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Animal Writes

  • 27
  • Sep

Switzerland Is Poised to Join the Worldwide Movement Against Seal Fur

Following the World Trade Organization’s recent decision to uphold the EU’s ban on seal-fur imports, here’s more great news about PETA’s and our international affiliates’ campaigns to stop the commercial seal slaughter in Canada: the Swiss Council of States is moving to ban seal fur!

The Council of States (the upper house of the federal Swiss legislature) unanimously approved a bill that would ban seal-product imports. PETA Germany had written to all council members asking them to support the measure. The lower legislative house had already voted in favour of a ban, and the bill will now go to the National Council for final approval.

Canadian and seal campaigner Pamela Anderson wasted no time in sending her thanks to the president of the Council of States, Hannes Germann, letting him know that the world stands with the council:

As a proud Canadian, I was delighted to learn that the Swiss Council of States has approved a bill to ban seal-fur imports from my native country. I became active in marine-mammal issues well before my Baywatch days and have been working for years with PETA, the world’s largest animal-protection organization, to help end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter. The World Trade Organization’s recent decision to uphold the EU’s ban on seal products underscores the fact that the welfare of seals targeted by commercial hunts is a legitimate public moral concern. There were no exports of Canadian pelts reported for 2014, and the council’s decision further shows that the world has moved on from seal products. Thank you for joining the EU, Russia, Taiwan, the U.S., and others that have banned seal fur and taken a stand for the tens of thousands of seals who die every year for a product that nobody needs or wants.

Worldwide opposition to Canada’s commercial seal slaughter is loud and clear. It’s time for Canadian leaders to end the slaughter by devising a practical exit strategy: a government buyout of the industry that would help both seals and sealers. Take action!

Take Action Now

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  • 26
  • Sep

4 Reasons Why Soup Is a Vegan’s Best Friend

You can’t go wrong with soup. It’s one of those satisfying staple dishes that can be whatever you want it to be – from a quick snack to a hearty meal in itself. Most of us have fond memories of homemade soups that cured us of our sniffles or warmed us up on a cold, wet day – and vegan soup is considerably better for the soul than the chicken variety. Here are a few reasons why hearty soups should be a regular feature on your meat-free menu:

Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

  • You can make it out of almost anything. Got leftover veggies lying around in your fridge that you don’t want to waste? Make soup! There are no rules when it comes to making soup, and “vegetable soup” can take many forms. A good basic soup recipe can be adapted to accommodate any type of vegetable you want to put into it. You can add pasta, lentils or soya or cashew cream. You can choose to blend it smooth or eat it chunky.

580_2D00_Martha_2D00_Kale_2D00_Soup

Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup

  • You can make it in bulk. Soups are excellent for making in bulk, and a big batch of soup can provide lunches for days. It’s extremely economical. Store or freeze it in portions, and you’ve got the perfect portable vegan lunch to take to work!

Kale soup

Spinach and Kale Soup

  • Soup is never out of season. Veggies come in and out of season throughout the year, but you can make soup out of all of them. You can also make your soup to complement the weather. It could be something “creamy” and warming for a cold winter’s day or something with a more Mediterranean twist for a light summer lunch option when you don’t want anything too heavy.

Coconut Soup

Coconut Curry Soup

  • It’s supermarket-friendly. You’ll never be short of lunch options on the go. Simply stalk the fresh and canned soup aisles in the local supermarket. Amy’s Kitchen, New Covent Garden, Glorious Foods and supermarket fresh and ‘Free From’ own brands all have vegan options. You can also find vegan soups at Pret A Manger.

Leek Soup

‘Creamy’ Leek and Potato Soup

So whether you’re a new vegan and need something simple to fall back on or you’re trying to pack some extra veggies into your diet, soup is definitely a great way of doing it. If you’re looking for even more vegan recipe inspiration, order our free vegan starter kit.

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  • 26
  • Sep

Ross McCall: For the Sake of Animals, the Show Most Certainly Must Not Go On

Ross McCall for PETAScotland is considering introducing a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. In April, we asked thousands of our supporters to respond to a government consultation about the ban, and now Ross McCall is adding his voice to the call.

