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Animal Writes

  • 03
  • Dec

6 Ways to Get Active for Animals This Christmas

‘Tis the season of goodwill, mulled wine, mince pies, holiday feasts, family gatherings, carol singers and Christmas shopping.

But for some animals, especially those who are killed for food or for their skins, Christmas is anything but a merry occasion. You can help change that, though, with these easy steps for spreading joy to all this December.

square model-clutchBe a Compassionate Christmas Shopper

Vote with your wallet by leaving items made from angora, leather and other cruelly derived materials on the shelf. Instead, check out our list of ethical gift ideas, from vegan chocolate to Christmas jumpers.

 

 

 

 

Public domain Reindeer.yate.arp.750pixLet Rudolph Have a Rest

Animals aren’t Christmas decorations, and it’s not right to treat them as props in nativity displays, Christmas parades or winter wonderlands. If you learn of any nearby events that use reindeer, penguins or other wild animals, please send a polite message to the organisers asking them to rethink their plans.

 

 

Eat No Turkey Paul Turkey

A cruelty-free Christmas dinner is the way to go for anyone with a conscience. So take a leaf out of Paul McCartney’s book – or any of these other meat-free celebs – by leaving dead animals off the Christmas menu. Bonus points if you manage to win over meat-eating family members with your delicious Christmas cooking! And if you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide to having a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

 

 

The-Star-Foie-gras-off-the-menu copySpeak Out Against Foie Gras

If you spot foie gras – the fatty liver pâté made by force-feeding ducks and geese – on any Christmas menu, please write to or speak with the manager of the venue to let him or her know how disappointed you are. Foie gras production is so cruel that it’s illegal in the UK, and there’s nothing festive about tinned torture. We can also send you free leaflets to give out – e-mail Info@peta.org.uk if you’d like some.

Image: www.nigelsuttonphotography.com

 

Encourage People to Adopt, Not Shop!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although everyone should know by now that a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas, shelters still see a surge in abandoned dogs and cats following the festive season. Help prevent these tragedies by explaining to others why they should never purchase an animal from a pet shop and by printing out and distributing our poster.

 

 

 

Fur coatsGive Us Your Fur Coats!

We know none of you would be daft enough to buy any real fur (after all, this is how it’s made). But if you’ve accidentally accumulated some, we’ll gladly take them off your hands, to be featured in awareness-raising demos, donated to homeless shelters or used as bedding for animals in need.

 

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For more ways to help animals every day, sign up to our Action Team!

petaUK-joinTheActionTeam-button-375x109-v01 (1)

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  • 01
  • Dec

How to Avoid Accidental Antifreeze Poisoning

antifreeze stockWith subzero temperatures set to continue, people have been reaching for the antifreeze to prevent the water in their car radiators from turning into ice. But antifreeze can be deadly to animals.

Most brands of antifreeze have a sweet taste, which can be tempting to animals and even children. The main ingredient in most antifreeze brands is ethylene glycol. Animals who ingest this chemical will promptly begin to suffer from vomiting, convulsions and kidney failure. If animals don’t receive immediate veterinary care, they face a painful, almost certain death.

If an animal does come into contact with antifreeze, it’s crucial that you get him or her to a vet within the first few hours of ingestion – any later, and the liver will already have started to metabolise the poison, leading to kidney failure and ultimately death.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include a drunken appearance (ie, staggering, lack of coordination, apparent disorientation and vomiting). Animals who have ingested antifreeze might also appear listless or depressed.

Cats can be killed by antifreezePlease help keep animals safe by being extra vigilant when using antifreeze: avoid spills, be sure to always tighten the cap securely after use and store the antifreeze in a place where animals and children can’t get to it.

Better yet, choose antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol rather than the far more toxic ethylene glycol. If the ingredients aren’t listed, then look for a brand of antifreeze that contains a bittering agent, as this might deter animals from ingesting it. Tell everyone you know about this danger!

Companies that safeguard antifreeze products by adding a bittering agent include Halford’s, Bluecol and Comma.

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  • 01
  • Dec

11 Reasons to Have a Wool-Free Winter

PETA Wool-Free Winter LogoIf you care about animals, wool-free fashions are the way to go this winter. Here’s why:

1.This video:


It’s a one-minute glimpse into everything that’s wrong with the wool industry.

2. Because 2 to 6 million baby lambs die of exposure, disease or other factors every year – and that’s just in the UK.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Most deaths occur within 48 hours of birth.

