Category Archives: Animal Issues

Why should animals have rights?


Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. Many of us bought our beloved “pets” at pet shops and kept beautiful birds in cages. We wore wool and silk, ate McDonald’s burgers, and fished. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?

Lilac fetches ball … pics: Rose T.

In his book Animal Liberation, Peter Singer states that the basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration. This is an important distinction when talking about animal rights. People often ask if animals should have rights, and quite simply, the answer is “Yes!” Animals surely deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’” In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.

Jett at the dog park …

Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth — a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. We believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering. Animal rights is not just a philosophy — it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use. As PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Each one values his or her life and fights the knife.” Watch a video with Ingrid Newkirk from the 2015 Animal Rights National Conference here.

Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig? Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but it is prejudice based on species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.
The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights

Take vital steps to cut thoughtless cruelty to animals out of your life and to educate others around you. Check out the most comprehensive book on animal rights available today! In The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights, PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk provides hundreds of tips, stories, and resources. It’s PETA’s must-have guide to animal rights. Also available for the Kindle!

Read Ingrid’s book! photo: PETA

Eating meat – bad for you, bad for the planet – horrific for animals!



By Rebecca Libauskas

Big Meat is fattening its bloodstained pockets while meat-eaters are left with higher grocery bills. The White House recently called out the largest meat companies for “pandemic profiteering,” alleging that they are driving up prices, resulting in steep totals at checkout lines across the country. This accusation brings the true cost of meat into focus: With regard to environmental impact, human health and animal welfare, meat is always too expensive. Cutting coupons won’t help — but going vegan will.

Of course, animals are the ones who really pay the price when humans buy meat, cheese and other animal-based foods. Every year in the U.S., more than 29 million cows suffer and die in the meat and dairy industries. Approximately 9 billion chickens are raised and killed for their flesh, and another 376 million hens are raised for their eggs. Millions of pigs spend their lives in small metal crates, with so little space that they can’t even turn around or lie down comfortably. Many animals are subjected to debeaking, dehorning, castration and other mutilations without painkillers. All that pain could be prevented if everyone went vegan.

Animals suffer on factory farms! CUT OUT OR EAT WAY LESS MEAT. ONE VEGAN SAVES 200 PIGS, CHICKENS and/or COWS per YEAR! Photos:PETA

Factory farming destroys the land and the Earth’s atmosphere, exacerbating global warming.

Going vegan will also help protect the planet. By some estimates, the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all the world’s transportation systems combined. The United Nations recently warned that widespread reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are needed to forestall a “code red for humanity.” We can do this simply by not eating meat and other animal-derived foods.

Go, President Biden❤!

Raising animals to satiate our meat addiction requires massive amounts of land and water. Animal agriculture squanders more than half of the water used in the U.S., which is especially wasteful considering that a NASA study predicts that the West is headed for prolonged drought conditions.


And that’s not all. In the U.S, 87% of all farmland is used to raise animals for food and about 260 million acres of forest have been cleared to produce feed for animals.

Rather than growing feed for farmed animals, humans would be better off producing healthy vegan food for ourselves.If we all consumed a vegan diet instead of one based on animal-derived foods, we could save up to 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by two-thirds and prevent climate-related damages of $1.5 trillion.

We might also prevent future pandemics.

Experts believe that COVID-19 began in a “wet market,” at which customers can choose live animals to purchase and wait while they are slaughtered. Typically, animals in these markets are stressed and often injured or sick. They’re called “wet markets” because feces, urine and blood seep out of the cages, creating an ideal breeding ground for pathogens.
REMEMBER: ALL animals feel physical pain, experience loneliness, sadness and fear.

An egg “farm”

Three out of every four emerging infectious diseases in humans originate in animals and are caused by our use of animals for food. The World Health Organization predicts that as long as humans rely on animals for food and profit, pandemics are inevitable.

Eating meat can also lead to heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and even impotence, and research reveals that those who consume animal-based foods have a higher mortality rate than those who eat vegan.

While some families are feeling the strain of increased grocery bills thanks to Big Meat, the real price of meat is much higher. Perhaps the surging meat prices will inspire more people to select vegan options, which are better for animals, the environment and human health.





Protect your pets!


