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Animal Writes

  • 02
  • Oct

Paul O’Grady to Lord Mayor: Please Don’t Herd Sheep Across London Bridge

Paul O'Grady to Lord Mayor: Please Don't Herd Sheep Across London Bridge

The Lord Mayor of London is historically entitled to the Freedom of the City, a privilege that theoretically affords him or her the right to do many things, including carrying a naked sword in public and other equally archaic practices. One of these practices is the dangerous tradition of herding sheep across London Bridge.

Since the current Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, plans to do just that in a fundraising stunt set for next week, Paul O’Grady MBE has written to ask her to put a stop to the tradition. “I am sure that you will agree that these ‘rights’ should not be exercised simply because they can be exercised”, he writes.

“Herding sheep down a very busy London street while cars continue to speed along the road next to them shows a disregard for their welfare and needlessly causes them distress. I have no doubt that you would be able to match, if not exceed, the donations that the previous Lord Mayor received by promoting an event without the use of any animals, and compassionate Londoners would thank you for it”, Paul explains in his letter.

As Paul knows from his experience in sharing his home with sheep, they are intelligent and complex individuals. They flock to keep safe from predators, and if threatened, they all run together for a short distance and then turn to face the danger as a group. Just like humans, dogs, chickens and most other animals, sheep make different sounds to communicate different emotions, and flock mates recognise each other even if they’ve been separated for years. A University of Illinois study found that sheep perform nearly as well as pigs on IQ tests and have demonstrated problem-solving abilities.

We hope the Lord Mayor will agree with Paul that sheep are not inanimate props and drop the stunt in favour of a more compassionate form of fundraising that would not cause distress to animals.


Image: “I love Ewe! # 1” by foxypar4 / CC by 2.0

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  • 01
  • Oct

Lucy Watson Reveals What All Animals Are Made Of

“Animals are so much more than just ‘breasts’, ‘thighs’ and ‘rumps’. They’re smart, inquisitive individuals with their own unique personalities, and I can’t imagine eating any one of them”, said Made in Chelsea‘s Lucy Watson at the kick-off of her new ad campaign for PETA.

 Lucy Watson

Photo: Pal Hansen; Make-up: Justine Jenkins; Hair: Timothy David 

She unveiled her provocative ad in London on World Vegetarian Day, making the point that cows, pigs and chickens are all made of flesh, blood and bone, just as humans are. We have the same bodily organs, the same five senses and the same range of emotions. And of course, none of us wants to die violently.


Vegetarian meals are a great way to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes and obesity, and they spare animals immense suffering on factory farms and in abattoirs. They’re also “green”, as raising animals for food is responsible for an enormous amount of water pollution, land degradation and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Why not join Lucy and give it a try? Celebrate World Vegetarian Day by ordering your free vegan starter kit.



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  • 01
  • Oct

Celebrate Gandhi’s Birthday by Bringing Non-Violence Into Your Diet

Tomorrow, 2 October, would have been Mahatma Gandhi’s 145th birthday. It’s also the United Nations’ International Day of Non-Violence.

QUOTE Gandhi

One meaningful way to celebrate Gandhi’s legacy and the peaceful principles he stood for is to refrain from all forms of violence – specifically in your diet. Last year, MPs from all political parties accepted our invitation to go vegan for the day. This year, we’re encouraging everyone with an interest in justice, non-violence and respect for life to do the same.

Gandhi was himself a strict vegetarian and wrote the book The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism. It makes sense: in the meat, dairy and egg industries, animals are violently mistreated, mutilated without painkillers, separated from their loved ones, shoved into crowded spaces and killed – often painfully. This abuse is hardly compatible with the ideas of compassion and kindness that Gandhi is so well known for.

Go vegan for the day, and you’ll be taking the first step towards eliminating violence from your diet.

If you’re new to plant-based eating, here are a few ideas for what to eat on your first vegan day:


  • Muesli, cornflakes, Weetabix, Rice Krispies and many other cereals are vegan-friendly. Just swap dairy milk for soya, almond, rice or any other plant-based milk.
  • Spread toast with vegan margarine, peanut butter, Marmite or jam.
  • Construct an indulgent vegan fry-up with veggie sausages, fried mushrooms and hash browns.


  • Snack on houmous and crackers or healthy carrot and celery batons.
  • Grab a ready-made soup and some bread. New Covent Garden Soup Company, Pret a Manger and many supermarket lines have vegan options.
  • Check out our list of vegan packed lunch ideas for more inspiration.


