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Animal Writes

  • 05
  • Dec

Victory: Lacoste Pulls Angora Stock

Angora

French clothing retailer Lacoste is the latest company to confirm to PETA that it’s removing all angora wool products and has requested to be added to our list of retailers that do not sell angora.

“As part of its CSR policy, we can confirm that Lacoste has no plan to use angora fibers in its coming collections”, the company says in a statement.

This is great news for animals and compassionate shoppers. PETA Asia’s unprecedented investigation shows that rabbits who have their fur cut or sheared also suffer greatly during the cutting process. Their front and back legs are tightly tethered so that they can be stretched out over a board – a terrifying experience for any prey animal. Others are suspended in the air by their forelimbs. Rabbits have very thin skin, and the sharp cutting tools invariably wound them as they struggle desperately to escape. The angora farming industry also condemns these intelligent animals to spend years in isolation in small, filthy wire cages that cut into their sensitive paws and prevent them from engaging in normal behaviour, exercise and interaction with other rabbits. These are standard practices in the barbaric angora industry. Regardless of whether the rabbits have been plucked or sheared, if a label says “angora”, it means that rabbits have suffered. There’s quite simply no way to obtain angora responsibly, which is why so many companies have switched to humane, animal-free fabrics, which are readily available.

Angora Production

We’re glad to welcome Lacoste to our list of companies that have told us that they will not be using angora in future collections. PETA and our supporters are now urging the few remaining retailers, including Benetton, to follow Lacoste’s lead and show that cruelty to animals has no place in their stores.

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  • 05
  • Dec

Christmas Discount: Vegan Roasts From Vegusto

Just in time for Christmas, Vegusto is sharing tips for making the perfect traditional vegan holiday roast dinner! Vegan chef Tony Bishop-Weston shows just how easy it is to whip up a Christmas dinner with a rainbow of veggies and a fantastic vegan roast.


The company offers a variety of cruelty-free vegan roasts that taste delicious. Whether you’re catering for a crowd of hungry vegans or determined to wow your meat-eating family members with tasty plant-based food, Christmas is a time to go all-out with your cooking. You can find more tips for designing a festive vegan menu here.

Vegusto is offering PETA supporters a 10 per cent discount on its roasts. Just sign up here, but be quick. The offer ends at midnight 21 December 2014.

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  • 05
  • Dec

This Is the Hundredth Spanish Town to Ban Bullfighting

Majorca bullfighting progressLast week, Sant Joan in Mallorca became the 16th town on the island to reject bullfighting – a sign of the growing Spanish resistance to this cruel and outdated pastime. The compassionate decision came after a campaign by local group Mallorca Sin Sangre.

While certain members of the political establishment in Spain still cling to the outmoded idea of killing animals for sport, grassroots resistance is turning whole swathes of the country into bullfighting-free zones. The region of Catalonia as well as towns such as Tossa de Mar, Vilamacolum and La Vajol have banned bullfights outright, bringing the total number of municipalities that have rejected bullfighting to 100! Towns are now finding innovative new ways to celebrate traditional festivals without harming animals. For instance, Mataelpino in central Spain has introduced the Running of the Balls as a humane alternative to horrific bull runs.

Spanish resistance to cruel bullfightingTormenting and stabbing terrified animals until they collapse and bleed to death is clearly horrifically cruel and unjustifiable for any reason – especially for “entertainment”. Understandably, most Spaniards take no pleasure in this barbaric spectacle: a recent poll found that less than a third of the population supports it, and the number of bullfights taking place is steeply declining.

There are powerful economic arguments against bullfighting, too, given that an estimated 571 million Euros in subsidies are used to prop up this archaic and unpopular industry, while millions of young people are unemployed in the country and the economy is still struggling. It’s clear that bullfighting is a dying industry. It’s reviled around the world and opposed by huge numbers of compassionate Spaniards.

Please help end the subsidies that allow the cruelty to continue by writing to the European Commission today.

Take Action Now

 

Sant Joan (Mallorca)” by A. Mobo / CC BY-SA 3.0 

Bull Photo: © Tras Los Muros

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  • 05
  • Dec

Wilby Launches Drayton Collection

Wilby Bag PETAMahatma Gandhi said that “[t]here is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”. It’s an inspirational thought that also serves as Wilby’s motto. The company makes handbags from eco-friendly and animal-free materials that allow any animal-loving fashionista to rock a chic look without harming a single cow, sheep or any other animal.

