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Animal Writes

  • 06
  • Feb

BAFTAs to Serve Delicious Vegan Menu

Good news for compassionate celebrities! The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will be offering healthy, humane dishes during its awards ceremony on Sunday.

BAFTA is embracing the vegan movement, as organisers have created a mouth-watering animal-free menu, which will be sure to delight vegan A-listers.

The plant-based menu will feature a quinoa salad with radishes, broad beans, asparagus and peas with a lemon and olive oil dressing and a roasted butternut squash and sun-blushed tomato lasagne with wilted spinach, roasted pepper, sage and a basil dressing.

Interest in vegan eating is skyrocketing in the UK and beyond. Some of the world’s best chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Wolfgang Puck, are getting creative with cruelty-free cooking, so we’re sure that guests attending the BAFTAs are in for a treat!

In addition to sparing animals immense suffering in today’s industrialised meat, egg and dairy industries, vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, obesity and cancer than meat-eaters are. They also have smaller carbon footprints, as the meat industry is a major producer of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

Try vegan for yourself! Request a free copy of PETA’s vegan starter kit, which is packed full of recipes, tips on making the switch and more:

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  • 05
  • Feb

This Italian Town Is Offering Tax Breaks to Anyone Who Adopts a Dog

Adopt Me?Councillors in Mascalucia, Sicily, have approved a plan to provide people who adopt a dog from the local council-funded shelter with tax breaks. Residents will be able to get 50 per cent off their rubbish disposal bill for up to three years after the day on which they adopt a dog.

Council Member Alessio Cardi says that encouraging the public to adopt dogs will result in a double benefit, saving the cost of the kennels and giving dogs safe homes.

This is an enlightened move that other cities should follow. In the UK, dog shelters are struggling to cope with the constant stream of abandoned dogs. Overbreeding is responsible for this situation: there are simply too many dogs being bred, sold and abandoned.

In light of this crisis, adopting a homeless dog from an animal shelter is much more sensible than buying from a breeder. When people buy puppies from irresponsible breeders over the Internet, they provide them with financial support, which allows them to continue to breed more dogs, churning them out in great numbers to confront an uncertain future.

The only way to reduce the number of abandoned dogs over the long term is by educating people to neuter their animal companions and by cracking down on breeders. Mascalucia Council’s plan offers a great way to provide people with an extra incentive to give animals languishing in shelters a chance.

If you’re considering welcoming a new canine or feline companion into your home, please don’t support the profit-driven breeding industry or buy an animal online – instead, visit your local animal shelter to find your new best friend.

Pictured is Kora, who is currently available for adoption in Virginia, USA from PETA US.

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  • 04
  • Feb

Recipe: Warming Orange Spice and Lentil Soup

Cheap, colourful and healthy, this easy dish should be a staple of any vegan’s repertoire. Feel free to add extra vegetables such as squash or sweet potatoes. 

Vegan Orange Lentil Soup

Warming Orange Spice and Lentil Soup

1–2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced into 1-cm cubes

2 carrots, diced into 1-cm cubes

2 celery stalks, diced into 1-cm pieces

1 litre water

2 bay leaves

200 g red lentils

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp fenugreek

1/8 tsp asafoetida

60–80 ml orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Add the water, bay leaves and red lentils and bring to boil. Add the salt and spices, cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Add the orange juice and zest, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 2 to 4 servings

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  • 03
  • Feb

Slaughterhouse Cruelty: All Meat Is Cruel, Not Just Halal!

News broke this morning of Animal Aid‘s investigation of Bowood Lamb, a slaughterhouse in Yorkshire. Taken over three days in December, the investigation found that sheep were beaten and had their throats hacked open while they were still conscious.Untitled design (14)

Gruesome as the footage is, the actual slaughter, whether the animal is stunned before being killed or not, is only part of the long and blatantly cruel process of modern meat production.

The vast majority of the 1 billion animals eaten every year in the UK are raised on filthy, crowded factory farms, where they are crammed by the thousands into windowless sheds, wire cages, crates and other confinement systems and denied everything that matters to them – all of which contradicts the basic principles of compassion and reverence for life shared by most religions. Yes, people have a right to know how their food was produced (or, in the case of animals, killed), but the way to end these abuses is not to simply avoid halal meat – it’s to avoid all meat. Because when it comes to showing respect for animals who are raised and killed for food, there is only one label that really matters: “vegan”.

Request a free copy of PETA’s vegan starter kit, which is packed full of recipes, tips on making the switch and more:

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And sign the online petition to make closed-circuit television (CCTV) mandatory in all abattoirs, which would be a step towards creating transparency and stopping workers from getting away with abusing animals.

Take Action Now

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  • 03
  • Feb

Veganise Your School Canteen in 5 Easy Steps

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With the ever-growing number of cruelty-free cuisines available at chain restaurants, grabbing a tasty vegan meal has never been easier. Why should your school canteen be any different? Offering vegan options in schools benefits more than just the vegan student body – it also encourages all students to eat healthier, lessens the harmful effects of the food industry on the environment and, of course, saves the lives of countless animals.

