that we are, most people don't hunt, most people don't wear fur but everybody eats.
And in fact, it's quite horrible to think about this, but the most frequent interaction
most people have with animals is three times a day when they sit down to eat them. And
in America, we are now eating 1,000 chickens an hour, excuse me, a million--a million chickens
an hour. That's an awful lot of individual birds. If you've ever known a chicken, they
have personalities, they are absolutely wonderful animals. Vegans, by the way, are also called
pure vegetarians which can be confusing. I never use that term. It sounds as if you have
to go to church and you can't drink beer, so I just say vegan. So I'm going to offer
you a few reasons to consider this proposition. >> I'm Alicia Silverstone and I'm a vegetarian.
There's nothing in the world that's changed me as much as this. I feel so much better
and have so much more energy. It's so amazing. >> But wait.
>> And by the way, if NBC didn't like the PETA ad, they are going to hate the new one
from the Beef Council. >> Well, that wasn't the--although, there
was another one Jimmy Kimmy showed, but that's pretty good. It always amazes me why anybody
asks why you're a vegetarian and I always think it's like being asked why you don't
support rape or why you don't support murder. Because actually the animals are killed, they
don't want to go and it's pretty bad. If you've also ever seen the cow's having their horns
removed without painkiller, or their beaks cut off if their chickens or if their pigs
having their tails cut off all without painkiller. You can only describe it as torture. But here
is another video that is a few reasons to go vegetarian.
>> Reasons, reasons, reasons to become a vegetarian, a vegetarian. Number one, because heart disease
begins in childhood. Number two, because a vegetarian diet reverses heart disease. Number
three, because eating meat and dairy makes you fat. Number four, because you shouldn't
have to lie to your kids about the food that you eat. Number five, because in every package
of chicken, every package of chicken, there's a little poop, poop. Number six, because meat
is filthy and bloody. Number seven, because no living creature wants to see her family
slaughtered. Do you hear that? Number ten, because mad cow disease is in the U.S. Number
eleven, because it's violence that you can stop. We can stop. Number twelve, because
no one should have to make a living by killing. Number thirteen, because it takes a small
person to beat a defenseless animal and an even smaller person to eat it. Number fifteen,
because the grain used to feed them could feed them. You need more? Because they're
defenseless. Because when animals feel pain, they scream too. Because they don't want to
die. Because they feel fear. Because no matter how you slice it, it's still flesh. Because
commerce is no excuse for murder. Because everyone wants to be free. Because eating
fish doesn't make you a vegetarian. >> Because might doesn't make right.
>> NEWKIRK: So, these are just the few reasons. Every summer, PETA goes out to festivals and
we serve vegetarian hotdogs. Of course, you can now get them in all the ballparks and
so on. But it used to be quite a novelty. And when I fry up these--or whatever these
hotdogs, people come over. They always say, "What's in those things because it says vegetarian
hotdog." And you say vegetables. And they say, "Oh, I don't know about that." It's usually
the men. I'm sorry but it's usually men who wrinkle their nose and say, "Oh, I don't know
about that." You say, "Well, do you know what's in the regular hotdog. You know, the skin
around the rectum, the nose, between the toes." And they go, "Yeah, I think I'll have one
of those." I think--it always shows you that change is hot. People resist change, people
don't want to change. I was in the airport, there was a little cup and it said, "Afraid
of change, leave yours here." Now, I need that for our animal rights movement. Before
we move on to, "Why we do the things that we do with naked people and what have you?"
