• Nov
  • 21

‘The Panda’s Friend’ Unveils PETA Ad in Chengdu

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

As the 2014–15 Chinese Basketball Association season gets into full swing, former NBA player The Panda’s Friend launched a new ad for PETA at Raffles City in Chengdu to promote the importance of spaying and neutering. Formerly known as Ron Artest and Metta World Peace, The Panda’s Friend made the name change after he moved to Chengdu in order to play for the Sichuan Blue Whales (and we have to say, we think it’s awesome!).

Check out some pictures from the event:

Metta World Peace ad launch

Metta World Peace ad launch

Metta World Peace ad launch

“The U.S. and China have a serious animal-homelessness crisis,” he said. “Spaying and neutering your companion animals is the way to help them.”

Millions of unwanted animals are suffering and dying on the streets every year because of starvation, disease, traffic accidents, and abuse. Spaying eliminates the stress that females endure while they’re in heat as well as the risk of developing uterine cancer, and it also greatly reduces the risk that they will develop mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam and fight, prevents testicular cancer, and reduces their risk of developing prostate cancer. Spaying or neutering is also strongly encouraged by the Chengdu Municipal Public Security Bureau, which offers spay and neuter services at its animal shelter.

Thank you, Panda’s Friend. We and all animals ♥ you.

Written by Layla Wen

Continue Reading "‘The Panda’s Friend’ Unveils PETA Ad in Chengdu"

  • Nov
  • 05

Which ‘Beauty’ Company Has an Ugly Secret to Hide?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

skin irritation test on rabbitsNo amount of concealer can cover up Revlon’s latest black eye. The company was once a mainstay on PETA U.S.’ list of companies that don’t test on animals, but two years ago, PETA U.S. exposed Revlon’s betrayal of animals (and customers who thought they were buying cruelty-free products). Revlon has been selling its products in China, where tests on animals are required for cosmetics.

In December 2013, Revlon announced that it is “exiting China,” but the company refused to confirm whether this simply meant that offices were closing or whether it will be withdrawing its products from China and no longer paying for tests on animals there.

PETA U.S. finally got the truth, and it isn’t pretty. A representative attended Revlon’s annual meeting to present a resolution calling for transparency for the company’s animal testing policy and practices. She also asked Revlon CEO Lorenzo Delpani point blank whether the company would be withdrawing its products from the Chinese market. Delpani confirmed that “exiting” China does not mean that Revlon will stop selling its products there and added that the decision to exit China was based on business and financial reasons, not the government’s animal testing requirements.

We’d suspected that Revlon’s months-long refusal to answer PETA US’ questions meant that the company had something to hide. Now we know that “something” is the bodies of rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs who are poisoned and killed for its products in cruel and archaic tests.

Now that Revlon’s ugly practices have—once again—been brought into the light, let the company know that you won’t be buying its products until it stops selling in China. And make sure that all the products you buy are truly cruelty-free by checking PETA U.S.’ searchable online database of more than 1,400 cruelty-free companies.

Posted by Jason Baker


Continue Reading "Which ‘Beauty’ Company Has an Ugly Secret to Hide?"

  • Oct
  • 29

PETA Rains on Fendi’s Parade

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

Wherever there’s cruelty to animals, PETA will be there.

Last week, Fendi brought its “Un Art Autre” exhibit to a popular Hong Kong mall. The event, whose title translates as “Art of Another Kind,” showcased a dozen Fendi designs of death (aka “fur coats”) created over the last several centuries.

PETA and local activists made sure that Fendi was aware that its cruel ways would not be tolerated in Hong Kong—or anywhere else, for that matter.

During the launch of the event—which was crowded with celebrities, socialites, and members of the fashion media—activists unleashed their fury on Fendi. One activist stripped at the event’s entrance to reveal “FurIsDead.com” written all over her body; another wore a bunny suit reading, “Who stole my fur?”; and a pair unfurled a banner portraying a giant image of a skinned fox and the words “Here’s the rest of your fur” from an upper-level balcony. A dozen other activists held signs outside the Fendi booth and made sure that their “fur is murder” chants would be heard in the background of every single TV interview. Needless to say, Fendi’s guests didn’t stay long.

