Category Archives: Animal Issues

Pineapple belts and banana wallets: This ain’t your father’s leather!

By Scott Miller

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Buy vegan pocketbooks, totes, wallets, shoes, belts, boots. So stylish! And cruelty-free! Art: PETA

I was shopping at Target last week. I needed a belt. Nothing fancy, just a nice, simple belt I could wear with a pair of jeans. When I got to the menswear department, I thought, “Eh, all they have is leather.” But no, the labels said otherwise. Faux leather has come a long way. Curious, I checked out a few other big retail stores, including Gap and Old Navy. Many of their belts were made of vegan materials, too. And they looked great.

When it comes to fashion and function, men who still use skin to hold up their pants are out of the loop. It’s easier than ever to find vegan leather belts, wallets and bags that look and feel the way you want them to.

Animals aren’t fabrics; leather is someone’s skin. And because its source — usually cows or alligators, even dogs or cats — is rarely indicated on labels, it’s hard to tell where (or whom) it came from. Most of it comes from developing countries, including India and China, where environmental regulations are lax and animal welfare laws are either nonexistent or rarely enforced. In the U.S. and many other countries, animals killed for their skin first endure the horrors of factory farming, including extreme crowding and deprivation as well as castration, branding and tail docking without painkillers. At slaughterhouses, workers routinely cut animals’ throats and even skin or dismember them while they’re still conscious.

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Kind people love cruelty-free fashion: Alicia Silverstone posed nude to promote vegan leather. Nobody good is getting naked for animal-skin tote bags. Many modern men’s accessories are made of high quality microfibers or polyurethane. For those with more upscale tastes, the vegan leather industry is trailblazing an organic path: Black Nopal makes men’s belts using cactus, and allTRUEist makes them using corn.

All natural, state-of-the-art leather produced without suffering or slaughter is now made from apple, mushroom, pineapple, coconut, stone, waxed cotton, grain, flowers, orange, paper, leaves or tree bark. Indie brands like Paguro and revelo manufacture belts out of recycled tires. Watson & Wolfe and Corkor sell vegan leather belts made of cork. And for gearheads, Couch sells vegan belts made of the same seat vinyl used in the 1978 Chevy Camaro LT.

Guys who carry their money in wallets made of the skin of sentient beings should cash in on humane, vegan leather instead. Tree Tribe vegan leather wallets made from bananas, VeloCulture creates them using upcycled bicycle inner tubes and Hempmania crafts them from … you guessed it.

No one dies for cruelty-free backpacks, satchels, weekenders and fanny packs, so they hold your stuff without the baggage. ASHOKA Paris and Matt & Nat create cool men’s vegan leather bags from recycled plastic bottles, Gunas makes them from mulberry plants and high-end Minuit sur Terre uses grapes.

Fellas, you’re just a shopping trip or Google search away from compassionate and fashionable style. Because sometimes you just want a nice, simple, cruelty-free belt.

🍾It’s Veganuary! Resolve to do more than lose weight in 2023!🍾🥔

By Heather Moore

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Get educated – and change your life! Art: PETA

Let me guess: You’re resolving to lose weight in the new year, right? You want to fit back into your favorite jeans, the ones that have been stashed in the back of your closet for nearly a decade. You’re planning to eat better in general, and you hope you’ll reduce your risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes and cancer, too. Good for you! You can accomplish all these things — and more — just by going vegan.

By observing “Veganuary” — the international campaign that encourages everyone to stop eating meat, eggs and dairy, at least for a month — you’ll not only get healthier but also help protect animals from suffering, combat the climate catastrophe and other environmental problems and conserve resources. You might even spend less on groceries, since plant foods tend to be more affordable than animal-derived ones.

That’s not bad for someone whose primary goal was to drop a few pounds!

You won’t be alone, either. About 6% of people in the U.S. are vegan. The number of American vegans increased by 300% (about 9.6 million people) between 2004 and 2019, and more vegans are sprouting up every day.

