Talking to PETA About Animal Abuse and Euthanasia

PETA is a group I have always been fond of. Although they get some flack for their extreme campaigns I believe these measures are taken because animals are under extreme attack and more of us should be willing to fight against it. Remember that as humans we are also animals and more compassion is needed in our world for the ethical treatment of all animals, including ourselves. I have been looking forward to interviewing PETA for some time and I am very grateful they have taken time out from their busy schedule to sit down with us for a spell~

Q: Why do you think it is most important that we as humans should be aware of the torment many animals in this world are going through?

We can make a difference. We’re faced with a lot of circumstances that are out of our control such as genocide and natural disasters but this is violence and suffering that we can actually stop. There’s no difference between a pig or turkey than a dog or cat other than how we view them. Why do we feel that way? It’s the same as when some of us look at humans as inferior. It’s injustice and these are things that no one agrees with or supports. We need to educate ourselves and others about this and realize why it’s important to go vegan.

Q: What are some of ways you feel that PETA has made the biggest differences in the lives of animals?

By educating people about what happens to animals before they wind up on your plate. You can’t trust big companies like McDonalds and Hormel to educate consumers about their food. By going vegan you can save nearly 200 animals per year. It’s important to educate people about veganism and the positive impacts it has on our environment and on world hunger. There are so many negative things directly tied to meat consumption which is why PETA steps in to remind us of a healthy diet without using meat, eggs or dairy.

Q: What are your thoughts on medicines tested on animals not for cosmetic products but for saving human and animal lives?

It’s a common misconception that medicines tested on animals save human lives. Animals are not little men and women; their bodies do not work as human bodies do. 92% of the tests fail after using live animals to test human medicines. They are unreliable, unnecessary and cost the lives of over 100 million animals every year. In fact cancer was cured in mice 15 years ago and it has never even been used for humans. The reason these tests go on is to ensure grants that go to more animal testing. So much money is used to torture animals when it doesn’t give reliable results. There are no laws to protect animals from this horrendous treatment. They are deliberately starved because no experiment is illegal no matter how cruel it is to the live animal or how little it relates to helping humans. The workers in these test labs are subject to horrible and inhumane conditions as well. All medicines are actually tested on humans before they are even able to be used on humans. This is unjust testing for many reasons unrelated to saving human lives.

Q: Do you believe animals should be kept as pets if they are given the utmost love and care? Why or why not?

Sure. PETA supports and encourages everyone who has means to adopt and care for animals from their local shelter. Each year 6 to 8 million abandoned dogs and cats enter animal shelters and approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs—many of them healthy, young, and adoptable—must be euthanized in these shelters every year. We must put a stop to this by spaying and neutering our pets and by researching the amount of care an animal companion needs before adopting one.

Q: What are your thoughts on the euthanasia by PETA of unwanted animals and the misunderstanding about this by many online?

Many anti-PETA websites are run by consumer groups for the meat and dairy industries. The information they use is biased and inaccurate. PETA is open about the fact that we are forced to euthanize animals in some cases. The figures used by anti-PETA campaigners are deliberately chosen because they are just the euthanasia figures and do not include perspective—i.e., the more than 10,000 dogs and cats PETA provided with no-cost to low-cost spay and neuter surgeries and other veterinary services in the last 12 months alone, the hundreds of animals delivered to large high-traffic shelter facilities for adoption, the counseling and aid services that PETA provides in order to enable people to keep and properly care for their animals, and the animals we have put up for adoption, like the cat currently featured on our website, whom we nursed back to (almost) good health and who is still seeking a permanent home.

PETA’s Community Animal Project offers food and shelter for dogs in the poorest areas in Virginia and North Carolina, free vet services and food water and toys to animals who have never felt a kind touch in their lives. In some cases if we find an animal who has been in dire need of vet care euthanasia is the best option we can offer them. We have also offered families who cannot afford to get their pets proper vet care for long suffering animals to euthanize them which adds to the number online.

