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

Animal Writes

  • 02
  • Apr

7 Tips for Spring-Cleaning Your Wardrobe

Do you have skeletons in the closet? Perhaps not literally – but could your wardrobe be harbouring some uncomfortable secrets, such as items for which an animal suffered or was killed to produce?

Now is the perfect moment to purge your wardrobe of anything made from animals so that you can face spring with a clear conscience – and plenty of closet space to fill up with fabulous vegan clothes!

So grab a bin liner, roll up your sleeves and consign anything that contains these outmoded materials to the “rejected” pile.

Fur

FUR FB

This is a real no-brainer. Wearing fur has become a byword for callousness – think Cruella de Vil. If you’ve got any embarrassing fur relics lingering at the back of your closet, PETA will happily take them off your hands and put them to good use (for example, as bedding for rescued animals), while ensuring that they never end up back on the market.

Exotic Skins

Snakes, lizards and crocodiles need their skins a damn sight more than anyone needs a snakeskin bag or shoes. Cold-blooded animals suffer just as much as mammals do when they are skinned while still alive by hunters and farmers. They are often killed in disturbingly gruesome ways, such as by being beheaded with a machete, bludgeoned to death, or nailed to a tree and having their skin slowly peeled off.

Leather

LEATHER

Cow skin is not “in” this season – or any other. The leather industry is almost as toxic to the environment as it is to the cows who are killed for their hides. Tanneries discharge massive amounts of heavy-duty chemicals into their surroundings, causing pollution and illness in countries such as India and Bangladesh. You’re better off buying shoes and bags made from eco-friendly and humane synthetic fibres – they make a better statement than wearing the chemical-doused skin of a slaughtered animal.

Angora

 

Keep bunnies in mind as you ditch the fluffy stuff. Angora wool usually comes from China, where rabbits are kept in barren cages and often have their fur torn from their skin as they scream in pain or else are tied up, manhandled and sheared. Following our exposure of these practices, it’s become unacceptable for responsible retailers to sell angora – and for compassionate people to wear it.

Down

DOWN

Feathers don’t grow on trees – they grow on the bodies of ducks and geese and are often violently ripped out for human use. If you’re allergic to cruelty, make sure that your bedding (and your bomber jackets) contain only synthetic stuffing. And for sheltering from April showers, high-tech fabrics such as ThermoBall™ will keep you snug much better than soggy feathers will.

Wool 

WOOL

Lamb image: Patty Marlk / ALV.org.au

That heavy, scratchy woolly jumper is not winning you any style points – nor does it contribute to your ethical credibility. Sheep reared for wool endure neglect, starvation and sometimes bloody mutilations and are also often shipped off to their deaths by the horrific live-export industry after a few years. Ecologists also suggest that sheep farming has devastated Britain’s natural landscape. The tide is turning against cruel wool – and you can get on board by throwing yours out!

Silk

SILK2

Silk is an animal product, too. To obtain it, distributors boil silkworms alive inside their cocoons. Anyone who has ever seen worms startle when their dark homes are uncovered must acknowledge that worms are sensate—they produce endorphins and have a physical response to pain. Humane alternatives to silk—including nylon, milkweed seed pod fibers, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments, polyester, and rayon—are easy to find and usually less expensive, too

*****

All gone? Now you’re ready to treat yourself to some chic vegan fashion items!

Fur-free Topshop and ASOS could be a good place to start. Go fancy with leather-free Stella McCartney or vegetarian Vivienne Westwood or splash out on boutique vegan brands such as Beyond Skin. Check out our Vegan Fashion Awards for more inspiration.

  • Share This

  • 01
  • Apr

PizzaExpress Launches New Vegan Pizza!

Restaurant chain PizzaExpress has just added its first-ever vegan pizza to the menu. The new Pianta pizza is loaded with spinach, chestnut mushrooms, pine kernels and artichokes on a spicy Arrabbiata base – and sounds delicious!

More vegan options at high street restaurants

With 400 PizzaExpress branches across the UK, this good news will make eating out even easier for compassionate diners all over the country. Since the restaurant’s pizza bases are dairy-free, you can also request any other pizza on the menu to be made without cheese. And if you prefer a cheesier pizza, according to the company’s website, “You are also permitted to bring in your own vegan cheese to top a pizza”. Fantastico!

