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Vegan Eid al-Fitr Recipes From a PETA Mom

Written by PETA

Posted 07-24-2014, 03:05 PM

With Ramadan in full swing, many people find themselves daydreaming about food, from simple street treats to the most beloved concoctions from mom’s kitchen. This Eid al-Fitr, try breaking your fast with tasty vegan dishes from the cruelty-free kitchen of Nazneen Shakila Aziz, the mom of our media and celebrity projects specialist, Benazir Suraiya. In addition to being delectable, her scrumptious vegan masterpieces can be gobbled up guilt-free.

Below are two of Nazneen’s favourite traditional Eid al-Fitr recipes – veganised – for the big feast.

Vegan Seviyan


100 ml refined vegetable oil
250 g vermicelli noodles
600 ml coconut milk
500 ml water
250 g sugar
1 Tbsp cardamom powder
50 g almonds, chopped
50 g cashews, chopped
50 g pistachios, chopped
50 g raisins

  • Heat the oil in a pan on high heat and fry the vermicelli until golden.
  • In another pan, stir the coconut milk, water and sugar together and cook on medium heat until a syrup if formed. Stir in the cardamom powder.
  • Pour the syrup into the pan of vermicelli and cook on medium heat until the noodles are soft. Add the almonds, cashews, pistachios and raisins – leaving enough to garnish with – and mix well.
  • Serve hot in a large bowl and garnish.

Makes 10 to 15 servings


Mock Lamb Shammi Kebab


150 g chana dal (split Bengal gram)
3 medium onions
3 tsp cumin seed powder
3 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp garam masala
500 g Sunshine (Everbest) mock lamb chunks
5 bay leaves
10 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 cup water
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
3 Tbsp corn flour
100 g cornflakes
Refined vegetable oil

  • Combine the chana dal, onions, ginger, garlic, chillies, cumin seed powder, coriander seed powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder, garam masala, mock lamb chunks, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, water and salt in a pressure cooker and cook for 4 to 5 whistles (approximately 10 minutes), or until the water evaporates.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, then remove the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Grind the remaining mixture into a thick paste. Add the mint leaves and corn flour
  • Using your palm, shape a spoonful of the paste into a flat, round kebab. Repeat with the remaining paste.
  • Grind the cornflakes into a fine powder and coat the kebabs.
  • Heat the oil in a pan on high heat and fry the kebabs until golden.
  • Serve hot and garnish with onion and mint leaves.

Makes 10 to 15 servings

Still hungry? Check out Nazneen’s mouthwatering vegan dum biryani recipe and this soy keema and cruelty-free mutton curry.






What Will Prince George Receive for His Birthday?

Written by PETA

Posted 07-22-2014, 03:31 PM

You’re never too young to start learning the ropes of the family business, which is why PETA UK is marking Prince George‘s first birthday (22 July) by sending the youngest member of the Windsors his very own regal velvet robe trimmed with the softest faux fur, courtesy of The Throw Company Ltd.


“Britain is known around the world as a nation of animal lovers, so we hope that in the coming years, Prince George will reflect British values by always insisting that his ceremonial robes be trimmed with compassionate faux fur”, says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. “Real fur is not only cruel to animals but also devastating to the environment. Pelts must be coated with a whole host of polluting chemicals to stop them from decomposing, so the eco-friendly faux trim should be a hit with the little prince’s grandfather, too!”

On fur farms, animals spend their entire lives in tiny, filthy cages before they are poisoned, bludgeoned, electrocuted or even skinned alive in order to produce fur coats, collars, cuffs and accessories for both adults and children. In China – which is now the world’s largest fur exporter – fur from cats and dogs is often falsely labelled as fur from other animals before it is exported.

A growing number of dignitaries in the UK, including many Lord Mayors, have brought their traditional robes in line with 21st century ethics by switching to cruelty-free faux trim after hearing from PETA UK.

PETA UK’s birthday gift for Prince George also includes a beautiful baby-blue faux-fur blanket, which is also from The Throw Company, to help keep the little prince warm as well as stylish.

How You Can Help
You can prevent such horrific cruelty by never wearing any fur. Take PETA’s pledge to be fur-free TODAY!


Help Your Animal Friends on Friendship Day

Written by PETA

Posted 07-19-2014, 05:40 PM

If you are reading this post, you probably agree with us that animals are our friends. So what better way to show them how much we care on Friendship Day than by helping our human friends go vegan?

That’s why the theme of PETA’s Friendship Day celebration is “Friends Don’t Eat Friends.” And PETA is here to help you get that message across with a free Friendship Day pack!


