According to ABC News, a new study released by Consumer Reports found that the majority of pork products it investigated in US grocery stores were contaminated with the dangerous bacteria yersinia, a food-borne pathogen largely unknown to most consumers.
The bacteria, which infects over 100,000 people each year, was discovered in almost 70% of the nearly 200 pork products tested, including pork chops and ground pork. Yersinia poisoning can lead to fevers, cramps, and bloody diarrhea that can last up to three weeks.
"This should be a wake-up call to the American public," said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, one of the authors of the study. "It shows that there needs to be better hygiene at animal plants. Yersinia wasn't even being monitored for."
ABC News reports that while cooking the pork thoroughly kills yersinia, the bacteria can easily be spread by cross-contamination. The study also found other harmful bacteria in the meat samples, including salmonella, listeria, and enterococcus - a pathogen linked to urinary tract infections.
The good news is that it is easy to safeguard your health and prevent needless cruelty to animals by simply transitioning to a compassionate vegan diet.
Visit ChooseVeg.com for healthy and delicious plant-based recipes and instructional cooking videos.
According to Science Daily, new research conducted by the University of Guelph's Department of Animal and Poultry Science shows that animals in captivity exhibit boredom and seek stimulation. Researchers studied two sets of captive mink - one that was housed in small, barren cages and the other that was kept in "enriched" cages, where the animals had access to water for wading, tunnels, and objects to play with.
The scientists found that mink in non-enriched cages "avidly seek stimulation," exhibiting clear signs of boredom. Researchers also recorded "lower levels of physiological stress" among the mink in enriched cages. "Being able to now study boredom in non-human animals is an important step in our efforts to understand its causes and effects and find ways to alleviate boredom-related problems across species," said Guelph neuroscientist and psychology professor Mark Fenske.
On factory farms, millions of animals are barred from any stimulation or natural group interaction. Pregnant pigs spend nearly their entire miserable lives confined to metal gestation crates, unable to turn around, lie down, or engage in any natural behaviors. Many of these highly intelligent animals are driven mad by such denial of physical and mental stimulation. Turkeys and chickens raised for meat and eggs are kept in overcrowded, filthy, ammonia-filled sheds with no access to sunlight for their entire lives, deprived of roosting in trees, making nests, or foraging for food as they would in nature.
Thankfully, we can take a stand against animal abuse by switching to a compassionate vegan lifestyle. Visit ChooseVeg.com for hundreds of recipes and tips on making the transition.
This year, give the gift of peace and compassion for the holidays! Featuring an adorable calf standing alongside his watchful mother, MFA's seasonal card is the perfect way to spread holiday cheer to friends and family.
On the back of each card, loved ones will find information on how to make a tax-deductible contribution to help MFA's vital, lifesaving work. The inside is blank for you to write your own personal message.
The standard packet is only $10 and includes 12 cards and white envelopes. Now you can give family and friends the season's greetings while spreading the message of peace for all! Order yours today!
Hundreds of compassionate Ohioans descended upon Columbus for a vegan Thanksgiving potluck cohosted by Mercy For Animals, Sunrise Sanctuary, and the Columbus Vegan Meetup Group. The event drew guests from diverse backgrounds, including families with children, college students, urban dwellers, suburbanites, and over a dozen students from a local high school participating in MFA's Humane Education program.
The room filled quickly after the doors opened, with guests carrying arms full of piping hot casseroles, mashed potato-filled Crock-Pots, stuffing, and other vegan twists on traditional holiday recipes. The centerpiece of the main table was Gardein's Holiday Roast, with seven additional tables loaded with dozens of savory and sweet treats, including a tower of cupcakes and an assortment of apple and sweet potato pies.
Guests left with the knowledge that you don't need animal products to capture the spirit and appetizing flavors of Thanksgiving at your celebration.
Retired NBA basketball player John Salley, well-known to sports fans for his championship seasons with the "Bad Boy" Pistons, Michael Jordan's Bulls, and Shaq's and Kobe's Lakers, and for co-hosting the popular sports TV show The Best Damn Sports Show Period, recently hailed the benefits of a vegan diet in a feature in the Los Angeles Times: "5 Questions: Former NBA star John Salley touts the vegan life." The story was also picked up by other outlets, including Black Enterprise, reaching even more people with a vegan message.
