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Reinventing the Holidays, Cruelty-Free; Rescuing Animals
Aired December 26, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Good stuff. Rochelle, you`re with us tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Makes us happy. JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL starts right now. Have a great night.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): With the holidays right around the corner, a lot of Americans are saying, "Let`s do something different this year." "American Pie" star Shannon Elizabeth joins me with a fantastic idea that`s sweeping the country.
Then "Real Housewives of Miami" star Joanna Krupa and our own rescue mascot little Rico join other famous animal lovers to get rocking for rescues in Sandy`s wake.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a great way to celebrate and get together with like-minded folks and show them that you can have a fabulous traditional meal without the meat and dairy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s interesting how the public responds when one individual animal, you know, makes a run for her life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never even thought about it before, that something is actually being slaughtered, and my ground beef and my steak and stuff like that and we`ve been eating it for years. I never pictured that face.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any animal, any creature has a strong will to live.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s an ambassador for all animals who are suffering in slaughterhouses and on farms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s about pie and it`s about veggies, and it`s about all kinds of other delicious foods. And it`s about getting together with people you love. And when you do a cruelty-free Thanksgiving, it`s so exciting, because you actually feel better.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight reinventing the holidays. It`s part of a huge national trend: Americans putting a new spin on traditional holiday meals. They`re spending less money, cutting calories and -- guess what? -- saving animals in the process.
Did you know that every year 9 billion animals are taken from birth to death through America`s factory farming system, often -- usually -- never seeing the light of day in the process. This holiday season a lot of people, a lot of Americans are tired of it, and they`re tired of the same old same old.
Take a look at this new ad. It points out that everybody in the family wants to do their own thing during the holidays, and that includes eating a vegan holiday. Not eating turkey.
In fact, more and more people are celebrating with living turkeys by giving them treats during special holiday ceremonies like this one. Check it out.
And that isn`t the only way turkeys are skipping the dinner plate. The Turkey Express from Farm Sanctuary is transporting turkeys that have been saved from terrible conditions to wonderful homes with human companions who love them.
Joining me now -- I am so delighted, so excited -- very, very special guest actress Shannon Elizabeth.
We`re so happy to have you here. You remember Shannon from her role in the amazing "American Pie" as the sexy exchange student. From Universal Pictures, check it out for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EUGENE LEVY, ACTOR: A young lady here to see you.
JASON BIGGS, ACTOR: Hey, Nadia.
ELIZABETH: Hi, James. Ready to study?
LEVY: He`s always ready to study. He`s a real bookworm this kid.
BIGGS: Dad, you need to -- you need to change, right?
ELIZABETH: Do you mind?
BIGGS: No, not at all. Please. You know, just go ahead and get changed. I`ll go downstairs, and I`ll start studying up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of my favorite movies.
Shannon Elizabeth, you`re one of my heroes. I know have you done so much for dogs like this little rescue guy here, Rico. But I know you`re also expanding your circle of compassion to include turkeys. Tell us why you`ve decided to go meat free this holiday season.
ELIZABETH: Well, I have been vegetarian for over 12 years, and pretty much vegan, and I feel like so many people think about dogs and cats, but they don`t think about all the other animals in the world. And I grew up in Texas. We were meat eaters. And I think too many people, they`re just raised in a way where you don`t think about what meat is. You`re just so used to eating it.
And I think it`s really important and especially in this day and age people start thinking about what they`re eating, what they`re putting in their body and how it`s going to affect them and how it affects the animal. Because they are hurting, killing a living creature with a soul and a heart and feelings. And, I mean, once people learn that, it`s hard to really fathom doing that, and I just think more people should know really what happens to get that animal to your plate and consider doing something different.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: and you are living proof that it`s also good for you. Take one look at you, and we also have you on "Dancing with the Stars." We`ve got -- your moves were extraordinary.
Now, a lot of people always say, well, where do you get the protein? We`re going to show you in a second.
"Dancing with the Stars," which you wowed, you wowed the audience. But in terms of the energy that you have, the ability to move, the physique, the shape, you don`t have an ounce of body fat on you. How do you dovetail that with your compassionate eating lifestyle?
ELIZABETH: You know, I feel like I just try to be very healthy. I think I`m more healthy now by far than ever when I ate meat. Meat made me feel really tired and sluggish all the time and very full and bloated.
