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Animal Writes

  • 04
  • Sep

Everyone Who Cares About Animals Thinks London Zoo Needs to Cancel These Events

London Zoo’s stubborn insistence on not cancelling its “Zoo Lates” events – in which around 6,000 visitors pour into the zoo in the evening, during the animals’ usual resting hours, drink alcohol, sing and shout along to music – reveals the institution’s true priorities. Like all zoos, it’s more concerned with making money than safeguarding the animals it keeps captive.

Allegations that one visitor poured beer on a tiger, another fell and “accidentally” punched a bird and yet another asked a staff member “Which penguin can I fight?” are apparently not enough for the zoo to concede that these events are a bad idea.

Our director, Mimi Bekhechi, summed it up neatly:

“Plying thousands of people with alcohol on what is actively promoted by the zoo as a ‘wild night out’ might be a good fundraiser for the London Zoo, but it doesn’t put the animals’ needs first”.

Now, the UK’s other leading animal-protection groups, the RSPCA, the Born Free Foundation, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, Animal Aid, OneKind and Viva!, have all joined our call for London Zoo to cancel these distressing events and signed our joint letter to the Zoological Society of London’s director.


Thousands of compassionate people have also signed the online version of our letter. If you agree that there’s no way to justify adding to the misery of animals in zoos in this way, please add your name here:

Take Action Now


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  • 03
  • Sep

How to Make the Perfect Vegan Packed Lunch


So the summer holidays are over and it’s time to go back to school. But there’s one thing you don’t need to stress about – finding delicious vegan items to put in your child’s lunchbox!

Here’s our rundown of easy packed lunch ideas, which are sure to provoke envious looks in the playground or canteen. These cruelty-free lunchbox fillers are all great for grown-ups, too.

The Sandwich

Kirsty's Sandwich

Go for a classic with vegan cheese slices, tomato and salad, or get creative with hummus, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, falafel, smoked tofu, etc. There are so many delicious vegan sandwich fillings to try! Here are some more ideas.

Super Salads

A salad can be anything you want it to be, but here are a few easy, healthy and portable ideas that make great lunchbox fodder.

 –   Couscous salad: The beauty of a couscous salad is that it’s super-quick to prepare, and you can add pretty much anything you have handy. This Sicilian-inspired version includes olives, raisins, pine nuts and capers.

Couscous Salad

 –   Pasta with vegan pesto and cherry tomatoes: Throwing this salad together is simplicity itself, but that doesn’t stop it from being a brilliant lunch option. Some widely available dairy-free pesto brands include Suma, Zest and Sacla’s Free-From range.

 –   Easy potato salad: All you really need to make this salad is some cooked potatoes, a spoonful or two of vegan mayo and perhaps some spring onions as garnish. Or you could customise it with extras such as petits pois, cornichons or cucumber.

Potato Salad

 –   Sesame soba-noodle salad: This fresh and zingy Asian-style salad can be prepared in minutes and is sure to awaken your taste buds!


The Healthy Snack

 –   Hummus and dippers: Use carrot batons, celery sticks, tortilla chips, toasted pita or anything else at hand to scoop up the hummus for a lovely light snack.

 –   Dried fruit and nuts: A little handful of mixed fruit and nuts, such as dried apricots, cranberries, papaya, walnuts, raisins, almonds and cashews, can be satisfying to nibble on and an excellent way to fuel up on healthy proteins and omega-3s. Create your own mixture, or pick up a ready-made selection from the supermarket.

Fruit & Nuts

 –   Nākd bar: These little bars, which come in a dizzying range of flavours, are surprisingly dense – they are 100 per cent vegan, are made from unprocessed ingredients such as raw dates and cashew nuts and count as one of your five-a-day.

Nakd Bar

 –   Dairy-free yoghurt: COYO, Alpro, Provamel and Sojade all offer convenient lunchbox-sized fruity yoghurt pots that don’t contain a drop of icky animal lactate.


The Treat

Don’t get us started – there are so many delicious but mildly naughty vegan treats to balance out all those healthy snacks and salads. (Though, obviously, for the sake of your and your child’s waistline, indulge in moderation!)