3. Because shearing is rough, terrifying and often deadly for sheep.

2014-03-30_08_Close up of dead sheep outside shed after work_IMG_0038

This sheep didn’t survive the experience. The shearer handled her so violently that he broke her neck before kicking her headfirst down a chute.

4. Because mulesing – during which sheep have chunks of flesh SLICED OFF – is endemic in Australia, one of the world’s largest producers of wool.

credit_PattyMarkslashALV3-400x400 copy

Yes, it’s done without painkillers, it really hurts and the wounds often become infected.

5. Because most sheep never make it to old age.
Sheep_WeAnimals-6930 copy
After a few years, when they’re no longer wanted, they’re generally slaughtered.

6. Because the wool trade is directly linked to the hellish live-export industry.
Sheep_WeAnimals-6704 copy
Sheep are crammed onto ships for a terrifying journey that can last days or weeks before they are killed in poorly regulated Middle Eastern slaughterhouses.

7. Because sheep are intelligent, complex and sensitive.
stock cute sheep
“We are not jumpers!”

8. Because farming sheep isn’t great for the environment, either.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
According to environmentalist George Monbiot, “Few kinds of farming have done more harm in proportion to their output than the keeping of sheep in the hills”.

9. Because sheep are bred to grow excessive amounts of wool.
Soay_ewe
Wild sheep? Their coats are just right for their environment, and they shed them naturally every summer, so they get along just fine without ever being sheared.
Soay ewe” by Tomek Augustyn / CC BY-SA 2.0

10. Because these animals are exploited for their wool, too.
Montage
If it says “angora”, “alpaca”, “cashmere” or “mohair”, don’t buy it.
Vicuna” (top left) by Thom Quine / CC BY 2.0

11. Because wool-free fashion is so easy to find!

Wool-free jumpers for winter

And if you’re into knitting your own items, vegan yarn is readily available too!

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For more evidence of how CRUEL and UNNECESSARY wool is, take a look at PETA US’ exposé from earlier this year.

Then, please, show sheep and other wool-bearing animals that you care by shopping cruelty-free and sharing this information with everyone you know!

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  • 29
  • Nov

11 Vegan Christmas Treats You Can Buy on the High Street

Iceland Mince PieSweet tooth? Never fear! This Christmas season, vegans can overindulge to their heart’s content, thanks to the wide variety of cruelty-free mince pies, puddings, chocolates and other delights available in supermarkets and high-street stores all over the UK! The following are some of our top picks.

Mince Pies

  • Caffè Nero Luxury Mince Pies: Good news for the festive season – you can now walk into a coffee shop and grab a tasty mince pie to go with your soy latte, thanks to Caffè Nero’s animal-friendly offering this year.Lidl Mince Pies
  • Lidl Snowy Lodge Mince Pies: Lidl’s pies were deemed some of the most delicious on offer in a recent blind taste test by Which? – beating the much pricier and decidedly less ethical pies from foie gras villains Fortnum & Mason!
  • Iceland Mince Pies: In addition to being free from milk and eggs, at £1.50 for 12, Iceland’s pies are some of the best value around, so you can tuck in without worrying about the impact on your wallet.

Puddings and CakesChristmas Pud Co-Op

Christmas Chocolate

  • Thornton’s Dark Chocolate Gingers: Filled with Chinese stem ginger, these chocolates will bring a touch of sophistication to the Christmas table and also make a great gift.
  • ASDA Dark Chocolate Mint Thins: In their familiar dark green box, these little peppermint-filled squares are kind of a classic. They’re also one of our favourite “accidentally vegan” products.
  • Divine Dark Chocolate Coins: These coins make ideal stocking fillers for the compassionate chocoholics in your life! As an added bonus, they’re fair trade as well. Divine products are available in Oxfam shops, many supermarkets and independent retailers.
  • Moo-Free Merry Moos Selection Box: This makes a jolly chocolatey gift for kids and adults alike!
  • Hazicade Turkish Delight: If chocolate isn’t your thing, this is a great, and equally Christmassy, sweet treat.

