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

Animal Writes

  • 11
  • Aug

Seeking Stylish Vegans – Apply Within!

Stylish VeganLove cruelty-free fashion as much as you love to breathe? Have a killer style that no one had to be killed for? Then you are just the person we are looking for!

The search is on for fierce fashionistas and fashionisters who turn heads with their cruelty-free attire. If you think you’ve got the winning style, simply e-mail MostStylishVegan@peta.org.uk with a photo of yourself in your favourite outfit and a few lines about your personal style and why you choose to rock animal-friendly looks.

This is your opportunity to show just how easy it is to be en vogue without being inhumane.

We’ll feature our favourite trendsetters on the PETA UK website so that other fashion devotees can see that compassion and fashion really do go hand in hand. We’ll also send those who are featured some chic vegan goodies as a token of our admiration.

Animals killed for clothing are intelligent, thinking, feeling beings – they are not bags, coats or shoes. Join us in spreading this message. Submit your pics today!

By submitting your photo to us, you’re acknowledging that you’ve read and you agree to our privacy policy and terms of submission.

Image by Monkee Genes.

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  • 08
  • Aug

Siddy Bennett: Go Vegan and Find Inner Peace

Siddy Bennett, lead singer of the up-and-coming indie-folk band Wildflowers, recently popped in for a chat with PETA about all things vegan.

The Londoner and long-time vegetarian made the decision to ditch eggs and dairy products and go vegan a little more than a year ago, when her band was just getting started and she moved back in with her vegan mum, who refused to allow animal products in her home. This situation really got Siddy to think about how cows used by the dairy industry and hens used for their eggs suffer on factory farms, as did a memorable Chrissie Hynde performance of “I’ll Stand by You” for PETA, which spoke to Siddy’s love of both music and animals. She knew then that she had to make the change.

It’s clear that veganism is suiting Siddy, who stresses the benefits it has had for her health and is thrilled with the improvements in her skin and complexion. Even so, the shift in her perspective and outlook, she says, has had a much more profound impact: “I feel relaxed in my head knowing that I’m not eating something that’s come from a bad place or been damaged or hurt”.

Inner peace, improved health and great skin are just some of the positive benefits of choosing a vegan diet and lifestyle. But it’s also about caring for our planet and treating it with respect. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions and a scourge on our land, rivers and oceans. When you choose not to buy into this environmental mass destruction, we all win!

And most importantly, we have to remember those who have no choice – animals. They don’t get a say about being subjected to an endless cycle of confinement, cruelty and deprivation in the meat, egg and dairy industries, which lasts from the second when they are born until the day when they are sent to a terrifying and horrific death at an abattoir.

The good news in all this is that it’s extremely easy to adopt a compassionate diet. Veganism can suit any lifestyle, schedule or budget, and there are thousands of delicious vegan ingredients and easy-to-prepare vegan recipes out there for even the most basic of cooks. Siddy is a huge fan of plant-based cheeses, dark chocolate with dates, smoked tofu and falafel wraps. With new vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening all the time and more and more popular chains introducing vegan options, it’s never been easier to go vegan.

Why not take the pledge and switch to a vegan diet for 30 days to see how terrific you can feel!

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  • 08
  • Aug

County Kerry, End the Capture and Display of Wild Goats at Puck Fair

Wild animals suffer tremendously, both physically and mentally, when caught, especially during handling and transport, and contact with humans can terrify and disorient them. So spare a thought for the goat who will soon be “crowned” King Puck at the Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry.

PETA oppose Puck Fair crueltyIn what must be a terrifying ordeal, each year, a wild male goat is caught in the mountains, confined to a small cage in town and then hoisted high in the air, where he remains for three days while revellers party below.

Goats deserve to be left alone so that they can roam the beautiful, sprawling mountains of County Kerry – not captured every year and imprisoned inside a cramped and wholly unsuitable enclosure.

There are many other ways for Killorglin’s residents to celebrate their local community without putting animals at risk. This year, we’ve written to the Mayor of Kerry, offering to contribute to the creation of a life-like goat sculpture if it will help end this cruel and archaic practice. We hope that Killorglin’s mayor and residents will take us up on this offer.