Other vegan options on the menu include a health-boosting Superfood Salad (just ask for it without mozzarella) and refreshing raspberry sorbet for dessert.

PizzaExpress certainly looks set to become a go-to destination for hungry vegans. But many other high-street chains also offer cruelty-free options, from Pret A Manger to Wetherspoons – check out our handy list for details.

It’s clear that eating without harming animals is now mainstream – and you can help the movement grow even more. Ask your local pizza joint to follow PizzaExpress’ example by starting to offer vegan options, and encourage your friends and colleagues to get on board by signing the 30-Day Vegan Pledge.

  • Share This

  • 01
  • Apr

10 Hard-to-Swallow Facts That You’ll Wish Were April Fool’s Jokes

It may be 1 April, but we’re not pulling your leg. Meat and other animal products contain some extremely disturbing ingredients. Cruelty, for a start – but also some other stuff that’s just, well, gross.

Unfortunately, the following 10 facts about what’s really in meat and dairy products are 100 percent true – we’d just advise you not to read them while you’re tucking into a hamburger or any other food that contains dead animals.

      1. Arsenic
        Poison
        Farms feed chickens and pigs arsenic to help ward off infections in their filthy living conditions and to turn the animals’ flesh the pink shade that is considered appetising – because nothing says “appetising” like poison.
      2. Poo
        POOP
        Jo-Anne Mc-Arthur / weanimals.org
        When animals’ intestines are torn open during slaughter, faeces spill out onto their flesh. So when people buy meat, they’re getting – well, sorry – crappy food.
      3. Industrial runoff
        Factory
        Who would head down to the local river, whip out a glass and gulp down some river water? No one? Well, then people might want to avoid eating fish, who are contaminated with the pollutants that run into waterways from our tanneries, factories and industrial plants as well as manure runoff from pastures.
      4. Hormones
        Spironolactone_bodies
        Spironolactone bodies” by NEPHRON / CC by-SA 3.0
        Did you want a side of HRT with your fish and chips? How about a splash of oestrogen in your milk? Traces of contraceptives and other chemicals in the water supply have led to fish becoming “feminised”, with male fish laying eggs, and cows’ milk comes with an added dose of sex hormones.
      5. Calf-stomach lining
        CHEESE
        Fromagerie” by Super Manu / CC BY-SA 3.0 
        Many cheeses are made with rennet, an enzyme taken from calves’ stomach lining. Does eating babies’ stomachs make you sick to yours?
      6. Pus
        UDDER
        Cows on dairy farms often suffer from mastitis, a painful inflammation of the udders caused by bacteria. Their bodies try to fight off the infection by producing pus. And guess where the pus goes – into the milk and into the milk-drinker’s mouth.
      7. Parts of a totally different animal
        PARTS
        There could be a horse in your lasagne or a pig in your “beef” meatballs. Given all the recent scandals, we’re just wondering what “surprise” ingredient is going to turn up next.
      8. Drugs
        PILLS@
        Lots and lots of drugs. Animals on farms are routinely fed massive doses of antibiotics (even if they’re not sick) with alarming consequences for antibiotic resistance and the emergence of dangerous “superbugs”.
      9. Diseased organs
        FOIEGRAS If you’ve ever eaten foie gras, you should know that the diabolical “delicacy” is made from the livers of ducks and geese who have been force-fed until they’re desperately ill.
      10. Pink slime

        This nauseating paste is made by sending animals’ bones through a machine that scrapes off the last bits of flesh and blood then treating the resulting mass with ammonia and dyes. The “mechanically recovered meat” is the main ingredient of chicken nuggets and other processed meats.

Feeling queasy? We can help you make the transition to a plant-based diet. Order your free vegetarian/vegan starter kit now.

  • Share This

  • 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!

IMG_1439

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.

image 2

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!

  • Share This

  • 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.

  • Share This

  • 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

                                                                      *****

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

 

  • Share This

  • 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

  • Share This

  • 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

  • Share This

  • 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/.

  • Share This

  • 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

  • Share This