We have a cheer today for the freeing of a 40-foot-long humpback whale who was caught up in fishing gear off the coast of Maine. According to the Portland Press Herald, the lead guide for Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., said rescuers had to cut away line that was wrapped around the whale 30 times. 

That was finally completed around 5 p.m. Saturday and the rescuers said the 11-year-old whale, known as Spinnaker in the whale-watching community, swam off quickly after rescuers were able to cut away a lot of net and gear from her head, flippers and body. Her tail, unfortunately, still remained entangled in some of the gear, which appeared to be a combination of gill nets and lobster lines.

The whale was breathing hard and in obvious distress, with a patch on its back where the fishing lines had rubbed the skin away, according to the rescue team, but the injuries are not expected to be serious. 

Spinnaker had also been freed from an entanglement in 2006 about 20 miles from Saturday’s location. 

Although this scenario had a happy ending, the destruction of the environment and wildlife caused by commercial fishing is overwhelming…scientists believe the damage caused by fishing and bottom-trawling is 150 times more destructive than clear-cutting forests and is possibly the largest human-caused disturbance to the biosphere. You can help combat this environmental degradation by adopting a plant-based diet. Check out our starter guide right here for tips, facts and recipes on how to get started.



Cheers to Serena Williams for winning her 18th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open Sunday and for showing that vegans can be successful, stellar athletes. Serena decided to switch to a raw vegan diet to support her sister, Venus, who shifted away from animal products in 2012 after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune illness that causes muscular pain and fatigue. 

The sisters, who live together, enlisted the help of vegan and raw culinary expert Lauren Von Der Pool, who is also a chef on Michelle Obama’s obesity prevention campaign, to help plan and create raw vegan meals that help keep Venus and Serena on their game and feeling their best. Von der Pool explains on Venus’ website that the girls had already decided on a vegan/raw food diet before they met, so her job was to make it easy for them to stick to it. “The food an athlete eats really determines their energy, so I have to make sure everything is seamless and on time!” says Von der Pool.  

Both sisters have adjusted well to the diet change, Serena told Bon Apettit in an interview that since the switch her signature dish among her friends and family changed from turkey tacos to vegan sushi and also explained in a Daily Mail article that since adopting the diet her sister “…has done a complete U-turn. She was devastated but she is so positive now.”

We’re thrilled that Serena and Venus have joined the growing list of athletes who are adopting vegan diets and proving to nay-sayers that plant-based eating is one of the keys to both sister’s relentless energy levels and power playing on the court. As an organization of people devoted to ending the exploitation of animals, Friends of Animals has long advocated for a plant-based diet and has recently updated its Vegan Starter Guide which you can download for free right here.