Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 3

Animal Writes

  • 24
  • Mar

11 Facts That Will Make You Love Elephants Even More

Elephants are magnificent, fascinating animals. Here are some facts you may not know about them – and two ways to speak out for elephants who are suffering in captivity.

1. They console each other in times of stress by “hugging”.

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According to researchers, elephants hug by putting their trunks in each other’s mouths, offering comfort through physical contact.

2. They mourn their dead.

Wild elephants will stand silently at the bodies of their dead companions, sometimes for days on end. Later, they may return and pay homage to their bones.

3. They can recognise themselves in a mirror.

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That might not sound like a big deal, but humans learn to do this only when we’re toddlers, and the only other animals who can do it are dolphins, great apes and magpies.

4. They live in matriarchal societies.

7 (Flickr)Elephants Herd Amboseli” by  Benh LIEU SONG | CC BY-S.A. 2.0

That pretty much makes all elephants feminists, right?

5. Elephants really do have long memories.

Friends (SXC)

In one sanctuary, two elephants, Shirley and Jenny, had an emotional reunion when they met each other again, after having briefly crossed paths 23 years earlier. Elephants also store and pass on a wealth of social and practical knowledge to help them survive.

6. Elephants can point.

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Well, obviously their trunks are like huge, custom-made pointing tools. But most animals haven’t mastered this gesture without being taught it, suggesting that elephants are one of the most cognitively advanced species out there.

7. They can listen with their feet.

Elephant Family

African elephants can detect rumbling in the ground with sensory cells in their feet. The vibrations travel through their body to their inner ear. They may even use these vibrations to communicate with each other over long distances.

8. They use sunscreen (well, sort of).

8 (Flickr)Elephant and Dust” by Vernon Swanepoel | CC BY 2.0

Like us, elephants can get sunburned, so they toss sand over their bodies to protect themselves. They also stop their offspring from getting burnt by standing over them to cast a shadow.

9. Baby elephants suck their trunks in the same way that human babies suck their thumbs.

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Too cute! They also have babysitters and make friends for life.

10. They’re environmentally minded.

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Elephants are a “keystone species”, meaning that they look after the place where they live, maintaining pathways and access to water, which helps other animals, too.

11. Two elephants need your help.

Sunder feet Mali


Given all this evidence about the awesomeness and sensitivity of elephants, it’s obvious that taking them away from their families and locking them up is wrong, which is why we need to speak out for them when they are abused and exploited.

Please speak out for these elephants:

• 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.

• Sunder is a teenage elephant being kept chained in a poultry shed in India. His imprisonment has caused a national outcry, and PETA India has footage of him being violently beaten by his “keeper”. Join the calls for Sunder to be freed.

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  • 21
  • Mar

Victory! China Southern Airlines Stops Shipping Monkeys to Labs

After three years of campaigning by PETA and our international affiliates, China Southern Airlines has announced that it has banned shipments of primates to laboratories. In an e-mail, Chen Qiuhua, senior cargo manager for China Southern, stated that the airline will “stop transporting live primates for laboratory experiments on all flights of China Southern Airlines, effective from March 21, 2014″.

We are thrilled that China Southern Airlines has finally recognised that cruelty shouldn’t fly and has stopped shipping terrified monkeys to pain and misery in laboratories!

Prior to this announcement, China Southern was the only major airline other than Air France that still shipped primates to laboratories. China Southern shipped monkeys to laboratories in the EU and US, where they were poisoned, crippled and mutilated in cruel experiments.

The campaigns included regular protests at airports and company offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Taiwan and Tokyo, and through the websites of PETA and our affiliates, more than 100,000 people sent e-mails to China Southern urging it to stop shipping primates.

Will you help us do it again?

Please send an e-mail asking Air France to stop giving primates a one-way ticket to experimentation and death.

Take Action Now

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  • 21
  • Mar

University of Stirling Cancels Plans for Petting Zoo!

When we found out that the University of Stirling’s student union had hatched a misguided plan to host a petting zoo on campus, we sprang into action to give the union officers the full story about petting zoos – which contribute to a cruel cycle of breeding, abandonment and killing.

We were extremely relieved to get this e-mail response back from the vice president of education and engagement:

“Stirling Students’ Union is keen to hold events which promote mental, physical, sexual and social health but not at the expense of the health of animals. After receiving an e-mail from PETA, we discussed it among the sabbatical officers and realised that a petting zoo on campus wouldn’t be a good idea after all”.

Goat Kids

Petting zoos are a bad bet for students and for animals. Travel, confinement to small cages and rough handling cause animals intense stress. Exhibitors take young animals on the road and, if they survive the ordeal, typically dispose of them when they become older and more difficult to handle.

At the same time, experts indicate that petting zoos are hotbeds of serious pathogens, including E coli and salmonella, which increase the risk of illness among human visitors.