Christmas is a wonderful time to show animals that you care by committing to a cruelty-free diet. For more tips and suggestions about easy-to-find vegan foods, order your free starter kit today:

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  • 28
  • Nov

The Vegan Guide to Manchester

Where to Find Vegan Food in Manchester

We’ve selected some of our favourite vegan restaurants and cafés in and around Manchester to help you find some tasty food in Britain’s second city. From lunch on the go to delicious evening dinners, vegan Mancunians and visitors alike need never go hungry! Check out the following hot spots:

  • V Revolution
    Vegan cafe in ManchesterSquare hotdog
    With its retro American diner feel and wide selection of vegan junk food (think juicy burgers, “cheesy” hotdogs and mouth-watering brownies), V Revolution in the Northern Quarter is a 100 per cent cruelty-free café, not to be missed.
  • The Eighth Day
    Eigth Day
    This co-operative on Oxford Road is a one-stop shop for all things vegan. Stock up on ethical groceries and cleaning products upstairs, then head down to the café to feast on delicious soups, stews, smoothies and, of course, cakes!
  • Bistro 1847
    CC Bistro
    If you’re after something a little fancier, look no further than Manchester’s Bistro 1847. Right in the centre of town, this upmarket vegetarian restaurant offers plenty of imaginative vegan dishes to explore.
    Bistro 1847, Manchester” by Tricia Neal / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Go Falafel
    Go Falafel
    Looking for something healthy, tasty and inexpensive? This place has got you covered. Everything on the menu is vegan, from the classic falafel wrap to colourful salads and smoothies. There are two branches, one close to Piccadilly and one in Rusholme.
  • Sanskruti Restaurant
    Experience the Curry Mile vegan-style at this meat-free restaurant in Fallowfield, which serves authentic Indian food that’s bound to get your taste buds tingling.
  • Earth Vegetarian Cafe & Juice Bar
    Earth Cafe Manchester
    Head to this café, tucked into a basement in the Northern Quarter, for cheap, cheerful and wholesome vegan food served buffet style. At around £6 for a plate laden with food, you really can’t go wrong!
  • Teatime Collective
    Head to Hulme to satisfy your sweet cravings at this all-vegan ice-cream parlour and tearoom. It also does a mean veggie breakfast and serves a selection of sandwiches and savoury items.
  • The Thirsty Scholar
    Thirsty Scholar
    Vegan pub grub served with a helping of live music – what’s not to like?! Tuck into traditional favourites, such as fry-ups, toasties and veggie burgers, washed down with some organic ales, ciders or vegan wines.
  • Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen
    With spring rolls, prawn-less crackers, and crispy veggie “duck”, this Cantonese restaurant in West Didsbury has an extensive menu of crowd-pleasing plant-based dishes.
  • Dough Pizza Kitchen
    DoughDough Pizza
    This artisan pizza restaurant in the Northern Quarter offers dairy-free cheese, making it easy-peasy to veganise many of its pizzas. It’s also a great place to go if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
  • Fuel Cafe Bar
    If you’re in Withington, fuel up at this café-cum-music venue on vegan classics such as sweet-potato wedges and lentil casserole.
  • Unicorn Grocery Limited
    CC Unicorn_Grocery
    This not-for-profit supermarket in Chorlton sells products only of non-animal origin, making it a great place to stock up on vegan groceries. Head to the deli section for fresh salads, homemade soup and sweet treats.
    Unicorn grocery by veganfishcake / CC BY-SA 3.0

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As you can see, being vegan in Manchester is a downright tasty experience!

Let us know if we’ve missed any gems by leaving a comment below. And if you’d like tips and advice about cooking vegan food at home, order our free starter kit:

Thanks to Georgie Walsh and Johny Henderson for photographs.

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  • 26
  • Nov

13 Easy Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Dan's Vegan Fry-Up

A vegan breakfast – much like any other type of breakfast – can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, from a quick fuel-up to an all-out brunch extravaganza. These are some of our favourite vegan ways to start the day.

1. Pancakes
CC Vegan Pancakes

You don’t need to use eggs and milk to whip up a delicious pile of breakfast pancakes! It’s hard to find a more satisfying weekend breakfast. Serve a stack topped with bananas, blueberries and maple syrup. Here’s an easy basic recipe.
hoog” by Suzette – www.suzette.nu / CC BY 2.0

2. Toast
Toast 2
It may be stating the obvious, but toast slathered with Marmite, marmalade, peanut butter, jam or even dairy-free chocolate spread is a viable vegan option – just remember to use dairy-free margarine such as Pure or Vitalite. Or mix it up with crumpets, Scotch pancakes or English muffins. (Most supermarket brands are vegan, but do check the ingredients to be certain.)

