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The number of news found: 26.

02/21/2017 RESISTANCE IS GROWING TO THE USDA'S BLACKOUT OF ANIMAL WELFARE RECORDS

The condemnation was swift when the Agriculture Department announced two weeks ago that it had pulled from its website the animal welfare records from 9,000 research labs, dog breeders and other facilities. And while the first critics were, not surprisingly, animal-protection organizations that depend on the records to expose abuse, opposition quickly expanded to some of the industries regulated by the department. Last week, the department was sued over its move, and federal lawmakers began pressing the Trump administration to again make the records public. Also last week, 18 Senate Democrats sent a letter to the department's acting deputy, Michael Young, urging a reversal of the decision. A day later, nearly 100 House members sent a similar letter to President Donald Trump asking him to "immediately restore" the records. Throughout the week, ordinary companion animals guardians have been tweeting photos of their furry friends to the USDA and lawmakers who didn't sign the letter, as well as to some who did. Despite these arguments and demands, the agency has not yet indicated any inclination to restore the records database to its website. (www.the-journal.com)

02/21/2017 BANK OF ENGLAND TO KEEP ANIMAL FAT IN MONEY

After an ongoing controversy, the Bank of England (BOE) has issued a statement regarding its decision to keep the current £5 banknotes in circulation. The banknotes in question are made with plastic polymer pellets—provided by its contracted supplier Innovia Security—that contain tallow (or rendered animal fat). The notes were put into circulation last September and raised concerns from animal-rights activists and religious groups alike, which deemed the currency an unavoidable contradiction to their non-violent ethical beliefs. While BOE considered destroying and reprinting the tainted banknotes last year, it ultimately decided to keep the currency as-is, and revealed that a £10 banknote that also contains tallow will be printed this September. UK-based animal-rights organization The Vegan Society is working with BOE to remove animal products from future currency, and the bank has recently postponed the printing of a £20 banknote (which was to be released in 2020), pending its negotiations with Innovia to create a plant-based alternative to the polymer.

02/17/2017 PLANT PROTEIN EQUAL TO MEAT FOR BUILDING MUSCLE

A study published last week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dietary protein derived from plant sources is no different than that from meat sources. From 2002 to 2005, researchers from the Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research and University of Massachusetts Lowell observed the muscle mass, strength, and bone density of 3,000 participants with varied dietary habits in the 17 to 72 age range. They found that while higher protein intake led to better overall musculoskeletal health, the source of dietary protein—plant or animal—was irrelevant. "We know that dietary protein can improve muscle mass and strength," lead researcher Dr. Kelsey M. Mangano said. "However, until now, we did not know if one protein food source was better than another in accomplishing optimal results." Professional bodybuilders and weightlifters such as Barny Du Plessis, Patrik Baboumian, Hulda B. Waage, amongst many others, are living proof of Mangano's findings.

02/17/2017 MOBY GIFTS LOVE LETTER TO ANIMALS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

As a Valentine's Day gift to animals, famed DJ and animal-rights activist Moby released a video for the single "A Simple Love" from his band's (Moby & The Void Pacific Choir) new album These Systems Are Failing. "Happy Valentine's Day," Moby said. "Here's my love letter to animals and the people who love and rescue them." The video features powerful footage of pigs confined on factory farms, being transported to slaughter on trucks, and the activists who stand up for them. The video ends on a bright note—showing piglets being rescued from slaughter and living freely at animal sanctuaries. Powerful on-screen lyrics such as "keep me from fear" and "just give me kindness" are displayed throughout the video.

02/16/2017 UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA ENDS ANIMAL TRAINING

As of this month, the use of animals for medical training will be a thing of the past at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Vegan advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) launched a public campaign last year against UNC to urge the school to end the archaic practice of performing invasive procedures on live pigs to train emergency medical residents. Last month, PCRM's physician advocate Roberta Gray, MD—and graduate of UNC—successfully convinced the UNC Board of Governors to modernize their program to replace live animal training with more human-relevant methods. With UNC's commitment, 90 percent of all emergency medicine residency programs have abandoned animal-based training programs.

