November 2010 Archives

Finding vegetarian-friendly restaurants on the go just got even easier!

On, we've made the "Nearby" section of our homepage, which lists nearby vegetarian-friendly restaurants, even more precise by tapping into the power of the latest smartphones.

To find nearby vegetarian-friendly restaurants, simply go to in your phone's web browser.

A message may pop up asking you if you wish to share your device's location with

For example, on an iPhone, it will look like this:

After tapping "OK" to share your location with, a list of the closest vegetarian-friendly restaurants should appear in the "Nearby" section of the homepage.

Make sure to put a link to on your phone's desktop for easy access. You can do this on the iPhone by tapping the "+" button at the bottom of the screen, then tapping the "Add to Home Screen" button, and following the prompts.

Now you'll always be able to easily find the closest vegetarian-friendly restaurant wherever you are!

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Only days before Thanksgiving, the Humane Society of the United States has released video footage from its recent undercover investigation at Willmar Poultry Company in Minnesota, the nation's largest turkey hatchery, exposing routine neglect and rampant cruelty, including workers mutilating baby turkeys without painkillers and tossing sick, injured and even healthy "surplus" birds alive into grinding machines. Hatching 30 million turkeys each year, Willmar Poultry Company claims to supply 50 percent of the whole turkeys available in U.S. grocery stores.


According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Willmar Poultry Company officials who viewed the investigation video objected to workers overcrowding the production carousel with too many birds but have defended the practices of mutilating animals without painkillers and tossing healthy but unwanted baby birds into grinding machines. A spokesman from Cargill, one of the nation's largest factory farming corporations and one of Willmar Poultry's customers, said his company has reviewed the HSUS investigation and found nothing out of the ordinary. 

While this type of total disregard for animal welfare by the industry may shock many consumers, it really is just par for the course. Each year, more than 300 million turkeys endure lives of misery, neglect and extreme suffering. Bred for unnaturally rapid growth, many turkeys suffer from chronic obesity-related health problems, including heart disease and crippling bone deformities. On modern industrial farms, turkeys are crammed by the thousands into giant, windowless sheds. To minimize damage caused by fighting due to such extreme crowding, turkeys often have their beaks, toes and snoods cut off without any painkillers. At the end of their short, miserable lives, turkeys are violently loaded onto transport trucks and shipped to slaughter.

Thankfully, each of us has the power to help end needless cruelty to turkeys and other farmed animals by adopting a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle. But we can each take it one step further by encouraging others to do the same. This Thanksgiving, share MFA's new 30-second Thanksgiving video with your friends and family and let them know that, with an abundance of great tasting vegan Thanksgiving recipes, celebrating a cruelty-free holiday is as easy as vegan pumpkin pie.

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Nearly 170 compassionate Ohioans descended into Columbus for a Vegan Thanksgiving Potluck hosted by Mercy For Animals, Sunrise Sanctuary and the Columbus Vegan Meetup Group. The guests were as varied as there are reasons to go Veg - families with children, seniors, college students, urban dwellers and suburbanites. This exemplifies the power of food to bring a community together.

Hungry guests traveled from Cleveland, Akron, Dayton and Cincinnati to take part in this free community event. A line quickly formed after the doors opened, with guests carrying arms full of piping hot casseroles, mashed-potato-filled crock-pots, fresh baked rolls, kale and quinoa salads, candied yams using Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows and other vegan twists on favorite homemade holiday recipes. The centerpiece of the meal was the dozen oven-roasted Tofurky and Field Roast Celebration roasts. Organizers had to continue to put tables together to accommodate all of the potluck dishes. In all, there were eight tables of savory and sweet foods!

From a tower of mini-cupcakes to two tables full of caramel corn and sliced Pattycake Bakery pumpkin pie, everybody was able to satisfy their sweet tooth - over and over again!

A festive raffle provided for entertainment as guests were given a chance to win free vegan cookbooks, t-shirts and gift cards donated by the Columbus Vegan Meetup Group. The event was such a hit, activists are already making plans for next year.

Satisfied guests returned home with the knowledge that you don't need animal products to capture the spirit and savory flavors of Thanksgiving at your celebration. To make your holiday meal a success, click here for recipes.

To learn about other community events in Ohio, visit Ohio Mercy For Animals on Facebook.

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A chilling 30-second video released today by Mercy For Animals shines a bright light on the hidden cruelty turkeys are subjected to before reaching the Thanksgiving table. MFA intended to air the advertisement nationally on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but was unable to get network approval.

The thought-provoking spot juxtaposes graphic footage of turkeys having their necks broken and throats slit with joyful images of families feasting on turkey at Thanksgiving.

Click here to see undercover footage of how turkeys are killed.

Click here for cruelty-free Thanksgiving recipes.

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Babycakes, the popular all-vegan bakery in Manhattan's lower east side, has just opened up another location at the Walt Disney World resort in downtown Orlando, replacing the McDonald's restaurant that used to occupy the same spot. Disney severed ties with McDonald's several years ago and has now eagerly replaced the fast food giant with sweet vegan goodness. I'm loving it!

