vegansaurus!

08/08/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Another ag-gag bill bites the dust!  »

Good news! This week marked the death of North Carolina’s ag-gag bill, which appears to be the final pending ag-gag bill in the country this year. You can also listen to a radio interview of mine this week on ag-gag and other animal protection topics.

It’s not all good news this week, however: alas, a ballot measure in Missouri aimed at protecting puppy mills and factory farms seems to have squeaked by voters with 50.1 percent of the vote (though the razor-thin margin means that a recount is likely). You can read Wayne Pacelle’s thoughts on it here.

In better news though, Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) is promoting Meatless Monday. You can read about it my op-ed in the San Fernando Valley Sun. And the New York Times ran a compelling interview with the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology about his vegan diet.

Finally, in cool news: Did you know that fish remember events from a year ago?

P.S. Video of the week: Ever seen a cat taking care of a clutch of baby chicks?

08/01/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Vegan News You Can Use: Major loss for the meat trade groups  »

The meat industry trade groups lost a major battle this week, with a court ruling in favor of mandatory on-package disclosure of where the meat was produced. HSUS was proud to represent the United Farm Workers and others in the case.

A 2014 Consumer Reports exposé revealed that virtually all—97 percent—of chicken breasts in the U.S. harbor potentially harmful fecally-transmitted pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli. And now, well, I’ll let the newGuardian headline speak for itself: “Your chicken is about to get more full of feces.”

A newly published report from Purdue University finds that Americans are more likely to get their news on animal welfare from HSUS than from ag industry groups. It also finds that 14 percent of people report eating less pork because of animal welfare concerns.

Finally, have pets but no kids? You’re not alone. That trend is increasing among Americans, according to a new analysis this week. Have kids but no pets? Might be a good idea to adopt a pet, as a new study reported on by Fox News finds that kids with pets are more likely to avoid eating animals.

P.S. Video of the week: This rescued moon bear loves taking a bath!

P.P.S. Cartoon of the week: Pavlov’s cat…

07/25/2014

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Packing meat and packing heat!  »

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Well, it’s hard to know where to begin with something as crazy as this, but here you go:

This week Ron Prestage, the president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council—and of Prestage Farms, which HSUS exposed with an undercover investigation—allegedly tried to get inside the US Capitol building with a loaded semiautomatic gun. Who knows what he was planning on doing once inside, but fortunately police arrested him. He spent the night in jail and was arraigned the next day.

One can only speculate about what was—or wasn’t—going through his mind, but perhaps he’s not too pleased about the fact that, according to the Wall Street Journal, meat’s getting more expensive than fruits and veggies.

Or maybe he’s upset that rock legend Steven Tyler of Aerosmith this week slammed gestation crates and urged a ban on them in Massachusetts.

Or maybe he didn’t like Al Sharpton’s MSNBC segment this week with HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle and former HSUS investigator Cody Carlson about how cruel and un-transparent the meat industry is.

Either way, have a good—and safe!—weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: This Doberman really loves this pool slide!

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Pork industry executive Ron Prestage being walked in handcuffs away from the Capitol…

07/18/2014

Animal News You Can Use: The meat industry can’t stop whining  »

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The meat industry’s leadership seems to be in a panic over how prevalent the term “factory farming” is these days. My coworker Matt Prescott takes them to task in a new Washington Post commentary, explaining that meat production is in fact far more factory than farm, and that it was the industry itself which helped coined the language used to describe these inhumane places.

They’re also complaining about California’s historic and humane law banning foie gras, even calling for the Supreme Court to nullify that law. One of them got into the ring with me this week on NPR’s Los Angeles affiliate to debate the issue. You can listen to our debate here, and read more about it in the LA Times.

What else do they complain about? The fact that some countries are concerned about American chicken products being soaked in chlorine. I discuss the issue in my new commentary, “Got Chlorine? Your Chicken Might.”

Finally, they love to complain about all the studies showing that eating less meat improves health. Well, the title of an article in Men’s Journal this week won’t make them happy: “Go Vegetarian, Live Longer.”

Have a wonderful weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: Think we’re the only species that likes to surf? Check out these black swans!

07/04/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Happy Fourth of July!  »

If you are, like I am, getting ready for a big BBQ today, check out my coworker Sayara Thurston’s good piece on why “Cutting Back on Meat Doesn’t Have to Mean Fewer BBQs.”

And while there are a number of good reasons to enjoy a holiday from meat, the Washington Postreports this week on an important one. In their words, “How much your meat addiction is hurting the planet.”

Do you think ag-gag laws are nuts? Well, so does this meat industry pundit, who writes in his column, “The Insanity of Ag-Gag Laws,” that “The real damage done by ag-gag laws is the sense that animal agriculture has something to hide.” You think?