The Scottish-born Hollywood actor, who starred in Band of Brothers, wrote in last week’s Herald, calling on Holyrood to ban wild animals in circuses permanently. An abbreviated version of his article is below.

No doubt about it, we Scots have a lot to be proud of and if the Government, which is considering a ban on wild animals in circuses, does the right thing, we’ll have another reason to feel good about our country.

West Hollywood, California, where I live and work, implemented a ban last year, joining Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Mexico City, Peru, Sweden and Winnipeg, all of which no longer permit cruel animal acts.

Let’s hope Scotland is next.

As an actor, I’ve done my fair share of sitting around in trailers, waiting to be called on set, and I can tell you that it’s far from exciting.

Animals used in circuses spend most of their lives in trailers and often in chains.

They are carted from one show to the next and denied their most fundamental needs, never having an opportunity to roam over large distances, socialise with their own kind, hunt, forage or make independent choices about how to go about their business.

This lifestyle causes them to suffer tremendously. I’ve seen what the pressures of the entertainment business can do to my fellow human actors, but wild animals that are forced to perform under the threat of punishment often become depressed and sick and also develop neurotic types of behaviour from the stress and abuse.

Fortunately, it’s been years since any circus tried to foist beaten-down animals on the Scottish public, so it should be easy for our Government to make it official by permanently banning animal circuses in Scotland, without fuss or loss of livelihood.

And, in the meantime, we can also do our bit to help these animals simply by refusing to give our money to any attraction that exploits animals for human entertainment, be it a circus, marine park or zoo.

For the animals’ sake, the show must not go on.

Read Ross’s full article in The Herald.

The public consultation has now closed, but please join the PETA UK Action Team and we’ll keep you posted about further developments as we ask the Scottish government to bring about the ban.

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  • 25
  • Sep

Why the Running of the Balls Is Our New Favourite Festival

The “Running of the Balls” is a new festival in Mataelpino, Spain, that everyone can get behind.

No, that’s not a typo – the town has swapped the archaic Running of the Bulls festival, in which terrified animals would have been hounded through the streets, for an innovative event, in which revellers are instead pursued by giant polystyrene balls!

This Spanish news clip shows the fun that ensues:

We love it when people find creative and compassionate ways to replace cruel traditions, so we’re encouraging other towns that still practice bullfighting events to follow Mataelpino’s example. We’ve offered to provide any town that wants to stop tormenting animals for entertainment with its own gigantic 125kg ball, painted to look like a bull, to use instead.

After the bull runs held in Pamplona and other cities across Portugal and Spain, bulls are stabbed to death in bullfights – a sadistic, painful and prolonged death that causes intense suffering.

Every year, people are gored and trampled while running with bulls. This year saw Aussie tourist Jason Gilbert gored so badly during a bull run in Pamplona that he almost died. He has since spoken out against the festival and urged other thrill-seekers to stay away.

Across Spain, support for these barbaric activities is dwindling, with 76 per cent of Spaniards saying that they have no interest in bullfighting and bans being put in place in Catalonia and various towns across the country. Mataelpino is just one more example of how Spanish society is moving forward. As a local resident told reporters, “It was the tradition but it was a dying one. People don’t want to see frightened animals running for their lives any more”.

One of the only reasons that bullfights are still held is because massive subsidies from the EU prop up this disgraceful blood sport.

Please ask EU leaders to stop using European citizens’ taxes in order to support appalling cruelty to animals:

Take Action Now

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  • 25
  • Sep

Street Artist Dan Witz: Why ‘Empty the Cages’?

Street artist Dan Witz’s thought-provoking collaboration with PETA, “Empty the Cages”, is causing a stir across London, as dozens of unsettling installations encourage Londoners to open their eyes to animals’ suffering.

Dan explains the inspiration for the project:

Like most artists, I’m interested in exploring what society hides from itself. As a human, I’m concerned with injustice. But, like most people, I feel powerless to do anything about the downward spiral our planet seems to be taking. But, as someone who operates in the public commons, with my street interventions, sometimes I get the opportunity to directly address this frustration, to provoke a dialogue about issues that matter to me.

