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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Dear Michael Moore…

Written by PETA | June 22, 2007

Michael_Moore_Sicko.jpgMichael Moore, for those of you not familiar with him, is a fat, bearded dude who makes political documentaries and occasionally angers conservatives. His latest work is a film called SiCKO—which exposes the inadequacies of health care in the U.S. and played to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. It’s going into wide release on June 29. Well, PETA’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, has a few words of advice for him: As she points out in the letter she sent him this week, the best way to fight the U.S. health care bureaucracy is to take some personal responsibility and make positive changes that will lead to a healthy lifestyle—and there’s no better way to do that than by adopting a vegetarian diet. As Ingrid puts it,

“Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you. With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally.”

PETA is challenging Michael Moore to reduce his risk of fat-related illnesses by taking PETA’s 30-day Veg Pledge. The idea is that if people didn’t make themselves unhealthy in the first place by eating meat products that are known to cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, the situation would easier for everyone. As Ingrid puts it, “Yes, America’s health care system needs to be fixed, but personal responsibility is a big part of why people look and feel as ill as they do.” Here’s hoping Michael Moore puts his money where his mouth is.

You can read Ingrid’s letter to Michael Moore here. I’ll let you know how he responds.

 

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  • Rachel says:

    IF ONLY A VEGAN LIFESTYLE COULD CURE ALL!!! My son is Type 1 diabetic not only hereditary but brought on by an immune crisis. He also has Epilepsy from a Traumatic Brain Injury Autism Asthma and ADHD. SPEAKING OF ELEPHANTS! I live in a freaking ZOO!!!!! A vegan diet willl not help us but a better healthcare system will.

  • Jeffrey says:

    Meat tastes good. Michael Moore could try to lose weight with the Atkins Diet. It has worked for many.

  • Ashley says:

    You guys are a bunch of idiots. Micheal Moore is trying to prove a point. American’s don’t have the right health care that is needed when needed. If you got hit by a car and you went to a american hospital they would say pay up or die pretty much. In Canada where I live we can get an honouring respect when we walk into a hospital they give up free health care and surgery. I think the american government is louisy and only do it for money. Maybe if some ofyou actually care watch the movieyou would understand. Micheal records people that helped out cleaning up after the 911 attack and these people have lung problems he takes them to the american government to see what they can do for their health problems and they close the doors on their faces and say “It’s not our problem!” Are you fucking kidding me?! They clean up after your fucking shitty mess of 911 and you dont even help them thats just plain greed! HOW DARE YOU STAB AT MICHEAL MOORE ABOUT HIS WEIGHT! GROW UP! really! People are born big and some of them stay that way. I know people that are Vegetarians and are still big Fucking assholes!

  • Michelle says:

    I’m usually on the side of PETA in most things and applaud PETA and Ingrid for the good done for animals. BUT attacking Michael Moore’s weight is out of line and rude. Just an FYI Vegetarians can be overweight too I’m living proof of that. Name calling is UGLY. Mr. Moore if you read this I apologize for those nasty words and want to truly thank you for the work you do exposing the lies of the Bush Regime.

  • Trisha says:

    I think the letter was petty and vain. In fact the author of this letter probably hurt the vegetarian cause more than helped it. Dear author I hope you learn some tact before you turn more people off to becoming a vegetarian or vegan. Love Trisha

  • Karla says:

    No one is immune from poor lifestyle choices be you Carnivore or Vegan. We all pay into a healthcare system that wouldn’t exist if not for poor lifestyle choices. How many of you drink and drive? Risky unprotected sex anyone? How about your weekend recreational drug use? Extreme sports? Don’t get me started. I think Ingrid’s letter was a little one sided and didn’t take into account that poor choices cut both ways.

  • GM Walsh says:

    While I disliked the disrespectful tone of Ingrid’s letter to Michael Moore since it was another case of the generally humourless PETA diatribes that cause more people to cry “crackpot!” than to bring them to a veggie lifestyle people need to realise that the term “elephant in the room” has nothing to do with size weight or anything else. It is an idiom that describes the state of an obvious truthsituation being ignoredoverlooked its origins in the fact that an elephant in the room would be impossible to ignore.