Fendi fur disruption4

Fendi fur disruption2

Fendi fur disruption2


We’re looking forward to seeing Fendi at its next stop. If you want to join the fight against fur, start by taking PETA’s fur-free pledge.

Posted by Ashley Fruno

Continue Reading "PETA Rains on Fendi’s Parade"

  • Oct
  • 29

Hanoi’s Best Vegan Eats

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

Part of what makes travel so alluring is experiencing different cultures – and this often includes sampling the local cuisine. Luckily, wherever you wander, a tasty, healthy and affordable vegan meal is never far away. If you’re planning to visit Hanoi, you’re in luck – we’ve compiled a handy guide to the city’s best vegan eats!

      1. Truc Lam Trai Vegetarian Restaurant

39  Lê Ngọc Hân St, Hai Bà Trưng District
Price range: $1–5/person

This pure vegetarian restaurant serves authentic Vietnamese dishes – from fresh rolls and vegetable salads to noodle soups and hotpot – all at a very reasonable price. For a traditional Vietnamese-style meal, order some rice, a main dish (we recommend the fried tofu with lemongrass and chilli), green vegetables and a bowl of soup. Treat yourself to a fresh-fruit shake, too – just be sure to ask for no milk.

Truc Lam Trai

Truc Lam Trai interior

      1. Thien Phat Chay Vegetarian Restaurant

16 Hàng Hành St, Hoàn Kiếm District
91 Lý Thường Kiệt St, Hoàn Kiếm District
Price range: $2–8/person

With two locations in Hanoi, Thien Phat Chay offers a fine dining experience with a tranquil ambiance. The set menu, which features small portions of four to five dishes, is perfect if you want to sample a little bit of everything. Or if you’re with a group of friends, order some rolls and a hotpot to share. We highly recommend the faux-meat dishes – try any of them, and you will be delighted.

Thien Phat Chay

Thien Phat Chay interior

      1. Hanoi Social Club

6 Hội Vũ St, Hoàn Kiếm District
Price range: $4–10/person

If you want to try something different from the normal Buddhist-style vegetarian restaurants commonly found in Vietnam, this is the place. Located in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, in a tiny alley far from the noise of the busy streets, Hanoi Social Club offers an extensive vegan-friendly menu with labels on each dish indicating vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Start off with a plate of leafy green salad, grab a veggie burger and take home some tofu chips as snacks for later.

Hanoi Social Club food

Hanoi Social Club food 2

      1. Rainbow Café

37 Hàng Hành St, Hoàn Kiếm District
Price range: $2–6/person

One thing to keep in mind about restaurants in Hanoi is that most of them close very early. If you want to grab a bite after 9 p.m., this small café has everything that you need. Its vegetarian menu is very vegan-friendly, and the staff is always helpful if you want to clarify any specific dietary requirement. The crispy fried noodles with vegetables on top are particularly outstanding.


One thing is certain: You won’t go hungry while you’re visiting Hanoi. So grab your bag, get a map and discover the 1,000-year-old city of rich culture, friendly people and delicious food!

Posted by Trang Dang

Continue Reading "Hanoi’s Best Vegan Eats"

  • Oct
  • 22

The Myth That Is ‘Sustainable’ Fishing

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

fishing boatSustainable fishing: a noble idea. That’s the notion that we can capture and kill hundreds of thousands of aquatic animals every year while still maintaining—or increasing—the populations of those animals in the ocean. Easy enough, right?

Wrong. With modern society’s advances in technology, we now have extremely efficient fishing practices that leave no escape for our scaly friends. As a result, billions are slaughtered every single year, rendering the concept of “sustainable fishing” nothing more than a fantasy.

Commercial fishing is irrevocably devastating our oceans and our environment. In the last 50 years alone, 90 percent of large fish populations have been wiped out, leaving the oceans in critical condition. Many commercial fishing vessels practice bottom-trawling in order to catch sea animals who live near, on, or under the sea floor, such as flounder, cod, grouper, shrimp, and scallops. This technique has been fittingly compared to the disastrous clear-cutting of forests, although its scale is even greater. Elliott Norse, chief scientist of the Marine Conservation Institute, says, “Scientists find that bottom-trawling is the largest disturbance to the world’s sea floor and possibly the largest human-caused disturbance to the biosphere.”

