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Dear Air Canada: Give Obese Passengers Veggie Meals!

Written by PETA | November 26, 2008
fedcan / CC
Air Canada

Those poor folks in the airline industry have been hit from all sides in recent years, from heightened security after 9/11 to ever-higher fuel prices. Now, there’s more bad news for airlines from our neighbours to the north (for the geographically-challenged, that would be Canada—and did you notice how I spelled “neighbours” with a “u,” like proud veggie Bryan Adams and other Canucks do?). The Canadian Supreme Court has just ruled that airlines have to provide an extra seat—free of charge—to morbidly obese passengers.

While the airlines may see this as a blow to their bottom lines, we hope they’ll think of it as an opportunity instead. To wit: Bring back the veggie meals! And not just as an option, but for all passengers.

You see, adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. So by putting veggie food on those seatback trays, the airlines can help keep their frequent flyers slim and healthy—and free up more seats for paying customers, as we suggested to the powers that be. You can see our full letter to Air Canada here.

Of course, even if you’re not traveling by air this holiday season, it’s good to know that there’s a way to keep from carrying extra pounds into the new year. To learn more, check this out.

Written by Jeff Mackey

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  • Friendlyftm says:

    Ok, I did a search on medical causes of obesity and the first site I found cited 236 of them. How can a group of people who do so much for animals, forget to be compassionate for other people too? Having healthier and meat free meal options everywhere would be great for everyone but let’s not forget “There but for the grace of circumstance go I”. I know people of all different sizes and shapes and not one of them is inately worth less than another as a result. There is nothing wrong with encouraging people to be healthy but only in a respectful way and not in a way that has anything to do with how they look. Our value lies in our souls and minds not the shell we walk around in. The next time you see a larger person or someone who is different, do not presume to know why or judge them, get to know them and then size may not matter any more. Thank you for your time everyone. Zachary.

  • alianna says:

    i would just like to say that some of you are very ingnorant not all obese people are just fat asses who like food some have issues wtih their minds just like people with anorexia or buliemia it is in some cases a diasese just like anorexia or other ed i know someone who was average size until her mother died and then she begain to eat so much and now she is over weight so dont just assume ppl who are fat just like to eat and cant put down their forks and i think that it couldnt hurt anyone to eat a little healthier and AC is a bad airline anyways they should offer more for the vegans and vegitariens out therelike me and they shouldnt just give you and extra seat for being overweight you should have to pay for it and for the americains who say it disgusts you how fat canadians think about your own country considering you guys have 3 or 4 of the fattest citys in the world so dont judge us and dont be ingnorant towards anyone that is what is ruining the world

  • kacey says:

    I am Canadian and yupe…heard the ruling as well. So loandbehold I fly Air Canada last week and I was treated to what this ruling now looks like. To my wondering eyes appeared a grossly obese man sitting in first class with no one occupying the other seat. So now begs the Q…the next time I go to book a trip w AC no doubt hell will freeze over before that happens since they are the crappiest airline ever can I submit my jog log book and my meal plan notifying them how well I take care of myself so that I get a seat discount? How friggin’ hard is it to put down a flippin’ fork and put on a pair of runners so that others don’t have to be subjected to this slothfulness. I’m soooo sick of fat people playing victims getting breaks and being felt sorry for….the choice to eat until your gut explodes should not be anyone’s issues to deal with except their own.

  • Antoine says:

    While there may be slightly overweight vegans out there and even vegans that are out of shape…if the person is truly 100 vegan it is NOT POSSIBLE to become obese on a vegan diet. Vegans who are obese either 1. became obese on a meat and dairy based diet and only recently became vegan. 2. say they are vegan but have “issues” with food and are not really vegan ie cheating Simply put There are not enough calories per pound in vegan food to cause someone to become morbidly obese. That having been said it is possible to be UNHEALTHY on a vegan diet if all that you eat is junk food and pop and if you do not exercise. But NOT obese. Air Canada sucks! I am ashamed to be Canadian based on what Air Canada and Via Rail offer. I travelled with American Airlines a few years back and they served me DELICIOUS vegan meals. Travelling with Air Canada and Via Rail is like being catapulted back to the seventies all they have to offer is chicken and ham sandwiches. Pathetic. Of course everyone knows that ONE vegan meal will not magically cure the obese. But its about MAKING THE CONNECTION. Which is also why PETA suggested that a GOURMET VEGAN CHEF meet with Air Canada I doubt the gourmet chef will suggest junk food to Air Canada. And for those trying to find holes in this campaign ask yourselves Is it a BAD thing to offer vegan meals in an airline? It may not solve the obesity epidemic but will it help? Try to look at the big picture people! And by the way we know that eating one vegan meal wont stop the obese passenger from gorging on 500 chicken wings upon landing. But PETA is making a point and a good one at that! When you assume that PETA does not know this you are being deliberately obtuse.

  • Zander says:

    I agree with littlebear eating vego meals wont keep you slimand wont make a difference to the individual who is obese. The whole issue with obeasity is that people eat so many processed foods full of fat and full of sugar. the only way to stay slim without excersise is to eat raw veges only. The mistake here is that the airline has to provide an extra seat at no charge it would be better for the obease frequent flier to be made to pay that way they may consider eating a healthier diet based on vegetarian foods.

