vegansaurus!

03/15/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: calves, Gore, crabs and more!  »

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Want to end your week with some good news? We banned veal crates in Kentucky!

More good news? Major supermarket chain Supervalu announced another step toward eliminating gestation crates from its pork supply chain this week. Could the writing on the wall for this archaic practice be clearer?

Concerned about the California drought? James McWilliams has some advice in The NY Times: try eating less meat. And Mother Jones magazine created this infographic showing how much water it takes to create different types of dairy (and dairy alternative) products. Here’s a teaser: 9 gallons for a glass of soy milk and 90 gallons for one Greek yogurt.

If you’re concerned about the drought, you might also be concerned about climate change. On that topic, in a new interview, former vice president Al Gore commented, “Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet….In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”

Perhaps that’ll inspire others to think about their diets as well, which could be good news for crabs and lobsters. The Washington Post reports this week on research indicating that these animals, who we routinely boil alive, do in fact feel pain.

Speaking of causing animals pain, The NY Times editorial board came out in favor of California’s egg laying hen welfare law, which is under assault from numerous states suing to invalidate it. The paper unequivocally asserts that “the court should dismiss the case.”

Lastly, I was honored to be a guest on Our Hen House this week, a fun podcast worth checking out.

Have a great weekend!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: I have a feeling this isn’t going to work out so well for the squirrel…

02/28/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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Chipotle announced fantastic news this week, stating that its popular Sofritas option will be going nationwide. CEO Steve Ells commented, “Many of our customers, we’ve realized, are vegetarian or vegan, or generally meat-reducers or concerned about their diet and questioning about how the animals are raised and how much meat they should be eating.”

The ag-gag battles continued this week, with the Idaho legislature sending a dairy industry-backed bill to the governor that, if signed, would make it a crime to take a video of animal abuse on a factory farm.  Some Idaho newspapers are editorializing against the bill and even yogurt brand Chobani is urging a veto. The governor’s office indicates that it’s received well over 11,000 phone calls in opposition, and very few in support. You can take action here.

In Arizona, the PR battle on ag-gag continued, with op-eds and more.

Finally, wondering why vegetarians live longer? TIME offers seven reasons this week.

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: Goats just wanna have fun…

P.P.S. Photo of the week: New HSUS ads in action!

02/21/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal New You Can Use  »

Yesterday, the New York Times ran this column by Nicholas Kristof entitled, “Is That Sausage Worth This?”, which kicked off by pointing out that, “Modern factory farms have so much wrong with them, but a starting point is the practice of turning pigs into cannibals”

The article marked the release of HSUS’s latest undercover investigation, this time at a Kentucky gestation crate confinement facility aptly named Iron Maiden Hog Farms. And the practices there do seem more out of the dark ages when iron maidens were used as torture devices than they do from the 21st century.

In addition to confining pigs in gestation crates, this facility, and apparently many others throughout the pork industry, was caught feeding baby pigs’ ground-up intestines back to their mothers; in some cases piglets’ diarrhea is fed directly to their mothers. That’s why NPR entitled its coverage of the investigation, “Piglet Smoothie Fed to Sows.”

As well, the fight over Prop 2’s upcoming implementation in California continues. The LA Times editorialized on the issue this week, slamming Missouri’s attorney general for trying to invalidate California’s law.

Onward and upward…

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: BBC puts them to the test—who’s smarter: kids or pigs?

02/20/2014

Breaking: Humane Society finds cannibalism, cruelty, and disease at Kentucky pig factory  »

HSUS released a new undercover video today from the Iron Maiden pig factory in Kentucky. Besides awful gestation crates, they discovered that the factory takes piglets who die from “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus” and feed them to mother pigs. It’s done in an effort to immunize the pigs. Freaking disgusting. Vegansaurus friend Paul Shapiro said of the factory, “The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses.” And it’s all for bacon? Our society is unbelievable. 

I’m wondering, am I the only one who immediately feels claustrophobic when I see the pigs in the gestation crates? NYT article describes gestation crates pretty chillingly:

They live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin, punctuated by artificial insemination and birth.

Awful. As the article title asks, “Is That Sausage Worth This?” 

You can read more about the exposé on the Humane Society’s site, including a description of the video if you don’t want to watch. They also have a link to a petition but other than that, I’m not sure what we can do besides raise awareness and be vegan. If anyone knows about other ways to help, please share in the comments.

02/14/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It was a big week on the ag-gag front, with anti-whistleblower bills being heard in Arizona and Idaho. Arizona’s largest paper slammed the state’s pending ag-gag bill, and there’s been much coverage of the issue in Idaho too, including HSUS’s TV commercials showing Idahoans what the state’s dairy industry is trying to cover up with this bill.

California’s landmark Prop 2 is set to take effect in 11 months, but egg producers have done little to start converting to come into compliance. You can read more about this at our new site, www.CageFreeCalifornia.com.

Food Lion and other major chains owned by grocery giant Delhaize announced this week that they’ll be ending gestation crate use in their pork supply chains.

I’m honored to be singled out by the Animal Agriculture Alliance this week as someone who they need to combat. In another piece by the same author, she noted, “The gestation crate issue [is] just one example of the tenacity of animal rights activists. They are, excuse the pun, like a dog with a bone.”

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: Swans feeding their fish friends. Who says animals aren’t altruistic?

P.P.S. Photo  of the week: Calvin’s like, “Dude, a little privacy?”

01/31/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use  »

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

What a week!

First, the dangerous and notorious King amendment in the farm bill was, well, let’s just say humanely euthanized.

Second, the USDA shut down a slaughter plant because of an HSUS investigation, leading to national coverage like ABC NewsAssociated Press, and much more.

Third, California’s landmark law banning the sale and production of foie gras was upheld as constitutional.

Fourth, the New Jersey legislature is again working to ban gestation crates, and our bill to do just that unanimously passed out of committee yesterday.

Fifth, Kathy Freston’s petition asking McDonald’s to add a veggie burger is making headlines, including in the Wall Street Journal.

Finally, Fox News did a great story on the future of animal product alternatives. In fact, meat reduction efforts in Sweden are so effective that desperate meat industry reps have taken to passing out free burgers to kids outside of schools!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: This gorilla would totally own any mosh pit.

01/24/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

What does the most populous bird on the planet have in common with the extinct dodo bird? Check out my latest piece.

I was also honored to be a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Show (DC NPR station) this week discussing the treatment of farm animals. Nothing I said on there compares, though, to Jon Stewart’s incredible demolition of the pork industry on The Daily Show.

Perhaps it’s coverage like this that’s leading so many people to cut back on meat consumption. In fact, BBC News has a great piece this week entitled, “The rise of the part-time vegans.”

In the same vein, the San Diego Union Tribune has a major feature on the success of the school district’s Meatless Monday program. And speaking of Meatless Monday, teen celeb Laura Marano is the latest to join HSUS’s campaign!

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Video of the week: It’s not only pigs who love mud—check this pit bull out!

01/17/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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Things continue to get worse for Rep. Steve King (R-IA), with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Iowa farmers now slamming King’s anti-animal farm bill amendment.

Things also continue to get worse for the meat industry, with economists predicting further declines in consumption in the EU. The same trends are occurring in the US, in part due to the meat reduction policies HSUS is helping implement at schools like Hidden Valley Elementary.

Things got better, though, for the brave undercover investigator who filmed animal abuse and was subsequently charged with a crime: her charge is now dropped.

Hopefully things will get better for chickens soon. My friend Leah Garces has a compelling new piece about the poultry industry’s genetic manipulation of birds, noting that “virtually all chickens today suffer simply because they exist.”

And finally, Parade did a nice feature entitled, “10 Ways Farm Animals are Like Your Cat.”

P.S. Video of the week: Speaking of cats, if you’ve never seen a sloth petting and cuddling with one, you can now thank me. :- )

P.P.S. In case you needed it, more proof that Dr. Bronner’s is an awesome soap company!

01/14/2014

Lil Bub for the Humane Society of the US! Because HSUS and Bub want you to adopt a pal! As you should know, Lil Bub is a rescue and she couldn’t be more perfect. Who knows what other amazing creatures are out there looking for a home?! You could adopt the next ALF!

01/10/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, animals!

What a week! First, Smithfield Foods announced it’s incentivizing its contract suppliers to stop using gestation crates. Then, Tyson Foods declared that it’s moving in that direction, too. Has it ever been clearer that this inhumane and archaic confinement practice has no future?

While some pig producers are ceasing their defense of gestation crates, many dairy producers seem oddly addicted to the practice of cutting their cows’ tails off. We took aim at this problem in Wisconsin this week.

Speaking of addictions, the meat industry’s desperate to keep the federal dollars it enjoys. Read this new Washington Monthly feature on the problem, including how HSUS is working to help limit this nonsense.

And on the topic of nonsense, it didn’t take long into the New Year before the meat industry introduced the first ag-gag bill of 2014. Indiana’s agribusiness lobby is trying to felonize whistleblowing at factory farms. Three Indiana newspapers so far have editorialized against the bill, including the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

Still not sure what your New Year’s resolution should be? I’m glad to have an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle this week about why cutting meat consumption is a great idea.

P.S. Video of the week: Just a deer and cat who are best friends. No big deal.

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