Each pack contains the following items:

And if you want to be extra-friendly, how about taking your newly vegan friends out for a vegan shake from Café Coffee Day or treating them with budget-friendly gifts?

How to Get Your Free Pack
Send your name, postal address, e-mail address and phone number to, and we’ll get your Friendship Day pack on its way to you. Be sure to write “Friendship Day pack request” in the subject line. Read our privacy policy here. This mission is only open to people who live in India.

After you get the pack, take some selfies and share the friendship bracelet, video or other information with your friends by 3 August. Send them to us at, and we’ll post the best images on PETA India’s Facebook page and Twitter feed so that you’ll have a chance to “share” the experience with your friends all over again. And don’t forget to share the images on your pages on social networking sites, too!


Are Your Rescued Cats Cuter Than Ours? Prove It!

Written by PETA

Posted 07-19-2014, 12:02 PM

Rescuing an animal is a win-win situation: you save a life and gain a best friend. With the Cutest Rescued Cat Contest deadline approaching, we’re sharing our own rescued cat stories to give you some pawbulous inspiration for your own contest entry. Check out these charming kitties who stole our hearts and our office space:



Soya has been with PETA for five and a half years. A victim of cruel children’s heartless games, Soya had her tail burned and was infested with maggots when we found him. Staffers took him in and treated his injuries. His amputated tail is now a healthy bob. Soya loves food (he claims stolen treats taste better), the ladies and protecting his friend Stripey. When he isn’t in a feisty mood, he’s busy snuggling with his lady love, Novu. They’ve somehow perfected the art of cuddling atop office swivel chairs.



Novu is a special, loving girl. Our CEO, Poorva Joshipura, was having coffee with a friend by the sea at the Novotel Hotel in Mumbai four years ago when she spotted a beautiful cat jumping onto tables in an outdoor area. She overheard some cruel people discussing how they would “get rid” of the cat, who, they said, visited the establishment daily, resulting in complaints from patrons. Poorva told them that what they were plotting was cruel and illegal, and she decided to take the kitty with her to ensure her safety. Novu has been a part of the PETA family ever since. As queen of the first floor, Novu loves visiting all the departments and giving out licks to her friends. She can often be found spooning with Soya.



Stripey has the kind of eyes that stare into your soul, which is why she’s the face of our Cutest Rescued Cat Contest. During the monsoon rains last year, she and four of her siblings were abandoned outside our office. After all her brothers and sisters found loving homes, we couldn’t resist adopting the curious ginger beauty. When she’s not busy leaping through the garden, she’s sizing up Mr. Mehboob, the office rescued dog.



Bholu is a wise kitty. He wandered into our offices one day and declared it his home. Who can argue with that kind of determination? He may look a little scruffy around the edges (he says it lends to his mystique), but Bholu knows how to charm the ladies. He even captured Novu’s attention for a bit, much to Soya’s chagrin. Bholu is a huge fan of lunchtime and will paw at us for roti until he wins a treat. This cat knows what he wants and how to go after it!



Diana is our resident monarch. When she came by the office in search of food, we were helpless against her regal powers. She has a delicate, graceful manner that quickly enchanted the team, so naming her after Princess Diana was a no-brainer. Diana shows off her stunning patchwork around the office and likes playing with her paw pals Stripey and Bholu.

What’s your rescued cat’s story? Is he or she absolutely purrfect in your eyes? Does he or she deserve to win our Cutest Rescued Cat Contest? Enter now and find out if your feline family member has what it takes to win first place!


Mumbai Professor Protests Bull Torture in Pamplona

Written by PETA

Posted 07-16-2014, 03:30 PM

French literature professor Ashishwangh Limki Auvray, 43, travelled to Pamplona, Spain, to protest the city’s cruel Running of the Bulls  and the bullfights that follow it by posing in the famous white-and-red costumes but with her face painted white and her eyes painted black to resemble a ghost runner.


Auvray – who grew up in the Five Gardens area of Mumbai, attended St Xavier’s College and is now teaching in Spain – is one of dozens of people who took part in the demonstration, which was held on 5 July, one day before the start of the Running of the Bulls. The protest was organised by PETA UK and the Spanish group AnimaNaturalis.