Not only are the numbers of fish dwindling, sea turtles, birds, seals, whales, sharks, and other nontarget animals also inevitably become collateral damage. They become tangled in nets or hooked by longlines and are thrown overboard to fall victim to swarming birds or to bleed to death in the water.

“Sustainable fishing” enthusiasts subscribe to the myth that by fishing only for certain fish at various times of the year and by collaborating with the industry, governments, chefs, restaurants, consumers, and retailers, our oceans can be saved. But we have passed the point where this might have worked. Current populations of fish are too low for any of these methods to make a difference. Our only remaining weapon to combat overfishing is abstinence from eating fish and seafood. One of the world’s leading marine biologists, Dr. Sylvia Earle, has chosen to leave fish and other seafood off her plate. She stresses that “every fish counts at this point” and explains that “if we value the ocean and the ocean’s health at all, we have to understand that fish are critical to maintaining the integrity of ocean systems, which in turn make the planet work.”

Not only is capturing, killing, and eating fish unsustainable, it can also pose many health risks. Because our oceans are increasingly polluted, fish flesh is frequently contaminated with mercury and PCBs, among other toxins that are dangerous to our health.

If we continue to treat fish as a commodity, we will soon be faced with a barren and desolate sea, stripped of all traces of life: a ghost sea. Just as we visit museums to wonder at the bones of long-extinct dinosaurs, our children will gaze upon skeletons and fossils of fish with awe, imagining with incredulity a time when the oceans swarmed with life.

Do the planet a favor, do your health a favor, and do fish a favor by eliminating fish from your diet today.

Post written by former PETA Asia intern Natalie Crick

Continue Reading "The Myth That Is ‘Sustainable’ Fishing"

  • Sep
  • 29

BREAKING NEWS! Makers of Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

CatEarlier today, a Philippine court found La Union residents Vicente and Dorma Ridon—who have been in jail during their trial since June 2012—guilty of child abuse, animal welfare crimes, human trafficking, and wildlife-protection crimes for forcing girls to torture and kill puppies, rabbits, and other animals in “fetish” videos.

PETA Asia worked with authorities to ensure that the Ridons were located, arrested, and prosecuted. The Ridons, who have been sentenced to life imprisonment, also received a fine totaling over 9 million pesos each for their part in making the videos, in which scantily clad girls—one of whom was just 12 years old at the time—were filmed skinning a dog alive and burning another with a clothes iron, cutting off rabbits’ ears and setting the rabbits on fire while they flailed and screamed, hitting a monkey in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel, and crushing puppies until they vomited their own internal organs. Sexual fetishists from Australia, France, Korea, Malaysia, the U.K., the U.S., and elsewhere purchased the videos on the Internet, and all face the possibility of being charged.

The Ridons were arrested at the conclusion of a yearlong investigation undertaken by the National Bureau of Investigation after PETA notified the authorities of their crimes.

The Ridons’ sentence is a warning to anyone involved in the vile crush video industry: There are grave consequences for harming animals. It’s people like you who helped make this conviction possible. PETA was made aware of these horrible videos by a compassionate person who stumbled upon them and took the time to report it. Never be silent about cruelty to animals.

Posted by Jason Baker

Continue Reading "BREAKING NEWS! Makers of Cruel ‘Crush’ Videos Sentenced to Life Imprisonment"

  • Sep
  • 05

Understanding the Misunderstood: Purebreds and Mixed-Breed Dogs

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

cute dog

This is an issue all over the world: the pervasive myth that purebreds are “superior” to mixed-breed dogs. As someone who has never owned and will never own a purebred dog, it infuriates me when my dog is disparaged because he isn’t a purebred. For that reason, I want to address the common misunderstandings about purebreds and mixed breeds so that all dogs will be seen as the beautiful animals they are.

Misunderstanding: Purebreds are “better” because they are “pure” and bred with the “best” genes.

Truth: This is probably the most common myth about purebred dogs. When people want a purebred dog, they are usually in pursuit of a particular characteristic or trait related to a breed. The problem is that in order to have a purebred dog, two dogs of a certain breed have to mate. This sometimes results in inbreeding, which can lead to health issues. For instance, short-faced breeds such as pugs and bulldogs often suffer from breathing problems. Great Danes and other similar large breeds tend to have joint troubles, and wrinkly-faced breeds such as boxers and shar-peis struggle with skin and eye diseases.