Which is one of the questions so I thought I would cover it; and to dogs and cats. Just
allow me please to give you a few facts about factory farming, since that is the most important
thing. It takes 22 hours in chicken hell for a chicken to lay just one egg. Lights are
on all the time and that egg is mixed so casually into cookies and cakes. Chicken hell means
thousands of them packed into a shed; perhaps seven chickens to the size of--space to the
size of two itty-bitty computers. Meaning that they can never stretch even one wing,
they can never even take a single step. They stand on sloped wire floors, which you could
just imagine how that would be for 20 minutes or 10 minutes. They stand on them for them
for their entire lives. And in fact, their course grow around the wire. Factory farms
make every second of their lives total misery. When I was seven, in my family, we stopped
eating veal. My mother has been to the supermarket and she saw some protestors out there, protesting
how veal is produced. But what I didn't realize is that the veal industry is created by the
dairy industry. I didn't connect those dots. Not everybody realizes amazingly that a cow
has to be pregnant and give birth in order to give milk. They don't just give milk, this
is for their baby that they produce this milk. And people also say, "But they don't kill
the cow for the milk, do they?" But yes, they do. The cow that--who is kept for her milk
has a far worse life than the cow who is kept for beef. Because every single time she gives
birth to a beloved calf, if that calf is male, a tractor comes along attaches the chain to
the calf's hind leg and drags him away from her. That mother loves her baby the way any
mother loves her baby. And cows will go ballistic trying to follow that tractor, lowing, stumping,
wanting her baby back. She is artificially inseminated on a thing that even the farmer's
call a rape rack. When her baby is born and taken away, she is re-impregnated. And the
reason the baby is taken away is because we want the milk to make into cheese toppings
for our pizza and our burgers or to drink that was meant by nature for that child. But
with the child out of the way, then we can package it and send it to the supermarket.
And when she is worn down, when she's older than the "beef cow" and she maybe has mastitis
or pink eye or whatever she's--her body is just broken from this constant overuse, then
yes, she is killed, she is kicked and she is electric shocked down the ramp, into the
same store that has the "beef cow" goes into; only by this time she's in worse shape than
he. If the cruelty argument isn't enough, maybe the revulsion factor should be. They
always say that, that's a key element in what we decide to do. Meat is decomposing flesh
and 60 minutes cold, that liquid in the bottom of the packets in the supermarket where it
starts to defrost, fecal soup, if that isn't appetizing, I don't know what it is. And if
you ever go to a chicken factory farm, you can smell it before you get there. The same
with the dairy farm that has veal calves, veal calves get a disease called scours, which
is a diarrheal disease because they're not on their mother's milk, and you can smell
that. The stench of months of accumulated waste in the factory farms burns your eyes.
If you walk in the door, your eyes start to sting, which is why people don't spend any
time in them. They wear a mask, they go in, they remove the dead. But the animals are
in there, at ground level all the time. In fact, some of the pigs are on slatted floors
and they have--when they lie down, all that waste comes up from the bottom. And I have
been in slaughter houses by the way, not only for horses and cows and chickens but also
for dogs in Taiwan. And most people are stopped about dogs in the slaughter house being strung
up. But may I tell you that as frightened as they are, as much as they struggle, and
they try to get away. And they must be thinking, this can't be happening to me. How could you
ever imagine the scenario that you are facing? It's the same, no matter the animal. It's
not just the dogs. They all want to get out of that place. It smells like hot death. I
used to smell, when I first became a vegetarian, a chicken roasting in the oven and think,
"Well, that smells good." Go to the slaughter house, you will never forget what it smells
like. It's the smell of hot death, that's all I can say. So I recommend to anybody who
thinks, "Oh, I can't go there," just spend a couple of minutes. I make a link on my email
to pull McCartney's video "Glass Walls." He always said, "If slaughter houses had glass
walls, everybody would be vegetarian." Because if you were eating other things, you would
see crops being picked, you would see fruits being picked from the trees, you would see
things that don't stink, you would see things that are pretty. But if you're eating animals,
if you--a slaughter house had a glass wall, you never--or restaurant had a glass wall,
you would never go there. So I also--please look. And like [INDISTINCT] Ellen de Generes,
even President Clinton now, except for little fish, it can't be that hard to do. So, moving
on. One of the questions that came up that I saw up here was people asking, "Why does
PETA go naked against fur and perform other antiques that some people find shocking?"
