Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 4

Animal Writes

  • 14
  • Jul

Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite: Animals Will Never Die for My Dinner

Stuart Braithwaite‘s mum once told him that pigs cry when they know they’re going to die – and that image has stayed with him ever since. It’s not surprising, then, that the Mogwai guitarist is a committed vegetarian who decided not to support the industry that makes pigs and other animals cry out in pain, bleed and die.

In an exclusive interview, he discusses his reasons for choosing a more compassionate diet:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACult Scottish post-rock band Mogwai was formed in Glasgow – a city that now has so many vegan options that we named it the most vegan-friendly city in the UK last year! As Stuart notes, these days, wherever you are in the world, it’s getting easier and easier to find delicious meat-free meals, as millions of people make the switch to a plant-based diet.

Study after study has shown that giving up meat doesn’t just stop the killing of animals to satisfy your appetite – it’s also the best choice that you can make for your health. Eating processed meats has been linked to life-threatening illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Vegetarians and vegans, on the other hand, are typically fitter and healthier and also live longer!

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help:

  • Share This

  • 14
  • Jul

The Top 7 Vegan Ice Creams

When the weather heats up, our thoughts automatically seem to turn to ice cream. Nothing screams summer holiday like a scoop (or four!) of this delicious frozen dessert. Choosing to shun the cruelty of the dairy industry certainly doesn’t mean that you have to go without the good stuff, and – as more and more people make the switch to ethical vegan eating – the aisles of UK supermarkets increasingly offer a tempting selection.

The Best Vegan Ice Cream: Top Brands and where to buy thm

Here are our top picks for vegan ice creams for this summer – let us know if we’ve missed any great brands by leaving a comment below!

  1. Swedish Glace Neapolitan: Perhaps the most widely available vegan ice cream, Swedish Glace is stocked in larger branches of Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Holland & Barrett. It’s a soya-based Italian-style ice cream that is deliciously creamy and comes in a range of classic flavours.
  2. Bessant & Drury’s Vanilla: This fresh coconut-based dessert is light in texture and was a winner in the 2013 FreeFrom Awards. Stocked in selected Waitrose and Tesco stores and available online from Goodness Direct, it is gluten-, soy- and GMO-free, with no artificial additives.
  3. Booja-Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate: If you’re after something a bit special, these Booja-Booja cashew-based ice creams are raw, organic and seriously decadent. Promising no more than four to five ingredients and with creative flavours, they are definitely a treat worth investing in. Booja-Booja is available in Whole Foods Market and selected Waitrose stores.
  4. Food Heaven Wild Blueberry: This range of dairy-free soya iced desserts by Food Heaven has even beaten off competition from its dairy-laden rivals to win an international award. Pretty impressive! Find it in selected branches of Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s or in independent retailers.
  5. ZenZen Maple, Pecan & Banana: Find this luxurious yet reassuringly healthy coconut-milk ice cream in selected health-food stores across the country.
  6. Marks & Spencer Lemon Lush Sorbet: OK, so this isn’t technically ice cream – but it is a delicious, fruity, affordable and widely available frozen vegan dessert, so we thought we’d include it anyway. All major UK supermarkets offer their own version of this refreshing treat.
  7. Homemade: The best thing about vegan ice cream is it’s really easy to make at home, with no need for special equipment or multiple ingredients. All you need are frozen bananas and a blender, and you can start from there. Why not try this three-ingredient vegan ice cream recipe. It’s delicious, customisable and so healthy that you could even eat it for breakfast. (You’re welcome.)Easy homemade vegan ice cream recipe


Apologies if all this talk of ice cream has got you craving something sweet, but these delicious desserts are all the more reason to ditch the dairy and look forward to a cruelty-free summer! Why not take our vegan pledge and try it for yourself? You can have as much ice cream as you like. Promise.

  • Share This

  • 11
  • Jul

GOOD NEWS: India Bans the Sale of Foie Gras!

India GeeseIndia has become the first country in the world to impose a complete ban on the production, import and sale of foie gras. The pressure has been mounting on India’s Ministry of Commerce from animal-protection organisations, including PETA India, and officials have now finally elected to impose the ban, which will see to it that no more of this vile product makes it into the country.

Ducks reared for foie gras spend their lives confined to tiny cages and subjected to barbaric force-feeding several times a day via a metal tube rammed violently down their throats in order to pump grain into their stomachs. Over time, their livers can swell to up to 10 times their normal size, causing yet more suffering for the birds before they are slaughtered. Premature deaths on foie gras farms are commonplace, and many birds never make it to the abattoir.