02/16/2017 MARINES SPEAK OUT AGAINST LIVE ANIMAL COMBAT TRAINING

A recent investigative report conducted by NBC uncovered the horrific military practice of "live tissue training"—or using live animals to simulate combat conditions. The report focused on marines at military base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA. For the training, the marines are stripped of their cell phone and driven two hours to an abandoned golf course where a private contractor, Simmec Training Solutions, provides the service. During the training, pigs and goats are severely injured—either cut, shot, burned, or have their limbs severed—and medics keep them alive long enough to simulate conditions on the battlefield. "The servicemen then try to revive or stop the bleeding and provide first responder techniques," a 13-year marine (whose identity has been hidden for protection) reveals. "We're compassionate people, we're trying to save lives, but yet you're part of something that is inherently inflicting pain and suffering on an animal." People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) proposed a bill to ban this type of military training several years ago, and it is being reintroduced to lawmakers this year.

02/14/2017 MEAT INDUSTRY SAYS BIG MACS ARE DOOMED

A recent feature on meat industry media outlet Cattle Network focused on the rapid decline of fast-food giant McDonald's. Writer Dan Murphy posed that, "As far as many millennials now in their 20s and 30s are concerned, the Big Mac is becoming at best irrelevant, an object of derision, rather than desire." This notion is supported by McDonald's' own recent report that only one in five millennials has ever tried their signature burger. Murphy opines that the decline of the burger is credited to a shift in consumer preference, stating that the company's sales are suffering "as the coveted younger demographic of consumers increasingly gravitates to a plethora of healthier menu choices, ethnic options, and vegetarian alternatives."

02/14/2017 MILLENIALS ARE BRINGING DOWN THE BEEF INDUSTRY

Media outlet Kentucky New Era recently investigated the reasons behind a major "meat glut" in the state—which, until recently, generated $1 billion in annual meat sales. Area farmers revealed that two years ago their industry was profitable, however, they are now struggling to break even. To investigate the underlying causes of this downturn, researchers at Western Kentucky University conducted a survey of 300 people between the ages of 18 and 25, which revealed a paradigm shift in the millennial population's perception of meat. When asked if negative media coverage of meat has influenced them to stop eating it, 16 percent of respondents said "yes." Another 30 percent admitted to having a "bad experience" with beef products. Various other studies have shown that the younger generation continues to make the connection between meat consumption and environmental degradation and ethical concerns, ideas they gather and share widely on social media platforms. University of Kentucky agriculture economist Kenny Burdine predicted that there is no end in sight for the state's animal agriculture glut, stating, "It may be early 2018 before we hit the bottom."

02/14/2017 CHICKPEA SNACKS SALES GROW BY 150 PERCENT

A new study conducted by market research company Packaged Facts found that sales of chickpea-based snacks grew by 150 percent in 2016. Overall sales of bean-based products—including those made from lentils, peas, and chickpeas—grew by eight percent. Within the salty snack market, those made from alternative vegetables make up the majority of sales, closely followed by grain- and bean-based snacks. Vegan snacks have seen a huge increase in sales in recent years, as well as a growth in available products on the market—proving that consumers are increasingly looking for healthier and more sustainable food options.

02/13/2017 BRITISH ACADEMY AWARDS SERVES VEGAN MENU

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) served a vegan menu during its 70th annual award ceremony. BAFTA's head chef Anton Manganaro developed the menu, which consists of a mixed-grain salad with pickled vegetables, beetroot relish, and pea shoots; chickpea masala served with a croquette and coriander cress; and a decadent dessert—coconut panna cotta with a fresh raspberry and basil salad. "We're hailing the plant-based menu at this year's BAFTA ceremony as outstanding," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Director Elisa Allen said. "Nominees who don't win on the night can still be awarded a gorgeous vegan meal—which is golden for their health, animals, and the environment." This year, vegan actor Casey Affleck wins best actor Manchester by the Sea. BAFTA began serving a vegan menu last year due to increasing celebrity demand for cruelty-free options. The BAFTA awards was held on February 12.

