Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 2

Animal Writes

  • 30
  • Mar

Founder of Animal Sanctuary Bags Compassionate Mum Award

This Mother’s Day, we wanted to share the story of one inspiring mum who is a wonderful role model for her family and a real hero for animals.

Emma Kyne, who comes from Chepstow in Wales, practices kindness every day by sticking to a vegan diet. She also co-founded the Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary for farmed animals in Galicia, Spain, and works tirelessly to raise awareness of animal-welfare issues on social media, through events and by holding a stall at VegFest. She also regularly builds new houses and pens for the pigs, sheep, goats and other animals at the sanctuary and also brushes their hair. She does all this while also holding down a job in Wales and bringing up a family!

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She was nominated for PETA’s Compassionate Mother Award by her daughter, Abigail, who thought that it would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. She explains:

My mum is a huge inspiration to me. Every chance she gets – and despite working a full-time job – she makes the world a better place for animals. From mucking out the stalls at our sanctuary to sharing the stories of our beautiful inhabitants at vegan events all over the country, she is an amazing advocate for animals.

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We’re sure that Emma’s extraordinary efforts to promote kindness will inspire mums, dads and everyone else to use their voices – and their social-media presence – to speak up for animals, too.

If you’ve got a compassionate and inspiring mum, too, let us know in the comments!

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  • 28
  • Mar

Darren Aronofsky Reveals the Secret Behind the Animals of Noah’s Ark

Digitally created animal characters are the future of filmmaking, and Noah director Darren Aronofsky would know!

“One of the first promises I made to Russell Crowe when he took on the role”, Aronofsky says, “was that ‘I promise you won’t be standing on a deck with two giraffes sticking out behind you’”. And as he reveals in an exclusive new video interview with PETA US, the director stayed true to his word, using advanced digital effects to create the stunning array of animals who appear in Noah.

“When you’re doing Noah’s ark, of course you’re going to be dealing with animals – that’s the whole story”, Aronofsky says. “Immediately, it would be very questionable to start taking sentient creatures and sticking them on a set .… [I]t’s kind of against the actual themes of the film.” Ultimately, he concludes, “It’s undoubtedly a more realistic, truthful film … because we were able to create our own animal kingdom”.

Aronofsky also shares his experience working with live primates on 2006′s The Fountain. “I was pretty alarmed with the condition that they were being kept in”, he says. He also points out that adding digital animals in postproduction saves an enormous amount of time. “You’re gonna spend a lot more time on set dealing with a live animal”, he says. “There’s really no reason to do it anymore because the technology has arrived. … You can pretty much bring anything to life.”

As technology progresses – and as filmmakers learn about how animals suffer from deprivation and abuse in the entertainment industry – the use of digital effects to portray animals is increasing. Aronofsky cites Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ and Avatar‘s successful use of digital imagery. In addition, PETA US’ TV spot “98% Human“, made by London-based The Mill+ team, alongside BBDO – which uses cutting-edge technology to address the plight of great apes used for entertainment – won top honours in visual effects at the prestigious Cannes Lions festival, and the top 10 advertising agencies in the US have signed PETA US’ Great Ape Pledge never to use live apes in their projects.

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  • 28
  • Mar

Elen Rivas on Bringing Up a Vegetarian Family, Plus Kid-Friendly Vegan Recipes for Mother’s Day

Cute alert! Spanish model Elen Rivas and her adorable daughters, Luna Coco and Isla, explain why they love being vegetarian:

Elen, who’s starred in several striking PETA ads and spoken out against bullfighting in her native Spain, also helps animals every day by raising her family on a meat-free diet. It’s a sign that she’s a great mum, as she is teaching her daughters empathy and compassion while reducing their risk of developing child health problems such as obesity and diabetes.

Most kids love animals and are often dismayed when they find out that they are killed to make beef burgers or sausage rolls. Fortunately, it’s easy to raise a healthy, happy family without participating in cruelty.

To mark Mother’s Day, here are some tasty vegan recipes that will please parents and children alike. They’re easy to make, too, so they are perfect for budding young chefs to try in the kitchen (with responsible supervision, of course!).

