vegansaurus!

10/17/2014

Animal News You Can Use: Progress for pigs and quacktastic news for ducks!  »

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Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban pig gestation crates, sending it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk. Moments afterward, Danny “Don’t Veto” DeVito issued a letter to the governor, telling him that signing the bill is a sure way to get him into the pearly gates.

This week also marked a major advance in the fight for farm animals. The  U.S. Supreme Court allowed California’s landmark law banning the sale of foie gras to stand, setting a further precedent that states can block the sale of products based solely on animal cruelty concerns, even if those foods were produced in other states.

While New Jersey and California may be moving in the right direction, some pork producers still defend locking pigs in tiny cages. My rebuttal to one of them is published in the MinnPost this week.

And the fact that some pork producers are still defending the indefensible left my coworker Josh Balk asking in a new opinion piece, is bacon the new veal?

P.S. Video of the week: Pit bull meets baby chicks.

P.P.S. Are you on Twitter? Did you know that for free you can “donate” your account to help occasionally get the word out about important farm animal protection efforts? I’d be grateful if you would—here’s the link!

06/27/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Big week, and now a big weekend!  »

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What a week!

CNN did a major feature on Compassion Over Killing’s new undercover investigation at a broiler chicken factory in North Carolina. You can watch CNN’s piece here — highly recommend.

Speaking of CNN, I was glad to be on CNN Headline News last night with the always wonderful Jane Velez-Mitchell discussing pig protection. If you want to meet Jane, she’ll be speaking at the Taking Action for Animals gala Saturday night in D.C.!

And on the pig protection front, my colleague Matt Prescott shares some good news about the impending demise of the gestation crate in this new column.

Of course, the meat industry’s not too pleased with our work, and is pushing for ag-gag bills to ban our whistleblowing exposés. Iowa Public TV ran a nice feature on the topic this week.

And now for a big weekend: More than 1,000 folks will be at the Taking Action for Animals conference … hope to hang with you there!

P.S. Video of the week: Just a puppy and piglet playing. No big deal.

04/21/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: the coolest dog in the world!  »

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Often pork comes to mind when people think about federal politicians, but there’s a new legislative caucus in Congress, one that probably wouldn’t mind directing a little more pork toward the poultry industry: The Congressional Chicken Caucus. Colman McCarthy has a great column in the National Catholic Register this week about it.

On the other end of the spectrum, HSUS worked with local lawmakers in Boca Raton to urge citizens to help protect their health and the planet by eating less meat.

Speaking of lawmakers doing the right thing, have you seen the impressive list of them who are participating in US VegWeek? You can join them!

Special props to Upworthy for promoting HSUS’s new, entertaining gestation crate video (yes, it’s really entertaining!), helping to push the video well past a million views.

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: I used to think I’d had the coolest dog on the planet. I now know I was wrong.

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Thanks to the Winnipeg Humane Society for hosting me this week—they have a very poignant gestation crate display.

02/21/2014

Paul Shapiro’s Animal New You Can Use  »

Yesterday, the New York Times ran this column by Nicholas Kristof entitled, “Is That Sausage Worth This?”, which kicked off by pointing out that, “Modern factory farms have so much wrong with them, but a starting point is the practice of turning pigs into cannibals”

The article marked the release of HSUS’s latest undercover investigation, this time at a Kentucky gestation crate confinement facility aptly named Iron Maiden Hog Farms. And the practices there do seem more out of the dark ages when iron maidens were used as torture devices than they do from the 21st century.

In addition to confining pigs in gestation crates, this facility, and apparently many others throughout the pork industry, was caught feeding baby pigs’ ground-up intestines back to their mothers; in some cases piglets’ diarrhea is fed directly to their mothers. That’s why NPR entitled its coverage of the investigation, “Piglet Smoothie Fed to Sows.”

As well, the fight over Prop 2’s upcoming implementation in California continues. The LA Times editorialized on the issue this week, slamming Missouri’s attorney general for trying to invalidate California’s law.

Onward and upward…

Paul Shapiro
Vice President, Farm Animal Protection
The Humane Society of the United States
Follow at http://twitter.com/pshapiro

P.S. Video of the week: BBC puts them to the test—who’s smarter: kids or pigs?

02/20/2014

Breaking: Humane Society finds cannibalism, cruelty, and disease at Kentucky pig factory  »

HSUS released a new undercover video today from the Iron Maiden pig factory in Kentucky. Besides awful gestation crates, they discovered that the factory takes piglets who die from “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus” and feed them to mother pigs. It’s done in an effort to immunize the pigs. Freaking disgusting. Vegansaurus friend Paul Shapiro said of the factory, “The entire atmosphere at this facility is awful for animals, many of whom are perpetually immobilized and suffering from body sores, diarrhea attacks and prolapsed uteruses.” And it’s all for bacon? Our society is unbelievable. 

I’m wondering, am I the only one who immediately feels claustrophobic when I see the pigs in the gestation crates? NYT article describes gestation crates pretty chillingly:

They live out their adult lives without exercise or meaningful social interaction; it’s like a life sentence of solitary confinement in a coffin, punctuated by artificial insemination and birth.

Awful. As the article title asks, “Is That Sausage Worth This?” 

You can read more about the exposé on the Humane Society’s site, including a description of the video if you don’t want to watch. They also have a link to a petition but other than that, I’m not sure what we can do besides raise awareness and be vegan. If anyone knows about other ways to help, please share in the comments.

01/08/2014

According to Mercy for Animals, this video was created by 13-year-old Kyle Kelleher. It’s pretty amazing. I suggest making a shortened version though. But jeez! How long did this take to make?! What were YOU doing when you were 13? NOTHING GOOD I BET.

12/30/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

A new comprehensive report, “Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” was just released by the World Resources Institute—with support from the UN, the World Bank, and others. One major focus throughout the report is the need to reduce our meat consumption and animal production.

The report notes, “If wealthier countries reduced their meat consumption meaningfully, they could not only improve human health but also greatly reduce the challenge of producing more food with less land conversion, less water consumption, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”

And as readers of this weekly email know, Westerners are finally starting to cut down on our meat consumption. In fact, just this week, Miami is getting plaudits for its embrace of Meatless Monday.

And if you want to help advance this trend for a living, my coworker Dr. Michael Greger is hiring for two awesome jobs!

Finally, want to read my colleague Kristie Middleton’s latest interview on gestation crates? Check it out.

Hope you’re having a great holiday season!

P.S. Cartoon of the week: What might it look like when aliens visit our planet?

P.P.S. Video of the week: A bottle-loving dog gets the best holiday gift…

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!

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!

10/11/2013

Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use!  »

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

After working with HSUS, the Buffalo, New York public school district is the latest to announce that it’s now going entirely meat-free on Mondays! Buffalo joins Los Angeles, Detroit, and several other major school districts in serving its students more plant-based foods. In that vein, Fox News—yes, Fox News—ran a story yesterday entitled, “5 Reasons to Try a Vegetarian Diet.”

The Asbury Park Press became the seventh New Jersey newspaper to editorialize in favor of overriding the veto of our gestation crate ban bill.

Finally, promising news from down under: major Australian grocer Woolworths is ending all sales of eggs from caged hens.

Video of the week: Not a cute animal video this time, but an amazing 1935 Popeye original about preventing cruelty to animals, with an ending that’s a must-see!

Photo of the week: Found these two federally furloughed starving NASA engineers. Gave them food in exchange for coming to New Jersey to help ban gestation crates!

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