Now I`m eating -- I take vitamins every day with a protein shake that I make, and it`s a very simple process. I don`t put a bunch of stuff in a blender. I shake this one powder with water, and it`s amazing and it`s like chocolate. And I take all my vitamins with it, and I`m eating more greens than ever. And I actually found, like, so many vegetables that I love that can be made so many different ways.
And I was never a cook growing up. I didn`t even love vegetables growing up. I hardly was made to eat them. But now I`m discovering, like, all these amazing things in the world that I was missing, and just knowing that I`m not contributing to the pain of an animal, like I can`t even fathom, like, touching meat again. And I like...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what? We`ve got to show a little bit of you "Dancing with the Stars."
ELIZABETH: Oh, OK.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to stop the turkeys for a second. Let`s see. There you go, honey. Look at that. Now, that takes energy. I know. I saw Nancy Grace. I went to visit Nancy Grace when she was on "Dancing with the Stars," and I saw the energy and the work out that that is. And so if you say, "Oh, my gosh, I need my protein," we -- there`s plenty of other ways to get protein first of all. Legumes and all sorts of other sources of protein. But you did a great job on that.
And you`re a living example that it`s great for your health. It`s great for your shape. You know, people spend billions, women spend billions on diets in this country, and they can take a tip from you and just eat your veggies.
Now turkeys. Let`s get back to the personality of turkeys, because we know these little guys have tons of personality. Well, guess what? Turkeys do, too. Turkeys have their own personalities. They make specific friends.
Hildy was a famous well-loved turkey at this amazing organization, Farm Sanctuary, and she even had her own little clique of friends. Listen to this. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Birds, just like mammals, have friendships and bonds and bonds, and they spend most of their time with specific birds. So Hildy has really close friends. Feather is a really close friend of hers. Kima (ph) is a close friend of hers. And Rhonda (ph) is a close friend of hers. When she can`t see them and when they can`t see her, they often vocalize back and forth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Some people see farm animals as different, or perhaps they don`t even really think of them very often but certainly don`t put them in the same category as their companion animals, their pets.
I want to go to another one of my heroes, Gene Baur, the founder, one of the co-founders and the president of Farm Sanctuary, an amazing organization.
You take these turkeys and cows and pigs, and you rescue them from terrible, terrible conditions on factory farms, where sometimes they`re left for dead, and you rehabilitate them. And tell us about the emotional life and the intelligence of turkeys.
GENE BAUR, FOUNDER/PRESIDENT, FARM SANCTUARY: Well, turkeys, like all other animals, have feelings. They develop relationships. They get to know friends that they like to spend time with. We have this one turkey at our farm in California, for example, who we call Lydia, the hugging turkey, because when you go out to the barn yard and kneel down, she would come up to you and crane her neck around your neck. She wanted to be with you. It was like she was giving you a hug.
And, you know, when these animals get to know you as friends, they love spending time with you, just like cats or dogs or other animals. They are very much social, intelligent, feeling creatures and that`s the message, that these animals deserve better than they`re getting on these factory farms.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And you know what? This little guy here, Rico, who we rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, he is a very smart young man, aren`t you? Yes, you are. But guess what? Pigs are very smart, too, and many say they have a higher I.Q. than dogs.
As Americans expand their circle of compassion beyond dogs and cats, they`re also feeling compassion towards pigs. And guess what? They`re coming to see that pigs are playful, happy, and highly intelligent animals.
Watch this clip of pigs having a good old time eating pumpkins at Farm Sanctuary. All right. Take a look at this.
Shannon Elizabeth, look at these happy pigs having a great time in Farm Sanctuary. This is how pigs should love. Unfortunately factory farming forces pigs to live in, well, let`s show you how they live, in crates the size of their bodies in these horrible indoor factories and never able to turn around. Many companies are banning pig gestation crates, but there`s a long road ahead.
What would you say to Americans who are perhaps seeing these images for the first time? And I know when this is -- these are Farm Sanctuary rescue pigs. And the other pigs are have the vast majority, the billions of pigs, go to the other footage of film, the other way. These are the lucky few. The other way is how the vast majority of pigs in this country live their lives, in these gigantic warehouses, in these cages, never able to turn around. They`re female pigs. Your thoughts, Shannon?
