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Wonderful news and the real proof that Veganism is much more then diet alone!

Will Your Next Car Have a Vegan Interior? Probably, Thanks to PETA
While they’re certainly exciting, there’s no longer anything shocking about headlines like “The Tesla Model 3 Has Gone Completely ‘Vegan’” and “This Car From Polestar Has a Vegan Interior.” That’s because—thanks to PETA and consumers who also know that there’s no excuse for a gentle cow to be killed or a sheep to be shorn bloody—vegan car interiors have become an automobile industry standard, not an exception.

How Did PETA Fast-Track Vegan Car Interiors?
Years ago, we put vegan car interiors on the map—and with a little tenacity and a lot of help from outspoken supporters like you, leather- and wool-free steering wheels and seats are now being offered by major brands, including Tesla, Ford, and Honda. We put in the legwork—reaching out to and meeting with automobile companies and pushing them to replace cruelly obtained materials like leather and wool with innovative vegan materials for their interiors; sharing cutting-edge vegan material suppliers with them; and providing them with information on the ever-growing demand for vegan car interiors through market research and consumer trends.

Which Brands Have Listened?
Our efforts and your persistence have paid off: At least 15 automobile manufacturers—including Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota—now offer entirely vegan interiors.

In 2016, a PETA video exposé revealed that workers branded cows on the face without pain relief, electroshocked them, beat them, and then slit their throats and skinned them to produce the leather interiors offered by Volkswagen, Toyota, and other major car brands worldwide. We urged these brands to embrace cost-effective, eco-friendly, humane vegan leather seats and steering wheels. Now, five years later, Toyota touts its SofTex (a vegan leather material) and Volkswagen—following talks with PETA Germany—offers leather- and wool-free interior options for its Atlas S, Jetta S, and Tiguan S models and is set to release an electric SUV featuring vegan apple leather later this year.

Honda’s vegan interior is standard on its CR-V and HR-V models. BMW has plans to launch a luxury electric SUV called iNEXT later this year, with an interior featuring vegan material that looks and feels like leather. (The brand’s new 5 Series is already available with SensaTec leatherette seats.) Fiat created the new 500 3+1 with SEAQUAL, another vegan material. And Fisker, Inc. (an American electric vehicle maker), is planning to release a battery-powered compact SUV called the Fisker Ocean next year, which will have a vegan interior made of recycled materials such as old tires, plastic bottles, recovered plastic from the ocean, and old fishing nets.

Hummer’s new electric truck offers vegan interiors including faux leather “to promote sustainability and avoid the use of animal hides.” Many Mercedes-Benz seats are now covered with Dinamica, a suede-like fabric made from recycled plastic bottles and clothing fibers—several models including the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA now come standard with such vegan interiors, and the new S-Class’ seats, steering wheel, and trim can be specially ordered vegan. In addition, the luxury vehicle company is working on a futuristic concept car that’ll come standard with vegan leather

Volvo’s Polestar 2 also features modern, eco-friendly materials, which means it doesn’t use leather or wool. Instead, it has WeaveTech vegan upholstery, which was inspired by the “sporty look and feel” of wetsuits.

Lucid Motors, Rivian, Skoda, and Thor Industries (an RV company) are doing great things with vegan materials, too, a move that will not only offer cows and sheep some of the consideration and respect that they’ve always deserved but also reduce these companies’ carbon footprints. Turning animals’ skin into leather requires up to 130 different chemicals—including cyanide, which can pollute the groundwater near tanneries. Leather made of animal skin is at least three times worse for the environment than vegan leather. Wool production is also exacerbating the environmental crisis: Raising sheep contributes to climate change, soil erosion, and water pollution. And PETA and our affiliates’ investigations into more than 100 farms across Australia, Europe, North America, and South America have documented that workers systematically beat and mutilate sheep for their wool. When they’re considered no longer useful to the industry, sheep exploited for wool are inevitably killed and sometimes even skinned alive.

As so many automotive manufacturers are committing to using sustainable, animal-free materials now and by next year, it makes us wonder: What’s got General Motors (GM) dragging its tires? While we turn up the heat on GM and continue to urge all car companies to make every single model sold 100% leather-free and vegan, you can help. By choosing eco-friendly vegan materials whenever possible, you can show companies that your support lies with animals and the environment.

 

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From speaking up against SeaWorld cruelty to urging her fans to spay and neuter their dogs and cats, there isn't an animal rights issue that Cloris Leachman wasn't passionate about.