Winner of the 2008 and 2009 VegNews Awards for Favorite Vegan Bakery, Babycakes seems to be taking America by storm. Babycake's vegan desserts are free of wheat, gluten, dairy, casein and eggs with no refined sugars and are also organic, full of flavor and always delicious.

With a Los Angeles location opening up last year and this new branch in sunny Florida, Babycakes has got vegan sweet-tooths covered on three corners of the country. But Midwestern fans need not wait for more Babycakes bakeries to open up in order to enjoy tasty treats from New York's most talked-about bakery. Babycakes cookbooks are available online, so now everyone can satisfy their sweet tooth with Babycake's delightful vegan desserts.

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The vegan dining scene has skyrocketed in recent years, fueled by savvy restaurant owners, who are responding to consumer demand for cruelty-free fare. Many restaurants are tapping into vegetarian markets by offering a variety of great-tasting meatless meals, and veggie burgers even appear on the menus of major restaurant chains like Denny's and Johnny Rockets.

Now, NFL free-agent Eric Johnson is trying to take vegan dining to a whole new level. The fiancé of singer and actress Jessica Simpson, Eric is a Yale grad who played tight end for the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints. Vegan diners everywhere were recently thrilled to learn from E! News that Eric intends to start a chain of vegan fast food restaurants - and that Jessica Simpson is supportive of her fiancé's plans!

Serving delicious vegan food in a convenient setting is sure to make vegan eating easier and more appealing for many people. Please click here for suggestions on making vegan dining more accessible to your own community members.

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Vegan food powerhouses The Chicago Diner and Chicago Soydairy have teamed up to share a new, delicious vegan dish, while helping animals at the same time.

The all-new vegan mozzarella sticks are available exclusively at the Chicago Diner, and for every purchase from now until December 31st, $1 will be generously donated to benefit Mercy For Animals' work to protected farmed animals from needless cruelty.

Featuring gooey Teese Cheese, a crunchy breaded crust and a side of marinara dipping sauce, the mozzarella sticks are already making waves throughout Chicago, headquarters of MFA.

Additionally, $1 from every purchase of The Chicago Diner Cookbook will also benefit MFA, which is sure to make a great gift this holiday season.

Head on over to the Chicago Diner today before this delicious deal comes to an end!

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On Saturday, Mercy For Animals teamed up with the Vegan Food Truck of Chicago to expose hundreds of Chicagoans to delicious, cruelty-free fare.

Stocked with trays of savory vegan mac 'n cheese and spicy BBQ strips from Soul Vegetarian, MFA volunteers hit the streets of Wicker Park in Chicago, much to the delight of passersby. For most, it was their first taste of hearty vegan food and many gladly took a copy of MFA's Vegetarian Guide to Chicago. Additionally, MFA volunteers handed out 300 Compassionate Choices booklets, directly educating hundreds of folks about the plight of farmed animals.

Vegan feed-ins are a great way to show people how easy and delicious vegan eating can be. As the saying goes, "The best way to win people's hearts is through their stomachs."

Interested in showing the delicious side of veganism to your community? Click here to find out how to get started.

In Chicago? Click here to follow the Vegan Food Truck to get your vegan food fix all over town!

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In addition to our national Facebook page, you can now follow MFA on a local level in all four of our office locales by clicking on the following regions: Chicago, Ohio, New York and Texas.

Our local Facebook pages highlight all the happenings in each MFA region so you can know what's going in your area:

• From free vegan food giveaways, to tabling at street festivals, to leafleting at concerts and colleges, you'll be kept up-to-date on all of our upcoming volunteer opportunities.

• Follow our Vegetarian Dining Campaign, so you can be the first to know when a restaurant in your area adds new vegan options.

• Read about local volunteers, who are taking their compassion to the streets with MFA. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the next featured volunteer!

"Like" your local MFA today to learn more about how you can get involved in the Mercy For Animals community!

• Ohioans: Search and Like "Ohio Mercy For Animals"

• Illinoisans: Search and Like "Chicago Mercy For Animals"

• New Yorkers: Search and Like "New York Mercy For Animals"

• Texans: Search and Like "Texas Mercy For Animals"

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Just in time for Thanksgiving, Mercy For Animals is rolling out a provocative new pro-vegetarian ad campaign in Chicago and Detroit. Featuring an emboldened turkey declaring, "I Beg Your Pardon - Spare a Turkey," the digital ads appear on billboards and in rail stations and aim to encourage travelers to forgo the traditional turkey dinner this Thursday and replace it with tasty meatless fare. In all, the campaign is expected to amass over three million views.

Why the ruffled feathers? More than 300 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year - 40 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. In nature, turkeys are protective and nurturing parents, as well as fast runners, who are able to use reason to outwit their pursuers. But most turkeys killed for food are raised in unnatural conditions, crammed by the thousands into windowless warehouses, where disease, smothering and heart attacks are common. Turkeys are drugged and bred to grow so large, so quickly that their legs are often unable to withstand their own weight. Countless birds slowly starve to death within inches of food after they become crippled and are unable to move.