If you visit the county or anywhere else with an attraction that includes a captive animal, please walk the other way. Tourists have so many fantastic opportunities available to them that it’s easy to have a holiday filled with cruelty-free memories.

Image: “King Puck goes up” by Alice / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • 06
  • Aug

271 Irish Stars: “We are all calling for an immediate ban on fur factory farming in Ireland”

Athletes, directors, authors, actors, radio presenters, musicians and models all leant their names to call on Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney to ban fur farming, an industry that condemns almost a quarter-million minks to a life of suffering each year.

Imelda May, Anjelica Huston and Rachel Pilkington

Left to right: Imelda May, Anjelica Huston and Rachel Pilkington.

European countries, including Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, have already banned the cruel practice, and actor Rachel Pilkington wants Ireland to join them. She gathered the celebrity support and submitted a 13-page document to the government which outlines why this industry runs counter to the principles of best animal welfare. Just a few of the household names on the list include Saoirse Ronan, Victoria Smurfit, Amy Huberman, Stephen Rea, Sharon Shannon, Pauline McLynn, Peter Coonan, Síle and Gráinne Seoige, Sonia O’ Sullivan and Rosanna Davison.

These celebrities now join PETA, ARAN, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and hundreds of thousands of compassionate people in Ireland and beyond who oppose the industry.

Other compassionate Irish celebs who have spoken out include Imelda May, who went public with her disgust for the fur industry in 2013 and wrote to the government that “Ireland needs to stop dragging its feet. Regulating the industry is not enough – please make Irish people proud and enact an immediate ban on fur farming”.

Mink Farming

BAFTA and Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston has also shared her thoughts on the industry when she appealed to the minister in 2012 to ask that Ireland honour its commitment to ban fur farming in the then-upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill. At the time she said, “This issue means a lot to me as I grew up in Ireland and used to wear fur. I had a change of heart when I learned how minks and foxes on fur farms are crammed into tiny, dirty cages and driven so crazy by the confinement that many self-mutilate and even cannibalize their cagemates”.

You can join the 271 stars who supported this initiative and help minks by writing to the Irish government today and asking authorities to make shameful fur farms a thing of the past in Ireland.

Mink photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Anjelica photo: © DP/starmaxinc.com

Imelda photo: “Imelda May at Evolution Festival 24-May-2009”Yaffa Phillips / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • 06
  • Aug

Enter the Great Vegan Bake-Off!

PETA's Great Vegan Bake-Off

There are quite a few delicious vegan baked goods at many grocery stores, but sometimes you just can’t beat the taste of homemade baking. Vegan baking is a great way to impress both friends and family with delicious cruelty-free food, and, of course, it offers a fantastic opportunity to show off your skills in the kitchen!

Following the success of last year’s competition, we’re inviting bloggers to put their vegan baking skills to the test once again and share with us their favourite vegan creations! Enter the Great Vegan Bake-Off. You don’t have to be a pro to create the perfect vegan pie or sensational scone – just do your best, and make sure to take some scrumptious snaps along the way.

For those of you who are new to vegan baking, don’t worry – it’s easy. Check out this vegan baking cheat sheet and the hundreds of recipes on PETA US’ website.

To enter, just bake something that’s both delicious and free of animal products, then post the recipe along with pictures or video footage on your blog or YouTube channel and send the URL to us at Contest@peta.org.uk. Please put “VEGAN BAKE-OFF” in the subject line and enter before 21 August at midnight. By submitting your entry you’re acknowledging that you’ve read and you agree to our contest terms and conditions.

We’ll pick the baked goods that we think look the tastiest and post a blog with all the finalists on 25 August. Then we’ll have two weeks of voting, ending on 7 September. PETA will give equal consideration to two factors when choosing a winner: the total number of votes that the entry receives and our assessment of how tasty it looks. We’ll crown the winner in an announcement on 10 September! The winner gets bragging rights for being our choice for greatest vegan baker, along with the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from sharing his or her delicious recipe with the world.

For inspiration, check out the finalists from last year. Good luck!

Bake Off Finalists

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  • 04
  • Aug

London Zoo Allegations Highlight Captive Animals’ Suffering

Letting drunken humans spend a night out in a zoo was never going to be a good idea. The City of Westminster is investigating a series of reported incidents at London Zoo’s “Zoo Lates”, including allegations that visitors stripped off and attempted to enter the penguin pool, poured beer over a tiger and got “touchy feely” with baby penguins.

