Chilis on Wheels

As chilly weather continues on the East coast despite the official start of spring, we have a cheer for two New Yorkers who are doing their very best to keep others warm, happy and healthy. As reports, New York City mom Michelle Carrera and her 4-year-old son Ollie are on a mission to feed the city’s homeless with homemade vegan chili! 

“Chilis on Wheels”, as they call it, came into fruition after Carrera realized there were virtually no vegan options available to the city’s homeless. Wanting to also instill a sense of giving back to the community in her toddler, Carrera began taking Ollie along with her to distribute vegan chili and much needed water bottles to people on the streets. 

“This type of outreach can help teach children that it’s not weird or exotic to help people in need. If they learn from a young age, hopefully it will stick with them as an adult.” she told AM New York, “He takes care of handing out the waters. If we approach a crowd, he puts his math skills to use and counts out loud to get the right amount of bottles. We talk a lot about helping others, helping animals, helping people. If asked ‘What’s your purpose?’, Ollie replies ‘To be a good guy.’ ”

After beginning in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, the mother and son team is now also serving homeless people in Lower Manhattan areas, including Union Square and Tompkins Square Park. Now, Carrera is raising funds to keep the program going and to create a stationary table in the parks to better reach the city’s homeless population. 

“We are building this from scratch, and all we have is the passion to be of good for the planet, to build a just world for all beings.” says Carrera and we couldn’t agree more. 

As an organization that has been fully dedicated to championing a vegan lifestyle, we talk to people every day who are interested in adopting a fully plant-based diet. If you would like more information, check out our “vegan starter guide” located right here. We also offer two vegan cookbooks filled with fantastic and delicious recipes you can make at home and have a Pinterest page with tons of delicious vegan recipes.

You can also check out our guide to vegan restaurants in NYC which is updated for 2015 and available on our website.  




The Good Wife Takes a Turn for the Worst. 

Warning: Spoilers ahead! 

We’re hugely disappointed with last night’s episode of The Good Wife, aptly titled “Red Meat”, which featured a sickening amount of hunting and NRA-style glorification. The show, which is typically well written, took metaphors a bit too far last night with its intense and disturbing focus on shooting/hunting/killing throughout the entire hour-long episode where one of the show’s main characters, Diane Lockhart, embarks on a hunting excursion in Wyoming with her gun-loving husband. 

Diane’s story started with her modeling her camouflage outfit, smiling and laughing while holding a gun, and eventually leads to her standing over a deer she shot and killed, eating the meat back in the hunting lodge and even admiting she enjoyed the kill. 

We’re disgusted that the show’s writers felt the need to play to the lowest common denominator and fall back on clichéd conversations between staunch conservative Republicans and ardent liberals and then follow it up by focusing on the “dilemma” of a woman shooting and killing an innocent creature. 

Was this script written by a college student for their political science/drama class? There were absolutely no redeeming qualities or worthwhile message viewers could have taken away from this scenario which so much of the episode focused on. 

In this day and age there is absolutely no excuse for glorifying the hunting culture that exists in America or attempting to romanticize killing an innocent animal for fun.  In fact, statistics prove that hunting is a dying hobby in America and wildlife watching is rapidly taking its place. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey, 71.8 million Americans participated in some form of wildlife watching that year, up from 66.1 million in 2001.

 Not a number to scoff at if you compare it to the 13.7 million hunters and anglers that took part in the killing of wildlife during the same year– a fact gun lobbies, and apparently the writers of The Good Wife, are having difficulty coming to terms with.

Speak out against CBS’ attempts to glorify gun culture in The Good Wife and tell them hunting is cruel and unjustifiable in any form. Contact them on Facebook or email the show’s two press representatives, Lauren Kamm and Kate Fisher at and



Manatees Possibly Making a Comeback

Some good news this week for manatees! A record 6,063 manatees were counted in Florida waters last month, topping the previous high by nearly 1,000.  The high count reflects both the improved prospects for the marine mammals after they were listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s.

The 800-pound, 10-foot-long vegetarians are calm, docile, defenseless creatures. Curious by nature, the gentle giants can get themselves into trouble by venturing places where most other animals not dare go…like close to recreational boats that are highly dangerous to the animals. 

While the number of manatees identified during the survey is encouraging, conservationists are cautious about counting the high count as evidence of a recovery or a signal that the sea mammals should be delisted from the Endangered Species List.

Though somewhat inconclusive, the boost seen during the survey is promising given recent mortality events seen in recent years. In 2010, hundreds of manatees died as a result of cold stress syndrome. In 2013, some 800 manatees died during a red tide algal bloom.

However, this is most certainly a good sign as adding protections to the species found under the ESA has led to a reduction in watercraft strikes, efforts to clean up the state’s water bodies and to mitigate and restore springs has helped to preserve the manatees’ habitat. 

Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program has been seeking to utilize the Endangered Species Act to gain protections for a number of threatened species in the United States, including sturgeon species, the common thresher shark, and the gray wolf. Currently, We are seeking ESA protections for the last of America’s wild horses as they are being grossly mismanaged and exploited by the BLM and ranchers on public lands. Learn more about our work involving the Endangered Species Act on our Wildlife Law Program page. 

Please consider joining us as we advocate for peaceful coexistence and work to protect animals worldwide by becoming a member with us today.