We understand that persuading your school to carry more vegan options can seem like a pretty daunting task, so we’ve broken down the process into five easy steps:

1. Write to your school’s dining hall supervisor.
Writing your school’s dining hall supervisor is a very important first step in the process of veganising your school canteen. It will give you the opportunity to familiarise him or her with your needs and concerns as a vegan. And because the letter gives you the chance to share all your points, you will feel less pressure if you meet with him or her later on. If you meet, he or she will probably only need you to elaborate on the points you’ve already made.

Not sure what you should include in your letter? Use this letter as a starting point or a template and customise it to fit your needs. The letter and possibly a meeting may be all that you need to persuade the manager of your canteen to start carrying vegan options. If this is the case, jump to step five. If not, go to step two.

2. Create a “vegan-friendly canteen” petition.
After explaining the benefits of offering vegan-friendly options to your school official, it may be necessary for you to demonstrate the demand for these options, which can easily be done with a petition. Feel free to use this template, or create your own. Recruit some friends if possible, make some copies of the petition and spend some time between lectures, during lunch and after school collecting signatures. Remember to remind people that they aren’t committing to eating only vegan foods all the time (although it would be fab if they did). They’re just supporting healthy, humane choices.

After you’ve collected a bunch of signatures (including e-mail addresses so that you can keep signers up to date about the success of the campaign), show them to your school’s officials and explain that this was done with the intent of demonstrating how important this issue is to students.

3. Create a sample vegan-friendly menu.
For some people, even culinary experts, cooking vegan meals might seem difficult, but for the most part, it isn’t! The purpose of creating a sample menu is to show your school officials how easy and time efficient it can be to cook tasty vegan meals. Here are a few simple vegan recipes from our friends at peta2, PETA US’ youth division, to get you started:

4. Schedule a meeting with your school’s dining hall supervisor.
At this point in the process, you will have collected enough information to illustrate not only the desire for but also the simplicity of adding vegan options to the school’s menu. If your school’s dining hall supervisor has yet to give you a definite answer as to whether or not he or she plans on offering vegan-friendly options in the school canteen, request a meeting with him or her. He or she may agree to add vegan meals to the menu straight away, but because of meal planning and inventory purchases, it may be necessary for him or her to wait a few weeks before beginning to offer vegan meals, or in a worst-case scenario, he or she may say no. (This is actually a very rare occurrence.) If he or she does say no, ask why. Try to figure out what the barriers are that would prevent this change from occurring, and try to help the supervisor figure out if anything can be done to overcome the obstacles. For additional advice, please contact us at Info@peta.org.uk.

5. After your victory, promote the new vegan options.
Congratulations! Now that you’ve persuaded your canteen to start carrying more vegan options, help it out by spreading the word about the new offerings:

  • Ask for vegan food to be labelled “vegan”. Such labels will give canteen visitors insight into the variety of the tasty vegan foods that are available.
  • Create posters promoting the new vegan options. Be sure to get permission to hang them around your school first, if necessary.
  • Ask your school paper to write a story about your canteen’s new vegan additions. If it doesn’t have the time, offer to write the story yourself.
  • Ask your food-service director to host a “Vegan Food Day”, during which the canteen would serve exclusively vegan food.
  • Talk it up! Encourage all your friends and any faculty members you know to try the new vegan options.

 

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  • 03
  • Feb

France Revises Napoleonic Statute That Classifies Animals as ‘Furniture’

It’s been a long time coming, but last Wednesday, France finally updated a 200-year-old legal code that classified animals as “furniture”!

The French Parliament has now voted to recognise animals as “living sentient beings”, a huge symbolic step forward for compassion.

Progress in French law for animalsWhen the Civil Code was drawn up by Napoleon in 1804, animals were considered primarily as working farm beasts and categorised as goods or furniture. It’s unbelievable that it’s taken this long to revise this archaic law and start to give animals some of the recognition and protection that they deserve. Even so, it took a year of debate before the bill was passed, as France’s powerful farming lobby did its best to oppose the new law.

Felicitations to everyone who’s worked hard to bring French law into the 21st century – we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed this this progress will open the door to more animal-friendly legislation in the country.

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  • 02
  • Feb

Recipe: Claire’s Mac ‘n’ Cheeze

This is a filling, creamy vegan version of the classic comforting dish. Claire suggests varying the dish by adding halved cherry tomatoes or sliced vegan hot dogs before baking/grilling or by sprinkling with flaxseeds and a couple of teaspoonfuls of paprika to create an extra-crunchy topping. Enjoy!

