News of Note


E.U. Bans Cosmetics With Animal-Tested Ingredients
European Union regulators announced a ban Monday on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives. The ban, which will take effect immediately, “gives an important signal on the value that Europe attaches to animal welfare,” Tonio Borg, the E.U. commissioner for health and consumer policy, said in a statement.


Five shark species win protection against finning trade
The millions of sharks killed every year to feed the vast appetite for shark-fin soup in Asia now have greater protection, after the 178 nations at the world’s biggest wildlife summit voted to crack down on the trade.  Those fishing for oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and three species of hammerhead shark will now require strictly controlled permits to export the fins. The move is a landmark moment for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) because many previous attempts to protect marine species – including these sharks – have failed.


Colo. House committee delays vote on cow tail bill
The backside of Colorado’s dairy cows was the focus of a contentious debate Thursday in a state House committee, which ultimately postponed a vote on a bill that would prevent farmers from cutting cattle tails for sanitary reasons…The milk producers federation, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and others have come out against tail docking because research has found it doesn’t make milk or workers safer. The groups also argue tail docking robs cows of their built-in fly swatters and causes pain.  California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have banned tail docking. Ohio will stop the practice in 2018.


If it’s Monday, the L.A. Unified school cafeteria is meatless
Los Angeles public schools have just gone meatless on Mondays. But unlike the Los Angeles City Council’s resolution in November that simply urges people to observe a Monday without meat, the school system really has issued an edict. It stopped serving meat on Mondays last month. Of course, students could pack turkey sandwiches from home. But the school cafeterias won’t be selling them, and that’s a good thing.

States Consider So-Called ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills
Since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle over a century ago, going undercover has been one of the only ways to expose malpractice in agricultural and meat processing facilities. But legislation, so-called ‘ag-gag’ bills, has either passed or is being considered in about a dozen states and would explicitly outlaw undercover reporting as well as the publication of material gathered by undercover reporting.


Animal-rights advocates speak out against horse slaughterhouses in Oklahoma
About 100 animal-rights advocates spent Thursday at the state Capitol trying to persuade legislators that authorizing horse slaughterhouses would be a bad deal for Oklahoma.

Amid Suffering, Animal Welfare Legislation Still Far Off in China
About animals, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’” So wrote Jeremy Bentham, the English philosopher, more than 200 years ago.  It seems anomalous that China, the world’s second-biggest economy, lacks animal welfare legislation (other places do too, though in Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines have been praised for their protection laws.)

Action Alerts

Ask your Senator to Support Help the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (SSB 5202)
This bill was amended by the Senate Agriculture committee last week before it was voted out of committee. Unfortunately, the committee stripped the bill of its pet-food fee funding source that would have generated millions of dollars per year, and replaced it with another funding source that shows very little promise of generating any funds to support this statewide program. The new funding source allows (does not require) animal control agencies to contribute up to $1 per pet licensed in their jurisdictions to the statewide spay/neuter fund. The Washington Alliance for Humane Legislation will work with state senators to identify other funding options for the bill that provide fair and adequate revenues.  However, we do want the bill to pass so that it provides a framework for the program. That’s where you come in.

We ask that you urge your state senator today to support this bill’s passage.  Here’s what to do:

Go to the legislature’s website page for commenting on SSB 5202.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The first time you submit comments you will asked to quickly set up an account.
Type in your message to your senator being concise and respectful. You can say something like “Please do everything you can to help pass SSB 5202, the companion animal spay/neuter assistance bill through the Senate Rules Committee and pass on the Senate floor.”  Tell your senator why this bill is important to you and the people in your community.


Ask your Senator to Help the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Bill  HB 1202

This bill would strengthen our state’s animal fighting and animal cruelty laws. It would also authorize animal control officers and police to remove animals confined in vehicles when the animals’ lives or health are threatened by extreme temperatures, and create penalties that can be applied in those circumstances. This bill is currently in the House Rules Committee.

Please urge your state representatives today to support this bill’s passage. Here’s what to do:

Go to the legislature’s website page for commenting on SHB 1202.

Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The first time you submit comments you will asked to quickly set up an account.
Type in your message, being concise and respectful.  You can say something like “Please do all you can to help SHB 1202, a bill to help prevent animal cruelty, pass through the House Rules Committee and pass on the House floor.” Tell your representatives why this bill is important to you and the people in your community.

Note: If you already know your representatives’ email addresses you can skip the first two steps above.


Stand Up for Goats Who Can’t
Since 2007 Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc. (SCBT), one of the world’s largest suppliers of goat antibodies, has been cited for several egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), increasing the suffering of animals who are already put through physical and mental anguish.