Dairy-free recipes for kidsDairy-Free Macaroni Cheese

(Adapted from Kids Are Vegan Too!)

1 lb pasta

3 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp turmeric

3 Tbsp vegan margarine

1 1/2 cups unsweetened soya or rice milk

1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1/2 tsp mustard

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and turmeric. Set aside.
  • Melt the vegan margarine in a pan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add the flour and spice mixture to the pan and whisk until combined. Then add the soya milk gradually, whisking as you go along to get rid of lumps. Once all the soya milk has been added, cook and stir for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add in the vegan cheese and mustard and whisk regularly until the vegan cheese has melted into the sauce, about five minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta to a casserole dish, pour the “cheese” mixture over the pasta and stir to combine. Bake at 180 ºC for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken and brown slightly.

Makes 4 servings

Sweet Potato Oven Chips

4 sweet potatoes, cut into batons

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  • Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until the potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices.
  • Place the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Serve with veggie burgers and salad or alone with ketchup.

Makes 4 servings

Vegan baking recipe - banana muffinsBanana Muffins

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup oil or melted vegan margarine

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional – see other options listed below)

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Mash the bananas (overripe ones work best), then add the oil and sugar and mix well.
  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and add to the banana mixture. Mix until the flour is blended (do not beat).
  • Pour into muffin pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Optional: Add a handful of walnuts, oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, currants or coconut – or all of the above – to the mixture!

Makes 12 muffins

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For more tasty, healthy and animal-friendly recipe ideas, order a free vegan starter kit today!

 

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  • 27
  • Mar

Canada Makes Last-Ditch Attempt to Keep Flogging Seal Fur to the EU

Last week, Canada and Norway made their case against the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) ruling to uphold the EU’s ban on seal-fur imports.

PETA UK’s own Kirsty Henderson was there in Geneva, representing our tens of thousands of members across Europe who want no part in Canada’s commercial seal slaughter.

Seal desk Seal Kirsty

Pamela Anderson, Jude Law and Rhys Ifans have also spoken out against the bloody seal fur industry.

Canada continues to try to justify its cruel commercial seal slaughter by hiding behind the Inuit seal hunt, which is fully exempt from the EU ban. The EU has made it clear that it wants no part in the commercial slaughter, which is merely an off-season cash grab for the Canadian fishing industry and accounts for less than 1 per cent of Newfoundland’s economy.

Since markets for seal products continue to disappear and the commercial slaughter continues to require millions more in government support than it actually contributes to the economy, Canada’s challenge of the EU ban is motivated purely by political reasons – while baby seals continue to pay the ultimate price.

The world does not want seal products, and it’s time for the government to devise a practical exit strategy: a government buyout.

The WTO is expected to issue its ruling in the coming months. Stay tuned! And if you haven’t already, please send a quick message to Canadian officials asking them to do the right thing for animals.

Seal Selfie

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  • 27
  • Mar

Sickening Revelations: Army Admits to Blowing Up Live Pigs at Secret Base in Wiltshire

Following Freedom of Information requests, it emerged today that the British Army conducts deadly, violent tests on live animals at its secret Porton Down military base in Wiltshire. In three years, 115 pigs were blasted with explosives in terrifying experiments to determine whether they could be saved after being subjected to “severe battlefield trauma” and to evaluate blood-clotting products.

This shocking revelation follows PETA’s release of exclusive photos showing pigs tied to a wooden frame and shot with rifles and handguns in cruel military training drills held in Denmark and callously known as “Danish bacon”, to which the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sends British surgeons each year.

Given that 23 of the UK’s 27 NATO allies do not use animals for military medical training, surely the UK can modernise its exercises and stop mutilating animals. After all, military experts have concluded that state-of-the-art, non-animal training methods actually provide better preparation for battle.

These tests are impossible to justify medically, ethically or educationally. Pigs are sensitive, sentient beings, who are more intelligent than dogs – not pieces of military equipment. They don’t wage wars and shouldn’t become victims of human war games.

The scale of the army’s animal victims is shocking. Altogether, the MoD massacred 28,000 animals in the last three years. This killing has got to stop.

