PETA Global 2018 Issue 1
PETA India Kicks Off Race to Create Cruelty-Free Antivenom T he day is coming when equines will no longer be abused as living blood banks to produce snake antivenom, thanks to the persistence of PETA India. For more than a year now, it has been communicating with government officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, about its eyewitness investigation into horrific blood-harvesting farms and has pushed for antivenom to be made without using horses, mules, and donkeys. After PETA India showed the government that ill, malnourished, terrified horses are repeatedly tackled – sometimes causing them to panic and collapse – jabbed with large-gauge needles, and drained of more than 15% of their blood, India’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council issued a groundbreaking challenge to scientists to produce the first animal-free snakebite antitoxins. The alternative to animal sources is antivenom made by using recombinant DNA technology, which would spare thousands of horses and other animals a great deal of misery – and lead to a uniform, high-quality product with a longer shelf life and fewer side effects for human patients. Similar efforts are underway in Germany, where the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is funding the development of a non-animal antitoxin to treat diphtheria, which will also prevent horses from being exploited for their blood.
A MESSAGE FROM Ingrid Newkirk PETA’s President
When I was a little girl, my father’s occupation took us to some rather craggy outposts, such as the Orkney Islands and the Scottish Highlands, where sheep lived on the hillsides and drank from the ice-cold streams or “burns” that fed the lochs. The winter mornings were brisk, and I remember waking up under my woolen blankets, reluctant to stick even one toe out until the peat fires had been lit. When I ventured outdoors, I must have looked like an advertisement for wool, bundled up in a Shetland jumper (sweater), a woolen tam-o’-shanter pulled down over my ears, a knitted scarf to keep out the chill and wind, and thick, hand-knitted argyle knee socks. It never occurred to me that in order for me to have all those “woollies,” sheep had to lose theirs. My father was the first person to tell me about chest colds in sheep – he had heard them hacking and coughing through the winter on the English farm next to his boyhood home. Their condition was the result of being exposed to the damp and cold because the farmer had sheared them right before the worst of winter hit. Years later, I realized that sheep are not mittens on the hoof. Highly social and intelligent, they recognize each other by facial features, just as humans do, and can remember at least 50 other sheep and 10 humans for more than two years! More importantly, they are gentle, sensitive, and thoughtful – yet at the mercy of unmerciful human beings.
We can protect sheep from needless cruelty by choosing wool-free clothing. You’ll look stunning and feel as if you’re 5 pounds lighter in sheep-friendly fashions, such as the gorgeous vegan cashmere coats by PETA Business Friend Manon (check them out at PETAMall.com ).
PETA Floats the Idea of Eating Green In recognition of World Vegan Day, PETA UK supporters holding enormous green balloons promoted eco-friendly, vegan living near London’s Tower Bridge, while supporters of PETA France turned a Paris plaza into a “crime scene” by lying inside chalk outlines of chickens, pigs, and other animals. Photos of the demonstrations went viral and were seen all over the world.
Read more about Ingrid’s childhood (and grown-up) adventures in her book Making Kind Choices, available at PETACatalog.com .
2 GLOBAL NEWS
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