  • GM Walsh says:

    I’m a vegetarian and have been since 1986. I’m also fat. I’m also healthy. My doctor says I have a cholesterol level “a 12yearold would kill for” and my blood pressure is that of a “30yearold.” I exercise regularly and can outlast skinny folks half my age on an allday opentoclosing outing at Disneyland. I take serious issue with the remarks made to and about Michael Moore. The health care crisis isn’t the fault of a bunch of fat people but due to greedy pharmaceutical companies the AMA the insurance industry and even some of the doctors themselves. The diet industry also has some serious things to answer for as well since 95 of the folks who diet not only put back all the weight they lose but add 520 pounds each diet cycle until they diet themselves up to the weight at which they finally throw their hands up and say “ENOUGH!” Faulty science causes people to be fat bigots. How many know that no matter HOW a fat person dies their secondary cause of death is noted as obesity? So if I’m hit by a truck my death certificate will say my secondary cause of death is obesity. Hey if I’m a bigger target how come the truck hit me instead of the skinny chick four feet behind me? If a fat guy goes down in a plane crash doesn’t the fact that the engines blew up have more to do with his cause of death than the fact that he needed a seatbelt extender?!? Many socalled “scientific” studies cull their data from death certificates. So if that data is faulty to begin with then the results will be too. Not to mention that folks who go on a continuous cycle of yoyo dieting are putting tremendous stress on their systems including the heart whereas people who maintain a generally steady weight regardless of what that weight might be put LESS stress on their system. It ain’t the fat folks it’s the stress put on the body mind and soul trying to conform to the narrowminded bigoted wouldratherbedeadthanfat mentality that creates a climate in which even the “Normal” sized or slighty chubby consider themselves to be gargantuan. Shame on you. You’re representing an organisation that fights abuse and yet you spew venom at a person who is attempting to shed light on one of the most serious problems our country faces. All you can do is tell Michael Moore he’s fat? Gee… I bet he doesn’t own a mirror and doesn’t have the slightest idea that he’s rotund. Let’s get the facts straight folks and stop the bigotry. I notice too that PETA shirts are available only up to XL so you’re already cutting off a significant part of folks who are potentially part of your power base. I know lots of fat vegetarians and vegans. You do nothing to encourage them to champion your cause when you’re so overtly bigoted against them. And remember… the word “fat” is not a pejorative merely a simple modifier.

  • Dave K. says:

    Amazing. Here we have a United States citizen probably well over 300 pounds heavy not well kept at all and millions run to the cinemas to watch his hypocritical film about health care. Did he produce this film to offer an excuse to humanity why he is so obese? Why other less fortunate humans on this planet cannot find enough food to survive let alone gorge themselves every day? Hardly. He most likely produced this movie to pad his pockets even more to ensure his breakfast lunch and dinner plates would forever be full. This is the same person who just a few years ago traveled overseas to exclaim how screwed up Americans are and here we have him again producing another classic at the “screwed up Americans” expense. The saddest part of all this is how many of you turned out to help this sad example of humanity achieve his goal of filling his belly. Who am I to express such bold comments? A recent U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has lived in less fortunate countries and been blessed with the opportunity of experiencing poverty first hand. Shame on all of you who side with Mr. Moore for whatever reason.

  • Polarized says:

    does it really matter if he eats meat or not? PETA are just being ridiculous dont eat meat and youll be healthy? thats absolutely ridiculous anyone with a knowledge in nutriticn will tell you that nutrients that come from meats are essential and that is economically feasble to eat meat over vegetables. The problem PETArds is eating TOO much meat. Dear PETA Suck a cock. Oh and PETA seal meat is a very healthy meat low in saturated and trans fats and high in omega 3 fatty acids which studies show help brain heart and digestive health!

