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Animal Writes

  • 18
  • Dec

Norway Rejects Military Application to Use Live Pigs in Deadly Training Exercises

Some promising news: the Norwegian Animal Research Authority (NARA) has, for the first time, rejected an application by the Norwegian Armed Forces to injure and kill animals in archaic trauma training exercises.

In live-animal trauma training, animals such as pigs and goats are shot apart, are stabbed and have their bones broken before being sewn back together by trainee surgeons – and then they’re killed. It’s an unacceptably cruel practice, especially as humane, high-tech training methods have been proved to prepare doctors for the battlefield more effectively.

Military training drills mutilate animals

Norway, along with Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, is one of the only countries in Europe that still uses these barbaric training techniques. However, NARA’s decision to veto the exercises on this occasion suggests that this situation could be about to change. It concluded: “The committee does not approve of the use of animal testing given the information provided in the application and attachments. … The committee finds that the information that is provided in regards to the need to use live animals instead of alternatives in this research is not sufficient”.

We wonder if the tens of thousands of messages that the Norwegian government has received from compassionate PETA supporters, asking that it end live trauma training, could have influenced this progressive decision.

The campaigns by PETA and our international affiliates against the use of animals in live military drills has already made remarkable headway. Last year, Poland abandoned the cruel practice after receiving thousands of messages from concerned members of the public. And last month, the US army made a groundbreaking move to replace the use of animals in six different areas of medical training with modern human-patient simulators.

Of course, we’ll keep on campaigning against this barbaric practice until Norway and the handful of other European countries that still use animals in military drills commit to ending live trauma training altogether.

Please add your voice – sign our letter today:

Take Action Now


Photo: Jørn Stjernekla

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  • 17
  • Dec

PHOTOS: Don’t Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes, Say Blindfolded Protesters

Blindfolded and cradling a sheared and apparently blood-spattered “lamb”, these three PETA members were a striking sight in Edinburgh this morning.

Edinburgh wool demo

Their message to shoppers on Princes Street was “Don’t pull the wool over your eyes”, a reference to the immense suffering inflicted on sheep used by the wool industry, including violent abuse in shearing sheds, painful mutilations and frightening deaths in abattoirs.

Sheep suffer for wool - scratch it off your shopping list

Princes Street anti-wool protest

The trio urged passers-by to open their eyes to the cruelty inherent in wool production and to cross wool items off their shopping lists.

A recent exposé of the wool industry in the US and Australia – the source of 90 per cent of the world’s merino wool – revealed that workers violently punched scared sheep in the face, stamped and stood on the animals’ heads and necks and beat and jabbed them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep even died from the abuse, including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died.

Closer to home, millions of British lambs die within days of being born, and those who survive may end their days in Middle Eastern slaughterhouses after being shipped abroad by the horrific live-export industry.

Please spare a thought for sheep this winter by refusing to buy items made from their hair. Instead, choose from the many warm, animal-friendly fabrics on offer today!

Read More

PETA Knitting Pattern Christmas Jumper
11 Reasons to Have a Wool-Free Winter Investigations Into the International Wool Industry Your Cruelty-Free Christmas Shopping Guide
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  • 16
  • Dec

Three Recipes to Try This Chanukah

Chanukah is the Jewish Festival of Lights, and it involves eight nights of family, gifts and, of course, food.

Keeping in mind the traditional Jewish concept of tza’ar ba’alei chayim – which explains that people should show compassion towards animals and avoid causing them harm – a great way to celebrate Chanukah is to opt for meals that leave animals off the plate!

Just in time for the festival, we’re sharing three recipes from our friends at the Jewish Vegetarian Society (JVS) and PETA US.

Potato Latkes

Latkes are traditionally eaten during Chanukah. The oil for cooking the latkes is reminiscent of the oil that is said to have kept the Second Temple’s Ner Tamid lamp lit with its continuously burning flame. This vegan recipe makes 30 latkes, which go great with grated apples and vegan cheese!

Jelly Donuts

Donuts are a staple of Chanukah. With egg-replacer products or even just some flax seeds, it’s easy to make donuts with a proper airy texture without supporting the cruelty of the egg industry.