Despite the horrific cruelty of foie gras, India is currently the only country to have imposed a full ban on its production, import and sale. More than a dozen other countries, including the UK, have banned its production. This bold statement on India’s part should serve as an example to governments in the EU and beyond as we continue to push for an end to this unnecessary and barbaric foodstuff.

If you’re one of the two-thirds of Britons who are opposed to the import and sale of foie gras in the UK, please add your voice and speak out against foie gras by helping us urge the EU to wake up and crack down on foie gras production by adding your name to our letter to the European Commission.


  • Share This

  • 10
  • Jul

More Great News From World’s Largest Youth Travel Company as It Ends Running of the Bulls Promotion

After meeting with PETA UK last month and learning about the world’s cruellest travel attractions, STA Travel quickly pulled all promotions of SeaWorld abusement parks, elephant rides and Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple. Since then, we have been advising the company on further improvements to its animal welfare policy, and we’re delighted to announce that STA Travel has now also discontinued the sale of San Fermín festival tours in Pamplona, Spain!

This is great news for bulls. Many tourists who travel to Pamplona to run with the bulls are unaware that every single one of the 48 animals chased through the cobble-stoned streets is later barbarically stabbed to death in the bullring in front of a jeering crowd.

Since STA Travel is the world’s largest youth travel company, its compassionate move will have an impact around the world. It joins a growing list of companies, including Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries, which have stopped promoting blood sports after hearing from us.

Pamplona PETA

But we’re not resting on our laurels – we’ve been organising iconic protests in Pamplona for more than a decade, and we won’t stop until unethical bullfights are relegated to the history books. We’re also campaigning against the massive EU subsidies that prop up the bullfighting industry, and we’re working hard to persuade other travel companies to stop promoting cruel animal attractions.

What You Can Do

If you’re visiting Spain, never attend bullfights. And if you see a company advertising or promoting bullfighting or the Running of the Bulls, please write to its customer service department to let it know how disappointed you are. Finally, please share our hard-hitting video “Bullfighting in 60 Seconds” so that more people can learn exactly what happens in bullfights – and why this cruelty needs to stop.

  • Share This

  • 10
  • Jul

Why Is Britain Going in the Wrong Direction on Animal Testing?

Today, the Home Office released statistics on the number of experiments on animals conducted last year. It’s not good news.

(video still) monkey with injuries being restrained by a personIn 2013, animal testers in Great Britain used more than 4.01 million animals in experiments, a 52 per cent increase since 2000. The number of experiments was the highest in a generation – a  step backwards for scientific progress in this country and a catastrophe for the millions of animals who live and die in laboratory cages.

Most of these animals lost their lives because of genetic engineering experiments, an imprecise, inefficient and unreliable “Frankenstein science” in which mothers undergo invasive procedures to insert or delete certain genes in their offspring. Only 3 to 5 per cent of all animals born actually carry the genes of interest, and the rest of the babies are usually killed soon after birth. Of the ones allowed to live, the young often die prematurely or are born with unpredictable behavioural and physiological abnormalities, such as increased sensitivity to pain, malfunctioning organs, susceptibility to seizures or rampant tumour growth. There were also dramatic increases in the number of experiments conducted on monkeys and guinea pigs.

Statistics can never reveal the full extent of suffering endured by each and every one of the individuals who were poisoned, cut open, blinded, electrocuted or infected with deadly diseases in barren, windowless prisons. We don’t even know the full extent of the abuse, as experiments on animals in the UK are currently shrouded in a veil of secrecy – something that we’ve been working hard to change.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s no excuse for this hidden massacre. Although animals have the same capacity to feel fear and pain that humans have, our physiology is vastly different. And that is why animal experiments are not good science.

Evidence recently published in the BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) demonstrates that experiments on animals systematically fail to benefit humans. Instead, they lead to expensive and fruitless clinical trials, which can endanger human life, cause millions of animals to suffer, cost billions of pounds and lead researchers away from possible beneficial therapies.

Forward-thinking researchers have succeeded in developing reliable alternatives to harming animals. For example, new “organs-on-chips” contain lab-grown human cells which mimic the structure and function of human organs, while MatTek’s EpiDermTM Tissue Model, a 3-dimensional, human cell–derived skin model, replicates key traits of normal human skin.

These are the types of innovative projects that Britain needs to invest in. Instead, the preoccupation with archaic, unreliable and unethical tests on animals is dragging down scientific progress – and taking millions of animals with it.


  • Share This

  • 09
  • Jul

Phone Air France to Protest Against Shipping Monkeys to Labs

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who took part and called Air France’s office. Its staff received hundreds of calls from compassionate people all over the UK – sending the message loud and clear that Air France needs to end its cruel cargo.

Watch this space for more campaign updates!