02/13/2017 WORLD WILDLIFE FUND URGES FINLAND TO EAT LESS MEAT

As part of the Eat Clean Baltic Sea Project, the Finnish arm of animal conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently launched a guide urging Finnish citizens to make more environmentally friendly food choices. The guide is divided into various subsections with accompanying information for each category of meat, dairy, and plant-based proteins—which the guide categorizes under the "best choices" option. While the tool advocates making "better" choices within animal product categories, every portion of the guide advises to at least replace some meat with vegetables. The "best choices" category lists plant proteins such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and Quorn products as more environmentally friendly replacements for animal products. "Vegetables imported from abroad are almost always a better choice for the environment compared to products of animal origin," the guide advises, before pointing out that store shelves in Finland are increasingly being stocked with innovative plant-based products.

02/10/2017 NON-DAIRY IS DRIVING ICE CREAM INDUSTRY GROWTH

This week, research firm Packaged Facts released the 9th edition of its Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the US report. The report reveals that the ice cream category has experienced stagnant growth in previous years due to a lack of innovation. However, products that bear a "free-from" label (i.e. soy-free, dairy-free, etc.) have greatly contributed to revitalizing ice cream sales, as consumers seek frozen desserts that are in-line with specific dietary preferences. Packaged Facts predicted that the current ice cream industry is valued at about $28 billion and predicted it would grow through 2020. From the corporate perspective, companies such as Ben & Jerry's have capitalized on the profit potential in this segment of the industry by developing an almond milk-based ice cream line—to which it added two new flavors this week.

02/10/2017 VEGAN MEAT COMPANY EXPANDS TO 7 NEW STATES

Vegan company No Evil Foods recently announced the expansion of its distribution channels to seven Midwestern states. The company partnered with St. Louis, MO-based distributor Coop Partners Warehouse (CPW) to bring its minimally processed, non-GMO plant-based meats—such as Mexican chorizo, Italian sausage, and chicken—to coops and independently owned businesses in the Midwest. Founded in 2014, No Evil Foods launched an online butcher shop in 2015, and is now available in a total of 18 states. Co-founder Sadrah Schadel says the company has aggressive expansion plans for 2017 to several more regions. The availability of plant-based meats is sweeping the US with the growth of the "vegan butcher" concept, spearheaded by companies such as Herbivorous Butcher, Atlas Meat-Free Delicatessen, and Monk's Vegan Delicatessen.

02/09/2017 FIRST PLANT-BASED FOOD HALL TO OPEN IN NYC

HOME Food Hall will become the first all-vegan establishment of its kind when it opens in New York City in the fall of 2018. The concept is a collaboration between four founders—Michael Mueller, Otis Duffy, Sarah Gross of vegan confectioners Rescue Chocolate, and Kiki Adami of Veganizer NYC. HOME will host 12 vegan food vendors originating from New York, Philadelphia, California, and Chicago. The food hall will occupy a 7,000 square-foot space in Manhattan's Midtown East neighborhood, where, in addition to food vendors, the space will be used to host fitness classes, movie screenings, parties, and community events. In the coming years, New York will be teeming with new plant-based eateries, including Brooklyn's butcher shop Monk's Vegan Delicatessen, slated to open this spring.

02/09/2017 LAMB SLAUGHTERHOUSE INVESTIGATION EXPOSES CRUELTY

Last week, animal-rights organization Compassion Over Killing released the first ever undercover footage captured at a lamb slaughterhouse in the United States. The hidden-camera footage was captured at California-based Superior Farms, the largest producer of lamb in the country, and supplier to mega-chains Walmart and Kroger. The video captured workers ineffectively slashing lambs' throats and cutting off their tails while they were still conscious. COK also documented workers failing to send meat through metal detectors and altering "best by" dates on packaged products. In addition to meat, Superior Farms sells lambskin to the fashion industry, as well as animal parts—such as lungs, tails, trachea, and ears—to be used for producing dog treats. COK's footage comes on the heels of last week's release of a similar video documenting cruelty against pigs, captured by animal-rights group Mercy for Animals at Hormel supplier The Maschhoffs in Oklahoma.

02/08/2017 BRITISH COMEDIAN MAKES VEGAN FEATURE FILM

New filmCarnage: Swallowing the Past, created by British comedian Simon Amstell, will explore a future where plant-based diets are the norm. Amstell recently announced the cast, which will consist of a host of British celebrities as well as feature vegan musician JME, who will be playing himself in the futuristic film set in 2067. Carnage will be available through streaming service BBC iPlayer this spring. "In a culture obsessed by what’s on our plates," BBC iPlayer's Head of Content Victoria Jaye said, "Simon Amstell's film Carnage imaginatively challenges our attitude towards eating meat, fish, and cheese triangles. Prepare to never look at your dinner the same way again." While other details about the film are still under wraps, Amstell jokingly stated, "I have written and directed a film about veganism. I'm sorry."