Should you stay or should you go? Plan now to protect your animals in both disaster scenarios

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

It’s three o’clock in the morning and a piercing tone from your phone jolts you awake. Your heart pounds and your hands shake as the urgent message sinks in: A disaster is heading straight for your area, and it will hit within an hour. What should you do? Where should you go? Will your whole family — including your animal companions — make it through the emergency safely?


Lilac and Jett at the dog park. pics: Rose T.

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, now is the time to prepare so that you’re ready when — not if — an emergency strikes. Your animal companions are even more vulnerable in a disaster than you are, so it’s vital to make arrangements now to ensure that they can handle whatever comes their way.

As Hurricane Ida recently reminded us, disasters can strike quickly. Ida formed and intensified very rapidly, giving residents little time to flee. Some had to gather their belongings and get on the road in a matter of hours.

Creating an emergency “go bag” for each of your animal companions can save precious minutes in a crisis and ensure that essentials aren’t left behind. Assemble a kit that includes a carrier (for small animals) and/or a leash and harness. Pack bowls, towels, a favorite toy, a blanket, a litterbox and litter (for cats) and a week’s worth of food, bottled water and medications. Include photographs of yourself with each of your animals to aid in identification in case you become separated.

Some emergencies — tornadoes, blizzards, chemical spills and pandemics, for example —may require you to shelter in place, rather than make a swift exit. Ensure that you’re ready to ride out two weeks at home with your animals — possibly without any water, electricity or heat — by creating a “stay kit.”

Since this kit stays in your home, it can be larger and more elaborate than your go bag. Sealable plastic totes work well for keeping everything contained and dry. In addition to the necessities mentioned above, consider adding an animal first aid kit, grooming supplies (such as brushes and shampoo), sanitation items to clean up after your animal, treats, chew toys and calming aids such as Feliway spray (for cats) and a ThunderShirt (for dogs). Periodically rotate the food and medications so they don’t expire.

Just as vital as packing supplies is knowing where you’ll go with your animals if you must leave your home. Map out possible routes in different directions so you have multiple options for leaving quickly, but always follow recommended evacuation routes, as shortcuts may be blocked or dangerous. Ensure that your animals are microchipped and wear collars with current identification tags.

Since many emergency shelters do not allow animals, find out in advance where you and your animals can stay. Many hotel chains waive “no animals” policies during emergencies. Campgrounds and the homes of friends and family members are other options (be sure to offer to return the favor for your hosts).

Whatever you do, never leave your animals behind in an evacuation. Not only is it terrifying for them, it can be deadly. PETA’s rescue teams have found animals up to their necks in water, trapped in crates inside flooded homes. Dogs who are left chained outdoors have no escape from flying debris, and if the area floods, they may be forced to tread water until they drown.

If you truly have no choice but to evacuate without your animals, never leave them tied up or confined to crates, pens or hutches. Give them a chance at survival by leaving them indoors on upper floors if flooding is expected. Provide at least a 10-day supply of dry food, and fill sinks, bathtubs and large tip-proof containers with drinking water. Put signs on windows and doors indicating the number and species of animals inside, as rescue workers may be able to save them.

No one wants to be confronted with an emergency at 3 a.m. (or any time, for that matter). But planning now will help you sleep better, knowing that you’re ready to help your animal companions weather any storm.



Primary election fall out!

By Jim Coughlin

Richard Cipro who began his challenge to District 1 Worcester City Councillor Sean Rose as an underdog several months ago when he began his campaign, last night in the city’s preliminary election topped incumbent city Councillor Sean Rose by 157 votes, coming in first place in 8 out of the districts 10 precincts and capturing 1,384 votes to Rose’s 1,227 votes and a third candidate, David Shea was a distant third with 95 votes.

Victorious – for now. Pic: J.C.

This reporter spent his time on primary night just shortly after 8 p.m. when the polls closed until about 11 o’clock with Cipro and his supporters who were gathered at Glendale’s Restaurant on West Boylston Street where his campaign manager kept a close watch on the election results on a computer screen as the were released from the city’s Election Commission at City Hall.

We’re betting a new kind of Worcester City Council will be elected this November to represent and serve a new kind of Worcester!

When I arrived at Glendale’s, Cipro was huddled with his campaign supporters and was seen greeting his more than 50 supporters as they arrived to the restaurant.

