December 2009 Archives

With the incredible support of our volunteers and donors, 2009 was another groundbreaking year for Mercy For Animals.

From coast-to-coast, we have continued to expand our campaigns - opening the hearts and minds of millions of consumers to the plight of farmed animals. This year, MFA has:

Thank you for making 2009 a landmark year for animal rights.

Please stand by our side as we work to give farmed animals the power and effective voice they deserve in 2010. Please click here to make a special tax-deductible donation.

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store_popup_chicago.jpgComplete with over a hundred listings of veg-friendly restaurants in Chicago and surrounding areas, MFA's new publication, the second edition of The Vegetarian Guide to Chicago, features establishment locations, sample menus, pricing details and business hours.

Click here to order copies of The Vegetarian Guide to Chicago. To view an online pdf version of the publication, click here.

For a statewide listing of hundreds of veg-friendly restaurants, health food stores & vegetarian and animal advocacy organizations, visit

Live outside of Illinois? We've got you covered. Check out - a joint project between MFA and Compassionate Action for Animals - for thousands of international listings and reviews of veg-friendly restaurants around the globe.

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Jonathan-Safran-Foer-Shankbone-2009-NYC-blog.jpgIn a new podcast posted on, Jonathan Safran Foer discusses his latest book, Eating Animals, hailed by many literary critics and activists as the best book ever written about animal agribusiness. Through provocative, in-depth questions, Erik Marcus, host of, and Foer explore complex issues, such as defining the goals of farmed animal activism and the most effective approach to attaining those goals. Foer elaborates on his "broad," "comprehensive" argument against factory farming, which includes elements that he argues appeal to just about anyone on any point of the animal advocacy spectrum.

Listen to Safran and Marcus as they discuss the research that goes into a book like Eating Animals, and the obstacles put in place by the industry in its effort to avoid exposure. 

Click here to listen to the full interview.

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VegGuidePic.jpgGoing vegan just got easier! Mercy For Animals and Compassionate Action for Animals have jointly launched a new version of, an extensive community-maintained guide to vegetarian-friendly restaurants around the world.

The guide has listings and reviews for nearly 10,000 vegetarian-friendly establishments, including restaurants, grocery stores, organizations, and more!

We hope that will be your one-stop site for finding veg-friendly restaurants wherever you are. With listings in over 70 countries, whether you're in Pittsburgh or Paris, Los Angeles or London, Toronto or Taipei, we've got you covered.

The site is collectively maintained by a community of users from around the world. We encourage you to visit the site and contribute your expertise to the guide as well.

The site allows you to create a account and easily post new listings, reviews, photographs, and more. With your contributions, together we can make this the most useful guide to vegetarian establishments on the planet.

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Hundreds of kindhearted Mercy For Animals supporters gathered at the 2009 Celebrating Compassion Galas in Chicago and Columbus on December 4th and 5th. Hosted by Skinny Bitch author, Rory Freedman, guests of the Chicago Gala enjoyed a delicious vegan dinner prepared by The Chicago Diner, and appetizers from nearly a dozen of Chicago's premier veg-friendly restaurants. Pattycake Vegan Bakery wowed the crowds at both events with their mouthwatering desserts, while Nellie McKay inspired and entertained attendees in the Windy City with her incredible talent.

The Galas concluded with heartwarming awards ceremonies, honoring local advocates, elected officials, businesses, and members of the media for their outstanding contributions to farmed animal protection.

Check out the below video for highlights from the Chicago event.

Missed the event? No worries! There is still time to join us at Mercy For Animals 2010 Celebrating Compassion Gala in New York City.

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2010
Time: 7 p.m. - Midnight
Location: Prince George Ballroom, 15 E. 27th St., New York, NY
Price: $75. Click here to purchase your tickets.

Sneak Peek: Mingle with celebrity guests of honor while enjoying organic wine from Frey Vineyards, and vegan hors d'oeuvres from some of New York's top vegan restaurants. Hosted by Queer as Folk's Hal Sparks, the event will feature legendary artist Peter Max, CNN's Jane Velez-Mitchell, HBO film producers Tom Simon and Sarah Teale, Super Size Me co-star and author Alex Jamieson, famed musician Nellie McKay, bestselling author Victoria Moran, "Discerning Brute" Joshua Katcher, GirlieGirl Army's Chloe Jo Berman, and many others.

Click here for all the exciting details for the New York event.

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store_popup_ve.jpgAdvocating for a kinder world for animals, people and the Earth just got easier with MFA's new "Vegetarian Eating: Healthy, Humane, and Sustainable" brochure. 

Chockfull of compelling health, environmental and ethical reasons to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle, along with friendly tips designed to make the transition to a plant-based diet a snap, this brand new brochure has the power to save lives.

With colorful pictures of mouthwatering vegan food, happy farm animals and persuasive facts, this tri-fold brochure is perfect for tabling at Earth Day events and other festivals, leafleting in busy city centers, tacking up at the local coffee shop bulletin board or for leaving at your doctor's office waiting room. Order 10 for $1 or purchase them in bulk and put healthy and humane vegetarian living within arms reach of everyone.

