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  • 22
  • Aug

Watch: Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand’s Elephant Tourism

The feature documentary An Elephant Never Forgets follows the same path that thousands of British tourists take every year as they visit elephant attractions in Thailand. Joe Keogh, a comedian from Manchester, offers a great deal of insight into the living and working conditions of the many elephants used and abused in the tourism industry.

Joe uncovers the uncomfortable truth behind the elephants’ obedience and takes viewers around some of the local camps and zoos to convey a sense of what these magnificent animals are subjected to on a daily basis. The reality is very bleak, with numerous elephants swaying from side to side – an indicator of stress and ill health – and chained up with barely any room for movement.

The uncomfortable truth behind the elephants attractions

Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand's Elephant Tourism

An Elephant Never Forgets - Thai Elephant Tourism


The film also takes a look at sanctuaries that offer refuge to elephants abused in the logging, circus and tourism industries. Joe meets sanctuary owner Lek Chailert, who spends her time taking care of rescued elephants. The joy that can be seen in this nature park is worlds away from the cruelty of the tourist camps, a sad comparison that is especially poignant since her sanctuary borders a tourist park and cruel elephant rides can be seen in the background of the sanctuary footage.

You can help!

The days of these cruel attractions may soon be numbered as companies stop promoting them. Travel agency Responsible Travel no longer promotes trips that include elephant treks or elephant performances, and STA Travel, the world’s largest student travel company, has pulled promotions for elephant rides as well as Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple and SeaWorld.

Tourists today have so many fantastic opportunities available to them that it’s easy to have a vacation filled with cruelty-free memories. If you encounter any attraction that includes captive animals, walk the other way.

Around 800,000 Britons visit Thailand each year. Please help raise awareness of the cruelty of exploitative elephant attractions by sharing An Elephant Never Forgets with your family and friends.

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  • 21
  • Aug

LOLA’s New Vegan Cupcake Takes Over London!

Vegan cupcakes are taking over London – they’re even on the Underground.

Most Londoners will recognise LOLA’s Kitchen from their fashionable cupcake shops set up in high-end department stores such as Selfridges, stylish markets like Covent Garden and Spitalfields and underground stations such as King’s Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Cannon Street. But what they may not know is that Lola’s now offers a cupcake that everyone can enjoy, including vegans!

Baked using vanilla soya yoghurt and iced with a deliciously creamy vegan butter, LOLA’s Passion Fruit & Coconut cupcake is vegan!

LOLA's Vegan Cupcake

Just the one vegan cupcake is available at the moment, but LOLA’s has two more in the works, and we were lucky enough to receive a sample. Hopefully, all compassionate Londoners will soon also be able to enjoy a delicious LOLA’s Vegan Raspberry & Coconut and LOLA’s Vegan Strawberry & Coconut cupcakes!

Check out LOLA’s online at lolas-kitchen.co.uk or stop by a shop next time you’re on the tube and give the Passion Fruit & Coconut cupcake a try!

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  • 21
  • Aug

PHOTOS: ‘Monkey’ Prisoners Call Out Air France Cruelty in London

All over the world, people have been standing up to express their horror at Air France’s shipments of primates to laboratories.

Today, the protest arrived in London.

PETA Demo in London against Air France Cruelty

30 PETA supporters gathered outside the Embassy of France in Knightsbridge, London, to make sure that diplomats and the public know how Air France is profiting from the torture of highly intelligent and sensitive monkeys.

Air France is the only major airline that trafficks primates for vivisection

Caged activist speaks out for monkeys

No other major airline still transports monkeys for animal testing. After learning how the terrified animals are caged, cut into, poisoned, crippled, deprived of food and water, infected with deadly diseases and killed by vivisectors – and realising how disgusted their customers were by this cruelty – all the others have stopped.

Please add your voice to the global movement against Air France’s continued shipments of primates to labs, where they will live in pain and misery.

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  • 21
  • Aug

20 Years on, Tyke’s Intense, Tragic Story Will Still Leave You Shocked

Tyke was an African elephant at a travelling circus in the US who had been abused for years. Like most elephants in circuses, her life consisted of endless beatings and constant confinement.

Eventually, she snapped.

On 20 August, 1994, she was forced to perform in Honolulu. This is what happened next.

Warning: upsetting footage

Tyke’s rampage killed her trainer and injured 13 other people. She collapsed and died after being shot nearly 100 times.

Animals do not deserve to live and die as Tyke did – abused, mentally and physically, until they go mad from the frustration, loneliness and pain.Germany Tyke Demo

There are many other stories of animals in circuses who have turned on their captors. Just last week, a teacher was mauled by a tiger at a circus in Peru. In 2013, a tiger killed his trainer during a performance at the Circo Suárez in Mexico. In 2009, a bear who was forced to ice-skate at a travelling circus in Russia killed the circus manager. These and countless other tragic examples make it horribly clear that a circus is no place for wild animals.

PETA US has just successfully campaigned to get the Moscow International Circus to leave animals out of its shows in Honolulu this year at the site of Tyke’s last performance. But for many other animals around the world, the nightmare continues.

