vegansaurus!

08/09/2013

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!

Wow, what a big week!

After years of research funded by Google’s co-founder, the world’s first cultured meat taste-testing went down in London. The Today Show was one of hundreds of media outlets to cover the historic event. You can see HSUS’s supportive remarks for the slaughter-free meat, too. In addition to the massive potential for eliminating a huge amount of animal suffering, keep in mind that cultured meat uses 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water, 45 percent less energy, and produces 96 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional meat.

A researcher at the University of Minnesota also found this week that by dramatically reducing animal consumption, we could free up enough food for another 4 billion humans.

And on the legislative front, the fight against Iowa Rep. Steve King’s nefarious farm bill provision continues, with more than a third of House members now urging leadership to strip the provision. Have you contacted your lawmakers yet?! Animals need your help now more than ever.

Video of the week: Do you like it when farm animals hang out with dogs and cats?

08/03/2013

It’s 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!

Ever wonder what the US pork industry’s response to the EU’s farm animal welfare progress is? Check out my new piece about one industry leader’s recent bizarre, xenophobic rant.

Speaking of the US meat industry’s failures, in all 11 states it introduced ag-gag legislation in 2013, we killed their efforts, meaning that zero states this year passed an ag-gag bill!

We know that pigs suffer similarly to how dogs suffer. Would knowing that they’re as smart as (or smarter than) dogs change the way we think about—and treat—them? That’s what our friends at Farm Sanctuary are asking in a new campaign covered by the Associated Press this week.

If you agree with them that farm animals have interests that matter, you’re likely to also agree with NY Times columnist Nick Kristof’s potent column this week, in which he asks, “will our descendants be mystified by how good and decent people in the early 21st century — that’s us — could have been so oblivious to the unethical treatment of animals?”

Speaking of the future, do you think cultured meat will be a part of it? See the Telegraph’s story on the promise this holds.

Finally, Bill Clinton gave a fascinating interview to AARP this week about his near-vegan diet, noting,"I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."

Video of the week: Wild crow allows human to remove porcupine quills from him. Amazing!

07/26/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

Remember HSUS’ investigation at a Wyoming pig factory supplying meat giant Tyson Foods that led to numerous criminal cruelty convictions? This week there was yet another conviction stemming from that case.

A pregnant coworker of mine has a good op-ed this week on the plight of pregnant pigs in gestation crates.

LiveNation (which owns Ticketmaster and dozens of the nation’s largest concert venues) announced this week that it’s partnering with HSUS to increase vegetarian options and mandate higher animal welfare standards for its supply chain.

Want to be a powerful man? Learn from these folks and maybe one day you’ll be on Business Insider’s list of “Nine Powerful Men Who Don’t Eat Meat”!

In that (unclogged) vein, wouldn’t it be cool if doctors prescribed fruits and veggies rather than drugs? Well,some are!

Te gusta el lunes sin carne? Then check out Meatless Monday Mexico!

P.S. Video of the week: A very smart raccoon innovates by walking upright!

P.P.S. What have you done to get Steve King’s anti-animal amendment out of the farm bill? Take action now!

07/19/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

Do you like the state farm animal protection laws we’ve passed in recent years? If so, it’s time to take action now to get Iowa Rep. Steve King’s terrible provision out of the farm bill—a provision that threatens to wipe out animal welfare laws. Thank you for calling your Senators and Representative!

Speaking of Congress, did you hear that an animal ag industry group calling itself the “Farm Animal Welfare Coalition” was lobbying against the House of Representatives’ promotion of Meatless Monday? Well, that same group is actually now asking for “more vegan dining options in congressional cafeterias.” What a strange world…

And speaking of more vegan options, the American Institute for Cancer Research—famous for sifting through a half-million studies and compiling the most comprehensive report on diet and cancer in history—recently concluded that ”when it comes to American health, the research shows one thing very clearly: We all need to eat more plants and less meat.”

Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. Video of the week: I oppose animal fighting as much as anyone, but apparently not in all cases…

07/12/2013

It’s 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!

The Guardian’s got a great feature on our gestation crate campaign, noting that “HSUS has the pork industry on the defensive.” The journalist also has a separate blog about the issue, including his interview with my friend and coworker Josh Balk. Josh is the only person, it seems, who can work his bar mitzvah into an interview about chicken slaughter and gestation crates…

Yesterday, with only hours of notice, the House of Representatives voted (again) on a version of the farm bill containing Rep. Steve King’s nefarious provision to harm animals. You can read Wayne Pacelle’s thoughts on the vote.

You know that having people view videos of what happens to animals in slaughterplants can be effective, right? Well, what about giving them a virtual tour of the process from the animal’s perspective?

Like Ryan Gosling? You’ll like him even more now that he’s campaigning to secure a national ban on gestation crates in Canada (his home country).

P.S. Video of the week: The world’s most tolerant cat, or the world’ most persistent pig?

07/01/2013

It’s 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!

