NYCLASS and PETA Demand Apology After Re-Releasing 2009 Video of Carriage Driver Calling Protester a Whore

A still from the video.
The two most prominent animal rights groups pushing for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City are holding a press conference today, calling for an apology from a carriage driver who they say hurled "racist, sexist hate speech in Spanish at a Latina who merely expressed concern for his horse." According to a release, New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez will join members of NYCLASS and PETA, the animal rights groups, on the steps of City Hall today at 1 p.m., asking the City Council to "demand a public apology from the carriage industry."

Their press release doesn't mention, however, that the incident they're referring to, between the carriage driver, who NYCLASS and PETA identify as Frank Rodden, and an anti-carriage protester named Claudia Rose Emerson, took place in 2009. The 45-second clip released by PETA earlier this week is part of a five-minute video released in 2009 by a group called Heart for Animal Rights.

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Animal Rights Groups Plan Protest At Stables After Carriage Driver Is Accused of Horse Switch

Photo by Jesse Dittmar
The interior of the Clinton Park Stables.
If you haven't quite gotten your fill of carriage horse-arguing, today's your lucky day. Last week, the Associated Press reported that carriage driver Frank Luo is accused by the city's health department of falsifying the brand on one of his horses. Today, in what promises to be an unpleasant situation on all sides, two animal rights groups, NYCLASS and PETA, will protest in front of the Clinton Park Stables on West 52nd Street, where the horse in question used to live.

Luo supposedly took a 22-year-old draft horse named Caesar and branded the number of a 12-year-old horse, Carsen, onto his hoof. Caesar suffered from heaves, a chronic lung disease, and was supposed to be resting on a Pennsylvania farm. City health officials accused Luo of misbranding Ceasar so he could continue to work him. But Luo told the Associated Press that the whole thing was a mistake on the vet's part, saying, "I did not switch the horses. It's just very confusing because they look alike."

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Celebrity-Stuffed PETA Video Denounces Carriage Horse Industry, Urges de Blasio To Ban It Already

Screenshot via PETA
The battle over carriage horses in the city is dragging on and on, with no end in sight, and, as yet, no bill introduced in the City Council that would actually ban the industry and replace it with the classic cars favored by animal rights group NYCLASS. While Bill de Blasio famously promised "an immediate ban" on carriage horses during his campaign, the mayoral reality hasn't been quite so neat; a recent Newsday story found that 19 city council members are undecided on the merits of a ban, versus 15 who support it and eight who oppose it.

Neither side definitely has the 26-vote majority they'd need for victory, and in the meantime, everyone is ramping up their publicity. First there was Liam Neeson's big visit to the Clinton Park stables, where he called carriage driving "a beautiful industry." And yesterday, PETA released a new video wherein millions of celebrities denounce the carriage horse industry as cruel and inhumane. If you were waiting to hear what Dave Navarro's eyebrows think about horses before you made up your mind, wait no more.

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Despite Planned PETA Protests, Macy's Parade Won't Be Canceling SeaWorld Float

Image via.
A "concept sketch" of the planned float, which will feature both whales and surprises, apparently.
SeaWorld has had a really, really bad few months. This summer saw the release of the documentary Blackfish, which explored the death of whale trainer Dawn Brancheau at their San Diego park. Brancheau was crushed by a 12,000 pound bull orca named Tilikum, who's also been implicated in the deaths of two other people; filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite used Brancheau's death as the starting point for a for an extremely harsh look at the cruelty and exploitation backing the park's "family fun." (In a response, Michael Scarpuzzi, the Vice President of Zoological Operations at the San Diego park, called the film "inaccurate and shamefully misleading.")

And just when the controversy was starting to die down, the news that SeaWorld will have a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade fired it all back up again.

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PETA: Pigeon Racing Is A "Blood Sport"

Categories: PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is in a huff after the group's 15-month "investigation" revealed that pigeons often die during pigeon races. In most cases, however -- as even PETA admits -- the animals aren't killed by their handlers, but by things that would kill the birds if they were in the wild and not involved in racing.

There are, however, some sickos who intentionally kill the birds, as you can see in a video (provided by PETA) embedded below.

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The Horse-Drawn Carriage Debate Continues; Local Groups and Celebrities Call for a Ban

Michelle D. Anderson
The effort to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City rages on.

Another report of a carriage horse collapse in a two-week span has left animal-rights advocates -- including celebrities such as Glee's Lea Michele and Pamela Anderson -- with a renewed passion to end the use of horse-drawn carriages.

Today the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (CBHDC) will hold a rally and tourist-hotel crawl on Central Park South at 6:30 p.m.

According to Elizabeth Forel, CBHDC's president since the group's inception in 2006, the latest horse collapse, which occurred Friday, is not the second in two weeks but rather the third. Forel tells us that on Oct. 28, a horse bucked and nearly hit several taxis after racing along 59th Street.

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PETA to Launch Porno Website

PETA is no stranger to controversy. That's why it comes as no surprise that the animal welfare group is creating a XXX porn site. Well, that comes as a little bit of a surprise. The Huffington Post reports PETA hopes the website will raise awareness for veganism and the treatment of animals at factory farms. It also hopes to raise something else, because that is an easy porn joke. What can you expect at a PETA porn site? "According to [PETA spokeswoman Lindsay] Rajt, it will have enough adult content to qualify for the XXX domain site but also some other graphic images of animals that viewers may not expect to see." Oh, that sounds hot.

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PETA Says Knut's Death Was Preventable

Knut's Vanity Fair cover with Leonardo DiCaprio.
PETA, always quick to point fingers, is claiming that the sudden death at age four of Knut the polar bear was preventable. A PETA representative told TMZ that they reached out to the Berlin Zoo months ago because Knut was allegedly being "terrorized" by three female bears at the zoo. So they're saying that it was foul play? More »