There is good reason to be optimistic about 2013

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) columnist shares stories of progress when it comes to the interests of animals.
Dec 27, 2012


It was practically impossible to turn on the television in 2012 without hearing a whole lot of political bickering. And when the news wasn't dominated by presidential campaign coverage, it was filled with devastating stories about mass shootings, natural disasters, deadly factory fires and other heartbreaking events. So it was easy to miss the positive things that happened in 2012. But if you look back on the year, you'll see that a great deal of progress was made for those whose interests are often overlooked -- animals -- and that there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful about 2013.

Just a few months ago, for example, the Los Angeles City Council banned pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits obtained from commercial breeders. They can now offer animals only from shelters, a measure that will help countless homeless animals find loving homes. Los Angeles also passed a resolution encouraging residents to eat vegetarian meals at least one day a week, making it the largest city yet to endorse "Meatless Monday."

It's now easy to find animal-friendly vegan options in other cities and at popular venues, too. The Daytona International Speedway served veggie dogs at the 2012 Coke Zero NASCAR race, giving vegetarian fans a reason to cheer. Starbucks promised to use a plant-based colorant instead of insect extracts in its drinks, and many popular restaurants, including Taco Bell and Subway, added vegan options to their menus in 2012.

These changes aren't exactly earthshaking -- in fact, they're pretty basic and long overdue -- but they do illustrate society's evolving attitude toward animals. More and more people now reject activities that cause suffering, and more and more companies are changing their practices as a result.

Ann Taylor, for example, stopped selling exotic skins in 2012, and both Alloy, an online clothing retailer, and Chinese Laundry, a stylish footwear company, stopped selling fur. Haband, an apparel and accessories company, stopped selling down -- which is commonly ripped from the bodies of live birds -- because of PETA's efforts.

More companies pledged not to use great apes in advertisements this past year, and NBC was forced to cancel "Animal Practice" after only five episodes, evidence that people aren't interested in watching exploited animals on TV anymore.

Prominent financial institutions, including BB&T, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, as well as Georgetown University and the city of Cartersville, Ga., pledged not to use glue traps, because the fate of animals who get stuck in them is very cruel. They often lose skin and fur to the sticky glue while struggling to escape or else die slowly of thirst, exhaustion or suffocation.

District of Columbia Public Schools passed a dissection-choice policy, giving students the right to use humane, modern methods to learn about anatomy, and the Carolinas Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners agreed to use effective simulators instead of animals for medical training.

UPS, DHL and FedEx, the top three cargo shipping companies, now refuse to transport any animals for use in experiments, as does Nippon Cargo Airlines, which had been shipping cats and dogs from the U.S. to Japanese laboratories.

These are just a few of the many reasons why 2012 was a banner year for animals and why we can be optimistic about the changes that 2013 will bring. We can all continue to push for progress in the year ahead. All we have to do is resolve to make compassionate choices.


Heather Moore is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation, 501 Front Street, Norfolk, Va. 23510; Information about PETA's funding may be found at This essay is available to McClatchy-Tribune News Service subscribers. McClatchy-Tribune did not subsidize the writing of this column; the opinions are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of McClatchy-Tribune or its editors.


(c) 2012, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Distributed by MCT Information Services





since many "peta" supporters will be on this article. some1 answer a bugging question of mine.. What is the term Free Range chickens and "rights" of the chicken all about..?? We wrongly have been putting chickens in coups? Were there thousands among thousands of "free range" chickens roaming this vast land? and if So? WHEN?. Never read about that in any western novels?


...@truckin... actually there were chickens, roosters in fact, in the old west that roamed free, drinking, brawling, carrying on brazenly with the hens. They'd get liquored up and, yes, on occasion, would attack cowpokes on the open range... one sad report had it that a range hand, innocently plodding away, mending fence, was ambushed by a flock of red-combed marauders and was nearly pecked to death before the rangers showed up and drove them off... they were later rounded up, stewed, and were the ispiration for the "chicken in every pot" quote used by many a western politition...


I like what you are saying is yes, the chicken must have atleast a 24" laying box, versus a 12" one. What about the pot size? and you have cleared up the unknown knowledge that the chicken is less stressed with open pastures..?? It all just makes me crack up. A cow, chicken, pig etc has but one purpose in life. Satisfy my hunger. The End


i especially like the part of "everyone must buy the unwanted mutts" No choice.. Maybe the government should do the same with housing crisis. NO NEW HOME PERMITS, till all the unwanted, abandon ones are bought.


and don't forget the poor horse retail market in the US, let alone the many just flat starving anyways due to super high hay, etc. .Horse's no longer can be killed and processed for dog food in the US. But shipped to Canada, killed and meat shipped back to US for dog food???? What am i missing?? Now that solved something huh? (maybe overly priced dog food)


PETA is like the HSUS...a money machine out to put animal agriculture out of business. Please remember, there is a difference between animal RIGHTS and animal WELFARE. Please animal welfare is important, give to your local animal shelters who will actually save animals. Every REAL farmer/rancher cares for there livestock and are concerned for there welfare.

Estrella Damm

I love cows, they taste the best medium well.


...even now, I'm thawing out a 3 bone prime rib roast...


If you folks would see the abuse that goes on in Factory Farms, you would be shocked. I mean sicking abuse and neglect.

Cliff Cannon

@44846GWP: Very well put.It certainly turns one's stomach to read or see the abuse that takes place on factory farms.

The critical issue though, has 2 parts in my opinion. First can America produce enough meat,milk & eggs with out factory farms ?

If not,then how can we control the disease's that accompany the factory farm as well as help the land around factory farms survive their impact ?


Cliff, thank you for your reply, like most of the time, you are well informed. Factory farms can be run humanely, and still make a profit. Battery egg cages are so small the chickens can't move around, they spend their entire life in the cage until they can no longer lay eggs or they die. Gestation crates for pigs are crule, the pigs can't move, they can stand or lay down, thats all. They can't even turn around. Dairy cows give birth, the calves are taken away right away from the mother. The male calves are used for veal or cheap beef. The majority of male chickens hatched at Factory farms are thrown into a grinder ALIVE, and mixed into chicken feed or pet food. This is just the tip of the topic! I could go on and on, yes, I eat meat but do we have to torture the animals while they are alive? There are even more humane methods of killing them than are being used now. I don't understand people who think its not an issue, are they realy that heartless, or are they just clueless? It's one reason why I always say, the more I learn about people, the more I would rather hang out with a good dog. Happy New Year sir!

Cliff Cannon

@44846GWP : Are the people who don't understand this issue " heartless" or "clueless" is your very good question.

Here's hoping for " clueless " since that answer only implies an under educated person,with few interest's that don't start with " I ",
" Me " or "Mine"

While " heartless " is as cold,cruel and mean as, well, 'heartless',so......

"the more I learn about people,the more I would rather hang out with a good dog". I am tempted to agree totally. However,my pet is a cat named Fanny Farmer.So I'll have to hang with her instead :)

Happy New Year to you and yours


Fanny Farmer! Love the name! I do miss the factory being in town, and the retail shop they had in front, yum! lol!