In a recent CNN op-ed piece, "The argument for eating dog," author John D. Sutter brings public attention to the similarities among the various animals raised for meat in different countries, highlighting the Vietnamese dog meat trade.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.06.39 PM.pngThe agonizing experience of seeing man's best friend kept in tiny wire cages, beaten, and sold for meat is all too common for animal advocates. A new compilation of such images, shot by photographer Luke Duggleby in Southeast Asia, is currently breaking the hearts of millions of visitors to CNN's blog.

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.06.20 PM.pngSutter writes, "I fear you'll see Duggleby's photos and think only one thing: How awful that people in Vietnam would eat these loveable, intelligent animals. You'll do what I did, which is to imagine your dog, or your childhood dog, in one of these cages. You won't think about the bigger picture."

14301463054_fe57323de0_z.jpgHe continues, "If we're appalled by the dog trade in Southeast Asia, we should be similarly appalled by some of the conditions that exist in factory animal farms in the United States -- including the use of 'gestation crates' to confine mother pigs."

13918150736_36d71b40d0_z.jpgFarmed animals are sentient beings, who experience joy, loneliness, frustration, fear, and pain just like the cats and dogs with whom many of us share our lives. The majority of people are opposed to cruelty to animals, and common sense tells us that all animals desire to be free from harm.

If we are to live our value of compassion for animals, we must start by leaving them off our plates and withdrawing our financial support of an industry that views them as mere commodities. For recipes and tips on transitioning to a humane meat-free diet, check out ChooseVeg.com and order your free Vegetarian Starter Guide.

Dog photos: Luke Duggleby / Redux Pictures

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10441193_796282820416653_2099480166190707092_n.jpgRonald William Prestage, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, was arrested Wednesday morning in Washington D.C. for carrying a concealed weapon without a license into the Cannon House Office Building--an offense that could land him up to five years in prison.

This comes as no surprise as past members of the Council have also been linked to egregious actions.

Last year, Mercy For Animals conducted an undercover investigation at a Walmart pork supplier called Pipestone System. Pipestone is a Minnesota-based pig farm owned by previous National Pork Producers Council president Randy Spronk.

During the course of our investigation we documented horrific animal abuse including pregnant pigs confined to filthy, metal gestation crates so small they were unable to even turn around or lie down comfortably--a shameful practice the National Pork Producer Council actually endorses.

Watch the undercover footage here:

 

Intelligent and sensitive pigs deserve to be free from this ghastly torment. Take a stand against gestation crates today by visiting our website WalmartCruelty.com and signing our petition.

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14115528707_8a77a3bd59_k.jpgAnimal agricultural giants are certainly responding to growing consumer concerns regarding animal welfare. But according to a report by The Washington Post, their response is wholly self-interested and does nothing to help the billions of animals suffering on factory farms.

Unhappy with the negative connotations of the term "factory farming," industry leaders claim that the term is a buzzword used by angry activists with little knowledge of the facts. The article points out the aptness of the term, however, explaining that "factory farms openly focus on efficiency above all else -- allowing animal mistreatment for the sake of the bottom of line."

"This industry's revisionism ignores not only four decades of agricultural industrialization, but also what's happening right now, this moment, in windowless barns across the country," it continues.

How can we combat an industry that would rather mince words than improve animal welfare? The most powerful action consumers can take to lessen animal suffering on factory farms is to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diets. For more information about compassionate meatless eating, check out ChooseVeg.com.

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A recent article by NPR.org is highlighting the increasing number of men who are choosing to leave meat off their plates for good.

At a barbecue hosted by lifestyle blogger Joshua Katcher, NPR caught up with several muscled semi-professional athletes who are also vegan, including bodybuilder Giacomo Marchese, triathlete Dominic Thompson, and mixed martial arts fighter Cornell Ward.

"In an era of climate change and environmental destruction, Katcher thinks masculinity should be re-framed as protecting the planet, not dominating it," states NPR.

Indeed, many incredibly powerful men, from political heavyweights Bill Clinton and Al Gore to Academy Award-winning director James Cameron have turned to plant-based eating as a way to stay healthy, fit, and virile while also being environmentally conscious.

A study conducted last year by the Loma Linda University School of Public Health has also revealed that a vegetarian diet could lead to a longer and healthier life, especially for men.

Whether your goal is to climb to the top, improve your health, do right by the planet, or take a strong stand against animal cruelty, there has never been a better time to adopt a vegan diet.

For tips to get you started, visit ChooseVeg.com.

(photo: James Koroni)

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cute-old-cuoples-6.jpgAccording to a recent report in Men's Journal, a large-scale study of 73,000 Americans shows that eating a vegetarian diet promotes longevity.

The study is one of the most meticulous of its kind, boasting not only an enormous number of participants, but also unprecedented attention to details like activity level, age, and sleep patterns.

Co-author of the study Sam Soret explains, "Meat has detrimental effects in its own right, which we know from evidence accumulated over the last century linking it to heart disease and cancer. ...
... [P]lants contain protective elements such as phytonutrients. ... Even semi-vegetarians, who eat some meat but still consume a lot of plant foods, minimize their exposure to the bad stuff in meat while upping their exposure to protective stuff in plants."