Last year, a record-breaking 629,000 people from 228 countries and territories took part in Veganuary. Many of them are still vegan. People often accomplish even more than they expect when they first go vegan. New vegans, for example, tend to lose weight without even trying. That’s because, in general, vegan foods are typically low in saturated fat and calories, in addition to being naturally cholesterol-free.

Vegan foods also tend to be high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help boost your metabolism, so you burn more calories. On average, vegans have lower body mass indexes than vegetarians and meat-eaters do, and vegans are considerably less likely to suffer from diet-related diseases.

Eating vegan foods spares animals, too, obviously! It’s estimated that each vegan saves nearly 200 animals every year. Animals are sentient beings with unique personalities and likes and dislikes. They value their lives just as we value ours and grieve when they lose a loved one.

By eating vegan foods, you’ll not only spare chickens, cows, pigs, fish and other animals used for food but also help prevent habitat destruction and mass wildlife extinction. Research shows that animal agriculture is the biggest threat to 86% of the 28,000 species known to be at risk of extinction. Scientists believe that nearly 90% of wild land animals will likely lose habitat by 2050 unless more people go vegan.

So give it a try. Why eat the same boring foods every week? There’s a whole world of vegan options for you to explore, including vegetable curries, veggie stir fries, falafel, seitan, tempeh and various grains, greens, fruits and legumes, that can all be prepared in a number of delicious ways. According to the multinational investment division of Bank of America, vegan food sales, including vegan meats and lab-grown meats, are set to grow to $300 billion by 2025.

There’s no need to wait two more years for vegan living to become even more popular. Let’s make 2023 the year we all resolve to go — and stay — vegan.

🎅Should you really give that kitten as a Christmas present?🎄

By Melissa Rae Sanger

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Christmas file photo: Rose and Cece when Rose lived on Ward Street, in Worcester. Never give pups or kitties as spontaneous gifts. Discuss, plan, research … promise to make a decade+ long commitment to your new pet.

Earlier this year, we opened our hearts to a tiny black kitten with a white stripe down her back. She had been abandoned outside in the cold and was covered in fleas and fighting a nasty infection. After fostering her for a time, we decided to make her a permanent member of our family.

Little Rue is now about three months old, a glorious mixture of sweet and spicy with a touch of mischief. She gets into everything and seems to gravitate toward potential hazards — like our Christmas tree. It stands unadorned in the family room, waiting for lights and ornaments. We haven’t decorated it yet because Rue sees it as her personal jungle gym. I’m hopeful that she’ll soon grow bored of it.

I’m glad that Rue had some time to get used to her new home and that we had time to get used to caring for her before the busy holiday season. With all the enticements, excitement and expenses that the holidays bring, taking on the responsibility of caring for an animal can be overwhelming for families. For animals, being given as “gifts” or bought on a whim can be disastrous.

Among other things, Rue needed a new breakaway collar, food, vaccines and a spay surgery. Considering how costly Christmas is, I’m glad we didn’t have to pay for all of these during the holidays. According to Forbes, the average cost of caring for a cat in the U.S. is $900 annually. The cost for a dog averages $1,480 per year — and that’s just for basic, bare minimum care. An illness, a trip to the emergency veterinarian or another unexpected expense can quickly set guardians back thousands of dollars.

Holiday visitors, travel and packed schedules also make it harder for animals to adjust to a new home — and for their guardians to give them the attention and patient guidance they need. Although we’ll have more guests than usual over the next month, I’m confident that Rue is now comfortable enough in her surroundings to do just fine. And we’re familiar enough with her care routine—playing with her, feeding her, refilling her bowl with clean water, scooping the litter box, grooming her and cuddling her — that we’ll stick with it no matter how busy the holidays get.

Many animals given as gifts won’t be loved and cared for like Rue. They’ll be condemned to a miserable existence — imprisoned in a crate all day or chained outdoors. Or they’ll join the countless others who end up in animal shelters or abandoned on the side of the road to freeze or starve to death after an unprepared recipient discovers that caring for them is an unwanted responsibility.

Please, never give a living, feeling being to anyone as a “gift.” And if you’re emotionally and financially able to care for an animal family member for a lifetime (remember, many animals live well into their teens), make their introduction to your home a happy and successful one by waiting until after the hectic holidays are over.