PETA’s spay and neuter program has several mobile units that spay and neuter dogs and cats for low cost or free. Thus far we have sterilized 80,000 animals in the last 10 years. PETA does a lot of preventative local work but does offer euthanasia for extremely abused animals and to relieve animals from suffering. Yes we euthanize but so do many other shelters in this country, 3-4 million animals are euthanized every year in our country because of the purchase of unwanted animals, breeding animals and owners not spaying and neutering their pets. The core issue here is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets so please encourage others to do so.

Q: A few readers who are not on board with PETA have made the assumption that you care more for animals than for people; do you have a response for this?

That’s really funny. We are unapologetically an animal rights group. Humans are animals.

For example, it takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. I believe everyone needs to think about how much grain they would throw away to get one pound of meat and how many people die everyday (25,000 people) from starvation because they don’t get enough to eat. Factory farming contributes to world hunger and climate change. Many think meat is vital for our health but it is not the case anymore. Meat consumption is linked to many of our biggest health risks such as cancer and heart disease. We are not only supporting animals but also human health and the earth we share.

Q: Who are the top unfriendly to animals businesses or products that should not be supported?

There are many but some major campaigns we currently have are:
Ringling Bros. Animals are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until they are bloody.
McCruelty In the slaughterhouses of McDonald’s U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Please sign our petition and boycott McDonald’s until they can make more positive changes for animals.
UW-Madison They abuse and decapitate cats to study in their labs tortured for results that are never mentioned or used.
Whose skin are you in? Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry—all in the name of fashion. Rabbits in China are slaughtered for their fur while living.
Canadian Seal Slaughter During Canada’s annual war on seals, hundreds of thousands of seals are slaughtered for their skin. Baby seals are clubbed to death on the ice which is an off-season money venture for fisherman. This isn’t about the native people, this is just about money making for off-season fisherman.
Down Feathers Birds used for down feathers are live plucked until red, bleeding and terrified. Try down alternatives using man-made fibers.

Q: Who are the top friendly to animals businesses that should be supported?

Gardeen These vegan meat-alternative products that you can find at whole food groceries and even target are more healthy than traditional meat products.
Daiya Use these cheeses for anything you would use cheese for, it melts.
Urban Decay One of my favorite makeup brands. They were thinking of selling products in China which means they could be tested on animals which is mandatory for some products but PETA reached out to them and they decided to pull back. This company makes a huge statement by selling all vegan products.
Cirque de Soliel A circus that doesn’t use or abuse animals. They only use performers that choose to perform.

Q: Do you have any advice for those teetering on the edge of becoming an animal advocate?

Start educating yourself and become a knowledgable consumer. We all have values and ethics that we live by and every time we pay for a product we’re making a decision to support a practice or an industry. I think it’s important for consumers to know what they are supporting and promoting and for people to educate themselves and do more research before spending. We cannot expect companies to be honest outright when they have an opportunity to make money. Start questioning everything you buy and find out ways you can make a difference. Find out if the money you spend is going to companies you support. There are simple things you can do everyday that make an impact on animals, our environment and our own health and people need to look into it more.

Q: It’s so nice to have been able to sit down and get to know your wonderful organization and all of the ways that you help animals and their humans to live more positive lives. I do have one last question for you for the time being.. do you consider PETA to hold Miseducated values (Weaving a world of colorful and whimsical lifestyle inspiration.) to heart while promoting and ensuring the ethical treatment of animals?

Of course. There are always new ways to promote the ethical treatment of animals in our world and we appreciate the many ways there are to do it. We are very thankful to Miseducated for showing us a unique, colorful and whimsical way and we look forward to working together much more in the future. Thank you!

Thank you again, PETA! Miseducated is very excited to have teamed up with you and to be collaborating on more projects in the future. We adore you, what you do for us and most of all for our furry soul mates! XOX

Visit PETA online for more information about how you can support animals.

Getting Glamorously Kitsch with Cicely Margo

Cicely is a rad girl from Reno that creates eye-candy deliciousness for you to wear. We finally had the pleasure of meeting recently and she’s just as sweet as her accessories. Her creations are exactly what the doctor ordered for Miseducated girls in need of sparkle! HER SHOP!

I know we’ve been web friends for quite awhile now and I’m excited to interview you! So how long have you been crafting this amazing jewelry?
Yes a long time! Go Go LJ friends! Ive been making jewelry since I was a wee lad, and around 2004 I started to craft more steadily.