Many people don’t realise that the bulls who are tortured in Pamplona’s bullring during the festival of San Fermín are the same ones who earlier in the day slipped and slid their way down the town’s narrow cobblestone streets. As shown in PETA UK’s video, narrated by Spanish music superstar Charo, each bull used in a fight is speared, stabbed and weakened until, finally, a matador attempts to sever the exhausted animal’s spine with a dagger. Sometimes, the bull drowns in his own blood before the dagger comes into play. Other times, he’s still alive as his broken, bleeding body is dragged out of the arena and left to await slaughter.

Bullfighting has been on the decline for years, with attendance decreasing and bullrings closing across countries that permit bullfights. The industry survives because of huge subsidies and tourists who unwittingly support the abusive events, even though an Ipsos MORI poll last year showed that 76 per cent of Spaniards oppose the use of public funds to support bullfighting.

“Tormenting and butchering animals can never be justified as entertainment”, Auvray says. “I’m happy to do whatever I can to expose the cruelty of the Running of the Bulls and bullfighting.”

Please help by joining Auvray and PETA supporters from around the world in asking for a ban on the Running of the Bulls.


Behind the Scenes of ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

Written by PETA

Posted 07-11-2014, 06:08 PM

The storyline of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,  in theatres today, might feel familiar to some viewers.


Photo credit: WETA TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox

A nation of apes has built a community, a home and a future. But it’s soon threatened by human interference. The film’s plot isn’t far from reality for the primates who are captured and forced to perform in the entertainment industry.  That’s why the team of ape enthusiasts behind Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opted to protect primates and create the movie’s stars using jaw-dropping computer-generated imagery (CGI).


Photo credit: WETA TM and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the apes came to life:

CGI has advanced to the point of being indistinguishable from live animals. And of course, CGI allows for performances that are too emotionally complex or dangerous to achieve with real animals. By creating animal characters using CGI, filmmakers also prevent real animals from being torn away from their mothers when they are just babies and being beaten in order to break their spirits and force them to perform in ways that are unnatural and sometimes painful. At around 7 or 8 years old, chimpanzees and orang-utans become extremely strong and much harder to control. At that age, most are discarded at seedy roadside zoos, where they languish in tiny cages for decades, usually isolated from other primates. PETA US found Chubbs, a chimpanzee who was used in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and The Chimp Channel series, in a decrepit roadside zoo in Texas called Amarillo Wildlife Refuge. He was living on dog food and rotten produce.

Ape defender Anjelica Huston narrated a video for PETA US in which she describes exactly what life is like for these primate “actors”:

This isn’t the first time that this Planet of the Apes franchise has come to the defence of primates. Animal advocates will recall that not only did Rise of the Planet of the Apes use all CGI primates, its animal rights message was also so strong that MTV dubbed the film, “perhaps the most expensive PSA against animal testing ever filmed”. These Planet of the Apes movies are certainly working to create a kinder planet for all primates.

Expert Arrives to Help Sunder, BBP

Written by PETA

Posted 07-09-2014, 09:03 PM

Margaret Whittaker, an internationally renowned animal behaviourist who specialises in elephants, recently made her first visit to the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) in Bangalore with PETA and Animal Rahat veterinarians to train park mahouts in managing Sunder and other elephants using positive reinforcement techniques and no chains. Such techniques are uncommon in India.

margaret_ observing_sunder

Margaret observing Sunder.

margaret _peta_animal_rahat_with_sunder

Margaret, caretakers and PETA and Animal Rahat veterinarians with Sunder.

margaret_ observing_sunder_while_feeding

Margaret attentively watching Sunder.

sunder_grazing_with_laxmi_in_ forest

Sunder grazing in the forest with his friend Lakshmi.

Sunder is a formerly abused “temple elephant” who was beaten and kept tightly chained alone before he was rescued, following a PETA campaign and a Supreme Court decision to send him to Bangalore.

Whittaker began her career with animals at the Houston Zoo, where she developed positive reinforcement training techniques. For the past 16 years, she has been a behavioural consultant for Active Environments, working with zoos and sanctuaries in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

PETA is also working with BBP to fence in a 49.5-hectare forested area as well as an enclosure where male elephants can be kept chain-free during musth (a period of sexual urge) instead of using the traditional method of keeping male elephants in chains while they’re in musth.

Have questions about Sunder? See our FAQ here.

Follow us on Twitter for updates about Sunder.


Jacqueline Wants Vardhan to Be Sweet to Bunnies

Written by PETA

Posted 07-08-2014, 06:36 PM

Kick actor Jacqueline Fernandez is hoping to urge Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to have a heart for animals by appealing to his taste buds. That’s why she has sent him a bunny-shaped vegan cake with the words “Be Sweet to Bunnies – Ban Animal-Tested Products” written on it in tasty icing, along with a letter.