Shortly after 8:15 when I had arrived, Cipro said, ” We beat (Sean) Rose in eight of ten precincts and I am waiting for more official results before I actually declare victory.”

Then at about 9, Cipro who was introduced to the gathering by one of his supporters told the crowd, ” Everyone contributed to where we are today,” in referencing his win over the two term district Councillor.

In announcing his win over Rose, he called it “awesome” and “huge.”

“We ran to make change,” he said.

With a beaming smile he said, “We beat out the machine.” His words cannot be underestimate because Rose is married to the daughter of former Massachusetts State Senator Thomas P. “Tommy” White and many of the insiders on the political scene here were openly backing Rose, including Massachusetts 2nd District U.S Congressman James P. McGovern.

Earlier in the day, McGovern was observed campaigning alongside Rose outside a polling precinct in the district.

In an interview with Cipro, he said he had no endorsements during this campaign.

” I only had the endorsement of the people,” he said.

When asked to comment about his victory, he said “I’m very excited about my win, tonight. Our message is resonating. It is time to bring true leadership back to the city council.”

He said in his serving as a long-time member of the Worcester Police Department for 27 years, and currently as a Sergeant, “I am not just a police officer. I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a police officer. I am not a ‘one trick pony.’ I have proven leadership, ability, education and experience to be a District One City Councillor.”

In his campaign literature, he pledged to support the lowest residential tax rate for homeowners, tackle the Opioid, homelessness and mental health issues in District One, safeguard our vibrant lakes, parks, trees and open spaces and support law and order by firmly rejecting the misguided ideals of the ‘Defund’ (the police) movement.

Among those in the audience at Glendale’s to celebrate Cipro’s victory was George Stratman who was also a successful candidate in the District 5 contest where he finished in second place in that contest in which he edged out fellow candidates Yelli Desroches and Michael Quist, in which he garnered 569 votes to top vote getter Etel Haxhiaj who received 1,215 votes.

Stratman, when asked to comment on Cipro’s win over the incumbent Councillor Rose, he said he was very happy Cipro won, calling him “a dynamo who gets things done.”

Echoing Stratman’s support for Cipro in his win over Rose was his wife, Elaine who works as “a ventilation nurse.” She said, “I am so happy about the direction that Worcester is taking” with both Cipro’s and her husband’s second place finish in the District 5 council race.

In echoing Cipro’s position regarding the movement to “defund the police ” Elaine said, ” We need to support and defend the police, and not to defund the police.”

Stratman is also a colleague of Cipro’s in the law enforcement community having served for 27 years as a Massachusetts State Trooper. Back in 2015, Stratman on the day of the Boston Marathon Bombings in Boston’s Copley Square, (April 15, 2015) was on assignment in the Charleston section of Boston after the bombings took place earlier in the day.

” After the bombings took place, and one of the suspects had carjacked someone on Memorial Drive (in Cambridge, MA) and were headed towards Watertown, I was part of the support team for that effort. The actual apprehension of the (bombing) suspect was done by the Special Operations Team, that day.”

“It was an eighteen hour day for us, Stratman said.

Cipro, in savoring his victory on primary night warned his supporters not to become complacent over his first place finish over Councillor Rose.

In addressing his supporters at Glendale’s Restaurant, he said, “We can’t rest on tonight.”

Both Cipro and Rose will face each other in the final municipal election on November 2nd.

In the meantime, Cipro said there are three one on one debates planned between him and Rose before the final election. They are before the Worcester Research Bureau, the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA.

It’s time to cut out dissection

By Samantha Suiter

Pencils, check. Notebook, check. Backpack, check. Scalpel … wait, what?

In high school – and college – students can “dissect” virtually via terrific biology software programs.

If you think knives don’t belong on a school-supply list, you’re in good company: Studies show that as many as 25% of secondary students object to dissecting animals. Yet this antiquated teaching method will still be on the syllabus for many middle and high school students as they return to classes this fall. As an adjunct professor of biology for over a decade, I know that teaching life science by killing and cutting up animals is not only counterproductive but also cruel — and for many students, it’s a barrier to learning.