You can compare it to what would happen if two human cousins had a baby together. The genetic pool for a purebred is simply too small.

Fact: Mixed-breed dogs actually have a lower chance of inheriting congenital diseases because they have a less restricted gene pool and thus fewer genetic defects.

Misunderstanding: Mixed-breed dogs’ temperaments are completely unpredictable because you don’t know their lineage.

Truth: Most people who have mixed-breed dogs likely adopted them from an animal shelter, where there are no records on a dog’s breed composition. However, you can sometimes guess what breeds are in a dog’s lineage. In most mixed-breed dogs, there is some dominant breed that is identifiable from facial or behavioral characteristics. For example, my dog has Lab in him, judging by his head shape and fur coloration. Even so, he is also fairly small and jumpy for a Lab, so my family guesses that he may have some terrier in him as well.

Don’t let the perceived unpredictability of a mixed-breed dog scare you. Any good animal shelter will allow you to interact with a dog before adoption so that you can get a feel for whether the dog will be a good fit for your family.

Fact: Although purebreds often exhibit the behavior and characteristics of their lineage, breed does not guarantee behavior. Nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes to Mother Nature.

Misunderstanding: Paying a lot of money for a purebred means that the dog will be a better animal companion.

Truth: People who brag about spending hundreds—even thousands—of dollars for their purebred dog should realize that their decision to buy a purebred caused another dog in an animal shelter to be euthanized for lack of a good home. Shelters are always in need of people to adopt dogs. And shelters usually charge only a small adoption fee, which can even include vaccines and spaying or neutering.

Fact: Most purebreds are actually not meant to be companion animals. They were domesticated and bred for working purposes, and those characteristics remain to this day.

Mixed-breed dogs are wonderful. If you still think you want a purebred, take a step back and ask yourself why. I guarantee you that there are many terrific mixed-breed dogs waiting in animal shelters who would make you just as happy. But if you still want a purebred, check out animal shelters first anyway—purebreds often end up in shelters, too.

Post written by PETA intern Victoria Wall

Continue Reading "Understanding the Misunderstood: Purebreds and Mixed-Breed Dogs"

  • Aug
  • 20

The Green Road Around India: Your Guide to Vegan Food Across the Country

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

Indian street foodIf you travel to India, you’ll want to be up to date on the varieties of food that are available! Especially for vegetarians and vegans, there are many options that you can choose from. The cuisine of each region is an artistic representation of its culture and values. Examples range from the dhokhlas of Gujarat to the idlis of Tamil Nadu to the pohas of Maharashtra. The first step is choosing your preferences for texture, flavor, and quantity.

“Pulao” is the local term for a staple rice dish that is cooked in a vegetable broth. It is readily available, and the ingredients can be altered according to personal preference. It typically consists of peas, carrots, and onions with mild spices. Originally, it was a North Indian dish from Delhi. Now, pulao, a simple meal, is prepared throughout the country. Biryani is a slightly richer version of pulao. It’s made with a different type of rice and is usually cooked with meat, but you can always ask for it to be made vegan!

If you’re making your way across the northern part of India, you’ll typically visit cities such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, and New Delhi. A specialty of this region is naan, a leavened oven-baked flatbread. It’s available as a street food and in restaurants as a main course, served with curries or vegetable dishes. Naan is usually slathered with melted butter, but you can always order it without butter. It can also have different toppings or fillings, such as garlic, onions, and black pepper.

Yoghurt and paneer are commonly found in a lot of North Indian delicacies. Paneer is fresh curd cheese. You can substitute tofu—which is becoming more and more popular—in its place. A lot of dishes, such as paneer tikka and paneer butter masala, which consist of paneer cooked in spices, can be made with tofu instead. Some restaurants won’t have tofu available, so be sure to check with the staff before you place your order. You can also easily opt to order your dish without yoghurt since it’s mainly served as a side dish. Make sure to specify that you would like your food to be cooked using oil rather than butter since most Indian food is cooked with ghee (melted clarified butter).