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Claire’s Mac ‘n’ Cheeze

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1–2 chillies, finely chopped (optional)

3–4 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp flour

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp paprika

1 litre unsweetened soya milk

190 g vegan melting cheese (we suggest mozzarella or Edam style Cheezly), grated

Ground black pepper and salt, to taste

500 g macaroni

  • Heat the oil in a medium pan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.
  • Add the chillies and garlic and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
  • Add the flour and a splash more oil (if necessary) and cook until browned.
  • Add the oregano, paprika and a tiny bit of soya milk and stir. Gradually add more soya milk, stirring continuously to prevent sticking. When all the soya milk has been incorporated, add the grated vegan cheese and stir. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  • Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain, then place in a large ovenproof dish and cover with the “cheese” sauce.
  • Place under a medium-heated grill for about 10 minutes until brown and bubbling or in an oven preheated to 190°C for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a crisp green salad and garlic bread.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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  • 01
  • Feb

Be My Vegan Valentine

Love is in the air – yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. But while you’re making plans for your hot date, show some love for animals, too, by keeping things vegan. After all, compassion is a great chat-up line, and it’s well known that, with their often fitter physique and increased stamina, plant-eaters make better lovers as well as kinder partners.

So here are six top tips to help you avoid making a cruelty faux pas during your romantic evening:

1. Kindle the flames with beeswax-free candles.

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Don’t ruin the mood with candles derived from the exploitation of buzzing insects. Instead, conjure up a romantic atmosphere with the many fragrant plant-wax alternatives.

2. Say it with vegan chocolates.
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Decadent and dairy-free is definitely the way to go for your valentine delicacies this year.  From organic truffles to luxury handmade bars, a huge variety of divine vegan treats will tickle your lover’s taste buds and satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings.

3. Whet your appetite with plant-based fare.

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Don’t gross your date out by putting a dead carcass on your plate. Book a table at a fancy veggie restaurant near you, or impress him or her by whipping up your own animal-free feast (here are some ideas). Did you know that asparagus, strawberries and liquorice all have aphrodisiac qualities?

4. Slip into something comfortably cruelty-free.

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Silkworms are boiled alive in their cocoons to obtain their silk – decidedly unsexy. To make a really good impression, go for lingerie made from sensual synthetics, such as rayon, nylon or vegan satin.

5. Be considerate in the bedroom.

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The last thing that you want your partner to be thinking about between the sheets is whether the bedding came from tortured geese. So keep your pillows and duvet down-free for a night that’s sinful in all the right ways.

6. Give a PETA Present and be a darling to animals.

Peta Present

Send your sweetheart a virtual gift to support our work to help animals. From saving baby seals to buying an activist a lettuce bikini, these compassionate purchases are guaranteed to warm your loved one’s heart.

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Got another tip? Tell us in the comments below. And if you want to know more about being a vegan, order our free vegan starter kit today.

Pug Image: DaPuglet / CC BY-SA 2.0

Candle Image: lindasy.dee.bunny / CC BY 2.0

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  • 30
  • Jan

Hero: This Dog Saved His Guardian From Drowning in a Freezing Scottish River

As he does on most evenings, Philip Skirving was recently walking his Staffordshire terrier, Cobin, on a cycle path on the banks of the River Leven in Alexandria, Scotland, when he tripped and fell into the fast-flowing ice-cold water and went into shock. Moments later, Cobin jumped in and dragged his friend to the safety of dry land by pulling on his jumper!

For saving Philip’s life, we’ve recognised Cobin’s daring feat of bravery with PETA’s Animal Hero Award, along with a special “doggie bag” full of vegan dog treats, a comfortable new harness and a fun toy.

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Dogs are more than our best friends – as Cobin has demonstrated, they’re our family members and sometimes even our protectors.

We hope Cobin’s heroics will inspire people to head to their local animal shelter, which is bound to be full of lovable, wonderful dogs just like him, all waiting for someone to come to their rescue.

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  • 30
  • Jan

PETA India Turns Sunder’s Home Into Free-Roaming, Forested Sanctuary

PETA India and Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) have teamed up to create India’s first free-roaming elephant sanctuary in a fenced, forested land that allows elephants to move about rather than be chained in place, the common way in which captive elephants in India are kept.

BBP, which became home to 15-year-old Sunder – famously liberated by the Supreme Court in 2014 from a life of cruelty at the Jyotiba temple in Maharashtra – now houses 15 elephants.

Designed by PETA India consultant and elephant expert Carol Buckley, a solar electric fence and a state-of-the-art emergency corral made of steel pipes are nearly complete for this 49.5-hectare sanctuary that will allow the herd to roam, bathe in ponds and socialise without being restricted by the chains commonly used in India for captive elephants.

Elephant expert Margaret Whittaker – who designed the elephant and mahout training facilities and safety measures – will also be training local caregivers in the principles of a protected-contact system, which is a way of safeguarding human beings and elephants by keeping them separated by a sturdy barrier and managing Sunder and other elephants using positive reinforcement techniques instead of the age-old routine of physical punishment.

With the freedom to engage in natural behaviour within a large open space that they can call their own, Sunder and his new family have the opportunity to thrive. While most captive elephants remain in dire straits, with BBP, PETA India was able to make the dream of freedom a reality for 15 elephants. We hope the sanctuary will become a model for elephant sanctuaries throughout Asia.

Watch this to see Sunder’s story.

Sunder’s story is inspiring, but not all elephants are so lucky. 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.

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