Animals used in dissection were once alive, and most suffer terribly before they end up on a science lab tray. Millions of frogs are taken from their natural habitat every year, further diminishing these species’ already declining populations. They are stuffed into bags without food or water, and many are crushed, injured or killed during transport over long distances.

Many other animals are obtained through dissection supply companies. PETA’s undercover investigation into Bio Corporation — a Minnesota company that sells animals to schools across the U.S. — revealed that workers injected live crayfish with latex, joked about turtles coming “back to life” after being frozen and submerged crates full of live pigeons in tubs of water to drown them. The company also purchased cats from animal shelters. Workers hung up their collars — all that remained of animals who may once have been cherished family members. “I know it’s … morbid,” one worker admitted, “but we think it’s funny.”

PETA’s investigations into other biological supply companies have revealed similar horrors, including cats being embalmed while they were still alive and struggling. Formaldehyde, used to preserve dead bodies, is a severely caustic substance that causes an excruciatingly painful death. It’s a health hazard to students and teachers, too: Classified as a human carcinogen, repeated exposure to even low levels of the chemical can cause respiratory difficulty, eczema and skin sensitization.

Slicing and dicing animals’ bodies can cause desensitization, too. For disturbing examples of this, look no further than the videos that have surfaced in recent years of a teacher juggling with dead frogs and students using cats’ intestines as a jump rope in a science classroom.

Most students, though, care about animals and don’t want to harm them. For some — particularly female students — their ethical objections to dissection cause them to turn away from science classes and pursuing careers in biology and medicine. This is a loss on many levels. We should be fostering and applauding compassion in students — a crucial attribute for anyone entering the medical field — and we need more women in STEM fields, not fewer.

Piglets are dissected in some high school biology classes!

There is no need to force students to compromise their ethics in order to learn science. Interactive software programs such as The Digital Frog and the eMind tutorial series let students dissect frogs and other animals virtually and allow them to practice and repeat the lessons until they become proficient. For a more hands-on approach, SynFrog is a hyper-realistic, dissectible frog model that can replace the use of frog cadavers completely in K–12 and college classroom dissection exercises. It has received rave reviews from students and teachers alike.

Peer-reviewed literature confirms that students who use advanced, non-animal dissection methods like these perform better in learning assessments than those who dissect animals. In fact, not a single U.S. medical school — including Harvard, Stanford and Yale — requires students to cut up dead animals. If doctors in training don’t need to dissect, surely teens and pre-teens in general biology classes don’t need to, either.

It’s time to evolve — as science always does — and teach tomorrow’s doctors, biologists and leaders in science by using non-animal methods that are truly cutting-edge.


Companies that don’t test their cosmetics and personal care products in labs on rabbits, mice and other animals:


New! 1 column from PETA; 1 from Rose

In the Canal District Talkin’ Trash!

By Rosalie Tirella

You’d think with thousands of people in the Canal District DAILY, the City of Worcester would have A PLAN TO EMPTY CD GARBAGE CANS DAILY … and maybe even hose down the streets a few times a week. There’s nothing quaint or easy peasy about the situation: It’s not a few paper cups tossed into a few trash receptacles. It’s heaping – we mean heaping – trash cans at the end of each and every day, overflowing onto Millbury, Water and Green streets’ sidewalks BECAUSE HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE VISIT THE NEIGHBORHOOD DAILY! Thousands on weekends.

Outside Bobby’s Hotel Vernon, Kelly Square! pics: R.T.

Wah Wah Water Street!

Millbury Street – outside the old Vernon Drug Store. Bring us a drugstore, CD poo bas! I remember my late mother buying us kids hot fudge sundaes at Vernon’s soda fountain! Bring us an old fashioned ice cream counter, CVS!!

Outside the old Oscar’s Cleaners – now a laundromat but still owned by the Asadorian family.

Millbury Street – outside the old Steeple Bumpsted’s. Remember their iconic tee shirts?

Why should it be on the Canal District’s small biz folks to do major garbage removal? THIS MESS IS SOMETHING FOR THE City of Worcester DPW department to tackle! – people with garbage trucks carrying working men/women with big muscles wearing those protective gloves. IT’S A JOB, not an afterthought. The biggest slob of them all: Bobby Largesse’s Hotel Vernon. He never empties the trash …


Americans deserve better: It’s time for new leadership at NIH

By Dr. Alka Chandna

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is our nation’s foremost medical research authority, charged with the lofty and admirable goal of seeking scientific knowledge to “enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” But under the leadership of Director Francis Collins, the agency has repeatedly failed in this mission and squandered tens of billions in taxpayer money.