At the slaughterhouse, turkeys are roughly snapped into moving shackles and have their throats slit by a spinning blade, often while fully conscious. Turkeys, and other fowl, are excluded from the federal Animal Welfare Act and Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, leading to institutionalized and rampant abuse that would warrant felony cruelty charges if the victims were dogs or cats.

Watch the below MFA undercover investigation video to see for yourself what conditions are like for turkeys inside industrial slaughterhouses.

"Turkeys deserve to be pardoned from a miserable life on factory farms, where they are crowded by the tens of thousands into filthy, disease-ridden sheds, mutilated without painkillers and roughly thrown into transport crates, before having their throats slit while fully conscious at the slaughterhouse," says Mercy For Animals' Executive Director, Nathan Runkle. "We are asking compassionate people to celebrate the holiday without inflicting needless cruelty and violence on animals by enjoying a delicious and healthy vegetarian feast. The turkeys will thank you for it."

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A newly released undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States reveals rampant animal abuse at a battery egg facility owned by Cal-Maine, the nation's leading egg producer. Abuses documented include overcrowded hens suffering from broken legs and other injuries, hens trapped in cage wire unable to reach food or water and countless dead hens left to rot in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption.

Cal-Maine confines nearly 30 million laying hens across the country to wire battery cages so small they can't fully spread their wings or walk freely for their entire egg-producing lives. Extensive scientific research shows that these battery cages cause extreme suffering and dramatically increase the odds of dangerous salmonella infections and contaminated eggs. 

Despite subjecting millions of animals to abuses that would shock and horrify most Americans and placing consumers at an elevated risk for deadly salmonella poisoning, Cal-Maine reports approximately $1 billion in annual sales to "a majority of the largest food retailers in the U.S."

The good news is that Americans can easily withdraw their financial support for Cal-Maine and other companies that profit at the expense of animals by choosing healthy and humane vegan alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs. Please visit for helpful tips and tasty egg-free recipes.

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A Mercy For Animals membership has always been great for animals - but now it could also be good for your health!

In fact, it's just what the doctor ordered: Dr. Michael Greger, to be exact - internationally renowned author, speaker and vegan nutrition expert.

You see, Dr. Greger has a special challenge for you: Donate $30 or more to MFA before November 30th and receive a free, 2-disc DVD set titled The Latest in Clinical Nutrition.

But don't delay, as this offer only runs through the month of November. Click here to make your donation of $30 or more today!

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Every year, Dr. Greger scours the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition so you don't have to. This 2-disc set brings together the most interesting, practical and current information on clinical nutrition so that we know how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat and even reverse chronic disease.

Here are just a few of the over 90 topics covered in the DVD set:

  • Improving Memory through Diet
  • Best Fruits to Prevent Cancer
  • New Cholesterol Fighters
  • Latest on Coffee
  • Kombucha Tea: Harmless?
  • Drug Residues in Meat
  • Vitamin D Pills vs. Tanning Beds
  • Acne and Cancer Connection
  • Iron During Pregnancy
  • Plant-Based Diets and Mood
You must hurry - take advantage of this special opportunity today. Donate $30 or more, before November 30th, and you will receive the complete 2-disc DVD set, The Latest in Clinical Nutrition!

And remember, not only does your contribution come with this great incentive, it also supports MFA's lifesaving work on behalf of abused and neglected farmed animals.

Click here to donate $30 or more - do it for the animals, and your health.

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On Saturday, MFA volunteers treated hundreds of New Yorkers to delicious, dairy free hot chocolate from Ghirardelli with Sweet & Sara's vegan mini marshmallows and "Vegetarian Eating" brochures outlining the numerous benefits of plant-based living! As soon as the table was set up, people were swarming for free samples and information about adopting a compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Feed-ins work because rather than telling someone what they can't have, they showcase foods that are available. Many people were amazed to learn about the vegan marshmallows from Sweet & Sara that taste just as good, if not better, than their gelatin based counterparts. Others were delighted to discover that hot chocolate can easily be made vegan by using dairy free cocoa mix with water, soymilk or rice milk instead of cows' milk.

Tasting is believing, and feed-ins bring the best flavors veganism has to offer directly to the mass public - setting up food sampling stations on busy downtown street corners, outside fast food establishments and at festivals and special events. These events reach countless people who otherwise would be reluctant to try vegan versions of their favorite fare - inspiring many to reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products.

With the help of organizations like VegFund, which provides funding and support for vegan feed-ins and outreach events, animal advocates across the country can easily host their own vegan feed-in events and show their communities how easy it is to adopt a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle. Need some help getting started? Click here for a complete guide to organizing your own successful feed-in.