  • Sean says:

    Erm why would PETA want anything to do with Michael Moore? He is low brow repulsive and hated. The stereotype of him as a ‘burger eater’ is great as he is a walking argument against meat consumption. It would be disastrous to have him on side. No offence to my American AR cousins but Moore is representative of everything that is gross about the USA. You have to remember not to confuse ‘progressive politics’ with Animal Rights. We have supporters from the far left to far right and everyone in between. AR is NOT a political issue and having left wing sensationalists like Moore on side would be a major setback.

  • Chasity says:

    I agree with Maya. Yeah the truth does hurt but if the first thing you say to him is that he’s fat he’s not going to listen to what you have to say.

  • Lacy Syverson says:

    I find myself torn on this issue but leaning towards siding with the letter. Michael Moore is an overweight sloppy dude. Regardless of the movies he has mad that expose some terrible truths it seems awfully hypocritical to make a movie about health care when you are obese. Given that obesity is a ‘growing’ problem in America anyone in a position of influence should work to educate people about the truth of the problem. Obesity is in about 5 of people a genetic problem. For the rest veg or not it’s diet and exercise. So for the people who have posted that they are veg and fat I would encourage you to think about what diet choices you make and what you could do to be more active because those are most likely to blame. After all potato chips soda and white bread are vegan but that doesn’t make them healthy. And to the people who jump to the defense of Mike he knows he’s fat just like all the rest of the obese people in this country and it shouldn’t be such a drastic thing to point it out to them. I think anything that might motivate them to make themselves healthier should be said. I personally am disgusted by fat people not because they look gross which they do but because I look at them and think of the wasted resources that they represent and how much of it is preventable.

  • Jack says:

    Michael Moore and PETA both have one thing in common. Both love propaganda and feeding on the naive. PETA is wrong on most issues Moore is a fat pig. Both facts.

  • joanne g murphy says:

    I am an admirer of Michael Moore and we can also add that like many other peopleyou and I included!we don’t all have compete awareness and consciousness on every issue. Plenty of people agitating for civil rights have been sexist people advocating for animal rights can be racist people fighting for workers’ rights can be progun etc. Obviously animal rights is a topic on which many people have not yet got their eyes opened. We can help. Not by alienating people but by reaching out. I don’t think it has escaped Mr Moore’s attention that he has a weight problem. In fact he discussed just that on Bill Maher when he was talking about how the movie affected him personally. He said that his lifestyle and junk food were part of his own health care hypocrisy. Change is not easy as many former meat eaters around here know. Let is show a little compassion. I support Ingrid and don’t think she was out of line at all. But I don’t like to see Moore attacked because he has a weight problem or because he has made money. His films have raised awareness on important issueslike the plight of workers and the deceptions of our governmentthat needed to be raised. By all means see “Sicko” but also see “Fast Food Nation” which goes a long way towards exposing the cruelty to animals in the food industry. We also need to call for more health care and medicine that does not emanate from sadistic experiments on animals.

  • Wendy Hudson says:

    “You ‘ll go farther with honey…than you will vinegar”. I thought being a member of PETA meant I was part of an organization trying to make the world a better place? I dislike Michael Moore but I do not agree with Ingrid’s letter. It makes her sound angry. Be a diplomat for the animals! And since when are sweets and cupcakes derived from animals anyway? I know alot of overweight Vegans!

  • Miles says:

    well if you read the entertainment weekly article he said that he was trying to lose weight.

  • Loreen says:

    I am so much more than amused by how offended some of the commentators are about this approach saying that PETA “goes too far sometimes”. No one called him names and we are talking in this scenario to Michael Moore who steps on just as many toes as anyone. It is a little like “Oh dang!” but don’t we who are vegetarian partly for the health benefits say the same things to our friends when trying to express the import of eating vegetarianorganic? I’m sure that Michael Moore doesn’t want to be a hypocrite and letting him know he could have such a huge ally as PETA if he chooses is a good idea to me. Honestly I’m impressed by the bold move. He has covered some important topics on his list of address worthy issues why not the meat industry? Other people have so perhaps he wants to hit what isn’t in the lime light as much. I think that the attention he gets for his controversial ways would get more of his fans to look at the PETA causes which can’t hurt in my mind. Who else should call him out? I can’t do it like PETA can so thanks PETA. Thanks Ingrid!

