Written by PETA
Vegan health and wellness expert Kathy Freston—author of the soon-to-be-released book Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World—isn't shy about recommending a vegan diet to everyone she meets. She's appeared on Ellen, The View, Good Morning America, and many other shows to give people advice on following a healthful and delicious diet. She even convinced Oprah Winfrey to try her 21-day vegan cleanse.
So it comes as no surprise that after the "impossibly glamorous" New York Times best-selling author sat down for lunch at New York City vegan hot spot Candle 79 with a meat-and-potatoes-loving reporter from Vanity Fair, he went vegetarian! Although the reporter initially turned up his nose at the seitan chimichurri and grilled-kale salad that Kathy recommended, once he actually tasted them, he declared them to be "delicious."
In the article, which is featured in the February issue of Vanity Fair, Kathy explains that a meat-based diet "basically fertilizes cancer," talks about the photo of a downed cow that started her on the path to vegan eating, and says that increased "public awareness of health issues and the environment" has led to an explosion in the popularity of vegan diets. We'll eat to that!
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Let's say you got a big check as a holiday gift. Or maybe you just have the post–New Year's blues and need something to look forward to. Either way, we know what you need: a really great meal. But it can be tricky to find the right place—one that will bring the big vegan yum-liciousness in style. So we've put together a list (you know how we love lists) of the eight most outstanding veggie restaurants in the good ol' U.S. of A.
Of course, if you don't live in any of these cities, don't worry—there are more and more vegetarian (and vegetarian-friendly) joints popping up every day all over the place. And if you need help finding them, we can hook you up.
Know another restaurant that should be on our list? Tell us about it in the comments.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Last night we learned that City Crab and Seafood in New York City was attempting to sell a 140-year-old, 20-pound lobster to customers for dinner. We immediately contacted the restaurant and spoke with Manager Mitchell Rosen. Rosen let us know that they are unsure what their plans are for the lobster (they may keep him in his tank and "spare him" death), but have refused to hand him over to PETA to be released back into the ocean. Whatever happened to respecting your elders? And—you know—not eating them?
Because of the lobster's sophisticated nervous system and high sensitivity to pain, boiling lobsters alive is completely illegal in some cities, such as Reggio, Italy (where offenders face a $600 fine!). But, unfortunately, more than 20 million lobsters are killed and eaten every year in the U.S. alone.
Even if City Crab takes the lobster off the menu, by keeping him in captivity they are likely sentencing him to death. Because lobsters are sensitive to water quality, they easily die if too much waste is created in their environment. In order to prevent the lobsters' excrement from contaminating the tank water with ammonia, merchants normally do not feed lobsters, so the animals often starve or are reduced to attacking each other.
This lobster lived in the ocean for over a century, and we think he deserves to spend the remainder of his life in peace in his natural habitat—not in a pot of boiling water or a cramped, dirty tank. Since City Crab needs some persuading to release the supercentenarian lobster, we've contacted its parent company, Branded Restaurants USA. Hopefully the executives will show some compassion for this 140-year-old survivor! You can check out our full letter here.
Written by Liz Graffeo
The always incredible PETA India wrapped up 2008 spreading the message of compassion for animals across the country. Check out some photos of their attention-grabbing demos below:
In Mumbai, two activists posed as horses injured by vehicle accidents to show how dangerous the streets can be for these sensitive animals. This demo encouraged Mumbaikars (Mumbai citizens) to say "neigh" to horse-drawn carriages.
Horses aren't the only animals suffering on the streets of Mumbai. Bullocks are forced to pull heavy oil carts and are denied basic necessities. Activists rode through the streets calling for a ban on these cruel carts.
On the other side of the country, in one of Ranchi's biggest schools, five children died and more than 60 became severely ill after being given tainted milk. PETA India immediately rushed to the school and distributed soy milk to more than 200 students.
PETA India also just released this gorgeous new ad asking kite flyers to stop coating their kite string (manja) in glass. While glass-coated manja may be effective in cutting an opponent's kite string, it's deadly for thousands of birds.
Way to go PETA India! Oh, and if you want to congratulate them for all their hard work in 2008, keep in mind their birthday is coming up (PETA India turns 9 on January 14!), and they really love cupcakes.
Ah, the Palins. One endless reservoir of public mishaps and cavalier insensitivity toward animals. They provide all the cathartic benefits of reality TV, minus the guilt of feeling shallow, since it's on CNN.
Well, in an effort to help safeguard the innocence of youth against merciless animal slaughter, we've sent the newest addition to the Palin clan an adorable care package of compassionate goodies. Sarah's first grandchild Tripp will receive an assortment of cute animal-friendly kid gear, and his young mom Bristol will receive Ingrid's new book, One Can Make a Difference, as well as her classic 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.
Seeing as the little guy probably won't be learning any empathetic values from his aerial-hunting grandparents, we're hoping our small effort will help light the way toward a more conscientious path. And with his pedigree, we think he'll need all the assistance he can get! Click here to read our full letter to Bristol Palin.
For those of you who are still too repulsed at the thought of this family's heartless ways to share in our goodwill toward them just yet, we've got something in our bag for you too. Trot on over to our latest holiday video game. In it you can hurl virtual snowballs at a certain bikini-clad, gun-toting maverick. Enjoy!
