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Animal Writes

  • 15
  • Aug

RIP Bingo – Another Orca Dies in Captivity

After spending 30 years confined to a tank, yet another orca has died in captivity. Bingo, a male orca at Japan’s Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, suffered from an inflammation of his lungs before passing away last week. He had been captured off the coast of Iceland in 1984 and never allowed to return to his family or ocean home.

Three orcas still remain at the aquarium: Stella, another wild-caught orca who once inhabited the vast waters of Iceland, and her two daughters, Ran II and Rin, both born in captivity.

Between 1967 and 1989, 54 orcas were captured off the coast of Iceland, and 47 of them have since died in captivity. The other seven still remain trapped in aquariums.

Please take action against the enslavement of sensitive, intelligent marine mammals by asking the Spanish government to return young orca Morgan to her home.

Rest in peace, Bingo. You are finally free.

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  • 15
  • Aug

8 of the Best Barbecue-Worthy Vegan ‘Meats’

The best vegan bbq meat substitutesIt’s that time of year again! The sun has got its hat on, and it’s time to fire up the grill and gather everyone together for a slap-up summer barbecue. If you’re one of the ever-growing number of compassionate people for whom the idea of burning animal flesh doesn’t conjure up summer fun, there are many cruelty-free hot dogs, veggie burgers and vegan sausages crying out to be grilled, tossed into a bun and gobbled up!

Here are some of our favourite vegan ‘meat’ options:

  1. Sainsburys Meatfree Sausages: These are a no-fuss choice, which are guaranteed to hold their shape on a grill and taste absolutely vegan-licous between two slices of bread and smothered with mustard and ketchup!
  2. Linda McCartney Mushroom & Spinach Burgers: If you’re not that into faux meats but still want a chunky burger with just the right amount of green, these are for you! These burgers have a distinctive mushroomy flavour and are widely available in most supermarkets.
  3. Dee’s Traditional Vegan Sausages: These pea protein–based sausages are spiced with ginger, coriander and Irish dulse seaweed and are a cut above your average vegan bangers. Available from Waitrose and Ocado, they are suitable for vegans and coeliacs and are also soy-free.
  4. Tesco Mexican Style Bean Burgers: For those who love a spicy kick to their burgers, these Mexican-style burgers are HOT! They’re packed with kidney and haricot beans and sweet corn and are perfect served in a bun with salad and guacamole or salsa. They’re also great value for the money.
  5. VBites Meat-Free Jumbo Hot Dogs: Offering a vegan take on the classic frankfurter-style hot dog. VBites already offers a wide range of meat and cheese substitutes, available from Holland & Barrett and some larger Morrisons’ stores.
    Vegan BBQ grill ideas
  6. Fry’s Traditional Burgers: These hearty and satisfying burgers have an authentically “meaty” flavour and, with their char-grilled pattern, even look the part as well! Find them at Holland & Barrett and Ocado.
  7. Wheaty Döner Kebab: At last, vegans can recreate that late-night kebab shop experience at home, thanks to this tempting wheat-based “meat” from Germany, which is available from health-food stores and retailers such as Suma.
  8. Make your own! Even if you don’t have time to rush out to the shops before an event or just want something that’s less processed, there are loads of great vegan barbecue recipes out there. These black-bean and sweet-corn burgers can be prepared quickly, using mostly store-cupboard ingredients.
    Veggie burger recipes for barbecue

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So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to the supermarket and turn those barbecue dreams into reality. You might even be able to convert a few meat-eaters while you’re at it!

Team them up with delicious accompaniments, such as potato salad, guacamole or grilled courgettes – here are a few recipe ideas. For more vegan food inspirations, order our free starter kit:

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  • 13
  • Aug

20 Prizes for 20 Years – Week 7: Win a Stella McCartney Faux-Python Bag

Stella McCartney handbag competition giveaway with GraziaTo help celebrate our 20th anniversary, Stella McCartney, Britain’s favourite designer, has donated one of her cruelty-free falabella bags! We’ve teamed up with top fashion mag Grazia to give away her bag and promote compassionate fashion.

