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


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?


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »


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

First, some good news in our campaign to eradicate gestation crates from pork production: The top eight grocers in Canada (including Walmart Canada) committed to phase out gestation crates. This led one ag reporter to editorialize, “It seems to me like you might as well stick a fork in its butt and turn it over: the gestation stall debate is done.”

Now, some more good news: The Indiana ag-gag bill was killed this week.

I had a new op-ed on this week about ag-gag bills that you may want to check out. Also, you may be interested in another new piece of mine (this one on Huffington Post) about the pork industry’s Orwellian name game. And I was glad to do an interview on HuffPost Live this week.

In Tennessee, the ag-gag bill’s sponsor, pork producer state Rep. Andy Holt, created headlines when he sent an email to my coworker comparing HSUS’s cruelty exposés to rape and human trafficking, even calling our work “tape and rape.” There was a lot of attention on this repulsive comparison, but this one

The Tennessee governor is still deciding whether to sign or veto the ag-gag bill. In the meantime, more than 300 Tennessee clergy members sent a letter to him urging a veto.

A woman was arrested in Utah this week for taking photos of a slaughter plant from public property, though the charges were subsequently dropped, leading the Salt Lake Tribune to editorialize that it’s an “ag-gag backfire.”

A new ag-gag bill was introduced in Pennsylvania this week, and the Wayne Independent is the first paper in the state to editorialize against it, asserting that it “goes against everything this country has stood for since its inception.”

Finally, you’ve heard of schools doing Meatless Mondays, but have you heard of them going all-vegetarian? Now you have. Perhaps that’s no surprise, especially considering that a new Consumer Reports study found 90 percent of retail turkey samples contain dangerous bacteria. Whatever the reason may be, meat-free eating is catching on in a major way. As one AP article this week proclaimed: “Vegetarian cooking goes mainstream.”

P.S. Video of the week: Cat loves vacuum

P.P.S. Too fascinating not to share: With smoking declining, U.S. tobacco growers are turning to growing chick peas to supply the increasing demand for hummus. Apparently the invisible hand of the free market is working==and it likes to dip veggies in hummus.


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

Want to read a great AP story about the proponents of anti-whistleblower “ag-gag” bills getting part of their bodies (I’ll let you be the judge) handed to them at a legislative hearing in Nebraska yesterday? Also, the ag-friendly Bakersfield Californian editorial board slammed the supporters of a similar California bill this week, saying how they’re “amazed by the audacity of the cattle industry.”

Good week in statehouses for farm animals, with a New Jersey ag committee passing a bill to ban gestation crates and a Colorado committee doing the same on a bill to ban dairy cow tail-docking. We’ll continue working hard to further advance these bills.

There’s a fascinating story out today about a meat industry front man who admits he created a fake Facebook profile posing as an animal activist in order to criticize HSUS and encourage other animal activists to do the same.

After extensive dialogue with HSUS, Bob Evans is the latest food giant to announce it wants to phase out gestation crates. And the National Pork Board did a survey with promising results about the changing attitudes of pork producers to the gestation crate issue.

Think you’re the only one who finds promise in plant-based products? These billionaires are with you.

Finally, students! If you want “Skinny Bitch” Rory Freedman, VegNews editorial director Elizabeth Castoria, and HSUS’s Kristie Middleton to read your essay, enter HSUS’s Meatless Monday essay contest now!

Video of the week: Justin Timberlake on SNL singing about vegan eating. Words can’t describe how great it is.

Photo of the week: My cats enjoying their catio!


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »


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

Want to see the future of food? BusinessWeek had a great feature yesterday on the amazing Hampton Creek Foods.

Mom-to-be Hollywood star Kristen Bell cares about other moms-to-be, including pregnant pigs! That’s why she sent a letter this week to the National Pork Producers Council asking that they stop supporting gestation crate confinement. And just this past week alone, MarriottGeneral MillsAu Bon Pain, and IHOP/Appleby’s all announced that they’re shifting their pork supply chains away from gestation crate confinement.

In response to the introduction of an anti-whistleblower bill that was just introduced in Wyoming, the opinion page editor of the Casper Star-Tribune blasted the sponsor, saying the “shameful bill is a new low for Wyoming.”

Video of the week: If you think mice can’t play fetch, basketball, or track and field, this stunning video is for you.


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »


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

You may be interested in HSUS’s new fully wrapped bus ads rolling around DC and Des Moines with a message that gestation crate defenders are sure not to like, and while you’re at it, here’s the Des Moines Register’s coverage of it.

National Hog Farmer this week lamented the progress we made in 2012 against gestation crates, noting our early successes getting large food companies on “the anti-stall bandwagon [set] in motion for others to hop on, much to the glee of the pork industry’s nemesis — the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)….Even more disturbing is it has empowered HSUS and their ilk to target other common pig management procedures.” (Note: Einstein Bagels and Arby’s this week became the latest companies to announce plans to phase out gestation crates…)

Meat industry analysts (and owner of the Dow Jones Index) CME Group report this week that demand for meat in the US fell again this year, and conclude: “But it is obvious that there have been no banner years for at least the three largest species since 2004.” Perhaps more people are seeing pieces like this one from this week about the benefits of Meatless Monday.