When did you decide to turn that hobby into a business?
I began selling through LiveJournal roughly around that same time and then opened up shop on Etsy in 2005.

All of us reach creativity blocks at some time.. where do you find inspiration when you reach a block?
Oh man, for inspiration, I hit up my toybox. I love gumball prizes, cheapy kid toys that come from China. I look around when I’m out at antique stores, I study vintage costume jewelry designs, I look at the color combos used. I like to combine the kitschy feel of plastic with the glamour of vintage jewels.

Oh man, for inspiration, I hit up my toybox.

Now that is probably the BEST interview answer I’ve ever heard. I love toys, too! Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry that you have made?
YES! This sugar junk glam trash necklace I made with a crap load of neon, sparkly charms. Its ridiculousness at its best!

I also love the rainbow junk pieces! Do you have any exciting stories about the purchase of one of your pieces?
Nothing too exciting. I love hearing feedback when people first get their pieces! I love their excitement over a piece of jewelry I’ve created. It makes me happy when they are happy!

Getting Magnified With Nubby Twiglet

Visualize what you want out of life, big or small and work hard. Stay focused. It’s never supposed to be easy.

what i wore nubby twiglet fashion style outfit

Q.

Nubby! There are all kinds of creative people around the globe, but many of them find real difficulty in pinning down exactly what it is they would like to make a living doing. How did you take the plunge and commit to graphic design, and what advice would you give to people still ‘working it out’?

A.

It’s completely normal to experiment before committing to a career. I would start by asking yourself what you’re truly passionate about. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time? What’s the one thing that you’re willing to stay up late and do, no matter how tired you get?

In school, my two strongest subjects were always Art and English. I loved ripping up fashion magazines and making collages, playing with sheets of rub-on letters and flipping through old advertising and poster books. I knew that fine art is really subjective and that it wasn’t going to be an easy way to make a living right away. Graphic design combined my love of art and type with one of my other passions; advertising. The thing is, once your passion becomes a job, it’s not all about fun and leisure anymore. There’s a level of professionalism that goes into it and at the end of the day, there are certain things you have to do to ensure that you get paid. Even when you’re working for yourself, the money has to come from somewhere.

If you’re unsure of what you want to do, reach out to teachers, mentors and career counsellors. Take some classes for fun. The more things you try, the easier it is to realize what you DON’T want to do. When I was in college years ago, I did filing in offices, stuffed invoices into envelopes and worked retail. All of these jobs built character and made me appreciate the career that I have now.

Q.

You seem to have been incredibly practical in the pursuit of what many would consider an impractical or ‘risky’ career choice, is that how you see it? Did you face any naysayers along the way and, if so, how did you deal with that?

A.

I always felt that any career in art or design was really risky and that’s probably because my parents always worked traditional office jobs, doing sales. That’s one of the main reasons I went to school first for business. My mom encouraged me because she knew I had the potential and in a way, I think she wanted me to have something to ‘fall back on.’ After I completed that degree though, I just didn’t feel fulfilled. I had already started to do freelance design work but felt like I wasn’t as proficient or knowledgeable as I wanted to be. I had a lot of people around me who just didn’t get it…I was supposedly done with school and trying to go back for something completely different.

At 25, I didn’t want to waste another four years in school and this is why I chose to do a two year, limited entry graphic design program. I’d always dreamed of working at an ad agency and what I soon realized is that the combination of marketing and design backgrounds meshed perfectly for my career path. Listen to your instincts – there are always going to be naysayers. But, it’s your life. You know best.

magazine typofiles typography

Q.

Your work seems like so much more than a 9-5 for you, it is clear from your blog how intertwined your job, lifestyle, fashion sense and even home decor are! How important do you think it is to blur the lines between work, life and play in terms of career fulfillment?

A.

A career in design doesn’t necessarily have a starting and stopping point. Inspiration will hit you at completely random times and I think that as a designer, it’s a natural progression for your interests at that moment to seep into your outfit choices, home decor, blogging topics, etc. I’ve always strived to have a seamless line between my work, life, and blog. It’s definitely tricky because I am the face of my brand and my personality is interconnected heavily with my work.

