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Animal Writes

  • 19
  • Dec

Saved! Happy Christmas for Two Turkeys After Tasteless Radio Poll


Two turkeys’ fates hung in the balance this week, after a tacky and irresponsible publicity stunt by Oxford radio station JACK fm asked listeners to vote on whether to “keep it” or “cook it” in an online poll.

Threatening animals’ lives for the purpose of “entertainment” is unacceptable. Fortunately for these two birds – tastelessly named “Sage” and “Onion” – the poll was soon overwhelmed by thousands of people, including Brian May, who voted for a better outcome for the turkeys.

Today, we stepped in to help ensure that they will indeed be given the safe, permanent home that they deserve. The turkeys have just arrived at Hopefield Animals Sanctuary in Brentwood, Essex, which is supported by lovely vegan singer Leona Lewis.



“Christmas is a time of goodwill, and I’m glad that sentiment has been extended to these two turkeys”, Leona says.

In honour of their celebrity benefactors, the two turkeys will be renamed Brian and Leona!

In nature, turkeys are protective and loving parents as well as spirited explorers who can climb trees and run as fast as 40 kilometres per hour. Turkeys in the wild can live up to 10 years, but those in the meat industry are normally slaughtered between 12 and 26 weeks of age. The young birds are hung from metal shackles attached to their feet and dragged through an electrified bath that can cause them to have full-body tremors. Sometimes the turkeys are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re placed into a bath of scalding-hot water that’s used to remove their feathers.

You can also save turkeys this year by leaving them off your dinner plate and celebrating a merry veggie Christmas! Check out our guide to a plant-based Christmas dinner for ideas and recipes.

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  • 19
  • Dec

All These Animals Want for Christmas Is …

Some of the things that we all take for granted seem like an impossible dream for animals who suffer at human hands. Please take action to help these animals’ Christmas wishes come true!


Morgan copy

Orcas in the wild swim up to 100 miles a day. At marine parks such as SeaWorld, they’re forced to live in tiny concrete tanks, far away from their ocean homes. Speak out.


Air France

A steel laboratory cage is no place to spend Christmas – or any day, for that matter. Ask Air France to stop shipping monkeys to laboratories where they’ll be tortured and killed.



Most chickens raised for food spend their entire lives crowded together with thousands of other birds under artificial lights in vast sheds where they barely have enough room even to stretch out their wings. Don’t support this!


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Billions of animals, including foxes, minks, cows, snakes and dogs and cats, are killed every year, often in gruesome ways – and all for the sake of fashion. Speak out for them.



Most pigs farmed for their flesh are killed when they’re between 3 and 6 months old. The natural lifespan of a pig is around 15 years. Don’t buy into this cruelty.

Image: Anita Krajnc/Toronto Pig Save 


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In India, working bullocks are forced to trudge along in the heat, straining under a heavy yoke to pull an overloaded, poorly balanced cart. These gentle animals often suffer from dehydration, untreated sores, and muscle strain. Help them.


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Baby calves in the dairy industry are snatched from their mothers’ sides within days or even hours of being born so that humans can drink the milk meant for them. Don’t look the other way.



Mali is the only elephant in the Philippines. It’s been 35 years since she saw another member of her species. Take action for Mali.

Animal Aid Slaughter copy


Investigations into UK abattoirs documented workers kicking, slapping and beating workers. Mandatory CCTV would help stop this from happening. Sign the petition.



Time and time again, studies have shown that fish are complex, intelligent animals with distinct personalities, long-term memories and the capacity to feel pleasure and pain. Yet more fish are killed for food each year than any other animal, usually without any effort to avoid causing them to suffer. Give fish a chance!


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Every year, puppies bought as Christmas presents end up abandoned or in shelters and may never find the loving home that they deserve. Meanwhile, breeders and traders continue to make a profit by contributing to the dog-overpopulation crisis. If you’re considering welcoming a new animal companion into your home, adopt, don’t buy!

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Speak out against injustice and help answer animals’ cries for help. Join PETA’s Action Team today.

Chicken and Calf images: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

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  • 19
  • Dec

11 Movies to Watch Over Christmas Break

Christmas break is here! For students, it’s a well-earned intermission from early-morning classes, lectures that seem to make the hands on the clock move slower, and hand-ins that creep up on you in the blink of an eye. At times, it was hard, but you held it together, so you deserve a little rest and relaxation. What better way is there to wind down over the winter break than by snuggling up with a warm cup of mulled wine or spiced hot chocolate and watching a movie or four?

The following are some of our favourite films:

1. Cowspiracy explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and investigates the policies (or lack thereof) of environmental organisations on this issue.


2. *Blackfish focuses on Tilikum, an orca held by SeaWorld, and the inhumane conditions of captive killer whales.