Kugel is a staple at many Jewish celebrations, and there are many variations. (Try it made with sweet potatoes, spinach or broccoli.) This recipe is for a sweet and filling noodle kugel with apples and tofu.

For more ideas for celebrating a cruelty-free Chanukah, check out the JVS’ festival cooking recipe page and PETA US’ blog on eight ways to have a vegan Chanukah celebration. Or for inspiration on how to live vegan year-round, order our free guide!

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  • 14
  • Dec

Benjy Arrives at Sanctuary With Help From Sam Simon!

With help from The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, Benjy – an Irish bull previously slated for slaughter because of his reported sexual orientation – made it to Hillside Sanctuary on Sunday, where he will breathe fresh air, graze freely and never again face the threat of imminent slaughter.

Benjy Arrives at Hillside


Simon helped make Benjy’s rescue possible. “I believe in compassion and empathy for all living beings – regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or species. That’s why when PETA told me about ‘Benjy, the gay bull’, I felt compelled to help”, he said. “All animals have a dire destiny in the meat and dairy industries, but for Benjy to have been killed because of his sexual orientation would have been a double tragedy.”

“My health won’t allow me to travel to the UK to see Benjy in his new home, but it thrills me to know that his fate is a sanctuary rather than a sandwich, and I know the folks at PETA … will keep me updated on his progress”, says Simon.


Simon also hopes Benjy’s story will inspire others to help animals: “While it will be a happy holiday season for Benjy, it won’t be for the millions of other animals on farms living in their own filth, denied everything that is natural and important to them”, says Simon. “I’d encourage anyone moved by Benjy’s plight to help other animals like him by choosing to leave all animals off their plates and opt for a vegan Christmas dinner.”

For inspiration on how to opt for a vegan Christmas dinner, visit our guide to having a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

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  • 12
  • Dec

28 British Celebrities Who Won’t Be Eating Turkey This Christmas

It’s estimated that 11 per cent of Brits, including these compassionate stars, will be tucking into a delicious meat-free Christmas dinner this year – one in which the centrepiece isn’t the carcase of an animal. Join them!


Not only will singing sensation Leona Lewis not be serving any animal products on Christmas Day, she also won’t be wearing any. (Leona doesn’t wear fur, leather or suede.) Now that’s compassion in fashion!

2. Paul McCartney, who famously said that “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian”, teamed up with PETA to encourage fans to keep cruelty off the Christmas table.     3.  Joanna Lumley, the “Absolutely Fabulous”, is still as fabulous as ever. What’s her secret? Not being part of the “blood chain”, as the longtime vegetarian puts it.  

4. Emeli Sandé is one of the biggest names in the music business. And she uses her voice to promote a plant-based diet.


Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson has never been one to shy away from drama or keep her opinions to herself, especially when animals are involved.


JME – “Kale, yeah”, the grime artist and Boy Better Known founder is vegan!

7. The Wanted’s Jay McGuiness knows that animal agriculture pollutes our airways and waterways – and that not eating meat is the single most effective thing that people can do to reduce their carbon footprint.


Football legend Phil Neville scored a winning goal for his health and for animals when he switched to a vegetarian lifestyle.


Meat and dairy products are linked to obesity, cancer and diabetes. No wonder so many people report feeling better after ditching animal products. Just ask singer Ellie Goulding, who says, “I went vegan a few months ago. I feel leaner and healthier”.


TV personality and longtime vegetarian Fiona Phillips understands that Christmas is meant to be a time of goodwill for all, including animals.


Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oli Sykes is a badass with a soft side. “When I saw how animals are tortured on factory farms, I couldn’t justify being a part of that cruelty. I thought, ‘Imagine if that were me.'” Hell, yeah!


A vegetarian since the age of 14, Russell Brand says, “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”.

13. I scream. You scream. We all scream for (vegan) ice cream! Just ask McFly’s Tom Fletcher.


Comedian John Bishop has been meat-free for nearly three decades, which may account for his unflappable energy on stage!


Gabrielle Aplin, the singer of “The Power of Love”, extends her love to animals.

16. Jodie Marsh knows that animals are not walking roasts. She says, “I could never eat a dog, and I don’t see how a chicken, a sheep, a pig or any animal is any different, because all animals have a mind and a personality”.

17. Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton is meat-free every day – but also encourages meat-eaters to give plant-based foods a try, even just one day a week.

