Decked out in their most creative Halloween attire, scores of spirited spooks haunted the popular Crema Restaurant in Manhattan for a ghoulishly good time at the Veg-O-Ween benefit for Mercy For Animals. Dancing to pop beats from DJ Lil Ray, laughing at a comedy routine by Kate Wolff, and noshing on delightful vegan hors d'oeuvres specially prepared by Crema's talented chef Julieta Ballesteros, guests were also treated to a screening of MFA's powerful new television ad campaign that debuted on MTV last week - because what's really scary is the way that billions of animals are raised and killed for food.
And now for the photos:
Thanks to Jessica Mahady and the incredible folks at Veggie Conquest for putting on the event and to MooShoes and Vérité Catering for providing the raffle prizes. And thanks to all the people who came out in support of MFA's lifesaving work on behalf of farmed animals.
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 California, Chicago, Texas, or Ohio Facebook pages for exciting events and news in your area.
"You can really feel the difference when you are eating something from the ground and something from a factory," says Niki, who ditched meat at age 11 after watching footage of a slaughterhouse and then transitioned to a vegan lifestyle and began advocating for animals a few years later.
At first, Niki's mother was unsure what to feed her vegetarian daughter, but through research into basic vegan nutrition and cooking, she went vegan herself, with the father and sister of the family following suit. They now eat high-protein seitan, vegan goulash, and Portobello mushroom burgers, and Niki enjoys dining at her college's vegan cafeteria.
According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegan diet is "... appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes." Additionally, veganism may also provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, though it's important for vegans to regularly take a B12 supplement and to learn about proper vegan nutrition and eating.
In just the last few years, Niki has volunteered at dozens of Mercy For Animals outreach events, including vegan feed-ins, leafletings, exhibits, and more. In 2010, Niki was honored with the National Youth Animal Activist Award at the Animal Rights Conference for her dedication and effectiveness advocating for animals from an early age.
Order your Free Vegetarian Starter Kit today to get started on your path toward a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle.
Click here to learn how you can get active for animals.
Thousands of vegans, vegetarians and veg-curious people from all over Texas gathered for the second annual Texas State Veggie Fair in Dallas this weekend. The huge success of the Veggie Fair, a humane alternative to the Texas State Fair known for its meaty meals and farmed animal exhibits, is a testament to just how far the vegetarian movement has come.
Put on by DallasVegan.com and sponsored by MFA, the Veggie Fair showcased the many delights of plant-based eating and featured a fried food contest with entries including fried pickles, fried piña coladas, and the winner, fried chickenless strips. One local reporter even left clamoring about how the vegan food at the Veggie Fair was even better than the grub at the Texas State Fair.
To kick off the Veggie Fair weekend right, MFA hosted the Official Texas State Veggie Fair Kick-Off Party on Saturday night. More than a hundred exclusive guests joined MFA's Executive Director Nathan Runkle at a traditional western saloon ballroom to celebrate the local vegetarian community and learn more about MFA's groundbreaking work on behalf of farmed animals. Guests sampled delicious vegan hors d'oeuvres, including V-Spot sushi rolls and rigatoni a la vodka with Upton's Naturals seitan prepared by Crosby Catering, and also stuffed themselves on a decadent array of vegan myth-busting desserts from Big A Little A Bakery and Spiral Diner.
For those of you who missed the Veggie Fair and Kick-Off Party this year, there is no need to feel left out. Check out MFA's helpful tips and delicious vegan recipes at ChooseVeg.com, and click here to volunteer at upcoming MFA events in your area.
MFA is honored to have been named Nonprofit of the Year for 2011 by VegNews magazine - the first organization to receive the honor twice!
Singing MFA's praises in its latest print issue, VegNews says, "Since being named VegNews' Nonprofit of the Year in 2006, Mercy For Animals has done nothing but explode, fast-tracking the vision of animal protection's promising future to the present." The article goes on to quote Bob Barker, longtime animal advocate and Emmy Award-winning host of The Price is Right, as saying, "I support Mercy For Animals because they are so very effective in their investigations of animal abuse. They have been responsible for arrests, prosecutions and convictions. Anyone who contributes to Mercy For Animals can be sure that he or she will get their money's worth!"