No wonder more people than ever are switching to a more compassionate lifestyle.

Want to experience the incredible health benefits of a meatless diet? Head over to ChooseVeg.com to learn how you can eat ethically, healthfully, and deliciously!

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petlady20n-1-web.jpgNew York's Daily News recently profiled Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, an ethical vegetarian and a fierce force for animals in New York's state legislature.

Authoring nearly a dozen animal protection bills, Rosenthal never misses an opportunity to stand up for animals, from dogs and cats to dairy cows.

On the subject of her advocacy Rosenthal remarks, "One of the reasons I am in elected office is to be an advocate for those who don't have their own voice, or who are overshadowed by interests that are more powerful than they are."

Following MFA's undercover investigation at New York's Willet Dairy in 2009, Rosenthal introduced a statewide bill to ban tail docking, an extremely painful procedure by which dairy cows have their tails cut off without anesthetic.

Watch the undercover footage here:

 

Inspired to stand up for animals like Assemblywoman Rosenthal? Start by leaving them off your plate. For vegetarian recipes and tips on transitioning to a cruelty-free lifestyle, visit ChooseVeg.com.

(photo: Richard Harbus/for New York Daily News)

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Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 3.37.20 PM.pngThe cheap burger at your neighborhood fast-food joint may have hidden, unintended costs that far outweigh the low price tag, according to Mark Bittman in his recent opinion piece "The True Cost of a Burger."

The costs to the environment, human health, and the economy are "external costs," or "externalities," states the article, taking litter as an example: "If your cheeseburger comes wrapped in a piece of paper, and you throw that piece of paper on the sidewalk, it eventually may be picked up by a worker and put in the trash; the cost of that act is an externality."

Of course, many external costs, such as health care costs relating to obesity and heart disease, or costs arising from large-scale environmental destruction caused by industrial animal farms, are too vast and complex to ever calculate.

The article asserts, however, that "the external costs of burgers may be as high as, or even outweigh, the 'benefits' (if indeed there are any other than profits). If those externalities were borne by their producers rather than by consumers and society at large, the industry would be a highly unprofitable, even silly one."

The message of these hidden expenses is clear: consuming meat, especially at the rate we do today, is fundamentally unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, we as consumers will be forced to bear the brunt of the costs.

Ready to withdraw your support from this unsustainable lifestyle? Check out ChooseVeg.com for ways to make meatless eating fun and easy!

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MBS Fiona Oakes marathon record 1.jpgFiona Oakes may just be one of the most inspiring people on this planet! The 43-year-old vegan first gained media attention when she ran "the toughest race on the planet" earlier this year, but now she is making news again for her upcoming challenge: running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Fighting against the misconception that a vegan diet makes one weak, Oakes is going to show the entire world the benefits of choosing a compassionate, cruelty-free diet!

According to an interview with the Essex County Standard, Oakes actually "doesn't much like running," but she does it to promote veganism and raise money for Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, which she founded.

If you're interested in being a vegan rock star like Fiona, check out ChooseVeg.com for tips and recipe ideas.

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article-2691815-1FA396CC00000578-764_634x623.jpgWhen Robert and Jessica Foster realized that their unhealthy lifestyle was negatively impacting their children, they decided to make major lifestyle changes.

At the time, Robert weighed 327 pounds and Jessica weighed 287. They weren't eating healthy foods or exercising, had low self-esteem, and felt unhappy with their weights. They also worried that they weren't setting a good example for their four daughters.

According to the Daily Mail, the Fosters adopted a plant-based diet, monitored their serving sizes, and began exercising regularly. Since making the changes in 2012, Robert and Jessica have lost a combined 280 pounds! They are now at a much healthier, happier point in their lives. The couple said that not only do they feel better than ever and appreciate themselves more, they are proud to be great role models for their kids.

Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 10.38.15 AM.pngBut the Fosters aren't just role models for their kids; as their significant weight loss has gained media attention, they are acting as global role models promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle.

For more information on how you can benefit from eating vegan, check out ChooseVeg.com!

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14115383178_ced3d3d544_b.jpgA new epidemic that is taking the U.S. by storm has resulted in the deaths of more than 8 million pigs. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, first showed up in the United States in 2013, and it has been wreaking havoc ever since.

The virus is 100 percent lethal for piglets two to three weeks old, and it takes the lives of an estimated 100,000 pigs each week, according to a report by The New York Times.

Joelle Hayden, a spokeswoman for the USDA, said that "it is a particularly persistent virus, and it can survive long periods in less-than-ideal environments," such as factory farm environments.

The virus is also taking a toll on the planet and environmental groups are concerned about how burying so many carcasses will affect the groundwater.

Infected pigs cannot be buried on farms due to the risk of spreading disease, so dead pigs are being buried in the ground along coastal waterways where the groundwater level is high.

While the virus itself cannot be transmitted to humans, the corpses can become hosts for bacteria and other pathogens.

Thankfully, the dangers of pork consumption can be avoided by eating a healthy vegetarian diet. Check out ChooseVeg.com for more information.

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