And here are some of our ads. Let me show you. This is Eva Mendez. We have whoever that
is, whose name escapes me and that one. And we have--he just changed his name, and another
one. So, we do these ads all the time and we do it to be provocative. We like Dante
Rossetti, I suppose, the painter who was once asked, "Why does he do--make a spectacle of
himself?" And he said, "Well, I make a spectacle of myself that gets people to look and then
I can talk about my serious work," and that's us. At PETA we have learned that the press
is like your cat. If you talk seriously to your cat, your cat will fall asleep, your
cat will walk away. But if you wiggle your little finger under the door, even though
your cat knows it's just your finger, he can't resist coming over and having a look. So that's
the wiggle of our little finger is to do something that the press just can't resist. Every social
movement knows this, Coca-Cola knows this, you have to get press attention or your message
doesn't get out. So, by being provocative, we get thousands upon thousands of people
to come to the website to see ads like the ones we just showed. And then, you know, maybe
they can't look at the girl but they can look at the gorgeous and then they get an education.
We did this commercial for the Super Bowl. Let me just say that, actually the Super Bowl,
the channels, the networks get millions of dollars a year, obviously from meat and dairy
advertises. And they're not going to take all little [INDISTINCT] once a year. And we
knew that so we came up with the provocative ads that we knew they would reject. And this
>> So, as a result of that commercial, 1,118,393 people visited our website, within
24 hours. All of them state and learned something about animals and a lot of them downloaded
either chew on this or watch meet your meat or watch the Paul McCartney glass walls. So,
that tactic works, we have decided it is true that sex sells. It's not all naked; there
are other ways in which we get attention. We ran this ad which is Ricky Gervais and
Pink talking about skins. >> Hello, excuse me. I think that's mine.
Yeah, that belongs to me. >> Hey, I paid a lot for this.
>> Well, actually, I paid a lot more. >> You--what the--hey, wait a minute, that
fur is mine. >> It's mine, it's mine, give me my coat.
It's--it's my coat. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> It's--give me that. >> My coat.
>> Give me my coat. >> My coat.
>> Just give me my coat. >> My coat.
>> My coat, my coat. >> Just give me my coat, it's mine. Give it.
>> What kind of a person's who steals a guy's coat?
>> And when they came to the website to see that, they stayed to watch this.
>> STEWART: Hi, I'm Martha Stewart. I'm a big believer in freedom of choice but I also
believe in making educated choices, especially when our decisions affect the lives of others.
I used to wear real fur, but like many others I had a change of heart when I learned what
actually happens to the animals. Let's take a look, now, I want to warn you that some
of these pictures will be very disturbing and you may have to look away but at least
listen. >> To kill the animals without damaging their
fur, neck breaking and electrocution are recommended by Fur Trade Associations in Europe, the United
States and Canada. And it's outlined in many manuals and guides. Anal electrocution is
demonstrated here by the Secretary of the Canada Fox Breeders Association is also suggested.
Poorly trained fur farmers such as this one in Illinois, often don't get it right the
first time, and continually re-electrocute the struggling animals. In China, the number
one fur producing nation in the world, animals are slung by their hind legs into the ground,
breaking their necks or backs, but living them fully conscious as they are skinned alive.
>> So, people got an education, came for one reason, got an education. We have people working
in all sorts of places including in China, where 70% of the fur in this country comes
from. And you can imagine how hard it is for them to stand still and not be detected to
shoot the video, including--here's a slide of a rabbit; you can barely see it on the
projection. But if you could, you would see how dismal life is for these animals on fur
farms. This Donna Karan, we have a campaign against her now for using Chinese rabbit fur
in her collection. And it's not just the mammals. There is--I--things I think that would make
you sicker than you can imagine for exotic naked skins. There's a rabbit pelts lined
up outside the--and here's one of our exotic skins ads and here is them skinning pythons
for bags and shoes and belts and here they are again. Of course, nobody cares if it's
a snake, you don't bother to render him unconscious before you take his skin off. Well, that's
that overview of why we do what we do. But let me talk to you about dog and cat overpopulation.
We have a program in Lower Virginia and the poverty pockets of North Carolina where that
picture was taken, to help dogs who are outside on chains their whole life; winter and summer.
