Written by PETA
As an obsessed fan of The Biggest Loser, I just about jumped out off the couch last night when America's toughest trainer Jillian Michaels walked onscreen wearing PETA's ever popular "Fight Breedism" T-shirt.
For the whole first half of the show, while the contestants were filming in Washington D.C., Jillian rocked the compassionate message across her perfect abs—even during the workout! Jillian is one of the most inspirational women on television and knowing that she is fighting against obesity and animal homelessness rocks my world!
My Jillian-mania escalated to even greater higher heights when she took the winners of the challenge to Subway for lunch and told the crowd that she recommends the vegetarian sub because it's her favorite. Fellow trainer Bob Harper is already vegetarian, so I'm beginning to see a pattern here … no wonder they look so good.
Written by Christine Doré
As you may know, we have a little obesity epidemic here in the U.S. There's been some debate over how to handle the problem—parents are getting arrested, schools are issuing fat report cards, billboards are being erected, and even Spider-Man is getting involved.
Now, the Baltimore City Public School System has taken a page from Sir Paul McCartney's playbook in its efforts to fight childhood obesity: "Meatless Mondays." Instead of serving greasy, fat-laden hamburgers and "chicken fingers," school cafeterias in Baltimore will be dishing up fresh, organically grown fruits and veggies and eliminating meat completely every Monday.
For its dedication to providing healthy meals for students, PETA is awarding the school system our Proggy Award. Congratulations, Baltimore public schools!
Meatless Mondays not only provide healthier meals for students but also help protect the environment and save animals' lives. PETA's humane-education division, TeachKind, will be working to implement this program in schools across the country—but remember, you don't have to be in school to incorporate Meatless Mondays into your own life.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Everyone seemed to have something to say about our recent billboards in Jacksonville, Florida. Some people loved one or both, while others loathed the first and were bored by the second. But regardless of where you stood, please help us decide what billboard should go up next.
We've narrowed the options down to four billboards that make the point that a vegetarian diet is brain food. First, read this and then please vote for your favorite billboard, invent your own, or heck, even tell us not to run any of them. It's in your hands.
A recent article in New Scientist reveals that researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles have discovered that as people age, the bigger their body mass, on average, the smaller their brain, "with the frontal and temporal lobes - important for planning and memory, respectively - particularly affected."
No wonder Grandpa can't remember where he put that "Double Down."
Since a vegan diet (no fatty, cheesy crap) is almost guaranteed to make you slimmer, it can likely also increase your odds of staying sharp as you age. Our four billboards drive home the point that a pure vegetarian diet is a smart diet. Cast your votes here.
Written by Karin Bennett
As the high cost of health care was debated this week in the nation that was once the most powerful on Earth and is now just the fattest, two announcements were made. Time showed a slab of meat on its cover and declared, "The real cost of cheap food" (meat, in particular) costs Americans big-time when it comes to our health. And KFC--whose suppliers have been caught on camera breaking chickens' legs and wings and scalding the birds to death in order to produce "cheap" chicken--came out with a new "sandwich" that substitutes fried chicken parts for bread and is stuffed with artery-clogging and waistline-expanding bacon and cheese. Why would KFC executives decide to do that? For the same reason that there is a Whopper and a Fifth Third Burger: Because they know that people want unhealthy foods almost as much as they want health care.
Also this week, the fat hit the pan over PETA's pro-vegetarian billboard in Jacksonville, Florida, which read, "Save the Whales. Cut the Blubber. Go Vegetarian," and led to the PETA website where people could download our free "Vegetarian Starter Kit" as well as take the "30-Day Veg Pledge." There wasn't a peep about the advertisements for meals that spell death to one million animals per hour and that contribute to our nation's ever-expanding waistlines. There were no angry phone calls and blog messages about the audacity of the purveyors of the chicken and cheese that is turning humans into blubbery masses, or..."whales."
America's obesity epidemic calls for tough love à la Dr. Phil and America's Biggest Loser, not more coddling and mock shock over a billboard pointing out that the majority of fat people need to have some discipline and remember that being fat means being a bad role model to our children, many of whom are now so fat themselves that "teeter-totter" has come to describe their wobbly gait. Only three percent of the population has a medical condition that genuinely prevents them from losing weight. The rest of the obese people hiding behind them are obese because they shovel in food and haven't a clue (or don't want to have a clue) about a healthy diet. They haven't listened to or perhaps haven't heard the polite admonitions from health experts (real ones) urging them to eat their fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and beans. So America is getting fatter, largely because we don't realize that killing animals and squeezing the cheese out of them, perhaps especially the cheese, is slowly killing us too.
A study published last year in the journal Obesity found that if current trends continue, nearly 90 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by the year 2030 and the number of overweight children will double. This is a serious health crisis: Research has shown that higher body mass index is associated with a greater risk of premature death from all causes. For example, according to the American Heart Association, obesity contributes to heart disease, America's number one killer. What's more, one out of every six health-care dollars will be spent on costs related to our growing girth.
Going meat-free can make a huge difference. Studies show that vegetarians are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters and that a vegetarian diet reduces our risk of heart disease by 40 percent and adds seven or more years to our lifespan. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who eat a low-fat vegan diet (no meat, no eggs and no dairy foods) lose about a pound per week--even without exercising or counting calories.
