Animal Place’s Food for Thought campaign, which works to promote veg policies for companion animal, wildlife, and environmental organizations, has two new programs to encourage vegan events!

Nonprofits that are holding an all-vegan event for the first time can get up to $1000 of their food costs reimbursed. And for catered galas, Food for Thought is encouraging orgs to add a vegan option that can be selected in advance at half price. Animal Place will pay the other half, up to $1000.

Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force (ASNTF), which helps reduce companion animal overpopulation in Canada’s First Nation communities, was the first recipient of an event grant. Their Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon for 60 people provided a colorful variety of vegan dishes that drew rave reviews from attendees.

Like ASNTF, animal shelters, SPCA's, humane societies, wildlife rescues, and environmental groups increasingly see it’s ethically inconsistent to serve some animals as food while protecting others. To date more than 350 orgs in North America have adopted animal- and earth-friendly menu policies. Along with helping volunteers and employees promote vegan policies within their orgs, Food for Thought partners with outside groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity to raise the issue of animal agriculture’s impact on the planet.

Note these grants are only available for orgs that do not already have an official policy of serving vegan meals at events like fundraisers and conferences. Those interested in applying for a grant can learn more here. Food for Thought also continues to offer Policy Grants for adopting a formal veg menu policy.

Cowspiracy's Facebook Page Remains Unpublished

As some of you have recognized, our Cowspiracy Facebook page was taken down on June 29. We appealed the decision on July 6, at first believing there was an algorithm or technical glitch. We have sent numerous emails to Facebook, asking for an explanation of our "violation" and have received zero response, other than that the case was closed on August 11.  Our team continues to message Facebook, asking for an explanation and requesting for our page to be reinstated/published.  We are being cautious to make any assumptions in regards to Facebook's intent, but here's a web site listing all the pages that Facebook has deleted over the past few months. There does appear to be a correlation...

We recognize that this compiled list only includes unpublished groups relating to our industry, but the quantity of removals over the last  few months appears to be more than coincidence and quite possibly targeted.  We also recognize that Facebook's reason for removing the Cowspiracy account may be completely unrelated, but their refusal to provide any sort of explanation is suspect in and of itself, and gives us no other recourse but to seek answers based on the information available to us.


From our friend, Ryan Shapiro, President, Property of the People

"Though Facebook is fairly secretive about precisely what makes certain content so offensive it requires removal from the platform, content deemed to be “violent,” “dangerous,” or promoting “terrorist activity” falls within that category. However, these designations are often vague and subjective, and this renders them open to abuse.

Because animal rights activists threaten corporate profits by exposing the horrors of factory farming and other forms of systemic animal exploitation, animal industry groups and their allies at the FBI have long sought to cast animal activists as terrorists. Indeed, largely as a result of heavy lobbying from industry, in 2004, the FBI classified the animal rights and environmental movements the number one domestic terror threat in the United States. This is despite the fact that neither of these movements has ever once physically injured a single person in this country. Big Ag and other animal industry groups have subsequently exploited this preposterous designation to marginalize animal activists whenever possible. It is entirely plausible that industry groups successfully pressured Facebook to remove Cowspiracy’s page by falsely reporting Cowspiracy for alleged promotion of so-called animal rights terrorism.

Relatedly, as a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted by the transparency organization Property of the People, we know Big Ag groups are aggressively monitoring and seeking to silence pro-vegan and pro-animal social media efforts. For example, documents Property of the People obtained through FOIA reveal the USDA’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association identified Cowspiracy as a potential “crisis,” were “closely monitoring the social media conversations” about Cowspiracy, and strategized about how to counter Cowspiracy’s social media influence. In like vein, the USDA’s National Pork Board monitored Cowspiracy’s tweets, as well as those of celebrities endorsing the film. Other documents the organization obtained through FOIA reveal the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance sought to prevent plant-based companies from using Twitter handles containing the term “clean meat.” And a previous FOIA request of Property of the People’s exposed unlawful collusion between the USDA and Ag industry groups conspiring against the plant-based food tech company Hampton Creek, including a heavy focus on limiting Hampton Creek’s social media reach. 

