The number of news found: 27.
01/17/2017 AIR CHINA BANS SHARK FIN CARGO
Last week, Air China announced it would ban all shipments of shark fins aboard its aircrafts. The decision marks the first time in history that a mainland Chinese airline has taken a stance against the cruel practice of definning sharks and selling their parts for soup—a practice which results in the slaughter of upwards of 73 million sharks annually. An Air China Cargo representative says this ban is in line with the airline's "long-standing commitment to playing our role in a more sustainable world." The Washington Post reported that this ban, coupled with a recent Chinese ban on ivory imports, "marks the country's gradual transformation from being the biggest source of the problem—as the largest market in illegal wildlife products—to becoming a major part of the solution." Animal conservation organization WildAid acknowledged the efforts of the 35 global airlines and 17 shipping companies that have taken a similar stance on the issue, and urged that other airlines and government officials to follow Air China's lead.
01/17/2017 MEXICAN RESORT ADOPTS 24-HOUR VEGAN MENU
All-inclusive luxury resort Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico recently launched several dedicated vegan multi-course menus available to guests at all hours of the day. In partnership with local vegan chef Miguel Batista, the resort now serves at least four plant-based gourmet dishes at their Mexican, French, and Italian restaurants. At traditional Mexican eatery Frida, guests can enjoy raw coconut ceviche with serrano chili and cucumber Aguachile, while at Italian restaurant Lucca, the featured vegan dishes include a bruschetta sampler, gluten-free penne pasta with broccoli, cauliflower and grilled Portobello, and espresso and chocolate cake with raspberry sherbet. A standout vegan option at French restaurant Piaf is the vegan nut pate with fermented cashew cheese and black pepper crust. Cruelty-free travel is picking up steam and resorts are increasingly partnering with chefs who are able to satisfy customer demands for plant-based options.
01/16/2017 VEG EATERY AT NJ AIRPORT
Chef Amanda Cohen—of New York City eatery Dirt Candy—partnered with airport hospitality group OTG Management to open vegetarian restaurant Thyme at Terminal C at the Newark Liberty International airport in New Jersey. The menu is vegetable-centric and offers many vegan options in addition to imaginative cocktails that utilize organic ingredients, herbs, and spices. Thyme is part of a $120 million renovation project of the airport's dining options, and Cohen sees it as an opportunity to bring her concepts to a wider audience. The restaurant—which opened its doors on December 23, 2016—is equipped with iPads at each table that feature the day's menu to make it easy for travelers to place their orders expeditiously. Plant-based options at airports are growing, and travelers can soon visit a new vegetarian eatery, Floret—construction of which will begin at the Seattle-Tacoma International airport this March.
01/16/2017 RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS CLOSES AFTER 146 YEARS
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, often called "The Cruelest Show on Earth" by animal activists, has announced that they will be closing their doors forever on May 21 after 146 years of profitting off the use of exotic animals for entertainment. Thirty-six years of PETA protests, of documenting animals left to die, beaten animals, and much more, has reduced attendance to the point of no return. Declining ticket sales have been even more dramatic since May of 2016, when they removed elephants from their show after a long legal battle and pressure from activists. This landmark decision by Ringling Bros. demonstrates the power of animal activists in affecting corporate profits and the ways public consciousness is shifting around the issue of animal exploitation. (vegnews.com, peta.org)
Last month, Switzerland enacted a law that effectively bans the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals in the country. The Swiss Federal Council proposed the ban in March 2016 and the enactment of this regulatory measure removes all products tested on animals abroad from Swiss cosmetics retailers. "We are delighted that Switzerland will no longer allow cosmetics for which animals have suffered to be sold in the country," Cruelty Free International CEO Michelle Thew said. Thew urged other governing bodies to take action, stating, "It is time now for every government to step up and do the right thing." Earlier this month, the Dutch government announced it would phase out all chemical testing on animals by 2025 in its efforts to be a world leader in scientific innovation.
