Eleven Madison Park going plant-based is a gamechanger. Here’s why.

By on May 4, 2021 with 0 Comments

Eleven Madison Park is an internationally renowned restaurant in New York City; it has three Michelin stars and is regularly listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. And when its pandemic-shuttered dining room reopens in June, its menu will be plant-based.

Here’s how owner Daniel Humm, a James Beard Award winner as a chef, explained the decision: “We have always operated with sensitivity to the impact we have on our surroundings, but it was becoming ever clearer that the current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways.” He continued: “[W]e’ve made the decision to serve a plant-based menu in which we do not use any animal products.”

The restaurant’s decision to go meat- and dairy-free shows that some of the most successful and forward-looking businesses are recognizing that they have a responsibility to reflect on how they impact animals and the planet.

Eleven Madison Park’s decision, which has already gotten a lot of enthusiastic buzz in the media, is just the latest of many remarkable plant-based wins. Last week, Epicurious, a respected food resource for home chefs, announced it stopped publishing beef recipes due to the environmental destruction caused by animal agriculture, replacing them with vegetarian recipes instead. Yelp.com ranked vegan restaurant Kelley Farm Kitchen (in West Virginia) as the “Top Place to Eat in 2021.” And food influencers seem to be increasingly coming up green: For instance, Joe Yonan, the food and dining editor at the Washington Post, “came out” as vegetarian years ago and frequently highlights plant-based cuisine in the paper’s Food section and authors meat-free cookbooks. In doing so, Yonan followed in the footsteps of New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, who coined the term “vegan before dinnertime” as a proponent of meat reduction.

From our view here at the Humane Society family of organizations, this progress is a sheer joy to witness. For decades, we have been advocating for more humane treatment of animals in agriculture in the U.S. and around the world but in 2013 we fortified our investment into reducing meat consumption in the U.S. and around the world by expanding our work with decision-makers who have the power to influence large scale meat-free food procurement and thus expand the marketplace of choice for consumers worldwide.

In the U.S., we partner with the biggest food service companies to bring delicious plant-based dishes onto their menus. This has led to hundreds of schools and colleges, hospitals, military bases, prisons and stadiums offering exponentially more plant-based meals. Data indicates that more plant-based offerings translate to more plant-based food purchases, decreasing the number of animals killed for food, while providing healthier, more sustainable meals that take stress off an already over-stressed planet. Our culinary work was recently featured in the U.S. food service industry’s trade publication for “pushing the boundaries of plant-based eating.”

It’s an honor to be a part of this movement for a healthier and more sustainable world. You can be a part of this positive change, too: As so many of you are inspired to lean into the green end of the dietary spectrum, we encourage you to visit our “Eating Humanely” resource that makes it easier to create plant-based meals that benefit your health, the planet and of course the animals.

South Africa to clamp down on exploitative captive lion industry

By on May 3, 2021 with 2 Comments
South Africa to clamp down on exploitative captive lion industry

A key panel appointed by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in South Africa recommends banning captive lion breeding and the commercial trade of lion parts such as lion skeletons. Humane Society International/Africa has been a key player in the campaign to phase . . . 

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NRA chief’s agonizing elephant hunt shows what’s wrong with trophy hunting

By on April 28, 2021 with 16 Comments
NRA chief’s agonizing elephant hunt shows what’s wrong with trophy hunting

The New Yorker broke a story yesterday about the head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, attempting to kill an endangered elephant in Botswana. The newly released footage exemplifies the blithe depravity of trophy hunting. The video shows LaPierre’s botched attempt to kill an . . . 

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Puppy Protection Act would end some of the worst puppy mill cruelties

By on April 27, 2021 with 13 Comments
Puppy Protection Act would end some of the worst puppy mill cruelties

We all know what dogs love: a comfortable napping spot, a romp in the grass, a kind touch and the safety and security of a caring environment. But thousands of dogs in commercial breeding operations licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell to . . . 

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Arkansas ‘Working Animals’ bill jeopardizes animals and citizens. Here’s why.

By on April 26, 2021 with 2 Comments
Arkansas ‘Working Animals’ bill jeopardizes animals and citizens. Here’s why.

One of the most successful political channels through which advocates have been able to take a stand for animals in recent years is by securing the passage of local ordinances to regulate or end practices associated with animal cruelty and suffering. But vested interests in . . . 

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Idaho lawmakers on verge of sanctioning a carnage of 90% of the state’s wolves

By on April 23, 2021 with 15 Comments
Idaho lawmakers on verge of sanctioning a carnage of 90% of the state’s wolves

A bill that would allow trophy hunters, trappers and private contractors hired at taxpayer expense to kill up to 90% of the state’s wolves is flying through the Idaho legislature, and we need to stop it in its tracks. The bill, introduced Tuesday, has already . . . 

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House revives bill to end shark fin trade that passed during last session

By on April 22, 2021 with 4 Comments
House revives bill to end shark fin trade that passed during last session

A bill to end all commercial trade in the United States of shark fins and shark fin products was reintroduced in the U.S. House today. The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, H.R. 2811, already enjoys great support in Congress and a previous version passed the . . . 

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Bill to ban dangerous wild animals as pets advances in Nevada

By on April 21, 2021 with 4 Comments
Bill to ban dangerous wild animals as pets advances in Nevada

Nevada, one of the last remaining states without a ban on the ownership of exotic wild animals as pets, is now moving to pass a law to do exactly that. A bill, SB 344, recently passed the Senate and now awaits action in the Assembly. . . . 

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U.S. finalizes critical habitat protections for endangered humpback whales

By on April 20, 2021 with 0 Comments
U.S. finalizes critical habitat protections for endangered humpback whales

The United States has finalized a rule to protect key ocean habitats used by endangered humpback whales as they migrate and feed in the waters off the U.S. west coast. This is a tremendous development and one we hope will help speed the recovery of . . . 

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Bill to end keeping big cats as pets, ‘cub petting’ reintroduced in U.S. Senate

By on April 19, 2021 with 4 Comments
Bill to end keeping big cats as pets, ‘cub petting’ reintroduced in U.S. Senate

A bill that would prohibit public contact with big cats like tigers, lions and leopards and ban keeping these animals as pets has been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. The Big Cat Public Safety Act, S. 1210, would end the suffering of animals like Elsa, . . . 

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Breaking: Washington bans the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet shops

By on April 16, 2021 with 12 Comments
Breaking: Washington bans the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet shops

Today, Governor Jay Inslee signed the Humane Pet Sales Bill, making Washington state the fourth in the nation to prohibit the sale of puppy mill puppies in pet stores. Washington joins California, Maryland, Maine and over 380 localities across the country in taking a strong . . . 

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A resolution for Earth Day — and every day

By on April 16, 2021 with 1 Comment
A resolution for Earth Day — and every day

With spring in full blossom, my favorite escape from Zoom meetings is getting outside for a long walk with my dog, Lilly. That time is a tremendous respite for both of us. In a year when we’ve spent so much time indoors, I think we . . . 

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