CC Tiger London

These idiotic acts aren’t the only reasons why the Zoo Lates are a deeply distressing experience for the animals on display. The noise levels from the crowds are much louder than anything to which most of these animals have ever been exposed. Add to that the increase in smells from the crowds and the alcohol consumption as well as the visual impact of the increase in visitors, and the animals’ stress levels will be greatly elevated.

As an article by our Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi in The Independent this week explains, these allegations are just another example of the zoo industry putting profits above the welfare and needs of animals:

The profound levels of stress, anxiety and agitation that wild animals experience in captivity mean attacks on people occur with staggering regularity. This week alone, a 16-month-old girl was scratched by a lion in a circus in France, a zookeeper was bitten by a tiger in Australia, a woman in the US lost a finger to a lion in a zoo and a boy had his hand ripped off by a tiger in a zoo in Brazil. All these attacks were preventable and utterly predictable. Captive animals are not permitted to engage in normal behaviour, such as running, jumping or hunting. Every facet of their lives is controlled, including when and what they eat, when they sleep and with whom they mate, so is it any wonder that they lash out in frustration? Patrons of what London Zoo actively promotes as “a wild night out” are there to party. Rowdy, drunk humans and captive wild animals make for an even more dangerous combination for all concerned.

With tickets costing up to £35, the zoo claims that Zoo Lates bring in important revenue, generating £800,000 a year to fund its “conservation” work. But if the zoo were truly concerned about protecting animals, any event which posed even the slightest risk to the animals would be cancelled immediately.

Zoos put the “con” in conservation. Why else would they be raising money to keep animals incarcerated as living exhibits instead of asking the public to donate to schemes that would protect them in their native habitats? When, in 2007, London Zoo spent £5.3m on a new gorilla enclosure, Ian Redmond, the chief consultant to the UN Great Apes Survival Partnership, said, “£5m pounds for three gorillas when national parks are seeing that number killed every day for want of some Land Rovers, trained men and anti-poaching patrols. It must be very frustrating for the warden of a national park to see”.

It’s bad enough that the London Zoo’s permanent residents have no way of escaping their day-to-day confinement, but to deliberately encourage and promote events which pose a threat to them defies belief. Everyone who genuinely cares about tigers and all the other individuals held captive inside zoos should recognise these institutions for what they are: profitable prisons that don’t give a monkey’s about the individuals in their “care”.

Once they realise what zoos are really like for the animals imprisoned in them, most people stay away. There are many genuinely rewarding ways to learn about wild animals, without snatching them from the wild, such as watching nature documentaries or becoming an expert about the wildlife in your local area.

Photo: “London Zoo” by S. Pakhrin / CC BY 2.0

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  • 04
  • Aug

Chocoholics Rejoice! New MASSIVE Guilt-Free (Vegan) Chocolate Slab by Hotel Chocolat

PETA Vegan Food Award winner Hotel Chocolat has just launched its latest vegan chocolate creation, the massive Fruit and Nut Frenzy Giant Slab – and we can tell you, it’s divine!

Hotel Chocolat's Fruit and Nut Frenzy Giant Slab

The half-kilo giant slab was inspired by the shape in which molten chocolate naturally sets on the cool marble of a chocolatier’s table. The Fruit and Nut Frenzy Giant Slab features succulent golden raisins and cranberries, extremely crunchy almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts wrapped in 70 per cent dark chocolate.

You can find it in shops or in the vegan section of the chocolatier’s website, which also features dark chocolate ginger puddles and the smoothest hazelnut pralines.

With these kinds of luxury chocolate products that are free from animal ingredients, there’s absolutely no need to choose between your cravings and your compassion! Here are some other ways to indulge your sweet tooth.

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  • 25
  • Jul

10 Places to Find Delicious Vegan Food in Edinburgh

List of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Edinburgh Edinburgh has so much to offer this August – including the Fringe, Europe’s largest arts festival, where you can watch top-notch music and theatre performances and attend literally thousands of comedy shows. And of course, Edinburgh has a rich history that can be explored any time of the year. Luckily for compassionate folk, it’s also a great place to find vegan food!