The French national assembly passed a bill for mandatory cameras in slaughterhouses today. The controversial measure, to be implemented in 2018, follows a remarkable intensification of public outcry after a series of shocking undercover investigations were released to the French media by local animal rights organization L214. The vote to monitor slaughterhouse practices and workers for animal cruelty, safety and hygiene violations passed 28 to 4 (opponents of the bill were from the right and center political parties). Before it is brought to the senate in March to be passed into law, the measure will be implemented first (by July 2017) through "experimentation," in 263 slaughterhouses, placing cameras in all areas where animals are "moved, held, immobilized, stunned and killed." Stakeholders, including animal protection professionals, slaughterhouse management and government officials will have access to the footage to determine how to craft the final legislation.
On Monday, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) filed six charges of animal cruelty against Niagara Falls, ON-based tourist attraction Marineland. Following a November investigation, the animal welfare organization found that the park routinely neglected and failed to provide the standard of care for elk, red deer, and fallow deer held at its facilities. These charges come in addition to those filed by OSPCA last month wherein the organization found five other counts of cruelty at the park in relation to distressed peacocks, guinea pigs, and black bears. The investigation was prompted by a 35-page report submitted to the OSCPA by California-based animal rights group Last Change for Animals. Representatives of Marineland will appear in court on January 26, and should the park be found guilty of all 11 charges, it will be fined $60,000, incur a two-year jail sentence for responsible parties, and be banned from keeping animals indefinitely.
Famed musician and vegan activist Moby is the latest musician to refuse to perform at the upcoming inauguration ball of president-elect Donald Trump. Moby revealed that a booking agent contacted him asking that he DJ the January 20 event. The musician took to Instagram and posted, "Hahahahaha, I was just asked by a booking agent if I would consider DJing at one of the inaugural balls for #Trump … I guess I'd DJ at an inaugural ball if, as payment, #Trump released his tax returns." Events that Moby has agreed to DJ recently include a benefit for the victims of the Oakland "Ghost Ship" fire, Los Angeles-based vegan festival Circle V, and a cruise put on by Animal Legal Defense Fund—all of which financially benefited animal- or human-rights causes.
01/12/2017 VEGAN RACE CAR DRIVER BANNED FROM SEAWORLD
Vegan race car driver and activist Leilani Münter received a notice from SeaWorld informing her that she is banned from entering all of the company's properties. Münter visited the park's Orlando location to pay homage to recently deceased orca Tilikum, bringing with her 33 roses—one for every year the whale was held in captivity. In addition to the roses, Münter attempted to place a sign near the entrance of the park that stated, "May the four winds blow you safely to your ocean home where you've belonged all these 33 years." Park officials handed Münter a notice after escorting her to their security office accompanied by the Orange County Sheriff's Department, that stated she is not allowed into any of the park's properties indefinitely. Münter responded by posting a live video to Facebook—seen by over 20,000 fans in just a few hours—and stated, "That's cool. I'm not a huge fan." Münter will be debuting the world's first vegan-themed race car at the historic Daytona International Speedway on February 18.
01/11/2017 DUTCH GOVERNMENT BANS ANIMAL TESTING
Dutch agriculture minister Martijn van Dam recently announced his plan to phase out the testing of chemicals on animals by 2025. In December, Van Dam commissioned an advisory report, released by the Netherlands National Committee for the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes. The report focused on creating a roadmap to transition away from the use of animals in laboratories for the testing of chemical substances, food ingredients, pesticides, and medicine. The report urged officials across government agencies to collaborate on methods for replacing animals in laboratories with innovative technologies. Unfortunately, the ban will not apply to animals used for pre-clinical research for human diseases such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Several countries around the world, including Taiwan and South Korea, have recently implemented similar policies to phase out non-clinical testing on animals in the coming years.