  • Suzie Glaser says:

    I’m sure that M.M. can ‘handle’ being called fat and whatever any other comments. But I personally don’t think that is the point. Whether he can handle it or not is not the point imho. I guess I just assume that people that are vegan have compassion. That is why I became veg nearly 20 years ago and veg nearly 2 years ago. For the compassion aspect. I just don’t understand.

  • Dan MacDonald says:

    Ingrid Newkirk I am a VERY big fan of yours a member of PETA for nearly 2 and a half years an animal activist and a vegan. But I think calling this man an “elephant” i don’t care WHO HE IS is nothing short of rude and below you. SHAME ON YOU. You owe not only Michael Moore an apology but all of us in YOUR GROUP who SUPPORT YOUR CAUSE an apology as well because it is comments like these that make me think perhaps my money and efforts would be better spent at a DIFFERENT group maybe that 30 bucks a month I dish out to peta should just go towards a local chapter of animal rights. One not so RUDe. Shame on you. I am so disappointed.

  • patricia says:

    im 31 live in sydney overweight by 30kgs and am new to vegetarian but since ive changed my way of eating i can tell the difference if i can do it so can he

  • Jane says:

    People are overweight for a variety of reasons and believe me they are aware of their weight…they are looked at differently and often treated differently. I have a sister who is extremely overweight and has struggled with the problem for years. I wonder if Ingrid would use her same tactics on someone who is anorexic? While Ingrid’s intentions may have been honorable pointing out publically someone else’s weight problem is not honorable and does not elevate anyone’s life condition. The globe can be treated much more kindly through vegetarianism and conservation. People should be treated kindly as well.

  • Molly says:

    As a person who tries to live by the axiom ‘do no harm’ I must say that am not impressed by the crass comments of Ingrid Newkirk. I support sustainable practices responsible living and an organic vegetarian lifestyle. However choosing to attack someone else verbally is offensive and does this organization a disservice. Not cool PeTA.

  • Theresa says:

    I agree about adopting a healthy lifestyle BUT in our healthcare systemlest not forget that well visits and numerous annual tests WILL also prevent a individual health catastophe. Most of us go without these test i.e mammogram pap colonostopy etc. because we can’t afford them or the insurance won’t cover them the deductable is too big and the excuses go on! Our Healthcare system needs an overhaul BIG TIME! I’m happy that Michael Moore exposed our healthcare system. We sure couldn’t get that info on our own. Shame on the USA for allowing this sham.

  • amanda says:

    Everybody has a good pointhowever Ingrid was only telling the truth and the truth always wins and so many people are afraid of it.It was a brute approach but the truth is what makes people change. the truth about how theese animals are treated is what made us change right? I lost 40 lbs doing vegan and ate as much as I wanted of the right stuff and a part of me changing my lyfestyle was a brutely honest friend telling me how fat i was getting. Honor the truth live by the truth and if the truth makes the mike guy run away and diss us then fck him we dont need him!

  • kristi says:

    i think it is awful to use name calling to get someone to think about going veg…veganism is a non violent lifestyle and calling someone fat is violent and just plain mean! not all vegetarians are thin and for all we know Michael Moore could already be a vegetarian. I do believe that personal health is important especially since we live in a society without universal health care but i do not believe that name calling is an appropriate way especially for vegans to encourage a veg lifestyle. honestly i’m truly dissapointed in you Ingrid!!

  • Melissa says:

    First I have to say that I respect PETA immensely. That being said I feel the letter about Michael Moore was uncalled for. His movie has nothing to do with the well being of animals. To take the low road no matter if that is his tactic or not seems to go against what I thought PETA stood for. I don’t feel that PETA needs to put people down to further their cause and this subject has nothing to do with their cause. Please stick to your excellence at helping animals.