So, while we don’t know for sure that representatives of Big Ag conspired to have Facebook improperly remove Cowspiracy’s page, we do know this is exactly the sort of underhanded tactic the factory farming lobby has been using to silence pro-animal speech online for years. Perhaps the Ag groups didn’t do this, but their extensive history of deception and sabotage makes them the obvious and most likely culprit." -Ryan Shapiro, PhD

As a concerned community rooted in transparency and truth, we ask that you use your voice and write to Facebook, demanding reinstatement of our Cowspiracy Facebook page.

"Regardless of how and who the instigators were that took the Cowspiracy page down, we will be unyielding in our quest for re-publication, for a liberated voice."

-Kip Andersen, Co-Director of Cowspiracy




CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND ANIMAL PLACE PARTNER to ask environmental Agencies to adopt plant-based menus


Patti Nyman Animal Place 530-477-1757  ext 3

Jessica Herrera Center for Biological Diversity 520-260-1725

Gary Smith Evolutus PR 818-783-0569

GRASS VALLEY, and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Animal Place and the Center for Biological Diversity today announced they are teaming up to call on environmental organizations and conferences to adopt earth- and animal-friendly menu policies.
Among other projects, the two groups are co-developing materials, securing speaking opportunities, and challenging the movement to adopt plant-based policies with Animal Place’s “Food for Thought” campaign.



“The environmental community can no longer ignore the disastrous effects of animal agriculture on the planet,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “If we want to protect the environment, we need to switch to a diet that’s better for the climate, wildlife, and our own health by reducing our meat consumption.”
Animal agriculture is a primary cause of climate change, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, water use, pesticide use, and pollution. It is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. And Americans eat an average of three times as much meat per capita as the rest of the world.
“By joining forces with Center for Biological Diversity, we have an important ally in the environmental movement as we promote the necessity of veganism for sustainability, preserving habitats, and protecting all animal species,” said Patti Nyman, Campaigns Manager at Animal Place.
The Center’s Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign is the first program of its kind making the connection between animal agriculture and threats to wildlife. It encourages people to reduce meat consumption as a critical means of reducing their environmental footprint. In accordance with its mission, the Center’s board-approved menu policy specifies that organizational events serve only plant-based foods.


Animal Place maintains a “report card” of organizations that have board-approved earth- and animal-friendly menu policies – and those that do not. Its Food for Thought campaign works with and awards grants to animal and environmental protection groups to encourage animal-friendly vegan menus at their sponsored events, and is endorsed by national organizations and federations, veterinarians, celebrities, and other public figures.
About the Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. For more information visit
About Animal Place
Animal Place, founded in 1989, is one of the oldest and largest animal sanctuaries in the nation, operating a 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley, California and an all-vegan market in Berkeley, California. Animal Place’s California animal shelters fill a much-needed niche of farmed animal rescue, sanctuary, education, and adoption. Animals arrive from small and large farms, slaughterhouses, research facilities, and neglect or cruelty cases. Nestled between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, its Grass Valley location offers tours, cooking classes, and workshops at the sanctuary as well as volunteer and internship opportunities. In 2010, Animal Place began rescuing animals directly from California egg farms, and since then has saved more than 26,000 hens. Animal Place – named best farm sanctuary in the country by Best in Shelter – is a nonprofit 501c3 organization funded by private donors. For more information, visit

$15,000 in cash prizes for best films at the 2018 Animal Film Festival



The Animal Film Festival (AFF), a program of the Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE), based in Grass Valley California, will be awarding a total of $15,000 to winning filmmakers during the 2018 event.  Amber and Adam Tarshis, founders of the Tarshis Foundation, are donating the funds to make these awards possible. 

$10,000 will be divided among winning films in these categories: Best Feature, Best Short, Best Student and Best Teen.  In addition to these prizes, the Tarshis Foundation in partnership with the AFF will also award a total of $5,000 to winning shorts between :30 - :90 seconds long that creatively and convincingly highlight the issues of animal suffering in modern farming, food production, and/or laboratory research, and provide messages that influence people to pursue a more plant-based lifestyle.

Shelley Frost, director of the Animal Film Festival: “Now in our fifth year, the AFF has always chosen Best in Fest films in these categories awarding filmmakers with framed certificates. We are very honored that the Tarshis Foundation is heightening the importance of these winning films with significant cash awards.”