Enter here.

Stella is known for her high-fashion accessories, celebrity fans and commitment to compassionate fashion, offering products that are free from leather, fur and exotic skins. This fabulous faux-python bag was handmade in Italy from animal-free fibres, meaning that no snakes were harmed.

It’s common practice in the exotic-skins industry to pump live snakes full of water in order to loosen their skin, which poachers then peel off their writing bodies. Thankfully, the rise of animal-free fashion means that fashionistas can get a “killer look” without killing.

To enter, visit Grazia‘s website.

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  • 11
  • Aug

The Scientists Who Are Determined to Stop Chemical Tests on Animals

Gilly and JuliaIt’s the largest animal testing programme in the world, but many people have never heard of it.

We’re talking about REACH – otherwise known as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals in the European Union. The law states that animals must be used in tests only as a last resort, but since it came into effect in 2007, it’s estimated that a staggering 800,000 animals have already been poisoned and killed as part of the programme, including rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs and fish. Millions more could be subjected to the same fate in the coming years, and worse, many could be used in cruel tests when humane non-animal alternatives exist!

Fortunately, PETA and our international affiliates have progressive scientists on the case working day and night to do everything that they can to ensure that doesn’t happen. The PETA International Science Consortium is working behind the scenes to help save animals from these painful and frightening experiments. This month, for example, two scientists working as part of the Science Consortium published an in-depth article in Chemical Watch, a major publication for chemistry industry professionals, outlining how to replace cruel tests on animals with reliable and humane non-animal methods.

REACH chemcial testing programme harms animalsFor example, instead of dripping chemicals into rabbits’ eyes or rubbing them into their sensitive skin, companies can often use in vitro (test tube) experiments or computer modelling to determine the toxicity of chemicals.

By providing the most up-to-date information about alternatives to animal testing, the Science Consortium is pushing the chemical industry forward – away from archaic and unethical experiments on sentient beings and towards a future in which new technologies are used to save both animal and human lives.

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  • 11
  • Aug

The Inglorious Twelfth Marks a Season of Shame

Grouse

Tuesday is the beginning of the annual red grouse shooting season in Scotland: the deceptively named “Glorious Twelfth”. Around half a million of these shy birds will be shot this year, helping to line the pockets of certain wealthy landowners but causing nothing but suffering to both the grouse and the many other animals who are killed because of this archaic, bloodthirsty industry.

Many estate managers kill birds of prey in order to “protect” grouse so that shooters can then kill them. Hawks, falcons, owls and other legally protected raptors are trapped, poisoned or shot, and their nests are also destroyed. Similarly, gamekeepers “control” (i.e., kill) foxes, crows, weasels, stoats and other animals so that hunters will have more grouse to shoot.

Unnaturally boosting the grouse population – for the perverse purpose of obliterating it later in the year – is also highly detrimental to the local environment. Upland moors store and absorb carbon dioxide – the British equivalent of a rainforest. But since grouse eat young heather shoots, moor “managers” burn heather in order to encourage fresh shoots, releasing massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There’s also evidence that the use of lead ammunition – which is toxic to wildlife – harms the environment and humans.

Estate owners generally receive £150 for every pair of birds shot down. This is basically blood money, supplied by people who kid themselves that this killing is “sport”. The 12th of August will be a glorious day only when grouse hunters put away their guns, traps and poisons for good.

Image: Bods / CC BY 2.0

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  • 11
  • Aug

Seeking Stylish Vegans – Apply Within!

Stylish VeganLove cruelty-free fashion as much as you love to breathe? Have a killer style that no one had to be killed for? Then you are just the person we are looking for!

The search is on for fierce fashionistas and fashionisters who turn heads with their cruelty-free attire. If you think you’ve got the winning style, simply e-mail MostStylishVegan@peta.org.uk with a photo of yourself in your favourite outfit and a few lines about your personal style and why you choose to rock animal-friendly looks.