PETA's billboard was fueled by a healthy respect for all the animals who are raised cruelly and killed in painful ways as well as for our own species's potential to be kind and healthy. I read the communiqués from fat people who said "thank you" and from those who told us where we can go. To all the people considering gastric bypass or tummy-tuck surgery or who tried a low-carb diet and only got constipation and bad breath in return, I say, just try it: Choose the oatmeal with Silk soy milk instead of bacon and milk; the bean instead of the beef burrito; and the mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers instead of the meat balls. All animals would thank you for it if they could, and I'm betting that you will feel better, both inside and out.
Written by Ingrid E. Newkirk
Does the Michelin tire company promote obesity? I'm starting to think so. Consider the Michelin Man: He's a friendly fellow, but, oh, those unsightly rolls! The tire giant also owns Detroit's iconic roadside landmark, the Giant Tire—a possible shout-out to the dreaded spare tire?
We'll soon find out if there's any truth to my theory. PETA has written to Michelin North America's president and chair Dick Wilkerson and offered to put an anti-obesity ad on the Giant Tire. Our "Lose the Spare Tire: Go Veg!" ad would encourage Detroit residents to adopt a healthy, slenderizing, animal-free diet and just might help offset some of life's maintenance costs (i.e., medical bills).
Stay tuned to find out if we receive a fabulous "thumbs up" for our proposal—or a "flabulous" refusal suggesting that the company doesn't care.
To the thieves who helped themselves to a "clubhouse climber" that was in the yard of a small day-care center in Syracuse, New York, we'd like to say, "Thanks!"
Sure, it was deplorable for them to steal from a day-care center—but because they did, PETA now has an opportunity to save the lives of countless animals and children. We've offered to replace the stolen item with a jungle gym that features ads that make the connection between skyrocketing childhood obesity rates and meaty meals—and encourage healthier vegetarian fare.
In our letter to the day-care center operator, Mary Jarvis, PETA's Tracy Reiman points out that eating meat and other animal products feeds the childhood obesity epidemic and contributes to the rise of type 2 diabetes and early signs of heart disease in children.
We think our proposal is a real win-win for the day-care center. What do you think?
The number with the worst rap may be 666, but 555 turned out to be the real "Number of the Beast" for one mother who was arrested last week on charges of neglect when authorities found out that 555 pounds was how much her obese 14-year-old son weighed.
Jerri Gray of Travelers Rest, South Carolina (near Greenville), says that juggling jobs meant she often relied on fast food to feed her tubby teen. She learned the hard way that a diet of bacon cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets is a recipe for a health disaster—one that has put her son's health in serious danger.
To ensure that Greenville residents get that message loud and clear, we plan to erect our billboard reading, "Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse." Also, Ms. Gray will be receiving a copy of Meatless Meals for Working People, a cookbook of quick and simple vegan fare, courtesy of PETA.
After being jailed on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges, Michel Lapointe was released early from his incarceration in Montréal. Why? Because—no joke—he was too obese to fit into the jail's furniture.
Lapointe's lawyer argued that the prison's mattresses, chairs, and benches were too small for a man of Lapointe's size and therefore caused him to suffer unfairly. He pointed out that Lapointe increased in size from around 300 lbs. to more than 400 lbs. after his arrest, blaming the weight gain, in part, on the greasy prison diet. Well, we know of some prisons where this just isn't a problem.
To try to prevent this from happening again, we've sent a letter to the head of the prison inviting him to switch the inmates to an all-vegetarian diet, which would vastly increase the chances of keeping the inmates lean, healthy, and safely behind bars. The prison (and taxpayers) could save money on meals and reduce inmates' health care costs, and the public would sleep a little better knowing that criminals of all sizes are where they belong.
Sounds like a win-win to me.
Written by Sean Conner
After a two-year stint of showing off his finely chiseled physique in America, David—as in Michelangelo's "David"—is returning home to Italy. Only, he's leaving a new man—or should we say, a new sculpture?
Yes, Michelangelo's most famous sculpture has taken a little bit of the U.S. with him, in the form of 50-plus pounds of extra fat. Looks like David consumed the standard American diet of hamburgers, chicken wings, glasses of milk, and cheese on everything!
The image was actually created by advertising agency Scholz & Friends, which is based in Germany, for an ad campaign they're running to get people up off their rumps and active with healthy doses of daily exercise.
Coincidently, the fat "David" image has surfaced right on the heels of our request to put up ads along the U.S.-Mexican border to warn crossing immigrants about the United States' severely unhealthy meat- and dairy-centered diet.
Obesity is one of the leading health problems in this country for people of all ages—and it's really not shocking, given the poor eating habits and exercise regimens of most Americans.
The good news is that you don't have to be a part of America's expanding-waistline problem. Adults who follow a vegan diet on average weigh 10 to 20 lbs. less than their meat-eating and dairy-guzzling counterparts. Plus, meat, dairy, and egg consumption is linked to asthma and increases a person's chances of getting certain cancers by 40 percent! If you're looking to build the healthy, well-defined body that "David" is best known for, we recommend laying off the animal products. Your looks and health will thank you.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried fish, chicken-fried steak ... seeing a pattern here? A recent study shows that good ol' Southern-style, high-calorie, high-fat, meat-filled dishes are why the U.S.' Southern states are the nation's most obese. Lordy, y'all! Let's have us some massive amounts of deep-fried animal flesh!
Is your state one of the most obese? The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that the top 10 most obese states are Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Oklahoma.
In an effort to combat soaring obesity rates, PETA has sent a letter to the governor of each of the above-mentioned states with an easy solution: Simply promote a vegetarian lifestyle and encourage more vegetarian options within their respective states. Easy as pumpkin pie.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.