ELIZABETH: I think that people turn a blind eye to what`s happening out there too much, and they don`t want to see this. They don`t want to know it`s going on. And I think it`s very important to know what`s happening and how these animals are being treated.
And also, the way they`re being treated and the way they`re being raised, the fear, the hormones, the antibiotics, all of this is prevalent throughout all of their meat their entire body. And when they`re killed, all of this stays in that meat.
So when you`re eating it, you`re eating all of these hormones, all of the stuff that`s going to hurt you, and it`s going to affect your moods. It`s going to give you -- it gives you cancer. It gives you diabetes. It gives you all of these diseases that you don`t see out in the wild and they need to consider they`re not only hurting a life, they`re hurting themselves. They need to just think about the entire process.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and let me say this. My understanding -- and Jean, correct me -- is that the hormones are supposed to pass through the meat. In other words, there are laws in place to try to make sure that humans don`t absorb all the antibiotics and the hormones and there is a system to clear that from the animal before the animal is slaughtered but that sometimes -- critics would say more than sometimes things slip through the cracks. Yes or no, Gene?
BAUR: Well, theoretically, that`s supposed to happen. But these animals are so pumped up with antibiotics, half the antibiotics produced in the U.S. go into raising these animals.
Plus, they`ve been Genetically bred to grow twice as big and twice as fast as normal in the case of turkeys. In fact, they`re so Genetically altered that they cannot even reproduce naturally any more so all these turkeys are a result of artificial insemination.
So these animals are sick. And in addition to the hormones that are given artificially, these animals are souped up to have lots of hormones in their bodies already.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break we`re going to talk about a new undercover investigation, what you as American consumers need to know as you consider your holiday meals this season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden, it donned on me. This sweet, innocent cow, running away from being slaughtered. And I never even thought about it before, that something is actually being slaughtered and it is my ground beef and stuff like that and we`ve been eating it for years. I never pictured that face. It hurt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just in time for the holidays, and quite possibly, one of the reasons people are making their meals meatless, yet another undercover investigation from the animal protection group mercy for animals, allegedly exposing horrific abuse to birds at a Butterball factory farm. Watch. It`s disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Camera footage recorded at multiple Butterball turkey factory farms in North Carolina exposes an ongoing pattern of cruelty and severe neglect, including animals being kicked, thrown, and left to suffer from injury or disease without proper veterinary care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mercy for Animals say this is the second time in approximately a year that they caught workers at a Butterball facility. Nathan, what do you say you caught on tape?
NATHAN RUNKLE, FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MERCY FOR ANIMALS: Our investigator documented birds crammed by the thousands inside of filthy, windowless sheds and workers kicking, throwing, and beating birds, as well as birds with bloody open wounds, infections and broken bones being left to suffer without veterinary care.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Butterball responds by saying they immediately initiated an internal investigation and suspended the associates in question pending the completion of the investigation. Butter ball will then make a determination on additional actions, including immediate termination for those involved. And they say they remain committed to the ethical and responsible care of turkey flocks. Your response, Nathan?
RUNKLE: It`s too little too late. This is the second time in less than a year that our undercover cameras have documented a pattern of animal cruelty and neglect at Butterball facilities. Our investigation last year led to five Butterball workers being criminally charged with cruelty to animals. This abuse runs rampant, and it needs to end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you have seen all aspects of this story and we just ask you to take a moment to consider what you are going to do this holiday season. We thank you for listening. It takes courage to bear witness, and it`s something that I think Americans as citizens need to see.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The turkey is eating right along with us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re eating unbelievable food and we`re enjoying their company.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a completely meatless meal, and the turkeys are the guest of honor instead of the main course.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It really, really is amazing place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Rico, guess what? Did you know that there`s a new trend taking over. That`s right. There`s a new supermarket ad, for example, showing more and more people going for meatless Thanksgivings. They`re coming up with other animal-friendly options and reinventing the holidays.
How? By feeding the turkeys at a wonderful sanctuary called Farm Sanctuary instead of feeding on them. And they`re calling it Thanks- living, a compassionate way to celebrate the season.
Joining me now, Gene Bauer, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. Do you sense there is a change this Thanksgiving into a thanks- living where people are embracing turkeys as sentient beings, as opposed to simply food?