You can still create a Christmas memory by gathering presents for your future family member, such as a soft bed, dishes, toys and treats galore, a collar, food and a litter box or leash. Wrap them up with a big red bow and leave them under the tree. You can even leave a note for the rest of the family explaining that you’ll be adopting an animal companion from the shelter after things quiet down.

As for us, Christmas will look a bit different this year: We won’t have any fragile ornaments on the tree (if we decorate it at all), we’ll be leaving ribbons off packages (too tempting and dangerous for a kitten) and we’ll need to be a bit more cautious with our spending. But these are all small sacrifices for having Rue spend Christmas (and every holiday to come) off the streets, safe and warm at home.

❤️Warm your heart and theirs🐾🐾 — help get dogs out of the cold this winter!🌨️🌨️

By Melissa Rae Sanger

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Lilac and Cece – warm and safe INDOORS! Cats need to be at home, too, never outdoors. This is so important – especially in wintertime when outdoor cats seek warmth under car hoods – by the warm engine – and get shredded to death. photos: R.T.

A soul-crushing sight met PETA fieldworkers one frigid February day: Minnie, a black pit bull who had spent her short, miserable life chained outside, was dead. Her bone-thin body was still tethered to a tree when they found her. Five other dogs on the property were chained, penned or both, like prisoners, but they were still alive, barely. All of them were malnourished and severely neglected.

After months of advocating for their release, PETA finally persuaded the sheriff’s office to remove the survivors: Zeus, Duke, Sandy, Duchess and Billie, who became known as the “Bertie 5.” A court granted PETA custody, and for likely the first time in their lives, these dogs got to live indoors, sleep on soft beds, receive veterinary care and grooming, play with toys and be treated with respect and compassion.

Although the Bertie 5’s days of misery and neglect are over, countless other dogs are still languishing in backyards across the country without adequate shelter, food or water. This winter, they’ll endure frostbite, hunger and dehydration—and almost worse than that, the cold shoulder of those who are supposed to care for them.

As we curl up under a cozy blanket, their frostbitten feet, ears and tails will go numb. As we take a sip of hot tea, their water dishes will freeze over. As we set the table for dinner, they’ll go hungry.

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Keeping dogs outdoors is cruel at any time of the year, and it can quickly become deadly when temperatures drop. All 50 states have laws that prohibit cruelty to animals, and it’s a crime to deprive an animal of food, water or shelter. If you see a dog in imminent danger (entangled, shivering, thin or lacking water or adequate shelter) or continuously chained even though it’s illegal in your area, please notify the police or animal control officials immediately.

In situations that are not illegal or immediately life-threatening, there are things you can do to ease an outdoor dog’s suffering:

Work with the dog’s owner, not against them. Many people will welcome help but may get defensive if you approach them accusingly. They may be unaware that leaving a dog chained outside poses risks like frostbite and hypothermia. Nicely explain to them that they must provide necessities — including shelter, food and water — and offer to help.

Encourage them to bring their dog inside, and provide transitioning tips. If they resist, suggest keeping the dog in the kitchen (offer to provide a baby gate), the laundry room or an enclosed porch, even if just overnight.

At minimum, dogs forced to live outdoors need a sturdy, elevated doghouse with a flap over the entrance to keep out the wind, lined with a good amount of straw. Some animal protection organizations offer straw bedding free of charge. Keep in mind that blankets and hay absorb moisture and can quickly freeze. A doghouse with icy bedding is even more dangerous than one with no bedding at all.

Many people don’t realize that dogs left outside require extra food in the winter, as they burn more calories trying to stay warm. Advise the dog’s owner to provide extra rations. Dogs can die of dehydration if their water freezes, so it must be checked frequently.

Ask for permission to visit and play with the dog and to take them for walks. Treats and toys, a gentle pat on the head and words of reassurance can warm the heart of a forlorn dog chained alone outside.