USDA should revoke the license of any facility that defies the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). There is little doubt that Santa Cruz Biotechnology (SCBT) is a prime example of a company that meets that criteria.

Contact the Director of the USDA’s Western Regional Office to insist that immediate serious action be taken against Santa Cruz Biotech.

Dr. Robert Gibbens Director, Western Region USDA/APHIS/A
2150 Center Avenue
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
(970) 494-7478


Contact Secretary of Agriculture and tell him to enforce the AWA immediately.

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
phone (202) 720-3631
fax (202) 720-2166

Link of the Week

American Anti Vivisection Society

News of Note

Environmental footprint of vegan and vegetarian diets 30% lower than non-vegetarian diets, say researchers: ‘We have to drastically cut consumption of meat and dairy’
If the evidence that plant-based diets are better for human health is compelling, the evidence that they are better for the planet is indisputable, delegates at the 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition were told.


Rise of Factory Farm ‘Gag Laws’ Show Why Food Safety Cuts Are Troubling
As a result of reports like the one from the Humane Society, ag-gag bills have been introduced in at least five states this year. The Indiana Senate this week debated a proposal to criminalize taking photos or videos inside an agricultural or industrial operation without permission, according to local media reports. Similar measures are currently up for consideration in New Hampshire, Nebraska, Wyoming and Arkansas.  Because trespassing is already illegal, opponents of the legislation charge it can only have one motive – to punish whistleblowers, investigative reporters and food safety advocates who attempt to speak out about the appalling conditions in which a majority of American meat is produced.


Going Vegan: Betty Crocker gets a plant-based makeover
On their Meet The Shannons blog they began sharing recipes for vegan creations inspired by the Betty Crocker style of cooking. Before too long, thanks to a short online mention by The New York Times, thousands of people were taking notice. That led to a cookbook deal and the recent release of “Betty Goes Vegan,” a massive collection of 500 recipes, many inspired by actual Betty Crocker dishes. It all came together in less than two years, the blink of an eye in the cookbook world.


Finding ‘meatless’ meat for a world of cities
Today, though, there’s a new rationale — keyed to the world’s future — for finding substitutes for meat.  Fact No. 1: The immense demand on resources to deliver a single quarter-pound hamburger — 6.7 pounds of grain, 600 gallons of water, 75 square feet of land, 1,036 BTUs of energy.
Modest enough? Not when you note the average American consumes 224 pounds of meat a year — 1,000 times the single hamburger.
Fact No. 2: Globally, meat for today’s 7 billion people requires 60 billion land animals, all grazing, drinking water and expelling wastes. “Cattle Nation” would be the world’s third-largest greenhouse-gas emitter, trailing only China and the United States. By 2050, with 9 billion people on Earth, it will take at least 100 billion land animals to feed us all.


African lions – the killer kings in mortal danger from man and sham medicine
The king of the beasts is on his deathbed. The great cats are vanishing across Africa. In fact, a study last year in Biodiversity Conservation estimated that lion populations have fallen by 68% in just 50 years: from 100,000 in 1960 to 35,000 today. Another report by the NGO LionAid, however, estimated even fewer: 15,000.  The story of the lion’s decline is similar to that of many big predators. Ever-expanding human populations have gobbled up lion habitat for agriculture, livestock, and cities, while numbers lion prey – from antelope to zebra – have fallen dramatically. And like many top predators, lions face an unceasing conflict with humans: they are killed as pests, for trophies, and even for sham medicine.


Alicia Silverstone’s ‘The Kind Diet’ Helps Tia Mowry Go Vegan
Actress Tia Mowry is embracing the vegan lifestyle, and sends many thanks to vegan pro Alicia Silverstone for helping her create delicious recipes.  Mowry and her hubby, actor Cory Hardrict, just switched to plant-based diets at the beginning of the New Year. The actress also recently started blogging on Silverstone’s The Kind Life blog, where she is sharing tips about her vegan journey and some yummy recipes.

Action Alerts


Take Action for Chimps
On January 22, the Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research presented its final report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, which voted unanimously to support the report’s 28 recommendations. They call for the retirement of the majority of government-supported chimps as soon as new homes can be built and the suspension of half of all current studies using chimpanzees. If accepted by NIH, 350 chimpanzees will be immediately and permanently retired from research!
NIH has opened a 60-day comment period in which the public can weigh in on chimpanzee retirement and voice support and/or concerns about the Working Group’s recommendations. We need your help to ensure that chimpanzee retirement becomes a reality!
Please check out this link to send comments to the NIH


Tell Congress To End Cruel, Wasteful, Taxpayer-funded Animal Experiments
Tell Congress to end cruelty in labs and provide stricter oversight for granting money to biomedical research, and to ensure that all NIH-funded experiments comply with its stated mission to enhance human health. See this link for the cruelty and waste.