It wasn’t until the anti-whistleblower ag-gag laws began passing in the United States that my attention was drawn to America’s animal agriculture industry. Further exploration revealed unbelievable depths of abuse – perpetrated against not only farm animals, but also the environment. Climate change, deforestation, wildlife extinction, water waste, air pollution and ocean dead zones (among other things) are all directly attributable to meat, dairy and egg production. And then there’s the merciless ways in which these deep-pocketed and powerful entities treat their employees, not to mention the local irreversible environmental damage. It’s truly unconscionable what these corporations get away with, day in and day out with seeming impunity.

This is why when PETA UK invited me to partner with them on the Empty the Cages project, to raise awareness surrounding animals raised for food and their dire plight, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. If encountering my pieces brings this topic to anyone’s attention, then art matters, because life matters, and I’m satisfied.

Dan Witz PETA collaboration London

To see more images from the project and a map of locations, visit the “Empty the Cages” website.

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  • 25
  • Sep

Unsettling London Street Art Brings Animals on Farms Out From the Shadows

chkn fngrs smithfield far ldn2014 flat (2)Have you ever been walking through a city and done a double take because you’ve seen something totally unexpected? That’s the effect that pioneering New York street artist Dan Witz‘s work often has on people – providing a glimpse of another world, concealed within the bricks and concrete of urban life, through the use of sophisticated visual effects such as trompe l’oeil and photorealism.

Now, in an exciting collaboration with PETA, Dan (a vegetarian) has brought dozens of powerful new pieces to the streets of London. These works, collectively titled “Empty the Cages”, show the faces and bodies of chickens, cows, pigs and other animals raised for meat, peering out through grilles, fences and darkened windows, from behind the bars of their prisons.

Visit the Empty the Cages website.

The project plays on the idea that these animals’ suffering is hidden in plain sight. The abuses that occur on factory farms are well documented – but, too often, nobody wants to see them. It can be easier to look away, even though, deep down, we all know that putting sentient beings through this misery is wrong.

At the same time, the project aims to empower viewers. We’re not helpless in the face of this injustice. As individuals, we can all make the choice to stop supporting the industrial-scale exploitation of animals for their flesh or bodily fluids – and millions of people already have.

The social movement towards meat-free diets is steadily emptying the cages.

For advice about how to get on board, order our free vegan starter kit here.

See the art on the street!

Check out the map of locations here, and let us know if you’ve spotted any of the pieces on the street by tweeting or instagramming a photo using the hashtag #emptythecagesLDN or by leaving us a comment on Facebook.

 

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  • 24
  • Sep

Sophie Ellis-Bextor: ‘Here’s the Rest of Your Fur Coat’

Enter for a Chance To Win a T-Shirt Signed by the Star!

More than 10 years ago, Sophie Ellis-Bextor took a stand against fur and posed in an eye-catching PETA ad that made headlines. Her message is as important today as it was back then.

PETA UK Sophie Ellis Bextor Ad

We’re reviving the ad, shot by Mary McCartney, in time for the autumn fashion season, and we’re hoping that shoppers will turn their backs on the cruel industry after seeing “the rest” of a fur coat.

And most will. According to a poll, 95 per cent of the British public would never wear real fur. That’s because fur is made by hurting and killing foxes, rabbits, minks, dogs, cats and other animals. These animals are electrocuted, drowned, beaten or often skinned alive so that their fur can be turned into coats and trim. Before being killed, they are either kept in cramped, filthy cages on factory fur farms for their entire lives or caught in the wild in vicious traps, where they may languish in agony for days and sometimes even chew off their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape.

As Sophie heads out on her 2014 UK tour, fans can join her again in speaking out against fur and help put an end to the killing of animals for their skins. Check out these opportunities to take action:

We’re also offering fans a chance to win a “Mean People Wear Fur” T-shirt signed by Sophie herself!

 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor 1

For your chance to win the pictured signed T-shirt, just fill out the form below. The competition closes at 9 a.m. on 9 October 2014, and one winner will be chosen at random from all entrants and notified by 10 October. The prize will be posted to the lucky winner shortly afterwards.

