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ASPCA founder Henry Bergh would regularly stop overloaded trolleys to provide relief to suffering horses.

By Paul Shapiro

In his riveting new book about the founder of America’s first animal welfare organization, historian Ernest Freeberg does a magnificent job detailing the problems animals faced in 19th- century America and the campaigns of those who crusaded on their behalf. Favorably reviewed already in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement is a must-read for anyone interested in the roots of the modern animal advocacy movement.

In this biography, Freeberg doesn’t sugarcoat either the cruelty that ASPCA founder Henry Bergh fought against nor the pioneer’s contradictions and eccentricities that led his foes, including PT Barnum, to deride him as a misanthropic traitor to his own species. …


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For decades, children sent tens of millions of fireflies to Sigma Chemical Co. in exchange for swag and cash.

By Paul Shapiro

Supply chains for any product can be messy, but it’s hard to imagine one messier than how diabetics before the ’90s got their insulin. Pharma giant Eli Lilly alone used to purchase 53 million pig and cattle pancreases each year just to extract the insulin that was sold to the diabetic market.

As I wrote for Food Dive, that gruesome practice ended when a then-startup called Genentech pioneered a method of genetically engineering bacteria that produce actual human insulin. …


Paul Shapiro with Norm Phelps

The below is a reprint of an obituary published on January 2, 2015 by Paul Shapiro, a long-time friend and coworker of author and animal advocate Norm Phelps’.

Norm Phelps: 1939–2014

It’s with a heavy heart that I report that one of the best friends animals have had, Norm Phelps, has passed away at the age of 75. He died in Meritus Health Hospital in Hagerstown, Md. on December 31, 2014. Norm is survived by his loving, devoted wife and fellow animal advocate Patti Rogers, along with their beloved cats.

Many in the animal protection movement knew Norm as a thoughtful, pragmatic advocate and the author of three influential books, including The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA, as well as two important books on major religions and their views on animals. A list of his books and essays is available on his Web site. …


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BlueNalu’s yellowtail is delicious, but is it cell-based, cultivated, clean, cultured, or something else?

By Paul Shapiro

Cultured meat, clean meat, cultivated meat, cell-based meat, craft meat — lovers of linguistic diversity have every reason to rejoice when they come upon the topic of real meat grown from animal cells.

While opponents of the food tend to use pejorative or science-y names like “lab-grown meat” and “in vitro meat,” advocates have typically adopted names that sound more natural and therefore appetizing, whether cultivated meat, clean meat, or even craft meat. …


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It’s true that the percentage gains during the pandemic for plant-based meat have been higher than for animal-based meat. But animal-based meat is such a bigger market that the increase in demand for it dwarfs the increase in demand for plant-based meat.

By Paul Shapiro

No doubt about it: makers of plant-based meat are experiencing blockbuster growth during the pandemic for a variety of reasons. From widespread slaughter plant shutdowns restricting supply and increasing prices to concerns about the treatment of those employed in those plants to attention on the connection between pandemics and how we treat animals, many Americans are exploring the plant-based world in earnest.

That’s why news outlets like Forbes are correctly touting: “Alternative Meat Sales Soar Amid Pandemic.” After all, the percentage gains for plant-based meats are even greater than for animal-based meat.

Plant-Based Meat Sales are Beefed-Up, but Are Still Dwarfed by Animal Meat…


Stroll through your local supermarket and it won’t be hard to see why some in the dairy industry are, well, having a cow. Milks and cheeses from soy, almonds, coconuts, cashews and even flaxseeds are decidedly in. Cow’s milk isn’t in danger of being put out to pasture, but consumption in the United States has been in a steady slide since the 1970s and the dairy aisle is getting crowded.

With interest in drinking cows’ milk waning, especially in Western Europe and the United States, and the popularity of plant-based milk rising, the Netherlands-based Rabobank in May advised dairy producers to diversify with investments in their alternative-dairy competitors. …


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Paul Shapiro and Toni Okamoto Shapiro drive Eddie the foster dog home.

By Kenya Evelyn for The Guardian [see link to original story at bottom]

Paul Shapiro and his wife, Toni Okamoto, weren’t planning to become pet owners. But as the coronavirus continued to spread throughout California, the businessman and author knew they had to act to support a local shelter in Sacramento forced to close because of quarantine orders.

“They needed immediate fosters to come down that day, so since my wife worked from home she just got in the car and drove there immediately,” he said. …


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Names matter. Above are two real news headlines reporting on surveys that used different terms to describe meat grown from animal cells.

By Paul Shapiro

Would a rose by any other name smell just as sweet? Apparently so for Juliet when she gazed upon Romeo, but the same can’t be said of the modern consumer, where marketing is critical and names are meaningful.

Think for example about how the Affordable Care Act is more popular than Obamacare, despite being different names for the same law. Or how calling the estate tax on multimillionaires a “death tax” helped turn Americans against the policy. Or how labeling a food “vegan” vs. “plant-based” substantially impacts its popularity.

Turns out the same is true when it comes to meat grown from animal cells (as opposed to animal slaughter). A recent consumer survey conducted by Charleston|Orwig made headlines about how scared Americans are of such food, leading to predictions that the startups in the space will have an uphill battle to win customers. …


New Study Offers Promising News for Alt-Meat Backers

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A whopping 28 percent of consumers say they’d choose animal-free beef in this grocery scenario.

A recent study on American consumer preferences for red meat and its competitors raised my eyebrows. Conducted by Ellen J. Van Loo, Vincenzina Caputo and Jayson L. Lusk, the research was generally heralded by beef industry publications (like Drovers) as a morale boost for a conventional beef industry that’s been worried about the success of plant-based burgers. At first glance, it’s not hard to tell why.

The paper is well-summarized by one of its authors, Jayson Lusk, a respected economist at Purdue University. …


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New technologybicycleshelped grease the wheels of social progress for women. Will new food technology also help pave the way for food sustainability?

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling,” Susan B. Anthony, the famed women’s suffragist, told a reporter in 1896. “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.”

Anthony went on to describe how late 19th century women were liberated from reliance on the men in their lives once they were enabled to ride bikes, empowering them to enter the workforce and lead less domestic lives. …

About

Paul Shapiro

Husband: Toni Okamoto. Author: national bestseller Clean Meat. CEO: The Better Meat Co. Host, Business for Good Podcast. 4x TEDx speaker. Paul-Shapiro.com

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