BAUR: Yes. Absolutely, Jane. It`s amazing to see the growing awareness and people are humane and people want to live in a way that can feel good about and they want to eat healthy food, as well.
And with the factory farming system today, you have animals that are treated just like commodities. They`re treated very badly. And when people hear about it, it`s upsetting. And they would rather not participate.
So more and more people now are looking for alternatives. And we encourage people to save a turkey instead of eating one for Thanksgiving and for the holidays. And you know, it feels better because you don`t have to feel badly about the cruelty you`re supporting.
And it`s healthier, too. You can live very well by eating plant foods and no animal foods. I`ve been a vegan since 1985 and just started running marathons. This is a lifestyle that makes a lot of sense for animals, as well as for our own health.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this growing trend comes on the heels of a new Mercy for Animals undercover investigation. The animal protection group says their hidden cameras caught, allegedly, workers at a Butter ball factory they say kicking, stomping on turkeys and dragging them and throwing them on the ground and other just horrific cruelty. And other, just terrific cruelty. Gene, what do you make of this?
Because Butterball has said essentially they`ve released a statement saying that they immediately initiated an internal investigation, suspended the associates in question. They will make a determination on additional actions, including immediate termination for those involved and that they say they remain committed to the ethical and responsible care of turkey flocks. What do you make of this latest undercover investigation involving turkeys?
BAUR: Well, whenever an -- whenever an investigator gets into one of these places they find problems. So the problems are rampant. Bad has become normal. Animals are treated like pieces of machinery, and it`s an attitude.
It`s an attitude of callousness, an attitude of cruelty, and unfortunately, it is the norm in these industrialized factory farms and when people see this, it is shocking, because these animals have feelings. These animals suffer. These animals deserve better.
And, you know, by choosing a plant-based holiday meal, citizens, consumers, can make a difference. We can choose not to support this kind of abuse. We can choose -- instead choose to eat healthy food that is not causing animals to suffer horribly. So whenever these investigators get in, the problems are always, always apparent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you have this alternate ceremony at Farm Sanctuary, and you`ve got sanctuaries in New York and California where people come out and they feed the turkeys.
Take a look at this. It`s adorable. And they eat pies, and they get some pets, and they`re treated just like we treat our little dogs and cats.
Ten seconds. What does this do for people?
BAUR: This is a wonderful celebration. It`s great to spend positive time with animals, to watch them digging into the pumpkin pie and, you know, splashing around the other turkeys and people. So it`s a wonderful, wonderful celebration.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If somebody wants to save the life of a turkey this holiday season, you can go to HLNTV.com/Jane or my Facebook page, Jane Velez-Mitchell Facebook page, and find out all about it.
But Gene, what can people do in terms of Adopt a Turkey?
BAUR: They should go to AdoptATurkey.org or go to your Web site, as you mentioned, and it`s a great way to celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving. They can sponsor a turkey who lives at Farm Sanctuary. And for people who have the space, we also do bring turkeys into good homes, so there`s a couple ways to do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what if your beloved pet has gone missing because of this storm? How do you track them down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are still some people that are holding out, some elderly with their pets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we shouldn`t be there in the water, your pet shouldn`t be near that water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is the dog doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dog is doing great, man. He`s getting a lot of attention.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is not a waste of time. When people are already stressed, sometimes they just want to be near their pet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a big win for animals and the people who love them in the wake of the devastation from Superstorm Sandy.
After a quarter of a million pets were left behind to drown or fend for themselves when people evacuated during Katrina, there was such a national outcry that a new national pet evacuation law was passed that demands government officials let people evacuate with their pets in major disasters.
This time during Superstorm Sandy, most cops and officials seem to have gone out of their way to help reunite people with their furry family members. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that my cat? No. Oh. Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it`s him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, you guys, so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our pets are members of our family. I know. Look, my Chihuahuas are like my children. And tonight, we`re going to talk about expanding our circle of compassion to include animals that aren`t just dogs or cats, like for example like Scribbles the goat. Take a look at this little guy.
And we`re going to talk live to the glamorous "Real Housewives of Miami" star Joanna Krupa, straight from Poland, about her crusade to stop people from wearing fur.
But first, straight out to animal advocate Jane Garrison. Jane, observers are saying that the treatment of pets during evacuations for Superstorm Sandy is a sign of real progress for animals. What made the difference this time?