  • Keep it simple with whole-wheat pasta and marinara sauce (this is usually vegan, but check the ingredients to make sure) topped with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Toss tofu, thinly sliced carrots, cabbage, mangetout and baby corn into a wok for a vibrant stir-fry. Serve with rice or wheat noodles.
  • Explore hundreds of delicious vegan recipes from all over the world at

Let us know how your day of peaceful vegan eating is going by tweeting using the hashtag #GoVegan. And if tomorrow goes well, why not extend the exercise by taking our 30-day vegan pledge?

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  • 01
  • Oct

PETA Takes Advantage of Parody Law Change to Blast F&M

Beginning today, the government has amended the number and scope of permitted acts in relation to works protected by copyright to include allowing limited copying on a fair-dealing basis for the purposes of parody, caricature and pastiche. What does that mean for us? Well, PETA US has often used parody in its campaigns, from mocking SeaWorld to lampooning video games in order to call out those targets and help get people thinking about animal rights. PETA UK has been unable to include the creation of parody websites in its campaigns, until now.

So we’re excited to be taking advantage of the new rules in order to launch, reflecting Fortnum & Mason’s shameful support of the foie gras industry!

Fortnum and Mason Foie Gras Cruelty

The luxury retailer’s image has already been tarnished by its sale of unethical foie gras, which is so cruel that its production is banned in Britain, and now, we’re hoping to use parody to bring further attention to Fortnum’s trade in the product.

Please head over to to learn about the campaign and be sure to write to the shop in order to ask it to ditch the vile product.

Torture in a Hamper




“Stork Statue” image is a derivative of: Coat of Arms in Fortnum and Mason’s Cafe | tristan forward | CC BY-SA 2.0

Hamper ©, feathers ©

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  • 30
  • Sep

Simon Cowell Axes ‘Xtra Factor’ Dolphin Scenes


Anyone who has followed Simon Cowell’s countless good deeds for animals over the years knows that he’s far from being the meanie so often portrayed on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

So it comes as no surprise to us at PETA that as soon as Simon learned that next weekend’s episode of Xtra Factor was planning to air footage of the six final boy contestants attending a dolphin show and swimming with the animals, the outspoken celebrity took a stand, tweeting, “I had no idea Xtra Factor producers filmed with dolphins. This will NOT be showed on Saturday” and “I think you all know my view on cruelty to animals”.

Many of the highly intelligent and social animals incarcerated in marine parks around the world have endured the trauma of being caught and torn away from their families in the wild and then sold into a life of captivity. In the wild, dolphins swim together in family pods for their entire lives. In the chlorinated prisons of marine parks, their ocean worlds are reduced to claustrophobic swimming pools. Most captive dolphins die prematurely, living to only half the age of their wild brothers and sisters.

Please join Simon in always speaking out whenever you see tour companies advertising cruel “swim-with-dolphins” excursions or other exhibits at marine abusement parks. Please also take a moment to tell Sir Richard Branson to stop promoting trips to SeaWorld here:

Take Action Now

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  • 30
  • Sep

6 Places That Will Deliver Delicious Vegan Pizza to Your Door

The UK is a nation of pizza lovers. In every corner of the country, down almost every high street (and now accessible even on your smartphone), you will find pizza restaurants, takeaways and home-delivery services. Vegans love their pizza, too, and thanks to the rapidly growing vegan movement, restaurants and takeaways are waking up and realising that offering vegan options creates new opportunities, reduces animal suffering and helps save the planet. The following are places where you can get your hands on a delicious eco-friendly (vegan) cheesy pizza feast, delivered right to your door:

La Favorita Vegan Pizza

  • Edinburgh – La Favorita: The restaurant that jumped on the vegan train most recently is Edinburgh’s La Favorita, which is the first establishment in the city to offer a vegan cheese pizza. It didn’t take much persuading to convince the restaurant that dairy-free is a great option all round for vegan, lactose-intolerant and health-conscious customers.
  • West Midlands – Mr Singh’s: Mr Singh’s has always had a 100 per cent vegetarian menu, and its extensive offerings include mouth-watering pizzas made with mock meats, fresh veggies and vegan cheddar cheese. Vegan options are clearly marked with a “V” symbol.
  • Bristol – PepeNerorganic: PepeNerorganic uses completely organic ingredients, from its pizza bases to the fresh vegetable toppings. The pizzas in the vegan section of its menu are all finished off with vegan mozzarella and prepared entirely separately from other menu items.
  • London – Village Pizza: The vegan section of the menu at Village Pizza is definitely exciting, and the restaurant won a PAPA Industry Award in 2013 for best delivery store. We love the look of its vegan Hickory Chicken Pizza.

