The number of news found: 48.
Actress and animal-rights activist Pamela Anderson promised to send first lady Melania Trump one of her faux fur coats during a gala put on by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, DC last week. "I'm going to send her one of my Russian eco-fur coats as a gift because I'm designing furs in Russia right now," Anderson said. The actress explained that her primary concern during the new administration is conservation and the environment. Amongst many of her actions for animals—including urging the Louisiana prison system to serve vegan meals—Anderson launched two vegan shoe lines last year. As for her concern with the first lady's wardrobe, Anderson stated, "Melania's favorite designer is Marc Bouwer, as far as I've heard," adding, "and he's a vegan designer."
Under newly enacted legislation HB 147, courts in Alaska are now legally required to consider companion animal welfare. The bill is designed to protect animals during investigations of cruelty complaints and violations of protective orders, and would grant to animals similar status to that of children in divorce court. In the event of two partners splitting up, judges may grant joint custody if both parties are able to provide emotional and financial support to the animal. HB 147 does not specify which species of animals are protected, opening a discussion about whether rescued cows, chickens, pigs, and other traditionally farmed animals will receive similar legal protection to cats and dogs.
A recent feature in men's magazine Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ) profiled vegan racecar driver Andrew "Andy" Lally. The professional driver—and winner of five 24-hour races at Daytona, NASCAR's Rookie of the Year, and three-time Grand Am champion—said that racing is a difficult sport that requires stamina, strength, and optimal nutrition. Lally revealed that he was vegetarian for six years before going vegan in 2010 for ethical reasons. "I respect all life and if I have the option to stay just as healthy and just as strong, if not stronger, by not torturing or enslaving or causing pain for other living things," Lally said, "I'm for it." Lally relies on whole foods-based veggie burgers for protein and explains that going vegan is easier than ever thanks to apps, trackers, and companies making healthy vegan food. Lally will race as part of the Rolex 24 in Daytona on January 28.
01/30/2017 VEGAN BUTCHER NAMED TOP NEW JOB IN 2017
A recent feature in Time Money highlighted vegan butchers as one of seven "new jobs that reflect what's important in 2017." Just as coal miners did during the Industrial Revolution, writer Kristen Bahler argues that vegan butchers have the potential to radically change history thanks to innovation and massive potential for addressing sustainability. Ethan Brown—CEO of vegan company Beyond Meat—is featured as a figurehead in the field of plant-based protein, thanks to his company's launch of the "bleeding" vegan Beyond Burger, stocked in the meat section of Whole Foods Markets around the nation. Bahler also highlights the success of Impossible Foods' own "bleeding" Impossible Burger and says that both companies are bound to have a profoundly positive environmental impact.
01/28/2017 VEGAN BEAUTY SALON TO OPEN IN BROOKLYN
A new dual vegan beauty retail shop/salon is slated to open in Brooklyn, NY at the end of the month. Oh My Heavenly Hair (OMHH) Beauty Oasis will carry vegan shampoo, body wash, oils, and other products while the salon side—Debra Hare-Bey Private Parlour—is reserved for appointments with founder Debra Hare-Bey. In 2000, natural hair stylist Hare-Bey launched a vegan hair extension line—which eschews common animal fibers such as horse hair—to promote cruelty-free beauty. Hare-Bey's new venture is just the latest in a growing trend of animal-free beauty. In addition to many cosmetic brands opting for cruelty-free formulations, vegan company Function of Beauty recently hosted a widely popular pop-up shop in New York City in November where shoppers were able to customize shampoos and conditioners to fit their hair type, style, preferred smell, and color.
01/28/2017 MEXICO SAYS "NO MAS" TO DOGFIGHTING
This week, Mexico's Congress took one more major step toward establishing a nationwide ban on dogfighting – with its House and Senate blessing a measure that mandates that the Mexican federation, federal states, and Mexico City all penalize dogfighting within a year. The next key – and final – step will be for the Senate to pass a reform to the federal criminal code so that dogfighting is effectively penalized. Right now, many of Mexico's 31 states and Mexico City forbid dogfighting, but there had been no national policy. It was only in the last 15 years that the United States established its own strong federal policy on animal fighting. Mexico's efforts to catch up will greatly improve the prospects for suppression of animal fighting in North America. Cracking down on dogfighting in Mexico can also stop American-based dogfighters from trekking to Mexico to avoid law enforcement in the United States where, largely due to The HSUS's work, dogfighting is a felony in every state, and also a federal felony.