3. Breakfast muffins 

CC Muffins

Go on, treat yourself a little. Muffins are equally good with your mid-morning coffee. This easy blueberry muffin recipe is pretty much foolproof.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins” by Vegan Feast Catering / CC BY 2.0

4. Cereal 

Cereal

Many types of cereal are vegan, including Weetabix, Rice Krispies and most brands of bran flakes, cornflakes and muesli. Instead of cow fluids, serve them with your dairy-free milk of choice.

5. Tofu Scramble 

CC Tofu scramble

Way better than scrambled chicken ova, this delicious breakfast dish can be whipped up in minutes and customised with whatever additional vegetables and spices take your fancy.

scrambled tofu” by waferboard / CC BY 2.0

6. Porridge

quinoa  porridge

A humble bowl of porridge is cheap, comforting and guaranteed to fill you up for hours to come! Oats and water are all you really need, but make the mix more interesting by adding soya or almond milk, toasted seeds, fresh fruit, jam, a dusting of cinnamon or all the above. This quinoa breakfast porridge is the super-food version – recipe available here.

7. Veggie sausage sandwich

CC sausage sandwich

Two slices of bread, two of your favourite vegan sausages (we say you can’t go wrong with Linda McCartney’s) and ketchup, brown sauce or your condiment of choice and there you have it – the healthier ethical equivalent of a bacon butty.

Vegan hotdog” by  Suzette – www.suzette.nu / CC BY 2.0

8. Stewed fruit

Little miss fig oats 1

Chop and gently stew seasonal fruits such as apples, figs, pears, prunes, plums, rhubarb or fresh berries for a few minutes and then keep it in the fridge for up to five days. This dish also tastes great over cereal or soya yoghurt.

Fig, maple and cinnamon compote from Little Miss Meat-Free.

9. Smoothies

banana_2D00_kiwi_2D00_smoothie_2D00_complete_2D00_555x370

The best thing about smoothies? In addition to being refreshing and delicious, they’re a nifty way to consume several of your five-a-day in one go! Here’s some inspiration.

10. Homemade granola

CC Granola

This one takes a little more preparation, but it’s totally worth it for the delicious crunchy, nutty flavour. You can make a big batch and store it in an airtight container for several weeks. There are tonnes of recipes available online such as this one.

Vegan Apple Pecan Granola” by Veganbaking.net / CC BY-SA 2.0

11. Hash browns

poblano_onion_hash_browns

Many store-bought hash browns, such as McCain’s or Sainsbury’s, are vegan – or if you’re more into the homemade vibe, whip up your own!

12. Cereal bars 

Cereal Bars

When there just isn’t time for a sit-down breakfast, vegan cereal bars such as Nākd bars, Clif Bars, 9bars and Trek Protein Bars are great for fuelling up on the go.

13. The vegan full English 

Full English

Combine numbers 5, 7 and 11 above, add baked beans, fried mushrooms and possibly a cheeky grilled tomato or two, and you’ll have yourself a damn satisfying fry-up – and the fact that it will have been created without harming animals will only make it extra-tasty!

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What’s your vegan breakfast of choice? Let us know by leaving a comment.

For more tips on going vegan, order our free starter kit!

Read more:

Stock chips Kirsty's Sandwich Chocolate Spread crop
9 Vegan Foods You Already Have in Your Kitchen 8 Must-Try Vegan Sandwich Ideas 11 Vegan Chocolate Fixes
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  • 25
  • Nov

Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA Proclaims, ‘A Vegan Tomorrow Is a Better Tomorrow’

In two weeks, world-famous hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan will release A Better Tomorrow, its first album in seven years. But before this long-anticipated album hits the stores, group leader RZA – whom you may also know as Apocalypse Samurai on Californication – will appear in a brand-new PETA ad declaring, “A better tomorrow is a vegan tomorrow. I am RZA, and I am vegan”.

“I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body”, RZA says. “I had animals as friends …. They was happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate.”

RZA also talks about the influence of hip-hop icons Russell Simmons, who promotes veganism, and KRS-One, who in his song “Beef” gave “us an idea of the process that animals go through … to make it to our tables”, RZA says.

Animals value their lives just as much as humans do. Yet those lives are sacrificed for profit, and human health and the environment are damaged because of it. RZA makes the point that we shouldn’t be putting the product of such stress and death into our living bodies.