Stop needless animal testing! Hundreds of monkeys in labs, alone, isolated – living HORRIFIC LIVES!



Collins’ apparent lack of interest in fostering scientific excellence and his inability to steer the agency toward innovative, cutting-edge research makes him ill-suited to lead NIH, and his continued occupation of the captain’s chair threatens to torpedo this country’s position as a world leader in scientific research.

It’s time to fire Francis Collins.

Collins’ reign at NIH, beginning in 2009, has been marked by an acute lack of vision. Inexplicably choosing to mine the dusty defeats of the past for future success, Collins has directed nearly half the agency’s taxpayer-funded budget of $41 billion toward cruel and senseless animal experimentation, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that animal studies seldom result in effective treatments and cures for human diseases.

Ninety percent of basic research — the kind that Collins loves and most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans. A whopping 95% of pharmaceutical drugs that test safe and effective in animals are unsuccessful in human clinical trials. And in its strategic plan for 2016 through 2020, NIH actually acknowledged that “animal models often fail to provide good ways to mimic disease or predict how drugs will work in humans.”

Yet, in spite of these clear failures, NIH just can’t seem to quit animal experimentation. At a workshop earlier this year, the institute discussed the well-documented difficulties of applying results from animals — including dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, rats, and rabbits — to humans. Its solution? Continuing to chase the unicorn, it settled on “better” animal experiments.

But Collins’ loyalty isn’t even to science or the health of Americans — it’s to the old methods and to his constituency, which is largely made up of animal experimenters. So our tax dollars are helping to prop up the animal experimentation industry. Myriad animal breeders and suppliers as well as companies that make everything from lab cages and equipment to kibble have found a good friend in Collins, who continues to provide for them with $19 billion a year.

That’s not just a waste of money and a waste of precious lives — it’s also a wasted opportunity. It’s endless suffering for those who desperately need new treatments that are left undiscovered. It is, at its core, poor leadership.

Collins has also refused to curb, or even acknowledge, the rampant negligence, cruelty, and repeated violations of federal law in his agency’s own animal laboratories.

From January 2018 to June 2021, 75 cases of serious animal welfare violations were documented in NIH’s Maryland laboratories. Animals suffocated, starved, and died of dehydration. They were injected with the wrong drugs and subjected to unapproved procedures. They became entrapped in parts of the equipment and died while frantically struggling to escape. One mouse burst into flames — yes, you read that right — when experimenters failed to notice that alcohol fumes had built up during a heat-generating surgery.

But not a word about any of that from Collins, who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. Either way, it’s an indictment. That’s not how a leader leads.

NIH should be the world leader in cutting-edge scientific research. Squandering billions looking for solutions to this century’s problems with cruel 20th century methods is not leadership. Just the opposite. NIH needs a leader with vision, one who embraces the advancement of human-centric methods that can produce real-world remedies for human maladies. It’s what we deserve, and quite frankly, it’s what we’ve already paid for. Collins has had more than a decade to move NIH into the future. He has proved himself incapable. It’s time for someone new.

Alka Chandna is vice president of laboratory investigations cases at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510;

🌸🙌🌼🥟Just in from Rose …

I’m thinking today …

Rose musing with mutts …

… about the differences between Worcester’s Canal District and the Boulevard Diner.

This a.m: at the entrance of the gentrified Canal District – a poor person’s seat/home at the Peanut (I miss my ICONIC, SAFER, SLOWER Kelley Square!):
At the Peanut …


Except for Father Madden and Bill Riley at St. John’s Church on Temple Street, most Canal District denizens shun the homeless, push for their ouster.

But travel a few blocks down and enter Shrewsbury Street where you have the Boulevard Diner, a place where homeless folks always get a free cup o’ Joe and sandwich. Staff even built a community food pantry-shed – take a staple or snack, leave one … And this afternoon: PAINT IT LOUD AND PROUD: DINE AT THE BOULEVARD DINER ON SHREWSBURY STREET! The historic diner gets rechristened! Nice job!
The Boulevard Diner…today!