Vegetarian eating is on the rise in China, with their vegetarian population now larger than that in the U.S. And on this side of the world, in the U.S., “meat” may be becoming a four-letter word, so much that Taco Bell is now just referring to it as “protein.” The article about it notes that part of the reasoning is based on the fact that “43 percent of conversations about ‘meat’ over the last six months were negative and often included such words as ‘bad,’ ‘concerns,’ and ‘problem.’”

A big ag trade publication commenting on our campaign this week notes, “The movement against gestation stalls is international, widespread and making major gains.”

Indeed, major gains are being made, and in one state, we’re going to have to fight very hard to ensure that those gains continue. Despite nearly unanimous votes in both chambers of the state legislature and enjoying overwhelming voter support across the political spectrum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation yesterday that would have banned gestation crates. The next chapter of the fight will soon unfold.

P.S. Video of the Week: Cat or dog?

06/21/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

It was a roller coaster of a week, with the biggest news being that the House farm bill—which contained no animal welfare improvements but did contain Iowa Rep. Steve King’s anti-animal provision—was killed yesterday!

(Regrettably, the meat industry lobby prevented a House vote on federal legislation to help egg-laying hens. The fight continues.)

In related news, want to read a great Mother Jones story? The title says it all: “You Won’t Believe What Pork Producers Do to Pregnant Pigs.”

The New York Times editorial board this week slammed the animal ag sector, calling it an “industry that thrives on ignorance.”

And finally, check out this article: “Study suggests chickens are smarter than toddlers.”

P.S. Video of the week: Stephen Colbert’s take last night on the farm bill dispute between Rep. Steve King and HSUS. It’s truly amazing.

P.P.S. 140 years ago this week, Susan B. Anthony was arrested for voting. Oh, how societal norms change …

06/14/2013

It’s 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!

Jon Stewart may not be on the Daily Show right now, but the ag-gag debate is! Watch this week’s must-watch hysterical segment featuring a former HSUS investigator pitted against the Animal Ag Alliance. You be the judge of who won.

“A tough opponent,” “formidable,” and “sophisticated.” In the rare chance you weren’t able to attend the World Pork Expo in Iowa this week, these are just some of the ways the meat industry is describing HSUS there. We’ll take it.

NPR asked the question last night, “Why is Bill Gates investing in chicken-less eggs?” Want to know? Check out yesterday’s “All Things Considered” great feature on Hampton Creek Foods.

The upcoming week is a major one in Congress, with the House set to take up the five-year farm bill, including consideration of a Farm Bureau-backed nefarious provision intended to harm farm animals, and the federal hen protection bill (which the Farm Bureau and nearly every national meat trade group opposes). Contact your member of Congress now!

P.S. Video of the week: Dogs vs. citrus …

06/07/2013

It’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

imageIt’s Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals!

Huge news this week: The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education voted 4-1 to enact an exclusively vegetarian Meatless Monday policy at all K-8 schools in the district. Unsurprisingly, this was to the chagrin of the Animal Ag Alliance, which waged a losing campaign to defeat the measure.

If you liked that, you may also be impressed that Canada is poised to pass a national regulation curbing gestation crate use.

I’ve got a new piece on HuffPost about the increasing number of folks even within the ag industry who are starting to second-guess their ag-gag strategy. Feel free to leave a comment.

A number of papers, such as the Bakersfield Californian, are editorializing against Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) nefarious attempt in the Farm Bill to erase numerous laws we’ve passed to protect farm animals. Meanwhile, King and his allies in the meat industry are also trying to kill federal legislation to ban barren battery cages for laying hens.

Finally, this week, a major story got a lot of media play announcing extensive new research showing that vegetarian diets are linked to longer lives. In that vein, influential UK members of Parliament are urging Britons to eat less meat as a way to increase food security.

P.S. Video of the week: HSUS’s future CEO?

P.P.S. Live in SoCal? Hope to see you at veg appetit next week!

06/04/2013

It’s 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!

This year’s ag-gag fight has been a bruising one for the animal ag industry, with every single bill so far introduced failing, while generating enormous negative media attention for animal agribusiness. It’s gotten so bad that one dairy industry spokesperson just published a column with a revealing title: “Ag-gag bills do more harm than good.”

Speaking of ag-gag bills, what’s likely to be the final battle on this in 2013 is in full force. North Carolina had a hearing on its ag-gag bill this week, and you can watch HSUS’s TV commercial that we’re running across the state. The Fayetteville Observer—the hometown newspaper of the state Senator sponsoring the bill—condemned this ag-gag effort, summing it up well: “We hope [Sen. Wesley] Meredith will let this dreadful legislation die humanely in committee.”

NBC had a fascinating feature on a company making in vitro leather, calling it “The Company Leading the Future of Farming.”

Finally, here’s a very potent new TED talk by a former wildlife poacher turned vegetarian animal advocate.

P.S. Video of the week: Pig platform on which goats can play!

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