The world lost a truly kindhearted person. May she rest in peace
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A vegetarian since the 1950s, Cloris Leachman reveled in touting the many benefits of eating plant-based foods, including in one memorable shoot for a PETA ad, months after she had become the oldest contestant ever on Dancing With the Stars.

Cloris spent most of her life entertaining people, getting her start in show business in the noir thriller Kiss Me Deadly in 1955 and earning an Oscar and more Emmys than any other actor during her 66-year career in film and TV, which included roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Young Frankenstein, and The Last Picture Show, just to name a few highlights. Although she loved the entertainment industry, she knew animals didn’t.

Cloris seized opportunities to inform others about the plight of involuntary and often traumatized animal “actors” forced to perform in circuses and marine parks. When she was grand marshal of the Rose Parade, she wrote to the president of the Tournament of Roses Association to urge him to yank SeaWorld’s float from the 2014 Parade.

Many people agreed with her, judging by the nosedive SeaWorld has taken in attendance and revenues since the release of the documentary Blackfish. Cloris also took on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, when she recorded a PETA video criticizing the circus for abusing ailing and arthritic elephants. “They are forced to perform ridiculous circus tricks like standing on their head or hind legs, which puts even more pressure on their aching joints,” she said. “Cruelty is one tradition we can do without.” Just a few years later, the announcement came: the circus was retiring its elephants because of “a mood shift among our consumers.” Now long after, it folded up its tents for good.

Cloris also helped kill an “ag-gag” bill in her home state of Iowa that would have made it illegal for whistleblowers and other observers to gather the evidence needed to prosecute animal abusers on factory farms. “Citizens’ right to document cruelty to animals—wherever it occurs—is crucial in helping local, state and federal officials enforce anti-cruelty laws,” she wrote in an opinion piece for HuffPost. And we love that she posed with a turkey named Frank, who stole her heart, for a Thanksgiving ad urging everyone to let turkeys live.

Cloris’ trademark sense of humor remained sharp all her life, and she wasn’t averse to having a little fun while trying to save animals, as she did in this public service announcement promoting spaying and neutering.


Her achievements for animals over many decades are too numerous to list, as her PETA Lifetime Achievement Award makes clear.

She will be missed

 

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Local, community-centred food production

Igloo-shaped greenhouses are growing nutritious, affordable food in Canada's North
Toronto-based non-profit Green Iglu is tackling food insecurity in Canada's northern communities, where the harsh climate and lack of arable land make traditional farming impossible. Approximately 72 per cent of children in Northern Canada lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.

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Green Iglu evolved from an Enactus Social Impact Project that was initiated by two Ryerson University students, Stefany Nieto and Ben Canning.

"We knew that we wanted to tackle a real Canadian issue, so we did a lot of research, and we were startled when we learned about food insecurity," says Nieto.

Several years ago, Green Iglu started an initiative in Naujaat, a Nunavut community located on the Arctic Circle. Set within this picturesque wonderland are igloo-shaped domes with hydroponic towers inside that grow produce. A unique irrigation system allows the plants to grow vertically as opposed to traditional horizontal growing.

"It increases our yield per square foot by about three to four times," says Canning.



A vast majority of the community can now grow their own produce inside the greenhouses all year long and purchase fresh food at a fraction of what it would cost imported. The project is designed with input from locals who are also trained and employed by the organization to sustain and distribute the harvested produce.


 

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Plant-based diets crucial to saving global wildlife, says report
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The global food system is the biggest driver of destruction of the natural world, and a shift to predominantly plant-based diets is crucial in halting the damage, according to a report.

Agriculture is the main threat to 86% of the 28,000 species known to be at risk of extinction, the report by the Chatham House thinktank said. Without change, the loss of biodiversity will continue to accelerate and threaten the world’s ability to sustain humanity, it said.

The root cause is a vicious circle of cheap food, the report said, where low costs drive bigger demand for food and more waste, with more competition then driving costs even lower through more clearing of natural land and use of polluting fertilisers and pesticides.

The report, supported by the UN environment programme (Unep), focused on three solutions. First is a shift to plant-based diets because cattle, sheep and other livestock have the biggest impact on the environment.

More than 80% of global farmland is used to raise animals, which provide only 18% of calories eaten. Reversing the rising trend of meat consumption removes the pressure to clear new land and further damage wildlife. It also frees up existing land for the second solution, restoring native ecosystems to increase biodiversity.

The availability of land also underpins the third solution, the report said, which is farming in a less intensive and damaging way but accepting lower yields. Organic yields are on average about 75% of those of conventional intensive farming, it said.