One of the things we do is help sterilize them because we--not only there but all over
the United States, we are facing a dog and cat overpopulation crisis. It's not just a
problem, it's a crisis. Every year, over 25 million dogs and cats are born in the United
States alone. That's seven times the number of human beings born. Eight million are abandoned
and put out on to the street, that's more than the population of Switzerland, dogs and
cats just thrown away every year because they are inconvenient. They are left at animal
shelters everyday of the week. And in California alone, you see nearly a million animals taken
into shelters every year. A million, that's over 20,000 animals a day. The five city shelters
in Los Angeles alone, received 80,000 animals a year who are unwanted. And you may think,
"Well finding a home for one animal, I could do that. Maybe I could find a home for two
animals. If I really push my luck, I might be able to find a good home for five animals."
But with these figures, if you do the math, it's totally impossible to find homes for
all these discarded dogs and cats. Which is why shelter euthanasia is the number one cause
of death of dogs and cats in the United States. And it's not the fault of the people who work
in the shelters. Those who not only do their best to comfort the animals who have nowhere
to go but have to deal with the people who are throwing them over-the-counter saying,
"You're not going to kill them, are you?" These animals don't know where their families
disappeared to. They're extremely confused, they're depressed and many of them have behavioral
problems because they are in a panic. Now, if you have a family who suddenly left one
day or put you in prison somewhere in a strange place, yes, you'd be a little disturbed, and
that's what the shelter workers have to do, have their job. Only 16% of our animal companions
come from shelters. The rest come from breeders and pet shops and someone down the street
who had a litter. So, 16% from the shelters means the rest of them are going to be put
down. No-Kill Shelters don't solve the problem at all. If they're not among the many who
are being busted for hoarding, I don't know if you seen the hoarding shows on television
or hoarding shelters. And hoarding them in hideous conditions and small cages, without
proper care, they maybe helpful, it's true because they can take a small population and
look after them. But they're not working at the root of the problem. No-Kill Shelters
quickly reached their capacity and then what do they do? They have to close the door; they
have to say, "I'm sorry. Go to the open admission shelter that we--that's down the block. Don't
come here. We have no room for you." And even so, in No-Kill Shelters that have reached
capacity, it's very common to see cages stacked up to the ceiling and animals who have no
life; they are in a see-through box, year after year, turning in circles. Here's a No-Kill
Shelter we just busted. So, if that noise is uncomfortable, can you imagine living in
it day and night, year after year, and that's what we face. We have just busted another
No-Kill Shelter; I think it was called Life for God Sacred Animals or something, down
in the Carolinas. And we'll do that, we'll do that. And it's--thank you. It had over
300 cats living in small cages, who were there for up to seven years. We took many of them
away and they were unable to be saved over a hundred of them had to be euthanized right
away because they had dental disease, tumors, all sorts of problems that couldn't be fix
because of neglect. So, what has to be done is to get people to adopt anyone you know,
only adopt. Here's an ad that we have that says, "Breeders kill shelter dogs' chances."
Another reason not to buy a dog from a pet shop is because no matter what you're told,
the chances are that that dog came from a puppy mill. And you may have seen specials
on ABC about puppy mills. This is something foreigners have now in the Midwest behind
their homes where the animals are kept up on wire, and they have no life. They're exposed
to the elements and they're used just to churn out puppies that are then shipped to these
pet shops. We'll have to turn the volume down or we'll get more complains, but here is one
of those puppy mills. >> Constant confinement drives the dogs mad.
Some begin to bounce off the walls literally. Others pace not just for short periods of
time but constantly. Deprived of proper exercise and companionship, this is the only life they
know. Their whole world is confined to a small cage. From many of the dogs, that inescapable
reality sense of spinning endlessly in circles. Although the speed at which these dogs spin
further into madness seems unreal, the tape has been shown at normal speed.
>> It's insanity, and that's where the puppies come from. So as for dog breeders, there's
a pet shop puppies. No matter how kindly a breeder feels towards the animals or the type
of dog or cat that they breed, there is no such thing anymore as a responsible breeder.
It's just so grossly irresponsible to breed more liters into a world where we have animals
who are being put down because they have no homes. That's the problem we have to face.
We have some very pointed videos because people aren't paying attention and I'm going to show
you three of them. I think we have to turn the volume up tidily bit. But here are three
of our very pointed videos that make people pay attention to this issue.
>> That's a great point, Cindy, and that's why it's important for use to continue to
dock the tails, crop the ears and create that clean look. It's so important. I'm sorry.