The world's first semester-long college course on plant-based meat has launched this year at the University of California, Berkeley. Created in partnership with food advocacy firm Good Food Institute (GFI) and the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the "Challenge Lab" sees teams of students developing strategies for creating new plant-based foods with the help of lectures from industry experts. "The plant-based meat Challenge Lab puts the mission of The Good Food Institute into action by creating new and sustainable solutions to improve the food system," GFI senior scientist Christine Legally says. At the end of the term, students will present their plant-based business proposals to a panel of judges who will name one winning team. Nutrition major Hailey Zhou already has grandiose plans for her plant-based proposal. "Ideally, I'd like to develop a product line that will make a bigger impact than Impossible Burger," Zhou says, "which only displaces a segment of the public demand."
01/27/2017 FACTORY FARMS DESTROYING THE GREAT LAKES
The newest report from water protection organization International Joint Commission (IJC) found that area factory farms are decimating the Great Lakes. The IJC—which monitors waterways along the United States and Canadian border—found that 45 years after signing the The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the two countries have not made adequate progress toward protecting the fresh water contained within the Great Lakes. In fact, the IJC report found that the water quality of Lake Erie is becoming more toxic due to waste pollution from factory farms. "A major source of nutrient inputs to the western Lake Erie basin is concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)," the report states. "These are livestock confinement facilities that house large quantities of animals, generating significant quantities of animal waste." The IJC expressed that the Great Lakes—a source of drinking water for 40 million US and Canadian residents—needed stronger protections against waste produced by factory farms.
Meadowvale Dairy in northwest Iowa has agreed to pay $160,000 in civil penalties to settle a federal lawsuit filed against the factory farm for violating the Clean Water Act. The United States Attorney's office filed the suit in February, after the dairy farm was cited 12 times by the state for allowing pollutants to be discharged into local waterways. Meadowvale Dairy operates two feedlots (which contain approximately 10,000 cows), and waste from the animals entered two local tributaries connected to the Big Sioux River. After the violations, the Department of Natural Resources found elevated levels of E.Coli—a leading cause of foodborne illness—downstream from the farm. Residents across the country—including those near a mega dairy farm planned to open in Oregon—are actively requesting that local government officials block the construction of factory farms due to environmental concerns.
New project "Our Planet, Our Health" will launch this week in an effort to restructure British supermarkets to be more climate friendly. Scientists at Oxford University have partnered with various supermarkets—including grocery giant Sainsbury—to rearrange aisles to feature more produce and less meat. The mission of the project—which received more than $6 million in government funding—centers around recent studies that link the consumption of animal products to higher greenhouse gas emissions and increased global mortality. The project aims to place advertisements for plant-based foods at the end of aisles, incorporate meat alternatives into the meat department to give customers the ability to compare the items, and offer discounts and rewards to shoppers who make more planet-friendly choices. The project will be tested in select outlets of Sainsbury's, which launched five vegan cheeses through its brand last year and reported an unexpected 300 percent bump in sales over initial predictions.
Scotland may soon have its first totally vegan farmed animal sanctuary, incorporating humane education outreach into their animal rescue efforts. Lynn Jolly, the founder of the UK's first and only independent networking site for vegans—Bohemian Hippy—recently created a campaign to raise funds for the forthcoming sanctuary. She was inspired to launch the project following her experience rescuing and rehabilitating a two-year-old bull from the dairy industry last year. After overcoming legal hurdles to gain custody of Prince, and then faced with the difficulty of re-homing him, Jolly wanted to make sure there was a space in Scotland that would provide long-term care for rescued farmed animals. Upon its development, the sanctuary will also serve as a respite for people. To fulfill her vision, Jolly aims to raise $200,000 to fund the opening of the sanctuary.
Sweden-based multinational fast-food chain Max introduced four meatless "Max Green" burgers to the menu of its 106 Swedish locations last year. The new burgers—one of which is entirely vegan, while the other three are easily customizable to be dairy- and egg-free—were launched to advocate for reducing climate change. Within one year's time, Max reported that sales of its "green" burgers have quadrupled. "When we launched the Green-family, our goal was that by 2020, one in five orders would be from non-red meat," Max's head of Swedish operations Christoffer Bergfors said. "Now we have revised this goal to one in three instead." Stateside, McDonald's recently reported that only one in five millennials have never eaten a Big Mac.