01/11/2017 IDAHO DAIRY FARM SUED FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING
On last Tuesday, a group of six Mexican veterinarians filed a federal lawsuit against Idaho-based dairy farm Funk Dairy, Inc. for human trafficking. The suit implicates dairy farm owner David Funk, manager Curtis Giles, and attorney Jeremy Pittard in obtaining professional work visas for the immigrants—with the promise of high-paying animal healthcare jobs—while forcing the plaintiffs to engage in general labor such as milking cows and cleaning manure for a full year, ending in 2015. The workers allege they were paid lower wages than promised, forced to live in substandard housing, threatened with deportation should they refuse to perform assigned work, and exploited for their inability to speak English and unfamiliarity with the United States labor laws. The lawsuit also lists other violations including the denial of meal breaks, inadequate toilet facilities, unhygienic work stations, and lack of protective equipment—which resulted in the partial amputation of one worker's finger. The negative impact of the animal agriculture industry on human workers is not limited to this incident. A 2016 Oxfam America report revealed that workers at numerous poultry processing plants were denied basic human rights such as bathroom breaks, and were consequently forced to wear adult diapers during their day-long shifts on the kill floor.
01/10/2017 50,000 PEOPLE ARE GOING VEGAN IN JANUARY
The number of people pledging to go vegan in January as part of the Veganuary campaign have reached a record high of over 50,000 participants. The campaign launched in the United Kingdom in 2014 with the mission of changing public attitudes about the vegan lifestyle and has continued to gain support in subsequent years. The 2015 Veganuary campaign drew in more than 12,000 pledges, which doubled to 23,000 participants in 2016. In November, the organization launched a 2,000-poster campaign inside the London subway system to encourage residents to adopt a vegan diet, which Veganuary media manager Kate Fowler estimates effectively brought 7,000 new participants on board in 2017.
The Director General of Foreign Trade in India, which comes under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has banned the import of skins of reptiles, chinchillas, mink and fox through a notification issued on January 3. At present, India's import policy allows import of "raw hides, skins, leather, fur skins" of reptiles, mink, fox and other fur skins (whole, with or without head, tail or paws). But they are subject to India's Wild Life (Protection) act, 1972 and CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). CITES is an international agreement between governments and it aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Animal rights organisations had been urging the central government to take a clear stand on the issue and close the doors for trade in exotic skins.
01/10/2017 ESPN PROFILES VEGAN ROCK CLIMBER
A recent online feature in sports media network ESPN profiled vegan rock climber Maggie Crawford. The athlete told ESPN that she opted for a vegan diet after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to help her regulate her blood sugar. The rock climber shared a recipe for one of her favorite meals—a vegan take on Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza—with ESPN, urging readers to use nut-based vegan cheese in place of more processed versions. Crawford was also recently profiled in outdoor magazine REI where she spoke about the challenges of being a diabetic athlete, stating that she manages the illness by eating plenty of fresh vegetables and peanut butter for protein. Studies have shown that the vegan diet can combat type 2 diabetes, and Crawford confirmed that it is an effective tool to alleviate symptoms of type 1 diabetes as well.
The world's first vegan-themed car will soon hit the racetrack in Daytona, FL. Vegan race car driver Leilani Münter unveiled the car on Tuesday via her social media platforms. The Toyota Camry is decked-out with bold signage that reads "Vegan Powered" across the hood and body, and features all synthetic interiors. Münter—who drives for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA)—previously raced cars emblazoned with logos such as The Cove and Blackfish to promote awareness of the animal-rights documentaries to race enthusiasts. Named one of the top ten female race car drivers in the world by Sports Illustrated, the 42-year old offsets emissions by using only solar energy in her pit box and adopting an acre of rainforest after every race. The driver partnered with nonprofit A Well-Fed World to raise funds for a vegan outreach campaign—which will include food giveaways and starter kits—to be launched during the debut of the car at historic Daytona International Speedway on February 18.