Fixing the global food system would also tackle the climate crisis, the report said. The food system causes about 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with more than half coming from animals. Changes to food production could also tackle the ill health suffered by 3 billion people, who either have too little to eat or are overweight or obese, and which costs trillions of dollars a year in healthcare.

“Politicians are still saying ‘my job is to make food cheaper for you’, no matter how toxic it is from a planetary or human health perspective,” said Prof Tim Benton, at Chatham House. “We must stop arguing that we have to subsidise the food system in the name of the poor and instead deal with the poor by bringing them out of poverty.”

Benton said the impact of the food system on climate and health was becoming widely accepted but that biodiversity was too often seen as a “nice to have”.

Susan Gardner, director of Unep’s ecosystems division, said the current food system was a “double-edged sword” providing cheap food but failing to take into account the hidden costs to our health and to the natural world. “Reforming the way we produce and consume food is an urgent priority,” she said.

Jane Goodall, the renowned conservationist, said the intensive farming of billions of animals seriously damaged the environment and inhumane crowded conditions risked new pandemic diseases crossing into people: “It should be phased out as soon as possible.”

On Tuesday, a landmark review by Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta concluded the world was being put at extreme risk by the failure of economics to take account of the rapid depletion of biodiversity.

The Chatham House report said the world had lost half its natural ecosystems and that the average population size of wild animals had fallen by 68% since 1970. In contrast, farmed animals, mainly cows and pigs, now account for 60% of all mammals by weight, with humans making up 36% and animals just 4%.

In reforming the global food system, “the convergence of global food consumption around predominantly plant-based diets is the most crucial element”, the report said. For example, it said, a switch from beef to beans by the US population would free up fields equivalent to 42% of US cropland for other uses such as rewilding or more nature-friendly farming.

In another example, the report said if the permanent pasture around the world that was once forest was returned to its native state, it would store 72bn tonnes of carbon – roughly equivalent to seven years of global emissions from fossil fuels. Benton said the report was not advocating that all people should become vegan, but should follow healthy diets that are as a result much lower in meat.

The year ahead offers a potentially unique opportunity to redesign the global food system, the Benton said, with major UN summits on biodiversity and climate, as well as the world’s first UN Food Systems Summit and an international Nutrition for Growth summit. The large sums being spent by governments as nations recover from the Covid-19 pandemic also provide opportunities for “policymaking that affords equal priority to public and planetary health”, the report said.

Philip Lymbery, at Compassion in World Farming, said: “The future of farming must be nature-friendly and regenerative, and our diets must become more plant-based, healthy and sustainable. Without ending factory farming, we are in danger of having no future at all.”

 

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Could eating animals cause future pandemics? Some scientists are warning that the demand for cheaply produced meat could lead to more zoonotic diseases.
"The World Health Organisation says that globally, about a billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses – diseases that spread from animals to humans – and that 75 per cent of emerging zoonotic infectious diseases originate in wild animals."



Meat-eating creates risk of future pandemic that ‘would make Covid seem a dress rehearsal’, scientists warn

‘If we could see eating meat as a treat, not a right, we could reduce the speed at which another virus evolves,’ says professor

Demand for regular supplies of affordable meat will create future pandemics that will make Covid-19 pandemic look like a “dress rehearsal", scientists are warning.
Producing meat is creating the perfect breeding ground for diseases of the same kind to emerge, according to the South African academics.

The risk is created by humans’ interactions with animals and a lack of learning from the past, they say.

The coronavirus pandemic, many of the early cases of which were linked to a live-animal-slaughter market in China, has killed around 2.2 million people worldwide in a year.


Experts from both the UN and the European Food Safety Authority have previously identified industrial animal farming as the cause of most new infectious diseases in humans in the past decade, and have likewise warned it risks starting new pandemics.
Zoonotic diseases - those that jump from animals to humans - have become four times as frequent in the past 50 years.
Animals kept in close confinement, either in street markets or intensive farming, are susceptible to disease because the stress of the conditions and even the sight of others being slaughtered weakens their immune systems, experts say.

A report last May, called Is the next Pandemic on our Plate?, outlined how factory farming allowed pathogens to emerge and spread, and was supported by routine use of antibiotics, leading to the drugs becoming less effective.
The World Health Organisation says that globally, about a billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses – diseases that spread from animals to humans – and that 75 per cent of emerging zoonotic infectious diseases originate in wild animals.

Prof Aliza le Roux, assistant dean of natural and agricultural sciences and associate professor of zoology at the University of the Free State (UFS), said: “Our demand for meat is driving cheaper and less controlled agricultural practices, cramming more animals into smaller spaces, feeding them less and less natural fodder.
“Remember mad cow disease? Have you seen chicken batteries? We should not blame ‘exotic’ eating practices, but look at our own.