3. *Food, Inc. exposes the sources of the food we eat and its environmental impact.


4. The Cove follows daring animal activists at a cove in Taiji, Japan, as they capture video footage of a secret and heavily guarded operation run by the world’s largest supplier of dolphins.


5. *Food Matters focuses on using nutritionally rich, plant-based foods for optimal health.


6. Crazy Sexy Cancer follows the journey of a young woman looking for a natural cure for her cancer.


7. *Year of the Dog tells the fictional story of a woman who learns about animal rights issues after her beloved dog’s death.


8. At the Edge of the World follows activists as they attempt to stop the Japanese whale slaughter.


9. Forks Over Knives follows two medical experts as they reveal the effects of common foods on human health.


10. The Beautiful Truth promotes a plant-based vegan diet for cancer and disease prevention.


11. *Vegucated follows three meat-eaters who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks.

*Streamable on Netflix!

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  • 18
  • Dec

Norway Rejects Military Application to Use Live Pigs in Deadly Training Exercises

Some promising news: the Norwegian Animal Research Authority (NARA) has, for the first time, rejected an application by the Norwegian Armed Forces to injure and kill animals in archaic trauma training exercises.

In live-animal trauma training, animals such as pigs and goats are shot apart, are stabbed and have their bones broken before being sewn back together by trainee surgeons – and then they’re killed. It’s an unacceptably cruel practice, especially as humane, high-tech training methods have been proved to prepare doctors for the battlefield more effectively.

Military training drills mutilate animals

Norway, along with Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, is one of the only countries in Europe that still uses these barbaric training techniques. However, NARA’s decision to veto the exercises on this occasion suggests that this situation could be about to change. It concluded: “The committee does not approve of the use of animal testing given the information provided in the application and attachments. … The committee finds that the information that is provided in regards to the need to use live animals instead of alternatives in this research is not sufficient”.

We wonder if the tens of thousands of messages that the Norwegian government has received from compassionate PETA supporters, asking that it end live trauma training, could have influenced this progressive decision.

The campaigns by PETA and our international affiliates against the use of animals in live military drills has already made remarkable headway. Last year, Poland abandoned the cruel practice after receiving thousands of messages from concerned members of the public. And last month, the US army made a groundbreaking move to replace the use of animals in six different areas of medical training with modern human-patient simulators.

Of course, we’ll keep on campaigning against this barbaric practice until Norway and the handful of other European countries that still use animals in military drills commit to ending live trauma training altogether.

Please add your voice – sign our letter today:

Take Action Now


Photo: Jørn Stjernekla

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  • 17
  • Dec

PHOTOS: Don’t Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes, Say Blindfolded Protesters

Blindfolded and cradling a sheared and apparently blood-spattered “lamb”, these three PETA members were a striking sight in Edinburgh this morning.

Edinburgh wool demo

Their message to shoppers on Princes Street was “Don’t pull the wool over your eyes”, a reference to the immense suffering inflicted on sheep used by the wool industry, including violent abuse in shearing sheds, painful mutilations and frightening deaths in abattoirs.

Sheep suffer for wool - scratch it off your shopping list

Princes Street anti-wool protest

The trio urged passers-by to open their eyes to the cruelty inherent in wool production and to cross wool items off their shopping lists.

A recent exposé of the wool industry in the US and Australia – the source of 90 per cent of the world’s merino wool – revealed that workers violently punched scared sheep in the face, stamped and stood on the animals’ heads and necks and beat and jabbed them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep even died from the abuse, including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died.

Closer to home, millions of British lambs die within days of being born, and those who survive may end their days in Middle Eastern slaughterhouses after being shipped abroad by the horrific live-export industry.

Please spare a thought for sheep this winter by refusing to buy items made from their hair. Instead, choose from the many warm, animal-friendly fabrics on offer today!

Read More

PETA Knitting Pattern Christmas Jumper
11 Reasons to Have a Wool-Free Winter Investigations Into the International Wool Industry Your Cruelty-Free Christmas Shopping Guide
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  • 16
  • Dec

Three Recipes to Try This Chanukah

Chanukah is the Jewish Festival of Lights, and it involves eight nights of family, gifts and, of course, food.

Keeping in mind the traditional Jewish concept of tza’ar ba’alei chayim – which explains that people should show compassion towards animals and avoid causing them harm – a great way to celebrate Chanukah is to opt for meals that leave animals off the plate!

Just in time for the festival, we’re sharing three recipes from our friends at the Jewish Vegetarian Society (JVS) and PETA US.

Potato Latkes

Latkes are traditionally eaten during Chanukah. The oil for cooking the latkes is reminiscent of the oil that is said to have kept the Second Temple’s Ner Tamid lamp lit with its continuously burning flame. This vegan recipe makes 30 latkes, which go great with grated apples and vegan cheese!

