Animal Writes: PETA Foundation’s Blog - PETA Foundation’s Blog

Animal Writes

  • 30
  • Jan

Hero: This Dog Saved His Guardian From Drowning in a Freezing Scottish River

As he does on most evenings, Philip Skirving was recently walking his Staffordshire terrier, Cobin, on a cycle path on the banks of the River Leven in Alexandria, Scotland, when he tripped and fell into the fast-flowing ice-cold water and went into shock. Moments later, Cobin jumped in and dragged his friend to the safety of dry land by pulling on his jumper!

For saving Philip’s life, we’ve recognised Cobin’s daring feat of bravery with PETA’s Animal Hero Award, along with a special “doggie bag” full of vegan dog treats, a comfortable new harness and a fun toy.


Dogs are more than our best friends – as Cobin has demonstrated, they’re our family members and sometimes even our protectors.

We hope Cobin’s heroics will inspire people to head to their local animal shelter, which is bound to be full of lovable, wonderful dogs just like him, all waiting for someone to come to their rescue.

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  • 30
  • Jan

PETA India Turns Sunder’s Home Into Free-Roaming, Forested Sanctuary

PETA India and Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) have teamed up to create India’s first free-roaming elephant sanctuary in a fenced, forested land that allows elephants to move about rather than be chained in place, the common way in which captive elephants in India are kept.

BBP, which became home to 15-year-old Sunder – famously liberated by the Supreme Court in 2014 from a life of cruelty at the Jyotiba temple in Maharashtra – now houses 15 elephants.

Designed by PETA India consultant and elephant expert Carol Buckley, a solar electric fence and a state-of-the-art emergency corral made of steel pipes are nearly complete for this 49.5-hectare sanctuary that will allow the herd to roam, bathe in ponds and socialise without being restricted by the chains commonly used in India for captive elephants.

Elephant expert Margaret Whittaker – who designed the elephant and mahout training facilities and safety measures – will also be training local caregivers in the principles of a protected-contact system, which is a way of safeguarding human beings and elephants by keeping them separated by a sturdy barrier and managing Sunder and other elephants using positive reinforcement techniques instead of the age-old routine of physical punishment.

With the freedom to engage in natural behaviour within a large open space that they can call their own, Sunder and his new family have the opportunity to thrive. While most captive elephants remain in dire straits, with BBP, PETA India was able to make the dream of freedom a reality for 15 elephants. We hope the sanctuary will become a model for elephant sanctuaries throughout Asia.

Watch this to see Sunder’s story.

Sunder’s story is inspiring, but not all elephants are so lucky. Mali is the only elephant in the Manila Zoo in the Philippines. She’s been completely alone for 35 years and is suffering from health problems that cause her constant pain.

Please send a message asking for Mali to be moved to a sanctuary.

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  • 30
  • Jan

Benjamin John Power: Why I’m Vegan

His band may have a naughty name, but Benjamin John Power from the electronic duo Fuck Buttons is anything but. In fact, the Bristol musician, who is also known for his solo project Blanck Mass, is so concerned about making kind choices that he refuses to eat food that results from animal suffering: namely, meat, eggs and dairy products.

We chatted with him about how and why he chose to go vegan:

Like many people who switch to a plant-based diet, Benjamin reports feeling less tired. He’s also glad to be living by his principles and honouring his lifelong respect for animals, particularly after learning how cows are abused by the dairy industry. It’s been a positive decision all round, as he’s also discovered how delicious vegan food can be.

Benjamin is part of a growing list of musicians – including Ellie Goulding, rapper JME, Moby, Leona Lewis, Chrissie Hynde, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Johnny Marr – who have gone vegan.

Join them! To get started on a more compassionate diet, order our free vegan starter kit today:

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  • 28
  • Jan

A Vegan’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milks

Vegan guide to non-dairy-milks

More and more people are waking up to the cruel reality of the dairy industry, so the market for alternative non-dairy products is growing faster now than ever before. In the past two years alone, the non-dairy milk market has grown by a staggering 155 per cent in the UK! Producing plant-based milks takes a lot less water and land and results in much less carbon dioxide than producing dairy milks. We’ve put together a guide to some of the best vegan milks and how to use them.

Almond Milk

Almond milk

Almond milk is made from ground almonds mixed with water. Its rich texture and slightly nutty taste make it delicious in lattes. It’s also great for blending in smoothies. Almond milk is low in fat, sugar, and calories and naturally high in many vitamins and minerals.

Coconut Milk

Coconut, interior view

Coconut milk is made by soaking the white flesh of coconuts in hot water. The cream rises to the top and is skimmed off, leaving the milk behind. Coconuts are highly nutritious, containing vitamins C, B1 and B6. The milk is high in saturated fat, though, so it’s best consumed in moderation, and it’s also one of the more expensive vegan milks. But despite being low in sugar, coconut milk is quite sweet-tasting, meaning it’s perfect for desserts, cakes and smoothies. It’s also an important ingredient in Thai and Indian curries.