Only one major airline still ships monkeys to laboratories to be used in experiments – Air France.AirFrance-1 copy

Despite hearing from thousands of disappointed customers and seeing other airlines drop the cruel practice one by one, Air France continues its complicity in the unethical animal testing industry. The company even received a letter from renowned primate expert Dr Jane Goodall, but it still refused to take action. Now it’s time to up the ante.

Please join our day of action by making a quick phone call to Air France’s UK office today:

  • Call Air France’s UK office on 0871 66 33 777. Select option 1, then option 5, then option 4 to speak to a customer-care assistant.
  • Politely tell the employee that you want Air France to join China Southern Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, United Airlines and dozens of other companies in the cargo and passenger plane industry by refusing to fly monkeys to laboratories.
  • Let us know how the conversation went by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for using your voice to defend these animals!

  • Share This

  • 08
  • Jul

Why Are These Activists Pelting Air France HQ With Vegan Pâté?

First monkeys, then ducks and geese: Air France is certainly racking up the victims with its cruel policies. As if it weren’t bad enough that it’s the only international airline that still transports primates to laboratories for animal testing, the company has just sponsored a pound of foie gras to be given to each of the 751 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in Strasbourg, despite the fact that foie gras production is so cruel that it would be illegal in most EU countries.

A bunch of MEPs unsurprisingly rejected the unpleasant gift, while PETA France members sprang into action with a protest at Air France’s office in Paris.

Air France Paris1

Air France Paris2

Activists in monkey masks pelted the building with “faux gras” – the vegan version of the “fatty liver pâté” – to express their outrage at Air France’s utter disregard for the well-being of animals.

To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed via a metal pipe which is rammed down their throats several times a day for weeks until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The practice of force-feeding has been condemned by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations as well as by the EU’s Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare.

Investigations at foie gras farms have documented sick, dead and dying birds, some with holes in their necks from pipe injuries. The production methods are so cruel that California and India have even banned the sale of foie gras.

Air France seems intent on earning itself the wrong sort of reputation – as a company that puts profits over morals every time. As a result, thousands of compassionate consumers have taken their business elsewhere.

Help its management get the message that cruelty doesn’t fly by sending a quick e-mail today:


  • Share This

  • 08
  • Jul

Living in Harmony With Snails

The ethical way to manage our garden without harming snailsDid you know that there are potentially more than 200,000 species of snails and molluscs currently crawling around on our planet?

The species that the majority of us are probably most familiar with are those found in the garden. If you haven’t yet come to see snails as the unique, fascinating individuals that they really are, the following are a few surprising facts that may open your eyes:

  • Some species of snail can live for up to 25 years in the wild!
  • Snails can crawl along the edge of a razorblade and not be hurt, thanks to the thick slime that they produce.
  • Snail ancestry dates back 600,000 years. The snails in your garden are descended from prehistoric sea snails!
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Snails can reach speeds of up to 50 yards per hour.
  • Snails sometimes travel in convoys, following their friends’ tracks to conserve energy.
  • Snails are strict vegetarians! Their favourite snacks include rotting leafy vegetables, fungi and algae.
  • The lifespan of snails is decreasing rapidly as humans destroy their habitats on land, sea and in fresh water.

Stock snail parkWhile keen gardeners may understandably prefer to keep their vegetable patch nibble-free, a recent study has confirmed that the best way to minimise damage to your plants is very simply (and gently) to remove snails to a safe distance.

We recommend gathering up our shell-dwelling friends and relocating them to a cool, moist area at least 20 metres from your garden, where they can roam free and avoid roads and any other danger zones. You could even pack a few lettuce leaves as a tasty snack for the road. Or even better, why not consider introducing more plants to your garden that aren’t on their menu, such as begonias and yellow irises, in order to deter them?

  • Share This

  • 05
  • Jul

PHOTOS: 100 ‘Death Runners’ Take Over Pamplona

If many of the tourists who turn up in Pamplona, Spain, for the Running of the Bulls each year understood what the festival is really about – the torture and death of frightened animals – they’d probably run the other way.

To open festivalgoers’ eyes, 100 activists from all over the world took part in a powerful protest today in Pamplona’s main square, organised by PETA and the Spanish group AnimaNaturalis.


With faces painted to look like the Grim Reaper, “blood” on their hands and signs reading, “You Run. Bulls Die”, the volunteers sent a sobering message to anyone in doubt about the cruelty that occurs at the annual San Fermín festival.


Every single one of the 48 animals who are chased through the cobbled streets by drunken revellers will later be stabbed to death in the bullring, in front of a jeering crowd. As our hard-hitting video “Bullfighting in 60 Seconds” makes painfully clear, bulls endure prolonged agony as they are goaded by armed men, attacked again and again and collapse on the ground in a pool of their own blood.