Although its rival Glasgow may have won the title of the UK’s Most Vegan-Friendly City last year, Auld Reekie gives ethical eaters plenty to choose from. The following are some of our top choices in Scotland’s capital: 

  • David BannDavid Bann: For posh nosh in Edinburgh, vegans should make for David Bann. Just a stone’s throw from the Scottish Parliament, this gourmet vegetarian restaurant’s inventive, globally inspired menu has plenty for vegans to enjoy.
  • The Engine Shed: This café, tucked away below Arthur’s Seat, makes for a lovely lunch spot. Housed in an old railway building, it’s run by a social enterprise and makes its own tofu!
  • Kalpna: This South Indian vegetarian restaurant offers meat-free food with a healthy dollop of spice. Especially recommended are the vegan thali and the great value of the all-you-can-eat lunchtime buffet.
  • Henderson’s: Edinburgh’s original vegetarian restaurant, Henderson’s is still going strong and now has several branches throughout the city. Early birds can turn up at 8 a.m. for breakfast, and throughout the day, it offers a selection of wholesome salads and healthy main dishes.
  • 227The Baked Potato Shop: At lunchtime, you’ll often see queues going out the door at this little spud shop in the heart of the Old Town. It’s known for its generous portions and variety of tasty fillings, and it’s probably the only place in the city that sells vegan haggis samosas!
  • Forest Cafe: This community-owned vegetarian café is a stalwart of Edinburgh’s alternative scene and offers great staples at budget prices. It’s usually also a reliable source of vegan cake.
  • The Auld Hoose: The perfect spot for those with healthy appetites, this pub is legendary for its enormous vegan nachos and also does a hearty veggie haggis served with traditional neeps and tatties!
  • Filmhouse: Ask to see the vegan menu at this art-house cinema’s café – it includes satisfying options such as chickpea and coconut curry and crispy falafel. If the weather’s dreich, try the soya hot chocolate with vegan marshmallows. CC Filmhouse
  • The Chocolate Tree: Chocoholics will definitely appreciate this pleasing shop and café in Bruntsfield, which offers delights such as dairy-free hot chocolate, decadent vegan chocolate cake and a range of tempting artisan chocolate bars.
  • Piemaker: For all your pastry-based needs, head to this pie shop on South Bridge or Leith Walk. Vegan items are clearly labelled on the menu and include savoury options such as Thai mushroom pie as well as sweet treats, including apple turnovers and cherry pie.

*****

Let us know if we’ve missed any gems by leaving a comment below!

Image: “Filmhouse” by crystalmartel / CC BY 2.0

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  • 25
  • Jul

These Disgusting Revelations About the UK Chicken Industry Will Confirm Your Worst Fears About Meat

A five-month undercover investigation by The Guardian, published this week, reveals some of the UK chicken industry’s darkest secrets.

Chicken - We Animals

The investigation focussed on meat processing plants that supply some of the UK’s largest supermarkets, including Tesco, M&S and Asda. It found that a shocking two-thirds of fresh retail chicken in the UK is contaminated with campylobacter, a potentially deadly cause of food poisoning. In the UK, approximately 280,000 people a year are thought to become ill from campylobacter (80 per cent of which comes from chicken).

Some of the images and video footage from the investigation – showing mountains of chicken guts piled on bloody factory floors, conveyor belts heaped up with faeces-coated feathers and filthy machinery – are certainly likely to put many people off eating meat.

But the investigation’s findings weren’t just disturbing from the point of view of hygiene. They also provide a chilling glimpse into how chickens are treated and killed before they end up as a pile of offal on a dirty factory floor. The following are some of the upsetting facts:

On the Farm

  • On large-scale industrial farms, as many as 40,000 chickens at a time are raised in “crops”.
  • The birds usually reach slaughter weight (around 1.8kg) in just 42 days.
  • Farms cram as many animals as possible into vast, poorly lit sheds. The Guardian writes:

“To maximise return on capital invested in floor space, it is common practice to overstock sheds with chicks at the beginning of the cycle and then send in teams of catchers to thin out some of the birds so that the rest of the chickens have just enough room to meet regulations on stocking densities as they grow to full slaughter weight”.