When you travel across the western part of India, you’ll be in the states of Goa, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), the capital of Maharashtra, is popularly referred to as “the life of India.” It’s a city that grows on you and comes alive with its rich culture, spirit, and food. I would recommend eating the street food here, which is absolutely mouthwatering! “Chaat” is a term that describes savory snacks, typically served by roadside stalls or food carts. The original chaat is a mixture of potato pieces, crisp fried bread gram or chickpeas, and tangy, salty spices, with sour homemade Indian chili. It is garnished with chopped onion, coriander leaves, and hot spices. Note that some types of chaat include curd. The varieties of vegan chaat include bhel puridahi puripani puripapri chaat, and sev puri. Samosas, kachoris, and papads are other street-food options that you can sample. They’re all different forms of potatoes cooked with vegetables and spices. Vada pav is another popular local street food, which consists of a vegetable fritter placed between two buns. It’s almost like an Indian version of a tiny burger and can be sweet, tangy, or both, depending on your preference.

In addition to restaurants and street stalls, a large number of convenience foods are sold in most supermarkets across India. These include tasty biscuit brands such as Hide n Seek, Monaco, Marie Biscuits (which are best dipped in hot chai tea), Parle Hide & Seek Bourbon Biscuits, Britannia, and Khari Biscuits. These are all local brands that manufacture vegan snacks. Nonetheless, just to be cautious, always have a look at the ingredients before purchasing an item. Imported vegan snacks are also readily available, such as Oreos, Hershey’s dark chocolate syrup, Skittles, etc. If you’re on a budget, try Maggi’s instant noodles or Top Ramen Super Noodles (masala flavored). Several international outlets offer vegan items, too, such as Subway and even McDonald’s. In case you’re staying in India for a longer duration and would like to try your hand at cooking vegan food, there are several dishes that can easily be prepared.

Another extremely well-known food item that originated in Gujarat is dhokla, a tasty snack made up of fermented batter derived from rice and chickpea splits. In fact, most Gujrati dishes are typically vegetarian because of the religious beliefs of the people there. Examples of the region’s other vegan food include khaakras (wheat crackers with spices), fafdas (a traditional crunchy snack), and aamras (sweet syrup derived from the pulp of mangoes). All these dishes are easily available and reasonably well priced.

South Indian cuisine also consists mainly of vegan food. Note that in the state of Kerala, fish is extremely popular and that a majority of vegetarian dishes are cooked or fried in fish oil. So always check that your dish is completely vegan. In Chennai, one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu, you must try the dosas and idlis, which are the most traditional foods of South India. Dosas are fermented crêpes or pancakes made from rice batter and black lentils. They are served with a variety of spicy chutneys and sambhar, a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind. Idlis, known as “the flavor of South India,” are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice. They are also accompanied with chutneys and sambhar.

If you don’t prefer spicy items, there are a large number of sweet dishes as well, which are readily available, including pongal, upma, gajar ka halwa, and jalebis. Although they can be slightly oily and greasy, they taste fabulous.

The following is my list of the top 10 Indian dishes with regard to taste, price, and availability. Try to sample all these items. It will definitely be worth it!

  1. Dosas (fermented crêpes or pancakes made of rice batter and black lentils)
  2. Chaat items (pani puri, bhel puri, vada pav, etc.)
  3. Chili parotta (classic street food made with layered flat bread, capsicum, and sauces)
  4. Peas and onion pulao (rice cooked with vegetables and seasoned with spices)
  5. Gajar ka halwa (a sweet carrot pudding dessert with nuts)
  6. Idlis (rice cakes with lentils)
  7. Kachoris and khaakras (a flour ball baked with a mixture of vegetables and wheat crackers with spices)
  8. Khaati rolls (a version of spring rolls stuffed with vegetables and chili)
  9. Channa masala (ground chickpeas with tangy seasoning)
  10. Tofu curry masala (a North Indian curry made with rich gravy and chunks of tofu)

In a nutshell, vegan food can be found easily all across the country. India is known for the richness and diversity of its food, so you will have access to unlimited options to choose from! Depending on the amount of time and money that you are willing to spend, you can eat the same dish either at a local roadside stall or a fancy restaurant. That is the beauty of this country!

