Twilight star Kellan Lutz talks about his dog Kola and urges folks to adopt dogs rather than buy them, AFTER THE JUMP...
Figure skater Johnny Weir says he'll wear faux fur at the Olympics after threats of disruption from animal rights groups angry that he is defiant about its use in some of his costumes.
Said Weir: "I would like to announce that due to pressures and threats from a certain animal rights group, I will be changing the genuine fox fur on my free program costume that I will use in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., to white faux fur. I made this decision after several threats were sent to me about disrupting my performance in the Olympic Games and my costume designer, Stephanie Handler, was repeatedly sent messages of hate and disgust. I do not want something as silly as my costume disrupting my second Olympic experience and my chance at a medal, a dream I have had since I was a kid. I hope these activists can understand that my decision to change my costume is in no way a victory for them, but a draw. I am not changing in order to appease them, but to protect my integrity and the integrity of the Olympic Games as well as my fellow competitors. Just weeks away from hitting my starting position on the ice in Vancouver, I have technique and training to worry about and that trumps any costume and any threat I may receive."
Weir angered the groups last week by defending his use of it:
"I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it's not something that's the No. 1 priority in my life. There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti. I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it's my choice."
PETA wants Punxsutawney Phil, the internationally famous groundhog looked to for predictions of springtime, replaced by a robot:
"Gemma Vaughan, PETA's animals in entertainment specialist, fired off a letter to groundhog club president William Deeley this week, asking for his promise that the group will forgo the use of real rodents in future Groundhog Day celebrations. Little Phil, Vaughan wrote, is a pretty unhappy fellow, 'forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation.' Groundhogs are typically shy creatures, Vaughan goes on to explain, and they can become easily upset when confronted by throngs of people, loud noises and camera flashes."
They want him replaced by a robot: "According to PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman, an animatronic Phil 'would attract new and curious tourists' to Punxsutawney's annual event."
Watch Brian Williams' report on the request, AFTER THE JUMP...
Gay bashing brawl under investigation in Clear Lake, Iowa. "A man was reportedly dancing when he was slammed to the ground and beaten by another patron who made rude references to the man’s sexual orientation. A friend of the victim then reportedly tried to pull the attacker off of him and that resulted in other patrons getting involved. Peterson described the scene as 'mayhem.'"
Black gay couple walk out of Mount Calvary Holy Church during anti-gay sermon: "Mack and Garrett, 32, contacted DC Agenda about their decision to walk out on Owens’ sermon and are believed to be the first gays to publicly disclose their departure from a church that activists say has a large number of closeted gay members, mostly black."
Susan Boyle has new airport meltdown: "The source went on to explain that while SuBo was waiting to board a flight to Chicago, she suddenly grabbed a cleaning product out of a janitor's cart and used it as a fake microphone..."
Jesus Luz shows some bush.
Drug resistant HIV poised for surge, self-sustaining epidemics: "When the team used the model to look into the future, it predicted a rapid upsurge in the spread of resistant strains. The model suggested that 60 per cent of the resistant strains currently circulating in San Francisco could cause "self-sustaining epidemics", says Blower, in which each infected individual spreads the resistant strain to more than one new recipient."
Kelis tells PETA off: "I would eat pterodactyl if you found some and you told me it was meaty and delicious."
D.C. sees second slaying of gay man in two weeks: “There is no indication at this time that this homicide occurred as a result of a hate crime."
Maryland delegate introduces anti-gay bill: "Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr.'s measure would also declare that marriages between individuals of the same sex are against the public policy of the state of Maryland. The House of Delegates Judiciary Committee has rejected similar measures introduced before, which prevented the bill from going to the House floor for debate. In neighboring Washington, D.C., gay couples will likely be able to apply soon for marriage licenses. The district's City Council passed a bill last month legalizing same-sex marriage."
Glee's Matthew Morrison to release debut album.
Documentary about killing of gay Liverpool teen Michael Causer to be screened at Istanbul International Film Festival: "We are all really excited that such an important film is being shown in Turkey. The international struggle for LGBT equality and acceptance is one which is the central message of this film. What happened to Michael Causer was a travesty of justice and was plainly ignored by many in the national media."
Kellan the Barbarian?
Pope defends invitation of Anglicans disaffected by gay policies to convert: "Benedict told members of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the invitation wasn't an attack on the church's reunification efforts with other Christians but designed to help them by bringing about 'full and visible communion.'"
Bruce Weber's All American.
British auto show Top Gear slammed for not allowing gay couples in studio audience: "It’s very odd, but what do you expect from pigs that grunt? Regrettably, with Jeremy Clarkson involved, it’s not surprising. The show itself is full of stereotyping of both men and women – but it’s funded by gay and lesbian licence fee cash as well as everyone else’s. Arguably, this is a breach of the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2005."
What better time to roll out a sexy anti-fur campaign by a professional athlete than right after he gets punished for storing a gun in his locker, right?
PETA yesterday unveiled a new campaign featuring suspended Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.
Writes PETA: "NBA guard Gilbert Arenas scores points for animals and joins other legendary sports stars and celebrities by posing for PETA's 'Ink, Not Mink' campaign. Gilbert shows off his tattoos and bares his skin to help animals keep theirs...Gilbert's a fierce competitor on the court, but it's his compassion toward animals off the court that makes him a true all-star. Join Gilbert in refusing to contribute to animal suffering by not buying or wearing fur or fur trim!"
One more shot, AFTER THE JUMP...
Understanding that the inhumane killing of animals is something that goes on every day in nations with industrialized food systems does not make this video, shot by an undercover activist from an animal rights group, any easier to watch, or even hear about.
The Des Moines Register: "The video, shot with a hidden camera and microphone by a Mercy for Animals employee who got a job at the plant, shows a Hy-Line worker sorting through a conveyor belt of chirping chicks, flipping some of them into a chute like a poker dealer flips cards. These chicks, which a narrator says are males, are then shown being dropped alive into a grinding machine. In other parts of the video, a chick is shown dying on the factory floor amid a heap of egg shells after falling through a sorting machine. Another chick, also still alive, is seen lying on the floor after getting scalded by a wash cycle, according to the video narrator. Hy-Line said the video 'appears to show an inappropriate action and violation of our animal welfare policies,' referring to chicks on the factory floor. But the company also noted that 'instantaneous euthanasia' - a reference to killing of male chicks by the grinder - is a standard practice supported by the animal veterinary and scientific community."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP (warning: extremely graphic) ...
Circus Handlers Beat Elephants in New Ringling Bros. PETA Video [tr]