Vegan News June 8, 2024


Kentucky Passes Ag-Gag Law Drafted by Tyson Exec: U.S. state Kentucky’s Senate Bill 16, which bans unauthorized filming and recording at food processing plants and meat and dairy operations, was drafted by a Tyson Foods lobbyist. The law, which also prohibits drone investigations, aims to shield the industry from public scrutiny. A legal challenge is being considered to strike down this ag-gag law for violating free speech. Read more on Sentient Media.

Plant-Based Diet May Reverse Alzheimer’s: Dr. Dean Ornish’s latest study suggests a whole food, plant-based diet, combined with exercise, stress management, and social support, could potentially reverse early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Participants following this lifestyle program showed improvements in cognition and function compared to the control group. The more they adhered to the program, the greater the benefits. This groundbreaking research builds on Ornish’s previous work showing the power of plant-based diets to reverse heart disease, slow prostate cancer, and possibly slow aging. With Alzheimer’s drugs showing limited efficacy and serious side effects, this study offers hope that dietary and lifestyle changes may be the key to preventing and even reversing this devastating disease. As Ornish notes, if a plant-based diet can reverse our top killers, shouldn’t it be the default? Learn more on

Alternatives to Animal Experiments Advance: Progress is being made in replacing animal experiments with ethical alternatives that are also more effective. New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) like human cell cultures, organs-on-chips, and computer modeling can provide human-relevant results without animal suffering. Stem cell advances allow testing on human cells, while microphysiological systems mimic human physiology. AI and in-silico methods predict human responses, making many animal tests obsolete. Policy changes are happening too – the FDA Modernization Act allows alternatives to animal testing for new drugs. The UK’s Animal Free Research organization is pushing for “Herbie’s Law” to fully replace animal experiments by 2035. It’s time to embrace innovative, animal-free science research. Read more.


Why Facts Alone Don’t Change Minds

When animal advocates share the realities of animal exploitation, they often face resistance and excuses rather than changes in attitude and behavior. A cognitive psychologist explains that our beliefs serve social and emotional functions beyond just representing reality. Attitudes that benefit us – by helping us fit in, avoid inconvenience, or protect our self-image – can be stubbornly resistant to change even in the face of contradictory evidence. To encourage a shift in mindset, advocates can create welcoming communities around animal-friendly values, share diverse stories to counter stereotypes, and gently prompt people to align their actions with their ethics. By understanding the motivations behind beliefs, we can communicate in ways that resonate and inspire positive change for animals. Read more on Animal Think Tank.


Black Bean Salad: This zesty salad combines black beans, roasted sweet potato, crisp veggies and creamy avocado in a refreshing cilantro-lime dressing. Perfect as a main dish or side for summer get-togethers. Get the recipe at The Plant-Based School.

Avocado Pineapple Popsicles: Beat the heat with these 5-ingredient tropical ice pops featuring ripe pineapple, avocado, lime and toasted coconut. A healthy and delicious way to cool off! Find the recipe on Sweet Potato Soul.


US Animal Welfare Act Excludes Birds, Rats, and Mice from the Definition of “Animal”

In 2020, the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Clinic filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging the agency’s decision to exclude birds, rats, and mice bred for research from the definition of “animal” under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

The AWA, passed in 1966, is the primary federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. However, the USDA has long excluded birds, rats, and mice bred for research from the Act’s protections, even though these animals comprise an estimated 95% of all animals used in research in the country.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the American Anti-Vivisection Society and several other animal protection organizations, argues that the USDA’s exclusion of these animals is arbitrary and capricious, and violates the plain language of the AWA. The plaintiffs contend that the exclusion deprives these animals of the basic welfare standards and oversight provided by the Act, leading to widespread neglect and suffering.

If successful, the lawsuit could extend federal protections to millions of animals used in research each year, requiring research facilities to adhere to minimum standards of care and subjecting them to regular inspections by the USDA. It won’t end the abuse of these animals for research, but it at least forces recognition of them as animals who are regarded as sentient.


How can animal advocates balance sharing hard-hitting information with telling a more inviting story to encourage change? What kinds of narratives and examples have you found effective in opening people’s minds to animal rights? Let us know in the comments!

Stay informed and keep advocating for a more vegan world. See you next week with more updates!

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