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4012879810_1ce8e6f42d.jpegImagine being locked inside a crowded elevator for your entire life, unable to fully stretch your legs or turn around without rubbing up against someone else. Now, imagine that instead of a crowded elevator, you are barefoot in a wire cage, unable to stand or lie down comfortably, surrounded by tens of thousands of your fellow cage mates inside a giant, ammonia-filled warehouse. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will never do anything that comes naturally to you. You will never see the sun, or breathe fresh air, until the day you are sent to slaughter. 

For most people it is next to impossible to imagine this type of existence, yet this is the grim reality for millions of egg-laying hens worldwide. But now, thanks to the courageous efforts of Anonymous for Animal Rights, a hidden camera has been installed inside a battery egg facility in Israel, giving the world a rare glimpse of the conditions that millions of egg-laying hens are forced to endure.

The Israeli parliament will soon decide whether or not to ban battery cages under the Israeli Animal Welfare Act and this live broadcast of suffering hens may influence that decision. "This is a first of its kind in Israel, perhaps worldwide. It aims to make the walls of industrial farms transparent, allowing the public a direct view of the suffering 7 million hens have to go through each and every day of their lives," says Chen Morad, who runs the "Israel Leaves the Cage" campaign for Anonymous.

With growing consumer awareness of the inherent cruelty of battery egg production and mounting concerns over repeated salmonella outbreaks linked to battery cage egg facilities, the days of battery cage egg production may be numbered. In 1992, Switzerland became the first country in the world to ban conventional battery cages. Following a 10 year phase-out period, barren battery cages are due to be banned from the European Union in 2012. After the passage of Proposition 2 in 2008, California became the first U.S. state to ban battery cages effective in 2015, followed by Michigan just last year.

But consumers need not wait for battery cage bans to take a stand against the cruel practices of industrial animal agriculture. Adopting a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle is an easy way that each of us can withdraw our support of needless cruelty to animals. Visit to find out more.

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51Oqya9QXBL.jpegAcclaimed writer and blogger Erik Marcus is an open book when it comes to helping compassionate consumers find practical, accessible resources on cruelty-free eating. The author of three vegan-oriented books and a daily blog, Erik has made the entire text of his latest paperback available for free online reading on his popular website,

Erik wrote The Ultimate Vegan Guide: Compassionate Living Without Sacrifice in November 2008 to offer a "breezy, fun, yet thorough introduction on how to go vegan."

The first part of the book covers the compelling health, environmental and ethical reasons for adopting a plant-based diet.

Part II addresses a wide variety of issues, including vegan nutrition, shopping and cooking, traveling and dining out, and other useful tips on making the transition. Finally, Erik offers effective activism techniques for helping farmed animals.

Whether you're considering cutting down on meat and animal products or you've already been vegan for years, The Ultimate Vegan Guide is a free resource packed with invaluable tips and strategies.

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The MFA "biohazard" crew converged yet again in response to this week's recall of over a quarter million eggs from Ohio Fresh Eggs, feared to be contaminated with salmonella. Donning white jumpsuits, rubber gloves and face protection masks, a "biohazard crew" wielding signs with images of dead hens' rotting corpses in cages next to dirty eggs that read, "Recall All Eggs, Choose Vegan" greeted pedestrians outside the Ohio State House in downtown Columbus.

Activists distributed emergency Vegetarian Starter Kits to the busy lunchtime crowd - alerting them to the fact that one of the best actions consumers can take to prevent animal cruelty and reduce their risk of salmonella is to adopt a healthy and compassionate vegan diet. 

Recently, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., the nation's largest egg distributor, said it is recalling 288,000 eggs that the company had purchased from supplier Ohio Fresh Eggs after a test showed salmonella at the farm.

A 2009 undercover investigation by Mercy For Animals at an egg factory farm in Maine uncovered shocking cruelty to animals. Hidden camera video of the farm shows birds living in feces, dead hens left to rot in cages with birds still producing eggs for human consumption, birds suffering from untreated open wounds, infections and broken bones, and workers breaking birds' necks, kicking hens and throwing live birds in trash bins. The Maine egg farm is under the ownership of Jack DeCoster, who has deep financial ties to Ohio Fresh Eggs, and also owns Wright County Egg - the center of a massive egg recall earlier this year. As a result of the investigation, DeCoster pleaded guilty to 10 civil counts of cruelty to animals and paid over $130,000 in fines and restitution.

Click here to order your free Vegetarian Starter Kit, and here for tips on cooking without eggs.  

For more ways to Get Active For Animals in Ohio, join us on Facebook.

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4012117633_1c3d8d0582.jpegDemonstrating once again that factory egg farms are breeding grounds for disease, more than a quarter million salmonella-contaminated eggs have been recalled from eight states. This time, the recall stems from Ohio Fresh Eggs, a factory egg farm financially backed by Austin "Jack" DeCoster, the owner of the Iowa egg farm at the center of one of the largest egg recalls in history earlier this year. Considering DeCoster's 30-year track record of abusing workers, animals and the environment, this latest egg recall should come as no surprise.