Wilby has worked with PETA in the past. Rock ‘n’ roll socialite, jewellery designer and PETA celebrity liaison Meg Mathews teamed up with the hot accessories label to design the Primrose Hill line of leather-free handbags, for which the company donates a percentage of sales to PETA.

Wilby is now offering PETA supporters a chance to win the bag of their choice from its new Drayton Collection! This line is made with thicker, more durable non-animal leather and is great for a luxury look while still being very functional. The company will also be donating a percentage of the sales from the Drayton Collection to PETA!

The choice of a vegan bag is kind to animals. Cows used for leather suffer immensely on crowded factory farms, where disease and deprivation of food and water are common. Painful mutilations, such as tail-docking, dehorning and castration, are all performed without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, many cows are improperly stunned and skinned while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain. You can see for yourself by watching Stella McCartney’s shocking video exposé of the leather industry.

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  • 05
  • Dec

Recognising the Volunteers Who Help Us Save Animals

Today is International Volunteer Day, and we’re celebrating the volunteers who help make PETA such an effective voice for animals. This year, we’re recognising three particularly dedicated volunteers – Rose, Natalie and Kate – with PETA’s Volunteer Award.

PETA Pillow Fight

Rose Patterson from Harrogate has been responsible for making some of the most eye-catching animal rights demonstrations an absolute success. The photographic arts student joined 100 other PETA members in Trafalgar Square to strip down, spatter herself with fake blood and lie naked in a heap in a pro-vegan demonstration – held on World Vegan Day – to encourage passers-by to have compassion for the billions of animals who are slaughtered for their flesh by the meat and fishing industries every year. She delivered a “dead goose” to Fortnum & Mason to serve as an upsetting reminder of where foie gras really comes from. And on International Pillow Fight Day, she led PETA members who participated in a flash mob in Trafalgar Square with a large “goose.” Demonstrators held signs that encouraged pillow fighters to spare a thought for the ducks and geese who are plucked alive to the point of bleeding and to choose down- and feather-free pillows.

Natalie Spencer from Redhill is never afraid to stand up against the abuse and killing of animals for food, clothing, experiments and entertainment. Earlier this year, following a video exposé which revealed that hundreds of infant monkeys are being torn away from their mothers at a US National Institutes of Health laboratory in Maryland, causing them to suffer from psychoses, Natalie interrupted a speech in Cardiff by the head experimenter and unfolded a sign which read, “Stop Abusing Baby Monkeys”.

Natalie has also worked tirelessly speaking up for animals used for food and helping to encourage people to go vegan, including by joining Morrissey’s tour and urging fans to give up meat. She’s helped inspire others to get involved in the worldwide struggle for justice for animals, and for that, we are truly grateful.

PETA Volunteer Kate

Some of the most important volunteer work occurs behind the scenes, and Kate from Liverpool is probably PETA’s most dedicated volunteer. Students write to PETA for help with campaigning, local activists from across Europe send us requests for leaflets and tens of thousands of people go vegan, thanks to our free vegan starter kits. Since 2006, Kate has been one of the volunteers who helps us deal with these requests and get our life-saving resources to people around the world.

She reliably helps us distribute our resources, and over the years, she has made herself available to assist in the office with anything that our campaigners might need, from data entry to research – and always with a smile.

PETA has achieved so many victories, thanks to the help of volunteers such as Rose, Natalie and Kate. If you feel inspired by their stories and would like to get active for animals with PETA, joining our Action Team is the best way to start.

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  • 04
  • Dec

Our Vegan Christmas Gift Wish List

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas?

Christmas jumpers

We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite vegan items that will deliver Christmas cheer for human and non-human animals alike!