In England and Wales, until the government implements the promised ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, it’s perfectly legal for travelling circuses to keep elephants, lions, tigers and other wild animals, carting them around in cages and forcing them to perform.

Time is running out to outlaw this cruel practice during this Parliament. Please help – urge your MP to back the ban on the use of wild animals in circuses by supporting a 10-minute-rule bill on September 3.

Tyke Take Action


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  • 20
  • Aug

Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico City, Paraguay and Peru Have Done It. Why Hasn’t the UK?

Karina-and-her-drawing-of-elephants-in-Circuses-768x1024Circuses are no fun for animals – so three cheers to Mexico City for banning the use of wild animals in performances!

Last month, Mexico City lawmakers made the compassionate decision to stop lions, tigers, elephants and other animals from being forced to jump through flaming hoops, balance on their hind legs and perform other dangerous and bewildering tricks in front of a screaming crowd. When the new law comes into full force, circus owners who continue to use animals could be fined up to $70,000.

Behind the scenes, animals in circuses are usually beaten into submission by means of cruel training methods and kept in cramped living quarters, where none of their needs are met. This eye-opening PETA US video gives a 60-second glimpse into the reality of what life is like for animals in circuses around the world:

Sadly, the UK is lagging behind Mexico City and countries such as Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru that have also banned circuses that use wild animals. We’re still waiting for the government to deliver on its promise to make these archaic spectacles illegal in England and Wales.

A recent investigation by Animal Defenders International shows a miserable lion and tiger pacing up and down in their gloomy cages at Peter Jolly’s Circus in England – making it crystal clear that, while politicians delay, animals are still suffering for the sake of an outdated notion of “entertainment”.

Please write to your MP, asking him or her to do everything possible to make sure that the wild animal circus legislation is passed during this parliamentary term. Time is running out – and further delays could mean that animals will have to endure years more of appalling abuse.

Take Action Now



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  • 19
  • Aug

My Big Fat Vegan Wedding

I got married in Galway on the west coast of Ireland this summer, and it was the best day ever! And best of all, from the dress to the shoes to the food – no animals were harmed in the making of our big day. While the idea of planning a vegan wedding (or any wedding for that matter) initially seemed daunting, it actually turned out to be a piece of (non-dairy, egg-free) cake.

Vegan wedding in Galway

Walking down the aisle in style (and without harming animals) was no problem. I steered clear of leather and silk (who wants silkworms to be boiled alive for a celebration?) and opted for a little white cotton dress that was totally “me.” Barry found a faux-wool suit on the high street and ordered a pair of faux-leather brogues from Wills Vegan Shoes.

Happy wedding guests

Most of the guests were not vegan, so I really wanted them to say, “Wow, I can’t believe this is vegan!” – and they did! Crudités with seaweed “caviar”, fresh summer rolls, roasted tomato lasagne with a cashew cheese and soya chorizo and red velvet cupcakes were among the mouth-watering dishes served to our guests.
Vegan starter wedding reception
Vegan Roasted Tomato Lasagne
Vegan cupcakes

At the end of the meal, just when I thought I couldn’t eat one more bite, a vegan cheese board was presented (which I ended up devouring!). Friends and family raved that the food was delicious, and many even declared, unsolicited, that they would start eating more vegan meals because they were so impressed. For me, that was the icing on the cake.

Vegan Cheeseboard

Barry and I have everything that we could possible want, so in lieu of gifts, we asked guests to make a small donation to a Galway animal shelter.

So does planning a wedding have to mean saying, “I do,” to silk dresses, pearl-trimmed veils and meaty main courses? Not at all! I hope my story will inspire other brides-to-be to say, “I do,” to a cruelty-free wedding.

Elisa & Barry

Here are the companies that helped us keep our big day animal-friendly:

Dress and headpiece: Anthropologie

Menswear: Faux-wool suit from Jaeger

Faux-leather brogues: Wills Vegan Shoes

Catering: Kai Café + Restaurant

Vegan Wine: Cases Wine Warehouse

For more vegan wedding inspirations, check out PETA’s resource page.

Photos: Christian McLeod and Mark Clinton

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  • 15
  • Aug

RIP Bingo – Another Orca Dies in Captivity

After spending 30 years confined to a tank, yet another orca has died in captivity. Bingo, a male orca at Japan’s Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, suffered from an inflammation of his lungs before passing away last week. He had been captured off the coast of Iceland in 1984 and never allowed to return to his family or ocean home.

Three orcas still remain at the aquarium: Stella, another wild-caught orca who once inhabited the vast waters of Iceland, and her two daughters, Ran II and Rin, both born in captivity.

Between 1967 and 1989, 54 orcas were captured off the coast of Iceland, and 47 of them have since died in captivity. The other seven still remain trapped in aquariums.

Please take action against the enslavement of sensitive, intelligent marine mammals by asking the Spanish government to return young orca Morgan to her home.

Rest in peace, Bingo. You are finally free.