 –   Crisps: No other vegan snack is quite as easy to find as a packet of crisps. Opt for the humble potato variety (salt and vinegar all the way), or go upmarket with vegetable crisps made from beetroot and parsnips. You might also be surprised by how many bacon-flavoured crisps are “accidentally vegan”.

 –   Goody Good Stuff sweets: If you’re going to eat sweets, Goody Good Stuff is the way to do it – all the company’s gummy candies are vegan (they contain no animal-derived gelatine) and use only natural fruit and vegetable extracts for colours and flavours.


 –   Oreos: We’re not claiming these are nutritionally virtuous. But they are really, really tasty, and sometimes that’s all that matters.

 –   Flapjacks: Many flapjacks, such as those made by Ma Baker or Doves Farm, are vegan. They’re also chewy, filling and moreish. Or go for homemade – they’re extremely easy to master and great for kids to have a go at making.

 –   Dark chocolate: Research suggests that eating a few squares of dark chocolate every day can actually be good for you – so, you know, go for it!


The Beverage

Top off your packed lunch with a carton of soya milkshake, refreshing coconut water or perhaps a fruit-packed smoothie.


With childhood obesity on the rise in Britain, it’s more important than ever to make sure that our kids are eating right – and most vegan foods are considerably healthier than their cholesterol-laden meat and dairy equivalents. Of course, they’re infinitely kinder to animals, too.

For more animal-friendly resources for kids, check out And let us know if you have any other fun vegan lunchbox ideas by leaving a comment below!

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  • 03
  • Sep

Why I’m Vegan: Athlete Tim Shieff

When he’s not leaping across tall buildings, doing one-handed handstands or performing other daredevil antics, free runner Tim Shieff can often be found whipping up delicious vegan meals and speaking out for animals on his YouTube and social media channels.

Now, he’s combined his two passions to make a stunning new pro-vegan free-running video for PETA!

Watch the video.

We chatted with him afterwards about why he chose to go vegan two and a half years ago and all the health benefits he’s noticed since ditching meat, eggs and dairy products:

Tim isn’t alone in finding that plant-based foods help him perform at the highest level. Some of the world’s fittest, strongest athletes have performed extraordinary feats on a vegan diet, including the following:

  • Germany’s strongest man, Patrik Baboumian, holds world records for log lifting and overhead beer keg lifts – all thanks to plant power.
  • After going vegan, ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek won some of the toughest races in the world, including the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley and the notorious Hardrock 100.
  • Rich Roll went from being an overweight 40-year-old with a heart condition to becoming an Ultraman triathlete winner and one of the fittest men in the world and credits much of his success to switching to a vegan diet.
  • Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams – who have won every Grand Slam title out there – are both vegans.

Some of the typical benefits experienced by athletes after going vegan include:

  • Enhanced performance
  • Lean body mass
  • Improved endurance and stamina
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Resistance to illness

Of course, knowing that their diet isn’t harming any animals is an enormous, immeasurable benefit for all vegans, whether they’re athletes or not!

If you’re curious about vegan food, Tim’s delicious, healthy recipe videos presented on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube are a great place to start:

For more information about going vegan, order our free starter kit:





Read more:

Alexei-500x333 Jonas1-500x332 I-am-Fauja-Singh-and-I-am-a-Vegetarian-353x500
Alexey Voyoveda: Russian’s Vegan Olympian Memory Champion Jonas Van Essen: Remember to Go Vegan! Fauja Singh: 100 Years Old, World Record Holder, Vegetarian
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  • 29
  • Aug

21 Surprising Facts About Chickens

More chickens are raised and killed for food than all other land animals combined, but if more people understood the complex nature of these interesting animals, they would probably hesitate before consuming their flesh or eggs. Here are some of our favourite facts about chickens:

