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Norway Is Banning Fur Farming

By Conor Sneyd

Norway is introducing a total ban on fur farming, according to a statement released by the Norwegian animal rights organization NOAH this weekend. The country is currently home to 300 fur farms, which breed and kill 700,000 minks and 110,000 foxes every year, so this is truly a massive victory for animals.

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Beyond Meat Rolls Out Vegan Sausages

Ethan Brown—the founder and CEO of vegan company Beyond Meat—has big dreams for his products, and they appear to be coming true in rapid succession.

His first goal was to have his revolutionary vegan Beyond Burger available in stores' refrigerated meat sections (in order to appeal to meat-eaters, too). The first Whole Foods to carry it sold out of the product within an hour. Now, Beyond Meat has unveiled its new vegan Beyond Sausage.

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Are Dog Bone Treats Dangerous? Here’s What You Should Know

By Danny Prater

Are dog bone treats dangerous? A statement issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rippled across the internet, sparking discussions about the potential dangers of giving dogs processed bones to chew on and ingest as treats. According to reports, dozens of dogs are known to have fallen ill or been injured by bone treats, and at least 15 have died, but the actual number of unreported cases is likely much higher.

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USDA Cites Breeders for Abuse, Then Gives Them a Ton of Business

By Michelle Kretzer

If you were charged with enforcing the federal Animal Welfare Act and found egregious violations of it at an exotic "pet" breeding facility, would you think, "We should probably give it a lot of government business and taxpayer money?" That's seemingly what's happening at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency has reportedly ordered an animal breeder in Iowa numerous times to change the appalling conditions in which it houses animals—right before giving it tens of thousands of dollars in business.

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Cambridge Bans Retail Sales of Commercially Bred Pets

By Zachary Toliver

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just became a hot spot Monday night for celebration as officials passed a sweeping ban on the sale of non-rescued animals.

The ordinance, passed by the Cambridge City Council, prohibits the commercial sale of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in pet stores. Fish are not included in the ordinance but could be added at a later date.

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11 Protein-Packed Vegan Foods

Maybe you've heard the term "complete protein." It derives from the idea that there are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and the human body can't produce nine of them on its own. In order to be considered "complete," a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in equal amounts.

The thing is, we don't need the complete amino-acid profile in every meal. We need only a sufficient amount of each amino acid daily. Dietitians confirm that plant-based foods contain a wide variety of profiles, and vegans are pretty much guaranteed to get their daily dose without even trying.

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Watch This 10-Year-Old Explain How Going Vegan Can Save the Planet

Two years ago, Long Beach resident Genesis Butler took home the title of PETA Kids' Cutest Vegan Kid—and last month, the 10-year-old became one of the youngest people ever to give a TEDx Talk. In her humor-filled presentation, she reveals why going vegan is the easiest way to help the environment.

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Pamela Anderson Gives Melania Trump a Faux-Fur Coat

By Kate Tuggle

Honorary People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Director Pamela Anderson has sent Melania Trump a one-of-a-kind thank-you gift for the first lady's fur-free look at the presidential inauguration: a faux "eco-fur" coat that Anderson custom-designed for her with Russian faux-fur manufacturer Only Me.

"Amid all the mania at the inauguration, you looked stunning in an outfit by Ralph Lauren—one of many fur-free designers," Anderson wrote in a letter to Trump. "I am so happy that you chose not to wear fur! As first lady, you will help set style trends and by remaining compassionate with your choices, you will warm the hearts of many."

Anderson's animal rights activism in Russia dates back to 2009, when she first wrote then–Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to thank him for banning the slaughter of baby harp seals. In 2011, she worked with PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to wear"—to persuade Russia, which had previously imported 90 percent of her native Canada's baby-seal pelts, to ban these importations.

She is now working with Only Me to develop fake bearskin hats to replace the busbies worn by The Queen's Guard in England, as one Canadian black bear is killed for each hat. The company will send two prototypes to London from Moscow next week.

The Dreadful Story Behind Pompom Accessories

By Zachary Toliver

Hey, of course we all want to look fly—and it seems like this winter, pompom accessories on handbags, shoes and hats are the way to do that. But unless these furry fad items are made with vegan fur, animals were beaten, electrocuted or even skinned alive to make them.

Many of these fuzzballs are made from the skins of animals, including minks and foxes, two of the species most commonly killed in the fur industry.

Minks are solitary, semi-aquatic animals who can occupy up to 2,500 acres of wetland habitat. Foxes live in stable, loving family groups in which the father brings the nursing mother food. Newborn fox pups are unable to see, hear or walk, so they're totally dependent on their mother and will die if she's killed.

In addition, foxes, much like dogs, love to play. Just look how delighted this one is about a ball. How on Earth could someone wear these wonderful animals?!

On fur factory farms—which is where nearly 85 percent of the industry's skins come from—minks, foxes, chinchillas and other animals are crammed into filthy wire cages, where they're separated from their families and denied everything that's natural and important to them. Severe crowding and confinement prevent them from taking more than a few steps in any direction and they often go insane, resorting to self-mutilation and cannibalism—all just so that humans can make a fur coat, collar or (you guessed it) pompom.

Lose Your Mind Over Pompoms, but Don't Let Animals Lose Their Skin

So yeah, having a carcass hanging off your purse, gloves or hat is gross and cruel. There are plenty of vegan fur pompoms out there that you can use to express your style without supporting an industry that kills animals.

Many major retailers have banned fur altogether, so it's easy to find vegan pompoms at mainstream shopping outlets and online retailers such as Etsy. Or, if you're more of a DIY person, here's a video tutorial on how to make a cruelty-free pompom:

Be Fur-Free When You Accessorize

Whether you're into furry pompoms or the next big trend, be sure to shop cruelty-free. The only one who needs an animal's skin is the animal.

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