Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: How many pork industry leaders does it take to change a lightbulb?  »


How many pork industry leaders does it take to change a lightbulb? None, since they want to keep consumers in the dark, says my coworker Matt Prescott in a new op-ed published in several papers.

CNN this week published an interesting story asking whether cultured meat will be the meat of the future. That may be the diet of the future, but what was the diet of the past? Well, in the case of ancient Egyptians, new evidence reveals that they enjoyed a primarily vegetarian diet.

If you want a reason to eat like an ancient Egyptian, here are six facts from HSUS about chickens that’ll blow your mind!

Video of the week:

Apparently, porcupines don’t like to share corn with humans.

Photo of the week: Did you know pigs like sticks just like dogs?


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!: How much gov’t pork is on that pizza?  »


As California’s laying hen protection law comes closer to taking effect this January, states wary of having to improve animal welfare in their own factory farms are suing the Golden State. You can watch a new interview of mine on the topic on CNN Headline News. As well, HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell has a great column about cruelty to farm animals.

In light of the California drought, my coworker Kristie Middleton has a great op-ed this week on the most delicious way to save water. (Hint: it involves eating less meat). Kristie’s solution may save water, but what about saving wildlife from extinction? The Center for Biological Diversity has a new campaign about the best way to prevent wildlife extinctions. (Hint: it also involves eating less meat.)

Ever wonder how much pork—government pork, that is—is on a typical pizza? My new piece inReason offers a deep dish of sobering realities about the meat and dairy industries’ clamor for socialism.

Finally, as the battles over gestation crates for pigs continue, Connecticut is the latest state to consider legislation on the topic.

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

P.S. Video of the week: 55 million viewers can’t be wrong…kitten convo!


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!


It’s the Comfort Dogs, reporting to Newtown, Conn., to help survivors of the Sandy Hook school shooting with their grief. I love therapy dogs so much, you guys. Sweet, friendly, loving golden retrievers, plus dreamy CNN newsman Don Lemon? Yes and yes and yes.

[source: Our Laura at Jezebel]


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

It’s Paul Shapiro's Animal News You Can Use! This week, Paul is all about QUESTIONS and ANSWERS. Let's go!

Concerned about world hunger? So is Oxfam. That’s why the charity is urging meat reduction in a new piece on CNN. Oxfam points out that “the reality is that it takes massive amounts of land, water, fertilizer, oil and other resources to produce meat, significantly more than it requires to grow other nutritious and delicious kinds of food.”

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the US weren’t lagging behind the EU on laying hen protection? Well, now we’re lagging behind Israel too, as the country is now banning the barren battery cage, a move celebrated by Anonymous for Animal Rights (a campaigning group in the holy land).

Remember the crazy quote from the pork industry last week about gestation crates? Well, an industry researcher actually had a relatively progressive column in Feedstuffs this week. She writes about standard practices like gestation crates and un-anesthetized castration: “For anyone, much less an expert in animal well-being, to defend or appear unmoved by such practices must seem at worst, disgraceful, and at best, evidence of the claims that ‘factory farming’ leads to cognitive dissonance and indifference to animals.”

Looking for a bank? Well, the Animal Agriculture Alliance announced that it would no longer do business with Bank of America since BoA has a partnership with HSUS (arguing we’re an “extreme animal rights group”…).

Video of the week: Cat trains human on how to walk on leash…


How the ag industry’s hate brings positive attention to HSUS, and more!  »

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

NPR had a recent important look at the vigorous efforts of the pork and beef lobbies to kill federal hen protection legislation. Amusingly, in the piece, the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls HSUS “the devil.”

Speaking of what the agribusiness groups think, the always-insightful Counting Animals blog did a fascinating write-up and graphical illustration on the increasing attention the ag industry trade press is giving to our movement.

My colleague Matt Prescott’s got some sage advice on the CNN site about how folks can help reduce cruelty to farm animals. Check him out.

Expect a big fight in the Congress over Rep. Steve King's (seriously, click through) crazy amendment that’s been added to the House ag committee version of the farm bill that would undo numerous animal protection laws.

And last but certainly far from least, since last week’s installment, even more major pork buyers have come out saying they’ll rid their supply chains of gestation crates: Sodexo, Kmart, and Heinz. And speaking of the pork industry, as if its leadership couldn’t sink to a new low, it’s now lobbying to keep pigs at greater risk of perishing in factory farm fires. Seriously.

P.S. Video of the week: Speaking of the devil, here’s some death metal for Maru the cat while he enjoys his boxes.