01/09/2017 UAE OUTLAWS KEEPING WILD ANIMALS AS PETS
For some in the oil-rich Gulf State, owning the likes of a cheetah is a status symbol, but they now risk jail or a fine. Big cats have been pictured being taken on walks in social media postings. The new law bans dealing in and ownership of "all types of wild and domesticated but dangerous animals," the Gulf News reported. These animals can now only be kept in zoos, wildlife parks, circuses, and breeding and research centres. Anyone who takes a big cat or any other kind of exotic animal out in public will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 dirhams ($136,000; £110,883). Arabic daily Al-Ittihad said that would increase to 700,000 dirhams for anyone using wild animals to "terrorise" others. (bbc.com)
Dairy farms in the state of New Hampshire are closing rapidly. In 2010, the state had 130 dairy farms, which dropped to 121 by 2015. Last year, a total of 19 dairy farms shuttered in the state—due to declining world milk prices and prolonged drought. Local farmer Harold Bodwell stated that he reduced his herd from 260 cows to just 40 in the course of six months. Director of Granite State Dairy Promotion in New Hampshire Amy Hall says the current state of animal milk production is "a crisis . . . an impossible situation for dairy farmers." On the other side of the country, many former dairy farmers in California have transitioned to cultivating almonds instead of milking cows in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions while tapping into the lucrative plant-based market.
01/05/2017 LONDON METRO PLASTERED WITH VEGAN POSTERS
On New Year's Eve, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) installed 60 vegan ads at the Clapham Common metro station in London, England. The "tube-takeover"—which includes ads on walls, turnstiles, and doors—depicts chickens, cows, and pigs with the slogan, "I'm me, not meat," urging people to go vegan. The results have been positive, as is evidenced by the social media response in favor of the campaign. This tactic is an attempt to connect subway riders to animals as individuals, not as food, during a time when people make New Year's resolutions including dietary and lifestyle changes. A series of studies conducted last year found that people experience higher levels of empathy when presented with animals as whole creatures, as opposed to as meat.
01/05/2017 U.S. NEWS SAYS GOING VEGAN IS CHEAPER
A recent feature published by media outlet U.S. News and World Report advised readers that adopting a meat-free diet is a cheaper alternative. For practical tips, the publication turned to Emily Winsauer (founder of the website Knox Vegan), who believes that going vegan is "a lot more affordable than people think." Winsauer pointed out that she avoids plant-based meat alternatives and packaged products and instead purchases vegetables, almond milk, and chickpeas, while opting for cooking meals at home rather than going out to restaurants. This features comes on the heels of a bogus report by United Kingdom-based coupon site VoucherCodesPro that claimed following a vegan diet costs £2,000 ($2457) more annually than a meat-centric one.
Condé Nast Traveler recently revealed its top food trends to look for in 2017. The publication synthesized several reports compiled by data analyst firms to come to the conclusion that plant-based proteins will be a top trend in the new year. "According to the influential annual report from culinary consultants Baum + Whiteman," staff writer Jessica Voelker said, "we can expect more mind-bending meat-free foods in the coming year." Voelker cited several global restaurants already offering creative meat-free mains including vegan ribs at Australian-based Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher, vegetable charcuterie at New York City's Ladybird, and a kelp noodle and cashew cream-based dish at vegan fine dining restuarant Plant Food + Wine in Miami, FL. Voelker further predicts that restuarants—even meat-centric ones—will continue to elevate vegetables as the stars of its menus in the new year.
China promised Friday to halt its domestic ivory trade completely by the end of 2017, a decision greeted by environmentalists as offering real hope for an end to a poaching crisis that is wiping out tens of thousands of elephants across Africa. China said it would begin phasing out the ivory trade in March and cease processing and trading completely by Dec 31, 2017. "This is great news that will shut down the world's largest market for elephant ivory," said Aili Kang, Asia director at the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Ivory traffickers have just lost one of their biggest markets." It is a huge step for a country that had previously argued that ivory carving was part of its cultural heritage and where intricately carved ivory items had become popular gifts to grease the wheels of government and business. (washingtonpost.com)
01/04/2017 VEGGIE BURGERS MADE A BREAKTHROUGH IN 2016
A recent feature published in media outlet Grist explored the current state of plant-based burgers. Writer Nathaniel Johnson said that while meat-free burgers have been around for decades, 2016 marked the first time a convincing facsimile of meat—the Impossible Burger—was embraced by the general public. "For the first time," Johnson writes, "you could go to a restaurant and eat something that had never been through a slaughterhouse but tasted enough like meat to fool the unsuspecting." This year, Impossible Foods launched its burger that bleeds at several restaurants including New York's Momofuku Nishi, San Francisco-based Cockscomb and Les Jardiniere restaurants, and vegan eatery Crossroads in Los Angeles. Johnson believes the humble veggie burger has experienced a breakthrough, stating, "Someday we'll look back at 2016 as the year we realized we might be perfectly happy to give up meat."