Minneapolis-based vegan shop The Herbivorous Butcher celebrated its one-year anniversary today with the announcement of its own farmed animal sanctuary, Herbivorous Acres. The non-profit organization—founded by The Herbivorous Butcher's co-owner Aubry Walch and animal activist Marie DuCharme—is currently raising funds (with the goal of reaching $2 million) to open an approximately 100-acre plot in Minnesota. According to DuCharme, once opened, Herbivorous Acres will not only be a safe haven for rescued farm animals, but will offer visitors tiny houses for weekend rentals, vegan cooking classes, yoga classes with the animals, vegan dinner events, and more. Future goals of the sanctuary include offering Community Supported Agriculture programs and constructing a humane education center.
United Kingdom-based grocery chain Sainsbury's reported that sales of its vegan cheeses surpassed the company's predictions by 300 percent. The market launched its own line of five vegan coconut milk-based cheeses (under the brand FreeFrom) last October, and received widespread media attention due to a Facebook post promoting the new line. During that time, one Facebook commenter wrote a 1000-word response insisting that "cheese cannot be made with coconuts," and instead suggested it be called "Gary or something," prompting a viral social media campaign to rename all vegan cheeses "Gary." Sainsbury got in on the joke and photoshopped their labels to read "Gary by Sainsbury," which fueled the reported success of their cheeses.
On January 20, official government website WhiteHouse.gov no longer contains pages related to climate change. The Trump Administration transferred the page—amongst others including those related to civil rights, LGBT, and healthcare information—to an archive site ObamaWhiteHouse.Archives.gov. After the November election, Trump announced his "100-day action plan to Make America Great Again," wherein he stated that the United States would withdraw from the The Paris Agreement—a collaboration by nations worldwide to create policies toward reducing global warming. This action is a sign that the Trump administration will ignore mounting evidence that animal agriculture is one of the top producers of damaging greenhouse gases—emitting twice as much pollution as all of transportation combined, according to the United Nations. In place of the removed information, the administration has published pages entitled, "America's First Energy Plan," "Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community," and "Making Our Military Strong Again."
01/20/2017 DAIRY FARMS LOOK TO PUERTO RICO FOR WORKERS
To alleviate the shortage of American workers willing to take jobs on their farms, dairy farmers in South Dakota are looking to import laborers from Puerto Rico. South Dakota State University Extension has recently hosted several recruiting sessions in the hopes of attracting 20 Puerto Rican workers to the state by September. According to local dairy farmer and former South Dakota secretary of agriculture Walt Bones, tapping the Puerto Rican workforce is a promising idea, as he believes American employees "don't want to work that hard." South Dakota farms only produced 209 million pounds of milk in 2016—compared to much higher volumes in states such as California and Wisconsin. However, last year's nationwide milk glut led to the dumping of an excess 43 billion gallons of milk into manure lagoons and fields across the country—clearly evidence that production does not need to increase in South Dakota, or other regions. Additionally, human rights violations continue to plague the animal agriculture industry, as evidenced by the current legal battle centered around human trafficking allegations by six veterinarians coerced to work on an Idaho dairy farm, with the promise of high pay and benefits, only to be subjected to manual labor, unsafe working conditions, and threats of deportation for non-compliance.
Experts at England's University of Exeter (UE) believe animal agriculture is perpetuating the spread of epidemics amongst humans. A recent feature in scientific news outlet Phys.org focused on the research of UE professor and author of Pathological Lives Stephen Hinchliffe, who revealed that the global demand for poultry has created conditions that "are putting humans and animals at risk." Hinchliffe explains that accelerated production, the use of antibiotics, and population densities have created an environment where the transmittal of viral infections between animals and humans is eminent. Hinchliffe's theory seems to hold true for other animals produced for food. Reports surfaced last week uncovering that after being treated with every available form of antibiotics, a Nevada woman—infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, the same "superbug" found in a pig on a US farm by Ohio State University researchers last month—succumbed to her illness.
01/19/2017 OBAMA FINALIZES ANIMAL WELFARE REFORM LAW
This week, the Obama Administration (through the United States Department of Agriculture) issued a rule that prohibits a host of cruel practices on organic animal farms. The new law prevents farmers from docking cows' tails, transporting sick or lame animals, and engaging in mulesing—the practice of removing skin from the hind legs of sheep. The rule also clarifies previous requirements for organic chicken farms to allow certain space allocation for birds, including mandatory access to outdoor space for egg-laying hens. While the new rule does not apply to certain animals and these reforms are limited to the "organic" sector of the inherently cruel animal agriculture industry, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle believes this action is a major step forward. Last June, president Obama signed the historic Lautenberg Act—revising the archaic 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act—making a new requirement to use non-animal testing for chemicals, and setting a precedent for exploring more relevant forms of testing (including in vitro and silico methods) of substances meant for human use.