In 2004, MFA investigators documented filthy, disease-ridden conditions at Ohio Fresh Eggs, including hundreds of thousands of egg-laying hens with broken, damaged, and feces-covered feathers packed into battery cages so small they couldn't spread their wings, and chicken corpses left to rot in cages with birds still producing eggs for human consumption.

The below video illustrates conditions inside Ohio Fresh Eggs.

Last year, MFA's investigation at a DeCoster egg factory farm in Maine found birds suffering from broken bones, bloody open wounds and untreated infections in cages stacked in tiers with feces from birds in the higher tiers falling through the wire cage floors onto birds below. The investigation resulted in a raid by state police and the facility pleading guilty to 10 counts of cruelty to animals and agreeing to pay more than $130,000 in fines and restitution.

The below video illustrates conditions inside DeCoster's Maine egg farm.

But DeCoster's egg factory farms are hardly the only threat to animal welfare and public health. Over 97 percent of egg-laying hens in this country are crammed into filthy wire cages so crowded they are unable to even spread their wings, much less escape their own feces or the feces of the birds around them. The overwhelming body of scientific evidence confirms what common sense should already tell us - it's not only extremely cruel but also dangerous to human health to confine egg-laying hens in filthy, disease-ridden wire cages.

One of the best common-sense actions consumers can take to prevent animal cruelty and reduce their risk of salmonella is to adopt a healthy and compassionate vegan diet. Click here for tips on baking without eggs.

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cheese.jpgIn an exceptional piece of investigative journalism, Michael Moss of The New York Times sheds a light on the dangerous conflict of interest inherent in the United States Department of Agriculture's mandates to encourage healthy eating habits and combat obesity while simultaneously promoting the unhealthy and fattening products of the meat, dairy and egg industries.

The article outlines how Dairy Management, Inc., the organization responsible for the "Got Milk" ad campaigns, is a marketing creation of the USDA, the same government agency responsible for tackling the growing obesity epidemic in this country. Milk and cheese products, which are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, have been linked to obesity, heart disease and other deadly diseases, yet Dairy Management spent $136 million promoting these products last year alone. Compare that to the meager $6.5 million spent by the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to encourage healthy eating habits.

While obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing an estimated 300,000 Americans per year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the USDA spends millions of dollars per year promoting high-cholesterol and saturated-fat-laden milk, cheese and other dairy products. According to the article, Dairy Management has worked with restaurants to add more cheese products to their menus, has been successful at slowing the decline of milk consumption by marketing to schoolchildren and has spent millions of dollars researching and promoting debunked studies regarding dairy consumption and weight loss.

What can be done to change this glaring conflict of interest? In a recent interview with The Huffington Post, Marion Nestle, professor at New York University and author of What to Eat and Food Politics, suggests that the United States "move dietary guidance to a more independent federal agency" and change election campaign laws that allow corporate lobbyists to corrupt the nation's food system. Of course, one thing that each of us can do is vote with our dollars every time we sit down to eat. By adopting a healthy and humane vegan lifestyle, each of us can withdraw our financial support from an industry that threatens human health, abuses animals and pollutes the environment. Visit to learn more.

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November 9, 2010

The Rise of the Power Vegans

Steve_Wynn.jpgFrom Ashoka the Great, one of India's most illustrious emperors, and Pythagoras, the great Greek mathematician, to plant-powered top athletes like former Mr. Universe Bill Pearl and Olympian of the Century Carl Lewis, many of the world's brightest and most powerful individuals have shunned meat, dairy and eggs in favor of healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyles. Bloomberg Business Week recently ran an article entitled The Rise of the Power Vegans in which it outlined the growing popularity of cruelty-free eating among many of the world's modern elites, including billionaire Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn, Ford Executive Chairman of the Board Bill Ford, and former President Bill Clinton.

Reading like a who's who of powerful venture capitalists, leading politicians and heavyweight sports icons, the article lists such notable figures as The New York Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich as having joined the vegan bandwagon. Bloomberg Business Week dispels any notion that veganism is just for the business elite by also including ex-NBA star John Salley, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and former National Hockey League brawler Georges Laraque in its lineup of "Power Vegans."

It's no surprise that many of the world's most powerful people are embracing veganism - it's better for our health, better for the environment and better for the animals. Of course, you don't have to be a heavyweight champion or a billionaire executive to enjoy a compassionate vegan lifestyle. Choosing healthy whole grains, fruits and vegetables over cruelly produced, high-cholesterol and saturated-fat-laden meat, dairy and eggs is easy, fun and contrary to Bloomberg Business Week, relatively inexpensive - especially when considering rising health care costs. Luckily, is loaded with great tasting recipes and helpful tips designed to ease anyone's transition to a powerful, plant-based lifestyle.

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A recent undercover investigation by Viva!, Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals, has exposed the British egg industry's routine practice of throwing millions of unwanted male chicks alive into electric grinding machines or painfully suffocating them to death with carbon dioxide gas. Viva's gruesome investigation was covered in depth by The Daily Mail, exposing millions of people to the plights of factory farmed and organic/free-range chickens, who are exploited and killed for eggs in the United Kingdom. Shockingly, these practices are standard, deemed legal and defended by the egg industry.

