Category Archives: Animal Issues

🦃What does “Turkey Day” mean to you?

By Ingrid Newkirk

greens-all-day-peta-catalog-merch-shirt-400x400
❤️

So many turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving each year — about 46 million in America alone — that some Americans refer to the holiday as “Turkey Day.” They fixate on the taste of turkey flesh and place the bird’s basted corpse at the center of the table, as if the mass slaughter of an animal were integral to the celebration. Most of us agree that we should treat other sentient beings with compassion, yet for many, Thanksgiving tends to revolve around eating a slaughtered bird. This is classic cognitive dissonance — when our actions are inconsistent with our beliefs.

I get it. Like many people, I, too, “loved” animals but ate them and thought nothing of it for years. I was a meat-eater’s meat-eater, following my gourmand father’s dietary path: I was wild for liver and onions and raw oysters, balking only at tongue (because it was so obvious what it was) and calf’s brains on toast, one of his favorite dishes.

But things changed for me, thanks to a book I picked up on a vacation: Ruth Harrison’s eye-opening ANIMAL MACHINES. It laid out the horrors endured by those living beings we call “animals,” a word that often casually excludes humans as if we were in some other category of life, perhaps mini-gods.

Regardless of all that’s been written and filmed since 1980, when PETA came into existence hell-bent on exposing what turkeys go through before their drumsticks reach the table, many members of our species remain unmoved, even when they hear that their fellow animals (for we, too, are animals) are petrified when they’re grabbed in the factory-farm sheds, stuffed into crates, trucked through all weather extremes, and then hung upside-down by their legs in the slaughterhouse just before their throats are slit. Yet Ralph Waldo Emerson was right when he wrote that “however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

Sad-Germany-Turkey-Farm-Investigation-400x266
Turkeys on factory farms suffer, suffer, suffer …

I still haven’t nailed the perfect strategy that will change hearts, minds and old habits of convenience and let the other animals simply live. Some people go vegan for their health, some for the environment, others because they’re swayed by images of the unspeakable things we do to animals to get sausages, nuggets, omelets, cheese and turkey flesh on the table.

May I suggest that this year, we observe “Turkey Day” by focusing on turkeys’ many admirable qualities rather than on the taste of their flesh? They are caring parents and spirited explorers who enjoy moving along to music, having their feathers stroked, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and spending time with their friends. One retired poultry scientist describes turkeys as “smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings.”

And like all other animals, including humans, turkeys feel pain, grief, love and joy. Why not give them a break this November and celebrate ThanksVegan, PETA’s fresh new take on the Thanksgiving holiday? Anyone wishing to take a step or even a leap into vegan living will find free downloadable vegan starter kits, recipes, tips and much more on PETA’s website – PETA.ORG.

🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

REMEMBER, THIS HOLIDAY SEASON: OFFICE PARTY SECRET SANTA GOODIES, STOCKING STUFFERS, TEACHER APPRECIATION PRESENTS … ALL THESE CHRISTMAS GIFTS CAN BE “CRUELTY-FREE,” low-cost – AND CONVENIENTLY BOUGHT AT YOUR LOCAL CVS, WALGREENS, TARGET, TRADER JOE’S AND THE DOLLAR TREE. Here are 15 cruelty-free companies – meaning they don’t test their products – soaps, hand creams, body lotions, shampoos, cosmetics – on animals, primarily white bunnies! Also, there are no animal-derived ingredients in their personal care products. I would add DOVE and SUAVE to this list. Recently, I bought their deodorants – they’ve got THE PETA’S BUNNY LOGO AND CRUELTY-FREE STAMP OF APPROVAL! 🐇- Rose T.
petaLiving-social-15CrueltyFreeCompanies
❤️❤️❤️❤️

Look at the big picture this World Vegan Month

By Heather Moore

Alba-Flores-PETA-English-Ad
❤️

This World Vegan Month (November) is a good time to reflect on all the reasons to go vegan. While many compassionate folks go vegan to protect animals from suffering, environmentally conscious individuals may do so primarily because the production and consumption of beef, chicken, pork and other animal-derived foods contribute to the climate catastrophe and other environmental problems. Health-conscious people tend to avoid meat, eggs and dairy mostly because they’re high in cholesterol and saturated fat and devoid of important nutrients. Other benefits, including affordability, also motivate people to go vegan. Although one aspect of vegan living may resonate with you more than others, all are valid concerns that trump every possible excuse for eating animal-based foods.