Never one to hold back, legendary rocker Morrissey fearlessly mouths off about the meat trade every chance he gets. And guess what? He wants you to join him.


The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins understands the struggle … wink.

20. Actor Thandie Newton won’t be eating meat this Christmas – and she won’t be eating dairy products, either.


“I remember a specific conversation with my mum, and she told me that pigs cry when they know they’re going to die. … I just couldn’t really contemplate bein’ part of that process”, says Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite.


Socialite and designer Meg Mathews never misses the opportunity to spread the vegan message – check out her wheels!

Meg Mathews


Still think vegans are scrawny weaklings? Say it to boxer David Haye‘s face. Dare ya.


You tend to feel better about yourself when you’re not using your body as a graveyard for animal corpses. Rapper Skepta seems to agree. “You know when you go gym and you walk out, you feel good about yourself? I feel good about myself that I don’t eat meat.”


Singer Joss Stone has never eaten an animal, and she admitted to PETA that she actually used to sing “Amazing Grace” to the cows in the field. Awww.


Les Misérables performer Samantha Barks has been vegetarian since childhood and says that if she hadn’t gone into acting, she might have become a veggie chef.


Ninjas need strength. And parkour champion Tim Shieff gets his entirely through plant-based foods.


Guitar legend Jeff Beck says, “You can’t just carve animals up – it’s not necessary”. And with so many delicious faux-meat options available, it’s hard to disagree.

Join these celebs and celebrate the holidays while leaving animals off your plate. Order a free vegan starter kit today, and check out our guide for how to have a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings!

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  • 12
  • Dec

Beyond Skin Launches Exclusive Vegan Shoe With Winner of PETA Competition

Earlier this year, we announced the winner of PETA’s design competition with acclaimed vegan shoe label Beyond Skin. The competition attracted entries from budding cordwainers around the world. Now, just in time for Christmas, the winning shoe design is available to pre-order!

The stylish Alice shoe, named in honour of its designer, fashion student Alice Lambert-Gorwyn, can be seen below. The shoe caught the eye of judge Laura Whitmore, who had the difficult task of choosing a winner from all the designs. Alice’s shoe is handmade in Spain from 100 per cent vegan microfibre suede and a faux-reptile-print polyurethane obtained from Italy.

beyond skin alice shoe

“I am over the moon to see my design turn into reality”, Alice said. “I hope it will encourage other designers to explore the wide variety of non-animal fabrics and embrace cruelty-free fashion.”

More and more designers and retailers – including Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Dr. Martens, Esprit and H&M – are recognising the huge demand for animal-friendly accessories and offering their customers shoes, bags and belts made from modern, high-quality synthetics, which are less damaging to the planet and don’t harm a hair on any animal’s head.

Visit to order the Alice shoe. A percentage of the profits from each sale will be donated to PETA’s life-saving campaigns for animals.

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  • 11
  • Dec

European Ombudsman Ruling on PETA Complaint a Victory for Animals Used in EU Chemical Tests

Ratten 15 - ÄgT (3)Victory! In a landmark decision that could save millions of animals from suffering and death in laboratory experiments, the European Ombudsman has determined that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the agency responsible for overseeing the largest animal testing programme in the world, is not fully applying its authority to minimise animal experiments, as required by law.

In 2011, PETA learned that tens of thousands of animals were being poisoned and killed in avoidable tests, contrary to the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH), which states that animals must only be used as a last resort. PETA immediately and repeatedly contacted ECHA about this unconscionable use of animals, yet ECHA continued to shirk its duty to ensure that animal use is minimised.

We took our concerns to the European Ombudsman, who is the government official responsible for investigating complaints about European Union institutions. Her decision today, which upholds a key argument in our complaint, has enormous implications for preventing the suffering of millions of animals and confirms that ECHA has failed to fully accept its mandate and use all tools at its disposal to minimise animal experiments .

It is estimated that upwards of 13 million animals will suffer and die in experiments authorised under REACH. But the legislation is clear: alternative testing methods to animals must be used whenever possible, and testing on animals must be undertaken only as a last resort.

