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  • A Vegan New Year's Eve

    Written by PETA

    New Year's Eve is all about having fun, which is why PETA has come up with three fun, easy recipes that will wow your party guests. And if some of your guests aren't already vegan, what better way to win them over than with food that will have them begging for seconds?

    Muhammara and Garlic-Olive Breadsticks

    3 red bell peppers

    1 cup olive oil

    3 cloves garlic

    1 onion, chopped

    1/2 cup bread crumbs

    1 Tbsp water

    1/2 cup walnuts

    2 dried red chillies

    Salt, to taste

    5 slices vegan bread (preferably thick slices)

    1/2 cup olives

    2 tsp garlic powder

     

    • Preheat the oven to 175°C. Roast the bell peppers for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, then peel and remove the seeds. Cut into small pieces.
    • Heat 1/2 cupful of the olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions until lightly browned.
    • In a food processor, blend the bread crumbs with the water. Add the walnuts, red chillies, bell peppers and the sautéed onions and garlic (with the olive oil) and blend into a smooth paste. Season with salt.
    • Cut the bread slices into long sticks.
    • Mix the olives with the garlic powder and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt. Spread evenly and liberally on top of the bread slices, then toast in the oven until crisp.

    Makes 4 servings

    Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings'

    1 cup water or soya milk
    1 cup flour (any kind will work – even gluten-free!)
    2 tsp garlic powder
    1 head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
    1 cup hot sauce
    1 Tbsp olive oil or melted vegan margarine

    • Preheat the oven to 232.2°C.
    • Combine the water or soya milk, flour and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
    • Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
    • While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and olive oil or margarine in a small bowl.
    • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

    Serve alongside vegan blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

    Makes 4 servings

    Baked Tomato, Garlic and Basil Bruschetta Bites

    15 sugar plum tomatoes, diced
    12 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 Tbsp onion powder
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 tsp soy sauce
    1 tsp black pepper
    1/2 loaf French baguette, thinly sliced

    • Preheat the oven to 177ºC.
    • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the bread and mix well. Place the bread on a baking sheet and spoon a little tomato mixture onto each slice.
    • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are slightly golden and the topping is warm.

    Makes 4 servings

    Now you can just sit back and enjoy the compliments into the wee hours of the morning. From all of us at PETA, Happy New Year – and bon appétit!

  • R Madhavan: PETA's Person of the Year

    Written by PETA

    Immensely popular actor R Madhavan is receiving a prestigious award, but this time, it isn't related to his prolific and enduring film career. That's because he's been named PETA's Person of the Year for his outstanding support of PETA in helping us make this world a better place for animals.

    Madhavan – a long-time vegetarian, the narrator of the compelling "Glass Walls" video and, of course, an immensely popular actor – actively promotes vegetarianism as the best way to help stop animal suffering, reduce pollution, fight climate change and improve human health.

    The star of such blockbusters as Rang De Basanti, Guru and 3 Idiots bolstered PETA's Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign by sending a letter on PETA's behalf to the CEO of KFC parent company, Yum! Brands, urging him to adopt PETA's recommendations to stop the worst abuses of chickens who are killed for KFC – including scalding birds to death. Also, his son recently donated money that he received for his seventh birthday to further PETA's work. One of Madhavan's most significant contributions to PETA was his offer to narrate PETA's hard-hitting video exposé of the meat industry called "Glass Walls", which was named for fellow vegetarian Paul McCartney's thought-provoking observation that if "slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian".

    "When you see what goes on inside slaughterhouses, I think you'll lose your appetite for animal flesh, too", Madhavan says in the video. "Animals feel pain, just as people do. They value their lives, just as we value ours." He concludes by saying, "I hope you'll also make the compassionate choice and go vegetarian".

    If you agree, please take the pledge to go vegetarian with R Madhavan today!

  • Victory! 70 Beagles Rescued From Tests!

    Written by PETA

    It's time to rejoice!

    In a landmark move, 70 beagles who were imported from China by Advinus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical laboratory in Bangalore, have been released to People For Animals and Blue Cross Chennai following a rigorous campaign for their release by PETA India and these groups. The dogs have been removed from quarantine and handed over to animal protection groups with the permission of the Ministry of Environment & Forests and through efforts made internally in government by MP Maneka Gandhi.

    The rescue was approved after PETA notified the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals that it was falsely stated on an Animal Quarantine & Certification Service document that the dogs were "pets", rather than for experiments. PETA also learned that Cathay Pacific Airways, which has a strict policy against transporting animals to laboratories, was misinformed by the supplier, Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co., Ltd., that the dogs would not be used or killed in a laboratory.

