Paul Shapiro’s Animal News You Can Use: Ag-Gag, Meatless Mondays, and a Puppy in a Hoodie!  »

Wondering how the meat industry responded to last month’s HSUS whistleblowing exposé of a Kentucky pig factory that was locking pigs in gestation crates and feeding what NPR called “piglet smoothies” back to their mothers? Perhaps unsurprisingly, rather than fixing the problems, its response was to introduce an ag-gag bill in Kentucky to criminalize taking photos of factory farms. Our action alert calling for a defeat of that bill is here.

Inspired by the progress against gestation crates in Canada? Learn more about it in our latest Huffington Post piece.

Wondering whether students are liking Meatless Mondays in their cafeterias? Check out this great news segment from one school in Long Island.

Care about saving wildlife from extinction? NPR reports on a new campaign from the Center for Biological Diversity suggesting we eat less meat.

No more questions—have a great weekend!

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

P.S. Video of the week: I used to do this when I was a kid, too.

P.P.S. Photo of the week: Josh Balk and I taking out an Ultimate Fighter champion…


My Summer Vacation: A vegan on Shelter Island!  »

Hello, pals! I’ve been on vacation! Your friend Megan Rascal went to Shelter Island, N.Y., for an entire week with my bro and my sister-in-law. What a time I had! I saw a turtle and these cool turkeys above and like 80 million bunnies. And deer too! Not kidding. 

Mostly we grilled food at the house we rented but a few times we did go out to eat. One place we hit was Sunset Beach, a pseudo-Euro hotel. It’s overpriced but they had this great tofu curry dish that I totally loved. It wasn’t super-special but it sure was good. And what’s not overpriced is the view! Check it out:


The first few days we were there, I was starving for coffee. I don’t like regular coffee, just froufrou lattes and whatnot, so I didn’t want what we had in the house. But my brother was like, “We are not driving to town every morning just to get coffee!” That is, until he ran out of his coffee! Ha. Then suddenly we could go to town every morning to get coffee. The only two places where it seemed like you could get coffee were Stars Cafe and Reddings Market. To my surprise, both had soy milk! And Reddings has La Colombe coffee. Reddings also wins in the frothing soy milk department—Stars didn’t really know what they were doing. It’s a cute place, though, and a good spot to get something healthy to eat.

The one place I really wanted to try was 18 Bay. I read online that they were very accommodating to vegans. They just do a prix fixe menu and it changes frequently based on what’s good at the market that day or week. Very exciting! I called the day before our reservation to let them know that I would need a vegan meal and they were just like, “of course!” Very exciting!

Above is the appetizer course. Everything was really great. I was a little apprehensive because at least one item—the eggplant—they said they would make vegan just by taking the cheese off. I’ve never like that; it’s basically like you’re taking away half the flavor profile and serving me that … and for the same price, even. But this actually worked out very well. Some of the other items were tailored just for me, like the radish and melon salad, and others, like the pesto beans, were already vegan. This was probably my favorite part of the meal. So many things to try! So fun!

There was also a pasta course, and I got my own risotto and everyone was jealous! It wasn’t amazing but it was good. For the entree, I had a lovely squash and spinach creation. Good as well. And you won’t leave this place hungry—it was quite a bit of food!

The only disappointment was the dessert. It was a fruit plate. Mind you, a really great fruit plate, but a fruit plate all the same. I thought since I told them I’d be there ahead of time, they could come up with something more exciting. Alas. But it wasn’t some grapes and honeydew: It was delicious peaches and blackberries. So it was nice, just a bit of a let-down. 

Another delight on the trip was the fresh veggies! We stopped at a farm stand on the way there and then there was this farm stand, Pete’s Produce, on the island that had great stuff too. The tomatoes were super amazing and I’m not usually into raw tomatoes. Here’s our meal from the first day! My brother turned out to be quite the grilling genius (ignore the cup of feta—your know those omnis are addicted):

Yes, a successful vacation indeed! And I got a tan. I decided that I love getting a tan because people act like it’s a real accomplishment. If I lay around my house, I’m lazy, but if I lay around in the sun, I’m productive! That’s awesome. 


How Was Your Week at the Howlabaloo: See Ted Leo race basset hounds!  »

You guys, I can’t. This is Ted Leo and Rudy the basset hound at the Howlabaloo, “Long Island’s premiere event for basset hounds and their owners.” He went as part of Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week team. Do you guys listen to HWYW? It’s great! Ted Leo sings the theme song, and Julie Klausner is a delight. A DELIGHT.

Last month the Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue held its annual Howlabaloo on Long Island, and the HWYW team shot this great video full of interviews and utterly charming hounds. Beloved vegan musician Ted Leo challenges several basset hounds to races, while wearing a suit, because he is tremendous. Dogs, rescues, Ted Leo, and veggie burgers: You can’t lose!