It’s never too late to make the kind, smart choice and adopt a plant-based diet, giving your health a boost and sparing animals unnecessary suffering. Order your free vegan starter kit today.

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  • 25
  • Nov

A Grim Tour of the International Fur Industry, Narrated by Paloma Faith

Soul-singing sensation Paloma Faith uses her celebrated voice to draw attention to the barbaric fur industry in a new video that shines an unflinching spotlight on fur production in Europe and the US.

Paloma is known for her distinctive style but doesn’t believe that animals should suffer in this way for her fashion choices. As she says:

Origin Assured (sold by Harvey Nichols) Fur Exposed“All fur is the product of extreme cruelty and abuse of animals. That’s why I always choose faux fur. With so many extraordinary alternatives on the market, there’s just no excuse for tearing the fur off an animal’s back”.

Foxes with skinless paws forced to live beside their dead, decomposing cage mates and a mink with an untreated head wound so severe that the animal’s brain is visible – these are just two of the stomach-churning scenes in the video, which is a montage of video footage taken from farms in countries that make up part of the fur industry’s “Origin Assured” marketing initiative.

Fur from animals farmed in any one of 29 countries can potentially be labelled “Origin Assured”, including the animals seen in this video. So claims by stores such as Harvey Nichols that it sells only “Origin Assured” fur are really nothing to boast about.

Please join Paloma in opposing the inhumane fur industry by sending a message to Harvey Nichols asking it to stop selling cruelly produced fur at once!

Take Action Now

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  • 24
  • Nov

Why Rudolph Doesn’t Belong in a Shopping Centre

Reindeer aren't Christmas decorations!It’s common sense, really – a crowded shopping centre at the busiest time of year is no place for a wild animal. Yet across the UK, a number of towns have plans to use reindeer as holiday “props” in Christmas displays.

Reindeer belong in the Arctic and subarctic regions of the world, where they can live in herds and roam freely over vast open ranges. Being carted around from one display to another, housed in tiny sheds and pens, forced to pull sleighs and exposed to bright lights and loud noises, prevents them from engaging in any of their natural behaviour.

According to research from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, a poor diet, exposure to diseases carried by other animals and the stress of being removed from their natural environment have contributed to an increase in deaths among young reindeer used in the UK. When they’re denied the opportunity to roam for long distances, their hooves can grow too long, a serious condition that can be debilitating. They can also contract parasites carried by domestic animals.

Reindeer are large, strong animals who tend to be skittish and unpredictable, and they don’t enjoy being harnessed and petted, either. They can inflict serious injuries on humans. Consequently, male reindeer are commonly castrated to make them easier to handle – which is hardly in the Christmas spirit.

Along with many concerned supporters, we’ve been writing to councils up and down the country asking that they cancel any plans to use reindeer and implement policies against live-animal displays.

You can help! If you learn about any events in your local area that will feature live animals, please write to the organisers and ask them to rethink their plans. Here’s a template letter if you’re not certain what to say. Ending the exploitation of reindeer and other animals would do nothing to diminish children’s sense of the magic of the holiday season. For these animals, though, it would make a world of difference.

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  • 24
  • Nov

Chefs Get Behind Vegan Fine Dining

It’s no secret that fine vegan dining is on the rise in London, thanks to chefs such as Ali Parvinjah, the creator of the vegan menu on offer at The Montagu, which has been awarded two AA rosettes and is located in the five-star Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill.

For World Vegan Month, Chef Ali explains how the vegan movement in London has spread and gives viewers an exclusive look at some of his favourite plant-based recipes in our latest video.

“I have guests constantly telling me here at the restaurant The Montagu, ‘Chef, it was an epiphany. It was a rainbow of flavours'”, Chef Ali says. And diners aren’t the only ones who are excited about plant-based cooking. “The chefs here have completely embraced the move”, he says. “They want to be a part of it. … They feel that this is happening and … they have to stay on top of their game.”

Chef Ali

And Chef Ali is at the forefront of the movement, even at home. In the video, he shares his recipe for his favourite breakfast smoothie – “Drink that”, he says, “and you’ll feel on top of cloud number nine for like 12, 10 hours” – as well as his tried-and-true method for cashew-based crème fraîche.

Whether you dine in five-star hotels or just fancy a takeaway in front of the TV, many cruelty-free meals are readily available. Why not try them out? Order PETA’s free vegan starter kit here:

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