Find and contact your U.S. Senators

Find and contact your U.S. Representative


Link of the Week

Living Humane

News of Note


Military is required to justify using animals in medic training after pressure from activists
The war between animal activists and the Pentagon has raged for decades. You could say there’s been a fair amount of collateral damage: thousands of goats and pigs have been mutilated, though the military argues the animals have not died in vain…The demand, tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, marks the first time Congress has ordered the Pentagon to provide a detailed plan to start relying less on animals and more on simulators. The military must also specify whether removing animals from training sessions could lead to a “reduction in the competency of combat medical personnel,” according to the bill.


Animal attorneys? Connecticut bill would allow advocates to speak for animals in court
“HB 6310 would give the option for an advocate in court for an egregiously injured animal,” said Urban, a Democrat from North Stonington, Conn. “This would enable the animal’s injury to be identified as a red flag for future violent behavior. We are putting together a public/private partnership with the state Department of Agriculture and nonprofit rescue groups including Connecticut Votes for Animals to be available to speak for the animals in court.”


The horse-meat scandal….And the winner is
On the face of it, local butchers and vegetarianism have little in common. But—upholding the principle that every crisis helps someone—both have been buoyed by the recent discovery, in Britain and elsewhere, of horse meat in dishes supposedly made of beef.  A poll by ComRes, a market-research agency, showed that 7% of respondents had stopped eating meat altogether as a result of the equine scandal.


Ditching dairy
The reasons are as plentiful and varied as the consumers giving dairy-free living a whirl. Some of us struggle to digest milk as we age and the small intestine stops producing lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose. Some people eliminate dairy to address specific health conditions. Others are eliminating animal products altogether in favor of a vegan lifestyle.


Silicon Valley Embraces Innovation in Sustainable Foods
Khosla is backing other sustainable food startups, such as an organic and healthier candy company (Unreal Candy), a salt replacement product (Nu-Tek Salt), a plant-based meat replacement startup (Sand Hill Foods), and a fake cheese company. During Khosla’s limited-partners meeting last summer, Bill Gates called the budding food innovation movement—which is making food more sustainable and also cheaper—a “huge thing” that “will confound the pessimists.” Gates’s team also recently created and will soon release a documentary about four food innovation startups, one of which is Hampton Creek Foods.


This Is What Vegans Eat
After I decided to go vegan several years ago, I found that many people in my life were perplexed as to what I would eat. Friends never knew what to make when they invited me to their house and often simply wondered exactly what I subsisted on every day. No matter how much I tried to explain that it wasn’t that complicated, I still felt a certain wonder coming from them whenever I’d say that I just had a delicious meal.


Week in Vegan
GQ Eats Vegan, Vegans Cook Naked, and Everyone is Obsessed with Horse Meat


Pat Derby, Champion of Animal Welfare, Dies at 69
Pat Derby, a former animal trainer for television shows like “Lassie” and “Flipper” who became a crusader against animal exploitation in entertainment and founded of one of the largest privately operated wildlife sanctuaries in the United States, died last Friday at her home in San Andreas, Calif. She was 69.


Animal rights activists aim to ban lead bullets for hunting
Environmentalists and animal rights groups have been pushing for the state of California to ban the use of lead bullets for all types of hunting in order to protect the endangered California condor.

Action Alerts

Ask your Representative and Senator to Support the Spay/Neuter Assistance Bill (HB 1229 and SB 5202)
Spay/neuter assistance bills have been introduced in the 2013 Washington State Legislature: SB 5202 and HB 1229. Hearings were held on February 5 and 6 in Olympia.

Please let your Senator know that you want to see SB 5202 passed, and your Representative know you want HB 1229.
Emails, phone calls & letters are best.

To find your legislature and their contact info, see this link

Elephant Tania Needs Your Help
Tell the European Commissioner for the Environment, who is responsible for implementing and enforcing the EU Zoo Directive to investigate Tania’s situation, and work toward raising standards to improve the lives of millions of zoo animals in the European Union.
Tania is a 37-year-old elephant suffering a life of solitary confinement at the Targu-Mures Zoo in Romania, transferred from an Italian zoo in September. Although the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria requires that zoos house female elephants in groups, Tania continues to languish without the company of other elephants. This is cruel punishment for female elephants, who are profoundly social.


