Category Archives: Animal Issues

Why many Americans will celebrate ThanksVegan this year

By Heather Mooreturkey-less-stuffed-roast-gravy-label-602x350-1447097445
TRADER JOE’S Veggie holiday roll …TRY IT THIS THANKSGIVING! There’s a TJ’s in Shrewsbury!

At least 47% of Americans are likely to eat more vegan foods this Thanksgiving, according to food industry analysts. The forecast sounds pretty accurate, considering that turkey prices are expected to hit record highs this year, and more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned about human health and environmental and animal welfare issues.

Rather than putting a turkey’s carcass on the table, many people will be celebrating ThanksVegan — a fresh new take on the Thanksgiving holiday — and gorging on tasty vegan versions of traditional favorites, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberries and pumpkin pie. Both seasoned and aspiring vegans can also enjoy a savory vegan roast, stuffed squash or other vegan main dish.

ThanksVegan meals reflect mercy and kindness, not suffering and death. Turkeys are friendly, inquisitive birds who like gobbling along to music, having their feathers stroked and spending time with kindhearted humans. At some sanctuaries, turkeys greet guests, eager for treats and affection. They’ve even been known to fall asleep in visitors’ laps while being petted.

Inhumane …

Rescued turkeys are treated radically different from those who are killed for food. According to the USDA, about 46 million turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving each year. Most are raised in dark, filthy, cramped sheds. They’re unable to run, build nests, raise their young or do anything else that’s natural and important to them.

Many are fed antibiotics in order to stimulate growth and keep them alive in the sickening living conditions, at least long enough for them to be killed when they’re between just 3 and 5 months old. Because of the antibiotics, turkeys grow so big that they can barely walk, let alone mate. That’s why turkeys are typically bred through artificial insemination.

Part of the birds’ beaks are cut off with a hot blade to keep them from pecking one another out of stress and frustration. Males’ snoods (the fleshy appendage that hangs down from their beaks) are chopped off, too. These procedures are performed without pain relievers, even though they cause excruciating acute and lasting pain.

Even birds at self-professed “humane” farms are grotesquely abused. Over the summer, a PETA investigator saw workers at “certified humane” farms in Pennsylvania kick, choke, stomp on and throw birds around. They also hit them with an iron bar and used them to mimic sex acts.

One crew position was even called the “kick,” because kicking was that person’s role in loading the birds onto trucks.

The stress of being crammed into tiny cages, thirst, terror all combine to create situations where turkeys self-mutilate and pluck each other’s feathers.

After they arrive at the slaughterhouse, turkeys are often scalded to death in the tanks of water used for feather removal.

There’s nothing “humane” about killing turkeys or any other animals for food. Thankfully, most stores now carry plenty of vegan options, which are truly humane, healthy and in keeping with the seasonal spirit of gratitude. They’re also environmentally friendly. Researchers have found that animal-based foods account for a whopping 83.5% of food-related greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S.

So, be grateful that there are so many plant foods available, and have a happy and humane ThanksVegan!


💚Vegan Cooking Cheat Sheet💚:



By Rosalie Tirella

I found this National Geographic issue in the seconds bin. …

Jane Goodall … so young and gifted

Was planning to peruse at the dog park today, but we had to leave a bit early.

Jett and Lilac at the dog park

… Baby Boomer gals, remember when we all wanted to be Jane Goodall? Young, beautiful and intelligent … sleeping beneath the fine fine mesh of mosquito netting deep in the jungle, washing our long hair in pristine streams, communicating with wild animals, the chimpanzees, getting to know each one’s personality … Magical. Jane watched her chimps with obsessive love. We were 8 and 9 years old and obsessed with Jane’s adventure. She was soft spoken and gentle with her chimps yet determined, strong in her scientific quest. Terrific role model.

Romantic and scientific

I met Jane Goodall after a lecture she gave at Mechanics Hall in downtown Worcester about 25 years ago. She was older but still beautiful. We smiled and said hello. My friend who came along was a bit more confident. In the receiving line she decided to glom on to Goodall. No, a handshake or autograph was not good enough for Sue. She was an observer of animals, too. She told Goodall she could relate to her! Knew exactly how she felt in the African jungle for she too watched – watched her cats – interact outside her farm house – and THEY FASCINATED HER! She began a one-sided conversation with Jane Goodall, much to my embarrassment …with 100 or so people behind us in line waiting to meet Jane, too!