  1. Chickens can distinguish among more than 100 faces of members of their species – who knew that their memories rival those of elephants?
  2. Chickens have full-colour vision, just like we do.
    2 CC
    Inquisitive hens” by Peter Cooper / CC BY 2.0
  3. And they tell each other about what they see. Chickens communicate with more than 24 vocalisations, each with a distinct meaning, including warning their friends about different types of predators or letting their mothers know whether they’re comfortable.
    3 We Animals copy
  4. Chickens have pain receptors, enabling them to feel pain and distress. Just imagine their agony, then, when they endure mutilations such as having the ends of their sensitive beaks cut off with a red-hot blade – with no painkillers.
    4 We Animals copy
  5. Hens defend their young from predators. Next time someone calls you “chicken” as an insult, you know what to tell them!
  6. Chickens love to play and will run, jump and sunbathe when given the chance – yet billions of them spend their entire lives in cramped sheds with less floor space than an A4 piece of paper.
  7. Believe it or not, chickens dream just like we do. They experience REM (rapid eye movement) during sleep, indicating that their minds may be wandering far from the four walls of the factory farms where they are imprisoned.
    7 CC
    Chickens” by vonguard / CC BY-SA 2.0
  8. They slurp grass like spaghetti. Yes, you read that right!
  9. Wild chickens lay only approximately 10 to 15 eggs a year during breeding season. The hens who are bred by the egg industry to produce eggs every single day often suffer from painful reproductive disorders and become exhausted after just a few years.
    We CHicken crate copy
  10. Research suggests that chickens are cleverer than toddlers. Hens have exhibited mathematical reasoning, self-control and even structural engineering.
  11. Chickens know who’s boss. Just like us, they form social structures, known as “pecking orders”, and all chickens know their place on the ladder. It’s only when they’re packed into sheds on intensive farms with tens of thousands of other birds that their social hierarchy collapses and stress leads to feather-pecking and cannibalism.
  12. Chickens originate from tropical rainforests, where they evolved for millions of years, and artificial farm pastures leave hens feeling vulnerable and exposed.
  13. Studies show that chickens survive a predator attack 90 per cent of the time while living in their natural environment.
    13 We Animals copy
  14. Chickens are the closest living relative to the T. rex, though perhaps not quite as scary!
  15. Roosters will attempt to woo hens by performing a little dance, called “tidbitting”, involving moving their heads up and down and making a certain type of call. Female hens are also thought to be especially attracted to roosters who have a large wattle!
    15 We Animals copy
  16. Chickens display object permanence – an understanding that when an object is hidden, it still exists. Even young children don’t have this ability.
    16 CC
    IMG_1607” by Erica / CC BY 2.0
  17. Mother hens talk to their unborn babies, and they chirp back through their shells. Factory-farmed chicks never meet their parents because they are taken away as soon as they’re laid.
  18. They can navigate using the sun, which helps them find food and water and even know what time it is. Many chickens raised for meat or eggs, however, will never even see the sun from their dark, windowless sheds.
    18 CC
    Chicks!” by Daniel Hall / CC BY-SA 2.0
  19. Chickens love dust baths and become extremely frustrated in factory farms when they aren’t able to clean themselves this way. The bathing helps to ward off parasites as well as maintaining feather insulation.
  20. Wild chickens survive for five to 11 years in their natural environment. Chickens raised for meat are often slaughtered when they’re just 41 days old – for “free-range” birds, this period increases to just 56 days old. Male chicks born into the egg industry are routinely killed as soon as they’re born.
    20 CC
    Hello, baby chickens” by Willrad von Doomenstein / CC BY-SA 2.0
  21. Finally, chickens are ADORABLE!


Sadly, these intelligent, sensitive birds are subject to horrific conditions before they are slaughtered for food here in the UK. In one abattoir alone, up to 12,000 birds can be killed per hour, and that doesn’t even account for all the hens suffering in the egg industry. Please stand up for these insightful animals by taking the pledge to go vegan!

Images 3, 4, 9, 13 and 15: Jo-Anne McArthur /

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  • 27
  • Aug

New Research Confirms There’s No Excuse for Using Live Animals in Military Drills

Pressure is mounting on the Ministry of Defence to stop using live animals in horrific trauma training exercises for medics. The UK’s top army doctor, Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, the Medical Director at Joint Medical Command, has admitted that he receives letters from the House of Commons every fortnight asking why the UK hasn’t switched to humane, modern methods instead of needlessly mutilating animals.

Ever since we revealed how British personnel travel to Denmark and shoot live pigs to pieces in shady training operations, tens of thousands of compassionate people have been asking the same question.