01/19/2017 VEGAN "BACON" MADE FROM SEAWEED HITS SHELVES
Netherlands-based company Seamore recently launched I Sea Bacon—a vegan product made from seaweed. The brand initially produced seaweed-based pasta, and then expanded its line to include plant-based alternatives to pork products as well. I Sea Bacon is made using two forms of seaweed—himanthalia elongata, and dulse—sourced from aquatic farms in Ireland and France. I Sea Bacon can be used to add a smoky flavor to meals, or can be soaked and then fried in strips. Founder Willem Sodderland believes his product addresses a major health concern of eating bacon by removing saturated fat while minimizing the consumption of pigs, the meat of whom he says is, "one of the most eco-unfriendly foods that we have." Seamore's seaweed bacon will surely be a welcome alternative in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, where attitudes toward bacon are shifting and residents are reportedly spending $151.6 million less on bacon after the World Health Organization classified the processed meat as a carcinogen in 2015.
01/18/2017 37 PERCENT CHOSE VEG WHEN DINING OUT
A new survey conducted by Harris Poll revealed that 37 percent of restaurant patrons chose vegan and vegetarian dishes in 2016. The poll—commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)—asked a representative American population of 2,015 people over the age of 18 to respond to several dietary questions online. Respondents from the Northeast reported the highest amount of vegetarian behavior, and 43 percent of people in the age group of 18 to 34 chose vegetarian or vegan options from restaurant menus. While the population of self-identified vegetarians in the United States hovers around three-percent (half of whom are vegan), VRG points out that this survey indicates a larger slice of the US population chooses cruelty-free options when dining out. VRG urged restaurant owners countrywide to interpret their findings to mean that "there is incentive for producing vegetarian dishes, as there is demand from over one-third of the population."
Classic television show Golden Girls-themed eatery Rue La Rue Café is readying to open its doors in Manhattan this September. The café is a tribute to both the long-running show and to late actress Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche Devereaux on the classic show, and often used her fame to speak out against animal cruelty through various campaigns with PETA. McClanahan's friend Michael LaRue—no relation—began conceptualizing the café after the actress' death in 2010. LaRue recently responded to a fan post on the café’s Facebook page noting that he would serve cruelty-free options. Last year, LaRue reached out to the show's fans via an Instagram post asking for input on the eatery's design, menu, and the best way to raise money for the animal charities McClanahan promoted during her lifetime.
01/17/2017 AIR CHINA BANS SHARK FIN CARGO
Last week, Air China announced it would ban all shipments of shark fins aboard its aircrafts. The decision marks the first time in history that a mainland Chinese airline has taken a stance against the cruel practice of definning sharks and selling their parts for soup—a practice which results in the slaughter of upwards of 73 million sharks annually. An Air China Cargo representative says this ban is in line with the airline's "long-standing commitment to playing our role in a more sustainable world." The Washington Post reported that this ban, coupled with a recent Chinese ban on ivory imports, "marks the country's gradual transformation from being the biggest source of the problem—as the largest market in illegal wildlife products—to becoming a major part of the solution." Animal conservation organization WildAid acknowledged the efforts of the 35 global airlines and 17 shipping companies that have taken a similar stance on the issue, and urged that other airlines and government officials to follow Air China's lead.
01/17/2017 MEXICAN RESORT ADOPTS 24-HOUR VEGAN MENU
All-inclusive luxury resort Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico recently launched several dedicated vegan multi-course menus available to guests at all hours of the day. In partnership with local vegan chef Miguel Batista, the resort now serves at least four plant-based gourmet dishes at their Mexican, French, and Italian restaurants. At traditional Mexican eatery Frida, guests can enjoy raw coconut ceviche with serrano chili and cucumber Aguachile, while at Italian restaurant Lucca, the featured vegan dishes include a bruschetta sampler, gluten-free penne pasta with broccoli, cauliflower and grilled Portobello, and espresso and chocolate cake with raspberry sherbet. A standout vegan option at French restaurant Piaf is the vegan nut pate with fermented cashew cheese and black pepper crust. Cruelty-free travel is picking up steam and resorts are increasingly partnering with chefs who are able to satisfy customer demands for plant-based options.