Because male chicks will never lay eggs, and because egg-laying breed chickens do not grow quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat, the egg industry disposes of millions of newborn chicks each year. MFA's investigation at Hy-Line Hatchery, the largest egg-laying breed hatchery in the United States, revealed cruel practices similar to the Viva! investigation. Hidden camera footage at this Spencer, Iowa hatchery documented up to 150,000 male chicks a day being thrown, dropped, mutilated and ground-up alive.

Other common killing methods include throwing live male chicks into trash bags and suffocating them to death or simply tossing them into giant trash bins and allowing them to slowly die under the weight of other birds.

Egg producers have gone to great lengths to hide their cruel practices from consumers. Grocery aisles from coast-to-coast are stocked with egg cartons featuring idyllic images of free-roaming hens and crowing roosters. These deceptive marketing gimmicks conceal the cruel and violent nature of industrial hatcheries and egg factory farms. Driven by consumer demand, the egg industry will continue to exploit, abuse, and kill day-old animals as long as doing so remains profitable. Empowered consumers can put their ethics on the table by choosing kindness over cruelty at each meal by adopting an animal-friendly vegan diet.

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For over a decade, Mercy For Animals has been relentlessly working to protect animals from cruelty through hard-hitting undercover investigations, corporate and legislative campaigns, and grassroots outreach. Now you can show your loving support for MFA's work wherever you go with the new "I heart Mercy For Animals" sticker - perfect for your bike, water bottle, notebook, laptop, or almost anything else!

The sticker measures 2" by 6". Head on over to the MFA store to pick one up today.

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Dozens of newly erected Mercy For Animals advertisements are urging commuters on the New Jersey Transit rail system to ditch meat in place of a compassionate, vegetarian diet.

Expected to amass over 15 million views in the next month, the campaign consists of a series of ads at rail stops along the North Jersey Coast Line, asking, "Why love one but eat the other?" and starring an adorable puppy and loveable piglet. The other ads feature an image of a sow locked inside a tiny metal crate on a factory farm, and pose the question, "How much cruelty can you swallow?"

MFA has run similar effective campaigns, encouraging consumers to "Choose compassion, Choose vegetarian," in New York City, Chicago, Boston, Michigan, Denver, Las Vegas, Toronto and Toledo.

The campaign is co-sponsored by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey as part of their Food for Life campaign.

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There is no doubt that the Los Angeles-area Veggie Pride Parade puts a whole new twist on getting dressed up in one's Halloween finest. Mercy For Animals joined the fun for the parade's second annual tour through downtown Santa Monica. Comedian, actor and animal advocate Hal Sparks delighted the crowd as Emcee for the afternoon and introduced the event's special guest speakers, including MFA's own Director of Investigations Daniel Hauff.

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Daniel shared the stage with animal rescuer Lorri Houston, whose sanctuary Animal Acres coordinated the event, as well as media guru Karen Dawn, whose Dawn Watch alerts are a must for advocates who wish to use their writing skills to influence the media.

Before the parade, attendees (and quite a few canine companions) enjoyed vegan food, cruelty-free vendors, live music and entertainment, and rubbing elbows with some the LA-area's most active animal advocates.

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37206_453179055431_111897680431_5756255_2120781_n.jpgThere is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, including the fact that The New York Times' health blog is featuring vegetarian recipes throughout the month of November. But there is also the fact that Gardein (garden + protein), named "Product of The Year" by editors of VegNews magazine in 2010, is introducing a new, limited edition meatless "Savory Stuffed Turk'y" product just in time for Thanksgiving.

Sure to please even the staunchest carnivore, Gardein's Savory Stuffed Turk'y is made with vegetables, ancient grains and plant-proteins, and is breaded with toasted crumbs and stuffed with celery, onions, cranberries and breadcrumbs. Each bag comes complete with two 5.3-ounce servings and vegan gravy. Sounds delicious!

But wait, it gets better! Gardein has provided MFA with five coupons for free Savory Stuffed Turk'y products to give away to our supporters. All you have to do is enter MFA's Savory Stuffed Turk'y contest for your chance to win a free coupon. So, what are you waiting for? Enter to win today! Five lucky winners will be randomly selected on November 15.

To make sure nobody is left out, Gardein has also asked celebrity chef Tal Ronnen to create a meat-free Thanksgiving menu with easy-to-follow recipes for sage and pumpkin seed encrusted Gardein with cranberry cabernet sauce, creamy mashed potatoes with chives, sweet potato biscuits, oven roasted banana rum cheesecake and more. Halloween is barely over and it's already shaping up to be a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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Fast food chains make millions off their cruel and unhealthy products by marketing toys to kids, but San Francisco is stepping off their gravy train. The city's lawmakers recently delighted public health promoters everywhere by deciding to encourage healthy eating habits. Their veto-proof vote on Election Day means that kids' restaurant meals must contain fewer than 600 calories, include fruits and veggies, and meet other nutritional standards to be sold with toys.