Ask the MoD to stop using animals in training drills

Using live animals in these sick war games is deeply unethical and also not the best way to prepare recruits for the frontline. For that reason, 22 out of 28 NATO nations choose to use modern, humane non-animal methods to train army doctors.

We’ve just written to the new Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, to make sure that he’s aware of the most up-to-date research on this issue:

  • A study funded by the US Department of Defense (DOD) at the University of Minnesota found that medics who were taught haemorrhage control and other emergency medical procedures on human simulators were as proficient as those taught using animals and that both methods produced similar degrees of stress in trainees.
  • A DOD-funded study conducted by the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan concluded that medical staff who had been taught paediatric intubation skills on simulators were more proficient than those who trained on live cats.
  • A Canadian Forces Health Services study found that a life-like human-patient simulator was as effective as the use of live animals in teaching traumatic-injury management to military medical technicians.

These are only the most recent examples – for many years, study after study has indicated that medical personnel can effectively learn to save lives on the battlefield without shooting, cutting up and killing animals.

Please join us in sending a message to the Secretary of State for Defence asking him to put a stop to these cruel, archaic drills:

Take Action Now


Photos: Jørn Stjerneklar

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  • 24
  • Aug

The Great Vegan Bake-Off 2014 – The Finalists

PETA Great Vegan Bake Off2014 winner now announced:

We’ve been so delighted by all your terrific entries that it was almost impossible to narrow all the entries down to just 10 finalists. However, after much consideration (and drooling over the delicious baked goods), at last we have managed it!

Help us choose who we should name as the winner of our competition by taking a look at all the tasty treats that were entered into The Great Vegan Bake-Off, and let us know which your favourite is by voting below.

Without further ado, here are the finalists:

Laurianne’s walnut-and-coffee tartelette from 100 Days of Vegan Cakes

Laurianne's walnut-and-coffee tartelette from 100 Days of Vegan Cakes

Coffee-and-walnut cheese-less cake from Jennifer at PS … It’s Vegan

Coffee-and-walnut cheese-less cake from Jennifer at PS … It's Vegan

Juliane’s coconut, mint and lime bread from Veggiephile

Juliane's coconut, mint and lime bread from Veggiephile

Emily’s dark chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Lass

Emily's dark chocolate cupcakes from Vegan Lass


Ombre vanilla dream cake from Katy at Little Miss Meat-Free

Ombre vanilla dream cake from Katy at Little Miss Meat-Free

Hannah’s banana split cake from Hannah Banana Bakery

Hannah's banana split cake from Hannah Banana Bakery

Malwina’s chocolate-and-cherry cake from The Stories at the Vegetarian Table

Malwina's chocolate-and-cherry cake from The Stories at the Vegetarian Table

Annabelle’s double chocolate cake from The Flexitarian

Annabelle's double chocolate cake from The Flexitarian

Banana-and-walnut spelt loaf from Lisa at Thirty-Something Vegan

Banana-and-walnut spelt loaf from Lisa at Thirty-Something Vegan

Jasmine’s raspberry cake from Self Sufficient Cafe Jasmine's raspberry cake from Self Sufficient Cafe


Entry is now closed. 

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, fuzzy feeling that comes from sharing his or her delicious recipe with the world.

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  • 22
  • Aug

Watch: Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand’s Elephant Tourism

The feature documentary An Elephant Never Forgets follows the same path that thousands of British tourists take every year as they visit elephant attractions in Thailand. Joe Keogh, a comedian from Manchester, offers a great deal of insight into the living and working conditions of the many elephants used and abused in the tourism industry.

Joe uncovers the uncomfortable truth behind the elephants’ obedience and takes viewers around some of the local camps and zoos to convey a sense of what these magnificent animals are subjected to on a daily basis. The reality is very bleak, with numerous elephants swaying from side to side – an indicator of stress and ill health – and chained up with barely any room for movement.

The uncomfortable truth behind the elephants attractions

Documentary Uncovers Shocking Secrets of Thailand's Elephant Tourism

An Elephant Never Forgets - Thai Elephant Tourism


You can help!