When you look at the big picture and consider all the reasons, individually and combined, for going vegan, you’ll understand why it’s a sensible choice. Simply going vegetarian, as I did a couple of years before I went vegan, isn’t enough.

Animals suffer in the egg and dairy industries. Hens used for their eggs are confined to filthy, extremely crowded cages. Farmers cut off part of each bird’s sensitive beak with a hot blade—using no painkillers. Male chicks are useless to the egg industry since they don’t produce eggs, and they aren’t bred to have the excessive flesh desired by the meat industry, so they’re either suffocated or tossed into a grinder while they’re still alive. When hens’ exhausted bodies can no longer produce enough eggs, they, too, are killed.

Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do: to feed their babies. But on dairy farms, they’re forcibly impregnated over and over again and their calves are taken from them soon after they’re born. Many male calves are crammed inside crates and ultimately killed for veal. When their mothers are “spent” and can no longer produce much milk, they’re sent to slaughter.

Going vegan helps humans, too, as it can lower the risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancer and other health problems and can help keep weight down. What’s more, eating vegan foods can help you save money, since vegan staples like pasta, rice, tofu and beans are much cheaper than meat.

And raising and killing animals for food takes a catastrophic toll on the planet. Animal agriculture generates huge quantities of greenhouse gases. And forests, which absorb those gases, are cut down to grow crops to feed farmed animals. A recent report commissioned by World Animal Protection shows that growing, processing and transporting feed crops accounts for about 60% and 40% of the emissions from farming chickens and pigs, respectively. In the countries with the most factory farming—Brazil, China, the Netherlands and the U.S.—the carbon footprint of factory-farming chickens is akin to keeping 29 million cars on the road for a year and the emissions from factory-farming pigs are equivalent to those from 74 million cars every year.

Many people understand why it’s important to give up meat, but let’s not overlook the damage done when we consume eggs and dairy. If you’re serious about ending cruelty to animals, getting healthier and saving the planet, World Vegan Month is a fitting time to stop eating animal-based foods and opt instead for foods that are humane, wholesome and environmentally friendly.

They still die, piece by piece

By Daniel Paden

how-Cruelty-Free-is-your-morning-PETA-shareable-beauty-768x1365
Make your Christmas stocking stuffers CRUELTY-FREE! art: PETA

Two decades after an article in The Washington Post, titled “They Die Piece by Piece,” detailed the horrors animals faced in slaughterhouses and exposed federal officials’ paltry enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA), little has changed. The meat industry and the agency entrusted with regulating it continue to fail animals miserably. Clearly, the best way to prevent farmed animals from suffering is to leave meat off our plates.

The article’s headline quotes a slaughterhouse worker’s description of how still-conscious cattle were butchered in 2001. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) own reports recount how cows and other animals still endure agonizing deaths.

In Minnesota last December, workers shot a conscious cow in the head three times, slit her throat, cut into her and injected a chemical into the wounds. The cow clenched her teeth in pain until a rifle shot finally ended her suffering.

In Illinois in August 2021, a pig hanging upside down on the slaughter line was crying out after being put through a carcass-washing cabinet. A worker cut the conscious pig’s throat. Then the pig was plunged into a tank of scalding-hot water and thrashed and screamed before finally being shot.

Both slaughterhouses were allowed to resume killing animals a day after these incidents, having submitted some paperwork to the USDA to get its stamp of approval.

Meanwhile, the more than 9 billion chickens, turkeys and other birds slaughtered annually in the U.S. are not protected by the HMSA. No law requires that they even be stunned before their throats are cut. Birds are routinely drowned in scalding tanks.

food_trucks_rocco_turkeys_008-400x258
Inhumane treatment of turkeys!

At one slaughterhouse, workers left 25,867 chickens overnight on trailers in an open shed as the windchill plummeted to minus 32 degrees. More than 9,000 of the birds died, and many were frozen to metal cages. At another facility, more than 30,000 chickens were denied food and water for more than 24 hours, killing more than 1,600 birds.

But USDA leadership took no enforcement action in their behalf.