JANE GARRISON, ANIMAL ADVOCATE: Oh, it was a huge difference from the beginning. You know, I spent seven weeks in New Orleans rescuing animals after Hurricane Katrina. And the problem there was people were being told to evacuate and not take their animals. But with Superstorm Sandy, people were told if you`re going to evacuate, take your animals.
So from the very beginning it was important to tell people that you need to evacuate, but you can bring your animals. A lot of people died during Hurricane Katrina because they wouldn`t leave without their animals. I met a man whose father, 80 years old, died in the storm because he wouldn`t leave his dog. So a lot of things were done right this time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m happy to hear it. But despite all the progress, I still ran into a couple of people who were told according to them that they were ordered to evacuate and informed they could not take their pets. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGEL DELGATO, LOST FOUR DOGS IN SANDY: I lost three snakes, I lost four dogs. It was kind of powerful because I basically raised all of them for the last almost nine and a half years.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you lose them?
DELGATO: When the cops came in to remove everybody out the houses, what they did was they didn`t give me time to go grab anything. I didn`t even grab a jacket. Somebody donated this jacket. But what happened was that they told us to leave and leave everything behind no matter what, that they`ll survive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Apparently it has not gotten down to every single law enforcement officer on the ground. I want to go to Wayne Pacelle, the president of the Humane Society of the United States.
To me, Wayne, that`s an outrage. So what should a person do in future situations like this if they are ordered to evacuate and told, come on, just do it fast. You can`t -- leave your pets. It will be fine.
WAYNE PACELLE, PRESIDENT, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, obviously that really places an incredible burden on the pet owner at that time. A situation of stress, a law enforcement officer is providing that directive, it`s pretty difficult to defy. So many of us would defy because we care so much about our animals; we would never leave them.
But I think Jane, you had it right. There are a few outliers here but the general message really has resonated with law enforcement, with emergency response agencies, with so many others with local elected officials, state elected officials, governors. They`re now recognized that the human/animal bond is so powerful that if we don`t recognize it and honor it, we`re going to undermine the human rescue response.
And we live in these homes, we live in these communities together and you cannot separate the animals from their people and expect to have good outcomes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, it`s getting cold out there. As temperatures plummet, some people still feel that means it`s time to put on a fur coat. One of the women on the forefront in the fight against fur is supermodel and "Real Housewives of Miami" star Joanna Krupa. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOANNA KRUPA, ANIMAL ADVOCATE: I don`t even know if I`m going to see him tonight because he`s just been really --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?
KRUPA: Well, because he wants to make sure everybody sees -- you know how he is with the clients. The clients are the star.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joanna`s also been involved in PETA`s "I`d rather go naked than wear fur" campaign. She joins me now from Poland. Joanna, thank you for being here.
KRUPA: Hi. Hi, honey.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why have you made the fight against fur your passion Joanna?
KRUPA: I`ve always been so passionate about animals. And why I`m so focused on the fur is especially during the winter season I want to keep sending the message that these animals are skinned alive in fur farms. They`re raised just for fashion. And sometimes they`re drowned, they`re beaten. And we as human beings we need to understand this is only for fashion. There`s no reason for it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to talk more with Joanna and other members of our panel.
Now, time for your "Shocking Video of the Day" -- this daring motorcycle heist caught on tape inside a shopping mall in London. Imagine the surprise of shoppers when three motorcycles pull up to a jewelry store intending to rob it. Six guys get off carrying bats and axes. Some of them stand guard. Others begin to smash windows and steal expensive items from the store. Not long after they collect their loot they all jump back on their bikes and zoom off.
This is something out of a movie, but it`s real. Cops later find the three motorcycles abandoned near a golf course. They still haven`t located any suspects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. Don`t shop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can only show you a tiny fraction right there of video of animals being killed for fur. We can`t even focus on it because it`s so graphic. It`s too graphic for television. But critics say that these innocent defenseless animals are tortured. They`re anally electrocuted, skinned; even the fur trim on coat collars, critics say that many times even dog can be used in some cases.
Now, the Fur Information Council of America`s Web site says quote, "The production of farmed and wild furs in the U.S. is regulated by state and federal government and that under current anti-cruelty statutes, anyone who mistreats an animal faces investigation, prosecution, fines, jail time and even loss of animals."