I don’t think it’s necessary to blur the lines between your work, life and play – if anything, it’s probably a relief for most people to break away at the end of the day. I’ve done things differently because it makes sense in my life, but I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. It has to feel like a natural progression.

week in pictures

Q.

You’ve mentioned both your brand and your personality and how key they are in your career, how important do you think a ‘personal brand’ is for a career in the creative industries? What advice would you give to someone looking to brand themselves within their market – where should they start?

A.

Most of the time, a person’s work speaks for itself but in a flooded market, often what makes someone stand apart is their personality and ability to potentially relate to their customers. There are so many designers out there – the personal connection you make with your customers is going to be the defining factor that keeps them coming back. I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter how good you are if nobody knows how to find you. Branding yourself in a recognizable, uncluttered manner will help you get remembered. Start by building an online presence through various social media platforms and showcase your work on your own domain, whether that’s a website or a blog. Reach out to people you admire – often, they’ll help you along and even show you the ropes, no questions asked. A simple logo that will mature with your work is also helpful. And, always have business cards handy! Some people think they’re extinct, but I promise you, there will be times where they pay off. You never know who you’re going to meet!

Q.

It looks like you’ve learnt a great deal about yourself and your field through your career so far, what one piece of advice would you liked to have given yourself, say, 5 years ago? And, conversely, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

A.

I would have told myself that it was possible to work at an ad agency and that it wasn’t a pipe dream to run my own business full time. And, I definitely would have gotten started on my personal blog much sooner. It’s so easy now to look back and see things differently, but the reality is, life happens and we tend to just do the best we can at any particular time without knowing if the outcome is going to be what we hoped for.

And, five years from now… wow, that is a long time away! Five years ago, I hadn’t gone to school for design yet. I was finishing my business degree and had just returned home from a two month stay in New York. I hadn’t done my first solo art show yet. I was working at a shoe store and living with four boy roommates. My life was completely different! So, five years from now, I’m not exactly sure what I will be doing. I hope to be working at a fashion magazine (Elle!) in New York, working as an art director at an agency or running an agency with my brother. Though, he loves working at Nike, so he might be too cool to spend his days with me! I also want to write a how-to guide about marketing for designers and do workshops on what it takes to be a freelancer and how to build a portfolio. Oh, and I want to travel a lot. I guess I have a vague idea then…but life is meant to be lived. Setting anything in stone feels too rigid – I am just soaking up new experiences, trying to stay in the present and enjoying my life right now.

what i wore nubby twiglet pantone notebook design

Q.

You seem to have done things totally your own way, do you consider yourself Miseducated? If so, what makes you Miseducated and what final advice would you give to readers embarking on their own Miseducated careers?

A.

Since Miseducated is about embracing a unique, unconventional existence, I would say yes! Though I tend to make plans, set goals and keep a schedule, beyond that, I try to live the best life possible and to do things my way. You’re only going to live once so it’s important to stay true to your values and ethics – at the end of the day, you have to answer to YOU. That’s it. Do what makes you happy. When I was younger, I tried to fit into ideals, to do what I thought would make me happy by society’s standards. I quickly realized that wearing corporate casual attire, working at a mainstream office and living in the suburbs was not for me. I went to school for business because it seemed more practical. But, I wasn’t fulfilled so I went back for a design degree. Visualize what you want out of life, big or small and work hard. Stay focused. It’s never supposed to be easy. The things that you do that feel impossible and test your will do add character. If people tell you that something can’t be done, work even harder to prove them wrong. It’s up to you to create the life that you want.

Finding Amber Renee, Miseducated Herself

A few years ago Amber and I met online, she emailed me as soon as she saw my cartoon pop on tv. She wrote me to tell me she liked the fun and cuteness of my animation. We realized we like very similar things and quickly became good friends! She also sent me a link to this amazing community site she was working on called “Miseducated”. When I saw it I loved the design and colors soo much! It looks so delicious that I want to eat it. I began to find myself going there when I wanted to see something pretty, or learn about a cute Japanese fad. This site has a sprinkle of everything I love!!!! I knew I had to find out about the girl behind this amazing portal of cuteness……..