Dubbed the "Happy Meal ban," this forward-thinking law couldn't be timelier. Childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed in the past three decades and put many youth at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and other diet-related health problems.

Thankfully, health-conscious consumers needn't wait for their cities to adopt progressive laws like San Francisco's to combat obesity. Visit to learn more about the health benefits of plant-based diets and to order a free Vegetarian Starter Kit filled with nutritional tips, meatless recipes, and ideas on making the transition to a healthier and more humane diet.

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In celebration of the fifth annual World Go Vegan Week on October 24 - 31, Mercy For Animals worked with popular, mainstream restaurants in Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and Dallas, Texas to offer delicious new vegan options during the weeklong celebration - and the efforts really paid off!

Chicago residents enjoyed mouthwatering, classic Chicago sandwiches, pizzas and dogs - vegan style - at four popular restaurants: Drew's Eatery, New York Deli, Clark St Dog and Ian's Pizza. Encouraged by support from the vegan community, the NY Deli has added the new Vegan Chicken Parm to the permanent menu and is working to develop even more vegan sandwiches and to expand the vegan options in its restaurant delivery service. Ian's Pizza will be introducing a new specialty vegan pizza each month from now on and Drew's Eatery will continue to create new vegan entrées, soups and desserts.

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In New York City, MFA teamed up with vegan chef and Super Size Me co-star Alexandra Jamieson to help GustOrganics, the nation's premiere 100% organic restaurant, develop an exclusive, Latin-inspired vegan menu featuring Spicy Vegan Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Avocado Dressing, Tofu Carpaccio with Arugula and Almonds, and much, much more. With a regular influx of customers hungry for the new vegan fare, GustOrganics has decided to permanently add many of the new vegan options to its regular menu. Inspired to move toward a more earth-friendly lifestyle, the co-founder of the restaurant is now also exploring veganism in her own life.

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Dallas' most celebrated chefs, including Abraham Salum at Salum Restaurant, J Chastain of The Second Floor, Dan Landsberg from Tillman's Roadhouse, Scott Gottlich of Bijoux and Matt McCallister from Stephan Pyles, featured upscale vegan culinary creations, ranging from a grilled marjoram and garlic-marinated local tofu steak with roasted red pepper BBQ and a lentil-corn salad to a three-course meal, including chile-marinated mock duck with risotto corn chile-rellenos and sweet potato pie with ancho-chile fig compote. The Second Floor and Bijoux decided to add the new vegan dishes to its menus indefinitely as a result of their packed restaurants during Dallas Vegan Week, and Executive Chef Matt McCallister reports that Stephan Pyles Restaurant is developing a multi-course vegetarian tasting menu.

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And in Columbus, seven local restaurants, including Phat Wraps, Columbus Brewing Company, Knead, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, Surly Girl Saloon, Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails and Betty's Fine Food & Spirits, whipped up vegan-style wraps, classic sloppy joe sandwiches, chili, dogs and more. As a result of the positive feedback they received in response to Vegan Week, the Columbus Brewing Company has decided to incorporate "Meatless Mondays" into its regular lineup. Starting soon, every Monday evening there will be a vegan dinner special available from 5 p.m. until close.

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In addition to adding a ton of animal-friendly options to popular restaurants in several major cities, making it easier for vegans, vegetarians and veg-curious diners alike to find great tasting vegan food, MFA's Vegan Week efforts generated an incredible amount of mainstream media attention and Internet hype. Vegan Week stories appeared in the Chicago Tribune, TimeOut Chicago, NBC Chicago Feast, the Dallas Voice, the Dallas Observer (1, 2, 3) and on the WBNS 10TV Morning Show in Columbus, as well as in a variety of popular blogs, including VegNews, Ecorazzi, The Discerning Brute, Vegan Pimp, Vegan SoapBox, Kiss Me I'm Vegan and Our Hen House.

The best part is that all of these successful efforts can be duplicated, relatively easily, in cities across the country. MFA's Vegetarian Dining Campaign is designed to give dedicated animal advocates, hungry college students and business savvy restaurateurs the resources and tools they need to help expand the healthy and humane vegan options in their own communities. Ready to expand the vegan options in your own diet? Visit for great tasting recipes and helpful tips on transitioning to an animal-friendly, vegan lifestyle.

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In an eye-opening article in The Huffington Post, Bruce Friedrich gives readers one more reason to boycott meat, dairy and eggs: institutionalized bestiality. Aside from horrifying personal accounts from factory farmers and slaughterhouse workers bragging about sexually abusing animals and undercover video footage exposing animals being raped and sexually assaulted, Friedrich explains how routine - and legal - acts of bestiality are perpetrated every day on modern farms.