Posted by former PETA intern Rachna Ramanathan


Continue Reading "The Green Road Around India: Your Guide to Vegan Food Across the Country"

  • Aug
  • 18

The Pinoy Barbecue: Vegan Style

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

tofu skewer bbqBarbecues are a favorite summer pastime, not just in the Philippines but also around the world. The only problem is that many staple dishes of barbecues contain meat and dairy products from suffering animals raised on factory farms. Fear not, my friends! This post will show you how to transform some traditional Filipino barbecue dishes into much healthier vegan delights.


*Lumpia: I don’t think it’s possible to have a Filipino meal without lumpia. Even as a U.S. native, I love lumpia. The awesome thing about it is that it’s so versatile. All it takes to have vegan lumpia is to make sure that there’s no meat, such as pork or chicken, in the filling. Traditionally, this variety is known as lumpiang sariwa. Keep it simple with fresh vegetables and seasoning, or step it up a notch by adding fried or grilled tofu.

*Chicharon: Another favorite among Filipinos is chicharon, a dish made by frying the skin of a pig. I know what you are thinking: There is NO way to make this one vegan. Well, thanks to some clever minds here in the Philippines, vegan chicharon is available! And it’s as easy as a quick trip to your nearest convenience or sari-sari store! There are two brands that make this healthy alternative: Oishi Marty’s Chicharon and Jack n Jill’s Mang Juan Chicharron. Both come highly recommended by the PETA staff!

Soup and Salads

*Kare-kare: A hearty peanut stew that is often filled with various meats, kare-kare can be easily veganized with just a couple of tweaks. Substitute the traditional oxtail, beef tripe, and other meats with big chunks of tofu, or skip them altogether. Instead of beef broth, just use water to mix the sauce. Skip the bagoong (also known as shrimp paste), or buy jars of a vegan version from restaurants such as Pipino or Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Café. It’s just as yummy as traditional kare-kare.

*Macaroni salad: Filipino macaroni salad is like a party in your mouth. With a sweet and tangy flavor, traditional macaroni salad can be vegan if you leave out a few ingredients. Omit chicken breast, ham, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. Get creative, and replace those ingredients with foods such as diced pineapple or apple, raisins, chickpeas, or mock meats (try items from Country Vegefoods, which are now available at Cherry Foodarama). For the dressing, vegan mayonnaise is available at your local supermarket—try Praise’s 99 percent fat-free variety or American Garden Eggless Mayonnaise.

Main Courses

*Fried chicken: That crunchy drumstick used to be attached to a lively chicken. But, feel guilty no more! There are some great vegan alternatives to fried chicken.

o   Try frying frozen tofu—it produces a very similar texture to meat. Just slice tofu and freeze it for 72 hours. When you’re ready to cook it, place the tofu in boiling water for 10 minutes to thaw. Once it’s thawed, prepare it with whatever vegan breading you like (many fried chicken breading mixes are vegan if you prepare them without eggs), and fry away!

o   Another option is to purchase mock chicken in the frozen foods section (try Country Vegefoods). Some vegetarian restaurants, including Happy Veggie Health Food and Quan Yin Chay Vegetarian in Binondo, also sell faux meat, and if you can’t find it anywhere else, pay a visit to Country Vegefoods’ branch in Mandaluyong, where you can buy mock meat by the can or the case. These fake-chicken options taste just like the real deal but don’t cause all the animal suffering.

*Skewered barbecued pork: Skewered barbecued pork is often the typical centerpiece of any Pinoy barbecue. Why not surprise your guests with a healthy vegan version of this Filipino favorite? You could make it simple and replace pork with tofu. Just make sure that the tofu is drained and that the extra moisture is removed before placing it on the skewer. But why stop there? Add some raw vegetables, such as onions, mushrooms, and peppers, to add intense flavor that will have your guests begging for more.

Side Dishes

*Filipino spaghetti: This dish is really popular, especially with the little kiddos. Making it vegan will actually save you time and money. Leave out the red hot dogs, ground pork, and minced ham—these products are filled with drugs and other toxins that the pigs are fed while on factory farms. If you know that party guests are looking forward to meaty spaghetti, just use faux hot dogs or sausages. (Country Vegefoods sells them canned or frozen.) Instead of beef broth, use water to give the tomato sauce a more authentic flavor, without all the extra sodium and preservatives, or buy a vegan packaged option. Finally, to reduce the calories, forget the melted cheese on top.