With over 3,000 film festivals around the world, very few have the means to provide cash awards to filmmakers. The Animal Film Festival is a niche fest in that all the films accepted and screened must explore any aspect of animal welfare, animal rights, the human/animal bond or demonstrate ways to improve the lives of animals.  Cash awards to winning filmmakers will increase the relevance of the AFF and could inspire more filmmakers to tackle these issues.  It will result in increased awareness about animals, their stories and challenges, and bring to light opportunities for people to help.

Each year during the AFF, filmmakers take the stage after their films screen, further educating audiences about what they can do to can help: signing petitions, volunteering at animal shelters, adopting an animal, sponsoring animals, adopting a plant based diet, etc. The AFF also has a streaming channel on ROKU where many award winning features and shorts about animals can be viewed. The AFF goes on tour to cities throughout California and beyond, further enlightening audiences on the joys animals bring, the challenges they face, and the responsibility we all have to protect them from suffering.

The 5th annual Animal Film Festival will take place Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA. Doors open at 9:30 am, and the first film begins at 10:00 am. Films will screen through 10:00pm with three Intermissions throughout the day. Tickets begin at $25 for all day admission; $20 senior/student/military; $10 for Evening Session only. Tickets are available at

About CAPE: 

The Center for Animal Protection and Education (CAPE) ( works to save the lives of individual animals and to educate people about ways in which they can alleviate animal suffering. Founded in 1992, CAPE has helped thousands of animals. Those who are older, injured or recovering from an illness are placed into new, loving homes through CAPE's foster and adoption programs. In 2012 CAPE established the CAPE Animal Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California, a permanent home for dozens of animals with special needs and burros removed from their native habitats on public lands by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In 2016 CAPE co created Muttopia, a shelter in Santa Rosa that serves as a safe place for rescued dogs. CAPE programs teach that all animals have the right to a long, full life, free from pain and suffering. To learn more or donate please visit

New Grant for Environmental and Wildlife Groups with Vegan Menu Policies

Grant Badge.png

New Grant for Environmental and Wildlife Groups with Vegan Menu Policies

By Patti Nyman, Animal Place

Thanks in large part to Cowspiracy, we’ve learned of the devastating effects of animal agriculture on our planet. We’ve also learned of the reluctance of many nonprofits to be part of the solution. Now, thanks to the Gregory J. Reiter Memorial Fund, Animal Place’s Food for Thought program is offering grants to environmental and wildlife groups that adopt meat-free menu policies for sponsored events.

Through our recent petition to urge animal and environmental groups to take animals off the menu at events, we’ve shown that the public supports this change in food policy. With the help of other advocates, Food for Thought is putting pressure on nonprofits to do their part in recognizing plant-based eating as a viable strategy for reducing our environmental impact and toll on wildlife. The new Food for Thought grant provides an important incentive for groups to walk the talk.

Here’s what some of our grant recipients have to say:



“The first ‘Organizational Value’ of WildCare is that we have care and compassion for all living things. Adopting a veg policy is in perfect alignment with this value.”

- Vaughn Maurice, Executive Director, WildCare (California)



“The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance provides lifetime care for apes and monkeys, but we recognize the value of all animals. Encouraging the proper treatment of nonhuman primates goes hand-in-hand with respecting all species with whom we share this planet. Our organization is proud to host only vegetarian and vegan events, and we encourage all animal welfare organizations to do the same.”

- Erika Fleury, Program Director, North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance


“Animal Help Now fully endorses the Food for Thought initiative. It's easy for organizations to embrace animal-friendly policies, and more importantly it's the right thing to do.”

- David Crawford, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Animal Help Now (Colorado)

When farmed animals are on the menu at nonprofit functions, it sends a mixed message to members and donors, as the very species and ecosystems these organizations are trying to protect are harmed by the industries behind the food they serve. As leaders in their communities and movements, nonprofits are better positioned than anyone to lead their members toward more ethical and sustainable food choices.

Please take action by signing the petition and by joining the Food for Thought Advocate Network for more information on how to encourage your favorite nonprofit to create a menu policy consistent with their mission.