This is your opportunity to show just how easy it is to be en vogue without being inhumane.

We’ll feature our favourite trendsetters on the PETA UK website so that other fashion devotees can see that compassion and fashion really do go hand in hand. We’ll also send those who are featured some chic vegan goodies as a token of our admiration.

Animals killed for clothing are intelligent, thinking, feeling beings – they are not bags, coats or shoes. Join us in spreading this message. Submit your pics today!

By submitting your photo to us, you’re acknowledging that you’ve read and you agree to our privacy policy and terms of submission.

Image by Monkee Genes.

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  • 08
  • Aug

Siddy Bennett: Go Vegan and Find Inner Peace

Siddy Bennett, lead singer of the up-and-coming indie-folk band Wildflowers, recently popped in for a chat with PETA about all things vegan.

The Londoner and long-time vegetarian made the decision to ditch eggs and dairy products and go vegan a little more than a year ago, when her band was just getting started and she moved back in with her vegan mum, who refused to allow animal products in her home. This situation really got Siddy to think about how cows used by the dairy industry and hens used for their eggs suffer on factory farms, as did a memorable Chrissie Hynde performance of “I’ll Stand by You” for PETA, which spoke to Siddy’s love of both music and animals. She knew then that she had to make the change.

It’s clear that veganism is suiting Siddy, who stresses the benefits it has had for her health and is thrilled with the improvements in her skin and complexion. Even so, the shift in her perspective and outlook, she says, has had a much more profound impact: “I feel relaxed in my head knowing that I’m not eating something that’s come from a bad place or been damaged or hurt”.

Inner peace, improved health and great skin are just some of the positive benefits of choosing a vegan diet and lifestyle. But it’s also about caring for our planet and treating it with respect. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse-gas emissions and a scourge on our land, rivers and oceans. When you choose not to buy into this environmental mass destruction, we all win!

And most importantly, we have to remember those who have no choice – animals. They don’t get a say about being subjected to an endless cycle of confinement, cruelty and deprivation in the meat, egg and dairy industries, which lasts from the second when they are born until the day when they are sent to a terrifying and horrific death at an abattoir.

The good news in all this is that it’s extremely easy to adopt a compassionate diet. Veganism can suit any lifestyle, schedule or budget, and there are thousands of delicious vegan ingredients and easy-to-prepare vegan recipes out there for even the most basic of cooks. Siddy is a huge fan of plant-based cheeses, dark chocolate with dates, smoked tofu and falafel wraps. With new vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening all the time and more and more popular chains introducing vegan options, it’s never been easier to go vegan.

Why not take the pledge and switch to a vegan diet for 30 days to see how terrific you can feel!

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  • 08
  • Aug

County Kerry, End the Capture and Display of Wild Goats at Puck Fair

Wild animals suffer tremendously, both physically and mentally, when caught, especially during handling and transport, and contact with humans can terrify and disorient them. So spare a thought for the goat who will soon be “crowned” King Puck at the Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry.

PETA oppose Puck Fair crueltyIn what must be a terrifying ordeal, each year, a wild male goat is caught in the mountains, confined to a small cage in town and then hoisted high in the air, where he remains for three days while revellers party below.

Goats deserve to be left alone so that they can roam the beautiful, sprawling mountains of County Kerry – not captured every year and imprisoned inside a cramped and wholly unsuitable enclosure.

There are many other ways for Killorglin’s residents to celebrate their local community without putting animals at risk. This year, we’ve written to the Mayor of Kerry, offering to contribute to the creation of a life-like goat sculpture if it will help end this cruel and archaic practice. We hope that Killorglin’s mayor and residents will take us up on this offer.

If you visit the county or anywhere else with an attraction that includes a captive animal, please walk the other way. Tourists have so many fantastic opportunities available to them that it’s easy to have a holiday filled with cruelty-free memories.