What The Washington Post reported three presidencies ago remains true: The USDA makes rare use of the serious sanctions at its disposal. Since 1978, HMSA violations have been punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, the USDA has evidently never filed criminal charges against a licensed slaughterhouse.

As a result, one slaughterhouse in Pennsylvania continues to operate despite 20 violations of law since February 2018. In June 2019, workers there shot a conscious cow three times in the head. In January 2020, a cow who had been shot three times and was hanging on the slaughter line was crying out loudly and looking around. A worker ignored that and cut her throat.

In August 2020, another cow at the same facility endured three rifle shots to the head. Three months later, yet another cow was still standing and looking around after two blasts to the skull. In June 2021, the victim was a pig who remained standing after being shot between the eyes.

Business continues as usual at that slaughterhouse — with the USDA’s blessing — and at others where animals suffer and die in violation of the HMSA. Former USDA Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer Lester Friedlander said in 2001 that violations were “out of control.” They still are. And chronic violators, emboldened by the agency’s toothless responses, have no reason to expect significant consequences.

Any hope that “humane slaughter” might be something other than an oxymoron should fade given the USDA’s abysmal failure to enforce the HMSA in meaningful ways. If you don’t want sensitive, intelligent animals to keep dying “piece by piece,” please stop eating them.

turkey-less-stuffed-roast-gravy-label
This Thanksgiving try a holiday roll … skip the turkey!

What difference can we make? For animals, a big one!🐖🐑🐔🐄🐤🦃

By Rebecca Libauskas

When a ubiquitous figure like Queen Elizabeth II passes away, many of us confront our own morality. We may ask ourselves, “What will I be remembered for?” and “Did I make a difference?”

The queen made a difference by banning fur from the royal wardrobe — a decision that spared animals painful deaths and set an example of compassion for the world to follow.

allanimals2
❤️❤️

Country music legend Loretta Lynn, who recently passed away, too, also left a legacy of kindness. She permitted PETA to use her 1971 hit song “I Wanna Be Free” in a campaign urging people never to leave their dogs chained up, alone and miserable, and instead to let them live inside with their human families.

let-them-live-inside
Dogs must always be indoors with their people – never chained outdoors, or left in a backyard.

But we don’t have to be famous to make a difference.

A nurse in Pennsylvania, for example, wrote a letter to her hospital’s personnel department asking that it stop selling circus tickets to its employees and detailing how animals are chained and beaten in order to force them to perform. When her letter went unanswered, she told the hospital’s president that she would send a copy of it to the local paper. The hospital quickly decided to stop offering the tickets.

In another case, a Missouri woman’s persistent efforts led to the permanent closure of a dreadful roadside zoo and the amendment of laws to prohibit keeping tigers inside cages in backyards.

Each of us has the power to make a tremendous difference. If you’re unsure where to begin, may I suggest starting with your next meal? Going vegan is the single best thing anyone can do for animals, the planet and their own health.

PETA_Move_Away_Cow_Ad-768x1344

Chickens, pigs, cows and other animals are clever, complex individuals who love their families, have highly developed communication systems, invent games to amuse themselves and more. Yet animals used for food are kept in filthy, windowless sheds and crowded into wire cages, metal crates or other severely restrictive pens. They’re never allowed to care for their young, feel the soil under their feet, make nests or do anything else that’s natural and important to them before they’re slaughtered. Each vegan prevents nearly 200 animals from enduring this misery every year.

VEG-Piglet-Pigs-East-Fork-Farms-Indiana-Investigation-NC-PO-Screen_grab_1
Factory farms in America ARE NOT THE FARMS WE GREW UP SEEING IN THE MOVIES. THE ANIMALS ARE NOT TREATED LIKE LIVING BEINGS WHO NEED SPACE TO SLEEP, WALK OR RUN, BE WITH THEIR YOUNG ONES… IT’S A MASS-PRODUCTION OPERATION WITH ANIMALS TREATED LIKE MACHINES, FACTORY PARTS … AN INHUMANE SITUATION. This is where most supermarkets and convenience stores buy their meats, etc. Most American restaurants, too!