01/16/2017 VEG EATERY AT NJ AIRPORT
Chef Amanda Cohen—of New York City eatery Dirt Candy—partnered with airport hospitality group OTG Management to open vegetarian restaurant Thyme at Terminal C at the Newark Liberty International airport in New Jersey. The menu is vegetable-centric and offers many vegan options in addition to imaginative cocktails that utilize organic ingredients, herbs, and spices. Thyme is part of a $120 million renovation project of the airport's dining options, and Cohen sees it as an opportunity to bring her concepts to a wider audience. The restaurant—which opened its doors on December 23, 2016—is equipped with iPads at each table that feature the day's menu to make it easy for travelers to place their orders expeditiously. Plant-based options at airports are growing, and travelers can soon visit a new vegetarian eatery, Floret—construction of which will begin at the Seattle-Tacoma International airport this March.
01/16/2017 RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS CLOSES AFTER 146 YEARS
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, often called "The Cruelest Show on Earth" by animal activists, has announced that they will be closing their doors forever on May 21 after 146 years of profitting off the use of exotic animals for entertainment. Thirty-six years of PETA protests, of documenting animals left to die, beaten animals, and much more, has reduced attendance to the point of no return. Declining ticket sales have been even more dramatic since May of 2016, when they removed elephants from their show after a long legal battle and pressure from activists. This landmark decision by Ringling Bros. demonstrates the power of animal activists in affecting corporate profits and the ways public consciousness is shifting around the issue of animal exploitation. (vegnews.com, peta.org)
Last month, Switzerland enacted a law that effectively bans the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals in the country. The Swiss Federal Council proposed the ban in March 2016 and the enactment of this regulatory measure removes all products tested on animals abroad from Swiss cosmetics retailers. "We are delighted that Switzerland will no longer allow cosmetics for which animals have suffered to be sold in the country," Cruelty Free International CEO Michelle Thew said. Thew urged other governing bodies to take action, stating, "It is time now for every government to step up and do the right thing." Earlier this month, the Dutch government announced it would phase out all chemical testing on animals by 2025 in its efforts to be a world leader in scientific innovation.
The French national assembly passed a bill for mandatory cameras in slaughterhouses today. The controversial measure, to be implemented in 2018, follows a remarkable intensification of public outcry after a series of shocking undercover investigations were released to the French media by local animal rights organization L214. The vote to monitor slaughterhouse practices and workers for animal cruelty, safety and hygiene violations passed 28 to 4 (opponents of the bill were from the right and center political parties). Before it is brought to the senate in March to be passed into law, the measure will be implemented first (by July 2017) through "experimentation," in 263 slaughterhouses, placing cameras in all areas where animals are "moved, held, immobilized, stunned and killed." Stakeholders, including animal protection professionals, slaughterhouse management and government officials will have access to the footage to determine how to craft the final legislation.
On Monday, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) filed six charges of animal cruelty against Niagara Falls, ON-based tourist attraction Marineland. Following a November investigation, the animal welfare organization found that the park routinely neglected and failed to provide the standard of care for elk, red deer, and fallow deer held at its facilities. These charges come in addition to those filed by OSPCA last month wherein the organization found five other counts of cruelty at the park in relation to distressed peacocks, guinea pigs, and black bears. The investigation was prompted by a 35-page report submitted to the OSCPA by California-based animal rights group Last Change for Animals. Representatives of Marineland will appear in court on January 26, and should the park be found guilty of all 11 charges, it will be fined $60,000, incur a two-year jail sentence for responsible parties, and be banned from keeping animals indefinitely.
Famed musician and vegan activist Moby is the latest musician to refuse to perform at the upcoming inauguration ball of president-elect Donald Trump. Moby revealed that a booking agent contacted him asking that he DJ the January 20 event. The musician took to Instagram and posted, "Hahahahaha, I was just asked by a booking agent if I would consider DJing at one of the inaugural balls for #Trump … I guess I'd DJ at an inaugural ball if, as payment, #Trump released his tax returns." Events that Moby has agreed to DJ recently include a benefit for the victims of the Oakland "Ghost Ship" fire, Los Angeles-based vegan festival Circle V, and a cruise put on by Animal Legal Defense Fund—all of which financially benefited animal- or human-rights causes.