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December 12, 2009

Holiday Gifts That Give Twice

Still shopping for those last minute holiday gifts? Whether you are a chronic procrastinator or you just haven't found the perfect gift for that special someone, here are some humble holiday gift ideas for anyone who cares about animals.

1. Mercy For Animals' assortment of t-shirts, hoodies, bags and DVDs are sure to be a hit with your animal-loving friends and family. Finish your holiday shopping online at MFA's Merchandise Store and support our work to end needless cruelty to animals with every purchase.

2. Give the gift of compassion with a gift membership to Mercy For Animals. With a donation of $15 or more, not only will you spare animals from suffering and violence, but your nearest and dearest will also receive a membership packet loaded with information on MFA's vital work, a free copy of our award-winning documentary, Fowl Play, and a subscription to our semi-annual magazine, Compassionate Living.

3. Give your loved ones a "pick me up" with one of these Holiday Gift Baskets from 800-4-COFFEE. While these gift baskets are always 100% vegan, if you place an order this holiday season you'll receive a 10% discount and the company will donate 10% of the sale to benefit Mercy For Animals. Just use the coupon code "MFA" when placing your online order.

4. While supplies last, when you order an Ideal Serving Bowl from New York-based Daisy Dog Studio, the money will go to benefit Mercy For Animals. These colorful porcelain bowls are ideal for serving your favorite vegan delights and they also make great gifts.

5. Vegan pea and dress wool-alternative coats from Vaute Couture are a fantastic way to stay warm and fashionable during winter! Until December 31, purchase a high fashion vegan, eco-conscious winter coat (in "Pea", "El", or "Bomono" styles) from Vaute Couture for 25% off, and $50 will be given to MFA. Use the code "MFAholiday" at checkout and take advantage of this fantastic deal before the end of the year!

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An eye-opening report on CNN today sheds light on the cruel and disturbing trend of sending "downer pigs" - those too sick, injured, or exhausted to even stand - onto the slaughterhouse kill floor, and into the food supply.

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Author and Health & Wellness Expert, Kathy Freston, has composed an inspiring Top 10 list of articles on recent successes in the fight against factory farming.

From Martha Stewart's promoting a vegetarian Thanksgiving and Jonathan Safran Foer's eye-opening new book, Eating Animals, to Cargill's launching a 100% dairy-free cheese, compassionate friends of farmed animals and the environment have at least 10 reasons to give thanks this holiday season.

Click here to read the entire Top 10 list.

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iStock_000003644944Large.jpgDecember 1st marked a major victory for animals in the European Union. The result of a campaign initiated by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), the EU accorded all animals - including farmed animals and fish - the status of "sentient beings" on Monday, a designation that promises to shape all future European policies relating to raising, transporting and slaughtering animals.

Philip Lymberry, Chief Executive of CIWF sums up the victory:

I remember how our late founder dreamed of changing the EU's underpinning Treaty to better address the status of animals. I remember how that goal was seen as impossible, impractical, by some, even laughable. Now that dream has come true. Now to make that other dream come true; an end to factory farming itself...

The status of animals as "sentient beings" had been declared in previous European treaties; however, these declarations were non-binding and carried little legal weight. Now, this status has been granted in a core Article of the Lisbon Treaty, the governing document of the EU, giving it real legal force.

The Article states that in formulating policy, the EU must "pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals."

While the EU is worlds ahead of the U.S. as far as farmed animal protection is concerned - having already banned battery cages, gestation crates and veal crates - such advances in the E.U. serve as guideposts for the U.S., in which seven states have banned one, two or all three of these confinement systems. Not only does Monday's victory for animals in the EU open the door for greater advances in animal protection in Europe, it also provides a new platform for American activists seeking similar gains in the U.S.

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House of Raeford - one of the nation's largest turkey slaughterhouses, where an undercover MFA investigation revealed shocking cruelty in 2007 - is facing federal charges for discharging water containing untreated turkey waste.

In an Associated Press article, hitting newspapers today, we learn:

A federal grand jury on Monday indicted House of Raeford Farms and plant manager Gregory Steenblock on 14 counts of violating the federal Clean Water Act. The indictment accuses the company and Steenblock of knowingly bypassing its water treatment system at its Raeford turkey processing plant 14 times between 2005 and 2006. The wastewater was sent directly to the city's municipal sewage treatment works, the indictment said.

The story continues with disturbing details of the company's apparent lack of regard for the local environment:

The indictment said the treatment system at the House of Raeford processing plant couldn't handle the daily flow of 1 million gallons of wastewater containing turkey feathers, blood, internal organs and other body parts.

The North Carolina-based slaughterhouse, which slits the throats of over 30,000 turkeys each day, is no stranger to controversy. After MFA's undercover video at the plant showed workers throwing, punching, sexually assaulting, ripping the heads off, and cutting the throats of conscious animals, Denny's Restaurant chain announced it would end its supplier relationship with the company.

Watch the below video to see what goes on behind the scenes at House of Raeford.

Sadly, this house of horrors is not merely a "bad apple" of the poultry industry, but another example of the industry's disregard for animal welfare, human health, and environmental protection. Compassionate consumers can withdraw their support from this violent and bloody industry by adopting a vegan diet.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

January 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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