About Ashley Capps

Ashley Capps received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her first book of poems is Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields. The recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she works as a writer, editor and researcher specializing in farmed animal welfare and vegan advocacy. Ashley has written for numerous animal rights organizations, and in addition to her ongoing work for Free from Harm, she is a writer and researcher at A Well-Fed World. For more information on her poetry or advocacy writing, please visit her website. She also runs the vegan facebook page Make Compassion Consistent.

Millions of Babies Are Being Stolen From Their Mothers. Does It Only Matter When They Look Like Us?

“It would be funny — if it weren’t so sad — to continually witness how desperately we try to paint a happy picture of what is inherently violent and utterly unnecessary. Exploit females’ reproductive systems and breed them at our will, but look! They’re happy! Take away their babies, but look! They’re happy! Take their milk and kill them when they’re no longer “profitable,” but look! They’re happy! Continue reading

Turkeys Snuggling Like Cats and Dogs Will Touch Your Heart

It seems that the more people spend time with turkeys, the more they are able to recognize them as individuals with unique personalities, emotions, and preferences, just like the cats and dogs we know and love. It’s an instructive moment, and a good reminder that our job as advocates isn’t just about helping people understand the suffering farmed animals go through, but also about helping them perceive these homogenized beings as individuals. Continue reading

Should Vegans Have Vegan Dogs and Cats?

The question of vegan dogs and cats is one that is frequently framed in the form of the objection, But you feed your dogs and cats meat; that’s not vegan! Elsewhere it arises among vegans themselves who, by definition, seek to eliminate the use of animal products wherever possible, but who find themselves confronted with a difficult dilemma when it comes to what to feed the companion animals in their care. Continue reading

Hunting for Wildlife Population Control and Ethical Eating?

Hunters sometimes argue that if they were to stop hunting, the deer population would explode. This is a false argument, because if hunting were to stop, we would also stop the practices that increase the deer population. State wildlife management agencies artificially boost the deer population in order to increase recreational hunting opportunities for hunters. Continue reading

Responding to the Claim That Animals Can’t Reason, Don’t Deserve Same Consideration

Regarding the question of how we ought to treat nonhuman animals, philosopher Jeremy Bentham famously wrote, The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor “Can they talk?” but, “Can they suffer?” Indeed, the capacity for a being to experience pain and suffering is the only morally relevant criterion needed to determine that we should refrain from inflicting pain and suffering. Continue reading

Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Who Became Vegan Activists

Slaughterhouse journalist Upton Sinclair once wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” But while it may be difficult, it is not impossible. The following profiles are powerful proof that even those who stand to lose most by renouncing animal exploitation are frequently brave enough — and caring enough — to do so. Continue reading

Why Did This Video of a Pig Eating Salad Get 600,000 Views?

With his pointy pink head, roving nose disk, and impeccable table manners, this little pig eating a salad has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of viewers. Followed by a video of piglet “processing” on a small farm, this juxtaposition offers a glimpse into the difference between sharing a meal with a pig, and turning a pig into a meal. Continue reading

The Vegan Bacon That Meat-Loving Foodies Can’t Get Enough Of: Recipe Included!

I used to be every vegan’s worst nightmare: a bacon-obsessed foodie. Now I’m still a bacon-obsessed foodie, but I’m also a vegan. And while I would have been willing and able to forego the taste of bacon, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have missed it. Fortunately, thanks to this genius vegan bacon recipe, I can have my bacon and keep my values. Continue reading

10 Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Our dairy fact sheet is intended as a well-researched snapshot of the dairy industry, highlighting little-known, shocking and abusive standards of animal handling and use that even the vast majority of so-called “high welfare” and “humane” farms practice. If you are an animal advocate, consider this your go-to page for introducing the public to the cruelties inherent to the dairy industry. If you are someone interested in just learning the no-nonsense basics of what makes dairy farming wrong, this page will also serve you well. Continue reading

12 Egg Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Our fact sheet is intended as a well-researched “snapshot” of the egg industry, highlighting little-known, shocking and abusive standards of animal handling and use that even the vast majority of so-called “high welfare” and “humane” farms practices as well. If you are an animal advocate, consider this your “go-to” page for introducing the public to the cruelties inherent to the egg industry. If you are someone interested in just learning the no-nonsense basics of what makes egg farming so bad, this page will also serve you well. Continue reading

After Learning These Parts of A Chicken, You May Never Want to Eat One Again

The parts of a chicken most people tend to know are the ones that end up on their plates: “cuts of meat” from a depersonalized carcass that involve creepy descriptors like “boneless,” “skinless” and “split breast.” But the parts of a chicken extend far beyond the degrading diagram of a butcher’s cuts. The will to live, the wish to be loved for who you are… these too are parts of a chicken. Continue reading

Baby Turkeys Ground Up Alive? It’s Normal Farming Practice

At hatcheries, baby turkeys are treated like unfeeling plastic toys rather than living animals who experience fear and pain. As part of standard processing, they endure excruciating mutilations without painkiller or anesthesia. Baby turkeys who are injured, sick, or deemed too small are considered waste and are ground up alive in a machine called a macerator that is like a giant woodchipper. Continue reading

7 Ways Eating Meat, Dairy and Eggs Destroys Motherhood

Farmed animals care about their babies, and include some of the most devoted mothers in the animal kingdom. Yet animal farming is fundamentally built on the destruction of motherhood. Every year, billions of farmed animals are forcibly bred into existence for the sole purpose of being exploited and killed for their flesh and secretions. Female reproduction and mothering are constantly violated in order to produce meat, milk and eggs we have no biological need to consume. Continue reading

CO2 Stunning of Pigs, Called “More Humane,” Horrifies in New Footage

CO2 stunning of pigs, also referred to as Controlled Atmosphere Stunning, is often touted as the most humane method of rendering pigs unconscious before slitting their throats at the slaughterhouse. But in newly released footage obtained by animal rights group Aussie Farms, pigs consistently respond to the gas with panic, thrashing and violently jumping in an attempt to escape before collapsing in convulsions. Pigs who refuse to enter the gas chamber are abused. Continue reading