vegansaurus!

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!

01/10/2014

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.

11/25/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

After a massive on-the-ground campaign throughout New Jersey to override Governor Christie’s veto of our gestation crate bill, animal advocates flooded the statehouse this past Monday in anticipation of the state senate’s vote. While Monday was disappointingly not the pigs’ day, the vote will come up again next month, so stay tuned!

We did win an important vote this week on gestation crates, with shareholders of Cracker Barrel overwhelmingly voting to support the company moving away from using gestation crate-derived pork.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the executive director of the prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production said this week that “They finally got the attention of the industry because everywhere they went up against the industry, the Humane Society won.”

HSUS this week joined with environmental and community groups in announcing plans to sue a breeding pig factory over manure spills in Iowa. And speaking of gestation crates, check out NBC’s national coverage of Mercy For Animals’ new undercover investigation at a Tyson Foods-contracted gestation crate facility.

Finally, worried about how to feed a growing human population? Try eating less meat, says Fox News this week. And the Norwegians seem to be getting the message. The Norwegian army takes on a battle against climate change by implementing Meatless Monday. A military spokesperson states that “It’s about being more concerned for our climate, more ecologically friendly and also healthier.”

Video of the week: This might be one of the most unlikely friendships I’ve ever seen. Remarkable!

11/15/2013

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!

Some promising news from the promised land this week: Conservative Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu put out an official statement saying he’s promoting Meatless Monday, primarily because “I feel committed to increase awareness to fight cruelty toward animals,” and that he and his wife “hardly eat meat.”

The CEO of The Nature Conservancy talked with CNN this week about the need to reduce meat consumption, saying that “If more people had vegetarian or vegan diets, the environmental impact would be significant.”

Perhaps people are listening. USA Today featured this current, growing trend in the restaurtant industry: “Vegetables are no longer the Rodney Dangerfield of restaurant offerings. They’re increasingly becoming the main item on the plate.”

That may be good news for the dairy calves like those shown in a new undercover investigation released this week by Compassion Over Killing.

New Jersey’s largest paper had a great article about our effort to ban gestation crates this week, as did the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Already making Thanksgiving meal plans? My coworker Kristie Middleton has some suggestions in the Oakland Tribune for you!

P.S. Video of the week: I don’t recommend cuddling with an elephant seal, but if you do, I hope it goes this well.

11/08/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

It’s go-time on the King amendment deliberations in the congressional farm bill. See our latest move and take action now!

It’s also go-time in New Jersey, where we expect a vote very soon in the state senate on a gestation crate ban. If you live in or near the Garden State and can come volunteer for a couple days (or more!) to help make history within the next 10 days, please reply saying so!

Need incentive to come join us in NJ? Politically conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has a potent piece out this week in which he says the pork industry keeps animals in “concentration camps.” 

On your way to (or from) NJ, you may want to stop in Philly. Why? The Philadelphia Inquirer has nice coverage of the city’s embrace of Meatless Mondays. (And for those who don’t live in the mid-Atlantic region, Emory University in Atlanta is the latest to get on the meat-free bandwagon, too!)

Maybe not directly farm animal-related, but since our species often likes to exalt itself, it can’t hurt to remind ourselves that there’s more out there’s more out there than just us. Scientists now say there are tens of billions of earth-like planets in our galaxy alone. : - )

P.S. Video of the week Couldn’t believe it was real at first, but this cat and owl really do seem to be friends.

11/01/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use  »

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

The National Archives recently released new 1906 correspondence between President Roosevelt and Upton Sinclair about deplorable slaughter plant conditions depicted in Sinclair’s novel,The Jungle. Wondering how they compare to today’s conditions? I have an op-ed published in the Chicago Sun-Times on that very topic!

Speaking of The Jungle, an A1 story in the Washington Post this week begins with this harrowing sentence: “Nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are unintentionally boiled alive each year in U.S. slaughterhouses, often because fast-moving lines fail to kill the birds before they are dropped into scalding water, Agriculture Department records show.”

Finally, the land of Philly Cheesesteaks is becoming the next Meatless Mondays hot spot! Check out what the Philadelphia City Council just did. Maybe the city of brotherly love will love Chipotle’s new vegan Sofritas burrito? Ellen certainly wants them to, and so does the Wonder Woman who runs HSUS’s Meatless Monday efforts!

P.S. Video of the week: Pigs just wanna have fun! Watch them make their own muddy slip-n-slide trail…

10/25/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

You may remember that HSUS was suing because the Raleigh Transit Authority refused to run our gestation crate bus ads. Well, now they’ve agreed to run them! HSUS also announced the filing of a new lawsuit this week challenging poultry giant Perdue’s advertising of its chicken as “humane.”

Want to know what’s happening in New Jersey on the gestation crate front in a nutshell? Here’s my latest Huffington Post piece.

Scientists are saying chickens are smarter than young humans, leading Nick Kristof to take up the issue in the NY Times, concluding that the only thing “bird-brained” about chickens is our rampant abuse of them.

Speaking of chickens, you should check out this extremely potent national Canadian news coverage of Mercy For Animals’ latest investigation into the egg industry. Seeing this will make you even more grateful for the path-breaking work of Hampton Creek, as featured in Forbes this past week.

Video of the week: Two ferrets; one box of Styrofoam peanuts…

Photo of the week: Thanks to those who clean trash from creeks! You make the mornings of marathon aspirants like me much more scenic!

10/04/2013

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

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

I was honored to be on CNN Headline News with the always-great Jane Velez-Mitchell this past week, discussing the need to kill the King amendment pending in the Congress.

A meat industry official seriously compared gestation crate confinement to keeping her kid in a car seat during a commute. My response is on Common Dreams.

You may have heard of our battle to ban gestation crates in New Jersey. Numerous papers in the state have come out to call for an override of the governor’s veto of the bill. For example, the Press of Atlantic City just editorialized: “In the end, the issue is not a political one or even an economic one; it is simply about right and wrong.”

Speaking of right and wrong, this past week one of Canada’s largest chicken slaughterers was convicted of criminal animal cruelty.

Finally, one of my awesome Canadian coworkers flexed some serious Meatless Monday muscle in the Toronto Star—check it out!

P.S. Video of the week: Dog and piglet team up to dig hole!

09/20/2013

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!

Check out HSUS’s new TV ad and coverage of the campaign in New Jersey to urge lawmakers to finish the job and ban gestation crates in the Garden State.

Think the chicken meat industry wants no federal intervention in their business? Think again. My new piece on how much the chicken industry loves federal handouts.

CBS News ran a fantastic feature this morning on Hampton Creek Foods, headlining “Cracking the egg: Food innovators at Calif. start-up seek egg alternatives.” Check it!

What do Iran and Israel have in common? Meatless Monday—duh! Finally, it’s official! DC’s mayor declared September 28th to be DC VegFest Day—I hope to see you there!

Video of the week: Think pigs can’t be taught like dogs? Try meeting Ebenezer the pig!

Photo of the week: If you like the great comic strip Mutts, you’ll like this poignant new strip!

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