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An Even Better Idea for Ford

Written by PETA | July 25, 2008

For no particular reason, I’m on my fourth consecutive Ford automobile (a Mustang convertible, natch). It’s a 2000 year model, though, and apparently I’m not the only one who hasn’t been buying lately: Ford just posted a record quarterly loss of $8.7 billion. Yikes!

Now, our relationship with Ford has had its ups (like when they stopped sponsoring UniverSoul Circus) and downs (such as when the company “won” our 2001 Litterbox Award for an ad boasting about how much leather they could cram into one car). But in the spirit of cooperation (see, we were paying attention during Sesame Street), we’ve contacted them with this great cost-cutting idea:

July 25, 2008William C. Ford, ChairFord Motor Company Dear Mr. Ford: On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, may I suggest a way that Ford could dramatically cut costs by reducing employee absenteeism and lowering health care costs? We know that you are a vegetarian. If you encouraged your workers (both current and retired) to switch to a vegetarian diet—as some companies are already doing—and served vegetarian meals in company cafeterias, costs related to absenteeism and health care would drop significantly. According to estimates, the health problems of retired Ford workers alone add about $1,700 to the price of a new car. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the Dieticians of Canada conducted perhaps the largest review ever of studies on vegetarian diets. They concluded that vegetarian diets “provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” They also state, “Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than non-vegetarians as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” As you know, vegetarians get all the protein, vitamins, and fiber that they need without the artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat found in animal flesh. William Castelli, M.D., director of the Framingham Heart Study—the longest-running clinical study in medical history—concluded that “vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country … they have a fraction of our heart attack rate, and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate.” Vegetarians are truly “Built Ford Tough” and are far less likely to keel over from a heart attack on the assembly line or in the boardroom. To help employees transition to a healthy vegetarian diet, you might want to offer free meals initially, including familiar, comforting taste-alikes such as vegetarian Shepherd’s pie and Buffalo wing-style “chicken” nuggets. The short-term cost of these meals will be repaid in spades as workers feel more energetic and become healthier. We’d be happy to provide your cafeteria with a consulting chef, food-preparation tips, product-sourcing information, and recipes, and we’ll gladly provide each Ford worker with a free copy of our “Vegetarian Starter Kit.”I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Bruce FriedrichVice President

Posted by Jeff Mackey

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  • Zaga says:

    I found this latelly, I can’t believe that I’ve been working almost 10 years in a company lead by a veg (somebody told me that Bill was in a vegan diet actually!) and I didn’t know that. I’m vegan, working in México and I’ve tried to convince the medical service about this, including at least a day in the menu fully vegetarian, not just for improving health, but in the efforts to reduce carbon footprint… I just got some texturized soy in a salads bar…I’m working as well in a project by my own to propose new materials that are not animal based, but still under investigation, as soon as I have something I will propose that to the company… just trying to fight from the inside, hope someday somebody open the eyes and say: we can do it.

  • Settor92 says:

    They can be difficult to create and maintain.

  • lynda downie says:

    Good one Derek MD.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Tabitha I contest your assertion that PETA has “so many holes in it.” PETA doesn’t just represent “your” animal but all animals. If you consistently don’t approve of the way they operate fine there are many other AR organizations deserving of your support. Or you could start your own and do things exactly the way you feel they should be done. Are you even a member of PETA? I am and thus as a “shareholder” I can legitimately criticize them if I want. Maybe you could summarize the issues you’re unhappy with and author a guest commentary. I think the occasional guest blog is an idea the PETA Files should entertain.

  • Tabitha says:

    Taylor I’m not a guy but the reason I personally “criticize” so much is I have serious legitimate questions. I AM an animal lover. Therefore I question MY animal being represented by an organization with so many holes in it. That’s all. Nothing malicious. Just questions. And you can’t get answers without going to the source.

  • Derek, MD says:

    Ross Perhaps you haven’t heard that in humans there are no valid reputable studies that show any effect of phytoestrogens on humans. If the James children had deformed beaks or disintegrating organs among other corresponding problems then there is probably something else to blame than soy formula. derek clearly not me although I did add the MD behind my name to differentiate from this animal hater in regards to Jesus eating meat I have also heard rumors that there once was an old lady who lived in a shoe…see I can quote a storybook as well.

  • TAYLOR says:

    OK WHAT CAUGHT ME OF GUARD IS WHY ARE YOU GUYS EVEN ON THIS WEBSITE IF YOU ARE GONNA CRITICIZE IT?!I THINK IT IS COOL THAT THEY CARE ABOUT ANIMALS SO MUCH

  • alyssaaa(: says:

    wow the owner of Ford is a veg? i learned something today. that would be suhweet if the whole ford company went veg or even vegan keep up the good work PETA.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Dr. Breen That’s right but they are fed literally a load of crapground corn soy and still as far as I know chicken litter.

