Written by PETA
More than 200 people—mostly children—have been sickened by a unique strain of salmonella, a serious infection that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. The culprit? The African dwarf frog breeder who supplied frogs for EcoAquariums. These cruel tiny plastic cubes—to which frogs are confined for life—are sold by national retailers across the United States and Canada. The California Department of Public Health has issued an urgent notice asking vendors to discontinue selling the frogs immediately, and PETA is seconding that call.
Jamming delicate frogs into plastic cubes with just a few ounces of water is usually a death sentence for the animals. The frogs can barely move and are slowly poisoned by their own waste. A PETA investigation into Wild Creations—one of the suppliers of the frogs used for this gimmick—documented filthy conditions, starvation, and rampant neglect and mishandling of frogs.
Many national retailers have stopped selling these tiny tanks, which put both amphibians and customers at risk. Please ask Learning Express, Kirlin's Hallmark, Toy Jungle Enterprises Inc., Scholar's Choice, and Coach House Gifts to pull these cruel "novelties" off the shelves for good.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Pig ears. They're pretty gross when you think about it, and they just got a little grosser after a nationwide recall of pig-ear dog treats because of salmonella contamination. It's safe to say that my dog, Hannah, will be staying a safe paw's length away from them. But she and other dogs aren't going to have to go treatless, thanks to the Veggie Pig Ears available through the PETA Catalog. The veggie ears are completely meat-, gluten-, and salmonella-free, but full of tail-wagging good flavor.
Ellie’s all ears—veggie pig ears, that is.
Salmonella fears aside, considering how similar dogs and pigs are in terms of intelligence and personality, feeding a pig's ear to a dog is, well, kind of eerie.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
If fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and dehydration aren’t your idea of ‘healthy,’ step away from the turkey burgers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled nearly 55,000 pounds of Jennie-O All-Natural turkey burgers when the meat was found to be infected with salmonella hadar, which is resistant to antibiotics. So far, cases have been reported in 10 states, although the turkey was distributed nationwide.
Besides the fact that turkey flesh is devoid of fiber and is loaded with even more fat and cholesterol than many cuts of beef, the USDA reports that one out of eight turkeys is infected with salmonella. The cramped, filthy conditions on factory farms enable bacteria to spread like wildfire, and the antibiotics routinely given to birds to keep them alive long enough to be slaughtered contribute to the development of drug-resistant "superbugs."
The good news is that you can get the taste of turkey without the icky-ness by gobbling up Tofurky, Tofu Turkey, Native Food's Holiday Wellington, or Gardein's Veggie Turkey Breast.
If the heartbreaking pictures of animals suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses bring you down (and if they don't, you need to worry), you'll be pleased to learn that scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina are developing a way to give die-hard carnivores an animal-friendly meat fix. With the help of a grant from PETA, the scientists are working on growing "cultured" meat in their laboratory, relying on techniques similar to those they are using in their research on growing human organs for transplant patients.
The list of benefits of bioengineered in vitro meat goes on and on. It is far less likely to be contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter, which are widespread on factory farms. Scientists can control how much fat is added to the meat, which could help people lower their risk for heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The production of cultured meat wouldn't generate the tons of animal waste that factory farms do or contribute to climate change and massive water and air pollution. And, of course, if cultured meat became widely available, millions of animals every year would be spared from being scalded, skinned, or hacked apart or having their throats cut open while they are still conscious and struggling.Meat produced safely in a clean, controlled environment could someday make dead animal flesh look about as progressive as The Flintstones.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
We already know what your number one New Year's Resolution is—going vegan, right? It turns out that some celebrity chefs are also resolving to be kinder to animals—and their arteries—in 2011. In the current issue of O magazine, four gourmet gurus made the following veg-olutions:
Written by Alisa Mullins
We all know that Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys, but it turns out it can be murder on turkey-eaters too. With a little more than a week to go before the biggest turkey-dismembering day of the year, a Texas-based meat company is recalling 2,600 pounds of cooked turkey meat because of fears that it is contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. While listeria may not be as "sexy" as E.coli (bloody diarrhea, kidney failure!), it's still a nasty little bug that can cause fever, headaches, and nausea and can even be fatal to people with compromised immune systems, such as infants, elderly people, and AIDS and cancer patients.