    More than fifty thousand people from around the world sent e-mails to authorities calling for the dogs' release. Actor Trisha Krishnan also sent a heartfelt letter to the government calling for the dogs’ release. Many other celebrities helped by tweeting about the campaign and encouraging their fans to write.

    "Recently, the Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan flew to Chennai to personally inspect the 70 beagles. PETA commends and thanks Minister Natarajan for giving the serious attention to this case that it deserves", says PETA's Science Policy Advisor, Dr Chaitanya Kumar. "PETA India invites people who are ready to make the lifelong commitment to caring for a dog to adopt these puppies and give them the loving home that they were almost denied."

    Experimenters use beagles because of their friendly and docile nature. Beagles in laboratories spend their lonely lives in cages and are often poisoned with drugs, burned with chemicals or cut open in experimental surgical procedures. At the end of most of these experiments, they are killed and dissected.

    Anyone in the Chennai area interested in adopting one of the rescued dogs is invited to contact People For Animals (pfachen@gmail.com) or Blue Cross Chennai (bluecrossofindia@gmail.com).

  • PETA Investigates Mumbai's Victorias

    Written by PETA

    Right before the High Court of Bombay hearing for Mumbai's horse-drawn carriages on 13 December 2012, PETA released the findings of its latest investigation of cruelty to horses used by the carriage industry in the city.

    See some of the heart-rending photographs from PETA's investigation, which show sick, injured, overworked and malnourished horses forced to live in atrociously filthy conditions.

    An earlier court ruling suggested that horses found to be unfit should not be used for pulling carriages again until a veterinary officer determines that they are fit. As PETA points out, though, the stables are in decrepit condition, and forcing horses to work in the congested city, hauling loads on pavement, deteriorates their physical and mental health. The following are just a few of PETA's findings:

    • Many horses were fitted with spiked bits, which cause their mouths to bleed. Horses were found with swollen lips and cuts in their mouths.
    • Stables were found with various problems, such as poor ventilation and no drainage. The accumulated garbage, faeces and urine served as breeding grounds for flies, germs and disease. Food was often thrown on top of the horses' own faeces.
    • Most of the stables lacked any facility whatsoever for water, and horses weren't given water between gruelling stints of pulling passengers. They are also starved while at work for up to 12 hours a day, even though their digestive systems require continuous feed intake in small quantities.
    • Fatigued, overloaded horses were routinely whipped to make them move faster. Many drivers cover up the wounds using lime mortar, which acts as an irritant.
    • Many horses' joints were so sore or swollen that they continually lifted their legs off the ground in order to rest them.
    • Most of the horses were found with drooping heads, a sign of severe depression.
    • Drivers readily permit the overloading of their carriages.

    Join the campaign and call for a ban on cruel horse-drawn carriages in Mumbai.

  • PETA Asia VP Remembers Ravi Shankar

    Written by PETA

    Animals lost a good friend this week with the passing of the legendary sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. It's hard to believe he's gone – just last week, when the Grammy nominations were announced, the first thing I did was read the World category to see whether Ravi had received a nomination. He had. I consider myself very lucky to have gotten to know Ravi and be invited into his home.

    When I went to help set up PETA India back in 1999, I set myself a goal to talk to Ravi about helping animals. When we met, he asked, "You know who you look like?" I said no, and he said, "Paul McCartney". In fact, the last time we met, he asked the same question, and I responded, "Paul McCartney?" He said, "Exactly".

    He was welcoming and also agreed, to my excitement, to do his first-ever ad for PETA to encourage the Indian government to strengthen the country’s animal protection laws. Thinking back to the shooting of the ad in Delhi conjures up more fond memories of Ravi: discussions of his cats, the time he told me how he and George Harrison went to Disneyworld in disguise in the '70s and his laughter when a goat attempted to chew on his priceless sitar and ended up biting his daughter Anoushka’s finger! (It was a love bite.)

    After the shooting of the video public service announcement in Delhi, Ravi wanted to do even more, so he invited me to his home in San Diego a few week later, where he and Anoushka shot a print ad – on his front lawn, of all places. He was always eager to help, whether that meant holding a news conference to highlight PETA India’s Supreme Court of India case aimed at ending the illegal treatment of animals who end up in slaughterhouses or speaking out about KFC's lack of animal welfare standards. He became an honorary patron of PETA India, and just recently, he was talking with us again about urging the government of India to pass an updated animal welfare law.

    It's so sad that Ravi has left us, but PETA continues to draw inspiration from his life and will work to ensure that his efforts to help animals will live on.

    Ravi, we miss you already.