Image: “King Puck goes up” by Alice / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • 06
  • Aug

271 Irish Stars: “We are all calling for an immediate ban on fur factory farming in Ireland”

Athletes, directors, authors, actors, radio presenters, musicians and models all leant their names to call on Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney to ban fur farming, an industry that condemns almost a quarter-million minks to a life of suffering each year.

Imelda May, Anjelica Huston and Rachel Pilkington

Left to right: Imelda May, Anjelica Huston and Rachel Pilkington.

European countries, including Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, have already banned the cruel practice, and actor Rachel Pilkington wants Ireland to join them. She gathered the celebrity support and submitted a 13-page document to the government which outlines why this industry runs counter to the principles of best animal welfare. Just a few of the household names on the list include Saoirse Ronan, Victoria Smurfit, Amy Huberman, Stephen Rea, Sharon Shannon, Pauline McLynn, Peter Coonan, Síle and Gráinne Seoige, Sonia O’ Sullivan and Rosanna Davison.

These celebrities now join PETA, ARAN, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and hundreds of thousands of compassionate people in Ireland and beyond who oppose the industry.

Other compassionate Irish celebs who have spoken out include Imelda May, who went public with her disgust for the fur industry in 2013 and wrote to the government that “Ireland needs to stop dragging its feet. Regulating the industry is not enough – please make Irish people proud and enact an immediate ban on fur farming”.

Mink Farming

BAFTA and Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston has also shared her thoughts on the industry when she appealed to the minister in 2012 to ask that Ireland honour its commitment to ban fur farming in the then-upcoming Animal Health and Welfare Bill. At the time she said, “This issue means a lot to me as I grew up in Ireland and used to wear fur. I had a change of heart when I learned how minks and foxes on fur farms are crammed into tiny, dirty cages and driven so crazy by the confinement that many self-mutilate and even cannibalize their cagemates”.

You can join the 271 stars who supported this initiative and help minks by writing to the Irish government today and asking authorities to make shameful fur farms a thing of the past in Ireland.

Mink photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

Anjelica photo: © DP/starmaxinc.com

Imelda photo: “Imelda May at Evolution Festival 24-May-2009”Yaffa Phillips / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • 06
  • Aug

Enter the Great Vegan Bake-Off!

 

Bake-Off 2014 is now closed for entries! Check out this year’s finalists.

PETA's Great Vegan Bake-Off

There are quite a few delicious vegan baked goods at many grocery stores, but sometimes you just can’t beat the taste of homemade baking. Vegan baking is a great way to impress both friends and family with delicious cruelty-free food, and, of course, it offers a fantastic opportunity to show off your skills in the kitchen!

Following the success of last year’s competition, we’re inviting bloggers to put their vegan baking skills to the test once again and share with us their favourite vegan creations! Enter the Great Vegan Bake-Off. You don’t have to be a pro to create the perfect vegan pie or sensational scone – just do your best, and make sure to take some scrumptious snaps along the way.

For those of you who are new to vegan baking, don’t worry – it’s easy. Check out this vegan baking cheat sheet and the hundreds of recipes on PETA US’ website.

To enter, just bake something that’s both delicious and free of animal products, then post the recipe along with pictures or video footage on your blog or YouTube channel and send the URL to us at Contest@peta.org.uk. Please put “VEGAN BAKE-OFF” in the subject line and enter before 21 August at midnight. By submitting your entry you’re acknowledging that you’ve read and you agree to our contest terms and conditions.

We’ll pick the baked goods that we think look the tastiest and post a blog with all the finalists on 25 August. Then we’ll have two weeks of voting, ending on 7 September. PETA will give equal consideration to two factors when choosing a winner: the total number of votes that the entry receives and our assessment of how tasty it looks. We’ll crown the winner in an announcement on 10 September! The winner gets bragging rights for being our choice for greatest vegan baker, along with the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from sharing his or her delicious recipe with the world.

Bake-Off 2014 is now closed for entries! Check out this year’s finalists.

Bake Off Finalists

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