MFA's groundbreaking undercover investigations have indeed led to landmark criminal prosecutions of animal abusers. Our creative and effective grassroots vegan advocacy work has also inspired countless people to choose compassion over cruelty in cities across the country, and our new, ambitious national ad campaign is currently being viewed by millions of teens and young adults from coast to coast on MTV. Mercy For Animals will continue to be a voice for the voiceless and we are determined to put an end to needless animal suffering at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries.
Please help us create a kinder world for animals by becoming a member of MFA and supporting our important work. To become a member, click here.
On behalf of our team of dedicated interns, volunteers and staff, thank you for your support.
Nearly a hundred exclusive guests joined Mercy For Animals' founder Nathan Runkle and former MTV News correspondent John Norris at a private loft in New York City for the debut screening of MFA's new national television ad campaign.
Designed to raise awareness about the plights of farmed animals, who suffer out of sight, out of mind, at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries, this hugely successful event raised tens of thousands of dollars to help ensure these groundbreaking ads will soon be seen by millions of young adults on MTV from coast to coast.
Thank you to the Host Committee, volunteers and everyone who attended this event to help raise money to expand MFA's advertising efforts and reach even more people with a message of compassion for farmed animals.
This very successful fundraising event featured complimentary wine and spirits from Pine Box Rock Shop, an all-vegan bar in Brooklyn, coupled with savory vegan hors d'oeuvres from the amazing Blossom Restaurant in Manhattan, and delectable desserts from the world famous Vegan Treats.
If you weren't able to attend the event but would like to support our groundbreaking television ad campaign, please consider making a tax-deductible donation online.
This November 5th, thousands of people will gather in the Windy City for the 3rd annual Chicago VeganMania, sponsored by Mercy For Animals.
Famous as the "hog butcher to the world," Chicago boasts more than a dozen exclusively vegan restaurants (and dozensmore vegan-friendly ones), several local vegan food companies, and a rapidly growing community of herbivores.
Chicago VeganMania is a celebration of this dynamic new community, bringing together vegan restaurants and food companies, leaders and entrepreneurs, doctors and chefs, businesses and organizations, singers and dancers, and putting them in one big place to show them all off to the world.
Chicago VeganMania is completely free and will be held on Saturday, November 5 at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse in Chicago. Click here for all of the exciting conference details. We hope to see you there!
According to recent media reports, an international team of researchers will release a study in the journal Nature this week, urging people to eat less meat in order to increase the global food supply.
Navin Ramankutty, a professor at McGill University and a lead researcher on the report, said that a reduction in meat consumption would have a "huge impact" and could increase the global food supply by nearly 50 percent. According to the study, three quarters of the world's agricultural land is devoted to raising livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed crops. Growing crops for direct human consumption would increase the number of calories produced by agriculture per person by nearly 50 percent.
Although similar studies have been conducted in the past, Ramankutty said that scientists have been quiet on this issue. But that is starting to change. In January, a Foresight Report featuring contributions from 400 researchers around the world called for a drastic reduction in global meat consumption to help meet the food demands of the growing human population. And in June, the United Nations called for a global shift toward a vegan diet in order to save the world population from hunger, fuel shortages and the worst impacts of climate change.
Cutting back or eliminating consumption of animal products will not only better feed the growing human population, it can also help lower the risk of serious health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers, not to mention put an end to the unnecessary suffering of farmed animals.
While reducing meat consumption is good, eliminating it altogether is even better.
Visit ChooseVeg.com for tips and recipes to help you get started on a path toward a more compassionate and sustainable future.
Halloween is slowly creeping up and people are starting to plan their wicked parties with scary tricks and ghoulish treats, but what is truly horrifying is the way that billions of farmed animals are exploited and killed for food in this country. With a little creativity, Halloween can be the perfect time to raise awareness about the nightmarish conditions on factory farms and the monstrous assortment of cruelty-free vegan treats available.
If you are looking to do some humane Halloween outreach, here are some ideas to get you started:
Set up a "Paid-Per-View" event at your college campus or at a street festival and offer people free vegan treats in exchange for watching a 4-minute edit of Farm to Fridge. You can receive funding for Paid-Per-View events through VegFund. For everything you need to set up a "Paid-Per-View" event, click here.