    Jason Baker


  • Sofia Hayat's Birthday Gift to Bunnies

    Written by PETA

    When sultry actor, model and singer Sofia Hayat told us she wanted to dedicate her birthday to animals, we knew she'd be able to turn heads and hearts. Dressed as a sexy bunny, the birthday girl burst out of a cake at her 6 December bash to urge her guests to buy only cruelty-free cosmetics.

    Sofia is the latest celebrity to join PETA's campaign to persuade the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to follow the European Union's lead and ban cosmetics testing on rabbits, mice, rats and other animals.

    "There's nothing sweet about harming rabbits and poisoning rats for lipsticks and eye shadow", said Sofia, who was recently featured in the Bollywood film Diary of a Butterfly and has appeared on Bindass TV's Superdude.

    In 2013, it will be illegal to test cosmetics and their ingredients on animals in the EU or to sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals even if tested in a different country. PETA's proposal for a similar ban in India has already gained support from the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education, the Animal Welfare Board of India, international companies The Body Shop and LUSH and Indian companies Omved and Shahnaz Husain.

    More than 1,300 companies around the world have banned all animal tests, but many still subject animals to painful tests in which substances are smeared on their skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats. Because of the vast physiological differences between humans and animals, the results of these tests are often misleading.

    Until the government sees the light and bans animal tests, we can save bunnies and other animals every time we shop by taking Sofia's advice and purchasing cosmetics and other products from the growing number of companies that use modern, effective, non-animal testing methods.

  • Minister Investigates Beagles

    Written by PETA

    On Saturday, 1 December 2012, Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan flew to Chennai to personally inspect 70 beagles who had been imported from China by Advinus Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical laboratory in Bangalore, following a rigorous campaign for their release by PETA India.

    The visit comes after PETA notified the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimentation on Animals that it was falsely stated on an Animal Quarantine & Certification Service document that the dogs were "pets", rather than for experiments. PETA also learned that Cathay Pacific Airways, which has a strict policy against transporting animals to laboratories, was misinformed by the supplier, Beijing Marshall Biotechnology Co., Ltd., that the dogs would not be used by or killed in a laboratory. PETA is calling on the government to release the dogs to PETA, People For Animals Chennai and Blue Cross Chennai to be put up for adoption.

    Preliminary government investigations also revealed that there was a mismatch in terms of the number of dogs requested by the Bangalore-based laboratory, the number imported by them and the number of animals really used for various tests by the laboratory.

    During the inspection, Natarajan, in addition to affirming her commitment to this investigation, informed the media that she will make it a priority to focus on the Animal Welfare Act 2011, which if passed in the form drafted by the Animal Welfare Board of India, would strengthen India's weak penalties for cases of cruelty to animals.

    PETA commends and thanks Natarajan for giving the serious attention to this case that it deserves.

    More than 50,000 people have written to authorities calling for the beagles' release. Are you one of them? Please take action now.

     

  • UPDATE on The Hobbit's Alleged Cruelty

    Written by PETA

    The following are updates from our friends at PETA US on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's alleged cruelty to animals.

    UPDATE (November 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time): Following PETA's release last week of disturbing whistleblower reports of 27 animal deaths during the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeywe have asked authorities in New Zealand, where The Hobbit was filmed, to investigate and pursue appropriate criminal charges if warranted.

    *****

    UPDATE (November 20, 2012, 4:00 p.m. Eastern time): PETA responds to Peter Jackson's statement: Five whistleblowers reported more than two dozen animal deaths during the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They raised concerns not just once but repeatedly to both the head wrangler and the head of production about the unsafe housing conditions for animals and about Shanghai the horse, who was hobbled (his legs reportedly tied together when he proved to be "too energetic" for his rider). But their concerns were outright ignored.

    With the exception of the hobbled horse, all claims of animal injury and death are directly related to how the animals were housed and fed. Jackson attempts to deflect these serious charges by talking about the use of animals during action sequences—even though these damning incidents did not take place when cameras were rolling. Two horses went over steep embankments and died (one was found with her head submerged in water), a horse sustained a severe injury after being put in with other horses despite known problems, sheep broke their legs in sinkholes, and chickens were mauled by dogs—all instances of extreme negligence. It seems to PETA that instead of vainly defending himself, Jackson should be giving a firm assurance that this will never happen again. He is the CGI master and has the ability to make the animals and other interesting creatures in his movies 100 percent CGI, and PETA calls on him again to do so.

    Send a message to filmmakers that hurting and killing animals for a film is unacceptable and refuse to see movies that do.

    Urge Peter Jackson to hold himself and his crew responsible when it comes to animal safety on film sets.

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