Monkee Genes Beyond Skin Wills Wallet
Jeans From Monkee Genes
This vegan denim company even sells faux-leather “PETA-Approved Vegan” patches, so a pair of its stylish jeans would make the perfect gift for the PETA supporter in your life!
Beyond Skin Shoes
Ethical footwear company Beyond Skin creates luxury, ethical vegan designer ladies’ shoes, the perfect gift for a compassionate fashionista.
A Wallet From Wills
Stuck for stocking fillers? PETA business friend Wills offers a classic wallet crafted with soft Italian microfiber.
Wilby petapresents.org.uk
A Vegan Handbag
PETA’s own Meg Mathews teamed up with hot vegan accessories label Wilby to design the Primrose Hill line of gorgeous leather-free handbags. They make great gifts, and a percentage of each sale is donated to PETA!
Save a Bunny’s Skin
With a virtual gift from PETA Presents, your purchase will be put to work immediately to support our life-saving work.
An Album From Your Favourite Compassionate Musician
Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde, RZA and Mogwai have all had albums released this year and yet still found the time to speak out for animals.
Black Score Hotel Chocolat Keep It Vegan
A T-Shirt From Black Score
Black Score has designed a range of eye-catching animal rights T-shirts, which are perfect for any stylish animal activist! 

 

A Vegan Chocolate Slab by Hotel Chocolat
What’s Christmas without chocolate? Hotel Chocolat’s latest vegan chocolate creation, the massive Fruit and Nut Frenzy Giant Slab, which recently won a PETA Vegan Food Award, would be perfect for Christmas morning!
Keep It Vegan by Áine Carlin
Whether you’re a veteran vegan or just getting started with compassionate cuisine, Áine Carlin’s cookbook, which won one of PETA’s Vegan Food Awards, is sure to inspire.
PETA Knitting Pattern Christmas Jumper
A Wool-Free Christmas Jumper
Show sheep and other wool-bearing animals that you care by giving a Christmas jumper made with acrylic or plant-based yarns.
PETA Logo Cat Bowl
Give the animals in your life a treat with a PETA-branded food bowl!
‘PETA-Approved Vegan’ Trainers
Esprit ramped up its animal- and eco-friendly credentials this year by launching a stylish new collection of leather-free trainers.

Shopping with compassion is easy at Christmas. Here are some more tips for cruelty-free gifts that will delight your family and friends and don’t come with a hidden price tag for animals.

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  • 04
  • Dec

How to Have a Vegan Christmas Feast With All the Trimmings

Whether you’re catering for a crowd of hungry vegans or determined to wow your meat-eating family members with delicious plant-based food, Christmas is a time to go all-out with your cooking.

When it comes to designing a festive vegan menu, there are no limits to how creative you can be. But we thought we’d give any newbie vegans a few starting points for cooking up a Christmas dinner that might bear a close resemblance to the ones you remember from your childhood – with the key difference that absolutely no animals will be harmed!

To Start

Bread roll swirls

Bread Rolls copy

These make an unusual snack to nibble on prior to the main event and can be filled with anything you like, such as piquant black-olive tapenade, artichoke purée, or homemade pesto. Recipe here.

Coconut, pumpkin and carrot soup

sOUP

Supping on a brightly coloured bowl of soup is a cheerful way to start your meal, while leaving plenty of room for the courses to follow. Recipe here.

Veggie sausage rolls 

sAUSAGE rOLLS

We can guarantee these little morsels will be gobbled up in no time! Recipe here.

Centrepieces

 Savoury stuffed squash 

Stuffed-Acorn-Squash copy

Decorative and delicious! Get the recipe.

Festive vegan roast

Festive Vegan Roast

Don’t knock a classic. Construct your own nut roast (here’s a basic recipe that can easily be customised) or take it easy in the kitchen with a ready-made version from brands such as Vegusto or Artisan Grains.

Vegusto is offering PETA supporters a 10 per cent discount on its roasts. Learn more here, but be quick. The offer ends at midnight 21 December 2014.

French fishless pie

Pie

A hearty pie makes a great focal point for the groaning Christmas table. This French-inspired version, based on a classic regional dish, uses seaweed to create a distinctive “fishy” taste. Alternatively, choose a filling such as chestnut and mushroom for a more traditionally British taste.

Essential Accompaniments

Dairy-free bread sauce

bREAD SAUCE NOT SQUARE

Creamy and comforting! Make your own from scratch (recipe here) or opt for a packet mix that substitutes unsweetened soya milk for dairy milk. (Many brands are vegan, but be sure to check the ingredients before buying.)