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnut milk

Hazelnut milk has a roasted nutty flavour that goes well with hot chocolate. Some speciality coffee houses are moving towards hazelnut milk because it heats and foams better than almond or soy. It’s high in fat and calories but worth it! It’s also loaded with B vitamins and vitamin E as well as folic acid and the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which helps keep cholesterol and blood pressure down.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk

The seeds of the hemp plant, a relative of cannabis but without the psychoactive chemicals, are one of the best vegan protein sources in the world, containing nine essential amino acids and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp milk has a sweet, nutty taste that works very well in tea.

Oat Milk


Oat milk, which is often locally grown and produced in the UK, is made by soaking the hulled oats in water. The end result is sweet and delicious but more caloric than many of the other plant-based milks. Beta-glucan, found in oat fibre, can actually lower blood cholesterol levels. One serving will also give you 10 per cent of your recommended daily amount of iron, which is very important for vegans. It heats well and doesn’t curdle, making it good for cooking. It should be avoided by anyone with a gluten intolerance.

Rice Milk

Rice milk2

Rice milk is made from boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rice starch. In taste tests, rice milk has been shown to be more popular than soya milk. It’s sweet and not as thick as most of the other plant-based milks, and it also is much lower in fat, but it doesn’t contain very much protein.

Soya Milk

Soy milk

A complete protein source, soya milk is one of the most popular plant-based milks of all and often the only one you’ll find in mainstream coffee shops. It goes well in espresso-based drinks because of its creamy texture and neutral flavor. It has about half the fat of cows’ milk, a third of the calories and none of the cruelty!


What’s your favourite dairy-free milk? Join the debate by leaving a comment below.

For more tips about switching to a vegan diet, why not sign our 30-day pledge today? We’ll send you regular e-mails with tips, resources, recipes and more. Sign up here.

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  • 28
  • Jan

IKEA to Roll Out Vegan Meatballs!

As the demand for delicious, convenient vegan food skyrockets around the world, top furniture retailer IKEA is tossing its hat into the fray with a scrumptious offering: a vegan twist on its classic Swedish meatball.

PETA US first raised vegan food offerings with IKEA in 2011. After IKEA announced in 2014 that it was working on vegetarian but not vegan meatballs, supporters of PETA and our international affiliates signed friendly petitions asking for vegan meatballs. The work paid off, and IKEA listened, letting PETA US know that the new meatballs will be vegan and that they will be available in its store restaurants beginning in April!

PETA hears every day from shoppers calling for animal-friendly on-the-go options. Vegan snacks spare animals suffering and benefit human health, which earns IKEA a round of applause from us!

In addition to sparing animals immense suffering on factory farms, in abattoirs and on the decks of fishing boats, vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity and cancer than meat-eaters are. They also have smaller carbon footprints, as the meat industry is a major producer of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

You don’t need to wait until April for vegan meatballs. To find out how easy it is to embrace a cruelty-free, healthy, environmentally friendly diet, order our free vegan starter kit today!

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  • 27
  • Jan

Must-Have Vegan Books and Cookbooks

BettyGoesVeganWhat’s your New Year’s resolution? Have you decided to go vegan in 2015? Or are you already vegan but have decided to commit to eating healthier in the new year after spending 2014 indulging in one too many delicious accidentally vegan snacks? Maybe you just want to read up on animal rights issues or are looking for a book to help a child you know understand why you don’t eat meat. Whatever your goal is, we’ve got a book that will help you get there. Check out our list of must-have books:



General Cooking

  • Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen
  • Keep It Vegan: 100 Simple, Healthy & Delicious Dishes by Áine Carlin
  • Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
  • The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow From the Inside Out by Angela Liddo
  • Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
  • Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics by Chloe Coscarelli
  • The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet by Alona Pulde, MD, and Matthew Lederman, MD
  • The China Study All-Star Collection: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes From Your Favorite Vegan Chefs by LeAnne Campbell
  • Happy Herbivore Light & Lean: Over 150 Low-Calorie Recipes With Workout Plans for Looking and Feeling Great by Lindsay S Nixon
  • Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Coscarelli
  • Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry
  • Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes From My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik
  • Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family by Dan Shannon and Annie Shannon
  • Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet by Terry Hope Romero
  • The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat by Tal Ronnen
  • Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin
  • Skinny Bitch Bakery by Kim Barnouin


Budget Cooking

  • Vegan on the Cheap: Great Recipes and Simple Strategies That Save You Time and Money by Robin Robertson
  • PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook: 275 Easy, Cheap, and Delicious Recipes to Keep You Vegan at School by PETA



  • Ms Cupcake: The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town by Mellissa Morgan
  • Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes That Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
  • Easy as Vegan Pie: One-of-a-Kind Sweet and Savory Slices by Hannah Kaminsky


Vegan Health

  • The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins
  • Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr, MD
  • The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health by T Colin Campbell
  • Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T Colin Campbell
  • Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much – and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter by David Robinson Simon
  • Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina


Vegan Living

  • Making Kind Choices: Everyday Ways to Enhance Your Life Through Earth- and Animal-Friendly Living by Ingrid Newkirk
  • The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet by Alicia Silverstone
  • The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning by Alicia Silverstone
  • Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
  • How to Be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria
  • Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World by Kathy Freston


Animal Rights

  • Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
  • The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble by Ingrid Newkirk
  • Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top by Carol Bradley
  • We Animals by Jo-Anne McArthur
  • Free the Animals by Ingrid Newkirk
  • One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World by Ingrid Newkirk


For Kids

  • V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind by Ruby Roth
  • That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things by Ruby Roth
  • Vegan Is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action by Ruby Roth
  • Benji Bean Sprout Doesn’t Eat Meat by Sarah Rudy
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Charlotte’s Web by EB White, illustrated by Garth Williams

For more tips on vegan living, visit V in the UK

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  • 27
  • Jan

Enter For a Chance to Win: Beyond Skin’s Stylish Alice Shoe

Last year, we announced the winner of PETA’s design competition with acclaimed vegan shoe label Beyond Skin. The competition attracted entries from budding cordwainers around the world, and the winner was the stylish “Alice” shoe, named in honour of its designer, fashion student Alice Lambert-Gorwyn.

In our design competition, the shoe caught the eye of celebrity judge Laura Whitmore, who had the difficult task of choosing a winner from all the designs. Now, Alice’s shoe is a reality, and we’re offering you a chance to win a pair!

Beyond Skin

Alice’s shoe is handmade in Spain from 100 per cent vegan microfibre suede and a faux–reptile print polyurethane obtained from Italy.

For your chance to win a pair of Alice shoes in an available size of your choice, just fill out the below form. The competition closes at 9 am on 27 February 2015. One winner will be chosen at random from all entrants and notified by 27 February. The prize will be posted to the lucky winner shortly thereafter.

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  • 27
  • Jan

‘Give Peas a Chance!’ Paris Mural Urges Non-Violence to All

After the violence that has swept Paris in recent weeks and in homage to the murdered cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo who regularly tackled animal rights issues, PETA France has just placed this giant mural in Paris’ city centre:

Give Peas a Chance

PETA Paris Mural

Featuring religious symbols drawn in peas and the words, “Give Peas a Chance – Go Vegan. Non-Violence Begins on Our Plates”, the artwork is designed to make Parisians consider the links between violence towards humans and against other species. This month’s losses are being felt by all compassionate people, including those who stand for animal rights.

PETA France’s mural makes the simple point that if we can relate to who is on our plate, maybe we can start to relate to other human beings we perceive as “different”.

The most important thing in life is to be kind, and if you are kind to animals by not eating them, all the other forms of kindness seem easier to embrace.

PETA stands with Charlie Hebdo in rejecting oppression and violence in all forms.

To find out how easy it is to embrace a non-violent diet, order our free vegan starter kit today!

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  • 26
  • Jan

New Ad Urges Politicians to Halt REACH’s Rising Death Toll

Following a detailed complaint lodged by PETA more than two years ago, the EU Ombudsman recently confirmed PETA’s darkest fears about what has been happening in the world’s largest animal testing programme, REACH.

It’s estimated that more than 100,000 animals were used in tests that could potentially have been avoided, and millions more are expected to die over the coming years. We contacted the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) repeatedly regarding this unconscionable use of animals, but it refused to accept its responsibility to ensure that animal tests are minimised.

In a victory for animals, the Ombudsman agreed with us. It’s critical that officials act immediately on the Ombudsman’s decision, before yet more animals are needlessly poisoned and killed. To help make sure that happens, the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd has just taken out a hard-hitting full-page ad in The Parliament Magazine, a publication aimed at politicians and policymakers within EU institutions.



The Science Consortium is urging MEPs to ensure that further avoidable deaths under REACH are prevented. Millions of lives are potentially at stake – we need urgent action to ensure that ECHA fully acts within the letter and the spirit of the law.


Please help PETA’s scientists who are working to put an end to animal deaths in painful, frightening and outdated tests in the EU – and support all of our work to help animals – by making a donation today.

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  • 26
  • Jan

For the First Time, a French Foie Gras Supplier Is Taken to Court for Cruelty

This week in France, Ernest Soulard, a major foie gras producer which supplies some of Paris’ most famous restaurants, appeared in court after being accused of “serious abuse and cruelty” by French animal rights group L214, following video footage exposing horrific treatment of ducks and geese on farms.

This is the video released by L214 in November 2013:

The footage shows how ducks are confined to individual faeces-encrusted cages so tiny that they can’t even turn around or spread their wings. Sick birds are seen panting in distress and collapsing on the filthy wire.

This landmark trial, the first of its kind in France, is yet more evidence that the tide is turning against this horrific product in the country. A recent survey found that almost one in two French people would like to see gavage or force-feeding banned.

Force-feeding and keeping animals in individual cages go against the EU’s guidance on animal welfare, making it doubly outrageous that these unethical practices are still occurring in Europe.

Please help end the cruelty by signing our petition asking EU leaders to crack down on foie gras production!

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