Wayne Pacelle, the Fur Information Council says that they`re doing nothing wrong, that there`s no cruelty here. What say you?
PACELLE: Jane that is just such a bunch of nonsense and propaganda. There has never been anyone prosecuted under federal or state law from the fur industry for the most heinous acts of cruelty. There is no federal statute. I don`t know what they`re talking about.
I mean they`re really trying to pull the fur or the wool over the public`s eyes in this. These animals as Joanna Krupa said are killed for fashion when we have equivalent alternatives. You have fake fur that is indistinguishable from real fur. You have other synthetic and natural fiber coats that can keep us warm and keep us stylish. There`s no reason to kill animals for their fur in the 21st century.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Chris DeRose, president of Last Chance for Animals, I am holding in my hand my mom`s little guy, Rico, and he is the mascot of "Rico`s Rescues". And we helped him. He was rescued off the streets of Puerto Rico. And he`s now a mascot to help others rescue.
So many people have compassion for dogs, but do they expand their compassion to understand that animals are also involved in things like fur?
CHRIS DEROSE, PRESIDENT, LAST CHANCE FOR ANIMALS: Yes. You know, Jane, if you spend any time around any type of animal -- you get pigs, goats, sheep, you know, rabbits, rats, mice, I had two rats that were going to be used for food for a python. And I took them into the office years ago and I named them Bada and Bing like bada-bing and they lived to be about four and a half years old. And they got a personality. I learned so much from them.
Let me have a couple rats in the office so when I get interviews in the office, people will see that these animals do have feelings, they got personality. And it`s not like, oh, rat, I don`t want to be near it. When you start hanging around them, you start being near them, you start to really pick up their personalities.
And that goes for all animals as long as we don`t close our minds off and we`re not ignorant toward this, you will learn. And it actually enriches your life just to be around them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Just because an animal is small doesn`t mean that they have any less feelings. Just because an animal is disregarded, someone once told me we have the most contempt for animals that can survive in our midst like pigeons and rats. But we`re talking here about dogs, cats, pigs, fox - - foxes, all sorts of animals. And, again, it`s about expanding our circle of compassion beyond just dogs and cats.
On the other side we`re going to visit a very special farm. But it`s not really a farm. It`s a sanctuary.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Take a look at that happy little fellow. Scribbles from Farm Sanctuary, a very special sanctuary where farm animals rescued from the industrial farming world go and they get to see the air and live outside, live normal lives.
But this is what real industrial farming looks like today. This is a completely different situation. Take a look at these pigs in gestation crates. Millions and millions of pigs in crates the size of their bodies, never able to turn around.
You know, this is the secret shame of industrial farming. And when Americans who are decent people found out about this, they demanded change. And change is happening. State after state, company after company saying we don`t want pigs or veal calves stuck in crates.
Bruce Friedrich, you`re with Farm Sanctuary, what is happening in terms of Americans becoming aware of the farm animal movement?
BRUCE FRIEDRICH, FARM SANCTUARY: Well, more and more Americans as you rightly note, Jane, are recognizing that farm animals are no different morally or ethically from the dogs and cats with whom we share our lives. So there is no moral difference between cramming a pig in a crate like that or cramming a dog or a cat in a crate like that.
Similarly there`s no moral difference between eating a chicken or a pig and eating a dog or a cat, which is why vegetarianism is becoming so much more popular. At Farm Sanctuary we spend our lives with more than 1,100 farm animals and we know them as individuals. So we know that behaviorally and cognitively they are every bit as complex and every bit as morally worthy as any dog or cat. More and more Americans are learning about that as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re seeing video of animals in many situations. You just saw a laboratory animal, laboratory monkey and now you`re seeing pigs in gestation crates.
This is a live animal transport. Sheep, millions of sheep and other animals are transported around the world from country to country in horrific conditions, and we`ve covered this story many times.
Chris DeRose, president for Last Chance for Animals, I know your organization has done a campaign against live animal transport. What are the horrors that Americans don`t know about when it comes to live animal transport? And we can only show you a little bit because it`s just too graphic to see.
DEROSE: Jane -- yes, the transport is -- one of the biggest countries in the world that do it is Australia and we have banned live animal export going out of Australia.