Host a Vegan-Themed Costume Party or Fundraiser. Ask your guests to come dressed as their favorite plant-based food, vegan celebrity or scary factory farming villain like Colonel Sanders or the Burger King. Prepare goodie bags full of vegan Halloween candy for your guests, and add Mercy For Animals brochures to each bag! If you want, set out a donation jar and ask guests to contribute to MFA's efforts to expose the horrors of modern animal agriculture.
If you are in the area, join us for the Veg-O-Ween party to benefit MFA in New York City on October 29. Happy Halloween!
Vegan athlete and animal advocate Mary Hulett is running in the New York City Marathon on November 6 to raise awareness and funds for Mercy For Animals' lifesaving work on behalf of farmed animals. Attracting professionals and amateur runners alike, and with more than 45,000 participants last year, the NYC Marathon is among the pre-eminent long-distance running events in the world. Thanks to Mary, the NYC Marathon is now also a great way to help animals.
With more and more athletes discovering they can outcompete their meaty counterparts by maintaining a vegan diet, sports enthusiasts are in the perfect position to help propel plant-powered living into the mainstream. And what better way for vegan athletes to raise awareness and funds to help animals than by participating in a local marathon?
This year, Mary's goal is to raise $5,000 for MFA by asking people to sponsor her in the Marathon. Click here to support Mary's efforts by making a tax-deductible donation online. To help us track donations, please put "NYC Marathon" in the comments section of the donation form.
With your support, MFA is exposing the horrors of animal agriculture and reaching millions of people every year with a message of compassion and empathy for animals.
Animal advocate and macro-vegan chef Christy Morgan (a/k/a The Blissful Chef) has so much to teach. A graduate of the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, Christy uses her skills in the kitchen to educate the masses about the bountiful benefits of a plant-based diet. Aside from teaching sold-out cooking classes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Christy is on a national tour for her critically acclaimed cookbook entitled Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet. This full-color, awe-inspiring cookbook contains a host of delicious recipes that are easy to assemble, and is centered on the idea that bliss can be found by maintaining an environmentally and ethically conscious, healthy vegan diet.
We caught up with Christy to find out what exactly makes "The Blissful Chef" so blissful. Here is what she had to say:
What inspired you to write Blissful Bites?
I wrote Blissful Bites as a way to help more people find their bliss through food. Over the last 9 years I've studied and experimented with all the different ways of eating vegan. I wanted to create a cookbook that had something for everyone, also keeping people's health in mind, and showing others how to tread lightly on the planet through their diets. Eating a whole-foods vegan diet that isn't filled with junk helps me feel my best. I hope through Blissful Bites others will experience their bliss too.
How do you think the food we eat affects us in our everyday lives?
We are what we eat. The food we take in will either nourish us mentally, physically and spiritually, or will make us feel icky and lead to sickness. I think everyone wants to feel awesome, and that is in everyone's reach through their diet. I'm not saying that is the only piece to the puzzle, but it's the best place to start.
What was your "Aha" moment that made you decide to go vegan?
I went vegetarian after college. My friend Sue, who was also vegetarian, showed me Meet Your Meat, and we went vegan overnight together.
It's important for consumers to know that eating meat, dairy and eggs is bad for human health, the environment, and for the animals.
What recipes in Blissful Bites would you recommend to people used to eating bacon and eggs for breakfast and meat and potatoes for dinner?
The Breakfast and Brunch of Champions chapter is one of my favorites in the whole book. The Sizzling Tempeh Bacon and Southwest Tofu Scramble are big hits. My dad actually prefers my tofu scramble to eggs now! The Tempeh Reuben is a big hit with meat-eaters and the Macro Mac n' Cheese is very comforting without the use of fake cheese products.
Is there a particular recipe you enjoy preparing most from Blissful Bites?
I always get the "what is your favorite" question, and I never have an answer. I love food too much to choose a favorite! I decided to include a "chef fave" icon for each chapter, since everyone loves to know that kind of thing. Some of my faves are the Un-Tuna Salad, the Mac n' Kale, and since fall is here, I love making creamy soups. [Editor's note: We're in love with Christy's Sweet Carrot-Ginger Bisque!]