Jelly Donuts

Donuts are a staple of Chanukah. With egg-replacer products or even just some flax seeds, it’s easy to make donuts with a proper airy texture without supporting the cruelty of the egg industry.


Kugel is a staple at many Jewish celebrations, and there are many variations. (Try it made with sweet potatoes, spinach or broccoli.) This recipe is for a sweet and filling noodle kugel with apples and tofu.

For more ideas for celebrating a cruelty-free Chanukah, check out the JVS’ festival cooking recipe page and PETA US’ blog on eight ways to have a vegan Chanukah celebration. Or for inspiration on how to live vegan year-round, order our free guide!

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  • 14
  • Dec

Benjy Arrives at Sanctuary With Help From Sam Simon!

With help from The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, Benjy – an Irish bull previously slated for slaughter because of his reported sexual orientation – made it to Hillside Sanctuary on Sunday, where he will breathe fresh air, graze freely and never again face the threat of imminent slaughter.

Benjy Arrives at Hillside


Simon helped make Benjy’s rescue possible. “I believe in compassion and empathy for all living beings – regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or species. That’s why when PETA told me about ‘Benjy, the gay bull’, I felt compelled to help”, he said. “All animals have a dire destiny in the meat and dairy industries, but for Benjy to have been killed because of his sexual orientation would have been a double tragedy.”

“My health won’t allow me to travel to the UK to see Benjy in his new home, but it thrills me to know that his fate is a sanctuary rather than a sandwich, and I know the folks at PETA … will keep me updated on his progress”, says Simon.


Simon also hopes Benjy’s story will inspire others to help animals: “While it will be a happy holiday season for Benjy, it won’t be for the millions of other animals on farms living in their own filth, denied everything that is natural and important to them”, says Simon. “I’d encourage anyone moved by Benjy’s plight to help other animals like him by choosing to leave all animals off their plates and opt for a vegan Christmas dinner.”

For inspiration on how to opt for a vegan Christmas dinner, visit our guide to having a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

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  • 12
  • Dec

28 British Celebrities Who Won’t Be Eating Turkey This Christmas

It’s estimated that 11 per cent of Brits, including these compassionate stars, will be tucking into a delicious meat-free Christmas dinner this year – one in which the centrepiece isn’t the carcase of an animal. Join them!


Not only will singing sensation Leona Lewis not be serving any animal products on Christmas Day, she also won’t be wearing any. (Leona doesn’t wear fur, leather or suede.) Now that’s compassion in fashion!


Paul McCartney, who famously said that “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian”, teamed up with PETA to encourage fans to keep cruelty off the Christmas table.    


Joanna Lumley, the “Absolutely Fabulous”, is still as fabulous as ever. What’s her secret? Not being part of the “blood chain”, as the longtime vegetarian puts it.  


Emeli Sandé is one of the biggest names in the music business. And she uses her voice to promote a plant-based diet.


Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson has never been one to shy away from drama or keep her opinions to herself, especially when animals are involved.


JME – “Kale, yeah”, the grime artist and Boy Better Known founder is vegan!


The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness knows that animal agriculture pollutes our airways and waterways – and that not eating meat is the single most effective thing that people can do to reduce their carbon footprint.


Football legend Phil Neville scored a winning goal for his health and for animals when he switched to a vegetarian lifestyle.


Meat and dairy products are linked to obesity, cancer and diabetes. No wonder so many people report feeling better after ditching animal products. Just ask singer Ellie Goulding, who says, “I went vegan a few months ago. I feel leaner and healthier”.


TV personality and longtime vegetarian Fiona Phillips understands that Christmas is meant to be a time of goodwill for all, including animals.


Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oli Sykes is a badass with a soft side. “When I saw how animals are tortured on factory farms, I couldn’t justify being a part of that cruelty. I thought, ‘Imagine if that were me.'” Hell, yeah!


A vegetarian since the age of 14, Russell Brand says, “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”.


I scream. You scream. We all scream for (vegan) ice cream! Just ask McFly’s Tom Feltcher.


Comedian John Bishop has been meat-free for nearly three decades, which may account for his unflappable energy on stage!


Gabrielle Aplin, the singer of “The Power of Love”, extends her love to animals.


Jodie Marsh knows that animals are not walking roasts. She says, “I could never eat a dog, and I don’t see how a chicken, a sheep, a pig or any animal is any different, because all animals have a mind and a personality”.


Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton is meat-free every day – but also encourages meat-eaters to give plant-based foods a try, even just one day a week.

Never one to hold back, legendary rocker Morrissey fearlessly mouths off about the meat trade every chance he gets. And guess what? He wants you to join him.