  • Blu says:

    Here’s my two cents I became vegetarian after seeing “Meat Your Meat”. All it took was ONE video and ONE good veggie meal the next day to convince me that I did not need meat to live. That’s my point sometimes it only takes ONE small thing to make you think. Like a delicious veggie meal you had on that flight over. It was good wasn’t it? And did you notice no heartburn this time? And OMG you didn’t have that embarrasing bout of farting afterwards either! Maybe when you land you’ll find a place to eat that has a similar dish… your aunt Cathy is a veggie isn’t she? Maybe you’ll give her a call… Just one little thing. We gotta start somewhere.

  • Krista says:

    I think this is a silly idea. Advocate veggie meals for ALL passengers or at least that Air Canada makes them more accessable I’ve had many issues like the one mentioned by Abby. Obese people often have psychological or medical problems essentially saying “eat a veggie meal fatty” doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Even if Air Canada did this which I don’t think the ever will the suggestion of a veggie meal would likely just offend these people and make them protest by getting anything but a veggie meal.

  • Irene says:

    I’ve got to say it frightens me that there happen to be enough morbidly obese people in Canada that they need to pass this law. Seriously. And yes I agree that one meal isn’t going to make a morbidly obese person suddenly say “Hey I think I’m gonna be a vegetarian.” Still maybe that meal will make some of these people decide to eat a little healthier or eat more vegetables or more raw vegetables. It can make a difference even a small one. I decided to go veg after getting on the scale one day and hitting 240 pounds. For my height that put me dangerously near the morbidly obese category. Still I sat down to one good veg meal and that got me to sit down to another then another and a couple days later I took the 30 day pledge to be veg. I dropped 35 pounds that month just from going veg and I’m still losing weight. So yeah one meal isn’t the magic pill that’s going to slough off 100 excess pounds of weight. But maybe the meal will convince someone to “give peas a chance?”

  • Chrissy says:

    I think that it is perfectly fair that here in Canada obese people don’t have to pay extra just to get a seat. It’s not always entirely their fault. I think that vegetarian meals are a great idea though. It would show them how easy and good vegan food is. It would promote a healthier diet and possibly inspire a few people to change.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Little Bear Yes there are fat vegetarians and vegans in the world but not as many as meateaters and that’s the whole point. Also you’d have to eat a whole lot of raw vegetables to get fatit takes almost as many calories to digest them as they provide in the first place.

  • Crystal says:

    Great letter hopeful it will show many people how good a vegan meal can be. Good luck Peta!

  • Anon1 says:

    What constitutes as a frequent flyer? Someone who eats EVERY single meal on an airplane? Perhaps then the vegetarian meals would make a difference though I seriously doubt that seeing as a healthy diet AND exercise are the only ways to remain slim. What is the point of forcing people to eat vegetarian meals? I’m slim I don’t want your carrots thanks.

  • Little Bear says:

    Actually you can become overweight or obese from eating just about anything including vegetables. It’s not what people eat that makes them fat. It’s how much they eat. There are obese vegetarians and vegans out in the world. For many of them they gorge on junk food that is said to be vegan and don’t get enough exercise causing their weight gain. You can get fat from eating just vegetables if you eat too much and don’t get enough exercise to keep the weight off. Blaming meat for obesity is ridiculous because it’s not what you eat that makes you gain weight. It’s how much you eat and if you get enough exercise to keep it off. This is one thing PETA always fails to mention when it comes to obesity. They think people can only get fat from eating meat but it’s not the case at all since there are fat vegetarians and vegans in the world. Keep that in mind next time when giving out letters like this.

  • Pete says:

    Hey don’t eat the meat if you can’t pay the seat! The extra seat that is.

  • NT says:

    Good luck! Air Canada is the worst. I once called them in advance telling them I was a vegetarian and their “special meal” for me was a ham and cheese sandwich!! Needless to say I starved all the way to my destination.

  • Abby says:

    Feeding an already overweight person one veggie meal on a flight isn’t going to make any difference. It’s not like that one meal will cause the person to lose so much weight that they don’t need an extra seat on their return flight or on all future flights! And even someone who flies frequently isn’t going to eat every meal on a plane. If someone eats enough to be obese to the point of needing two seats they almost certainly don’t settle for eating only the small airline meal presented to them anyway. No matter what the airline presents to that customer it’s not going to make a true difference.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Speaking of Canada eh I hope all you hosers in Toronto know that Ingrid Newkirk is doing a book signing her new “One Can Make A Difference” book at Indigo 55 Bloor West Manulife Centre at 700 PM on December 1st.

  • Carla says:

    I know a few hospitals out here too are giving these meals as options for the elderly and the sick cause they just can’t stomach the “meat”. And Grandma the other day had soy milk with her cereal!! The way to go!!! So go Air Canada… revenue lost $$$ well spent!!!

  • Robert E. Lee says:

    I’m sorry but as a fat person in America we pay for our extra seats. Whats your problem Canada? Also really thats just screaming loss of dignity. As for the veggie meal things whatever as long as it tastes good who cares.

  • Aneliese says:

    Good letter PETA. I hope Air Canada will start giving out vegetarian meals. I can’t believe that free seats for obese people actually went to supreme court that just sounds silly.

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