Italian animal-rights group Essere Animali recently released undercover footage obtained from a pig farm that supplies proscuitto company Parma Ham. In the video, workers are shown dragging and kicking sick pigs, often leaving them in dirty corridors to die. Pigs with injuries are documented, many of them with open wounds caused by cannibalism—a common problem among pig factory farms due to overcrowding, according to animal-rights organization Mercy for Animals (MFA). "If we wouldn’t treat dogs or cats in such appalling ways," MFA content manager Joe Loria said, "how can we pay the meat industry to do it to pigs?" While previous investigations in factory pig farms have uncovered gruesome abuse and neglect, this footage proves that luxury meat industries are no different in its mistreatment of animals.
01/03/2017 MAN PROPOSES WITH 1,500 BOTTLES OF SOY MILK
Last week, a man arranged 1,500 bottles of soy milk into a heart in front of a KFC restaurant in the Shanxi Province of China. A friend called the man's girlfriend to the scene—around which a crowd had formed—after the cruelty-free heart was complete. The man gave her flowers and proposed on the street in front of a growing group of onlookers. After the proposal, the man urged the crowd to help themselves to a souvenir bottle of soy milk and chaos ensued as people began grabbing several bottles each. While China is consuming more dairy than ever—and as a result, reports have shown an increase in obesity rates amongst Chinese people—the global plant-based milk industry is predicted to grow substantially in coming years. As for the surprised girlfriend? She said "yes."
New website Bohemian Hippy "soft" launched in November as a vegan lifestyle resource and social networking platform. The site was developed by United Kingdom-born entrepreneur and animal-rights activist Lynn Jolly as a new way to connect individuals to vegan apparel, food, fitness, beauty, and other companies looking to promote a cruelty-free lifestyle. "It is important that people looking for people to connect with can do so with ease," Jolly said, "and feel part of a family where they can ask questions, arrange meet-ups, find love and friends with like-minded people who share their own values about peace, love, and compassion to all beings." The site is currently focused on the UK demographic, but Jolly plans to extend its reach to the rest of Europe and beyond. All profits generated by Bohemian Hippy will be donated to animal-rights organizations and farmed animal sanctuaries.
Silicon Valley-based startup BioNacent is developing an infant formula that mimics human breast milk with the mission of replacing current formulations that rely on milk from cows. CEO and molecular biologist Craig Rouskey revealed that human breast milk contains more than 1,600 distinct proteins that aid in child development and says bovine milk is far inferior nutritionally for human children. The company—still in its early stages—is replicating human proteins by inserting human genes in-vitro into fungi and yeast. BioNacent has successfully replicated alpha-lactalbumin—a simple protein found in human breast milk—as a proof of concept in hopes of attracting investment capital. Rouskey also founded Real Vegan Cheese in 2014 and is concurrently working on creating cheese without the cow using similar technology.
On January 1, 2017, the ban on fur farming, which was adopted in the 2006 Animal Protection Act, came into force in Croatia. The entry into force is the result of a long-lasting, decisive, and persistent struggle of citizens, experts, institutions, and animal protection associations during a long-drawn-out 10-year phase-out period, while the chinchilla farmers fought tooth and nail to bring down the ban. Animal Friends would like to thank everyone who helped bring about this great victory for animals and people. Let's keep spreading the awareness that, with all the warm materials available to us, we no longer need fur and the bloody industry that goes with it.
The number of news found: 27.
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