Jacqueline, who is vegan, was delighted to learn that after banning the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is now considering an amendment to The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to include a ban on the import and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.


If introduced into The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, the new rule could state, “135-B. Import of cosmetics tested on animals prohibited. – No cosmetic tested on animals shall be imported“. A decision to ban the import and sale of cosmetics if they or their ingredients have been tested on animals would bring India in line with the European Union and Israel, which have already passed similar bans.

After learning about the issue from PETA India, many other stars – including Raveena Tandon-Thadani, R Madhavan, Rahul Khanna, Sunny LeonePooja Bhatt, Lara Dutta Bhupathi, Trisha Krishnan, Dino Morea and Esha Deol-Takhtani – petitioned the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and also asked it to introduce such a ban.

Please take a moment to let authorities know that you want animal-tested cosmetics off store shelves.


Ashwini Ponnappa Slams Circus Animal Abuse

Written by PETA

Posted 07-02-2014, 10:38 AM

She brought India into the limelight in the 2010 Commonwealth Games by winning the gold medal in the women’s doubles event. Now she is bringing attention to gentle giants who are abused in circuses. Ashwini Ponnappa was chained and shackled while holding a placard reading, “Unchain Elephants: Ban Animal Circuses”, for a new PETA India campaign. Her point? That animals in circuses are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them and are regularly beaten, all for a lifetime of cheap tricks.

ashwini_ponnappa_circus_shoot“When I play badminton, I am happy and it’s my choice, but elephants and other animals in circuses are forced into performing cheap and silly tricks”, says Ashwini. “Nobody likes to be in chains and shackles. Put yourself in their place and think about the atrocities that these animals have to go through. Beatings, hunger and a life full of suffering, away from their families just for human amusement: no one deserves this.”

Elephants and other animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment. Whips and other weapons – including ankuses, which are heavy, sharp, steel-tipped rods – are often used to inflict pain on elephants and beat them into submission. Following a nine-month investigation of circuses by a team that included representatives from PETA India and its sister organisation, Animal Rahat, the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, decided to stop the registration of elephants used to perform in circuses. However, this decision has yet to be implemented.

The only way to end cruelty to animals in circuses is to ban animal acts. Also, encourage your friends and family members to shun circuses that use animals by sharing this page.


PHOTOS: Sunder and Lakshmi Take a Bath

Written by PETA

Posted 06-28-2014, 09:32 AM

We know we just reported on Sunder, but we thought that perhaps – like us – you can’t get enough of the photos of his progress. Sunder, who endured six years of abuse and isolation at the Jyotiba temple, was moved to the Bannerghatta Biological Park by the order of the Supreme Court of India  after it ruled in PETA’s favour for Sunder’s rescue. He has now been moved from the section of the elephant care centre visible to the public to a protected area inside the forest, where he can live more like an elephant should.

The following are a few more heart-warming photos of Sunder and his friend Lakshmi:


Sunder’s leg was severely wounded by tight chaining. Although there is still progress to be made, it is now healing.

Sunder and Lakshmi have lunch. They'll need the energy to play around in the pond later.

Sunder and Lakshmi have lunch. They’ll need the energy to play around in the pond later.

Here, Sunder is being readied to take a dip in the pond. Because he endured violent beatings and solitary confinement for much of his life, [] his new caretakers are still handling him cautiously and keeping him lightly restrained but permitting him to move around. Abused elephants commonly hurt or kill people out of distrust, [] so the caretakers are still a little apprehensive.

Here, Sunder is being readied to take a dip in the pond. Because he endured violent beatings and solitary confinement for much of his life, his new caretakers are still handling him cautiously and keeping him lightly restrained but permitting him to move around. Abused elephants commonly hurt or kill people out of distrust, so the caretakers are still a little apprehensive.

And … they're in!

And … they’re in!

Sunder plunges right in.

Sunder plunges right in.

Sunder uses his trunk as a snorkel and to reach out to Lakshmi.

Sunder uses his trunk as a snorkel and to reach out to Lakshmi.

Sunder thinks this water is refreshing in more ways than one.

Sunder thinks this water is refreshing in more ways than one.

sunder-enjoying-bath- with-lakshmi_9

Sunder and Lakshmi ponder life, love and the future.

Sunder and Lakshmi are at ease in the pond and with each other.

Sunder and Lakshmi are at ease in the pond and with each other.

Read our FAQs to learn more about Sunder’s journey, and check back here often for more updates on his progress.



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