The days of these cruel attractions may soon be numbered as companies stop promoting them. Travel agency Responsible Travel no longer promotes trips that include elephant treks or elephant performances, and STA Travel, the world’s largest student travel company, has pulled promotions for elephant rides as well as Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple and SeaWorld.

Tourists today have so many fantastic opportunities available to them that it’s easy to have a vacation filled with cruelty-free memories. If you encounter any attraction that includes captive animals, walk the other way.

Around 800,000 Britons visit Thailand each year. Please help raise awareness of the cruelty of exploitative elephant attractions by sharing An Elephant Never Forgets with your family and friends.

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  • 21
  • Aug

LOLA’s New Vegan Cupcake Takes Over London!

Vegan cupcakes are taking over London – they’re even on the Underground.

Most Londoners will recognise LOLA’s Kitchen from their fashionable cupcake shops set up in high-end department stores such as Selfridges, stylish markets like Covent Garden and Spitalfields and underground stations such as King’s Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars and Cannon Street. But what they may not know is that Lola’s now offers a cupcake that everyone can enjoy, including vegans!

Baked using vanilla soya yoghurt and iced with a deliciously creamy vegan butter, LOLA’s Passion Fruit & Coconut cupcake is vegan!

LOLA's Vegan Cupcake

Just the one vegan cupcake is available at the moment, but LOLA’s has two more in the works, and we were lucky enough to receive a sample. Hopefully, all compassionate Londoners will soon also be able to enjoy a delicious LOLA’s Vegan Raspberry & Coconut and LOLA’s Vegan Strawberry & Coconut cupcakes!

Check out LOLA’s online at or stop by a shop next time you’re on the tube and give the Passion Fruit & Coconut cupcake a try!

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  • 21
  • Aug

PHOTOS: ‘Monkey’ Prisoners Call Out Air France Cruelty in London

All over the world, people have been standing up to express their horror at Air France’s shipments of primates to laboratories.

Today, the protest arrived in London.

PETA Demo in London against Air France Cruelty

30 PETA supporters gathered outside the Embassy of France in Knightsbridge, London, to make sure that diplomats and the public know how Air France is profiting from the torture of highly intelligent and sensitive monkeys.

Air France is the only major airline that trafficks primates for vivisection

Caged activist speaks out for monkeys

No other major airline still transports monkeys for animal testing. After learning how the terrified animals are caged, cut into, poisoned, crippled, deprived of food and water, infected with deadly diseases and killed by vivisectors – and realising how disgusted their customers were by this cruelty – all the others have stopped.

Please add your voice to the global movement against Air France’s continued shipments of primates to labs, where they will live in pain and misery.

Take Action Now

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  • 21
  • Aug

20 Years on, Tyke’s Intense, Tragic Story Will Still Leave You Shocked

Tyke was an African elephant at a travelling circus in the US who had been abused for years. Like most elephants in circuses, her life consisted of endless beatings and constant confinement.

Eventually, she snapped.

On 20 August, 1994, she was forced to perform in Honolulu. This is what happened next.

Warning: upsetting footage

Tyke’s rampage killed her trainer and injured 13 other people. She collapsed and died after being shot nearly 100 times.

Animals do not deserve to live and die as Tyke did – abused, mentally and physically, until they go mad from the frustration, loneliness and pain.Germany Tyke Demo

There are many other stories of animals in circuses who have turned on their captors. Just last week, a teacher was mauled by a tiger at a circus in Peru. In 2013, a tiger killed his trainer during a performance at the Circo Suárez in Mexico. In 2009, a bear who was forced to ice-skate at a travelling circus in Russia killed the circus manager. These and countless other tragic examples make it horribly clear that a circus is no place for wild animals.

PETA US has just successfully campaigned to get the Moscow International Circus to leave animals out of its shows in Honolulu this year at the site of Tyke’s last performance. But for many other animals around the world, the nightmare continues.

In England and Wales, until the government implements the promised ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, it’s perfectly legal for travelling circuses to keep elephants, lions, tigers and other wild animals, carting them around in cages and forcing them to perform.

Time is running out to outlaw this cruel practice during this Parliament. Please help – urge your MP to back the ban on the use of wild animals in circuses by supporting a 10-minute-rule bill on September 3.

Tyke Take Action


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