01/12/2017 VEGAN RACE CAR DRIVER BANNED FROM SEAWORLD
Vegan race car driver and activist Leilani Münter received a notice from SeaWorld informing her that she is banned from entering all of the company's properties. Münter visited the park's Orlando location to pay homage to recently deceased orca Tilikum, bringing with her 33 roses—one for every year the whale was held in captivity. In addition to the roses, Münter attempted to place a sign near the entrance of the park that stated, "May the four winds blow you safely to your ocean home where you've belonged all these 33 years." Park officials handed Münter a notice after escorting her to their security office accompanied by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, that stated she is not allowed into any of the park's properties indefinitely. Münter responded by posting a live video to Facebook—seen by over 20,000 fans in just a few hours—and stated, "That's cool. I'm not a huge fan." Münter will be debuting the world's first vegan-themed race car at the historic Daytona International Speedway on February 18.
01/11/2017 DUTCH GOVERNMENT BANS ANIMAL TESTING
Dutch agriculture minister Martijn van Dam recently announced his plan to phase out the testing of chemicals on animals by 2025. In December, Van Dam commissioned an advisory report, released by the Netherlands National Committee for the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes. The report focused on creating a roadmap to transition away from the use of animals in laboratories for the testing of chemical substances, food ingredients, pesticides, and medicine. The report urged officials across government agencies to collaborate on methods for replacing animals in laboratories with innovative technologies. Unfortunately, the ban will not apply to animals used for pre-clinical research for human diseases such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Several countries around the world, including Taiwan and South Korea, have recently implemented similar policies to phase out non-clinical testing on animals in the coming years.
01/11/2017 IDAHO DAIRY FARM SUED FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING
On last Tuesday, a group of six Mexican veterinarians filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho-based dairy farm Funk Dairy, Inc. for human trafficking. The suit implicates dairy farm owner David Funk, manager Curtis Giles, and attorney Jeremy Pittard in obtaining professional work visas for the immigrants—with the promise of high-paying animal healthcare jobs—while forcing the plaintiffs to engage in general labor such as milking cows and cleaning manure for a full year, ending in 2015. The workers allege they were paid lower wages than promised, forced to live in substandard housing, threatened with deportation should they refuse to perform assigned work, and exploited for their inability to speak English and unfamiliarity with the United States labor laws. The lawsuit also lists other violations including the denial of meal breaks, inadequate toilet facilities, unhygienic work stations, and lack of protective equipment—which resulted in the partial amputation of one worker's finger. The negative impact of the animal agriculture industry on human workers is not limited to this incident. A 2016 Oxfam America report revealed that workers at numerous poultry processing plants were denied basic human rights such as bathroom breaks, and were consequently forced to wear adult diapers during their day-long shifts on the kill floor.
01/10/2017 50,000 PEOPLE ARE GOING VEGAN IN JANUARY
The number of people pledging to go vegan in January as part of the Veganuary campaign have reached a record high of over 50,000 participants. The campaign launched in the United Kingdom in 2014 with the mission of changing public attitudes about the vegan lifestyle and has continued to gain support in subsequent years. The 2015 Veganuary campaign drew in more than 12,000 pledges, which doubled to 23,000 participants in 2016. In November, the organization launched a 2,000-poster campaign inside the London subway system to encourage residents to adopt a vegan diet, which Veganuary media manager Kate Fowler estimates effectively brought 7,000 new participants on board in 2017.
The Director General of Foreign Trade in India, which comes under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has banned the import of skins of reptiles, chinchillas, mink and fox through a notification issued on January 3. At present, India's import policy allows import of "raw hides, skins, leather, fur skins" of reptiles, mink, fox and other fur skins (whole, with or without head, tail or paws). But they are subject to India's Wild Life (Protection) act, 1972 and CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). CITES is an international agreement between governments and it aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Animal rights organisations had been urging the central government to take a clear stand on the issue and close the doors for trade in exotic skins.
01/10/2017 ESPN PROFILES VEGAN ROCK CLIMBER
A recent online feature in sports media network ESPN profiled vegan rock climber Maggie Crawford. The athlete told ESPN that she opted for a vegan diet after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to help her regulate her blood sugar. The rock climber shared a recipe for one of her favorite meals—a vegan take on Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza—with ESPN, urging readers to use nut-based vegan cheese in place of more processed versions. Crawford was also recently profiled in outdoor magazine REI where she spoke about the challenges of being a diabetic athlete, stating that she manages the illness by eating plenty of fresh vegetables and peanut butter for protein. Studies have shown that the vegan diet can combat type 2 diabetes, and Crawford confirmed that it is an effective tool to alleviate symptoms of type 1 diabetes as well.
