We have a jeer today for the New Jersey Fish and Game Council for approving an updated Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy that would increase hunting opportunities in the state. 

The updated management plan would open additional land in Northwest New Jersey for the harvest of black bears beginning this year. And beginning in 2016, New Jersey would add a six-day black bear season in October, with three of those days dedicated to bow hunting and the other three days for hunting with bows and muzzleloaders. The plan would also increase the black bear harvest limit to two bears per hunter, provided that one bear is taken in October and one in December.

Friends of Animals is disgusted that the council approved a plan that would expand a hunt instead of public education and dealing with garbage control. FoA strongly supports New Jersey’s Bear Smart Bill, S.687, sponsored by NJ Sen. Raymond Lesniak, which would prohibit bear baiting and make it mandatory for residents to use bear-resistant garbage cans—a solution to human-bear encounters state agencies have ignored. Instead they advocate for hunters, who buy licenses from them. The bill has been referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee.

FoA also supports policies to promote co-existence with bears and to educate New Jersey residents on how to co-exist with bears and how to deter human bear conflict and that’s just not being done in New Jersey. There are no sane policies that make that happen, therefore New Jersey residents who live in bear country do not have the expertise or experience to understand bears and avoid confrontations with them.

FoA protested the baiting and hunting of New Jersey’s bears outside Gov. Christie’s office Dec. 8, which marked the beginning of New Jersey’s 2014 bear hunt.

The Fish and Game Council’s proposed policy will be sent to DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, who must approve the policy before it is published in the New Jersey Register and opened for a 60-day public comment period and public hearing. The Council may make changes based on these comments before taking a final vote to approve the policy later this year.

We urge New Jersey residents to contact Martin and tell him not to approve this gruesome plan. Phone: 609-292-2885. Email: Bob.Martin@dep.nj.gov.


For someone who’s arguably the most well-known fashion designer in the world, you would expect Karl Lagerfeld to have a little more class. Regrettably, this isn’t the case, as an article in The New York Times fashion section revealed on Tuesday, the designer just announced that he will stage Haute Fourrure, Fendi’s first ever couture show, in July. The collection will feature – you guessed it – absurd amounts of cruelty by draping models in outfits entirely made of fur.   

Lagerfeld obviously didn’t get the message that fur is a thing of the past because he came out in staunch support of the blood-drenched industry. We have a big jeer for Lagerfeld and his blatant, yet poor, attempts to justify a dying, abusive and prehistoric industry by putting on a pedestal, by stating things like “It’s very easy to say no fur, no fur, no fur, but it’s an industry. Who will pay for all the unemployment of the people if you suppress the industry of the fur?” 

What about the millions of abused animals who were tortured to death in order to feed the fashion industry’s sick obsession with fur? FoA’s recent anti-fur campaign, #FlipOffFur, slams the relevance of fur in today’s fashion as luxurious and warm alternatives to fur are readily available. In 2015, there’s no way to justify slaughtering more than 50 million animals raised on fur farms around the world who are killed for their pelts annually in addition to the approximately 10 million animals trapped in the wild. (This number does not include rabbits.)

According to the Fur Information Council of America, mink remains the most popular fur. Other fur types showing growth are broadtail, fox and beaver. In the name of fashion, these animals suffer neck breaking, or are stuffed into boxes pumped full of unfiltered engine exhaust, then skinned. Lynxes, foxes and chinchillas are often electrocuted.

The nearly 500 designers who presented fur in their collections for fall 2014 should be ashamed of themselves and designers like Lagerfeld, who are planning fur fashion shows for 2015, should be equally ashamed. It’s time to “flip them off” and let them and consumers know the key trend in modern fashion is compassion, not fur.

Guess where James Cameron is taking his acclaimed directing abilities now? No…not another movie set. This time, he’s got his eye set on an elementary school cafeteria. 

We have a cheer today for the esteemed movie director, whose works include films like Titanic and Avatar, and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron, who announced their commitment to introducing an entirely plant-based menu at her private academy, the MUSE School, which Amins Cameron co-founded in 2006 in Calabasas, California. 

“It’s about raising kids who don’t think it’s strange or exotic or worthy of a pat on the back to be doing the right thing for the living biosphere,” the Hollywood filmmaker explained at a recent benefit celebrating his wife’s Red Carpet Green Dress campaign. 

Suzy Amis Cameron teamed with her sister, Rebecca Amis, to launch the MUSE School in 2006. The nonprofit educates children from age 2 through high school on two campuses and will now be the first elementary school in the country to offer a 100% vegan menu by the end of the year. 

According to an article by NPR, the school already has a strong seed-to-table program that’s been producing fresh fruits and vegetables grown by its 140 students. They’re guided by the school’s full-time, year-round gardener and educator, Paul Hudak, who has helped the students build  28 raised beds to grow peppers, greens, tomatoes, herbs and other edibles, plus flowers. The older students will also be selling some of the food grown over the summer to local restaurants.

Hudak says now that the schools are growing produce year-round, they can supply up to 20 percent of the food consumed in the cafeterias, depending on the season. “Once we really get cranking, I think we’ll be up to 40 or 50 percent,” Hudak says.

As an organization that has been fully dedicated to championing a vegan lifestyle, we talk to people everyday 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