Basilico Vegan Pizza

  • London – Basilico: Basilico was the first pizzeria to deliver wood-fired pizza right to your door. Nowadays, it offers both of its vegetarian pizzas with the option of vegan cheese. If you’re looking for something a bit more special than your average margherita, look no further!
  • Hove – Pizzaface: On Mondays and Tuesdays, Pizzaface offers a quirky vegan menu featuring pizzas named after vegan celebrities. Highlights include The Moby with vegan chorizo and vegan smoked sausage and the Thom Yorke, topped with spinach and smoked tofu. Yum!

We’re really excited that vegan pizza is popping up in more and more towns and cities around the country. Even if you don’t live near one of the restaurants listed here, you can order from national chains such as Papa John’s (its original crust and sauce are vegan-friendly) and just hold the cheese. You can top it yourself when it arrives with vegan mozzarella, balsamic glaze, pesto or whatever other alternative you desire. Delicious pizza doesn’t have to require the daily suffering of cows and their calves in the dairy industry. You can vote against cruelty every time you order a takeaway!

Do you know of other places that serve delicious vegan pizzas? If so, let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them to the list!


Top image by Wojtek Gasiorowski.

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  • 30
  • Sep

Edinburgh Embraces the Vegan Revolution

With more and more consumers taking an ethical approach in their food choices and demand for vegan options on the rise, restaurants and takeaways are joining in and stepping up their cruelty-free menu options. The latest in a growing list of pizzerias that offer non-dairy vegan cheese is Edinburgh chain La Favorita.

La Favorita Vegan Pizza

La Favorita EdinburghWe are delighted to report that, after chatting with PETA UK about the benefits of dairy alternatives, La Favorita will now be offering the city’s first vegan cheese pizza! The new pizza uses smoked MozzaRisella, an innovative mozzarella cheese made from rice milk, imported from Italy.

Business owner Tony Crolla is excited about this new addition to the menu, saying, “Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to be more health conscious, we’re sure you’ll love our new delicious dairy-free cheese pizza”. Glasgow currently holds the title of the UK’s Most Vegan-Friendly City, but Edinburgh looks set to close the gap when it comes to cruelty-free, compassionate living.

Dairy products are a common trigger for allergies and have been linked to many illnesses. For example, medical studies indicate that dairy milk may actually increase women’s risk of having osteoporosis. The dairy industry is also horrifying for cows, who are subjected to a sickening cycle of pregnancy and grief as their babies are taken from them so that humans can siphon the milk that nature intended for their calves.

Why not give dairy-free vegan living a try?

Photos by: Wojtek Gasiorowski

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  • 27
  • Sep

Switzerland Is Poised to Join the Worldwide Movement Against Seal Fur

Following the World Trade Organization’s recent decision to uphold the EU’s ban on seal-fur imports, here’s more great news about PETA’s and our international affiliates’ campaigns to stop the commercial seal slaughter in Canada: the Swiss Council of States is moving to ban seal fur!

The Council of States (the upper house of the federal Swiss legislature) unanimously approved a bill that would ban seal-product imports. PETA Germany had written to all council members asking them to support the measure. The lower legislative house had already voted in favour of a ban, and the bill will now go to the National Council for final approval.

Canadian and seal campaigner Pamela Anderson wasted no time in sending her thanks to the president of the Council of States, Hannes Germann, letting him know that the world stands with the council:

As a proud Canadian, I was delighted to learn that the Swiss Council of States has approved a bill to ban seal-fur imports from my native country. I became active in marine-mammal issues well before my Baywatch days and have been working for years with PETA, the world’s largest animal-protection organization, to help end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter. The World Trade Organization’s recent decision to uphold the EU’s ban on seal products underscores the fact that the welfare of seals targeted by commercial hunts is a legitimate public moral concern. There were no exports of Canadian pelts reported for 2014, and the council’s decision further shows that the world has moved on from seal products. Thank you for joining the EU, Russia, Taiwan, the U.S., and others that have banned seal fur and taken a stand for the tens of thousands of seals who die every year for a product that nobody needs or wants.