"If I had a vegan lifestyle when I was playing, I would still be playing," said Salley, an outspoken vegetarian for over 20 years and vegan since 2007. Salley's vegan epiphany came with a feeling that "eating anything from an animal wasn't good for me."
Salley, who is the new owner of a vegan wine company called The Vegan Vine, describes himself on his website first as a "wellness advocate," and then as an "NBA champion" and "TV host," and has expressed his commitment to healthy vegan eating by speaking about it through many media outlets, at vegfests, and in front of Congress to support legislation that would increase vegetarian options in the public school system.
"There's no reason that Americans should be No. 1 in obesity," Salley said. "It's about taking care of your health--kids over the age of 5 do a lot of things from habit, and you can teach them about eating healthy and how important their food is. [Plant-based meals] keep their weight in the right place. ... Just like you teach them how to salute the flag, you should teach them how to shop for food."
To learn more about the many benefits of a vegan diet, visit ChooseVeg.com.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to approve a Meatless Mondays resolution, encouraging Angelenos to forgo eating meat one day each week. The Los Angeles Times reports that the resolution, introduced by Councilwoman Jan Perry and Councilman Ed Reyes, passed with an astounding 12-0 vote.
The resolution cites: "Recent studies and reports have demonstrated that we can lower our carbon footprint simply by reducing the amount of animal-based foods we eat" and "a growing number of people are reducing their meat consumption to help prevent animal cruelty."
Los Angeles joins the growing list of American municipalities that have passed resolutions to promote plant-based eating, including San Francisco, Marin County, CA, and Takoma Park and Annapolis, MD.
Make the pledge today to switch to a healthy and humane vegetarian diet by ordering your free Vegetarian Starter Kit. Visit ChooseVeg.com for a host of delicious meatless recipes and tips on making the transition.
On the heels of Mercy For Animals' breaking new undercover investigation into Butterball, MFA has launched a powerful new television ad campaign leading up to Thanksgiving Day, revealing the horrific suffering and neglect that takes place behind the closed doors of Butterball's factory farms. The ad, which is airing in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Raleigh-Durham, NC--home to Butterball headquarters--features shocking footage from MFA's 2011 Butterball investigation, giving nearly a million households a chance to witness the ongoing cruelties animals face at the world's largest turkey producer. The gut-wrenching ad serves as a consumer warning, exposing Americans to Butterball employees' criminal animal cruelty convictions.
See the video here:
Help bring this abhorrent cruelty to a greater audience by donating toward our television ad campaign and sharing this video far and wide.
Give all beings something to be thankful for this holiday season by choosing delicious, cruelty-free alternatives to eating turkeys. Click here for delicious holiday recipes the whole family will love and check out our 10 Ways to Get Active for Turkeys this Thanksgiving.
Fall is in full swing, and millions of Americans are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving by feasting on a turkey. But more and more people are choosing to no longer celebrate a day of gratitude by eating an animal who suffered greatly to get to their holiday tables. This year, you can establish a compassionate holiday tradition by leaving a loveable turkey off your menu and inspiring others to do the same. Here are some ideas for a delicious and cruelty-free veg Thanksgiving.
1. Be positive and give thanks. The Thanksgiving holiday is a tempting time for some vegetarians to blame meat-eating family and friends for the deaths of 46 million turkeys, making loved ones feel judged and become defensive. Happily enjoying a delicious veg Thanksgiving and reminding yourself of the many people and things you are grateful for is likely to be a better way to inspire someone to try a Tofurky - and it will lead to a happier holiday for you, too.
2. Host a veg Thanksgiving. By inviting your family and friends to dine at your home this year, you can showcase how delicious a compassionate Thanksgiving can be. Delight in creating a fabulous feast that will convince your guests that giving thanks does not need to include harming a turkey. You can also turn it into a community event that you post on Meetup.com or a local veg group's email list to meet others looking to celebrate a veg Thanksgiving. A potluck is a great way to invite others to contribute and to try new vegan dishes yourself. Check out some of these delicious recipe ideas to get you started.
