Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Food for Thought

Dear friends,

The Thanksgiving holiday—a relaxing day to celebrate family and friends, to appreciate your blessings and to give thanks for all you have—is almost here. Unfortunately, the holiday also means the slaughter of 45 million turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner table centerpieces. While we understand that the turkey—a symbol for warmth and love and contentment—is a tradition of the holiday, just a quick review of what eating turkey really entails will be more than enough to destroy those unfounded associations. (If you are already convinced you don’t need a thanksgiving turkey, just skip down below for yummy ideas for alternatives!)

In fact, turkey production means anything but happiness. Take a minute to read up on the standard industry practice of strangling as a standard method of killing sick or weak birds or watch undercover video footage of the Butterball turkey farm. If you’re not up for actually seeing where turkeys spend their lives (in which case you probably shouldn’t be eating them), you can simply think about these intelligent birds who spend the last five months of their lives with less than 3.5 square feet of space per bird. The birds who have their upper beaks and their toes seared off with hot blades so they don’t peck each other to death in their stress-inducing conditions. The birds who, due to unnatural breeding techniques, now grow twice as fast and twice as large as their ancestors with especially large breasts, making it impossible for them to breed naturally (or as the report states, “males can no longer mount females.”)

But wait…maybe ‘free-range’ or ‘organic’ labels get you off the hook? Unfortunately, the standards are extremely lax, with free range meaning nothing more that the turkeys can go outside at some point in their lives. Yes, any positive step is a step in the right direction, but with conditions like this on an actual “free-range” farm, it’s hard to say how free-range is any better than factory-farmed raised. We don’t really think it’s better at all.

Luckily, the horrors of the turkey industry don’t mean that you have to go hungry on Thanksgiving; they just mean you get to explore new foods and start new traditions. And that’s the reason for this letter—to tell you about some delicious alternatives to the traditional turkey. Here are some links and recipes to help you create new healthy and humane traditions.

Tons of Thanksgiving recipes for appetizers, soups, entrees, sides, desserts, etc!
Tips for celebrating a veg holiday
196 Vegan Thanksgiving recipes
Sample Vegetarian Thanksgiving menu w/ recipes
The new Veggie Turkey Breast With Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing, available at Whole Foods (what we’ll be having in my house, I hope!)
Pumpkin pie
• Post your own recipes in the comments section!

Now more than ever, we should all be thankful for having the ability to make ethical, humane and environmental friendly choices.

Best wishes,
Princeton Animal Welfare Society

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PAWS on mtvU

Check it out!

Monday, November 05, 2007

College Veg Pledge

Next Tuesday, November 13th, thousands of college students—including hundreds at Princeton--will be going vegetarian for College Veg Pledge 2007. These students have pledged to give up meat to show support for their vegetarian friends, to demonstrate their understanding that meat does have serious environmental and health issues, and, quite simply, because going vegetarian is not that hard to do. In fact, we’re hoping that these people will realize that going veg is so easy and fun that there is no good reason not to give up animal products permanently!

There are over 1500 students who have pledged and 34 colleges and universities officially participating. The pledge reads:

“As a university student, I realize that I am a leader for my generation and an example for society. I am concerned about the inherent cruelty of consuming animals for food and the impact meat has on global warming, the environment, and my health. By signing my name, I pledge to abstain from consuming meat on November 13th, 2007, and commit myself to exploring a more ethical diet in the future.”

Here at Princeton, we’re celebrating the veg pledge (and the 250+ students/faculty/staff already signed up) by throwing a dessert party! Other schools are also celebrating in fun ways – for example, a University of Pennsylvania dining hall is throwing a “Vegan Thanksgiving,” Dartmouth is throwing a Veg Out movie night…

College Veg Pledge is sponsored by Students for Animal Rights (StAR), a new organization devoted to helping college animal rights groups be as effective as possible. The College Veg Pledge is StAR’s first event. We hope you enjoy!

Please take the pledge!