Patti Nyman is the campaign and volunteer program manager at Animal Place, one of the oldest and largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the U.S. For more information visit and



Put Your Compassion Into Action by Patti Nyman


Put your compassion into action and join Animal Place’s Internship Program! Animal Place is one of the oldest and largest farmed animal sanctuaries in the country, and our residential internship program provides an amazing opportunity to live and work at our 600-acre sanctuary in Grass Valley, California. Interns learn all about the operations of a nonprofit sanctuary, the behavior of farmed animals in a non-production setting, and enjoy working alongside like-minded people.

We have two 4-12 week internship programs to choose from:

  • Animal Care (8-12 weeks, Grass Valley, CA): The animal care internship is a great opportunity to learn how to work with farmed animals in a sanctuary setting. This is a very physically demanding position, and involves working outdoors. The first few weeks are spent learning routine animal care, primarily cleaning and feeding, and over time, interns also work with staff caregivers to assist in daily medical care and proper animal handling. The animal care internship is great for the individual who wants hands-on experience with farmed animals! Apply here:

  • Animal Advocacy (8-12 weeks, Grass Valley, CA): The animal advocacy internship is perfect for the individual with a drive to create meaningful change for all farmed animals through education. Advocacy interns work primarily with program staff in our education office and help with guided tours, adoptions, events, and developing social media and website content. Apply here:

Brave the Cage (4 weeks, Traveling): Want to put your compassion into action and help chickens? Our Brave the Cage internship is a perfect opportunity to directly impact the lives of hens in the egg industry! By touring with Brave the Cage, you will develop professional experience in vegan outreach, social media, and event coordinating while enhancing your knowledge of farmed animal right issues. Apply here:



Los Angeles County Democratic Party TAKES a POSITIVE stand on a Plant-based diet  

gavel plant.jpg

On October 10th, 2017, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party moved to pass a resolution titled, “Animal Agriculture and Our Environment," unanimously with no opposition!

The resolution was authored by 24 year old vegan activist Shawnee Badger and had the support of California State Senator Jim Beall and California State Assembly Member’s Matt Dababneh, Laura Friedman and Ash Kalra, as well as well over 100 party leaders and delegates. The resolution says that since the Los Angeles County Democratic Party stands for environmental protection, the party must recognize that adopting a plant-based diet is what is best for environmental protection. The resolution also details the animal agriculture industry's negative effects on our climate and resolves to say the following: 

“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Los Angeles County Democratic Party recognizes the advantages of a plant based diet, including its positive environmental impact-- specifically its value in meeting our future food supply needs and its contribution to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater consumption-- and its proven health benefits in preventing diabetes and heart disease…”

The resolution in it’s full form will be delivered to Governor Jerry Brown, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Karen L. Smith, MD, MPH Director & State Public Health Officer and Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of California, Tom Torlakson.

This accomplishment is monumental and so important to the environmental protection and animal rights movements. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party is the largest Democratic Party in the United States, representing over 2.2 million Democrats. Across this country, Democrats look to Los Angeles to lead the way in protecting our planet! So not only does the resolution passing mean that the party recognizes the resolution to be true, but it also means that it is a party value! 

The full resolution: 

Animal Agriculture and Our Environment

WHEREAS The California Democratic Party supports preserving and protecting the environment, reversing the real and imminent threat of climate change, protecting and ensuring the health and wellbeing of all people, and showing compassion to and supporting the humane treatment of animals; and

WHEREAS animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, habitat destruction, deforestation and is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than is emitted from all transportation, using over half the water in the US, and half the water usage of the average Californian is associated with meat and dairy products as EPA statistics show that animal agriculture consumes over 540 times as much water as fracking and a third of the world’s freshwater is consumed by the animal agriculture industry; and

WHEREAS the world population is growing by 1.10 per cent per year, yielding an additional 83 million people annually--with estimates of a population of 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100; and the detrimental impact that animal agriculture has on our planet will only worsen due to this growing population and growing demand; and even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our CO2 limit solely as a result of animal agriculture;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Los Angeles County Democratic Party recognizes the advantages of a plant based diet, including its positive environmental impact-- specifically its value in meeting our future food supply needs and its contribution to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater consumption-- and its proven health benefits in preventing diabetes and heart disease; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED to promote much needed further education on this issue we shall communicate this resolution to Governor Jerry Brown, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Karen L. Smith, MD, MPH Director & State Public Health Officer and Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of California, Tom Torlakson.