– text+photos by Rosalie Tirella

Shut up about the climate if you still eat meat!

By Michelle Kretzer

A global heatwave. Flooding in Cameroon, China, Germany, India, Niger, Nigeria and Turkey. Wildfires in Algeria, Canada, Greece, Italy and the U.S. An earthquake in Haiti. A first-ever drought on the Colorado River. Tropical storms in the Caribbean. Seemingly, every day brings a new natural disaster. Consequently, every social media feed brings new posts from people “heartbroken” by the devastation — followed by posts of the burgers or pork chops they had for dinner.


Oh, the irony.

The latest report from the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that we must slash greenhouse-gas emissions and keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5°C (2.7°F) in order to prevent a planetary catastrophe.

Scientists at the University of Oxford found that a global shift to vegan eating would do just that, cutting emissions 70% by 2050 (in addition to saving 8.1 million lives and $700 billion to $1 trillion a year on healthcare, unpaid care and lost working days). A separate Oxford study, this one involving the largest analysis of global food production ever conducted, determined that rejecting meat and dairy is the best thing a person can do for the planet.

Go, Joe!!

In an interview with The Guardian, lead study author Joseph Poore explained, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car. Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems. Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this.”

Further research at New York University found that by transitioning agricultural land from animals to plants, we could actually remove years of carbon dioxide emissions from the Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s not rocket science. It is, however, climate science.

In his “code red for humanity” statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5°C in the near term. The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold is by urgently stepping up our efforts and pursuing the most ambitious path. . . . [T]here is no time for delay and no room for excuses.”

You wouldn’t think that simply chowing down on climate-friendly food would qualify as “ambitious,” what with the availability of taste-alike plant versions of almost every kind of meat, milk and cheese imaginable. But, cue the excuses.

Most that I’ve heard run the gamut from laughable (“cows, pigs and chickens would go extinct”) to eye-roll-inducing (“cavepeople ate meat”).

“But the economy,” some say. OK, let’s look at the economy.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that animal agriculture costs the U.S. economy more in health and environmental damage from air pollution alone than it contributes. The study didn’t even have to take into account the negative health effects of eating animals, the damage from other forms of pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions or natural disaster relief.

And with the UN climate report promising more floods, more fires and more extreme weather events, those costs will only keep going up. Unless we reverse course.

Should we actually shut up about the climate crisis and the destruction it’s causing in every corner of the Earth? No. We should be shouting it from the rooftops — over a grill covered in Beyond Burgers and vegetable kebabs.

Wild horses have a target on their back

By Jennifer O’Connor

Just a century ago, millions of horses roamed the American West. By 1970, after being targeted for sport and killed for pet food and fertilizer, only 17,000 were left. In response, Congress passed a law to protect them and made it a crime for anyone to harass or kill wild horses on most federal land. However, that hasn’t stopped the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from continuing to round up tens of thousands of these horses, whose fate is often uncertain.

Euphemistically called “gathers,” the BLM conducts sweeping roundups on our nation’s open ranges using motorized vehicles and helicopters that terrorize the animals. Traumatized by the inescapable noise and physically exhausted from running, horses — some of whom incur injuries in the chaos — are packed into holding corrals. They may be held for years before being sold.

Although all buyers must sign contracts promising that animals bought from the program will not be slaughtered, one of the BLM’s biggest customers is an advocate of horse slaughter. The buyer moved horses across state lines and refused to say where they ended up. A government report determined that 1,700 were killed. Appallingly, those may be the “lucky” ones.

Many of those removed from the wide-open rangeland end up warehoused in corrals for the rest of their lives even though the BLM admits that its “long-term pastures” are “nearly filled to capacity.” And, of course, taxpayers shoulder the cost of this debacle: The BLM spent nearly $390 million on holding horses between 2012 and 2020.

Horses are social animals who use 17 different facial expressions to communicate — more than dogs and chimpanzees. Each herd has unique dynamics, just like our families. Horses tend to hang out most often with those whose company they prefer. Bonds are formed and sometimes broken. After foals grow up, some decide to stick around while others take off to make their own way. Even in established herds, there are squabbles over personal space and competition for position within the family hierarchy. One researcher said “long-term observation of these animals in the wild is like following a soap opera.”