I love Miseducated.net. It’s like the stylish 1960’s blended with Japanese cuteness!! What inspired you to start this?
Well once upon a time in 1996 I decided I just had to make a website or I would burst.. I studied web design, learned html and used MS Paint to create the first version of Miseducated. Since then it got sillier and sillier, more whimsy nonsense and inspiration by the gallon! It seemed only natural to share it with other artists and produce a collected blogzine of deliciousness on this world wide web.

How did you get into graphic design?
Oh.. I’d say it happened when I was a young girl who sketched doodles all day, I could never stop creating these whimsical worlds on paper!

Not only are you a designer but you are also an illustrator! What do you look for, for inspiration when drawing?
Vintage children’s books and Japan of course! I’m always obsessing over something… whether it psychedelic 60s art or 1750s French decor. I’m inspired by the world around me and the people I meet everyday — most of my art is based on icing explosions from my brain.

What are your favorite subjects to Illustrate?
Anything cute, psychadelic, fantasy or covered in sugar!

As a professional designer what kinds of jobs do you normally do?
All sorts of jobs. I dabble in everything so I often get asked to do nearly everything. In college I specialized in print design, magazine layout design and photography, today I usually bring in the bucks with web design and illustration. I sell my original artworks as well when I’m not moving across the country.

You have a very definitive style. What are your biggest inspirations?
Sweets, animals and wonderland! I’ve got this little world I’ve created in my mind which I’m always trying to translate onto paper.

Who is your favorite Japanese character? Why?
MOMO BEAR. A pink bear by Sony. Next to Hello Kitty of course. I grew up watching vintage Sanrio movies so nothing really surpases the magic, wonder and happiness that Sanrio provides.

I have to ask, What was your favorite cartoon show growing up?
Minnie Mouse! When I was really young, I often tried to dress like her and even made ears out of paper plates — haha. You can’t imagine my delight when I found gemed & decorated decora-style Minnie ear headband in Tokyo’s Disneyland! I felt like a new woman. haha

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Daquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins! Or Lollipop Candy from Baskin Robbins in Japan. :9

I know you love Japan. What other cities do you love to visit?
I’ve lived near Chicago my whole life so that’s a big one, I haven’t been to NYC since the black out (ha!), I’ve only been to Paris in the winter but still fell in love, Toronto is one of my favorite cities ever and I adore exploring L.A. with my very best friend and partner in crime. I love cities so I’d love to visit absolutely any city — they’re generally stuffed with art, culture and delicious food. I think the view of city lights at night is one of the most beautiful sites to be seen, it’s a nature that we built with designs made by women and men.

Your fashion sense is also super cute! How would you describe it?
How funny! and my father always commented ‘I don’t think that matches..’ I always mixed and matched everything I liked, colors, styles, decades and cultures — I wear whatever I like and it’s OFTEN a joke with my friends that I always find the ugliest thing in the store! However when I put it together I feel it’s an artwork on my body — it just seems to come together!

If you are not designing, making content for Miseducated or taking great photos on the Amcam, what else are you passionate about?
Traveling, combing thrift stores and boutiques for amazing things that I cannot live without, relaxing with my husband, diy-ing and having fun with the people I love. I adore dressing up and going out, perhaps a little too much.

If you could make any dessert what would it be?
Creme Brulee because it is the best dessert ever and I do actually own a little torch for desserts — haha.

If you ever feel blue, what’s the first thing you do to get you back on track to your sunny self?
I battle the blues quite often! I just try to see it as a problem that I need to sort out.. the anxiety might be coming from an unsuspecting source and rather than surpress it I like to realize it and move on to focus on my work, family and friends.

Favorite music and why?
Dance music; although I generally just listen to my favorites David Bowie, Veruca Salt, No Doubt and Kissy Sell Out.

If you could have a pet that is a mythical creature what would you have?
This has been my dream forever, a Mogwai (aka Gizmo from Gremlins) — haha.

In the future what do you think is in store for Miseducated?
To be honest, I’m really excited that it’s growing more everyday and I adore all of the amazing people I meet because of it — I see very great things happening as more and more get on board with the Miseducated way of life! I cannot thank everyone who visits, comments, emails us — every single word is appreciated and adored! Live inspired.