This is not happening. ECHA’s 2011 and 2014 reports on “The Use of Alternatives to Testing on Animals for the REACH Regulation” demonstrated that thousands of animals were used in painful skin and eye tests that could have been avoided. Just as worrisome, hundreds of studies were conducted without prior submission and approval of a testing proposal. The Ombudsman further found that ECHA’s refusal to ensure that industry comply with the principle of using animals only as a last resort is akin to amending REACH informally  without the involvement of the European Commission.

In light of ECHA’s repeated failings, an estimated 100,000 animals have suffered and died in experiments on animals that could have been avoided. While it’s too late to bring these animals back, ECHA can reduce this disastrous death toll by accepting its responsibilities and immediately incorporating the Ombudsman’s advice. Of course, scientists working for PETA and our international affiliates will continue to scrutinise ECHA’s work and do everything they can to make sure that happens.

Image: Doctors Against Animal Experiments

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  • 11
  • Dec

‘The Apprentice’ Star Has a Holiday Surprise for Fur-Peddling Harvey Nichols

DSC_0268Harvey Nichols is on this Santa’s “naughty” list. Although the shop previously maintained a celebrated fur-free policy for a decade, it started selling fur again this year.

With the chain’s profits plummeting, Steven Ugoalah, the star of this season’s The Apprentice, dressed as Santa and was joined by two PETA “elves” as he paid Harvey Nichols’ Knightsbridge shop a visit and offered some seasonal business advice.

“Supporting the cruel fur trade is not only bad business – as Harvey Nichols is learning – but also utterly shameful”, Steven said. “My friends at PETA and I are calling on Harvey Nichols to do the right thing for animals by dropping fur for good – and we’re encouraging holiday shoppers to stay away from the store until it does.”

Steven Ugoalah for PETA

As PETA has exposed, for every cuff, collar, piece of trim or coat made from real fur, raccoon dogs, foxes, minks and many other animals – including dogs and cats – were electrocuted, bludgeoned, strangled or even skinned alive. PETA’s video montage, narrated by Paloma Faith, about “Origin Assured” fur – the type sold at Harvey Nichols – shows animals left to suffer from bloody wounds and forced to live in cages alongside dead animals.

You can help!

Please send a message to Harvey Nichols’ CEO and ask her to reinstate the company’s fur-free policy immediately:

Take Action Now

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  • 10
  • Dec

Punk Up Your Wardrobe With Black Score’s Clothing Collaboration With PETA

Have you ever wanted to flip heartless fur-wearers the bird? Designer Simeon Farrar – the genius behind Black Score, the label of stylish slogan T-shirts – has, and that’s why he was eager to team up with PETA UK for a limited-edition collection of “Black Score for PETA” animal rights–themed T-shirts and jumpers, which are available to buy online now.

“I’m really excited to be collaborating with PETA”, Farrar says. “They are so passionate and proactive in the crusade against animal cruelty. Black Score is often raising the middle finger for the animal kingdom, so to do it in support of a charity like PETA is a true honour.”

The in-your-face designs, which are drawn by hand, take on a variety of subjects, including the meat industry, fur and wool, and a percentage of the sales from each T-shirt and sweatshirt sold will be donated to PETA. Check out, and then let us know which design is your favourite in the comments!


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  • 09
  • Dec

Morrissey Spreads the Meat-Free Message on Tour

Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Lisbon, Milan and Paris are just a few of the cities that Morrissey’s latest European tour has taken him to – and wherever he’s gone, he’s made sure that his fans have heard the compassionate meat-free message loud and clear.

In addition to persuading all the venues that he’s performing at to go meat-free for the night, Moz also gave a show-stopping rendition of his iconic song “Meat Is Murder” – accompanied by harrowing video footage from abattoirs to help drive the point home. And his performances have led many people to rethink their dietary choices! We’ve compiled a few of the audience’s reactions:


Thanks, Morrissey! And thank you to all the PETA supporters who turned up to table and hand out pro-veg leaflets at each of his gigs.

Even if your personal following isn’t quite as large as Mozza’s, you can still be a positive influence on those around you! Most people can’t help but be moved and shocked when they see video footage of how animals are treated in abattoirs and on factory farms so sometimes sharing a video is all it takes to persuade someone to try out a cruelty-free diet.

Share our hard-hitting exposé “Glass Walls” to help spread the meat-free message!

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