*Pancit bihon: Another staple in Filipino cuisine, pancit bihon is always a crowd-pleaser. The great thing about this dish is that it can be customized very easily. In this case, we’re going to veganize it. Don’t use any meat product—no chicken stock, pork flavoring, etc. Use oil, soy sauce, and water to cook any vegetables that you may need, along with mock meat or tofu. Be sure to add plenty of vegetables for all the nutritional benefits!


*Halo-halo: On a hot summer day, there is nothing quite as satisfying as halo-halo. This unique dish of the Philippines is a mixture of everything that’s sweet and delicious, and is very easy to veganize. In fact, most of the dish is already vegan. The fruit and shaved ice are vegan, so there’s no need to change that. On top of the shaved ice, add purple yam instead of leche flan. For the ice cream layer, either choose a soy-based ice cream or try a sherbet or sorbet for added variety. Instead of evaporated milk on top, use chilled coconut milk for an added twist.

*Leche flan: You simply cannot have a gathering without leche flan. The basics for this dessert are eggs and milk—impossible to veganize, right? Wrong. Here’s a vegan recipe for leche flan, created by Filipino chef Marie Gonzalez.

I hope you will seriously consider vegan food for your next gathering. This blog shows just how easy it is to create a healthy vegan barbecue without missing out on the Filipino classics.

Post written by former PETA intern Victoria Wall

Continue Reading "The Pinoy Barbecue: Vegan Style"

  • Aug
  • 14

Eating Vegan 101 in the Philippines

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Friendster

FruitAlthough the Philippines’ traditional cuisine is largely characterized by meat and fish dishes accompanied by rice, there are many ways to experience authentic Filipino food while still eating vegan. Jason Raval, a prolific vegan and the official photographer of the Central Bank of the Philippines says, “Being a tropical country, we have access to so many fruits and vegetables which are better than those we can find in the US or elsewhere.” Whether you’re a local or a foreigner, it would be a waste not to partake of the delicious produce available in the country. The following are a few of my personal favorite vegan food haunts and resources in the Philippines. So stop on by—maybe we’ll see each other!

For cheap Filipino cuisine, try the famous vegetarian café Likha Diwa at the University of the Philippines–Diliman. My personal favorite is its vegetarian kare-kare with red rice. Masarap yun! Another affordable option away from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila is Baguio’s Azotea Greens. In addition to its delicious food, this cute café offers vegan alternatives to dairy products as well as cruelty-free cosmetics for sale.

Feeling a bit fancy? Then Spices restaurant in The Peninsula Manila hotel has an excellent vegan menu that is sure to satisfy. The lush tropical scenery of this high-end restaurant and its delicious food make it the perfect getaway for any special occasion. Be forewarned, though, that the usual price for two is PHP4,000. It’s not cheap, but the food is worth every centavo!

If you’re craving something other than Pinoy, then New Bombay, with several branches in Makati, is a great option, serving affordable, mouthwatering authentic Indian cuisine at fair prices. I’d recommend the vegetable samosas.

Besides restaurants, many street-food vendors sell delicious vegan treats for extremely low prices, such as turón (banana and jackfruit wrapped in rice paper and fried to perfection with brown sugar). Other to-die-for street goodies include taho (soy custard silken tofu pudding with sweet syrup made of caramelized brown sugar and tapioca pearls, just like the ones often found in milk tea), manggang hilaw (fried green mangoes that are often served with shrimp paste, which, of course, you don’t want!), buko (the Tagalog word for coconut), and binatog (steamed corn kernels mixed with shredded coconut and topped with sugar).

In a worst-case scenario, such as if you’re stuck with friends at a restaurant without a vegan menu, I have a tip for you: Most restaurants are usually very happy to prepare something vegan at your request. Just ask, and you will receive!

For a more comprehensive overview of vegan eateries that the country has to offer, please visit PETA’s list of vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines. Enjoy!

Post written by former PETA intern John Romero

Continue Reading "Eating Vegan 101 in the Philippines"

Recent Entries

Most Popular Posts