The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins understands the struggle … wink.


Actor Thandie Newton won’t be eating meat this Christmas – and she won’t be eating dairy products, either.


“I remember a specific conversation with my mum, and she told me that pigs cry when they know they’re going to die. … I just couldn’t really contemplate bein’ part of that process”, says Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite.


Socialite and designer Meg Mathews never misses the opportunity to spread the vegan message – check out her wheels!

Meg Mathews


Still think vegans are scrawny weaklings? Say it to boxer David Haye‘s face. Dare ya.


You tend to feel better about yourself when you’re not using your body as a graveyard for animal corpses. Rapper Skepta seems to agree. “You know when you go gym and you walk out, you feel good about yourself? I feel good about myself that I don’t eat meat.”


Singer Joss Stone has never eaten an animal, and she admitted to PETA that she actually used to sing “Amazing Grace” to the cows in the field. Awww.


Les Misérables performer Samantha Barks has been vegetarian since childhood and says that if she hadn’t gone into acting, she might have become a veggie chef.


Ninjas need strength. And parkour champion Tim Shieff gets his entirely through plant-based foods.


Guitar legend Jeff Beck says, “You can’t just carve animals up – it’s not necessary”. And with so many delicious faux-meat options available, it’s hard to disagree.

Join these celebs and celebrate the holidays while leaving animals off your plate. Order a free vegan starter kit today, and check out our guide for how to have a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings!

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  • 12
  • Dec

Beyond Skin Launches Exclusive Vegan Shoe With Winner of PETA Competition

Earlier this 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. Now, just in time for Christmas, the winning shoe design is available to pre-order!

The stylish Alice shoe, named in honour of its designer, fashion student Alice Lambert-Gorwyn, can be seen below. The shoe caught the eye of judge Laura Whitmore, who had the difficult task of choosing a winner from all the designs. Alice’s shoe is handmade in Spain from 100 per cent vegan microfibre suede and a faux-reptile-print polyurethane obtained from Italy.

beyond skin alice shoe

“I am over the moon to see my design turn into reality”, Alice said. “I hope it will encourage other designers to explore the wide variety of non-animal fabrics and embrace cruelty-free fashion.”

More and more designers and retailers – including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Dr. Martens, Esprit and H&M – are recognising the huge demand for animal-friendly accessories and offering their customers shoes, bags and belts made from modern, high-quality synthetics, which are less damaging to the planet and don’t harm a hair on any animal’s head.

Visit to order the Alice shoe. A percentage of the profits from each sale will be donated to PETA’s life-saving campaigns for animals.

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  • 11
  • Dec

European Ombudsman Ruling on PETA Complaint a Victory for Animals Used in EU Chemical Tests

Ratten 15 - ÄgT (3)Victory! In a landmark decision that could save millions of animals from suffering and death in laboratory experiments, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the agency responsible for overseeing the largest animal testing programme in the world, is not fully applying its authority to minimise animal experiments, as required by law.

In 2011, PETA learned that tens of thousands of animals were being poisoned and killed in avoidable tests, contrary to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH), which states that animals must only be used as a last resort. PETA immediately and repeatedly contacted ECHA about this unconscionable use of animals, yet ECHA continued to shirk its duty to ensure that animal use is minimised.

We took our concerns to the European Ombudsman, who is the government official responsible for investigating complaints about European Union institutions. Her decision today, which upholds a key argument in our complaint, has enormous implications for preventing the suffering of millions of animals and confirms that ECHA has failed to fully accept its mandate and use all tools at its disposal to minimise animal experiments .

It is estimated that upwards of 13 million animals will suffer and die in experiments authorised under REACH. But the legislation is clear: alternative testing methods to animals must be used whenever possible, and testing on animals must be undertaken only as a last resort.

This is not happening. ECHA’s 2011 and 2014 reports on “The Use of Alternatives to Testing on Animals for the REACH Regulation” demonstrated that thousands of animals were used in painful skin and eye tests that could have been avoided. Just as worrisome, hundreds of studies were conducted without prior submission and approval of a testing proposal. The Ombudsman further found that ECHA’s refusal to ensure that industry comply with the principle of using animals only as a last resort is akin to amending REACH informally  without the involvement of the European Commission.

In light of ECHA’s repeated failings, an estimated 100,000 animals have suffered and died in experiments on animals that could have been avoided. While it’s too late to bring these animals back, ECHA can reduce this disastrous death toll by accepting its responsibilities and immediately incorporating the Ombudsman’s advice. Of course, scientists working for PETA and our international affiliates will continue to scrutinise ECHA’s work and do everything they can to make sure that happens.

Image: Doctors Against Animal Experiments

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