So it is abjectly cruel to break up horse families and upend their social structure. Speciesism—ascribing an inferior status to those who don’t happen to be human — can take many forms, and treating wild horses as nuisances to be removed is one of them.

The BLM makes the disingenuous claim that range conditions can’t support unmanaged wild horse populations, yet wild horses are present on just 17% of BLM rangelands. They are vastly outnumbered by livestock. Cattle graze and roam over millions of the same acres and consume enormous amounts of grass and water. The bottom line is that this suffering is being inflicted on horses in order to appease ranchers and to safeguard their interests.

Rounding up wild horses with helicopters, selling them to killers or corralling them for life is indefensible. Let your federal representatives know that you want this BLM boondoggle to end.

Are you “vegan-curious”? … plus: a few VEGAN SMOOTHIES FOR YOU!❤

By Heather Moore

A recent survey of 2,000 U.S. residents suggests that one in five Americans is “vegan-curious,” a term researchers use to describe people who are interested in trying more healthful, humane vegan foods.

According to the “Thinking Past Meat” survey, a growing number of Americans are eating more vegan foods, and nearly 20% of the survey respondents said that the foods they eat now are radically different from what they ate five years ago.

😃😃😃😃❤One in three survey participants identified as either vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian — someone who mainly eats plant foods but occasionally eats meat — and about half of the other participants have either tried or thought about going vegan.

If you’re “vegan-curious,” too, you’re in luck, because it’s never been easier to go vegan. While a healthy diet should include a lot of fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains and other wholesome plant foods, you’ve likely also seen vegan meats from Beyond Meat, Gardein and other popular brands. Vegan meats, like all vegan foods, are cholesterol-free and tend to be low in saturated fat compared to animal flesh. Scientists from Stanford Medicine have even found that “a diet that includes an average of two servings of plant-based meat alternatives lowers some cardiovascular risk factors compared with a diet that instead includes the same amount of animal meat.”

Dairy-free foods are also healthier (not to mention kinder to animals and better for the environment) than dairy products. If you’re looking for a snack, you can often find dairy-free yogurts from Chobani alongside Oatly oat milk and other vegan items in the “dairy” aisle. And vegans can indulge in many decadent treats, e.g., Ben & Jerry’s makes at least 19 nondairy ice cream flavors, and other well-known ice cream companies, including Haagen-Dazs and Magnum, have introduced vegan options as well.

So many tasty vegan options – excellent variety at TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury (rt 9, right over the bridge)!


If you aren’t vegan-curious yet, here’s some food for thought: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that people who go vegan reduce their risk for developing heart disease by 29% and their likelihood of being hospitalized for a heart attack by 33%. They also reduce their risk for diabetes by as much as 62% and their risk for all types of cancer by 18%. Men can lower their chances of developing prostate cancer by 35%. Vegans also tend to have a lower body mass index, or BMI, than nonvegans, and going vegan can help strengthen one’s immune system and ward off the worst symptoms of COVID-19.

Oxford Martin School scientists believe that if everyone went vegan, it would save up to 8 million human lives …

… reduce greenhouse gases by two-thirds and avoid 1.5 trillion dollars’ worth of climate-related damages by 2050:

And going vegan won’t just help save human lives and prevent environmental destruction — it’s also estimated that each vegan spares nearly 200 animals every year.


Animals suffer terribly on factory farms … all live horrific lives. All die brutally …

Animals are made of flesh and blood, just as we are. But those raised for food are confined to filthy, severely crowded cages, stalls, sheds and warehouses for life, separated from their loved ones, mutilated and killed in painful ways. Chickens, turkeys and pigs are hung upside-down, scalded and bled to death, sometimes while they’re still conscious. Calves are torn away from their mothers to be killed for veal or turned into virtual milk machines. Fish are typically either gutted or left to suffocate out of water, and shellfish are often boiled alive.

The cruelty alone should be enough to move people past the “curious” stage and persuade them to go vegan. But we all have to start somewhere. Whether you’re simply curious or raring to go, check out for more information and a free vegan starter kit.

Happy piglets! Go veggie – and save 200 animals every year!!!