Sir, I think you're at the wrong meeting. >> Oh, is this the American Kennel Club?
>> Yes. But, you know, we're discussing... >> You believe in the sanctity of pure bloodlines,
right? >> Yes.
>> And breeding to achieve a master race? >> Well, master pedigree. They're...
>> Race, pedigree; I mean, that's just all semantics. I think I'm going fit right in
here. You're my kind of people. Hey, are there going to be snacks later or no?
>> Honey, we need to talk. >> About sex.
>> You know, we can teach you. You'll be having it, sweety.
>> A lot of it. >> Get out there and nail everything you can.
>> If it's got a pulse, you should be wrapped around it.
>> What if I get pregnant? >> Oh, [INDISTINCT]. You should pop out all
the kids you want. >> Absolutely.
>> Yes. We can leave them in the shelter, dump them on the street, whatever.
>> It's really not important. >> I'm really glad we had this little talk.
>> My little girl is going to get some. >> So we ran that lost ad when Britney Spears'
sister--I forget her name now--but when she announced that she was pregnant at 16, we
ran that in the--in her home state. And within four hours, we had over 18,000 people come
to and learn about spaying and neutering which appears right after this ad on the website.
Spaying and neutering is absolutely the single most important thing we can do to combat the
overpopulation crisis. We run three mobile spay and neuter clinics. They go into low
income areas. We spay at low cost and no cost. They're all subsidized. We do over 12,000
animals a year. And if you think about it, it's not just those 12,000 we do. It's--if
even half of them had just one liter and even if none of the animals and that liter were--went
on to reproduce, which is all ridiculous because they all would have multiple liters and go
on to reproduce, we are saving hundreds of thousands of animals from being homeless every
year and I think that's the key--finding a home for a dog, one dog is a lovely, lovely
thing. But paying for somebody who perhaps can't afford to spay or neuter their animal
saves countless more over the years ahead. You have saved far more than that one placement.
A dog or a cat is a lifetime responsibility. They're not a [INDISTINCT] to our lifestyle
even though they're sometimes treated that way. They're not candy the way Britney Spears
and Paris Hilton think of them. They're not toys. They are other lives. They're just like
us and their happiness is in our hands. Because we've domesticated them, they can't look after
themselves anymore. They can't find water if they want it. They can't go on and turn
on our tap. They're not free even to go outside to urinate if they don't have permission from
us. So I ask people, "Please, if your dog wants to go out, don't put it off. Go now."
You're the only hope they have. Make sure that they have clean food and water. Think
about what they want; what is their life. Yesterday, I watched a man on his mobile phone
walking his dog--and I see this all the time--and he was so engrossed in his--I'm sure Earth-shattering
conversation of vital appointment. And his dog is trying to lift his leg and the man
is just barreling down the street and his dog on three legs is tripoding down the street
after him. I mean how little respect, how little an animal needs, and he can't put down
his mobile phone. So there was a recently an RSPCA study have found that 63% of dogs
of people who have dogs in their home keep them inside too long when they need to relieve
themselves. And many people do not even provide clean water or a bowl, a special bowl, or
a bed for their animals. I believe they should be on your bed, but that's it. God knows what
else they don't do. So please, if you have an animal at home, remember, when you come
home, you're the Beatles to them. That is the highlight of their day. So don't just
ignore them. When you go to work, don't leave them with their legs crossed for your eight
hours or however many it is. Be like this gentleman here and bring them with you. They
have no other life. So each of us also has the power to end animal overpopulation, the
dog and cat crisis. Please get our literature, get our videos, do whatever you can to tell
people never go to the breeder, never go to the pet shop, but always spay or neuter and
go to the shelter. And finally--if you thought finally was--oh, no, I missed one. Okay, you
have to see this one. John McEnroe. >> What are you doing here? You're John McEnroe?
>> Here to get my dog neutered. >> I would never do that to my dog.
>> You cannot be serious. Neutering is good his temper. It's the most important thing
you can do for homeless animals. Do you know that shelters have to kill more than few million
animals every year just because there's not enough good homes out there? I can't have
that on my conscience. Can you? >> I was actually talking about the outfit.