  • S. says:

    Unless you follow Michael Moore around you have no idea WHAT he eats and what his diet is about. Second of all how about some respect for his mind and what he’s doing with it. Maybe Newkirk needs to take the 30day sensitivity enlightenment challenge.

  • adam jenkins says:

    you people make me sick a lot more sick than michael moore does you people are the most selfish people taking in a vegan diet in which a lot of people dont have the luxury of choice in the matter. get a life.

  • Kathleen says:

    I TAKE IT BACK PETA was not offensive after reading what Michael Moore did showing up with animals at PETA’s doorstep! And his comment that “we are wasting our lives.” In due time he will find out that he has caused himself real health problems. And for those who call vegetarians “squeamish” I’d like to see all these TOUGH animal fleshfluid eaters WATCH ALL THE VIDEOS available on ANY AND ALL ANIMAL ABUSE. BETTER YET actually go see it in person as an undercover worker! Let’s see how TOUGH you really are! You are the squeamish because you don’t want to know hear or SEE the horrendous abuse and torture and insanity behind the mass breeding and killing of animals. WHEW got that out of me!

  • Kathleen says:

    Well what you said is true but being more tactful would have helped. I have seen many weighty vegetarians! Even vegans! Because they still eat unhealthy lots of fats and sugars and processed foods! Mentioning that if he argues for what is right and moral on other issues why is he ignoring the “sick” mass production and mass killing of certain animal species for food and other commodities? THIS IS UNNECESSARY RUTHLESS AND A WASTE OF PRECIOUS RESOURCES! Just my two bits!

  • Nina says:

    I would love to see Michael Moore make a doc that deals with animal ethics and the meat industry that would be very powerful. Mike B. I couldn’t AGREE with you more!!!

  • Lori Ugolik says:

    Instead of insulting and attacking Mr. Moore who is a very intelligent man Ingrid should have could have but did not bring up the issue of the greenhouse effect and the agricultural industry which may have interested him in another documentary adding in factory farming issues lab animals and other cruelty matters puppy mills etc. By possibly alienating him or pissing him off she did a disservice. She could have been more tactful in her approach with education first.

  • Jim says:

    Are there no overweight vegans? Or are all of them skinny beanpoles like Ingrid?

  • Bree says:

    Hi. Though I also applaud Ingrid for promoting better eating habits and promoting animal welfare I am diappointed she did it in such an unpolite manner. You get more flies with honey and all that. And being a vegan may or may not solve the problem you can still be overweight without touching a single animal product.

  • sonia reyes says:

    This letter to Moore is just another example of how common it has become for anyone to use another person’s physical characteristics when trying to make a point. Wouldn’t it be more productive to go straight to the issue and not distract your audience by using these tacts? Readers of this letter focused on the “elephant” analogy more than on the real issue…and what was that? who knows the elephant was silent.

  • Mia says:

    I agree with nearly everyone who commented on this topic. Yes the letter is indeed a bit hurtful and rather rude but that is the manner which Mr. Moore speaks in. He like Ingrid is very um to the point. However Ingrid is the face of PETA. For that matter she needs to be respectful and calling a man an elephant is by no means respectful. I am not a vegetarian and if someone wrote me a note like that heck no I wouldn’t try a 30day veg pleadge. But if someone wrote me a sincere note about how the ved pleadge might make me change my vews increase my health without dirrectly calling me fat I might just give it a try. Anyway what I’m trying to say is that if Ingrid were to approach this in a less evasive manner she might have been a little more successful in reaching her goal.

  • Joe says:

    So just because Mike’s overweight….Ingrid has to actually get off her ass and write him a letter saying that if he was a vegetarian he would be skinny? Just for that I think mike should publicly execute a few cows and have himself a couple of fresh burgers. You know just for the hell of it. Love you too PETA

  • Christina says:

    As many others have said vegetarianism does not necessarily equal weight loss or even good health. Like many Americans if he seriously decided to lose weight I’m afraid he’d try Atkins or the Zone before vegetarianism. If it were me and I got this careless letter I’d probably do the opposite. Don’t tempt him.