My friend, good natured and a true animal lover, could not leave Jane’s side. I watched terrified. WOW. My friend was hogging Jane Goodall all to herself! How bal*sy! Two feet away from me! Goodall was so gracious … A night to remember.

We Baby Boomer kids were fed a steady TV-show diet of animal shows: Dak Tari, Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, National Geographic specials, Born Free movies, Flipper. I watched them all, falling in love with all animals … I pressured my sweet mom into filling our Lafayette Street apartment with critters from Woolworths pet section: newts, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice… eventually cats, dogs … all mine. My sisters weren’t animal curious. They stayed away from the little turtles I let run wild on our linoleum kitchen floor. My mom shuddered every time I walked around our flat with my pet mouse Gigi tucked inside my shirt pocket.

Here it is a half century later and I want another dog or two, large, big boned, wolf-like. Lately, my best moments, are in nature: quiet and deeply personal, with my dogs … Drinking a cup of McDonald’s coffee, early in the morning, walking at Butler Farm to the dog park, the grass sopping with dew, my shoes soaked in five minutes … quietly the day begins, the sunlight looks pale, tentative … the birds are noisy in the intense, enveloping silence of a new day. Mystery achievement.
At the dog park …

By appointing a visionary leader, President Biden could seal his legacy as a champion of Americans’ health

By Katherine Roe

It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Biden administration’s upcoming selection of director for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), following the resignation of Francis Collins.

This is no perfunctory appointment — or at least it shouldn’t be. This is an opportunity to chart an entirely new course in scientific research.

It is a rare opportunity to create a research agency that will be envied the world over, an agency on the cutting edge of the development of 21st century solutions to human maladies, and an agency that can swiftly address new, uncertain developments, such as the next pandemic.

To do this, NIH needs a leader who can face facts: The era of animal experimentation is over. NIH has mindlessly clung to a failed research model based on animal experimentation that continues to fail spectacularly, wasting time, money and lives.

Stop the needless torture of monkeys and other animals sentenced to years of fear and trauma and loneliness in American labs. Many “scientific” experiments on animals are pointless … Many experiment findings are not even applicable to humans!

Social, physically active, intelligent animals … Why conduct redundant tests, useless tests on them?

For instance:

· 95% of new drugs deemed safe and effective in tests on animals are found to be unsafe or ineffective in humans.

· 81% of the time, animal tests fail to detect the potential side effects of drugs in humans.

· 90% of basic research — most of which involves experiments on animals — has failed to lead to any human therapies.

· 89% of experiments cannot even be reproduced, resulting in the waste of $28 billion annually on research that may be inaccurate or misleading.

The failure rates for specific diseases are no less alarming:

· 100% of treatments for stroke and sepsis tested in animals have failed in humans.

· 99.6% of Alzheimer’s disease treatments developed in animals have failed in humans.

· Only 3.4% of oncology drugs tested on animals have succeeded in humans.

· Zero vaccines for HIV have been developed, despite decades of experiments in which chimpanzees, monkeys and other animals were infected with similar viruses.

· There has been no cure nor treatment for most cancers — despite a 50-year “war on cancer,” the disease is still the #2 killer of Americans, just as it was in 1971.

Courage and transparency are paramount in righting a ship that has run aground. While Collins fully understood that sepsis experiments in mice were disastrously ineffective for humans, he stood by as nearly 100 million tax dollars continued flowing into these same experiments. PETA has filed a lawsuit against NIH over this.

NIH is a $42 billion agency that annually wastes at least $19.5 billion experimenting on animals, effectively probing apples for information on oranges. It must divert that money into human-relevant research:

epidemiological studies, in vitro work using human cells, integrative modeling and molecular simulations, three-dimensional printed human tissues, cell-based assays and organs-on-a-chip. These methods are more accurate and directly relevant, since no animals are acting as stand-ins for humans. The results are directly applicable.

To help in this process, PETA scientists have developed the Research Modernization Deal, which outlines the failure of the current paradigm and offers a roadmap for moving forward. Members of the European Parliament reviewed this strategy and last month voted to develop a plan to phase out animal testing.

We need leaders who are unafraid to chart new courses, leaders who learn from the past, rather than just repeating it. It is our choices that define who we are. Let’s urge President Biden to choose well.



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