As Morrissey eloquently put it earlier this week, “Whatever the results, whatever the motive, the bullfight is systematic torture”.

We’ve been taking part in iconic protests in Pamplona for more than a decade, and we won’t stop until this barbaric activity is relegated to the history books, where it belongs. We’ve also been hitting the bullfighting industry where it hurts – in the pocket. In addition to campaigning against the massive EU subsidies that prop up bullfighting (despite the fact that most Spanish people aren’t interested in it), we’ve also been persuading travel companies such as Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries to stop promoting the blood sport.

What You Can Do

If you’re visiting Spain, never attend bullfights. And if you see a company advertising or promoting bullfighting in any way, please write to its customer service department to let staff know how disappointed you are. Finally, please share our video so that more people can learn exactly what happens in bullfights – and why the cruelty needs to stop.


  • Share This

  • 04
  • Jul

Meet the Activists Who Are Taking a Stand Against Bullfighting in Pamplona

As the city of Pamplona in Spain gears up for the annual San Fermín festival this weekend – in which dozens of frightened animals will be forced by drunken revellers to run through the streets and then killed in bullfights – we’re preparing, yet again, to bear witness and speak out for these silent victims.

Activists from all over the world are making their way to Pamplona in order to join dozens of compassionate Spanish volunteers for a chilling protest against the cruelty and bloodshed. Meet some of the team, and learn why they’re taking a stand.

Daniela Romero Waldhorn

Daniela y Pancho

“I truly believe that no tradition justifies harming other beings that suffer.”

Spanish activist Daniela tirelessly speaks out for animals as a member of AnimaNaturalis.

Alistair Choat


“I’m happy to do whatever I can to expose the cruelty of the Running of the Bulls and bullfighting.”

Fifty-one-year-old Alistair is a Londoner through and through and also the proud owner of the famed Norman’s Coach and Horses in Soho, London’s first and so far only entirely vegetarian-and-vegan pub!

Nana Bjørnlund

Nana B2

“As a civilised person, I cannot know about this kind of cruelty without taking every step I can to prevent it. I will not be a bystander!”

Copenhagen-born Nana has lived in Barcelona for the last five years with her husband and FIVE rescued cats.

Ashishwangh Limki Auvray


“If I were not to stand up and act against this barbaric, sadistic, unacceptable suffering, I’d become – due to my indifference – the best ally of these torturers.”

French literature professor Ashishwangh hails from Bombay, India, and is a marathon runner as well as an animal activist in her spare time.

Christiane Schulze


“The demonstration against the bull fighting is so important for me because I don’t just want to complain about what is wrong in the world but want to speak up!”

Christiane lives in Barcelona but is originally from a town near Hamburg, Germany.

Ella Clarke


“I adore this country for its spirit, landscapes and weather, but the atrocities that happen here with regards to animals are heart wrenching.”

Originally from Canada, 34-year-old Ella has been living in Pamplona for the last two years. She has a love of Spanish culture but is calling for one life-saving improvement.

Kate Laycy


“Attending this demonstration is so so important to me because no animal deserves to be tortured and killed.”

Manchester actor Kate is determined to make her voice heard and help to bring an end to the suffering in Pamplona.

Yvonne Lemmen


“Participating in Pamplona is important to me because I want people to realise what they are actually supporting by taking part in the ‘running of the bulls’.”

PETA Netherlands team member Yvonne is now based in London but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out in Spain.

Mathilde Sezille


“Bulls are sacred to me, they are both peaceful and powerful, it is very important for me to help them find peace again, they don’t deserve to be turned into monsters for public enjoyment or for some or for some bloodthirsty entertainment”.

Mathilde works as a nanny and is also an aspiring fire-fighter. She’s travelling from France to attend the demonstration.

Hayley Crick

Hayley Crick 2

“Tormenting and butchering animals can never be justified as entertainment.”

As a midwife, Aussie Hayley is all about celebrating the miracle of life … not the unnecessary death of innocent animals for entertainment.

Isabelle Guaran


“I have to admit that I initially looked into the San Fermin festival as a potential tourist, but I soon realised that the event is a mask for unacceptable cruel treatment of some beautiful animals.”

The second Aussie of the bunch, Isabelle wrote her honours thesis on animal law. She lives in Sydney, and this will be her first visit to Spain.


We are so tremendously proud of and grateful for all our supporters, activists and volunteers from all over the world and all walks of life. Thanks to them, our bullfighting message is being heard louder and more clearly than ever before.

Anyone anywhere can be a voice for animals. If you’d like to appear in our next demo or just want to find out about other ways in which you can make a difference, please join our Action Team today!

  • Share This