Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time Their Turn - The Social Justice Movement of Our Time

Struggling to Make the Switch from Animals to Plants

February 21, 2019 by Leave a Comment


The News

While cooking and sampling vegan comfort food, four friends spoke honestly about why they haven’t stopped eating animals, in spite of their best intentions.  Shecky Beagleman, Danny Cohen, Jodie Wasserman and Rena Zager met in New York City almost 20 years ago when they started doing stand up comedy. Over the years, as they have learned about the impact of eating animals on their health, the planet and the animals, they talked many times about making the transition to a plant-based diet.  But all of them have struggled.  Will a frank discussion about the challenges coupled with “tuna” sushi, a vegan Caesar Salad and rigatoni with an “unreal” ricotta cheese move them further along?  


Luxury Faux Furs Hit the Runway During 2019 Fashion Week in NYC

February 12, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

In 2015, fashion designer Anna Tagliabue integrated her passion for fashion and protecting animals by launching a company called Pelush that designs luxury faux fur coats and accessories. During 2019 Fashion Week, Ms. Tagliabue debuted her newest designs during a cruelty-free fashion show in Manhattan:

“We don’t have to harm animals to wear fur because new technology enables us to reproduce it perfectly, often with recycled materials,” said Tagliabue.”Our fabrics are virtually indistinguishable from chinchilla, mink, fox and even Broadtail Astrakhan, which is the most difficult fur to reproduce.”

Pelush Faux-Fur Runway Show During 2019 Fashion Week in NYC

As wearing fur becomes less socially acceptable, many of the world’s top luxury fashion houses, including Gucci, Chanel and Burberry, have committed to eliminating it from their collections. Several companies, however, have dug in their heels. Canada Goose, which defends its use of fur by claiming that it’s “ethically sourced,” has been a target of animal rights activists in recent years because it has normalized the use of fur trim hoods, which are pervasive in big cities during the winter months.

Animal rights activists in New York City protest at the Canada Goose store in Soho

In 2018, two California cities, Berkeley and San Francisco, banned the sale of fur. In January, 2019, Los Angeles followed suit. Animal rights activists in California are now working to achieve a statewide ban. In 2019, London Fashion Week became the first to go fur-free. 


World-Renowned UltraRunner and Former Supermodel Goes Vegan

January 25, 2019 by 1 comment


The News

In 2007 at the age of 24, Michele Graglia moved to Miami Beach from Italy in order to expand his family’s floral business in the United States, but, within a week of his arrival, a modeling agent discovered him on the street and convinced him to pursue a career in modeling. Enriched but unsatisfied by the profession, Michele walked off of the runway in 2012, shortly after stumbling upon a book about ultra-running  – a book that dramatically changed his life. 

Michele Graglia gave up his modeling career to pursue ultra-running. Today, he is one of the top ultra-runners in the world.

In this interview with TheirTurn, Michele recounts his journey from a small-town salesman to international supermodel and world-renowned vegan ultra-runner.

Michele’s book, Ultra, was published in Italy in 2017 and is scheduled to be released in the United States in 2019.

Michele Graglia documents his journey as an ultra-runner in his new book, Ultra.


Activists Rescue Animals From NYC Slaughterhouse

January 13, 2019 by 3 comments


The News

While participating in live market vigils in Brooklyn, several animal rights activists rescued chickens and a rabbit who were on the verge of being slaughtered. 

“The law treats these animals as though they are inanimate objects, but we know that they are feeling individuals who want to live,” said Katerina Travazzo, an organizer with Brooklyn-Queens Animal Save. “Each of us has an ethical obligation to bear witness to their suffering and, whenever possible, rescue them from the needless violence and death that has been normalized by society.”

A sheep about to be slaughtered at a live market in Brooklyn, New York

“People can bury their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is going to change, but the reality and the statistics show that it is changing all around us,” said Earthling Ed, a London-based animal rights campaigner giving talks in the United States.  “We can either stand on the right side of history or the wrong side.” 

Journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell interviews Earthling Ed during slaughterhouse vigils in Brooklyn

While bearing witness to the chickens, rabbits, sheep and other animals who would soon be slaughtered, activists conducted vegan outreach with the slaughterhouse employees, offering them dairy-free ice cream sandwiches on a hot summer day. 

Katerina Travazzo, an organizer with Brooklyn-Queens Animal Save, convinces a slaughterhouse worker to sample a dairy-free ice cream sandwich

The rescued animals were taken to sanctuaries in Upstate New York to be rehabilitated and live out the remainder of their lives in peace. 

Activists rescued this rabbit from NYC slaughterhouse and brought him to a sanctuary


A Dying Puppy’s Rags to Riches Story

January 8, 2019 by 4 comments


The News

While driving through a remote village in Liberia in November, 2016, Jenny Desmond, who runs a nearby chimpanzee sanctuary, saw a dying puppy lying on the side of the road. After confiscating the dog, who she named Snafu, she brought him home in an effort to save his life.

According to Jenny’s husband, Jim, who is one of two veterinarians working in Liberia, Snafu was digesting his own muscle and near death. TheirTurn, who was in Liberia documenting the Desmonds’ chimpanzee rescue and conservation efforts, captured Snafu’s rescue and his extraordinary journey from rags to riches.

After saving Snafu’s life, Jenny and Jim Desmond brought him to Colorado to live with Jenny’s sister and her family.

The Desmonds moved to Liberia in 2015 to oversee the care of 66 former research chimpanzees who had been abandoned by the New York Blood Center on six islands on a river about 1.5 hours outside of Monrovia, the country’s capital. Shortly after the Desmond’s arrival, forestry authorities began bringing them baby chimpanzees who they seized from poachers attempting to sell them as pets on the black market. With 35 chimpanzees in their care, the Desmonds are racing against time to build sanctuary in the forest that can house rescued chimpanzees and serve as a conservation center to help protect Liberia’s remaining wild chimpanzees in their forest home.

Your Turn

For more information and to see how you can help, please visit Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection.