Home | Animal Writes | PETA.org.uk - Part 5

Animal Writes

  • 20
  • Feb

UN: Violent Bullfighting Goes Against Children’s Rights

We already knew that bullfighting tramples all over animals’ rights. Chasing, stabbing and mutilating a terrified animal in front of a jeering crowd is about as cruel as it gets. Now, the United Nations (UN) has stated that being forced to watch the barbaric spectacle is incompatible with children’s rights, too.

Bullfighting Violates Rights of the Child: United Nations

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that children should not attend or participate in bullfighting events because of their extreme violence. The pronouncement was made with regard to Portugal, where children in bullfighting schools are compelled to witness and sometimes engage in acts of violence towards animals.

This enlightened decision from the UN backs up what experts have been saying for years. Last summer, 140 scientists and academics wrote to politicians in Spain pointing out that promoting animal abuse has a negative effect on society as a whole. For a child, watching an animal be tormented and killed is a traumatic experience. Over time, it can desensitise them to violence.

In contrast, a recent study by Tufts University found that learning to care for an animal helps young people to develop better relationships and become more confident and empathetic. These are the qualities that progressive, modern societies should be encouraging in their children, rather than a taste for bloodshed. As Spanish model Elen Rivas has said, “Glorifying the deliberate slaughter of animals should not be tolerated in a civilised society”.

We hope that the UN’s influence will help persuade the governments of countries that allow bullfighting to stop propping up that cruel and damaging industry – for the sake of both humans and bulls alike.

You can help -urge the EU to stop subsidising bullfights using taxpayers’ money.

Image: Jo-Anne McArthur / WeAnimals.org

  • Share This

  • 19
  • Feb

Easy Vegan Recipe: Mayim Bialik’s Winter Vegetable Risotto

Mayim Bialik New Vegan CookbookMayim Bialik, the Emmy-nominated actor best known for her role as Amy on The Big Bang Theory, is a woman of many talents. In addition to earning a PhD in neuroscience and being a mother of two, Mayim is a vegan chef with a new cookbook out. Mayim’s Vegan Table is packed full of healthy, plant-based recipes to feed your family!

Mayim kindly shared with us her recipe for Winter Vegetable Risotto, a sophisticated dish that uses almond milk and tahini to create a creamy consistency and mouth-watering taste. Feel free to get creative and use any vegetables on hand – and tuck into this risotto without guilt, because this dish is healthy, delicious and cruelty-free!

The following recipe was adapted from Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik with Dr Jay Gordon. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Winter Vegetable Risotto RecipeWinter Vegetable Risotto

1 medium-size carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium-size parsnip, peeled and diced

1 lb (about 2 cups) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme

5 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

5 1/2 cups vegan vegetable stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 chopped cup onions or shallots

1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice

1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (rice or soya milk works, too)

2 Tbsp tahini

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp mirin (a sweet rice wine)

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Place the carrot, parsnip and squash in a large bowl with the rosemary. Add 3 tablespoonfuls of the oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft but not mushy.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the stock and wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • In a large non-stick pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice begins to toast.
  • Add 1 cup of the simmering broth-and-wine mixture to the rice and cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring as it is absorbed. It will take about 20 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed and for the rice to become tender and creamy.
  • Add the almond milk, tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and mirin and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the roasted vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 6 servings

Get more compassionate recipes and tips on following a plant-based diet by ordering a free vegan starter kit:

  • Share This

  • 18
  • Feb

PHOTOS: Inside the Secretive Military Training Facility Where Animals Are Mutilated and Killed

Every year, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sends British surgeons to Jægerspris Kaserne in Denmark to take part in invasive and deadly trauma training exercises using live animals, informally known in military circles as “Danish bacon”.

We’ve obtained exclusive photos (from photographer Jørn Stjerneklar) of what happens to animals in these shocking drills. They tell a dark story of abuse and bloodshed.


Troops tie a live pig to a wooden frame by his legs and mark his body with “targets”.


A soldier shoots the helpless animal with high-velocity bullets, inflicting severe wounds, bone fractures and organ damage. Harming animals in this way is not permitted in Britain under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.


Personnel perform invasive surgery on the maimed and bleeding animal.


Bandaged, with his wounds dressed, the pig is still alive.


Later, the victim’s lifeless body is taken away and disposed of.

There are no Geneva Conventions for animals, but anyone with a sense of right and wrong can see that these gruesome exercises need to stop.

Not only is this a deplorable way to treat animals – it’s also bad for our soldiers. UK troops deserve to have access to the best cutting-edge modern training techniques – military experts recommend high-tech human simulators as the best way to prepare surgeons for battle, methods which are used by 80 per cent of NATO armies.

PETA UK and its German affiliate have appealed to the Danish Minister of Defence, Nicolai Wammen, to end Denmark’s invasive and deadly animal-based trauma training exercises.

You can take action too – please write to Danish authorities asking them to stop these sick drills:

Take Action Now


Photos: Jørn Stjerneklar

  • Share This

  • 17
  • Feb

UPDATE: Fortnum’s Dubai Will Be Foie Gras-Free!

PETA foie gras campaign goose portraitJust days after we released a new, Arabic version of our ad with Sir Roger Moore highlighting the cruelty of foie gras production, Fortnum & Mason has announced that it will not sell the unethical product at its new store in Dubai!

This is a promising development in our campaign to stop geese and ducks from being cruelly force-fed and killed in order to produce foie gras. Foie gras, in case you don’t know, is a pâté that is made from the diseased livers of birds who have had metal pipes shoved down their throats and huge amounts of grain pumped into their stomachs every day until they become desperately ill. Responsible businesses and restaurants refuse to sell it.

As Sir Roger says, “Fortnum & Mason’s decision not to sell foie gras in Dubai represents a significant step in getting this ‘torture in a tin’ out of all its stores. The company is tacitly acknowledging that this vile victual has no place in its future plans, and the next logical step would be for Fortnum to make this a companywide policy.”

If Fortnum’s can do the right thing in Dubai, what is it waiting for in London? In addition to being unethical, selling foie gras doesn’t make business sense, either. The majority of Brits have said that they would never touch the cruel foodstuff, and many former customers are now staying away from Fortnum’s, and choosing instead to shop at companies such as Selfridges, which have done the right thing by ditching foie gras.

As long as geese are still being tortured to make foie gras, we’ll keep on campaigning to get the nasty product out of all British stores Please join the campaign and ask Fortnum & Mason to stop selling foie gras everywhere:


  • Share This

  • 17
  • Feb

Alexey Voyevoda: Russia’s Vegan Olympian

Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 - Vegan Athletes

Russian athlete Alexey Voyevoda can boast that he’s a champion on three fronts. As a professional arm wrestler, he’s taken gold at the World Championships, and he’s an Olympic bobsledding medallist who has just won gold for Russia at the Sochi Winter Olympics this year. In addition, as a vegan, he’s a champion for animals!

We caught up with him ahead of his performance and asked him a few questions.

When and why did you decide to go vegan?

Three and a half years ago. At first, I approached it from a scientific standpoint. However, I then came to have some ethical views about this diet. I love happy, living animals!

What benefits have you noticed since becoming vegan?

There are so many. First, I no longer eat the suffering and pain of defenceless animals. Secondly, my body has become lighter, so to say “clearer”. Thirdly, in my profession, flexibility and elasticity are incredibly important, and I increased both of these. And fourthly, now I almost never suffer from a cold or flu.

What advice would you give to other young athletes who are inspired to follow in your footsteps?

Study and listen to yourself, to your own heart, and you will get to the place which is just right for you!


Alexey is not the only vegan Olympian who’s found that a plant-based diet is a winning formula. Legendary sprinter Carl Lewis, who won 10 Olympic medals, credits his record-breaking success in the 1991 World Championships in part to his vegan diet, and just this week, vegan figure skater Meagan Duhamel walked away with a silver medal in Sochi.

More and more athletes, including ultra-marathon runners such as Rich Roll and Fiona Oakes, mixed martial arts fighters, German strongman Patrik Baboumian, footballers, cricketers and even the Williams sisters have gone vegan in order to boost their performance – and, of course, to help animals at the same time. Plant-based diets are nutrient-rich and low in fat and cholesterol, so it’s hardly surprising that they’re a top choice for some of the fittest people on the planet.

If you’ve yet to experience the health-boosting effects of quitting meat, dairy products and eggs, why not take our 30-day pledge to find out what you can achieve?

  • Share This

  • 14
  • Feb

Marius Isn’t the Only One: 6 Other Animals Who Recently Died Needlessly in Captivity

Marius, an 18-month-old giraffe killed by a zoo in Denmark, isn’t the only animal who recently died for no reason in captivity. These are just a few examples of the other animals who have also lost their lives:

January 2014: Louisa the lioness and her four cubs

Lioness and cubs were put down at Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park” by alljengi | CC BY-SA 2.0

Whistleblowers revealed that Longleat Safari and Adventure Park in Wiltshire killed the family of lions with a tranquiliser gun, citing inbreeding as the reason why it was done. Of course, it was the zoo that allowed the lions to breed in the first place.

February 2014: Anton the polar bear

Wilhelma Polar Bear CC

Eisbär / Polar bear” by Christian Heindel | CC BY-SA 2.0

Anton began vomiting up pieces of fabric after having eaten a jacket or bag dropped into his enclosure by a visitor at Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany. He died of severe intestinal injuries – an unpleasant and painful death. An elephant seal and a hippo had previously died at the zoo in a similar way.

January 2014: Michael the lion

Surabaya CC

Cage” by Nicko Witjatmoko | CC BY 2.0

Eighteen-month-old Michael was found hanging from the roof of his cage at Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia. He was just the latest victim of what has been labelled the “worst zoo in the world”, where more than 50  animals died as a result of horrific neglect in just three months.

June 2013: Vicky the orca

Loro Parque Orca CC

Orca” by MarinoCarlos | CC BY 2.0

At 10 months old, Vicky was just an infant when she died at the Loro Parque amusement park in Tenerife. Vicky’s premature death was hardly surprising, given that, like most SeaWorld orcas, she was grossly inbred (her father was also her uncle) and she had been rejected by her mother, Kohana – behaviour virtually unseen in wild orcas.

June 2013: Unnamed baboon

Knowlsey Babboon CC

Baboon…” by Jon Connell | CC BY 2.0

A male baboon at Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside was trying to protect his mate when he was forced out of his enclosure by a group of 20 other males and climbed over the perimeter fence to get away. He was then promptly shot by the park’s gamekeeper. The park also made headlines in 2011 for allegedly killing animals and leaving their bodies in the open to rot.

October 2010: Sammi and Becca the Red River hog piglets

Red River Hogs CC

Red River Hogs” by Nigel Swales | CC BY-SA 2.0

Edinburgh Zoo celebrated the birth of these piglets in a publicity stunt to bring in more visitors before deciding to kill the healthy animals just a year later.


These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. We never even hear about many of the nameless animals routinely killed by zoos, especially when the animals are members of species that are less “high-profile”, such as antelope and wild boars, because the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, unsurprisingly, does not make these figures public – although it has suggested that it is as many as 5,000 healthy animals a year.

Many other animals die prematurely as a result of living in unnatural conditions or become depressed or insane as a result of captivity. All animals in zoos are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, and every aspect of their lives is manipulated and controlled. They are told when they will eat, what they will eat, when they can sleep, whom they can mate with, when they can go outside, etc. And zoos often preclude natural behaviour such as swimming.

Please help animals by staying away from zoos. Endangered species can’t be protected by keeping animals in prisons. Instead, give your money to genuine habitat conservation programmes, which work to keep wild animals where they belong – in the wild.

  • Share This

  • 14
  • Feb

It’s Naughty Not to Neuter

Hot on the heels of his Brit award nomination, comes a new collaboration from Naughty Boy. Along with his beloved cat, the delightfully named Naughty Bob, the musician and producer has teamed up with PETA to raise awareness of animal overpopulation.

It's Naughty Not to Neuter!

The man behind the chart-topping single “La La La” and the bestselling album Hotel Cabana, who has worked with artists such as Chipmunk, Wiley and Leona Lewis, shows his nice side in the new ad by encouraging his fans to make sure that their animal companions are practicing “safe sex” and staying out of mischief, because the number of unwanted cats and dogs in this country is leading to a homelessness crisis.

He explains that “there’s no excuse for not neutering. Animal shelters are overcrowded  with dogs and cats, and that will continue as long as too many puppies and kittens are being born. We can fix the problem by ‘fixing’ our dogs and cats”.

Each year, thousands of cats and dogs in animal shelters end up being killed because there aren’t enough good homes for them. Other animals are abandoned on the streets, where they starve to death, are injured or killed by vehicles or fall prey to abuse. Spaying and neutering is the solution.

Naughty Boy (or Shahid Khan as he’s otherwise known) joins an impressive list of celebs who have spoken out on this issue. Simon Cowell, Morrissey and Justin Bieber are among the stars who have come out publicly to support our spay-and-neuter and “Adopt, Don’t Buy” campaigns.

PETA US’ mobile spay-and-neuter clinic is helping to address the problem in America by sterilising thousands of animals a month. You can help, too, by making sure that your furry friends are fixed – spaying just one dog can prevent the birth of an unbelievable 67,000 others  over the course of six years, so it really does make a huge difference.

  • Share This

  • 14
  • Feb

How We First Met <3

Believe in love at first sight? For Valentine’s Day, PETA friends and staffers look back on the moment they first met their animal companions and knew they’d found “the one”.

Claire and Jiji

Jiji Claire Combine

Jiji was my dark handsome stranger. We received an e-mail from our residents’ association asking whether anyone in the area had lost a black kitten. It turned out he was unwanted and had been dumped in the street. We went to look for him late one night and found a cold, skinny, hungry but friendly kitten. He came home with us and has grown into a beautiful cat, with a lovely personality, despite his bad start in life.

Zack, Ruby and Yvonne

Zack and Ruby

An irresponsible owner bought Ruby from a petshop, put her in a cage with male rats and then gave her up after she had become pregnant. Nobody wanted her and her baby, Scarlett – that is, until I saw them and fell in love. Now Ruby and Scarlett are safe and happy, and my rescued dog, Zack, is delighted to have some new best friends to play with!

Barry and Marley

Barry and Marley

Marley was found by the RSPCA roaming around a council estate in Brighton. The people at the shelter gave him his name because he was completely covered with dreadlocks – but underneath his matted hair, he turned out to be a highly eligible bachelor with a GSOH and a flair for mischief! He’s been a wonderful addition to our home and now enjoys regular grooming sessions (and chasing laser lights!).

Isabelle and Lilo

Lilo Doble

I got my little baby girl, Lilo, 10 years ago. She quickly taught me everything that I know about dogs’ and other animals’ remarkable intelligence, and she is like my guardian angel. I take her everywhere I go, and I love her more each day. My relationship with her is the longest I’ve ever had!

Florence and Melissa

Florence and Melissa

I got Florence nearly a year and a half ago from the RSPCA. She was from a litter of abandoned kittens. As soon as I saw her little pink nose and unusual markings, I knew I needed to give her a loving home. She was extremely shy and scared at first, but after a bit of love and lots of cuddles, she is now a friendly, loving companion with plenty of quirks. (She even plays fetch with tinfoil balls.) She gets under the duvet for cuddles every morning, and now I can’t quite imagine life without her.


Now could be the time for you to let a little love into your life – if you think you could give an animal a good home, please take inspiration from these adorable adopted animals and go to your local shelter to find your perfect match.

Pet shops and breeders contribute to the animal-overpopulation crisis, while there are thousands of sweet, sensitive animals in shelters who are looking for a long-term relationship with someone just like you!

  • Share This

  • 14
  • Feb

Announcing PETA UK’s First Ambassador!

Today, on Valentine’s Day, PETA UK is thrilled to announce that we have appointed our first ambassador, Reg Pycroft.

Over the years, Reg has been a true and loving heart for animals, demonstrating dedication to fairness, justice and respect for all living beings, including the most forgotten animals: those used for food, clothing, entertainment and more.

Reg, a born Londoner, has had an illustrious career. He was a member of the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Cold War and then had a long, successful career in aviation in the Far East and Africa. He worked for several airlines before founding Jetsave, which he built into the leading low cost transatlantic airline, eventually selling to British Airways where he remained as a adviser. As tremendous as Reg’s business acumen is, it was his big heart which brought him to PETA, through the rescue of a little dog with a broken leg named Pye. Since that time, he has been a loyal ally of PETA by speaking up (and speaking loudly) for bears killed for caps and helping break pigeon-racing investigations.

Reg with his three daughters.

Reg is a member of the RAF Association and the RAF Club, where he has hosted pioneering vegan events, including one in which Bill Oddie was honoured for speaking out against cruelty to animals. As a liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1994. He was made Honorary Fire Marshall for New York City in 1976 by Mayor Abraham Beame and Honorary State Marshall for Arizona in 1977.

We know that he will carry on beautifully in his new role as PETA UK’s first ambassador.

All of us at PETA extend our gratitude to Reg for his spirit, great heart, enormous compassion and ethical conduct – he’s a true friend to all animals.

  • Share This

  • 13
  • Feb

From Dubai With Love

Our mission to stop geese from being tortured for foie gras has entered new territory this week. Ahead of Fortnum & Mason’s opening of a new store in Dubai, former James Bond star Sir Roger Moore has called on Emirates residents not to shop there because of the company’s sale of the vile foodstuff. We’ve also released a new Arabic version of his advert:

PETA brings message about Fortnums' foie gras cruelty to Dubai in UAE

Here is Sir Roger’s statement:

I do hope the good people of Dubai will not be taken in by Fortnum & Mason’s scurrilous claim that “Englishness” characterises its products.

In fact, Fortnum & Mason is widely condemned and boycotted in Britain as one of the last department stores that still sells foie gras – a product so cruel that it is illegal to produce both there and in more than a dozen other countries. The store shamefully circumvents British animal-welfare law by paying workers in France to force-feed terrified geese via metal pipes until their livers become distended and diseased. An investigation by PETA into the foie gras farms from which the store’s distributor obtains foie gras found that the birds are being kept in the most appalling conditions.

The great and the good in England – including the Houses of Parliament, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground, the BAFTA Awards and His Royal Highness Prince Charles – all refuse to serve this “torture in a tin”. I invite compassionate Dubai shoppers to join us in calling on Fortnum & Mason to end its involvement in the barbaric force-feeding of birds for foie gras.

And here’s a reminder of why Sir Roger, Joanna Lumley, Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes and many other prominent British figures are opposed to foie gras:

Add your voice to the movement against this unwarranted cruelty here:

Take Action Now

  • Share This