The world's first vegan-themed car will soon hit the racetrack in Daytona, FL. Vegan race car driver Leilani Münter unveiled the car on Tuesday via her social media platforms. The Toyota Camry is decked-out with bold signage that reads "Vegan Powered" across the hood and body, and features all synthetic interiors. Münter—who drives for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA)—previously raced cars emblazoned with logos such as The Cove and Blackfish to promote awareness of the animal-rights documentaries to race enthusiasts. Named one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world by Sports Illustrated, the 42-year old offsets emissions by using only solar energy in her pit box and adopting an acre of rainforest after every race. The driver partnered with nonprofit A Well-Fed World to raise funds for a vegan outreach campaign—which will include food giveaways and starter kits—to be launched during the debut of the car at historic Daytona International Speedway on February 18.
01/09/2017 UAE OUTLAWS KEEPING WILD ANIMALS AS PETS
For some in the oil-rich Gulf State, owning the likes of a cheetah is a status symbol, but they now risk jail or a fine. Big cats have been pictured being taken on walks in social media postings. The new law bans dealing in and ownership of "all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals," the Gulf News reported. These animals can now only be kept in zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, and breeding and research centres. Anyone who takes a big cat or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams ($136,000; £110,883). Arabic daily Al-Ittihad said that would increase to 700,000 dirhams for anyone using wild animals to "terrorise" others. (bbc.com)
Dairy farms in the state of New Hampshire are closing rapidly. In 2010, the state had 130 dairy farms, which dropped to 121 by 2015. Last year, a total of 19 dairy farms shuttered in the state—due to declining world milk prices and prolonged drought. Local farmer Harold Bodwell stated that he reduced his herd from 260 cows to just 40 in the course of six months. Director of Granite State Dairy Promotion in New Hampshire Amy Hall says the current state of animal milk production is "a crisis . . . an impossible situation for dairy farmers." On the other side of the country, many former dairy farmers in California have transitioned to cultivating almonds instead of milking cows in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions while tapping into the lucrative plant-based market.
01/05/2017 LONDON METRO PLASTERED WITH VEGAN POSTERS
On New Year's Eve, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) installed 60 vegan ads at the Clapham Common metro station in London, England. The "tube-takeover"—which includes ads on walls, turnstiles, and doors—depicts chickens, cows, and pigs with the slogan, "I'm me, not meat," urging people to go vegan. The results have been positive, as is evidenced by the social media response in favor of the campaign. This tactic is an attempt to connect subway riders to animals as individuals, not as food, during a time when people make New Year's resolutions including dietary and lifestyle changes. A series of studies conducted last year found that people experience higher levels of empathy when presented with animals as whole creatures, as opposed to as meat.
01/05/2017 U.S. NEWS SAYS GOING VEGAN IS CHEAPER
A recent feature published by media outlet U.S. News and World Report advised readers that adopting a meat-free diet is a cheaper alternative. For practical tips, the publication turned to Emily Winsauer (founder of the website Knox Vegan), who believes that going vegan is "a lot more affordable than people think." Winsauer pointed out that she avoids plant-based meat alternatives and packaged products and instead purchases vegetables, almond milk, and chickpeas, while opting for cooking meals at home rather than going out to restaurants. This features comes on the heels of a bogus report by United Kingdom-based coupon site VoucherCodesPro that claimed following a vegan diet costs £2,000 ($2457) more annually than a meat-centric one.
Condé Nast Traveler recently revealed its top food trends to look for in 2017. The publication synthesized several reports compiled by data analyst firms to come to the conclusion that plant-based proteins will be a top trend in the new year. "According to the influential annual report from culinary consultants Baum + Whiteman," staff writer Jessica Voelker said, "we can expect more mind-bending meat-free foods in the coming year." Voelker cited several global restaurants already offering creative meat-free mains including vegan ribs at Australian-based Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher, vegetable charcuterie at New York City's Ladybird, and a kelp noodle and cashew cream-based dish at vegan fine dining restuarant Plant Food + Wine in Miami, FL. Voelker further predicts that restuarants—even meat-centric ones—will continue to elevate vegetables as the stars of its menus in the new year.