NATO has recently announced that it is looking into replacing the use of live animals in military training. But for the sake of animals, there is no time to waste in banning these barbaric tests for good. Please take action by writing to the MoD today:

Take Action Now

Image: Jørn Stjerneklar

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  • 26
  • Mar

Good News For Foxes! Prime Minister Abandons Attempt to Relax Hunting Ban

Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron was asked about his attempts to amend the Hunting Act 2004, to which he responded, “I regret to say I don’t think there will be government agreement to go forward”. Fox Victory

Last week, the League Against Cruel Sports reported that the government indicated that it was considering amending the Hunting Act by using an affirmative statutory instrument that would “lift the limit on the number of dogs used to flush out wild mammals and in doing so, with a full pack of up to 40 hounds being used, would make the Act impossible to police and undermine the legislation to such an extent it would be made toothless”.

Thousands of PETA supporters sprang into action and joined members of the League and other groups in contacting their Members of Parliament to ask them to ensure that the ban isn’t repealed.

This victory means that the proposal to amend the Hunting Act, which would have brought back the cruel practice of hunting with hounds, has been defeated. Thank you to everyone who signed our action alert!

Help us win more victories for animals – join our Action Team to hear first about urgent alerts and ways to help: http://www.peta.org.uk/action/join-action-team/.

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  • 26
  • Mar

Will NATO Say No to Live-Animal Trauma Training?

Pigs ShotA promising development: the small handful of NATO countries (Canada, Denmark, Norway, the UK and the US) that continue to shoot, stab, mutilate and dismember live animals for archaic military training drills might be reconsidering their policies. 

An initiative has been launched through NATO to evaluate simulation technology in order to replace the use of animals. As the NATO website says, the crude practice of live animal trauma training “has come under significant scrutiny … [and] will have to be severely curtailed if not completely eliminated”.

That “scrutiny” includes vocal opposition from celebrities, PETA and our international affiliates, and thousands of our supporters have written to the governments of the countries in question. The campaign has already convinced Poland to end animal use, and we’re determined to get the UK and other NATO countries to follow suit. After all, 23 out of 28 NATO nations already refuse to use animals for military medical training, preferring humane, state-of-the-art simulators, which are recommended by experts.

Distressing photos that we recently obtained show live pigs being strung up, shot to pieces with AK-47s and sewn back together again. These atrocities occurred at a military training facility in Denmark attended by British soldiers. Such immoral and unnecessary violence against animals should not be happening in our armed forces – or anywhere.

Brigitte Nielsen
Danish actor Brigitte Nielsen wrote to her government on PETA’s – and animals’ – behalf this week, urging the Minister of Defence to put a stop to animal-based trauma exercises. “I am a proud Dane, but like most people around the world, I was deeply shocked to learn that my country’s army still uses live animals in military training exercises”, she wrote. “Please stop making our noble military shoot, stab and mutilate animals in these exercises.”

 

Take a moment to join Brigitte and contact the countries that still take part in these backward drills:

Write to Denmark and Norway, asking them to ban live-animal trauma training.

Send a message to the British Ministry of Defence asking it to stop sending our soldiers to Denmark for these barbaric exercises.

 

Trauma training image: Jørn Stjerneklar

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  • 25
  • Mar

Gutsy US Congressman Takes On the Animal Testing Industry

Congressman Jim Moran proposes anti-vivisection bill in the USAA groundbreaking new bill could bring about an end to tests on animals for cosmetics products in the US!

Compassionate Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia has introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act, which, if passed, would make it illegal to conduct tests on animals for cosmetics in the US and to sell cosmetic products that have been tested on animals.

This would be huge. The US market is enormous and influential, so banning these cruel and archaic tests would save countless rabbits, mice, guinea pigs and other animals from having chemicals rubbed on their skin, dripped into their eyes or forced down their throats in painful and deadly experiments.

The ban could also have a wider impact, sending a clear message to international companies that they need to throw their weight behind the use of humane, non-animal testing methods. Since March 2013, selling cosmetics products containing ingredients that have been tested on animals (even if the testing happened outside Europe) has been banned in the European Union, making it clear that these horrific experiments are on their way out.