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  • 23
  • Sep

PETA India Staffers Hospitalised After Attack by Angry Mob

A peaceful gathering of PETA India staffers in the Royal Market in Bhopal took a violent turn when an angry mob of men who had been lying in wait attacked the group of women, hurling stones and trying to tear off their clothes.

Celebrate a vegan EidThe peaceful appeal, which was led by a Muslim PETA India staffer wearing a dress adorned with lettuce leaves, was organised as a suggestion to festival-goers to choose non-violent ways to give alms to the poor, such as gifts of grains, fruit, clothing or money during the Bakra Eid religious commemoration of Abraham’s offering of his son to God.

Every year during Eid, the streets of India run red with the blood of millions of slaughtered goats, many of whom play with and are the beloved pets of children until they go to the knife. PETA India is letting Bhopal residents know that there are also non-violent ways to celebrate, which many people already practise, by giving fruit, lentils and other food offerings or by donating clothing and money to the poor.

But PETA India’s simple plea for compassion was met with violence.

The angry mob, which police estimated to have risen to hundreds of people, had apparently gathered in anticipation of the event. After men in the crowd reportedly shouted for the group of PETA India members, who were all women, to be stripped and stoned, men started hurling rocks and assaulting the women, who were forced to run for their lives. One staffer sustained severe facial injuries and other wounds. Another staffer’s pants were ripped as the mob tried to tear at her clothes. Two PETA India staffers remain in protective police custody. Local men apparently affiliated with the mosque have charged the women with “outraging religious feelings”.

Vegan Eid RecipesPETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura told the media that “PETA organises peaceful animal protection awareness programs for Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Janmashtami and other holidays as well as Eid” and that “it is shameful that in working to stop violence, our volunteers were made to suffer violence”.

For ideas about how to prepare a cruelty-free Eid feast, check out this blog post.

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  • 19
  • Sep

Why I Took the Stage During an Animal Experimenter’s Speech

PETA Protester at NIH SpeechMaternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys are a textbook example of unethical psychological research, and they need to stop. Hundreds of infant monkeys are being torn away from their mothers, causing them to suffer from psychoses at a US National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratory. So when Dr Stephen J Suomi, the head experimenter on baby monkeys at NIH, was to speak in Cardiff at the annual general meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, I, along with another activist, decided to make my voice heard and interrupted his keynote speech.

Suomi is responsible for tormenting baby monkeys in disgustingly cruel and archaic experiments that cause them to experience severe anxiety, fear, pain and depression. Some of the monkeys bite at their own flesh and pull out their own hair. This was all revealed following the release of hours of video footage and hundreds of photographs and documents obtained by PETA US from NIH through a contested Freedom of Information Act request. After watching the video below, any compassionate person would wonder how Suomi can sleep at night.

We’re in the age of brain imaging and superior human-based research that allows us to study the causes and treatments of mental illness in humans without terrorising animals in traumatic experiments. Yet videos revealed that experimenters laughed while infant monkeys were being terrorised, screaming frantically and trying to escape and hide. This is not science – it’s violence.

We were escorted from the premises but not before we unfurled our posters and made sure that the conference attendees were aware of the cruelty that occurs in Suomi’s labs.

Will you join us in speaking out about this cruelty by signing PETA US’ action alert and sharing?
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  • 18
  • Sep

See Eye-Opening Environmental Documentary ‘Cowspiracy’ in London

There’s a new must-see documentary causing a stir among environmentalists, activists and everyone who cares about the future of our planet. It’s called Cowspiracy – and it’s coming to London!

The film reveals the catastrophic environmental impact that large-scale factory farming has on our planet and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it. Billed as a cross between Blackfish and An Inconvenient Truth, it promises to be a riveting viewing experience.

Here are a few of the startling facts revealed in the film:

  • Animal agriculture is the source of 51 percent of all greenhouse gasses.
  • Forty-five percent of the Earth’s land mass is used for animal agriculture.
  • About 136 million acres of the rain forest have been cleared for cattle grazing and growing feed crops.

Cowspiracy will be showing in London at Clapham Picturehouse on Monday, 13 October, at 6 pm. The screening is being hosted by yogahaven – book your tickets here. You can also catch the film at VegFest in London on 27 and 28 September. We’ll keep you posted about other upcoming UK screenings.

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