Happy holidays!

P.S. Video of the week: Want to be inspired by some cool things that happened for animals this past year? Check this one out. (Bonus blog of the week: Some cool things specifically for farm animals that happened.)


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

To all my Arizona peeps out there who worked so hard on Prop 204 six years ago (the ballot measure banning veal and gestation crates), the historic law you helped enact takes effect in a couple weeks. The state’s largest paper editorialized this week telling you how awesome you are for ushering in this important law—check it out.

The Wall Street Journal had a large feature this week about the fact that US milk consumption has declined nearly 30% since 1975, and how the industry is responding.

I’ve got a couple new online pieces this week, one for a sustainable ag site about the need to reduce per capita meat consumption and another on the Civil Eats site about the pork industry’s Onion-like defense of indefensible animal abuse.

P.S. Video of the week: If you’ve ever wondered what your party would be like with a cat DJing it, wonder no more. (Related: Yes, it exists, and yes, we sell it.)


Animal News You Can Use!  »

Paul Shapiro weekly dose of all things animals! Yes!

Especially the week after Thanksgiving, it’s good to remind ourselves of the undeniable fact: demand for meat continues to fall in the US. Check out my friend Harish’s latest post on the topic.

In that vein, here’s a cool piece about the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (in NYC) working with HSUS to implement Meatless Mondays.

In last week’s post, I mentioned an interview in Forbes about our work in China. This week, check out this hopeful article in China Daily about the very nascent farm animal protection movement there.

And in that vein, Temple Grandin has some advice for US pork producers still defending their immobilization of pigs in tiny cages. She argues in this interview: “For example, look at sow-gestation stalls. So many companies have stopped using them, and others are moving away from it, but you have those people out there who are still defending it. It’s going away, it needs to go away, let it go away.”

Video of the week: Caught on tape—breaking undercover video clandestinely shot just yesterday of my felines.


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

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

We started last week’s email with a good court ruling about California’s Prop 2, and now this week, a federal judge told foie gras producers what time it is in ruling that California’s ban on force-feeding ducks for foie gras will remain intact. In response to the ruling, the LA Times had a nice smack-down of the chefs fighting for force-feeding.

Speaking of smack-downs, the Wall Street Journal had a pro/con debate in the paper this week entitled, “Would We Be Healthier With a Vegan Diet?“ T. Colin Campbell represented the “yes” side.

In case you’ve not yet read your latest issue of Meat & Poultry…there’s a good article about the success of HSUS’s gestation crate campaign. The conclusion: “This is no longer a debate about the viability of gestation crates in hog production, but rather a discussion about how producers will respond to meet expectations.” (And check out this op-ed on the topic in Pennsylvania’s second largest paper.)

Have a nice weekend. If you live near me, I hope to see you at the DC VegFest tomorrow!

P.S. Video of the week: Pig saves goat!.

(Bonus video: HSUS works with Project Empower in teaching kids about Meatless Monday.)


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

It’s Animal News You Can Use from Paul Shapiro! Yay, Paul! Yay, Animals! Yay, Everyone! AND HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TO ALL!! (Except for the terrible, terrible meat industry, who can go to hell.) 

Reuters had a good national story yesterday about HSUS’s new stock purchases of financial firms that invest heavily in the pork industry (as a means of making further progress on the gestation crate issue).

Speaking of gestation crate progress, since last week’s email, SubwayCampbell’s Soup and Harris Teeter all announced that they plan to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. (And Sodexo made a similar claim on laying hens.)

And speaking of progress, BBC had an interesting story about the increase in the number of folks reducing their meat consumption.

And finally, speaking of meat consumption, the head of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame (yes, it exists) had a surprising column placing the blame for the cruelty seen in Compassion Over Killing’s latest investigative videosquarely on the dairy industry.  And while on the topic of investigative videos, this week we saw guilty pleas in Mercy For Animals’ cruelty case regarding abuse of Butterball turkeys.

Video of the week: When the lion lays down with the lamb. (Or the cat with the rat…)


Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

First and foremost, don’t miss last night’s ABC World News feature on the new undercover investigation by Compassion Over Killing that led USDA to shut down a major California slaughter plant this week. Impressive.

Also, this week New Jersey’s largest paper officially endorsed the state’s bill to ban gestation crates for pigs, even citing in its endorsement the op-ed referenced in last week’s email. Boom.

Speaking of pigs, food service giant Aramark announced with HSUS that it will require its pork suppliers to end their use of gestation crates. Bring it.

Finally, five years in a row, VegNews readers have voted HSUS their favorite animal protection group. You can help make it six by voting for us in this year’s Veggie Awards! [Ed.: Vote for Vegansaurus for favorite blog and Ask Laura for favorite column, too, if you want xoxoxoxoxo!]

Video of the week: when cats get caught barking…

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