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  • 15
  • Aug

8 of the Best Barbecue-Worthy Vegan ‘Meats’

The best vegan bbq meat substitutesIt’s that time of year again! The sun has got its hat on, and it’s time to fire up the grill and gather everyone together for a slap-up summer barbecue. If you’re one of the ever-growing number of compassionate people for whom the idea of burning animal flesh doesn’t conjure up summer fun, there are many cruelty-free hot dogs, veggie burgers and vegan sausages crying out to be grilled, tossed into a bun and gobbled up!

Here are some of our favourite vegan ‘meat’ options:

  1. Sainsburys Meatfree Sausages: These are a no-fuss choice, which are guaranteed to hold their shape on a grill and taste absolutely vegan-licous between two slices of bread and smothered with mustard and ketchup!
  2. Linda McCartney Mushroom & Spinach Burgers: If you’re not that into faux meats but still want a chunky burger with just the right amount of green, these are for you! These burgers have a distinctive mushroomy flavour and are widely available in most supermarkets.
  3. Dee’s Traditional Vegan Sausages: These pea protein–based sausages are spiced with ginger, coriander and Irish dulse seaweed and are a cut above your average vegan bangers. Available from Waitrose and Ocado, they are suitable for vegans and coeliacs and are also soy-free.
  4. Tesco Mexican Style Bean Burgers: For those who love a spicy kick to their burgers, these Mexican-style burgers are HOT! They’re packed with kidney and haricot beans and sweet corn and are perfect served in a bun with salad and guacamole or salsa. They’re also great value for the money.
  5. VBites Meat-Free Jumbo Hot Dogs: Offering a vegan take on the classic frankfurter-style hot dog. VBites already offers a wide range of meat and cheese substitutes, available from Holland & Barrett and some larger Morrisons’ stores.
    Vegan BBQ grill ideas
  6. Fry’s Traditional Burgers: These hearty and satisfying burgers have an authentically “meaty” flavour and, with their char-grilled pattern, even look the part as well! Find them at Holland & Barrett and Ocado.
  7. Wheaty Döner Kebab: At last, vegans can recreate that late-night kebab shop experience at home, thanks to this tempting wheat-based “meat” from Germany, which is available from health-food stores and retailers such as Suma.
  8. Make your own! Even if you don’t have time to rush out to the shops before an event or just want something that’s less processed, there are loads of great vegan barbecue recipes out there. These black-bean and sweet-corn burgers can be prepared quickly, using mostly store-cupboard ingredients.
    Veggie burger recipes for barbecue


So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to the supermarket and turn those barbecue dreams into reality. You might even be able to convert a few meat-eaters while you’re at it!

Team them up with delicious accompaniments, such as potato salad, guacamole or grilled courgettes – here are a few recipe ideas. For more vegan food inspirations, order our free starter kit:

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  • 13
  • Aug

20 Prizes for 20 Years – Week 7: Win a Stella McCartney Faux-Python Bag

Stella McCartney handbag competition giveaway with GraziaTo help celebrate our 20th anniversary, Stella McCartney, Britain’s favourite designer, has donated one of her cruelty-free falabella bags! We’ve teamed up with top fashion mag Grazia to give away her bag and promote compassionate fashion.

Enter here.

Stella is known for her high-fashion accessories, celebrity fans and commitment to compassionate fashion, offering products that are free from leather, fur and exotic skins. This fabulous faux-python bag was handmade in Italy from animal-free fibres, meaning that no snakes were harmed.

It’s common practice in the exotic-skins industry to pump live snakes full of water in order to loosen their skin, which poachers then peel off their writing bodies. Thankfully, the rise of animal-free fashion means that fashionistas can get a “killer look” without killing.

To enter, visit Grazia‘s website.

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  • 11
  • Aug

The Scientists Who Are Determined to Stop Chemical Tests on Animals

Gilly and JuliaIt’s the largest animal testing programme in the world, but many people have never heard of it.

We’re talking about REACH – otherwise known as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals in the European Union. The law states that animals must be used in tests only as a last resort, but since it came into effect in 2007, it’s estimated that a staggering 800,000 animals have already been poisoned and killed as part of the programme, including rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs and fish. Millions more could be subjected to the same fate in the coming years, and worse, many could be used in cruel tests when humane non-animal alternatives exist!

Fortunately, PETA and our international affiliates have progressive scientists on the case working day and night to do everything that they can to ensure that doesn’t happen. The PETA International Science Consortium is working behind the scenes to help save animals from these painful and frightening experiments. This month, for example, two scientists working as part of the Science Consortium published an in-depth article in Chemical Watch, a major publication for chemistry industry professionals, outlining how to replace cruel tests on animals with reliable and humane non-animal methods.

REACH chemcial testing programme harms animalsFor example, instead of dripping chemicals into rabbits’ eyes or rubbing them into their sensitive skin, companies can often use in vitro (test tube) experiments or computer modelling to determine the toxicity of chemicals.

By providing the most up-to-date information about alternatives to animal testing, the Science Consortium is pushing the chemical industry forward – away from archaic and unethical experiments on sentient beings and towards a future in which new technologies are used to save both animal and human lives.

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