Category Archives: Animal Issues

🙏Remember the earthquakes’ overlooked victims and survivors🐕🐈‍⬛🦜🐎🐈🐕‍🦺

By Michelle Reynolds

As we open our hearts and wallets to the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, let’s not forget about those who often go unmentioned: Animals.

Before the earthquakes began, animals were reportedly behaving strangely: Seemingly panicked birds were flying erratically, and dogs howled. Although unsubstantiated, these claims aren’t surprising. Observational studies of many different species have shown that animals’ ability to sense earthquakes before they occur is superior to that of seismology equipment. Animals are intelligent in ways that we’ll likely never fully understand, and tragedies like this have a significant impact on them, too.

Beloved dogs, cats and other companions were curled up in beds and on rugs when their worlds were shattered. Due to the scope of the devastation, many stray animals, who were already struggling to survive on the streets, are in danger of starving to death before rescue teams can reach them. Animals trapped on farms, including working horses and donkeys, and wild animals also suffered when the ground beneath them split open and the buildings surrounding them collapsed. Many are now displaced, injured or searching for their loved ones. All are traumatized. These victims, too, need reassurance, kindness, shelter from the bitter cold, food, water and medical care. Local animal protection groups are inundated with calls for help.

PETA’s Global Compassion Fund is providing a network of animal organizations throughout the area with financial support, and PETA U.K. is on the ground in devastated Kahramanmaraş. Working with shelters and volunteers, they’ve been able to rescue many animals, including 40 birds who were trapped in a pet shop basement that was teetering on the brink of collapse. The team transports injured animals seven hours to the closest open veterinary clinic in Adana before heading back. They’re also delivering food and water to animals who’ve been without both for days. This disaster occurred while just across the Black Sea, PETA Germany and its partners in Ukraine continued to carry out vital rescue efforts there, helping abandoned and injured animals on the front lines of the war. For months, these heroes — organizations and brave volunteers — have been risking their lives to save animals from battle-torn areas and transport them to a temporary shelter in Poland, partner shelters in other countries and foster and adoptive homes. They’ve come to the aid of animals hit by bullets, left behind by families forced to flee and carried to the borders by heartbroken guardians in the hope that someone will give them a better life. Rescuers have saved thousands of animals so far. Those in Turkey and Syria will also likely need help for several months.

As we each determine the best way we can help following this tragedy, let’s give all the victims the consideration they deserve. And as the images of tents and piles of rubble fade from our television screens and news of the earthquakes falls from the headlines, let’s not forget them. Let’s continue to do what we can and continue to ensure that our kindness includes all kinds.

❤️You’re My Swan and Only Valentine! How Animals Show Love❤️

By Melissa Rae Sanger

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Best friends: Lilac and Cece! CECELIA/ICT file photo.

Love is in the air. And in the water, forest and desert, too. It’s fundamental to our very existence, transcending species and habitats.

This Valentine’s Day, let’s admire how animals who mate for life, from busy beavers to serene swans, say, “I love you.” In many ways, they’re just like us.

Eurasian beavers primarily eat nutritionally deficient bark, so they need a lot of it in order to survive. A lifelong pair shares the responsibilities of bringing in branches, maintaining their abode and raising their babies. Dam, that’s impressive!

Gray wolves. Photos: PETA

Family comes first for gray wolves, whose packs typically include a mom and a dad (the alpha couple) and their offspring. As part of a tight-knit family, each member accepts their designated role within the group and pitches in around the den, ensuring the safety and stability of the pack.

Gibbons are the only species closely related to humans who maintain lasting, monogamous relationships. A pair proclaims their love (and defends their territory) from the treetops, singing in perfect harmony. Take note: If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day idea that’s a bit more unique than vegan chocolate and flowers, make like a gibbon and serenade your sweetheart (with your feet on the ground, of course).

Crows are known for their remarkable intelligence, and they’re devoted family birds who stick to their special someone like velcrow. Whenever you see a small group of them foraging for food, you’re observing a family: a mom and a dad, that year’s babies and any older siblings who haven’t yet established their own territories. Life is just better when shared with your soulmate!

Shingleback lizards are an anomaly. These scaly monogamists form bonds that are uncommon in the world of lizards. Partners remain together for life and beyond. When one dies, the other may linger for several days, tenderly nudging their dear departed.

Sandhill cranes boogie down when seeking a partner. As part of their courting ritual, they perform elaborate dances, kind of like Ren McCormack in Footloose. Though the scene in their nests may look a little different from the one at a high school prom, once they dance their way into each other’s hearts, they remain there for life.

Coyote in snow.

Once a coyote meets “the one,” they become partners for life. Coyote mothers prefer to be alone while giving birth and sometimes stay in their den for more than a week with their pups. Dad faithfully guards the den, protecting the family. Couples separate only at death, breathing new life into the old expression “’Til death do us part.”

With their curving necks interlaced to form a beautiful heart, mute swans are a traditional symbol of devotion. These birds exhibit a tremendous level of commitment and loyalty to each another, and their “divorce” rate, around 5%, is much lower than that of humans. They’ve even been known to die of a broken heart when their partner passes away.

These fiercely loyal couples form lasting and loving relationships, sing and dance together, establish families and care for their offspring. Their lives are just as complex as our own — and they deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.


From PETA:

Delicious and vegan! Art: PETA

Valentine’s Day is all about love. It’s the perfect day to show animals just how much you care about them — and there’s no better way to do that than by going vegan!

From candy to crafts, here are some of our favorite ideas for a perfectly vegan Valentine’s Day:

❤️1. Make vegan chocolate-covered strawberries.

Follow these easy steps:

Melt vegan chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Make sure you stir them every few seconds so they don’t burn!

Dip whole strawberries into the melted chocolate.

Lay the chocolate-covered strawberries on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.

Put them in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.

Share them with people you love! (But don’t give any to your animal friends, because chocolate is poisonous to them.)

🐩2. Make your animal companion a sweet treat or a fun toy.

Our animal companions need love, too (not just on this holiday but every day). So do something extra-special for them by either making your dog a tasty treat or making your cat a fun and easy DIY toy.


❤️3. Watch an animal-themed movie with someone you love.

Make a big bowl of vegan popcorn, grab a cozy blanket, and cuddle up with your animal friends and your family.

❤️4. Give out vegan Valentine’s Day candies.

Looking for cruelty-free candies so that you can share the love with your friends?

Try these sweet treats:

Smarties Love Hearts
Candy Rolls
Brach’s Jube Jel Cherry Hearts
Chocolate to the Rescue Bar
Ring Pop Cupid Packs
Sjaak’s Dark Chocolate Hearts
Sjaak’s “Bear Hug” Dark Chocolate Gummy Heart


❤️5. Make and give out animal-themed Valentine’s Day cards.

Who doesn’t love getting a valentine? Grab your paints, colored pencils or markers and make your own animal-themed valentines — or check out these premade ones, above.


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

By Scott Miller

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.


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

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

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

IMG_20180106_092011 (1)
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.


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!

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

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.

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


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.”

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.

Look at the big picture this World Vegan Month

By Heather Moore


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.