Written by Missy Lane
So we all knew that KFC has some trashy practices, but did you know just how disgusting they can be? Recently, a delivery person recorded a KFC employee in Hong Kong picking fried chicken out of a trash can, putting it on a tray, and serving it to customers. While this might be shocking to those who still turn a blind eye to the company's hideous ways, I'm definitely not surprised. KFC has proven to be fairly heartless in the past, and we know they aren't big on that whole "ethics" thing. So, should it be such a big deal that employees don't mind serving deep-fried flesh from a trash can?
The delivery person who brought this to our attention says that trash-diving is a regular practice at this particular location. According to this source, the employees stop cooking and throw everything away before the restaurant closes. When anyone else orders, they serve them literal junk food. Oh yeah, and the manager approves of it because it saves money! Gross.
Know what else KFC seems to think is perfectly acceptable? Check out our undercover investigations to find out for yourself. I certainly know The Roost wouldn't take this laying down!
Written by Lianne Turner
While hope and optimism have struck a chord with humans for the New Year, it couldn't have started off worse for Amazon parrots. The extremely rare Brazilian species is part of a recovery project at a wildlife conservation center in Florida which is attempting to help save the species and reintroduce the birds back into their natural habitat. However, what the conservation center employees saw on New Year's Day was a big step back.
Spooked by New Year's Eve fireworks, one of the male parrots thrashed himself to death. When the catastrophe was discovered, the parrot had severe head and face injuries from which he ultimately died. The director of the conservation center said, "We're doing everything we can to save these species and the lack of enforcement on fireworks regulations is basically undoing our best efforts."
Unfortunately, this reaction to fireworks is not uncommon by any means. Animals' hearing is much more sensitive than ours, and they often panic at the confusing and frightening experience. Many holidays end in tragedy for dogs, cats, birds, and other animals as they attempt to flee and end up hurting themselves.
The conservation center director said, "This guy could have lived to be 50 or 60 years old and could have produced a generation of wildlife. The tragedy is that this animal's life is sacrificed for absolutely no reason."
And right he is. The holidays don't have to end in disasters like this one. There are many alternatives to fireworks, such as laser and light shows, which are affordable and much safer while still providing the grand experience for humans. We are sending a letter to the mayor of this Florida city asking for stricter fireworks enforcement and a letter to the conservancy about how to keep their animals safer during these situations.
To find out more and to learn ways to comfort your animal companion if he or she panics during fireworks, click here.
Written by Christine Doré
Intentionally breeding dogs for their looks while millions are dying for lack of good homes in extremely crowded shelters? The American Kennel Club just doesn't get it. And neither does the USA network, which broadcasts the AKC's Westminster Dog Show every February.
That's why we sent USA a letter asking for a little face time to discuss really important things like, oh, not airing the controversial pure-breed pup parade. Coming on the heels of the BBC's announcement that it will no longer broadcast coverage of the Kennel Club's Crufts dog show (the Brit equivalent of the Westminster monstrosity), the letter points out that breeding dogs in order to create a look that negatively affects their health, temperament, and quality of life is totally not cool. After all, one in four purebred dogs is plagued with a serious genetic problem.
So USA, how about being a good network? Sit. Listen. Roll over. And fetch a few reruns of Law and Order to replace that dastardly dog show …
Written by Amy Elizabeth
There's nothing "ironic" about this: Music superstar Alanis Morissette has gone vegan and is feeling better than ever. According to OK, the always-trim Alanis eventually found herself overweight and unhappy less than a year ago because of all the processed food she'd been eating. So, being the smart and fab lady she is, she turned to a book titled Eat to Live which covers the many health benefits of a vegan diet.
After Alanis went vegan, she lost 20 pounds and looks more stunning and healthy than ever. She's also proud to show off her new body and even says, "I'm back to what I was born to be, at my best. … I feel very alive. … I have no more aches and pains, and my allergies are gone, too."
Well Amen to that! I've always loved Alanis, especially since Jagged Little Pill came out, and now I hope she can inspire others to take a look at their dinner plates and make the healthy and compassionate decision.
And hey, you know what the next step is, don't you? We're all on pins and needles hoping she'll bare some skin for a sexy veggie testimonial. Fingers crossed, y'all!
Our sexy leopard ladies recently hit the ice in San Francisco to remind fellow winter-lovers to "bare skin, don't wear skin." They suited up in spots, shed their clothes, and spread the compassionate cruelty-free message.
But ya know how some people just can't handle the heat (er … ice)? Well rink security quickly escorted our ladies out while overly concerned mothers frantically bustled around trying to cover the news camera lenses with their hands. Sorry, moms, but it's too late! Tons of press captured some incredible shots and even told our ladies that the whole thing looked great. Which it, of course, did. But ya know, haters gotta hate.
After everyone calmed down (some hot bods and leopard spots really can cause an uproar), our girls posed for pictures and passed out important information on the cruelty of the fur industry to countless curious individuals. One blushing witness of the rink tussle said, "Well, it's for a good cause!"
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.