3. Invite friends out for Thanksgiving dinner. Show them what a cruelty-free, seasonal menu has to offer at your favorite vegan restaurant. If you're not much of a cook or don't have room in your home, see if any restaurants in your area will be offering a veg Thanksgiving dinner. Check out VegGuide.org for a listing of veg-friendly restaurants in your neighborhood.
5. Like, share, and comment on articles highlighting the trend toward veg Thanksgiving celebrations. Major publications have recently featured articles about vegetarian Thanksgivings, showing people that a turkey-free holiday is an increasingly mainstream, healthy, humane, and delicious option for them. Not only are more people likely to leave turkeys off their plates with greater circulation of these articles, but the more positive feedback offered by readers, the more likely publications will be to highlight veg eating in the future.
6. Write a letter to the editor. Virtually every newspaper will feature articles about Thanksgiving, which will create perfect opportunities to write letters to speak up for the turkeys and encourage people to have a compassionate Thanksgiving. Check out these tips to increase your chances of getting published.
7. Sign a petition to persuade Butterball to treat turkeys better. Take a moment to sign MFA's Change.org petition asking Butterball to implement animal welfare standards to improve its treatment of turkeys, and then share the petition with friends and family.
8. Donate to help MFA promote our Thanksgiving advertisement as widely as possible. Your tax-deductible donation will enable more people to find out how turkeys are mistreated to become someone's Thanksgiving dinner.
9. Take a trip to visit or volunteer at a farmed animal sanctuary. Bring along loved ones so they can meet, learn about, and develop empathy for turkeys. Check out this list to discover sanctuaries in your area.
Hundreds of epicurean Chicagoans gathered at Beauty Bar over the weekend for the second annual Vegan Chef Showdown, cosponsored by Mercy For Animals and Upton's Naturals.
Eight chefs from Chicago battled it out for the coveted title "Best Vegan Chef" with dishes featuring Upton's savory seitan. A panel of judges and hungry attendees ultimately awarded Andrea Cataldo of Andrea's Alternative Cuisine - who made scrumptious Chinese dumplings in lemongrass broth with cabbage slaw and lotus root chips - the grand prize of a week-long vacation at White Pines Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin.
In addition to tasty samples of contest entries, such as maple-marinated seitan, enchilada pizza, and baked mac and cheese, attendees were also treated to mouthwatering appetizers and desserts provided by Chicago Vegan Foods and Upton's Naturals. Many people took home raffle prizes from The Chicago Diner, Vega, Herbivore, and Ethically Engineered.
The second annual Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown was a huge success, highlighting local chefs' talents, promoting delectable vegan cuisine, and raising vital funds for MFA's lifesaving efforts to expose and end cruelty to farmed animals.
Visit ChooseVeg.com for hundreds of delicious vegan recipes and tips on compassionate living.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently traced the source of a discharge responsible for a fish kill - the killing of a large fish population by pollution - in the West Branch of the Floyd River to the Sioux-Preme Packing Company, a pig slaughterhouse in Sioux Center, Iowa. The affected area of the river extends at least nine miles downstream of the facility.
The DNR began its investigation after a resident reported stressed fish in the murky waters during the weekend of October 27. Concentrated ammonia levels were detected in the water and led to the deaths of thousands of fish.
Animal agribusiness has a long history of endangering the environment and wildlife. Pollution from poultry, egg, and dairy facilities has led to hazardous ecological damage impacting animal and human health.
We can contribute to a more sustainable and humane food system every time we eat by choosing plant-based options. Visit ChooseVeg.com for a wide array of delicious vegan recipes and meal ideas.
MFA's Walmart Cruelty Tour has concluded its 3-month, 26-state, 67-city journey, putting pressure on Walmart executives to stop torturing pigs.
Hundreds of volunteers across the country rallied in support of MFA's efforts, including Academy Award-nominated actor James Cromwell in Los Angeles and Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal in New York City.