Complete with graphic images and videos, the article explains in gory detail how turkeys are bred to be so unnaturally large that they can no longer mate on their own, so factory farm workers must restrain and ejaculate male turkeys and then ram a semen-filled syringe into a female's vagina in order to produce more "stock." The article also describes how male pigs are confined to crates while workers fondle their genitals, stick their fingers in their anuses and ejaculate them to collect semen. A similar process is used for bulls.

As shocking as it may seem, rape and sexual assault are common in modern animal agriculture. Friedrich rightfully asks, "Why is it illegal, deviant, and cause for imprisonment for some farmer to engage in bestiality inside a barn if he's doing it for personal enjoyment, but perfectly legal for that same farmer to do it as part of 'standard agricultural practices' used to put animal corpses on our nation's dinner tables?"

Either way, consumers are able to withdraw their financial support from farmers who routinely rape and sexually abuse animals by adopting a healthy and humane vegan diet. Visit for tips on how to make the transition to a cruelty-free lifestyle.

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An estimated 25,000 people congregated at the 15th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival this weekend for two full days of fun, great vegan food and tips for transitioning to a healthy and humane plant-based lifestyle. With an array of vegetarian food providers from across the country offering free food samples and "show special" discounts, along with educational exhibits from leading animal advocacy organizations, including Mercy For Animals, visitors were welcomed to explore a variety of delicious, healthy and readily available vegan foods that are good for people and friendly to animals and the environment.

The popular festival also offered guests the opportunity to talk with top national experts on health and nutrition, including Becoming Vegan author and renowned nutritionist Brenda Davis, and the inspiring Dr. Michael Greger, known as one of the most entertaining medical speakers of our time. Discerning Brute, Joshua Katcher, talked about decoding and harnessing the dialect of fashion culture to help animals, while Tal Ronnen, celebrity chef and New York Times bestselling author of The Conscious Cook, taught eager attendees how to prepare mouthwatering vegan dishes, such as Gardein "chicken" scaloppini with shiitake sake sauce, braised pea shoots, and crispy udon noodle cakes.

The longest-running event of its kind in the country, the 15th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival was the perfect resource for vegetarians and vegans, and for anyone wanting to include a greater variety of healthy and delicious plant-based foods in their diets. For those of you who missed the festival this year there is no need to feel left out. Check out MFA's helpful tips and delicious vegan recipes at

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More than 150 MFA supporters in New York gathered for vegan food, fun and frights at the Alicia Silverstone approved Veggie Conquest Halloween Party to benefit MFA. With clever confectioners making gobs of tasty treats for the vegan candy making competition, spirited spooks strutting their most creative Halloween attire for the costume contest and rambunctious revelers dancing to the musical stylings of DJ Lil Ray, the Veggie Conquest Halloween bash raised more than $1000 to support MFA's work on behalf of farmed animals!

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Congratulations to Yana Lyubovitsky for winning the candy making competition with her delightful vegan chocolate bars and to Kate Wolff for taking home the Best Vegan Costume award with her animal-friendly version of Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress! Thanks also to Michael Parrish Dudell from, and Live a Damn radio, for emceeing this popular event, and to Jessica Mahady of Veggie Conquest and her team of dedicated volunteers for scaring up such tremendous support for MFA's efforts to end the horrors of modern animal agriculture.

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For more photos from the Halloween party in New York, visit the New York Mercy For Animals Facebook page. If you live in the New York area, become a fan of MFA in New York and receive regular updates about upcoming events, news, activism and more. If you don't live in New York, be sure to become a Facebook fan of the National MFA Facebook page or the Chicago, Texas, or Ohio Facebook pages for exciting events and news in your area. 

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Athletes looking to boost their performance and health may want to take a cue from vegan ultra-distance endurance athlete Rich Roll. A lawyer and father of four, Rich Roll was named one of 2009's "25 Fittest Guys in the World" by Men's Fitness Magazine and he recently spoke with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about his decision to fuel his body with meat-free meals.

Rich Roll first began his plant-based diet experiment in 2006 after realizing that he was fifty pounds overweight. The rest is history: In 2008 and 2009, Rich was a top finisher at the Ultraman World Championship - a grueling race in Hawaii that involves a 6.2 mile ocean swim, 261.4 miles of biking, and a 52.4 mile run. Rich Roll is now fitter than ever, and in May, he completed five Ironman-distance triathlons on five islands of Hawaii in less than one week!

Writing for CNN's The Chart blog, Rich Roll credits his inspiring athletic achievements to his healthy vegan diet of "very nutrient dense plant-based foods and recipes that have enhanced not just my overall health, but my athletic ability." Rich Roll and his wife, Julie Piatt, are sharing such recipes in Jai Seed - a new, colorful vegan e-cookbook featuring 48 tasty family recipes and basic tips on vegan nutrition.

Clearly, world-class athletes like Rich Roll are living proof that athletically inclined people can thrive on cruelty-free vegetarian and vegan diets. Ready to get fit? Visit to find vegan health information and hundreds of mouthwatering recipes.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2010 is the previous archive.

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