  • According to the reporters, this practice of chicken “thinning” leads to the spread of bacteria, because the frightened animals panic and defecate whenever workers enter the densely packed sheds.

The Journey to Death

  • Chickens are packed into crates which are piled on top of one another in lorries and driven to the slaughterhouse. Faeces fall through the gaps in the crates onto the birds at the bottom.
  • Transport is highly stressful for the animals, but it can last for hours. Sometimes they’re even left in the crates overnight.

At the Abattoir 

On abattoir “production lines”, birds are shackled and hung upside down by their feet on a moving conveyor belt which carries them to their death and dismemberment.

  • After they’ve been slaughtered, rubber fingers pull out their feathers and automated metal fists scoop out their guts before their body parts are packaged for the supermarket.
  • Large abattoirs typically run lines at a rate of 185 to 195 birds a minute – killing nearly 12,000 animals an hour. Across Britain, a staggering 17 million chickens are slaughtered each week.

Chickens are sensitive animals with unique personalities. Like us, they dream, sunbathe, live in complex societies and make sacrifices to protect their children – that is, when they have the chance. On intensive farms, they never get the chance to express any of this natural behaviour. All they know is suffering and terror.

Please do your part to stop the suffering of these abused animals by never eating chicken. You could avoid a nasty case of food poisoning at the same time!

Our 30-day pledge is a great way to get started on a compassionate diet:

Take the pledgeImage: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals

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  • 25
  • Jul

This Veggie Athlete Is Tipped for Commonwealth Games Success

This week, thousands of athletes from 71 countries around the world have gathered to test their prowess at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
James Willstrop PETA

Among them is England squash player James Willstrop, who is playing in the men’s singles and doubles competitions this year. A former world number one, James can also boast of holding a gold medal in compassion, thanks to his vegetarian diet!

We caught up with him ahead of this year’s games in Glasgow.

What inspired you to go vegetarian?

I saw videos of animal slaughter, and it was grotesque. It made me sick that anyone could do that to animals. And then we eat them! I vividly remember hearing The Smiths’ song “Meat Is Murder” playing over this footage, and it was a staggering moment. I was knocked completely off balance. Morrissey’s music has been an inspiration to me, and I am listening to his new album avidly at the moment.

Do you have a favourite pre-game meal?

I love sweet potatoes with hummous and olive oil, smothered in toasted pine nuts. Not always easy to find at an event! And I often succumb to Italian food, which is a good source of carbohydrates for busy athletes. Wholemeal linguine with a vegan Alfredo sauce that we make with nutritional yeast, cashew nuts, oils and onions is a favourite. I also love quinoa. We should talk about post-game meals. That’s where it gets even more interesting!

Many top UK athletes – including boxer David Haye, Olympic cyclist Lizzie Armitstead and free-running champion Tim Shieff – are going vegetarian or vegan. Do you think we’re likely to see more meat-free athletes in the future?

I don’t see why not. It’s undoubtedly a very clever way to eat: cleaner, healthier, safer and friendlier. Everything about a meat-free diet makes absolute sense. It’s just difficult for some people to embrace because, sadly, from childhood, people are told that eating meat is what they must do.

What excites you about the Commonwealth Games?

The atmosphere, the attention our sport gets and the incredible luxuries and privileges you get to enjoy as an athlete in the village. The food hall, of course, is a major centrepiece for thousands of hungry athletes (and Glasgow is looking after vegans). I am very excited about the action, too. The venue we are playing squash at is just excellent. It’s an incredible arena.

This year’s Commonwealth Games are taking place in Glasgow, which was recently named the Most Vegan-Friendly City in the UK. Have you had a chance to try any of its vegan eateries?

I have been in Glasgow briefly and have seen two vegan restaurants close to each other: Mono and the 13th Note. So far, I’ve only had a drink and a bit of soup, but what fantastic places they looked to be. Hopefully, there will be time after the games to see more of the city and explore the vegetarian options.


 

Other compassionate athletes to watch out for at the Commonwealth Games include vegetarian Olympic cycling medallist Lizzie Armitstead and Indian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, who has just teamed up with PETA India for an anti-hunting ad.

To learn more about how to follow in James’ footsteps by choosing a fitness-boosting plant-based diet, order our free vegan starter kit today!

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