The Walmart Cruelty Tour garnered massive mainstream media attention at nearly all of its 67 stops, shedding light onto the horrific abuses pigs face for Walmart's pork. Local news affiliates were enthusiastic to interview MFA's national campaign coordinator Phil Letten, who led the tour from coast to coast.
"It is high time that Walmart realize that it is out of step with American values to confine these pigs to tiny gestation crates," Phil told reporters. "Most people are opposed to animal cruelty, and when they learn about the abuses that farm animals endure throughout their lives, they no longer want to support it."
Want to help pigs? Get involved with the campaign at WalmartCruelty.com and remember, the best action you can take to help pigs, and other farmed animals, is to stop eating them. Visit ChooseVeg.com for vegan tips and recipes.
According to ABC News, Wu-Tang Clan cofounder GZA has inspired fellow hip-hop artists Redman and Method Man to adopt a vegetarian diet.
Longtime vegetarian GZA told RedBullUSA.com: "I used to tease Meth all the time about him eating steaks...but he just recently came up to me and said both he and Redman are vegetarians now."
In a 2010 interview on Eater, GZA also revealed that he had shared videos about the health impacts of consuming a typical meat-heavy Western diet to band members and family to encourage them to make the switch to a plant-based diet.
A recent article by the Associated Press highlights delicious, cruelty-free Thanksgiving dishes and tasty alternatives to eating turkeys this year.
The article suggests using the abundance of seasonal produce to create vegetarian dishes that are every bit as satisfying and delicious as traditional holiday meals.
"It's overwhelming how many great things are in season now that we can use for a beautiful vegetarian meal," says Diane Morgan, author of two Thanksgiving cookbooks. "That's what we're celebrating. It's that same celebration of the harvest of all these things that have been underground for a while."
More than 300 million turkeys are killed in the United States every year--46 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.
Pardon a turkey this year by celebrating the holidays with compassionate plant-based cuisine. Click here for savory and sweet holiday meal ideas.
Mercy For Animals is thrilled to announce our partnership with Compassion Couture and designer Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, founder and president of Vaute Couture. Compassion Couture and Leanne have joined forces to benefit farmed animals by raising funds for MFA through Compassion Couture's exciting fall collection campaign!
Jill and Tracey Spiritus, the sisters and best friends who started Compassion Couture have created a compassionate fashionista's dream shop! Only 100% animal- and eco-friendly products are showcased in their online store. Their mission? To show the world that you can uphold your beliefs without sacrificing your sense of style.
Recently the pair partnered with Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture, who has made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her innovative vegan coats, classy and chic, but still warm enough for below-freezing weather. Vaute's coats are so cozy and elegant that Leanne is proving to the world there is no need for animal products in fashion!
With no initial background in fashion, Hilgart spent a year and her life savings developing the first true winter dress coat line that is both vegan and warmer than wool.
Vaute Couture, an independent label with a cult following from Tokyo to Sydney to Minneapolis, just opened its first flagship store in Brooklyn, and has been featured in Marie Claire magazine, on WWD.com and Oprah.com, and on Fox TV's Bones.
Compassion Couture has selected Leanne as its featured designer for its fall campaign. Leanne has selected 12 stylish accessories (which would look great with her amazing coats) and a portion of the proceeds from those accessories will go directly to MFA!
We are especially grateful to Compassionate Couture and Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart for being such incredible proponents of MFA, and we couldn't be happier to have this support at such an opportune time of year.
Leanne will be the featured designer benefiting Mercy For Animals throughout the holiday season, so this year your holiday shopping can also support farmed animals!
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated her 65th birthday last weekend with a vegan, gluten-free cake. The Daily Mail reports that Hillary, along with former president Bill Clinton, their daughter Chelsea, and Chelsea's husband Marc, spent an idyllic weekend together in Washington, Connecticut.
The former First Family is no stranger to plant-based eating. Chelsea's and Marc's wedding two years ago featured a vegan-friendly menu, and in 2010, Bill Clinton adopted a plant-based diet after coronary stent surgery. In an interview on the Ellen show, Clinton credited his improved health to plant-based eating. The former president also promoted the benefits of a vegan diet in an hour-long special on CNN last year.