02/07/2017 USDA REMOVES ALL ANIMAL WELFARE INFO FROM WEBSITE

As of Feb 3 morning, all information about animal welfare was removed from the website of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The site previously hosted information about animals abused under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and the USDA explains that it removed this information under the pretense of privacy. The USDA instead directs visitors to file Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain information about animals exploited in the US. This action comes the day after the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing Act (HR 816)—which, if passed, would require laboratories to account for the number of animals they use—was introduced by California Republican congressman Ken Calvert. Last month, the White House wiped all information related to climate change, LGBTQ rights, and healthcare from its website.

02/07/2017 NEW VEGAN PRODUCTS INCREASE BY 92% IN AUSTRALIA

A new report compiled by research firm Mintel found that vegan product launches in Australia have increased by 92 percent since 2014. The report was released ahead of meat-centric holiday Australia Day (celebrated on January 26) and stated, "Many Aussies will be foregoing tradition by grilling vegan steaks ... in celebration of the day." Mintel also revealed that as many as one in eight of all products carried a vegetarian claim in 2016, with six percent being labeled "vegan." Mintel's Trend and Innovation Consultant Laura Jones explained that due to health, environmental, and price concerns, Australians are increasingly leaving meat off their plates. In its 2017 Global Food & Drink Trend report released earlier this year, Mintel named plant-based foods as one of the top six biggest trends worldwide for the coming year.

02/06/2017 CRUELTY FREE INTERNATIONAL AGAINST ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS IN MAURITIUS

Cruelty Free International has criticised a decision taken by the Cabinet Office that will allow experiments on animals to take place in Mauritius, claiming that it will inflict even further suffering on the country's primate population, which is likely to be the main species used in research. The Cabinet Office decision, made on January 27, 2017, "...has agreed to the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security promulgating the Animal Welfare (Experiment on Animals) Regulations under the Animal Welfare Act, to enable experiments to be carried out on animals." Mauritius is already one of the world's largest suppliers of monkeys for research. Tens of thousands of monkeys, many of whom were captured from the wild, are confined in large-scale facilities across Mauritius; their offspring exported to laboratories around the world. Michelle Thew, Chief Executive, Cruelty Free International states: "Allowing animal experiments to take place in Mauritius will further tarnish the country's international reputation as a 'paradise island'. The Government should be taking measures to reduce the suffering currently inflicted on Mauritian monkeys, not increasing it by allowing the establishment of animal laboratories."

02/06/2017 CALIFORNIA DAIRY WORKERS FILE CLASS ACTION SUIT

A lawsuit was filed with the US District Court in Sacramento on Friday, Jan 27, by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation—on behalf of two undocumented workers, Hernan Guzman-Padilla and Cipriano Benites—against California dairy farm G&H Dairy. The suit alleges the plaintiff violated federal discrimination laws by "intentionally recruiting, hiring, and systematically underpaying solely Mexican immigrant laborers to staff their dairies, on the belief that they would quietly accept the aforementioned unlawful working conditions, wages, and housing." The workers were subject to 10-hour work shifts for up to six days without a break, housed in filthy conditions, and called racial slurs. "[None of the] white employees of defendants are provided poor quality housing, refused repairs, or required to live with vermin, water leaks, mold, rotting flooring, non-functioning heating, or without bathroom and kitchen facilities," the suit states. CRLAF is seeking class-action status to protect similarly situated Mexican laborers working at other factory farms in the US.

02/03/2017 ANIMALS BANNED FROM ROMANIA'S LARGEST CIRCUS

Romania will no longer allow the use of trained animals in circus shows. The decision comes after a fire broke out in January, in a facility housing circus animals—wherein 11 animals used for Romania's Globus Circus perished. The Bucharest General Council met on Monday to vote on the matter and unanimously decided to go through with the ban. Animals previously used by the circus will be relocated to sanctuaries and reservations with the help of Vier Pfoten Association—Romania's branch of animal-rights organization FOUR PAWS International. This ban follows growing global concern for animals used for entertainment—which recently led to the demise of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus—and is in line with similar bans already in place in countries, such as Mexico, Greece, Iran, and many others.