It’s good news that University of Stirling students will now get to unwind in ways that don’t harm animals or endanger their health. Last year, we also persuaded the University of Leeds to cancel a petting zoo and encouraged students to speak out (and let us know, too) if their university has any similar plans.

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  • 19
  • Mar

Budget Day: Time to Tax Meat?

Time to Tax Meat?We’ve heard much talk in recent months about a proposed tax on sugar in order to help combat Britain’s obesity epidemic. But when it comes to unhealthy, disease-causing foods that drive up health-care costs, there’s another obvious culprit – meat and other animal products.

Just in time for the Chancellor’s budget speech, PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk has come up with a practical, money-saving suggestion that would score highly on both the fiscal and the moral front:

I would like to propose a new set of taxes that will benefit everyone: an excise tax on meat, eggs and dairy products that will help put our economy – and taxpayers suffering from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems – on the road to recovery.

Consumers already pay duty, or “sin”, taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline to help offset their health and environmental costs, yet although eating flesh and animal secretions is another unhealthy habit as well as a leading cause of climate change, it has so far escaped being taxed. Unfair! And unhelpful.

The government could save the lives of a lot more people, not to mention countless animals, if it treated the meat and dairy industries the same way that it treats the other “sin” industries. If it were to impose taxes on meat and dairy products in the same way that it has done for cigarettes, a lot more people would realise that tobacco isn’t the only cancer-causing substance that they should keep out of their mouths.

The idea is not completely new: last year, scientists writing in the journal Nature Climate Change suggested cutting methane emissions by driving up the price of meat through a tax or emissions trading scheme.

Earlier this month, we saw the release of yet another study showing the link between eating animal products and the harm caused to human health. Middle-aged people who eat protein-heavy diets are four times as likely to die of cancer as those who eat only a little protein, according to the study, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The researchers said that eating as much protein as the average meat- and dairy-eater increases the risk of developing cancer almost as much as smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

This research merely corroborates what many other studies have been saying for years. Eating meat has been linked to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, kidney stones, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, breast cancer and other forms of cancer. However, many people remain ignorant of these facts, much to their own detriment. Some of this ignorance can be put down to mixed messaging, as the government still heavily subsidises the meat and dairy industries.

A meat tax would bring more fairness to the tax system. Of course, in addition to costing the country, meat-eating also costs billions of animals their lives every year. More and more people are choosing not to do it for reasons of compassion, health and environmental awareness. So while we’re still waiting for the government to take practical action, there’s no need for you to wait!

Order our free vegan starter kit to find out just how easy and satisfying giving up animal products can be.

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  • 18
  • Mar

PHOTOS: Vivienne Westwood’s PETA Ad Launch

This afternoon, at gourmet vegetarian restaurant tibits in Central London, members of the media and fashionistas gathered for the launch of Dame Vivienne Westwood’s newest project – a PETA video promoting vegetarianism.

Dame Vivienne literally makes a splash in the provocative new PETA video about the meat industry’s depletion of world water supplies, which was screened in advance of World Water Day on 22 March. The full video can be seen here.

At tibits, Dame Vivienne explained about the huge amount of water wasted by the meat trade – not only for the animals it uses but also for crops grown exclusively to fatten them. Attendees also heard her ethical arguments for adopting a meat-free diet. She filmed a video testimonial at the ad shoot, explaining why she doesn’t eat meat:

Attendees were also treated to a vegetarian lunch at the award-winning gourmet eatery.

Vivienne Westwood: Wash Cruelty Down the Plughole Dame Vivienne Westwood at PETA video launch Vivienne Westwood and PETA US Senior VP Dan Mathews

Hear more from the iconic designer, and learn how you can get started on a greener way of eating that will leave animals and your tummy much happier. Check out PETAUK.org/vivienne.

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  • 17
  • Mar

Irish Beauty Rosanna Davison: Go Green, Go Vegan for Paddy’s Day

Former Miss World Rosanna Davison, daughter of singer Chris de Burgh, shows off her stunning plant-fuelled body in new photos released just in time for St Patrick’s Day. Painted, courtesy of Dublin make-up artist Shima Mistry, as a sexy leprechaun lady, the qualified nutritionist is spreading the word that one of the best ways to stay healthy, slim and energised is to go vegan.

Rosanna Davison PETA St Patrick's Day Vegan Ad

© Marc O’Sullivan

“Vegan meals are packed with nutrients and free of unhealthy animal fat and cholesterol, so they’re a great way to keep your weight down and your energy up”, says Rosanna, who is a certified nutritionist. “The best thing to do for your health and for animals is to go vegan – for St Patrick’s Day and every day!”

Vegan meals are also “greener”, as the meat industry is a leading cause of the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

This is not the first time that the Irish beauty has spoken out to protect animals: the long-time vegan appealed to Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture last year to end Ireland’s cruel export of live animals.