Cranberry sauce

cRANBERRY SAUCE WORDS

OK, you don’t really need to “veganise” this one because it’s traditionally free from animal products. All you need are cranberries, sugar, a few spoonfuls of orange juice and (optionally) a splash of red wine or port.

Vegetarian gravy

Gravy copy

Gravy is the magic ingredient that will bind your whole meal together, so make plenty. We have a sneaky soft spot for the quick-mix powder variety, but recipes abound for homemade vegan gravies, too, such as this classic Onion and Red Wine Gravy by Rose Elliot.

Sumptuous Side Dishes

Brussels sprouts roasted with chestnuts

Sprouts copy

This method of cooking sprouts in the oven rather than boiling them is sure to win over even steadfast sprout-haters! Add in fried strips of veggie bacon if you’d like to make the dish more substantial.

Sage and onion stuffing

Stuffing Crop copy

For people who prefer stuffing that hasn’t been inserted into the intimate orifices of a dead bird, this is a foolproof recipe.

Crispy roast potatoes

Potatoes copy copy

The ultimate carb of Christmas. No goose fat is needed to make spuds as crispy, fluffy and flavoursome as you like. A few sprigs of herbs such as rosemary, thyme or sage will add variety.

Roasted root vegetables

Roast Veg copy

Drizzle carrots, parsnips and onions with oil and cook them in the oven until meltingly soft – easy and delicious!

Kale, pomegranate and almond salad

Kale text

This easy-to-prepare salad makes a vibrant green addition to the Christmas table. Simply combine torn kale leaves, pomegranate seeds and toasted almond flakes in a bowl, dress them with balsamic vinaigrette and leave to infuse for a couple of hours before serving.

Spiced red cabbage

Cabbage copy

Add a dash of cinnamon, allspice and orange zest for subtle festive flavours.

Desserts

Traditional Christmas pud

xmas pud TEXT

Whether shop-bought (many supermarkets, such as the Co-Op, sell vegan puddings) or homemade, this is the quintessential way to finish off your dinner. Serve with soya cream or vegan brandy butter.

Fruit jelly with mixed berries

Jelly copy

If you feel like breaking with tradition a little, jelly is always a jolly dessert. Just buy some vegetarian jelly crystals (such as these from Holland & Barrett), add hot water and some fresh fruit and leave to set. A dash of alcohol will give it a slightly more adult flavour.

 

Poached pears in red wine with cinnamon 

PEAR TEXT copy

This makes for a lighter yet impeccably sophisticated dessert. This version is served with decadent dairy-free caramel ice cream. Get the recipe.

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There you have it – a hearty Christmas feast sure to satisfy everyone at the table. And the best thing about vegan celebrations (in addition to knowing that you’ve saved animals’ lives, of course) is that you can indulge to your heart’s content without feeling terrible the next day.

For more tips on compassionate cooking, order a free vegan starter kit today!

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  • 03
  • Dec

Where Things Stand With Angora

Update! We’re always hearing from supporters who are sickened by the cruelty of angora production – in which rabbits have the fur ripped from their skin or are tied up and roughly shorn – and who want to make sure that their favourite stores are angora-free.

So we thought we’d share where we’re up to in the campaign against this violently produced fabric.

As of December 2014, the following companies have told PETA or its international affiliates that they will not be using angora in future collections. It’s quite a list!

& Other Stories

Accessorize

AllSaints

Anthropologie

ASOS

BHS

Boden

Boohoo

Burton

C&A

Calvin Klein

Cath Kidston

Cheap Monday

Coast

COS

Debenhams

Dorothy Perkins

Dr Martens

Evans

Fat Face

French Connection

Forever 21

Gap

Gina Tricot

H&M

Hobbs

House of Fraser

John Lewis

JoJo Maman Bébé

Lacoste

Lands’ End

Lidl

Mango

Marc O’Polo

Marks & Spencer

Matalan

Miss Selfridge

Monki

Monsoon

New Look

Next

Oasis

Outfit

Phase Eight

Primark

Puma

Pure Collection

Quicksilver

QVC

River Island

Scotch & Soda

Speedo

Stella McCartney

Superdry

SuperTrash

Ted Baker

Tiger of Sweden

Tommy Hilfiger

Topman

Topshop

Uniqlo

Van Heusen

Victoria’s Secret

Wallis

Warehouse

Whistles

Yumi International

*****

Thank you to everyone who put pressure on these companies to do the right thing. And if you spot angora on sale ANYWHERE, please keep on speaking out!