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Video of the week: Got World Cup fever? So do these turkeys!

P.P.S. Cartoon of the week: How cats end up with nine lives.

06/27/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Big week, and now a big weekend!  »

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What a week!

CNN did a major feature on Compassion Over Killing’s new undercover investigation at a broiler chicken factory in North Carolina. You can watch CNN’s piece here — highly recommend.

Speaking of CNN, I was glad to be on CNN Headline News last night with the always wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell discussing pig protection. If you want to meet Jane, she’ll be speaking at the Taking Action for Animals gala Saturday night in D.C.!

And on the pig protection front, my colleague Matt Prescott shares some good news about the impending demise of the gestation crate in this new column.

Of course, the meat industry’s not too pleased with our work, and is pushing for ag-gag bills to ban our whistleblowing exposés. Iowa Public TV ran a nice feature on the topic this week.

And now for a big weekend: More than 1,000 folks will be at the Taking Action for Animals conference … hope to hang with you there!

P.S. Video of the week: Just a puppy and piglet playing. No big deal.

06/20/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: look who got $10 million to help animals!  »

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Modern Meadow, the start-up company producing cultured meat and leather (without killing animals, or as I call it: in meatro) just raised $10 million to expand its life-saving work.

Speaking of fortunes, my coworker Josh Balk has a great Fortune magazine column this week about how the pork industry’s antics opposing animal welfare reforms are anti-free market.

In other news, did you know there’s a World Meat Congress? Well, they’re not too happy with our work passing laws to improve the treatment of farm animals. There’s a lot of corporate policy progress on farm animal protection issues too, and I was glad to be on Al Jazeera this week discussing it (minutes9:00–19:00).

Not to be outdone, CNN has a new video this week with Dr. Sanjay Gupta entitled, “Eat Less Meat,” in which he argues that meat is one “of the biggest risk factors for early death.” Perhaps people will take his advice, especially in light of sky-high meat prices right now.

You know what price isn’t sky-high, though? The price of Taking Action for Animals, the awesome conference in DC June 27-30—it’s only $75. Hope to see you there!

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: The bravest pigeon you’ve ever seen.

06/13/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Meat-free butchers?  »

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I’m glad to have an op-ed in Kentucky’s largest paper today about the pork industry’s sordid track record on animal cruelty.

There’s some promising news, however: Agribusiness giant Cargill put the writing on the wall quite clearly this week: Gestation crates have no future in the pork industry. The company is moving to group sow housing in its own operations by next year and will require its contractors to do the same by 2017.

And in some other promising news, butcher shops seem to be the latest companies getting on the meat-free trend. One in Connecticut is now praising Meatless Monday and closing in its honor, while one in Toronto is actually entirely meat-free. Yep, a vegetarian butcher shop.

P.S. Video of the week: Kitten jam!

P.P.S. I hope to see you at Taking Action for Animals in D.C at the end of this month; it’s going to rock!.

06/06/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: quit meat, save dough!  »

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Did you know that the last time meat prices were this high, Reagan was in office? That’s one reason I write in a New York Daily News op-ed that if you want to save money, giving farm animals a bit of a break will also give our wallets a break, too. Amusingly, the paper named the op-ed, “Quit Meat, Save Dough.”

Speaking of money, a major battery egg producer was fined $6.8 million this week after admitting to bribing USDA officials to approve potentially rotten eggs.

And egg-laying chickens are on the political map in Massachusetts, where we’re waging a major campaign to ban battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates. Here’s the latest coverage.

Want to learn more about these kinds of animal protection campaigns while networking with tons of other like-minded animal advocates and eating off-the-hook vegan food? Come to the Taking Action for Animals conference in DC June 27-30!!!

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: Just a cat playing with a pig. No big deal.

05/30/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: how many orthodox rabbis does it take…?  »

imageHow many orthodox rabbis does it take to expose how cruel kosher slaughter is? Just one, and he’s got a very compelling op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today.

And when it comes to non-kosher slaughter, if you think the USDA takes its slaughter oversight responsibilities seriously, Bruce Friedrich’s latest op-ed may clarify your thinking.

The meat industry doesn’t like all this attention on its abusive track record, so one of its groups that was formed to combat HSUS has now formed its own Super PAC…

Finally, you may have missed HSUS’s Animal Care Expo (the largest conference for animal sheltering professionals in the nation) this past week, but here’s some good coverage of the off-the-hook food served there.

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 didn’t believe it when I heard about it, but this cat really plays Jenga.

P.P.S. Do you love Esther the Wonder Pig? Then come see the dudes who live with her give a speech at Taking Action for Animals in DC at the end of June… Register now!

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