Cheers and Jeers

Cheers and Jeers

Talk about a wrong move.. We have a huge #jeer today for the news that the de Blasio administration has approved a rate increase for the NYC carriage-horse industry, essentially giving carriage drivers a raise.

The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs quietly hiked the price of a carriage ride last week, part of a Bloomberg administration deal that had been postponed while de Blasio mulled over the idea of a possible ban, which he promised in this campaign platform.


We expressed our displeasure at this recent announcement in an article by The Daily News where  our Campaigns Director, Edita Birnkrant, is quoted saying “They made this happen and they haven’t done anything to improve the lives of the horses. It’s very frustrating. I think the mayor failed spectacularly on this issue. It’s not all his fault. There were other factors, but he’s the mayor and he promised this,”.

The last thing the industry needs is more money. Mayor de Blasio should stay true to his word and work to ban this abusive industry so that these horses can be removed from dangerous city streets and live out the rest of their lives in waiting sanctuaries.

You can learn more about our work in recent years to advance a ban of NYC’s carriage horse industry in this recent article from our magazine Action Line, entitled “FoA to de Blasio: Keep your Promise”. If you live in NYC, you can contact your City Council Members about why a ban needs to be passed in the city to keep these horses safe. Find your Council Member’s contact info here.  


First a tourist pets a wild bison and now this? Unbelievable. We were upset by the news yesterday that a bison calf, which was put in the back of a van by tourists at Yellowstone National Park who thought it looked cold, was later killed by park rangers.

Karen Richardson of Victor, who posted the picture of the baby bison in the trunk of the van, told East Idaho News that as students were being taught at Lamar Buffalo Ranch, a father and son pulled up to the ranger station with a bison calf in their SUV.

“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson said. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying. Rob Heusevelet, a father of a student, told the men to remove the bison from their car and warned they could be in trouble for having the animal.”

The tourists ended up paying a fine, but the baby bison paid with his life. The Park Service released a statement saying,  “The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.”


It’s incredibly  important to remember that you are the one invading an animal’s space while in the wild (or really anywhere) and if they feel threatened by your presence, there’s a good chance they will attempt to protect themselves or, as in this case, your interference could end up costing the animal its life. We discuss how important it is to respect animals in the wild and give them ample amounts of space in our spring edition of Action Line magazine. Check out the articles by clicking here.


Cheers to the NY Times article “Vegans Whip up a Secret Weapon” for raising awareness about aquafaba, which has been causing a sensation among vegans for being such an outstanding egg white substitute.

And cheers to Goose Wohit, who discovered and coined the term aquafaba in 2015. The Indiana software engineer had recently adopted a vegan lifestyle and needed a way to make vegan meringue for his family’s Seder. His wife mentioned she had seen a video of two French chefs using liquid from a can of chickpeas to make chocolate mousse, and Wohit decided to try the technique for meringues.

It worked like a charm.

Since he posted his discovery on Facebook in March, a new Facebook group called Vegan Meringue has more than 44,000 members and the first aquafaba cookbook is due out this fall.

If you’re not already a vegan, Friends of Animals offers a Vegan Starter Guide that provides answers to many questions you might have about adopting a vegan lifestyle. Many people think they can never live without dairy products like cheese or eggs, but thanks to the creativity of vegan chefs there are products available nowadays that can satisfy the palate without harming animals. To order our Vegan Starter Guide or our vegan cookbooks, visit www.friendsofanimals.org.