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  • 03
  • Dec

6 Ways to Get Active for Animals This Christmas

‘Tis the season of goodwill, mulled wine, mince pies, holiday feasts, family gatherings, carol singers and Christmas shopping.

But for some animals, especially those who are killed for food or for their skins, Christmas is anything but a merry occasion. You can help change that, though, with these easy steps for spreading joy to all this December.

square model-clutchBe a Compassionate Christmas Shopper

Vote with your wallet by leaving items made from angora, leather and other cruelly derived materials on the shelf. Instead, check out our list of ethical gift ideas, from vegan chocolate to Christmas jumpers.

 

 

 

 

Public domain Reindeer.yate.arp.750pixLet Rudolph Have a Rest

Animals aren’t Christmas decorations, and it’s not right to treat them as props in nativity displays, Christmas parades or winter wonderlands. If you learn of any nearby events that use reindeer, penguins or other wild animals, please send a polite message to the organisers asking them to rethink their plans.

 

 

Eat No Turkey Paul Turkey

A cruelty-free Christmas dinner is the way to go for anyone with a conscience. So take a leaf out of Paul McCartney’s book – or any of these other meat-free celebs – by leaving dead animals off the Christmas menu. Bonus points if you manage to win over meat-eating family members with your delicious Christmas cooking! And if you’re not sure where to start, check out our guide to having a vegan Christmas feast with all the trimmings.

 

 

The-Star-Foie-gras-off-the-menu copySpeak Out Against Foie Gras

If you spot foie gras – the fatty liver pâté made by force-feeding ducks and geese – on any Christmas menu, please write to or speak with the manager of the venue to let him or her know how disappointed you are. Foie gras production is so cruel that it’s illegal in the UK, and there’s nothing festive about tinned torture. We can also send you free leaflets to give out – e-mail Info@peta.org.uk if you’d like some.

Image: www.nigelsuttonphotography.com

 

Encourage People to Adopt, Not Shop!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although everyone should know by now that a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas, shelters still see a surge in abandoned dogs and cats following the festive season. Help prevent these tragedies by explaining to others why they should never purchase an animal from a pet shop and by printing out and distributing our poster.

 

 

 

Fur coatsGive Us Your Fur Coats!

We know none of you would be daft enough to buy any real fur (after all, this is how it’s made). But if you’ve accidentally accumulated some, we’ll gladly take them off your hands, to be featured in awareness-raising demos, donated to homeless shelters or used as bedding for animals in need.

 

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For more ways to help animals every day, sign up to our Action Team!

petaUK-joinTheActionTeam-button-375x109-v01 (1)

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  • 01
  • Dec

How to Avoid Accidental Antifreeze Poisoning

antifreeze stockWith subzero temperatures set to continue, people have been reaching for the antifreeze to prevent the water in their car radiators from turning into ice. But antifreeze can be deadly to animals.

Most brands of antifreeze have a sweet taste, which can be tempting to animals and even children. The main ingredient in most antifreeze brands is ethylene glycol. Animals who ingest this chemical will promptly begin to suffer from vomiting, convulsions and kidney failure. If animals don’t receive immediate veterinary care, they face a painful, almost certain death.

If an animal does come into contact with antifreeze, it’s crucial that you get him or her to a vet within the first few hours of ingestion – any later, and the liver will already have started to metabolise the poison, leading to kidney failure and ultimately death.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include a drunken appearance (ie, staggering, lack of coordination, apparent disorientation and vomiting). Animals who have ingested antifreeze might also appear listless or depressed.

Cats can be killed by antifreezePlease help keep animals safe by being extra vigilant when using antifreeze: avoid spills, be sure to always tighten the cap securely after use and store the antifreeze in a place where animals and children can’t get to it.

Better yet, choose antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol rather than the far more toxic ethylene glycol. If the ingredients aren’t listed, then look for a brand of antifreeze that contains a bittering agent, as this might deter animals from ingesting it. Tell everyone you know about this danger!

Companies that safeguard antifreeze products by adding a bittering agent include Halford’s, Bluecol and Comma.

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