Think you're safe if you buy a raw or frozen turkey? Sorry, turkey carcasses are often contaminated with salmonella (USDA inspection reports reveal that an average of one out of eight turkeys is infected), as well as campylobacter, which is the second-leading cause of reported food-related illnesses.
But wait, there's more! Turkey wings and legs contain even more fat and cholesterol than many cuts of beef. A turkey leg contains more than 700 milligrams of cholesterol and more than 1,600 calories—40 percent of which are derived from fat.
But all is not lost. A Thanksgiving feast without the dead bird is still a feast—just a less potentially lethal one. Need some turkey-friendly ideas? Take a gander at the tempting recipes in the Living section of PETA.org.
It seems like only yesterday I was writing about the nationwide salmonella outbreak and massive egg recall. But now it's time to move on to the latest food safety scare: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just shut down a Tyson Foods meat-processing plant in Buffalo, N.Y., after food safety inspectors found that Tyson hadn't cleaned up its act since August 23, when it recalled 380,000 pounds of deli meat that was potentially contaminated with harmful Listeria bacteria.
Tyson doesn't exactly have a reputation for being hygienic—or humane. PETA investigators have even caught Tyson employees breaking birds' necks and urinating on the slaughter line. Watch the video from PETA's undercover investigation and see for yourself.
Perhaps this latest scandal will convince the USDA to take stronger enforcement action against Tyson. Not only is the company torturing birds, it's also putting the public at risk for food poisoning.
Written by Heather Moore
Like Claude Rains in Casablanca, federal inspectors were shocked—shocked!—to find that the egg farms implicated in the recent salmonella outbreak (which led to a still-spreading recall) were filthy and shoddily maintained. In fact, a recent investigation by the Food and Drug Administration turned up barns that were infested with flies, maggots, and scurrying rodents as well as piles of droppings 4 to 8 feet high in the manure pits below the battery cages.
Surprised? We weren't. Over the past decade, a series of undercover investigations by our friends at Mercy for Animals have inevitably found cruel and unhealthy conditions on egg farms around the country—including one that was owned by the same man who operates the nasty farms that are responsible for the current disaster.
Fortunately, it's easy to crack the egg habit; just scramble over to VegCooking.com for tips and recipes.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Ever since half a billion eggs were recalled because of a salmonella outbreak, people have been talking about food safety regulations. Animal welfare issues have been mentioned, but they need to be considered more seriously. The following are some facts to help you tell the hens' side of the story:
There's cruelty in every carton of eggs:Ninety-nine percent of hens used by the egg industry are confined to filthy, crowded battery cages. In June, the owner of one of the egg farms involved in the recall—and of the company that supplies chickens and chicken feed to both farms implicated in the outbreak—pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals and paid more than $130,000 in fines and restitution following an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals.
Salmonella spreads like wildfire on factory farms:Under squalid factory farm conditions, it's easy for salmonella bacteria—which live in the intestines and feces of animals—to spread from bird to bird and from birds to people. Vegan foods don't naturally harbor salmonella bacteria.
Avoiding eggs is the best way to prevent salmonella poisoning and reduce animal suffering:A salmonella vaccine that has been used successfully in Britain is available, but American regulators don't believe there's enough evidence to show that vaccinating hens will prevent people from getting sick. It's obvious that our food safety regulations are not all they're cracked up to be and that the safest and kindest way to prevent salmonella poisoning is to stop eating eggs altogether. PETA is urging Iowa schools to stop serving eggs to children in order to help protect them from food poisoning. You can opt for egg replacer, scrambled tofu, and other tasty vegan foods.
Written by Heather Moore
More than a quarter of a billion eggs—a quarter of a billion!—have reportedly been recalled because of an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people in at least three states. A nationwide recall of 13 brands sold by an Iowa egg factory farm has launched a multi-agency investigation that is only expected to grow in scope and scale.It's heartbreaking to imagine how many hens lived and died in misery to lay and lose their now rejected eggs, when you consider that a hen has to endure 22 hours of confinement in a crowded battery cage to produce just one egg. Our friends at Mercy for Animals recently released undercover video footage from a California egg factory farm exposing row after multi-stacked row of chickens who live in filthy cages in which they can barely move, injured and sick birds who never see a veterinarian, and birds who are violently grabbed and thrown by their wings, necks, and legs:
The easiest way to steer clear of diarrhea, cramps, and a possible trip to the emergency room is to avoid eggs altogether. There are loads of ways to avoid eating chicken embryos—check out all these alternatives.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.