>> What? You don't like it? >> It's ostentatious. Sorry.
>> I've lost the page. John McEnroe, very helpful. Can we just [INDISTINCT]? So I'm
going to leave you with this long thought. Don't be relieved yet. We should be in awe
of animals. It isn't because of the animals that the sun is searing into the Earth bringing
starvation to the peoples of Africa. It isn't because of animals that the ice caps are melting,
that no one can drink from our waterways, that sparrows are dying, that frogs are disappearing,
that penguins are found floating dead in the Antarctic. Even in places as pristine as Alaska
until we came along, millions of animals from walruses to beavers, to birds, to insects,
to eagles, songbirds, foxes live there for millennia without despoiling a thing. Turtles
navigate by the Earth's electromagnetic field, birds by the stars, and albatross was the
first individual to know that the Earth was round. Not a human being. Dolphins use sonar
and we copy from them. Ants construct boats to cross mighty rivers. The Congo is disappearing
yet the animals know that in just a few square yards of the Congolese jungle, you can find
wild mushrooms, yams, different kinds of seasonal fruits, the bark of a tree that contains antibiotics,
a bark that tastes like garlic, edible vines, even a sapling that cures a headache. In those
jungles are millions upon millions, upon millions of animals of all kinds. Yet unlike our cities,
their ground is rich with vegetation. The forest canopy provides shade, the rivers are
clear and the food is abundant. But it will all be gone not because of them but because
we humans have so much greed. Not need, just greed. We tear down their homes and their
resources because we want more rubber, we want more minerals, more logs, more lumber,
more of everything. Animals are great role models. We should look at them and listen
and watch what they do. They eat what nature intended them to eat. They remain healthy.
They use natural medicines. Gorillas actually grind volcanic soil into ash and they swallow
it to rid their bodies of toxins. Starlings use aromatic herbs and they weave them into
their nests so that they can keep their young free of mites. Cockatoos in the jungle eat
clay to prevent cancer, something they die off not in the jungle but in captivity. It's
the great loneliness of being kept in a cage unable to fly doesn't get to them fast. We
should be in awe. Animals have cultures. They have languages. Elephants communicate subsonically,
have frequencies the we can't hear, and many animals do that. Rhinos use breathing signals
to talk to each other. And tree frogs tap out their messages on logs. Even the tiniest
insect produces two higher pitch sound for us to hear without instrumentation. And it's
now thought that cows communicate with facial expressions. They can read but we don't have
a clue about. Studies have shown that prairie dogs use nouns and verbs. They have different
words by which they can tell each other how many people are entering a field and what
sort of people whether it's a man, it's a dog, it's two people, it's a crowd, it's people
they know, it's a bulldozer, and yet they are being bulldozed. And they're being vacuumed
out of their dens and sold in pet shops. And they die in people's homes because people
do not know how to take care of them. And they die in their hearts of the great loneliness
of being separated from their family, their loved ones, their friends, their villages.
And what do we do? We go into space. We have [INDISTINCT]. We train our telescopes and
our listening devices desperate to find out if there is intelligent life in the universe.
There is intelligent life in the universe. It's all around us. But what do we do with
it? We experiment on it, we eat it, we cut it up, and we make it into clothing and shoes.
It isn't easy to change society. In Washington D.C. where PETA is headquartered, there is
a college for the deaf called Gallaudet; Gallaudet College for the deaf. And years ago--I would
always remember this--they were furious. The students actually went on strike because the
governing body would not appoint a deaf president. Every time there was a new president, it was
a hearing president and the deaf students have had enough. So they walked out of class,
they had sit-ins; they were just uncontrollable. And so the governing body appointed a deaf
president. And the leader of the student revolt wrote an editorial in the Washington Post,
which I kept. I'll never forget it. He wrote, "When slaves rose up against their masters,
white weren't ready but the slaves were. When women demanded the vote, men weren't ready
but women were. And hearing people may not be ready for us to get a deaf president, but
we're ready." And I thought to my self, "Yes, human beings may not be ready to afford respect
to all the other living individuals on the face of the Earth, but my God, they're ready,
and I hope we can do something to make that happen for them. Thank you very much.