“If we could see eating meat as a ‘treat’ and not a daily ‘right’, we can reduce pressure on the environment and reduce the speed at which another zoonotic virus can evolve.”

Prof Robert Bragg, of the department of microbial, biochemical and food biotechnology, said: “There will be more pandemics, and there is a feeling among some scientists that this could just be a dress rehearsal for the real big pandemic.
“Many virologists, including me, have been predicting an influenza pandemic for many years. Mankind has been warned about coming pandemics for many years, but people seem to want to listen only when they are in the midst of one.”
The bird flu virus, H5N1, has a mortality rate of 60-65 per cent, he said. If it develops human-to-human transmission, “we could be in for a really serious pandemic”, he warned.
Ebola was traced to people eating bats, and HIV was believed to have emerged from people eating chimpanzee meat, he said.
And the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed 50 million people, started in pigs. “All of these have to do with the mistreatment of animals by man,” said Prof Bragg.
“Mankind should also have learnt from the 1918 pandemic, but man is notoriously slow at learning lessons from the past.”
He also predicted that within a week or two, cases and deaths in the US would “skyrocket” following the demonstrations at the Capitol in Washington before Donald Trump left office.


 

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CORY BOOKER BECOMES FIRST VEGAN SENATOR ON THE SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE

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his week, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee—becoming the first vegan Senator to serve on the committee. Booker has been vegan since 2014 and is a longtime advocate for reforming agricultural systems, particularly factory farming, to create a more equitable food system for people and animals. Newly elected Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was also appointed to the Senate Agriculture Committee—marking the first time in the committee’s history that two Black Americans have served as members simultaneously.

“Our food system is deeply broken. Family farmers are struggling and their farms are disappearing, while big agriculture conglomerates get bigger and enjoy greater profits,” Booker said. “Meanwhile, healthy, fresh food is hard to find and even harder to afford in rural and urban communities alike. In the richest country on the planet, over 35 million Americans from every walk of life are food insecure.”

Booker on factory farms
In 2019, the former presidential candidate proposed the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA), a new bill that aims to transition animal agriculture away from factory farming. FSRA bans the opening of new large-scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and limits the growth of existing CAFOs in the meat and dairy sector. The bill also aims to phase out the largest CAFOs—as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency—by 2040 and hold large meatpackers accountable for the pollution they create. With his bill, Booker hopes to protect small-scale animal farmers who are often contractually bound to, and exploited by, large corporations. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, FSRA has gained support from other Congress members, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and House Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA)—who filed companion legislation to FSRA in the House.

After slaughterhouses became COVID-19 hotspots last year, Booker also introduced the Safe Line Speeds During COVID-19 Act, which aimed to protect workers, animals, and consumers from the dangers posed by higher line speeds in poultry, pig, and cattle slaughterhouses. “The fact of the matter is that our current food system is interconnected with so many issues of justice in America: racial justice, health justice, environmental justice, economic justice,” Booker said in a keynote speech at the National Food Policy Conference in July. “And our food system is fundamentally broken. It fails to reflect our collective values. And it is not a dramatization to say that the way we produce and consume food in this country is quite literally a matter of life and death.”

Booker on racial justice
Throughout his political career, Booker has spoken out about the inequities that Black Americans face, including in the agriculture sector. In November, Booker—along with Warren and Senator Krisitin Gillibrand (D-NY)—introduced The Justice for Black Farmers Act (JBFA), which seeks to end racist practices that have resulted in a great loss of land holdings and generational wealth for Black farmers. As a Senate Agriculture Committee member, Booker plans to advance a revised version of JBFA through Congress.

 

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More on Cory Booker

Cory Booker on Being Vegan and Animal Rights

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Since the 2020 race to the White House first began several months ago, we've seen a swarm of politicians, former athletes, and businessmen alike throw their hats in the ring for a shot at holding the highest office in the land. In the Republican corner, things are pretty light; only two conservatives, William Weld and Mark Sanford, have the guts to directly challenge the current incumbent Donald Trump. However, to the left are 17 (down a few hopefuls since the race started) different candidates from a colorful medley of professional, cultural, and political backgrounds clamoring for the Democratic nomination.