Worldwide opposition to Canada’s commercial seal slaughter is loud and clear. It’s time for Canadian leaders to end the slaughter by devising a practical exit strategy: a government buyout of the industry that would help both seals and sealers. Take action!

Take Action Now

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  • 26
  • Sep

4 Reasons Why Soup Is a Vegan’s Best Friend

You can’t go wrong with soup. It’s one of those satisfying staple dishes that can be whatever you want it to be – from a quick snack to a hearty meal in itself. Most of us have fond memories of homemade soups that cured us of our sniffles or warmed us up on a cold, wet day – and vegan soup is considerably better for the soul than the chicken variety. Here are a few reasons why hearty soups should be a regular feature on your meat-free menu:

Tomato Soup

Roasted Tomato Soup

  • You can make it out of almost anything. Got leftover veggies lying around in your fridge that you don’t want to waste? Make soup! There are no rules when it comes to making soup, and “vegetable soup” can take many forms. A good basic soup recipe can be adapted to accommodate any type of vegetable you want to put into it. You can add pasta, lentils or soya or cashew cream. You can choose to blend it smooth or eat it chunky.


Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup

  • You can make it in bulk. Soups are excellent for making in bulk, and a big batch of soup can provide lunches for days. It’s extremely economical. Store or freeze it in portions, and you’ve got the perfect portable vegan lunch to take to work!

Kale soup

Spinach and Kale Soup

  • Soup is never out of season. Veggies come in and out of season throughout the year, but you can make soup out of all of them. You can also make your soup to complement the weather. It could be something “creamy” and warming for a cold winter’s day or something with a more Mediterranean twist for a light summer lunch option when you don’t want anything too heavy.

Coconut Soup

Coconut Curry Soup

  • It’s supermarket-friendly. You’ll never be short of lunch options on the go. Simply stalk the fresh and canned soup aisles in the local supermarket. Amy’s Kitchen, New Covent Garden, Glorious Foods and supermarket fresh and ‘Free From’ own brands all have vegan options. You can also find vegan soups at Pret A Manger.

Leek Soup

‘Creamy’ Leek and Potato Soup

So whether you’re a new vegan and need something simple to fall back on or you’re trying to pack some extra veggies into your diet, soup is definitely a great way of doing it. If you’re looking for even more vegan recipe inspiration, order our free vegan starter kit.

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  • 26
  • Sep

Ross McCall: For the Sake of Animals, the Show Most Certainly Must Not Go On

Ross McCall for PETAScotland is considering introducing a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. In April, we asked thousands of our supporters to respond to a government consultation about the ban, and now Ross McCall is adding his voice to the call.

The Scottish-born Hollywood actor, who starred in Band of Brothers, wrote in last week’s Herald, calling on Holyrood to ban wild animals in circuses permanently. An abbreviated version of his article is below.

No doubt about it, we Scots have a lot to be proud of and if the Government, which is considering a ban on wild animals in circuses, does the right thing, we’ll have another reason to feel good about our country.

West Hollywood, California, where I live and work, implemented a ban last year, joining Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Mexico City, Peru, Sweden and Winnipeg, all of which no longer permit cruel animal acts.

Let’s hope Scotland is next.

As an actor, I’ve done my fair share of sitting around in trailers, waiting to be called on set, and I can tell you that it’s far from exciting.

Animals used in circuses spend most of their lives in trailers and often in chains.

They are carted from one show to the next and denied their most fundamental needs, never having an opportunity to roam over large distances, socialise with their own kind, hunt, forage or make independent choices about how to go about their business.

This lifestyle causes them to suffer tremendously. I’ve seen what the pressures of the entertainment business can do to my fellow human actors, but wild animals that are forced to perform under the threat of punishment often become depressed and sick and also develop neurotic types of behaviour from the stress and abuse.

Fortunately, it’s been years since any circus tried to foist beaten-down animals on the Scottish public, so it should be easy for our Government to make it official by permanently banning animal circuses in Scotland, without fuss or loss of livelihood.

And, in the meantime, we can also do our bit to help these animals simply by refusing to give our money to any attraction that exploits animals for human entertainment, be it a circus, marine park or zoo.

For the animals’ sake, the show must not go on.

Read Ross’s full article in The Herald.

The public consultation has now closed, but please join the PETA UK Action Team and we’ll keep you posted about further developments as we ask the Scottish government to bring about the ban.

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