[Can’t see the video? Watch it on!]


Hello, friends! It’s WTF Wednesday!  »

You guys, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Between having to finish my last-ever (and incidentally most comprehensive) presentation for school and cracking a filling because I was chewing gum too hard, I have been barely able to stand. Then as soon as I was a little bit less overwhelmed, I started running a fever. Isn’t that just the worst? I mean I appreciate that my body is a complex and sophisticated system that recognizes when it is safer for me to turn the stress I have been feeling into an amazing bout with the flu/cold/plague, but it doesn’t really do anything to make me feel better. As soon as I’m done getting gray hair from every single project I have to do and think that I can settle in for some serious knitting/a Golden Girls marathon, my body turns against me and makes it so that I am either too hot or too cold or that my muscles get so sore that I can’t sit in one place for a long period of time. This is war! Fortunately for my body, the only way I know how to go to war on it is by consuming large amounts of Parma, which I put on everything (to Allen's extreme chagrin, because he is delusional and does not enjoy it!), and swigging bottle after bottle of ginger ale. “Man,” you must be thinking, “Mark is pretty sick so he is probably not going to take us on a tour of horrors that he has found on the internet.” WRONG! I am miserable, so you will be miserable. Buckle in and let’s see what horrible things are happening this week.

Modern science has discovered that animals, specifically chickens, can feel pain. I did not realize that this needed scientific testing, but I suppose not everyone is as trusting as I am. Not only can chickens feel pain, but they can show empathy for the pain of other chickens. NO DOY, but good for you, science. Because I am trusting, I am going to imagine that these experiments were mostly harmless and that the chickens have now been found wonderful sanctuary homes. What I am less than pleased with is that since this news has come out, people have been showing how awesome it is to write cruel things on the internet.

What is it with people? I mean, as soon as you write anything about animals feeling pain they come out to talk about how delicious the animals are or leave comments like “I am going to have a chicken bacon sandwich later today. UMAD?” Just google anything about “chickens feeling pain” and you will find that the comments run from the classic “Humans are meant to eat meat!” to the perplexing “If I can’t have meat, what am I going to eat?” to the sensitive “Chickens feeling pain just makes them more delicious.” I don’t get it. It’s not like the news of the study says “DO NOT EAT CHICKEN!” but many people seem to immediately see anything that describes of evidence of animals feeling pain to a direct attack on their precious need to murder and swallow animals that are not human/adorable. Why? If you’re going to get that angry about an article like this, then perhaps you should check out your own food and guilt issues. In addition, I would suggest you not fuck with chickens because they are related to the T. Rex, and the T. Rex used to fuck some shit up, OK?

The next two stories come to us from Tim, who sends me links all the time, and who I presume is incredibly handsome and intelligent. In fact, he’s even got Allen jealous. Allen never sends me links. Anyway, the theme here is: PEOPLE SUCK. A LOT. Consider this: Dozens of sick and dead animals were found in the condemned home of an elderly disabled woman living in Long Island. There’s no mention of how authorities found out about what was going on (I imagine the condemned part had a lot to do with it), but the house was filthy, malodorous, and stuffed with suffering animals. Here’s my question, though: This woman is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned house. Why was no one checking on her? I get that what she did was horrible, but people don’t hoard animals for fun, it is a psychological illness. I am outraged at the fact that there are dead and suffering animals, of course, but why are the authorities choosing to charge (and possibly jail) this woman as well as make her pay for the clean-up. If she is elderly, disabled, and living in a condemned home, I highly doubt that she is going to be able to come up with the cash. What are we going to do then? Force her to take a job or pay it off in jail? I just wish that we would look at this on a larger level and start thinking about prevention as opposed to punishment. What kind of group could be formed to assist people in such situations? Perhaps an animal rights organization could start a project that included home visits? I’m the first person to want repercussions, but this woman isn’t Michael Vick, and she certainly isn’t Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Brian Schweitzer, you may be thinking, who is he? Well wonder, no more. This charmer wants to go against the Endangered Species Act and shoot whole packs of wolves in order to help citizens, “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.” I apologize for being dense, but aren’t wolves wildlife? How would shooting the wildlife help Montana’s citizens enjoy the wildlife? It seems really counter-intuitive to me. You can’t really enjoy wildlife if the wildlife is actually just the corpses of said wildlife. I dislike Brian Schweitzer for many reasons, and one of them is definitely the fact that I have just used the word wildlife about a million times. Another is that he wants to kill the wolves that eat elk because they are taking the elk (which they are eating for SURVIVAL REASONS) from the hunters who would otherwise be shooting them. How does this even make sense? How is this person in any position of power? Can anyone answer these questions?

That’s it for me. I’m going back to bed and see if I can sleep this cold/flu/plague off. Send me links for next week and have a happy Wednesday!

Chicken picture from Animal Place (adopt one! or take a chicken care class, too!)


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