  • Megan says:

    I do respect Michael Moore but really I think he can handle being called fat. I think the letter was great Ingrid is doing what she has to do to open people’s eyes to vegetarianism for the animals and their sake. And my opinion is that if he does try it and enjoys it who could be better than Michael Moore to show the world how beneficial it is? Way to go Ingrid!

  • Meli says:

    Wow. I don’t like her commentary on his weight one bit. Obesity is BS because not everyone that is obese eats unhealthily. Ingrid should not have stuck her nose in that zone and I do agree with Maya. If someone tried to attack my weight I’d tell PETA to ‘shove it’. She should have tried to convince him on the moral stance of vegetarianism and how it can help cure corruption and not attack his personal business.

  • kelli says:

    I agree with Maya way up there. I mean attacking someone for the way they are dressed fur etc. sure. Attacking them for spouting off when not knowing the issues certainly. Attacking someone’s personal appearance however well not ALL of us can be as pretty as Ingrid so…. I say leave the tasteless slams out of the letter. and I completely agree with one poster above weight is not always a ‘what you eat’ issue. You can catch more flies with vegan honey.

  • Stella says:

    Your efforts are best directed towards KFC or some other meat based company leave Mr. Moore alone. He’s bringing to light the shoddy state of American health care. What does this have to do with vegetarianism? Where is the proof that most diseases are related to eating meat? And what does this have to do with your insurance company not paying your bill? True Mr. Moore is obese but maybe he would be obese as a vegetarian? As a rule vegetarians may live a little longer but they too get sick and have accidents..and are at the mercy of our health care system. They too get denied insurance or are unable to get affordable insurance. I’m sure you realize that vegetarianism and health care are separate issues..no?

  • bk says:

    I have been vegan for three years now and vegetarian all my life. i am obese comfortably so not borderline. Animal rights and eating disorders are separate issues though related. Taking care of one does not necessarily mean that the other falls in line.

  • Theresa says:

    I love you Ingrid but I also don’t think attacking his weight is a good way to encourage him to become vegetarian. I was a little upset to read this. I think PETA is better than this.

  • Jessie says:

    ingrid called it the way she seen it micheal is one of the most blunt in your face people to grace the hollywood stage in years. i dought he’ll be offended at the comment or the challange. good for you ingrid and i hope micheal takes the wager!

  • Dan says:

    Good for her Michael Moore is fat! But vegetarianism is going to cure that. Anyone can eat delicious meat in moderation and still be very healthy. Most of the vegetarians I know are fat.

  • Melissa says:

    I am NOT a PETA supporter. That being said who knows if this will get published. Regardless I feel compelled to make a point. Michael Moore has provided for the American people a look into the atrocity that is our health care system. It is about time someone had the guts to confront big business health care. It is sad truly very sad that Ingrid missed out on the opportunity to help draw attention to an issue that is a major problem in our country. We are the ONLY first world country that doesn’t provide healthcare to all of its citizens. Obviously Ingrid is passionate about her issue. If you can’t make comments that will help the cause and you just want to regress to adolescent name calling then stick to your own issue. And I’m sure if Michael Moore cared about Ingrids oppinion of his health he would have asked her for it.

  • Sky Black says:

    I think any attack should have been directed at his copious meat consumption not his weight. While every person we can turn vegetarian or vegan counts I don’t think having Michael Moore as a vocal supporter is what PETA needs. I disagree with the many who say they’d like to see him make a film about factory farming as that will only serve to further polarize the debate. It does not benefit animals that PETA is seen as a far left organization. If the cause as a whole is ever going to get anywhere we need to reach across party lines and appeal to people on a moral level not a political one.

  • rena says:

    I am Canadian and a member of Peta. The reason why health issues are related to health care is that the “sicker” a society is the more money it costs to the public health care system. Thus prevention is important. Weight problems and related health problems are directly connected to a public health care system. However I do agree with most of the writers that Ingrid went too far with Michael Moore who really tries to help. Apologies from Peta would be welcome. Rena