Mr. Janez Potocnik
Commissioner for the Environment
European Commission
Environment DG, B-1049
Brussels, Belgium

Also, ask the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria to take immediate action to alleviate Tania’s suffering and integrate her with other elephants.

EAZA Executive Office
Dr. Lesley Dickie
Executive Director
c/o Artis Zoo – Amsterdam
PO Box 20164
1000 HD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

For more information, see IDA


Save the AstraZeneca Beagles
Contact AstraZeneca TODAY urging them to release the beagles for adoption and NOT send them to labs.
Please support calls being made by our Swedish friends at Djurrättsalliansen (Animal Rights Alliance) that hundreds of beagles currently housed at AstraZeneca kennels in Sweden, earmarked for closure, be rehomed, instead of being sent to facilities to be used as research tools.
The beagles near Örkelljungain are currently destined to be sent to the UK, to AstraZeneca labs in Cheshire, and we have been informed Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), where they will be subjected to cruel and painful tests.
According to The Times, the closure is part of a £1 billion cost-cutting drive involving 7,300 job cuts and the company buying in, rather than breeding, dogs. In addition to the Swedish facility, AstraZeneca is also closing kennels in the UK.


Please contact AstraZeneca TODAY urging them to release the beagles for adoption. Send a polite email to and

Please ask the airline Aeronova not to transport animals for research. Send a polite email to and

Contact the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt asking them to take immediate action to prevent the beagles being sent for research

Link of the Week


In Defense of Animals

News of Note


Animal Rights Groups Unite to Get Wolves the Protection They Need
This week a number of animal advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Department of the Interior to restore federal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region, which were removed last year….“In the short time since federal protections have been removed, trophy hunters and trappers have killed hundreds of Great Lakes wolves under hostile state management programs that encourage dramatic reductions in wolf populations,”

Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes Toward Wolves
This study of Wisconsin residents’ attitudes toward wolves found an increase in fear of wolves and an increase in support for lethal control methods from 2001-2004 to 2009. The study also found an increase in the belief that wolves compete with hunters for deer and even an increased inclination to personally poach a wolf. The study’s authors say that legal and illegal killing of wolves in Wisconsin may continue to grow and threaten the abundance of the species unless action is taken.


Turlock farmers charged after hens starve
Prosecutors say two poultry farmers accused of leaving 50,000 hens to starve are facing felony animal cruelty charges.  Andy Cheung and Lien Diep were arraigned Monday on the charges in Stanislaus County Superior Court.  If convicted, they could face up to three years in prison and $20,000 in fines.


Being Vegan – It Can Happen Just Like This
A few months back there was a report issued by The United Nations stating that it would seem to be imperative that most of the world’s population should switch to a plant-based diet by the year 2050 in order to ensure that there would be enough food and water on the planet for the increased population that will be present at that time.   This was not put forth by a bunch of politicians and diplomats but a group of scientists, largely from the prestigious Stockholm International Water Institute.

An Inquiry into Animal Rights Vegan Activists’ Perception and Practice of Persuasion
This thesis paper investigates the strategies of “animal rights vegan activists,” with emphasis on their persuasive practices and why they have failed to convince large numbers of people to become vegan. The author examines a wide range of tactics and explores two case studies involving the “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the college leafleting promoted by Vegan Outreach.

Traces of Anxiety Drug May Affect Behavior in Fish
Traces of a common psychiatric medication that winds up in rivers and streams may affect fish behavior and feeding patterns, according to a study in the journal Science published Thursday.  Researchers reported that fish exposed to Oxazepam became less social, more active and ate faster, behaviors they said could have long-term consequences for aquatic ecosystems.


Legislature needs to stop anti-whistleblower legislation in its tracks
This anti-whistleblower legislation is unnecessary and unjust. And, given the fact that Wallis is the chief executive of a company that has proposed horse slaughterhouse plants in Oklahoma, Missouri and the Riverton area, it’s unethical.  If animal abuse isn’t enough to turn your stomach, think about undercover operations that have stopped the spread of foodborne illnesses and the shipping of meat from sick animals.


Vegan couture: Faux meets fabulous
For Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, being vegan isn’t only about what she eats and chooses to wear each day.  Avoiding meat and dairy in her diet and animal-derived products in her closet is just part of the equation for the 30-year-old designer, businesswoman and animal lover. As founder of fashion label Vaute Couture, her dedication to creating animal-free coats, sweaters and other cold-weather gear has earned her a global cult following among animal rights activists and eco-conscious fashionistas.