Move over, adobo! Animal activism is now our favorite dish

Clockwise from top: Astig Vegan’s RG Enriquez; Christy Cunanan, vegan ice cream maker; and Bianca Moran Parkes of Susi Studio. Cunanan photo by Daily Bruin/UCLA.

By Dash Nye

If you’ve shopped at H&M recently, you may have noticed that things are a little less…hairy than they used to be. That’s because the company said goodbye to mohair after PETA Asia showed executives the disturbing findings from its eyewitness investigation into the cruel industry.

H&M immediately stopped sourcing the fiber after learning that in order to obtain it, terrified goats are dragged, thrown, picked up by their delicate tails, cut into without receiving any pain relief and even left to die of exposure. Other companies—including Adidas, ASOS, Columbia, Forever 21, Gap,, Topshop, UNIQLO, and Zara—have followed suit.

That’s just one of the ways the Asian community is changing the world for animals. Compassionate people in the local and international Filipino community are rising up against all forms of cruelty, embracing humane lifestyles and changing hearts and minds with their creative advocacy.

Just take a walk down the streets of Makati, which PETA Asia ranked as one of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in Asia. You’ll find restaurants and grocery stores filled with vegan foods, including animal-friendly versions of traditional Pinoy dishes. Craving cruelty-free chicharon or sisig sans suffering? Dig in!

PETA Asia’s spay/neuter program helps stray cats and dogs in the Philippines and provides veterinary care to overworked horses used for tourism.

New York-based pop-up Ube Kitchen is taking the city by storm with its veganized Pinoy flavors, including adobo pizza and dairy-free halo-halo. Chef and vlogger RG Enriquez shows how easy it is to cook vegan versions of traditional Pinoy foods with soul in her Tagalog-subtitled YouTube videos.

Christy Cunanan, founder of the vegan ice cream business Cheeri Cheeri, knows that the only ones who should be drinking cow’s milk are calves. “When we look at Filipino cuisine before the Spanish colonization, even the desserts use rice and coconut milk, which are … vegan,” she said.

She’s continuing the tradition by creating delectable ice cream with culture and tradition mixed into the coconut base. Her decadent flavors, like ube, calamansi and champorado, are easing homesickness across California with every spoonful.

Los Angeles-based Susi Studio, which specializes in vegan shoes, is stomping all over the cruel and environmentally devastating business of leather. Founder Bianca Moran Parkes believes that “women should never compromise their femininity or personal style in order to uphold their values.” And thanks to her gorgeous designs, they don’t have to.

Makati is one of the top 10 vegan-friendly cities in Asia. Photo: MakeitMakati

Filipino celebrities are models of compassion. Vegan TV star Rafael Rosell showed that being an angel to animals makes you gorgeous inside and out when he posed shirtless for a PETA Asia ad. Professional basketball players Chris Ross, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Alex Cabagnot have all gone vegan—and Ross reports, “I felt amazing.” He asks himself, “[W]hat took me so long to do this?”

Being an animal advocate also means rolling up our sleeves to help those in need. PETA Asia

provides animals with vital veterinary care, helping overworked and injured horses forced to give tourists rides on the Philippines’s Taal Volcano as well as stray cats and dogs in Manila. Its spay/neuter program helps control the number of homeless animals, and so do its campaigns reminding people to adopt and never shop for animal companions.

Even if we can’t travel to the Philippines, each of us can make a huge difference for animals through our everyday choices—for instance, we can eat vegan and shop compassionately.

PETA’s #Never21 campaign is keeping the pressure on Forever 21 to stop selling wool, which our investigations have shown is stolen from sheep who are beaten, violently handled and mutilated without pain relief. Please join us in urging Forever 21 to do the right thing.

It’s super easy to make kind choices for animals while celebrating Filipino culture. For more ways to get involved, please visit and

Dash Nye works in Los Angeles as PETA’s Asian American Strategist spreading vegan tips and animal rights messages to communities of Asian Pacific Islander heritage.  

(C) The FilAm 2019

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