Join Rosanna this St Patrick’s Day by trying out a healthy, green plant-based diet for yourself. And if you’re looking for vegan versions of your favourite Irish dishes, from “steak” to stout pie to colcannon, PETA US has got you covered.

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  • 14
  • Mar

Tony Benn Will Be Missed

Today, we, like many other people across Britain, were saddened to hear about the death of the legendary Tony Benn, who was a great friend to animals.

Famous for always speaking his mind and standing up for what he believed and described by Ed Miliband as a “champion of the powerless”, Benn always fought for those without a voice in society – including animals. He protested against laboratories that test on animals, voted in Parliament against fox hunting, lent his support to animal rights groups, including PETA – and practiced what he preached every day by sticking to a vegetarian diet.

Here are a few of our favourite quotes from this remarkable man, who will be sorely missed.

On giving up meat:

I never liked meat and my son Hilary, 30 years ago, said: “If the world ate the grain instead of feeding it to animals and killing them, there would be enough food for everybody.” That moment my wife and I became vegetarian and I never touched meat since.

On animal rights:

Tony Benn CC copy

Tony Benn” by Glastonbury Left Field | CC BY-SA 2.0

On animal testing:

The tide is turning fast against those who still cling on to the view that experimentation and testing of drugs on animals is valid and necessary.

On cruelty:

Unquestioning brutality like slaughter and capital punishment does corrupt you and is a blot on the civilizing of society.

On the bill to ban fox hunting:

The support [for the bill] comes from people young and old–it is not confined to the young, although it is very strong among them–who believe that cruelty to entertain is wrong, and I share that view… As a vegetarian and someone who has always supported animal rights, I feel that we have a duty in a representative assembly to reflect properly the feeling that exists.

On changing the world:

Tony Benn” by Regent’s University London  | CC BY 2.0


Rest in peace Mr Benn.

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  • 14
  • Mar

The Easiest, Quickest (Vegan) Chocolate Mousse Recipe You’ll Ever Find

Whether you’re stuck for a dinner party dessert or just craving some vegan chocolate indulgence, this foolproof recipe is sure to delight. It’s simple and delicious and involves no exploitation of animals – what more could you ask for?

Recipe: Easy Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

500g silken tofu

100g vegan dark chocolate (Most dark chocolate is vegan – just check the packet to make sure that it doesn’t contain milk.)

100g vegan “milk” chocolate (Try Moo Free or Plamil. Or if you prefer a richer mousse, just use 200g of dark chocolate instead.)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  • Melt the two chocolates together.
  • In a blender, puree the tofu until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla essence and blend thoroughly. Pour into six individual dessert bowls and chill.
  • Optional: Dust with powdered sugar or top with berries.

Makes 6 servings


For more easy, tasty vegan recipes like this one, order a free vegan starter kit today:

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  • 12
  • Mar

Rhys Ifans Defends Furry Animals

Welsh actor Rhys Ifans is known for his portrayal of quirky characters, in films from Notting Hill to Harry Potter. But now he’s taken on a deadly serious role – as an advocate for Canada’s seals.

Rhys has just penned a letter to the World Trade Organisation urging it to uphold a ban on importing seal fur from Canada into the EU. Calling Canada’s commercial seal slaughter “inherently inhumane”, he points out that young seals have their skulls violently smashed or are shot – all for a dying industry that has been condemned by countries around the world.

Actor teams up with PETA to protest Canada's seal slaughter

Although there’s already a ban on seal-fur imports into the EU, Canada is appealing and trying to get the ban reversed. Rhys’ timely message comes just days before a crucial WTO meeting in Geneva on 17 March to discuss the appeal.

Compassionate Rhys joins fellow actor Jude Law in speaking out for seals as well as other celebrities from Pamela Anderson to Iggy Pop – not to mention thousands of everyday heroes who have sent messages to the Canadian government imploring it to stop allowing the annual slaughter.

Become one of them:

Take Action Now

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  • 10
  • Mar

What’s in Emeli Sandé’s Vegan Hamper?

After smash-hit Glaswegian soul singer Emeli Sandé confessed that she was leaning towards a meat-free diet, we decided to help her out by sending her some of our favourite vegan products to try!

Singer Emeli Sande moves towards a vegetarian diet

Judging from the expression on her face, she looks delighted with it – and who wouldn’t be!

If you have non-vegan friends who are curious about a plant-based diet, why not give them a little goodie bag for inspiration, too? Many people don’t realise that they can still enjoy all their favourite foods, from chocolate cake to cheese, while avoiding animal products.

The following items are what we sent to Emelie – let us know what would be in your dream vegan hamper in the comments below!

Once you’ve tickled your loved ones’ taste buds and left them itching to “try vegan”, point them in the direction of our 30-Day Vegan Pledge to help them commit to their first month of cruelty-free eating:

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