Going vegan makes a difference for the Earth, too: By eating foods made from plants instead of animals, each of us can save 1,100 gallons of water, nearly 40 pounds of grain and 30 square feet of forested land daily. We can also slash our carbon footprints: A University of Oxford study shows that meat-eaters are responsible for almost two and a half times as much dietary greenhouse gas emissions per day as vegans are.

Animal-Agriculture-Source-Greenhouse-Gasses-PETA-602x401
We are all interconnected …

Let’s choose healthy, delicious vegan foods for every meal of every day and do even more good by supporting vegan hunger-relief organizations like Food for Life Global. We can also donate nonperishable vegan food items like oatmeal, rice, beans and shelf-stable boxes of almond milk to a local food bank and consider supporting a health charity like the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which never experiments on animals and which advocates healthy vegan eating, including to support cancer prevention and survival.

In light of all these benefits, why not defend animals for a living? Animal rights organizations are always looking for passionate, talented people to join the team. And never underestimate the power of your pen. Like the nurse who ended her hospital’s promotion of cruel circuses, we can achieve significant change just by writing letters to people in power.

Even if we grew up eating meat, eggs and dairy; wearing leather and fur; and attending abusive circuses, it’s never too late to change for the better. Our choices can make a difference for animals, the planet we share and our own health. Let’s start today at breakfast — by making it vegan!
vegan-at-meijer-shopping-guide-peta-2018-sweet-earth-tuscan-veggie-sausages-e1559842539639
There are so many vegan options at Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury – and at your local supermarket!

Halo-Top-Vegan-Pumpkin-Pie-Ice-Cream-668x336-1567112994
🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

… Or you can make your own meals and treats from scratch:American-vegan-kitchen-cookbook
❤️

A Dutch city banned meat ads – US cities should, too!

By Heather Moore

Thanksgiving-Roast-with-Sage-Stuffing-637x320-1444682053
Vegan holiday roast with sage stuffing. Trader Joe’s grocery store in Shrewsbury has many kinds of vegan Thanksgiving and Christmas “roasts” for you to discover! art: PETA

The Dutch city of Haarlem, which is home to about 160,000 people, is set to become the first city in the world to ban meat advertisements in public places in an attempt to reduce meat consumption and combat the climate catastrophe.

This move begs the question: “What are U.S. cities waiting for?” The average American eats about four times as much beef as people in the rest of the world, and beef production alone causes massive amounts of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Animal-Agriculture-Source-Greenhouse-Gasses-PETA-602x401
Help slow down climate change, eat way less meat and way more vegan and vegetarian meals!

Do we really need to be bombarded with billboards, commercials and other advertisements prompting us to eat cruelly produced, cholesterol-laden foods that cause climate change and other environmental problems?

PETApaulturkeyAD300
❤️

Global food production generates 35% of all planet-warming emissions, with animal agriculture, including organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb, causing twice the amount of greenhouse gases as fruit, grain and other vegan foods.

That’s largely because farmed animals produce a lot of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A United Nations report states that reducing methane emissions is one of the easiest ways to curb climate change and urges meat-eaters to choose vegan meat rather than animal flesh.

Studies have found that that vegan meat has a 93% smaller carbon footprint than beef, and researchers estimate that consuming vegan beef rather than cow flesh could reduce the number of cows raised for meat by up to 12 million.

Switching to vegan beef would also reduce the carbon footprint of food production in the U.S. alone by as much as 13.5%. And that’s not all. Scientists predict that a 50% reduction in the consumption of chickens and pigs by 2040 would be equivalent to taking 8 million cars off the road for a year.

The University of Oxford estimated the environmental impact of 57,000 different foods in the U.K. and Ireland and concluded that vegan foods tend to be 10 times better for the planet than animal-derived ones, not to mention that they’re often more sustainable as well.

There’s no question that vegan foods are healthy and nutritious, whereas animal flesh, eggs and dairy are high in unhealthy cholesterol and saturated fat. And animal-based foods are also devoid of fiber, complex carbohydrates and other nutrients essential to good health.

VEG-Piglet-Pigs-East-Fork-Farms-Indiana-Investigation-NC-PO-Screen_grab_1
Going vegan means pigs, chickens, chicks, lambs and cows don’t lead horrific lives on American factory farms, many abused and tortured.