PETA US has been campaigning hard to get tests on animals for cosmetics and personal care products outlawed. After all, using an animal to test a product designed for humans makes about as much sense as using a map of Paris to find your way around New York. Not only are animal tests ethically wrong, they’re also scientifically inferior. And consumers have made it clear that they should be illegal, too.

Watch this space for updates on the proposed law. And here in the UK, please take action to stop tests on animals from happening in secret.

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  • 24
  • Mar

11 Facts That Will Make You Love Elephants Even More

Elephants are magnificent, fascinating animals. Here are some facts you may not know about them – and two ways to speak out for elephants who are suffering in captivity.

1. They console each other in times of stress by “hugging”.

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According to researchers, elephants hug by putting their trunks in each other’s mouths, offering comfort through physical contact.

2. They mourn their dead.

Wild elephants will stand silently at the bodies of their dead companions, sometimes for days on end. Later, they may return and pay homage to their bones.

3. They can recognise themselves in a mirror.

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That might not sound like a big deal, but humans learn to do this only when we’re toddlers, and the only other animals who can do it are dolphins, great apes and magpies.

4. They live in matriarchal societies.

7 (Flickr)Elephants Herd Amboseli” by  Benh LIEU SONG | CC BY-S.A. 2.0

That pretty much makes all elephants feminists, right?

5. Elephants really do have long memories.

Friends (SXC)

In one sanctuary, two elephants, Shirley and Jenny, had an emotional reunion when they met each other again, after having briefly crossed paths 23 years earlier. Elephants also store and pass on a wealth of social and practical knowledge to help them survive.

6. Elephants can point.

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Well, obviously their trunks are like huge, custom-made pointing tools. But most animals haven’t mastered this gesture without being taught it, suggesting that elephants are one of the most cognitively advanced species out there.

7. They can listen with their feet.

Elephant Family

African elephants can detect rumbling in the ground with sensory cells in their feet. The vibrations travel through their body to their inner ear. They may even use these vibrations to communicate with each other over long distances.

8. They use sunscreen (well, sort of).

8 (Flickr)Elephant and Dust” by Vernon Swanepoel | CC BY 2.0

Like us, elephants can get sunburned, so they toss sand over their bodies to protect themselves. They also stop their offspring from getting burnt by standing over them to cast a shadow.

9. Baby elephants suck their trunks in the same way that human babies suck their thumbs.

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Too cute! They also have babysitters and make friends for life.

10. They’re environmentally minded.

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Elephants are a “keystone species”, meaning that they look after the place where they live, maintaining pathways and access to water, which helps other animals, too.

11. Two elephants need your help.

Sunder feet Mali

 

Given all this evidence about the awesomeness and sensitivity of elephants, it’s obvious that taking them away from their families and locking them up is wrong, which is why we need to speak out for them when they are abused and exploited.

Please speak out for these elephants:

• 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.

• Sunder is a teenage elephant being kept chained in a poultry shed in India. His imprisonment has caused a national outcry, and PETA India has footage of him being violently beaten by his “keeper”. Join the calls for Sunder to be freed.

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  • 21
  • Mar

Victory! China Southern Airlines Stops Shipping Monkeys to Labs

After three years of campaigning by PETA and our international affiliates, China Southern Airlines has announced that it has banned shipments of primates to laboratories. In an e-mail, Chen Qiuhua, senior cargo manager for China Southern, stated that the airline will “stop transporting live primates for laboratory experiments on all flights of China Southern Airlines, effective from March 21, 2014″.

We are thrilled that China Southern Airlines has finally recognised that cruelty shouldn’t fly and has stopped shipping terrified monkeys to pain and misery in laboratories!

Prior to this announcement, China Southern was the only major airline other than Air France that still shipped primates to laboratories. China Southern shipped monkeys to laboratories in the EU and US, where they were poisoned, crippled and mutilated in cruel experiments.

The campaigns included regular protests at airports and company offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Taiwan and Tokyo, and through the websites of PETA and our affiliates, more than 100,000 people sent e-mails to China Southern urging it to stop shipping primates.

Will you help us do it again?

Please send an e-mail asking Air France to stop giving primates a one-way ticket to experimentation and death.

Take Action Now

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