China promised Friday to halt its domestic ivory trade completely by the end of 2017, a decision greeted by environmentalists as offering real hope for an end to a poaching crisis that is wiping out tens of thousands of elephants across Africa. China said it would begin phasing out the ivory trade in March and cease processing and trading completely by Dec 31, 2017. "This is great news that will shut down the world's largest market for elephant ivory," said Aili Kang, Asia director at the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Ivory traffickers have just lost one of their biggest markets." It is a huge step for a country that had previously argued that ivory carving was part of its cultural heritage and where intricately carved ivory items had become popular gifts to grease the wheels of government and business. (washingtonpost.com)
01/04/2017 VEGGIE BURGERS MADE A BREAKTHROUGH IN 2016
A recent feature published in media outlet Grist explored the current state of plant-based burgers. Writer Nathaniel Johnson said that while meat-free burgers have been around for decades, 2016 marked the first time a convincing facsimile of meat—the Impossible Burger—was embraced by the general public. "For the first time," Johnson writes, "you could go to a restaurant and eat something that had never been through a slaughterhouse but tasted enough like meat to fool the unsuspecting." This year, Impossible Foods launched its burger that bleeds at several restaurants including New York's Momofuku Nishi, San Francisco-based Cockscomb and Les Jardiniere restaurants, and vegan eatery Crossroads in Los Angeles. Johnson believes the humble veggie burger has experienced a breakthrough, stating, "Someday we'll look back at 2016 as the year we realized we might be perfectly happy to give up meat."
Italian animal-rights group Essere Animali recently released undercover footage obtained from a pig farm that supplies proscuitto company Parma Ham. In the video, workers are shown dragging and kicking sick pigs, often leaving them in dirty corridors to die. Pigs with injuries are documented, many of them with open wounds caused by cannibalism—a common problem among pig factory farms due to overcrowding, according to animal-rights organization Mercy for Animals (MFA). "If we wouldn’t treat dogs or cats in such appalling ways," MFA content manager Joe Loria said, "how can we pay the meat industry to do it to pigs?" While previous investigations in factory pig farms have uncovered gruesome abuse and neglect, this footage proves that luxury meat industries are no different in its mistreatment of animals.
01/03/2017 MAN PROPOSES WITH 1,500 BOTTLES OF SOY MILK
Last week, a man arranged 1,500 bottles of soy milk into a heart in front of a KFC restaurant in the Shanxi Province of China. A friend called the man's girlfriend to the scene—around which a crowd had formed—after the cruelty-free heart was complete. The man gave her flowers and proposed on the street in front of a growing group of onlookers. After the proposal, the man urged the crowd to help themselves to a souvenir bottle of soy milk and chaos ensued as people began grabbing several bottles each. While China is consuming more dairy than ever—and as a result, reports have shown an increase in obesity rates amongst Chinese people—the global plant-based milk industry is predicted to grow substantially in coming years. As for the surprised girlfriend? She said "yes."
New website Bohemian Hippy "soft" launched in November as a vegan lifestyle resource and social networking platform. The site was developed by United Kingdom-born entrepreneur and animal-rights activist Lynn Jolly as a new way to connect individuals to vegan apparel, food, fitness, beauty, and other companies looking to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle. "It is important that people looking for people to connect with can do so with ease," Jolly said, "and feel part of a family where they can ask questions, arrange meet-ups, find love and friends with like-minded people who share their own values about peace, love, and compassion to all beings." The site is currently focused on the UK demographic, but Jolly plans to extend its reach to the rest of Europe and beyond. All profits generated by Bohemian Hippy will be donated to animal-rights organizations and farmed animal sanctuaries.
Silicon Valley-based startup BioNacent is developing an infant formula that mimics human breast milk with the mission of replacing current formulations that rely on milk from cows. CEO and molecular biologist Craig Rouskey revealed that human breast milk contains more than 1,600 distinct proteins that aid in child development and says bovine milk is far inferior nutritionally for human children. The company—still in its early stages—is replicating human proteins by inserting human genes in-vitro into fungi and yeast. BioNacent has successfully replicated alpha-lactalbumin—a simple protein found in human breast milk—as a proof of concept in hopes of attracting investment capital. Rouskey also founded Real Vegan Cheese in 2014 and is concurrently working on creating cheese without the cow using similar technology.
On January 1, 2017, the ban on fur farming, which was adopted in the 2006 Animal Protection Act, came into force in Croatia. The entry into force is the result of a long-lasting, decisive, and persistent struggle of citizens, experts, institutions, and animal protection associations during a long-drawn-out 10-year phase-out period, while the chinchilla farmers fought tooth and nail to bring down the ban. Animal Friends would like to thank everyone who helped bring about this great victory for animals and people. Let's keep spreading the awareness that, with all the warm materials available to us, we no longer need fur and the bloody industry that goes with it.
The number of news found: 48.