02/03/2017 SALES OF VEGAN DISHES UP BY 150% AT ITALIAN CHAIN

An Italian restaurant chain with 140 locations across the United Kingdom and Ireland reported that sales of its vegan offerings were up by 150 percent last year. In early 2016, Zizzi added nine new vegan items to their menus. "We are so pleased our vegan menu has been such a hit with diners," Zizzi's marketing director Jo Fawcett said. "The dishes are so great that we're seeing people who aren't even committed vegans choose them." Fawcett revealed that in the first month of 2017, the company has already sold 30,000 vegan dishes and plans to offer more vegan options in March. Zizzi's success is thanks in part to diners' interest in Veganuary—a campaign launched in 2014 that asks people to pledge to go vegan for the month of January. This year, Veganuary reported unprecedented success, with more than 50,000 people pledging to leave animals off their plates.

02/02/2017 SEAFOOD CONSUMERS INGEST 11K BITS OF PLASTIC ANNUALLY

Researchers at the University of Ghent in Belgium recently published a study finding that those who consume ocean life are concurrently consuming 11,000 pieces of microplastic per capita annually. The first comprehensive risk assessment of its kind, scientists determined that while certain animals have filter mechanisms to excrete ocean trash, some plastic particles remained lodged in their bodies and were transferred to the humans who consumed them. "Now we've established that they do enter our body and can stay there for quite a while," study researcher Colin Janssen said, suggesting that possible consequences of consuming ocean life tainted with plastic include leaching chemicals into the body and creating inflammation in tissues. "The next generation or two generations might say they left us a rotten plastic legacy, because now we are suffering in various ways from that legacy," Janssen said, urging activists and consumers "to do something about it."

02/02/2017 VEGAN COOKBOOK WINS GOURMAND AWARD

Australian vegan cookbook Food as Medicine: Cooking for Your Best Health by Sue Radd was named the national winner in the "Best Health & Nutrition Book" category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. The competition draws entries from 60 nations every year, and the health category is the "most crowded" according to publishing company Signs Publishing book editor Nathan Brown. Published in October, the book contains 150 plant-based recipes and insight into scientific research that supports the health benefits of eschewing animal products. As a national winner, Food as Medicine qualified to compete on the international level of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in May.

02/01/2017 JOIN THE GO PALM OIL FREE CHALLENGE!

Palm oil is in almost all packaged products: chips, cookies, soups, sauces, personal care products, cleaning products etc. It is cultivated on a large scale where huge areas of tropical forest are destroyed. Habitats of humans and animals (like Sumatran Tigers and Orangutans) are destroyed. In addition, palm oil is not good for our health. As it includes up to 40% of harmful saturated fats that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Europe is a very large buyer of palm oil, and this must stop! To celebrate the International Palm Oil Free Day on February 1st, we invite you to join this fun and educational challenge! In February we will weekly give you palm oil-free recipes for tasty snacks, simple dishes, personal care and cleaning products. But also links to websites of brands that are already 100% palm oil free certified by www.gopalmoilfree.com! Sign up and join the challenge!

02/01/2017 CLIMATE CHANGE KILLING OFF ALMONDS

A recent National Public Radio (NPR) feature focused on the rising temperatures across California and the effect of climate change on crops grown there, particularly pistachios and almonds. NPR spoke to nut tree farmers in California who said that their trees were not getting enough "sleep"—or a certain amount of cold weather necessary for proper growth—due to rising temperatures. Local pistachio farmer Tom Coleman told NPR that during the last four years, his trees "slept" less than 500 of the required 700 hours for optimal growth, resulting in decreased yield. The same is true for other nut trees in the region, including almonds—100 percent of the national commercial supply of which are grown in California. When it comes to climate change, the United Nations determined that animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than all of transportation combined. Many California dairy farmers have opted to raise almond trees instead of cows to cut emissions, which resulted in 10,000 fewer cows used for milk in California during the first half of 2016.

The number of news found: 26.

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