With so many people crowding the election, it can feel difficult to distinguish the candidates from one another. There are so many important issues being discussed within the political space right now—healthcare for all, immigration, and the economy have been the focus of many of the recent Democratic debates—and many of the candidates have similar, if not identical stances on the issues that matter the most. However, few candidates have spoken up with thorough plans to address the often-ignored topic of animal rights. Cory Booker has been among the most vocal of his peers. During the third Democratic debate earlier this month, moderator Jorge Ramos pointedly asked if Booker believed that Americans should follow his plant-based diet, to which the former mayor cheerfully responded, "No." But don't take that to mean that he doesn't think that eating less meat is a good idea; the 50-year-old's veganism is closely tied to his personal politics.



Booker's passion for animal advocacy began in 1992; after reading Gandhi's autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth as a college student attending Oxford University, he decided to try cutting meat out of his diet just to see how his body would be affected by the change. Pleased with the results, Booker stuck with his vegetarian diet until he started doing more research about the ways in which the environment and its inhabitants were impacted by animal consumption. "My veganism started then," he told VegNews earlier this year. "It was almost like my conditioning had changed." His very last time eating a non-vegan meal was on November 4, 2014—Election Day.

Now fully vegan, the former Newark mayor's bid for president stands out from that of his opponents in that his proposed policies as POTUS will include measures to create a more sustainable environment for both humans and animals. Those measures will focus on pushing back against the corporate big wigs behind the factory farming system and forcing smaller family farms out of business. Booker's policies will also make illegal the "ag-gag laws" that allow these corporations to hide the animal abuse that goes on at the farms from the American people.

"Legislatively, I want to continue to be a part of a movement of folk who are fighting against corporate interests that are undermining the public good and the public welfare," said Booker in his interview with VegNews. "I believe that Americans do care about the cruelty to animals...so, I think there’s a lot of legislation we could be doing to stop sort of corporate power from reigning over the power of individuals to have freedom of choice, to see more compassion, to see a focus on public health."

The only other current candidate on the Democratic side to come up with a fully fleshed out plan to address animal welfare in the United States is Julián Castro, the former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama. Castro's proposal, appropriately named the PAW (Protecting Animals and Wildlife) Plan, promises to reinforce the Endangered Species Act by appointing an Interior Secretary with a background in conservation science, creating a $2 billion National Wildlife Recovery Fund to combat extinction, and doubling the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. And like Booker, Castro also wants to regulate the animal farming industry so that animal cruelty on corporate farms no longer goes unseen and unpunished.

Whether you identify with veganism or personally enjoy a medium-rare steak every now and again, animal welfare is a pressing environmental issue that can't be ignored by anyone who wants to be President of the Unites States. In the future, you can bet that more of the candidates, at least on the Democratic end, will take began to roll out their own policies regarding animal rights.



 

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I'm looking forward to seeing what he can accomplish. He'll obviously have severe political restraints so he won't be going hardcore animal liberationist in there. In terms of legislative outcomes he can probably only nibble around the edges of a vast problem, but if he uses his position to draw attention and moral consideration to farm animals' plights it could be the start of real progress.
 

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I hadn't heard of this guy before. Respect!

Lewis Gompertz - Jewish 'vegan' and co-founder of the RSPCA in 1824

Lewis Gompertz (1783/4–1861) appears on the scene in 1824, at the age of 40, as the author of a significant book promoting an early prototype of what we now call animal rights and veganism; and in the same year he was a co-founder of the world’s first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA, later RSPCA).



His 1824 book 'Moral Inquiries: on the situation of man and of brutes' was quite unlike anything before it, and there was very little of a similar nature after it until Henry Salt’s ‘Animal Rights’ of 1892.

His first principle was a fundamental objection to killing or harming any animal, or any living being, for any purpose whatsoever including food, clothing, labour, research or entertainment.

Oddly however, he considered human health to benefit from eating meat, and if an animal died of natural or accidental causes, he had no objection (at least in principle) to eating it, and using its skin for clothing. We see something of that in modern ‘roadkill’ debates. But Gompertz argued that any benefits could still never justify deliberate killing. He also acknowledged his own imperfections, particularly in clothing, due to social pressures and the lack of suitable alternatives. And we have to keep in mind that many modern vegan foods (e.g. soy and margarine) were completely unknown in London in 1824.

Gompertz also devoted a complete chapter to the use of eggs and dairy products. He stated that cows’ milk was for calves, and it was wrong to take a calf away from its mother. However, if a calf died naturally or accidentally then he saw no objection to humans using the surplus milk (in 1824 most people still lived on the land, not in cities).

He had a particular concern for horses, easily the most abused animal in London at that time as they were the primary means of transport, hauling all manner of wheeled vehicles. He very directly equated their use to human slavery, and argued for their freedom. He considered whether some land in England should be set aside for their natural use, or whether they could be transported back to ‘Arabia’ where he imagined they could live in the wild. But he was realistic enough to know that this ‘abolitionist’ approach was not going to happen, and devoted much of his life to improving the welfare conditions of the animals.