On Saturday evening, November 3, Mercy For Animals honored music and business mogul Russell Simmons for his extraordinary animal advocacy efforts at the world-renowned Press Lounge in New York City. This special MFA event, titled INSPIRED, also spotlighted our important legal advocacy efforts and initiatives towards protecting farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.
Guests sipped champagne and spirits while treated to an exquisite vegan menu, featuring decadent hors d'oeuvres and desserts made from seasonal, organically grown and sustainably harvested items. The menu and catering were provided by Print Restaurant, New York City's premiere farm-to-table dining experience. Guests were each gifted upon leaving the event with an incredible vegan chocolate truffle gift box from nicobella organics.
Simone Reyes, Russell's executive assistant, television star, and longtime vegan animal activist, presented Russell with MFA's Compassionate Leadership Award, honoring him for using his career influence and passion to advocate on behalf of animals and veganism.
The Compassionate Leadership Award acknowledges visionary leaders who are committed to inspiring millions of people to make compassionate choices and positive changes in their lives and the lives of farmed animals. Russell Simmons joins an impressive list of changemakers, including former honorees television game show host Bob Barker and actress Emily Deschanel.
Russell accepted his award with an incredibly impassioned speech, saying while he recognizes the value of celebrity, "make no mistake; the real heroes are the people risking their lives to expose cruelty." The beautiful, personalized bronze award plaque for Russell was handcrafted by artist and sculptor Steve Worthington.
MFA's executive director Nathan Runkle updated guests on MFA's legal advocacy initiatives, which have led to landmark criminal and civil prosecutions of factory farms, increased animal protection laws, defeat of whistleblower-suppression bills, and policy changes that improve animal welfare and consumer protections.
MFA would also like to extend a special acknowledgement to our Honorary Committee and Host Committee members for making the evening a great success: Moby, Vanessa Williams, Arian Foster, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Mariel Hemingway, Kathy Freston, Simone Reyes, John Bartlett, John Bradham, Joseph Connelly, James Costa, Caprice Crane, Chloé Jo Davis, Brad Goldberg, Joshua Katcher, Melissa Li, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, Mary and Peter Max, Victoria Moran, Michael Parrish DuDell, Michael Schwarz, Jasmin Singer, Gene Stone, Mariann Sullivan, and Brian Wendel.
Last weekend, Mercy For Animals celebrated compassion with over ten thousand vegan and veg-curious visitors from all across the Northeast at the 17th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. The two-day event, hosted by the Boston Vegetarian Society, included a diverse range of food vendors, renowned speakers, and organizations promoting a wealth of information on animal rights, vegetarian eating, and protecting the environment through our food choices.
Rounding out the weekend's activities was an exciting lineup of inspiring speakers, including Vegucated producer Demetrius Bagley, New York Times bestselling author Victoria Moran, and NutritionFacts.org's Michael Greger.
Missed us at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival? Be sure to join us at these upcoming events:
After a fire ripped through Perry Hill Farm in Bedford, New Hampshire, on September 6, fourteen horses and a family of cats were presumed dead. According to ABC News, three days after the blaze, Miss Colby, the 1,000-pound pig mascot of the farm, went out in search of her feline companions.
Miss Colby led her caretaker, Harriet Finks, into the nearby woods to Gumbo, one of the missing family cats. "She was on a mission. For her, it was quite a distance," Finks told ABC News. After a month in veterinary care, Gumbo is almost fully recovered and back home under the watchful eye of Miss Colby.
In a natural environment, pigs express friendships with each other through vocalizations and body language. Like human children, piglets are particularly fond of play and chase one another, play fight, tumble down hills, and generally engage in a wide variety of enjoyable activities.
On modern day farms, mother pigs spend most of their lives in cruel "gestation" crates, where they are unable to turn around, lie down comfortably, or engage in any natural behaviors, and piglets are taken from their mothers when they are as young as ten days old and packed into pens until they are separated to be raised for breeding or meat.
The best choice compassionate consumers can make to help prevent the unnecessary suffering of pigs and other farmed animals is to adopt a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle. Visit Chooseveg.com for delicious recipes and helpful tips on making the transition.