As Haarlem clearly realizes, raising cows, pigs, chickens and other animals for food exacerbates the climate catastrophe. With the Earth in crisis, the last thing we should do is encourage people to eat more animal flesh. That’s as counterproductive as advertising liquor at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

For the sake of our planet and our health — and the animals who suffer immensely when raised and killed for food — U.S. cities should follow Haarlem’s lead and prohibit companies from advertising meat.

Americans don’t need ads that will prompt us to eat unhealthy, environmentally destructive and inhumanely produced foods. We need ads that will prompt us to eat nutritious earth- and animal-friendly foods — vegan ones.

🍂🍂🍪🍂🍂🍂🍪🍂🍪🍂🍪🍂🍪🍂

THERE’S AN INFINTE NUMBER OF DELICIOUS VEGAN RECIPES TO TRY!

vegan-nachos-3
Vegan nachos!

🌽🥦🥔🍆🫑🥜🥕🥑🍠🥬🥒🥔🥦

THE HAPPY PEAR are twin brothers from Ireland who are amazing vegan chefs! Check out their cooking and baking tutorials on YouTube – and be amazed!
https://youtu.be/F84NdEYXiBs

🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂🍂
A VEGAN BAKER’S CHEAT SHEET ❤️:

Vegan-Cooking-Tips
💙💙💙💙💙

Crying dogs🐩 and gabby dolphins 🐬

By Heather Rally, D.V.M.

IMG20220919091148
Jett and Lilac have been best friends for years and get upset when separated from each other. Rose doesn’t know what she’ll do when 15+-year-old Jett passes. Lilac will be heartbroken! photo: R.T.

A recent study by Japanese researchers observing that dogs cry happy tears when reuniting with their guardians should surprise no one. Science long ago proved that dogs, like all animals, experience a full range of emotions, including joy, sorrow, empathy, grief and doubt. The evidence is both academic and empirical.

Elephants repeatedly return to the graves of deceased loved ones to pay their respects. Rats giggle when they’re tickled. Crows hold grudges when they see others who have offended them — even years later.

Monkey-reaching-out-from-her-cage
No more captive monkeys! Photos: PETA

Captive rhesus monkeys refused to pull a switch to obtain food if it meant another monkey would receive a shock — even when they were hungry. And when given the choice between feasting on chocolate or saving a drowning companion, rats chose the latter.

Video footage of a bullock carefully nudging an overturned tortoise until the reptile flipped upright garnered millions of views online. A bear at the Budapest Zoo was filmed gently plucking a drowning crow out of the water, carefully placing the bird on the ground and then going about his business. Dogs — and cats — routinely alert their guardians to house fires.

Animals often express their feelings very clearly. Mother cows and their calves bawl inconsolably when they’re separated so that people can steal the milk. Researchers have found that — just like us — dolphins love to gab. Those clicks and whistles are complex conversations, sharing news, relaying important tips, such as plentiful fishing spots, or expressing concern for an ill friend.

dolphinphoto-768x510
Dolphins communicate with each other constantly!

Individuals within a pod of orcas all communicate with one dialect, and they can communicate with individuals in other pods, who have their own dialect. The pods make up larger groups called clans, and the languages of the clans are as different as Russian is to Arabic.

Wild parrots use unique calls to name their babies, who are then instantly identifiable. When hearing a name called, other parrots can distinguish gender as well as the mate and family that the parrot belongs to, just as we can when someone calls for “Mrs. John Smith.” Sometimes we can understand these keenly intelligent birds. Neighbors in one Florida neighborhood called the police when they thought they heard a woman screaming, “Help! Help! Let me out!” but it turned out to be a parrot.

When a kitten companion of Koko, the gorilla who had been taught American Sign Language, got tired of playing with her, Koko would sign, “Obnoxious. Cat.” But when she was told that the kitten had been killed after getting hit by a car, she whimpered and cried and signed, “Sleep. Cat.”

It has now been unequivocally established that animals aren’t “things” to exploit but rather living, breathing, feeling beings who have families, interests, intelligence and emotions. To believe otherwise is speciesist. And as our society continues to evolve and reject that mindset, we will finally look back with shame for once having viewed animals as inferior to us.

orca
Orcas are highly intelligent and travel hundreds of miles in the ocean. They should never be behind glass or made to “perform tricks” for us humans!