The rest of Gompertz’ time was spent as an inventor, producing a wide variety of devices, many of them aimed at improving animal welfare. One was an attempt to improve a very basic bicycle which was just beginning to appear – it had no pedals or brakes, just pushed along by feet on the ground. Gompertz added the gear mechanism on the front wheel in the picture. For him this was an attempt at an alternative to using horses.

All of this was many years before Darwin, but Gompertz argued that there was no significant difference between “humans and other animals”. He didn’t use the word ‘rights’ but he clearly wanted animals to be given a similar legal status to humans - apart from the oddity of skinning and eating them after they died... (would he still accept that today, with all the alternatives now available?)

His book also considered human issues, as summed up by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (1917): “Gompertz lauded the reforming influence of education, decried the evils of capitalism and of female subjugation, praised Owenite [socialist] co-operation, and speculated boldly upon a future state shared by man and other animals.”

The legal rights of animals became an issue in 1822, when the British Parliament passed a law against the abuse of ‘cattle’ (which included any large quadruped, particularly horses). But the police and magistrates largely ignored it, much as they do today with the anti-foxhunting law.

Two years later, 1824, the same year that Gompertz’ book appeared, a meeting was convened on June 16 at Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in London (named from the owner). The 12 men present became the founding members of the world’s first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), with the initial object of recruiting their own inspectors to enforce the new law. One of the 12 was Lewis Gompertz but, as far as we know, he was the only one who objected to slaughtering and eating some of the animals they were trying to protect.

The others included two members of parliament, and two Church of England ministers. After two years of the new society struggling, Lewis Gompertz took over as the Secretary and developed it successfully for the next six years.

However, there were tensions with the Christian meat-eaters and Gompertz was accused of ‘Pythagoreanism’, effectively being a member of heretical religious sect, which he denied. The rest of the committee decided that the society must be run on ‘Christian principles’ (ie meat-eating) – apparently pretending not to notice that Gompertz was Jewish… he left and founded a new group, The Animals’ Friend Society, which for a few years outstripped the SPCA in recruitment and effectiveness.

In 1835 the SPCA attracted royal patronage from Princess Victoria, and when she became Queen two years later, they became the RSPCA. They have ever since continued to enjoy the patronage of one of the most animal abusing families in the UK.

Gompertz ran his alternative animal welfare society and journal until 1846. In the 1850s his books were re-published by William Horsell, first Secretary of the Vegetarian Society (1847-50) and subsequently leader of the (vegan) London Vegetarian Association.

He died, aged seventy-seven, from bronchitis on 2 December 1861 at his home in Kennington, London.

 

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Mediterranean diet linked to thinking skills
People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet—particularly one rich in green leafy vegetables and low in meat—are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later life, a study shows.

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Closely adhering to a Mediterranean diet was associated with higher scores on a range of memory and thinking tests among adults in their late 70s, the research found.

The study found no link, however, between the Mediterranean-style diet and better brain health.

Markers of healthy brain ageing – such as greater grey or white matter volume, or fewer white matter lesions—did not differ between those regularly eating a Mediterranean diet and those who did not.

Brain ageing
These latest findings suggest that this primarily plant-based diet may have benefits for cognitive functioning as we get older, researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh tested the thinking skills of more than 500 people aged 79 and without dementia.

The participants completed tests of problem solving, thinking speed, memory, and word knowledge, as well as a questionnaire about their eating habits during the previous year.

MRI scanning
More than 350 of the group also underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan to gain insights into their brain structure.

The team used statistical models to look for associations between a person’s diet and their thinking skills and brain health in later life.

The findings show that, in general, people who most closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet had the highest cognitive function scores, even when accounting for childhood IQ, smoking, physical activity and health factors. The differences were small but statistically significant.

The individual components of the diet that appeared to be most strongly associated with better thinking skills were green leafy vegetables and a lower red meat intake.

Researchers say the latest findings add to the evidence that a healthier lifestyle, of which diet is one aspect, is associated with better thinking skills in later life.

Eating more green leafy vegetables and cutting down on red meat might be two key food elements that contribute to the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet. In our sample, the positive relationship between a Mediterranean diet and thinking skills is not accounted for by having a healthier brain structure, as one might expect. Though it’s possible there may be other structural or functional brain correlates with this measure of diet, or associations in specific regions of the brain, rather than the whole brain, as measured here.

