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08/27/2013

ALDF and Regal Vegan have victory in “humane” foie gras case!  »

Update!: I’m late to the party as usual: ALDF dropped their suit when Hudson Valley Foie Gras removed all mentions of “humane” from their site!

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ALDF is waging a groundbreaking war against foie gras producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras and had a nice victory last week!

Today ALDF won a major victory in the false-advertising case against New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras (HVFG). The U.S. District Court of Northern California denied HVFG’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit which alleges that HVFG, the largest foie gras producer in the nation, violated the federal Lanham Act and California’s False Advertising and Unfair Competition Laws, by claiming to be “the Humane Choice.”

ALDF’s co-plaintiff, Ella Nemcova, operates a Brooklyn-based company, The Regal Vegan, which produces a legitimately humane, plant-derived foie gras alternative called “Faux Gras.” HVFG’s manipulative marketing tactics unfairly encourage consumers to buy its force-fed foie gras instead of cruelty-free products like The Regal Vegan’s. ALDF’s lawsuit also marks the first time a humane competitor has brought forth a federal case, using false advertising laws, alongside an animal protection group.

Today’s victory dismissed challenges to the legal standing of The Regal Vegan as a humane competitor and agreed that the groundbreaking case is actionable. While the court denied ALDF’s standing as co-plaintiff its other claims may go forward.

A foie gras company calling itself the humane choice? I don’t even know what to say about that except that terrible people say ridiculous things, I guess. 

As the above states, Ella Nemcova is a plaintiff—she’s the creator of vegan crack, also known as faux gras. You know I love that stuff! I got an email from Nemcova a few weeks ago with some more info on the case:

Now, ALDF is planning to add sizzle to their case, in court and the public arena, by bringing in Temple Grandin, the animal science expert who created the more humane slaughter house and who was profiled in award-winning 2011HBO biopic.
The foie gras lobby has used Temple in the past, claiming she assisted with certifying the product as humane. But now, she is setting the record straight. In a first-of its-kind statement provided to ALDF Grandin made clear her opinion of the product:
“Regarding foie gras production, force feeding is a procedure which is highly questionable from an animal welfare standpoint. If the bird’s metabolism is sufficiently overloaded with force fed grain, death losses will increase. One of my biggest concerns in animal welfare is biological system overload. This occurs when an animal’s physiology is pushed to a point where it starts to break down and the animal develops metabolic diseases and other problems that can severely compromise welfare such as lameness, heart stress, loss of body condition, death losses, mobility problems or abnormal behavior.”
I feel like they could really win this! What do you think? If you need a foie gras refresher, ALDF has this handy guide covering it’s disgustingness:

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08/21/2013

It’s another installment of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 30 Second Animal Law! Today we learn “What laws protect animals who are raised for food?”

Per ALDF:

Did you ever see a video of horrific cruelty toward farmed animals and wonder, “Why is that legal?!” The sad truth is that there are no federal laws that govern the way farmed animals are raised. State laws are sorely lacking. So what can you do if the law can’t protect them?

By going vegan you remove your support for the cruel system under which 10 billion land animals are raised each year. A plant-based diet is healthy, delicious, and better for the environment as well.

Watch the entire series on YouTube, and get more info on “the legal vegan” from ALDF.

07/11/2013

California court rules selling banned foie gras isn’t “free speech”  »

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Turns out that selling foie gras products in California after the state ban took effect last July is still illegal. Or at least it’s totally not free speech, as La Toque restaurant in Napa unsuccessfully argued. Per our pals at Animal Legal Defense Fund:

 In a ruling by the Napa County Superior Court, the Sonoma County-based ALDF successfully defeated La Toque’s anti- SLAPP (a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion which aimed to allow their continued illegal sale of force-fed foie gras products as a “protest” protected by the freedom of speech. The court denied La Toque’s motion and agreed that illegally selling foie gras is not protected by the freedom of speech.

Despite the state ban, ALDF’s undercover investigations have revealed that La Toque routinely sells foie gras, the enlarged livers of force-fed birds, in clear violation of California Health and Safety Code § 25982. The lawsuit alleges that La Toque aims to circumvent the law by calling its actual sales of foie gras “gifts.”

Nonsense! And now they have to stop. It’s been fully 13 years since the ban passed and a year since it was implemented, and people are still crying about it. Like there aren’t 10 million other meals to make out of tortured animal bodies. Come on, you whiny babies.

Your Vegansaurus of course thinks the Regal Vegan’s Faux Gras is tops, but none of us has ever even tasted overstuffed goose liver—because we’re not total jerks. Foie gras is banned in California! Accept it and move on!

[photo of Périgord geese by JanetandPhil via Flickr]

06/20/2013

It’s another installment of ALDF’s 30 Second Animal Law! This time they’ve got David Kirby, author of Death at Seaworld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity, talking about how fucked up it is to keep killer whales in captivity. “Really incredibly fucked up and dangerous” is the answer. Just horrible.

Screenings of the documentary Blackfish, all about the violent, tragic life of poor Tilikum, especially focusing on the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau thre years ago, begin this month in the U.K. and in July in the U.S. Since there’s nothing we vegans love more than a scary and upsetting documentary about the ways humans mistreat animals, we suggest you take all your friends to see it as a summer treat. Stock up on ice cream and booze later to console them after all the rage-crying the film is sure to cause. Just watch the trailer!

04/30/2013

"Cruelty thrives on abstraction." Josh Tetrick, CEO of Hampton Creek Foods, makers of Beyond Eggs, spoke with the Animal Legal Defense Fund about what makes global mass egg production so horrible, and what we can do to stop it. For example, stop eating eggs. Read more at ALDF’s site. Egg-free living through science, you guys; we can do it.

03/27/2013

It’s time for another installment of ALDF's “30 Second Animal Law,” this time featuring acclaimed professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer! Hi, Levi! Hi, Levi’s rescued chihuahua, Scooter! Aren’t you two just the cutest things? And you’re absolutely right, puppy mills are the worst. Rescue a dog, save a life!

For more videos of Levi and Scooter, visit ALDF.

03/19/2013

It’s another episode of Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 30 Second Animal Law video series. Today we find out whether it’s legal to keep a tiger in your backyard from a very nice lawyer who wears Paul Ryan’s eyebrows way better than than the human Poochie ever could.

Have a pressing legal animal question for ALDF? Ask the experts via Twitter or Facebook. The staff will pick “the best—or most frequently asked—questions to answer on YouTube.” So useful.

02/13/2013

ALDF’s new series “30 Second Animal Law” is interesting and useful!  »

Animal Legal Defense Fund has a great new series on YouTube! “30 Second Animal Law” explains legal issues for and surrounding animals in tiny clips for your attention-deficit-addled brain. Check out the first installment, Legal Problems for Animals:

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

So far ALDF has got three videos in this series up, which you can either watch on YouTube, or watch in the coming weeks on Vegansaurus.

Have a pressing legal animal question for ALDF? Ask the experts via Twitter or Facebook. The staff will pick “the best—or most frequently asked—questions to answer on YouTube.” So useful.

02/20/2012

It’s National Justice for Animals Week! Check the Animal Legal Defense Fund for daily actions you can take all week—today’s is to share this video! That means I already did my action for the day! Huzzah!

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