Humans domesticated dogs, so it’s our responsibility to meet their needs, including companionship, joyful experiences such as playtime and walks in the park, and protection from illness, hunger and harm. Dogs chained outside may never experience such care unless a compassionate person gets involved.

One of the best ways to help dogs this winter (and beyond) is to get the cruel practice of chaining banned in your community. Kind people across the country have lobbied successfully for tethering bans, and you can, too. Contact PETA if you need help.

It is everyone’s obligation to step in and help make life bearable for cold, lonely dogs this winter. You may be their only hope!

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Lilac and Jett having some fun in a friend’s front yard last winter. Bigger, healthy dogs can frolic in the snow when it’s cold outside, but be with them and make sure they come in doors, into warmth, after 10 or so minutes. If the area’s been salted, gently wipe their pawpads with a soft cloth soaked in warm water.- R.T.

🌨️This winter remember: wearing wool is as cruel as wearing fur! There are cruelty-free alternatives!🤍🕊️

By Heather Moore

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Shearers often leave bloody, gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies, which they stitch up without painkillers. photos courtesy of PETA

Now that nearly every top designer has shunned fur and countries are shutting down fur farms, sparing fur-bearing animals, more and more people are starting to consider other “fashion victims,” including sheep, who are abused and exploited for their wool.

Starting this holiday season, let’s enjoy a wool-free winter and help prevent sheep from suffering at the hands of the wool industry.

Investigators from PETA entities, including PETA U.S., have documented violence at more than 100 wool industry operations in several countries, including Australia, Argentina, Chile, the U.K. and the U.S. Video footage shows that gentle sheep are routinely beaten, punched, jabbed, kicked, stomped on and even killed by hurried shearers, who are typically paid by volume, not by the hour, and thus tend to work as quickly as possible.

Shearers often leave bloody, gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies, which they stitch up without painkillers. Most sheep are shorn in an assembly-line fashion. Being held down and handled is terrifying to prey animals like sheep, and the more they panic and struggle, the more force shearers use, sometimes stomping and standing on their necks and stomachs.

PETA has footage of workers in Australia, where most of the world’s wool is produced, cutting the flesh off merino sheep’s backsides with shears, a barbaric process known as mulesing. Australian sheep farmers specifically breed merino sheep to have wrinkled skin so they’ll produce more wool. The folded skin on their hindquarters collects moisture that attracts flies, who lay eggs in it. In an attempt to mitigate this problem by creating smooth, scarred skin that won’t harbor fly eggs, many Australian sheep farmers cut flesh from lambs’ hindquarters — without painkillers. This agonizing procedure takes place in full view of the lambs’ mothers, who frantically call out to them and try to get as close to them as possible.

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Lambs. … Most sheep are shorn in an assembly-line fashion.

Is this any way to treat smart, sensitive social beings with unique personalities? Instead of cutting flesh off sheep’s backsides, leaving gaping wounds on their bodies or abusing or exploiting them in other cruel ways, let’s shop for humane materials, such as Nullarbor, a sustainable vegan wool made from liquid coconut waste from the food industry. It’s cruelty-free, and its production isn’t responsible for nearly as many harmful greenhouse gas emissions as that of wool. Sheep are second only to cows when it comes to producing methane and are the source of more than 90% of New Zealand’s climate-warming methane emissions.

There’s also WOOCOA, a wool-like material made from coconut and hemp, as well as other stylish vegan materials, such as Tencel, linen, organic cotton and wool made from seaweed, soybeans, bamboo, recycled plastic bottles and more.

When we go shopping this holiday season, let’s choose cruelty-free, fashionable and environmentally friendly fabrics instead of wool and other products of pain and suffering.

🦃What does “Turkey Day” mean to you?

By Ingrid Newkirk

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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.”

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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.

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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.
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Look at the big picture this World Vegan Month

By Heather Moore

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
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There are so many vegan options at Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury – and at your local supermarket!

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… Or you can make your own meals and treats from scratch:American-vegan-kitchen-cookbook
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A Dutch city banned meat ads – US cities should, too!

By Heather Moore

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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Vegan nachos!

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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

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A VEGAN BAKER’S CHEAT SHEET ❤️:

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