Dr Janie CorleySchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
The study is one of the first to test cognitive and neuroimaging outcomes in the same sample. Experts say it is important step in determining whether diets can help to exert protective effects on brain ageing.

Lothian Birth Cohort
The participants were part of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 study, a group of individuals who were born in 1936 and took part in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947.

Since 1999, researchers have been working with the Lothian Birth Cohorts to chart how a person’s thinking power changes over their lifetime.

sauce Mediterranean diet linked to thinking skills
 

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! And for those with new year's resolutions to lose weight: Gung Hay LOW Fat (Bok) Choy !


Before the Covid pandemic and lockdown Chris and I would traditionally have dumplings (and not just for new year!) at either Dumpling House or Mother's Dumplings (both on Spadina)

Dumpling House making dumplings:
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Either pan fried (vegan)
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or steamed (vegan)

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Hope by next year we can enjoy dining again!
 

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Wow. Interesting artist! He's vegan, he runs and rescues goats! What not to like?

The Real Life Diet of Rob Zombie, Who Thinks Eating Vegan Is Metal

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Rob Zombie’s go-to example to communicate his disgust for the food industry is Dannon Yogurt. The dairy behemoth, which manufactures products linked to increased risk of breast cancer, has run campaigns with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. “It’s like Marlboro sponsoring the Lung Society or something,” he says emphatically.

The theatrical heavy metal mainstay-turned-slasher auteur thinks about these hypocrisies a lot. He thinks about food corporations and all the ways they’re screwing over regular consumers like you and me and him. It’s no big revelation. None of us are walking around with the impression we’re eating happy chickens who lived a good life or super-fresh, chemical-free berries picked by well-paid laborers. But we don’t really like to dwell on it. “Most people are, like, ‘I don’t wanna think about it,’” Zombie says. “But I can’t live my life not wanting to think about something. You gotta stop and think about things. Because you’re alive.”

So he thinks, and he also does: A vegetarian since the age of 18, he went full vegan nine years ago, after a random breakfast of eggs just repulsed him too much to bear. He and his wife work with PETA to fight animal abuse, and have rescued six goats that they now care for on their farm in Connecticut. It all sounds pretty mellow, but if you frame it the way Rob Zombie does, it becomes kind of metal: All this, as he sees it, is in service of resisting what America’s corporate overlords would have you believe: That you need dairy, that you need meat, that you need them to live a normal life.


Zombie, who’s releasing his seventh album next month, joined GQ to talk about how he cut out all that bad stuff, staying in shape for tours, and why he’s never been interested in destroying his body.

GQ: You’ve been a vegetarian and then a vegan for nearly a decade now. What led you to cutting out meat?
Rob Zombie: The vegetarian thing started when I was in high school. I never really liked eating meat. Whenever I was served pork chops or something it would just taste awful to me. We're all brainwashed from the moment we're born that all the cows are happy and the pigs are happy and everybody's so happy and it's all “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” And then I saw a movie that was the first time I really saw how brutal and disgusting factory farming was. That's when I was, like, "I'm done."

Over the years I would eat cheese or put some creamer in my coffee or something. It was about nine years ago that I was eating eggs for breakfast. And I was just, like, "This is disgusting and I'm done." And that was it. I've been 100% vegan since that moment.

Until the last few years the food industry hasn’t been super accommodating to non-meat or dairy eaters. Did you find it difficult to find food you liked?
It was challenging. Vegetarian is easier, because you can still have scrambled eggs or pizza. Once I went vegan, it was, like...now there's nothing to eat. Every day it gets easier, and every day the food gets better. Veggie burgers used to be like tasteless hockey pucks, and now they're so delicious.

Where do you stand on fake meats like the Beyond Burger—do you like that stuff or are you more into exploring what can be done in new ways with vegetables?
It's transitional. When you first change you're, like, Oh, I'll have the fake ham and the fake baloney or the fake hot dogs, because this is what you've been trained your whole life to think of as food. But as time goes on, my wife and I were, like, Eh, we're sick of all the fake sandwiches. Your tastes change and what you consider healthy changes. But it is a process, and if someone tries to go hardcore instantly they might fail. It's like if you've never worked out before and you go, "I'm gonna work out three hours every day!" Why don't we just start with two? See if you can survive that. Ease into it, friend.

What do you like to eat?

My wife is an excellent cook, which makes my life easy. Every day we eat the exact same breakfast. I've always been like that, I could eat the same meal every day and never get bored of it. We have oatmeal, toast, and fruit. And I have coffee.