Home sweet habitat …

By Rebecca Libauskas

Deadly wildfires. Unprecedented flooding. Major hurricanes. With exponential growth in devastating weather events predicted for the upcoming decades, the changing climate is going to affect our homes significantly. So, let’s think about the climate catastrophe’s effect on all species’ homes — and what we can do about it.

Animal-Agriculture-Source-Greenhouse-Gasses-PETA-602x401
art: PETA

Around the world, animal agriculture is the primary contributor to deforestation, air pollution, water pollution and biodiversity loss. It consumes a staggering 83% of farmland and is responsible for more than half of agriculture’s greenhouse-gas emissions, according to University of Oxford research.

And while we bulldoze animals’ habitats to convert them into cruel factory farms, just 18% of our calories — and 37% of our protein — come from meat and dairy. When we can get our nutrition from plants, and consuming them is humane and sustainable, why are we continuing to exploit and kill animals for food?

By replacing animal agriculture and shifting to vegan foods, we could significantly reduce planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a new study by scientists from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. So let’s embrace vegan food now, before it’s too late.

PETApaulturkeyAD300
This Thanksgiving, forgo the turkey…

Our predicament is urgent. If severe weather continues to increase in frequency at the current rate, we risk losing 167 million houses worldwide between now and 2040 — which is the equivalent of all the homes in the U.S., according to an estimate backed by Professor Andrew Collins at Northumbria University. Just last year, wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and other natural disasters in America destroyed approximately 15 million houses — that’s nearly one in 10.

joe-biden-peta-climate-change-cow-396x240-1568129464
Joe knows!

Even though we humans caused the climate catastrophe, we aren’t the only ones losing our homes because of it. Mammals, birds and amphibians around the world have lost an average of 18% of their natural habitats as a result of climate change and changes in land use. During the next 80 years, that could rise to 23%, according to research published in Nature Communications. But that’s why we have protected areas, right?

We think of our treasured national parks as a safe haven for animals, away from human development. But our parks are also suffering from the effects of the climate crisis, including an increase in wildfires, severe drought and rising sea levels. Most recently, Yellowstone National Park and several neighboring areas were severely affected by flash flooding. Soon Yellowstone — home to animals like the endangered Canada lynx — may not be able to support all its inhabitants. And in Yosemite National Park, trees are dying rapidly and animals like the pika are becoming displaced.

Of course, these challenges aren’t limited to the U.S. Zimbabwe just moved 2,500 animals to protect them from drought. And blazing forest fires in Northern Argentina this year forced capybaras, jaguars and other animals to flee their homes.

It is well known that in the Amazon, deforestation has destroyed a great deal of animal habitat. But what may come as a surprise is that the primary source of that deforestation (up to 91%) is animal agriculture, which involves cutting down trees to make room for crops to grow animal feed.

Over a million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction, according to a United Nations comprehensive assessment on biodiversity. The analysis shows that the speed at which species are being lost to the world is increasing at a rate that is tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past. But while that sounds bleak, think of the numbers of cows, chickens, turkeys, lambs and goats who are killed every day for food. One estimate states that 200 million animals are slaughtered for food every single day in the world — and that doesn’t even include fish.

pcases_broiler_chickens_transport_1200dpi_001-1024x665
Chickens are “transported” like factory parts!

Mansions, condos, cabins, trees, swamps, oceans — our dwellings may look different, but Earth is the home that we all share. So let’s remember that all sentient beings deserve a place to live. Let’s help stop the destruction of our planet — by going vegan.

Alba-Flores-PETA-English-Ad
🧡

Why are so many animals left behind in natural disasters, and how can we change that?

By Michelle Reynolds

VIETNAM WAR DOG
Vietnam War dog … Now the U.S. military leaves none of its working – or companion – dogs behind in a war zone.

Kittens clinging to the top of a patio umbrella surrounded by rising floodwaters. A dog balancing on a floating bookshelf. Chihuahuas stuck under a collapsed house. Chickens trapped in submerged coops. A dog whose paws were badly burned. These are just a few of the animals PETA fieldworkers have rescued just in the nick of time following natural disasters. Others weren’t so lucky.

We know the dangers. So why, in an emergency, are animal companions so often left behind?

The problem seems to be twofold. First, many evacuation workers and shelters refuse to accept animals, leaving their guardians in a no-win situation. And second, guardians are often unprepared when disaster strikes. But there are solutions.

When Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast, about 44% of New Orleans residents refused to follow evacuation orders, in many instances because the Superdome and other shelters had “no animals” policies. Some residents were threatened with arrest and forced to comply, and some took the dangerous step of reentering the evacuation zone to try to rescue their animals. As a result of Katrina’s heart-wrenching devastation, Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act of 2006, requiring states that receive FEMA aid to include animals in their evacuation and sheltering plans. Since then, more than 30 states have enacted emergency protection protocols for animals or have plans in the works. Not all evacuation shelters have to accept animals, but options must be provided.

For guardians, it comes down to finding them. And the best time to do that is well in advance of an emergency. Having a plan in place will ensure that the entire family can stay together safely. A quick call to your county emergency management office or local animal shelter may be all it takes to find a list of animal-friendly sheltering options in your area. A simple online search for “animal-friendly evacuation shelters near me” also returns numerous results. In the event that there are no facilities nearby, campgrounds can be a good option, and many hotels that normally don’t allow animals often lift their prohibitions during natural disasters. A few minutes on the phone should yield a solid list.

If you’re required to leave the area, animals are always safer with you than they would be if left behind to fend for themselves. Having a “go bag” ready for them can save precious time when disaster strikes. It should include a harness and leash or a carrier; bowls; medical records; litter and a small litter tray for cats; a favorite toy or blanket; and enough food, bottled water and medication to last at least a week. All animals should be microchipped and wearing current identification tags.

If you see animals who have been abandoned or are lost or injured, try to get them to an animal shelter. Companion animals cannot survive “on instinct” and should never be left outside, especially on a chain or in a pen that prevents them from escaping danger. If it’s not possible to help, note their location and call the authorities immediately.

National Preparedness Month presents the perfect opportunity to make a plan to ensure our animal companions’ safety during emergencies. With the climate catastrophe causing natural disasters to become more frequent, there is no time to waste. Our best friends help us weather every storm, and we should do the same for them.

How eating vegan/vegetarian foods can save our planet!🌎

By Rebecca Libauskas

IMG20220909092050
Today: Rose enjoying her morning java – with French vanilla non-dairy creamer.

Animal-Agriculture-Source-Greenhouse-Gasses-PETA-602x401
Save our planet – go vegan!! photos: PETA.ORG

Investments in meat made from plants have a more profound impact on the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions than other green initiatives, according to a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group.

The report found that investing in the production of vegan meat and dairy reduces greenhouse-gas emissions three times more per dollar then investing in eco-friendly cement technology, seven times more than in green buildings and 11 times more than in emission-free vehicles.

As consumers, we can “invest” every time we go grocery shopping, as well as urging lawmakers to use our tax dollars to develop and expand vegan food production. Doing so will not only help mitigate the climate catastrophe but also prevent animals from suffering on factory farms.

Afro-Vegan-book-cover-251x300
So many cookbooks to learn from …

But let’s not delay: A recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says the effects of the changing climate are worse than experts initially thought, and they advise that we take immediate action. The good news is that interest in vegan food is skyrocketing — even meat-eaters are filling their plates with animal-free cuisine.

Vegan-Treats-You-Need-This-Fall-Optimized-400x400
There are tons of ready-made vegan meals and desserts you can get at any Worcester supermarket and TRADER JOE’S in Shrewsbury! Deelish!

According to Bloomberg, the market for vegan foods will reach $162 billion by 2030. And the investment bank Credit Suisse expects the vegan food industry to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2050. The search term “vegan food near me” increased by 5,000% in 2021 and was categorized as a “breakout search” by Google. But more than just searching, people are opening their wallets at the grocery store.

So who is driving this shift toward planet-friendly food? Here’s a hint: Avocado toast is vegan. Zoomers (members of Gen Z) and millennials drive the demand for vegan food because they tend to value health, mitigating the climate catastrophe, and ethics. Nearly 90% of zoomers, for example, are worried about the environment, and 41% feel that the changing climate is the planet’s most important issue. Millennials are also more health-conscious than the generations that raised them and more likely to seek out nutritious vegan food. Young people also care more about animals — some even choose to adopt animal companions rather than starting a human family.