Please welcome new vegans Michelle Pfeiffer and Larry Hagman!  »

I’m on the celebrity beat this week because your regular vegan celebrity news correspondent is on vacation, like a fancy lady! Come back soon, Jenny! Come back soon so I don’t confuse Sharon Stone with Michelle Pfeiffer again, like an idiot.

So, celebrity news: First, Sharon Stone Michelle Pfeiffer announced last week on CNN that a CNN program, “The Last Heart Attack,” and reading a book called Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, inspired her to adopt a vegan diet because she doesn’t want to die of heart disease related to the consumption of animal products. This is like how I’ve started intermittent standing at my desk because I don’t want to die of sitting. Stars, they’re just like us! Ms. Sharon Stone Michelle Pfeiffer says she’s also working on getting her husband, David E. Kelley, to eat vegan as well, which shouldn’t be too hard. Who could say not to that glorious creature?

Next, Larry Hagman turned to a vegan diet after being diagnosed with cancer last year; he says he’s now cancer-free, and healthy enough to work again, reprising his role as J.R. Ewing on TNT’s new Dallas. Which means nothing to me, as a person who grew up in a General Hospital household, but some people are excited about/dubious of/irritated by this thing. Larry here has said that he plans to eat fish and eggs again, which is too bad, but eliminating milk is a big and good deal. Cow’s milk is a terrible, harmful industry! Stay off the teat, Larry.

We’re always happy to have new members of team vegan. OK, maybe not jerks, but observing a vegan diet can mitigate from general personal awfulness. The point is, famous people going vegan, hooray! Welcome to the club, celebrities! We promise not to ask for your autograph (unless you want us to), and to share our vegan secrets. Now, what are you bringing to the potluck?

[Michelle Pfeiffer photo by JeremyChristopher via Flickr; Paris Match covers via Patrick Peccatte]


Animal News You Can Use: Gestation crates are out, mini pigs are in!  »

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

Big news this week: Kroger—the nation’s largest grocery chain—announced that it wants its pork suppliers to accelerate the phase-out of gestation crates, and a Senate committee in New Jersey unanimously passed a bill to ban gestation crates. Here’s a good story about both, and the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell has a good op-ed on today on why it’s time to end this cruelty.

Just yesterday, Pork Magazine (which you no doubt subscribe to) editorialized that “pork producers are fuming” at the success of our campaign against gestation crates. Boo hoo. Another industry commentator noted this week, “Sadly, the die [sic] is cast…For pork producers, it is better to switch than fight.”

Speaking of fighting, there was an important national AP story this week on the federal effort to ban barren battery cages and how a coalition of major meat/dairy trade groups are vigorously trying to kill the bill. (Have *you* called your Senators yet? If not, call 202-224-3121 and ask them to co-sponsor S 3239!)

Video of the week: Three of you independently suggested this one, so you know it’s gonna be good:


Tom and Misha, two dolphins held in captivity for years, have been freed into the ocean! The real live ocean! OMG. This is the background from CNN where you really get to see the dolphins getting trained to fend for themselves. You can also watch the video of the moment they get released on Born Free’s youtube channel. Watch this one first and then go see that one because this background makes it so much better. And then you will be like about to cry. And I’ll totally let you cry this time! I’m so nice to you.

As the video says, this is controversial as people are worried the dolphins can’t survive in the wild after being captive for so many years. But the trainers say no one has ever reintroduced dolphins in quite the way they are. I mean a year to learn to hunt seems like a pretty good amount of time. I’m just worried that they will like people so much that they will get caught in nets! But all dolphins seem to like people so maybe it’s the same risk any dolphins face. I don’t know!

Fingers crossed! God speed, Tom and Misha!

via Ecorazzi


Paul Shapiro presents: HSUS on CNN, Bittman on humans, and a goat with dance fever!  »

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

Happy Meatless Monday! HSUS’s MM video is nominated for a Do Gooder Award (in the “Large Organization” category), so please vote for it!

Want more evidence of how important it is for animal advocates to be politically active? Check out the Des Moines Register’s article on the very large donations from agribusiness that Iowa’s ag-gag proponents received.

I was glad to be on CNN Headline News with the wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell and my similarly awesome coworker Dr. Michael Greger to discuss factory farming and antibiotic use. As well, I had a good time doing an hour-long conversation about farm animal protection on Pennsylvania Cable Network (kind of like C-Span for PA) with the head of an industry group called Penn Ag.

Mark Bittman’s been tearing it up lately with his latest great NYT piece on the “Human Cost of Animal Suffering.” Don’t miss this one!

Video of the week: A Dancing Goat. No more words needed. Bonus video: The beef industry’s new video opposing the federal hen protection bill pending in the Congress….

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pshapiro.

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