Lunch always varies. There's a lot of decent frozen vegan stuff if we're in a hurry, like frozen burritos or pad thai or different pasta dishes. Sheri's very good at making these super-elaborate salads. Salad used to be awful iceberg lettuce and a tasteful tomato. That's why so many people don't care about vegetables, we grew up eating vegetables that had no taste. When you get good vegetables that are prepared right, they're super delicious.

We have a pretty big garden, and when you get stuff directly from your garden, you're, like, woah. I didn't realize the taste could vary that much. We also have a lot of peach trees.


Do you drink at all?
All I ever drink is coffee and water. And we love juicing, so we have particular green drinks we’ll make.

In an old interview you mention veganism was really big with a lot of punk rock musicians, like Geezer and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath. Why do you think that is?
So much of punk rock was about fighting the establishment, fighting the norms, fighting the path that's been laid out for you by corporate America telling you how you're supposed to think and how you're supposed to be. Veganism is exactly the opposite of that. It is anti-establishment. It's becoming more of an established thing—every day some new chain like McDonald's or Burger King starts working a sandwich into their repertoire, because they can see the meat industry has an unsustainable future.

Once you make these decisions, you can't help but learn more about it. And every day you uncover what an evil industry everything is. Dairy is the leading cause of breast cancer, yet Dannon is a big sponsor of the pink ribbon walks. It's like Marlboro sponsoring the lung society or something. And you just realize, oh, this is one giant brainwashed lie we're fed from the moment we're born. You have to uncover each layer of the sham. Most people are, like, "I don't wanna think about it!" I know you don't wanna think about it. It's horrible. But I can't live my life not wanting to think about something. You gotta stop and think about things. Because you're alive.

Do you think it's concerning or promising that veganism is getting folded into bigger establishments?
I think it's good. I wouldn't eat at McDonald's or Burger King no matter what they were selling, but if I lived in the middle of nowhere and the only veggie burger were at McDonald's that's different.

You also work with PETA to rescue abandoned goats on your farm. How did that start?
The goat rescue really started with my wife, Sheri [Moon]. There were three goats that needed a place to go that were fairly close to our farm on the East Coast, and we got them. We've been working with PETA for a while so they'll contact us: "Oh, we've found this goat, it's in a horrible place, can you take this one?" and we'll take it. That's how it's been going down.

Sometimes they're just like giant dogs that are a little more dangerous 'cause they have horns. You wanna pick them up and hug them, but you don't wanna get impaled either. At this point we only have six. We like to get one or two at a time so they can acclimate. It's like when you get a new cat and the other cats are, like, "Well, what's this cat all about?" You wanna have the harmony amongst them. Usually they're coming from someplace awful. They're skittish or nervous or afraid.

We have this one goat, the tiniest one, it's this tiny black goat, and it has one missing hoof because some guy had it chained up in the backyard with pitbulls and it got stuck in a fence, which ripped its hoof off. So that goat's not afraid of anything. It's, like, “I've seen worse than this.”

Does your schedule need time to help care for the goats?

Not really. I'm awake before they are. I usually get up when it’s dark, between 4:30 and 5:30, to write and do work early in the morning. Most of the time when I get up my dog looks at me, like, Seriously, man? So early.

I don't let the goats out of the barn 'til the sun comes up—they wouldn't want to get up anyway and you have to be careful about predators. But I have an earlier schedule than the animals.

Do you exercise?
I used to like to run a lot. I have one knee that's kinda messed up, so now I'll do the elliptical. I'll do that for an hour every day. Then I lift weights and stuff until I get bored, maybe half an hour or so. I used to do yoga, but I got sick of that.


That's all to maintain yourself so when a tour comes up you're not destroyed. And then on the road, a show is a 90-minute sweat fest in itself.

Heavy metal as a career is not exactly gentle on the body. Has your lifestyle over the years changed in response to the tragedies some metal idols have faced?
I never really thought about it. I never understood the idea of destroying yourself for the public's amusement. It's always been, like, "I want all my rockstars fucked up and crazy!" Hey, good for you, but destroying myself is not exactly my idea of a good time for your entertainment. I wanna be in as good a shape as possible so the show can be as good as possible. What goes on backstage is irrelevant. There's a tipping point. You can kind of trash yourself for a while...and then all of a sudden you see everyone hit the wall.

Did you have that moment of hitting a wall or have you never opted into the backstage rockstar cliche?
I never cared about that. My thought on it was, didn't we already do this? Does every generation have to rediscover heroin as their cool rock 'n' roll drug? Didn't we figure this out with Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix? I'm very happy to learn from other people's mistakes.


 
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