Six months after being rescued from a living nightmare during an MFA undercover investigation at the E6 Cattle Company in Texas, Roy, Ari, Bob and Mercy have fully recovered from their terrible ordeal and are now thriving at The Gentle Barn farmed animal sanctuary in California.
During the investigation, MFA revealed E6 Cattle Company workers bashing in the skulls of calves with pickaxes and hammers, dragging them by their ears, throwing them, and neglecting them to die from illness and injury without veterinary care. Thanks to the efforts of Mercy For Animals' undercover investigator and the Gentle Barn staff, four lucky calves are now safe and sound and misdemeanor and felony cruelty charges have been filed against the owner, foreman and five workers at the facility.
Watch the touching rescue story:
After the rescue, the trouble for these poor calves wasn't quite over. Suffering from severe neglect and lacking the immune systems that newborns would normally develop if allowed to nurse from their mothers, the rescued calves were extremely sick and weak. Mercy, one of the youngest and smallest of them, was horribly sick when he arrived and Roy had wracking coughs and high fevers for a long time. Bob and Ari also suffered from illnesses caused by severe neglect.
But with round the clock attention, love and veterinary care, all four calves are now healthy, strong and enjoying the good life. They will live out the rest of their days as ambassadors for farmed animals everywhere, teaching children and adults alike about the cruelties inherent in raising and killing animals for food.
While the recovery of these beautiful calves inspires hope, there are still many animals suffering at the hands of the meat, dairy and egg industries today. Luckily, each of us can help prevent the needless cruelty and violence these animals endure by making the switch to a healthy and compassionate vegan diet.
In order to raise awareness on World Farm Animals Day, MFA volunteers exposed hundreds of students at DePaul and Loyola Universities in Chicago and Hunter College in New York to the shocking reality of modern animal agriculture.
After watching the short video, students were given a dollar, a Vegetarian Starter Kit and an opportunity to ask questions about what they'd just seen. The shocking footage stirred emotions and inspired many viewers to adopt a vegan diet on the spot.
If you are interested in coordinating a Paid-Per-View event in your community but are unsure of how to go about it, don't worry, MFA has got you covered. Just check out our step-by-step instructions on how to set up a Paid-Per-View event, receive funding and obtain copies of Farm to Fridge and MFA's Vegetarian Starter Kits.
For information about choosing a compassionate vegan diet, visit ChooseVeg.com.
A recent study conducted in China and published in the journal of Nutrition & Metabolism concluded that vegetarian men have lower weights and body mass indexes, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to their non-vegetarian counterparts. The researchers also found that the beneficial effects associated with a vegetarian diet were even stronger the longer the participants adhered to the diet.
This latest study confirms the results of another recent study published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, which found that vegetarian diets can be a nutrient-dense way for people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. After reviewing studies showing that vegetarians, on average, have healthier body mass indexes than their meat-eating counterparts, the nutritionist organization then compared the dietary quality of vegetarians to non-vegetarians and discovered that vegetarians typically get higher levels of important nutrients than non-vegetarians.
While science is proving that a vegetarian diet is good for your body, common sense tells us that vegetarian eating is also good for the billions of animals who suffer on factory farms each year. So, shed the pounds and the guilt by adopting a healthy and compassionate vegetarian diet. To help get started, order a free copy of MFA's helpful Vegetarian Starter Kit.
In an ongoing series of protests in New York City, tens of thousands of people have descended on Wall Street to protest corporate greed and corruption. Since the mainstream media was slow to catch on to the message many people believed was obvious, the protestors have released their first "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City," which includes, among other grievances, that corporate interests have "profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices."
What began on September 17 as a loosely organized public "occupation" of Liberty Square, between Wall Street and the 9/11 Memorial, continues to grow in size and determination. According to Adbusters Media Foundation, the group behind the protest, the effort began from one simple demand: "a presidential commission to separate money from politics."
As the Occupy Wall Street movement gains traction and spreads to cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, it seems that Americans have grown weary of corporate power in politics and the resulting abuses of humans and nonhuman animals. While taking to the streets and participating in peaceful protests is one way to raise awareness about these important issues, each of us can start to remove our financial support from Big Ag by transitioning to a healthier, more sustainable plant-based diet. Visit ChooseVeg.com to learn more.