Imagine a world in which we don’t exploit animals for food. …

VEG-pig-COI-JO
Suffering and a brutal death on American factory farms!

The science is getting close, and clean meat, dairy and egg innovations are being developed. One company is producing dairy protein through fermentation, eliminating the need for cows. Another makes cultivated meat from animal cells, creating cruelty-free chicken breasts and beef. The facility is the largest cultivated meat factory in the world, and the company intends for its products to be available for purchase sometime this year.

veggie-burger-promo-pic2-400x311
Try an IMPOSSIBLE BURGER or make “impossible” meatballs for your next spaghetti dinner. Rose has made these meatballs and they’re so tasty!

A comparison study shows that by 2030 — when large-scale commercial production of lab-grown meat may be possible — pound for pound, lab-grown meat could potentially contribute 92% less in greenhouse gases and use 95% less land and 78% less water than conventional beef.

But we don’t have to wait for new products to hit supermarket shelves. Many grocery stores, restaurants and fast-food establishments carry meatless and dairy-free options. There is even a new vegan hard-boiled egg that looks and tastes like the real deal.

Brands-With-Vegan-Milk-Options-400x400
💚

Our current food system is hungry for change, so let’s feed it — by going vegan.

Vegan-Cooking-Tips
Try one of these “subs” next time you bake!

Which dog breeds are the least healthy? These eight might top the list

By Michelle Reynolds

IMG20220901145108
Mixed breeds like Rose’s Jett – a rescue from WARL, adopted by Rose 15 years ago – are often healthier than “purebreds” who can be overbred and develop genetic traits that lead to all kinds of illnesses, including cancers. pics: R.T.

All caring guardians want the same thing for our dogs: a long, healthy, happy life. But even with excellent care, certain breeds are more likely to have you trekking to the vet’s office than to the dog park. While all “purebred” dogs are predisposed to genetic conditions that cause discomfort and disability, one group stands out from the rest.

Dogs who have been bred (and typically inbred) to have the flat faces that the American Kennel Club and some social media influencers tout as desirable are afflicted by an uncomfortable, debilitating and sometimes fatal condition called brachycephalic syndrome. In short, it means that their disfigured snouts and constricted airways leave them struggling just to breathe. Far from being “normal,” the flat faces often associated with French bulldogs, English bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese, Boston terriers, boxers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, shih tzus and certain other breeds cause them myriad health problems, including sleep apnea, coughing, gagging, retching, vomiting, tiring easily, collapsing, fainting, dental issues, eye problems caused by misshapen skulls, laryngeal collapse caused by chronic stress on the cartilage, and strain on the heart from fighting for air.

It can be tough or even impossible for these breathing-impaired breeds to go for a walk or to run and play with their guardians. And according to a recent study at the University of California–Los Angeles, such facial deformities may even hamper their ability to smell. This condition affects all the things that matter the most to dogs.

During the hot summer months, breathing impairment can turn deadly. Dogs must be able to pant in order to cool themselves. And with narrow, restricted nostrils and windpipes, these dogs often can’t cope. They’re at least twice as likely to suffer from heatstroke as other dogs.

IMG20220830151714
Lilac enjoying her bowl of water at the dog park. Keep your dogs hydrated during the summer “dog days!”

It’s little wonder that in Germany, breathing-impaired breeds are referred to as “tortured breeds,” and the breeding practices that result in pain and distress for dogs are restricted, as they are in Austria, Norway and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, breeders persist, despite knowing how much anguish these dogs endure, just to suit the latest fad. As long as people keep spending thousands of dollars to buy suffering “designer dogs,” breeders will keep churning them out.

The best way to spare breathing-impaired breeds a lifetime of misery is not to buy or breed them.

If you already have one, please take extra precautions during physical activities and in hot weather. Signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination. If someone you know has their heart set on purchasing one of these breeds because they think it will get them Instagram “likes,” talk to them about adoption. Shelters are full of “purebred” dogs who were bought on a whim and then dumped once the excitement wore off or they became “too much work” or the vet bills started to mount. They’re also overflowing with one-of-a-kind dogs who are equally deserving and less likely to have chronic health issues.

Providing a cherished adopted dog with a full, healthy and joyous life – that should be the goal.

IMG_20180106_092011 (1)
Lilac and her beloved Cece!