Animals in Australia -- two ladies have gone into Indonesia and into the Middle East and had documented what goes on in there. And in my 35 years of doing this, I`ve never seen anything so horrific in my life. When I saw these guys actually sticking their fingers into the eyes of the cows just to try to get it to move over a little bit I was horrified by it. They`re actually pulling out the eyes on the cows.
It`s on the tape. It`s something that`s so horrific. And when I saw this, I said we`ve got to do something about it and we did. We`ve been very much involved in bringing that whole issue over to the United States. It`s sheep and goats going over to the Middle East and the cows going over to Indonesia. I can`t tell you which one is more horrific because you see how they take the sheep.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, there`s video of these sheep being -- they`re stuck in cars. Once they -- the horror is once they get to the location, they`re dragged and they`re stuck in the back of cars and trucks without water, without food. They`re going to be sacrificed in some cases, so people say why bother even feeding them. It`s beyond comprehension.
I know this might be upsetting to some of our viewers but let me tell you something. The reason why we`re telling you this is that there is hope, there is optimism because there`s something you can do. There`s action you can take. You can get involved with various organizations.
The Humane Society, Last Chance for Animals -- all sorts of organizations -- Farm Sanctuary; and you can tell your members of congress about the Great Ape Protection Act. The Great Ape Protection Act, right now going through Congress, would phase out the use of chimpanzees in invasive research and release the more than 500 federally-owned chimps in sanctuaries and ban future breeding of chimps for invasive research.
Wayne Pacelle, in this day and age of technology where we`re dealing on the molecular and submolecular level, a major medical organization studied this issue and said that basically the use of these animals is virtually unnecessary for anything.
PACELLE: Yes, Jane, you`re right. The National Institutes of Health convened the Institute of Medicine and they determined the use of chimps is largely unnecessary. They said in the areas where chimps are used and there is some insight, we have alternatives that can be used. There`s no reason for these chimps to be languishing in labs.
We have about a thousand chimps in laboratories right now. We`ve got this federal legislation. We can get it over the finish line in this lame duck session of Congress. We`re the only nation in the world that is conducting invasive experiments on chimpanzees. The other one was Gabon in Africa and it stopped. I mean what sort of circumstance are we in where we`re the outlier in the world when it comes to treating our closest living relatives with some measure of decency and humanity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More of Joanna Krupa from "Real Housewives of Miami", on the other side.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joanna Krupa, as one of the sexiest women on the planet, as one of the "Real Housewives of Miami" -- how do you tell some of the other fashionistas that you deal with that cruelty is not cool?
KRUPA: I try, you know, but some people are so stuck and blindsided in their own world that they don`t really care. One of the girls on the show, Alexia, she`s like "I wear fur and love it and I`m always going to wear it"; just rudely said it without any heart or anything, you know.
Some people you can`t change their mind but I`m going to fight to the day I die and it`s not only about fur, it`s any type of cruelty because people should have the heart to stop doing all these horrible things to animals. It`s like they`re being bullies. We talk about kids bullying other kids, but this is like bullying animals, because they`re voiceless and defenseless.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very well put. Very well put. And that lady you mentioned, she can come on. I have some questions I`d love to ask her. She`s invited on any time.
Jane Garrison, we rescue animals here. I have little Rico who was rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico. Who have you got there?
GARRISON: I have little Patty who is a gorgeous, adorable One-year- old Maltese who was dumped at the shelter and she`s available for adoption right now at Best Friends Adoption Center in Los Angeles.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And there`s also Adopt a Pet nationally. You put in your zip code and any animal you want comes up. Right, Jane?
GARRISON: That`s right. Adoptapet.com is a great place to find a dog or cat where you`re looking to adopt. We just have too many animals right now in the United States and we need to stop people from breeding them. We need to stop pet stores and backyard breeders.
You think that right now we`re killing four to five million animals in shelters every year. That`s one animal every six seconds that is killed in a shelter. It is outrageous. And we need to stop the breeding.
Here`s an interesting statistics. Every day in the United States, 10,000 humans are born. But every day in the United States, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born, so we need to stop the breeding in order to stop the killing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my fantastic panel. I want to thank our audience for listening, for having the courage to bear witness to some of the difficult images that we are showing.
But the good news is that things are changing. Join us. Let`s all speak for the animals. They are voiceless and if we don`t speak for them, they simply have nobody on their side.