  • derek says:

    What does vegetarian have to do with anything? You people think eating a salad is going to lower the cost of a car? Man you people are out there! No wonder PETA will never do any thing worth while with people that think the way you all do! I mean come on Jesus himself ate meat! Enough said!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Ross That’s funny since most of the soy grown in the States is fed to cattle and they don’t seem to have too much problem with it. Soy has been used in Asia for centuries with nil effects on Asians. It’s a common ploy for the antiveg lobby to try to discredit soy chemicallyprocessed soy should be avoided as if vegns can’t live without it for their protein needs when in fact there are many sources of veg protein. Most beans lentils nuts seeds and grains especially quinoa and amaranth seed contain ample protein. As the USDA says “Protein has many important functions in the body and is essential for growth and maintenance. Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plantbased foods.”

  • S.Q. says:

    Well diet is not the only factor in overall health. If this program is really to be successful PETA should also apply incentives for exercise vaccinations and medical checkups and testing. As well as programs to discourage the comsumption of processed foods smoking drug use as well as too much drinking. And apply programs to assist employees in mental health. I don’t really think Ford would take in all those things and they will certianly not offer them free of charge.

  • Tabitha says:

    Because Nicole what the people who work for Ford eat has nothing WHATSOEVER to do with their quarterly loss. Please forgive those of us that dig credibility. My newspaper as well took a quarterly loss. Is it because I had chicken for dinner?

  • Daniella says:

    Isn’t it ironic that Ross attempts to debunk the research Bruce mentions in his letter and then tries to convinvce people of the evil of people eating soy by talking about a study done on BIRDS? You make no sense Ross. I think that this letter is very well written and nothing if not polite. I like the idea of Peta sending a chef to assist them. Thanks for the great post and great letter. PS And while I will still enjoy all of my soy goodies I’ll be sure not to put any in my bird feedernot that I ever did but I’m sure Ross would like to feel like he made a difference for all vegetarians.

  • Ross says:

    This is the most jacked up piece of crap I have read in ages. people do you notice the use of “According to estimates” not “According to facts”? And “perhaps the largest” not simply “the largest”. another big shred of BS “William Castelli M.D. director of the Framingham Heart Studythe longestrunning clinical study in medical historywho cares?concluded that “vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate.”” that would be from one source of all those those clinical studies. Once the writer of this blog gets at least 5 more will I begin to believe him. here’s and excerpt from “Newest Research On Why You Should Avoid Soy” for all you vegetarians. “Phytoestrogens Panacea Or Poison? The male species of tropical birds carries the drab plumage of the female at birth and ‘colors up’ at maturity somewhere between nine and 24 months. In 1991 Richard and Valerie James bird breeders in Whangerai New Zealand purchased a new kind of feed for their birds one based largely on soy protein.47 When soybased feed was used their birds ‘colored up’ after just a few months. In fact one birdfood manufacturer claimed that this early development was an advantage imparted by the feed. A 1992 ad for Roudybush feed formula showed a picture of the male crimson rosella an Australian parrot that acquires beautiful red plumage at 18 to 24 months already brightly colored at 11 weeks old. Unfortunately in the ensuing years there was decreased fertility in the birds with precocious maturation deformed stunted and stillborn babies and premature deaths especially among females with the result that the total population in the aviaries went into steady decline. The birds suffered beak and bone deformities goiter immune system disorders and pathological aggressive behavior. Autopsy revealed digestive organs in a state of disintegration. The list of problems corresponded with many of the problems the Jameses had encountered in their two children who had been fed soybased infant formula.”

  • Emilee says:

    This was a really well worded letter. Hopefully Ford will really take this to heart and start to transition to vegetarian or maybe even vegan meals.

  • nicole says:

    well i am sick to death of all these commentors putting down all of peta’s actions. at least they are trying this is not bullying!!! it is a way of getting the word out there a way of trying to get more people to stop eating filthy cruel meat. and really tabitha who cares if ford makes more or less money!!! i only care if there are more people eating a lot less meat. sick of people missing the point!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    They should certainly offer vegetarian meals in company cafeterias. There’s nothing Machiavellian or bullying about offering employees a choice. Even workers who don’t go fulltilt veg may like to eat that way once in a while. Try it you might like it. And yes Mr. Ford I drive one of your cars.

  • Judith FFFA says:

    Bruce Great letter. I so enjoy reading your posts on the Huff. A lot of people are hearing you loud and clear! Peace for all animals! Most of my heroes wear masks!

  • Tabitha says:

    So say this bullying which is what it is comes to light. How’s this gonna save the auto industry from rising EVERYTHING except the paychecks of the consumers that buy their cars?

  • Carla says:

    I’m kinda a Fordgirl myself! Two things though one working in an upholstery shop and knowing with all the enviromentally friendly eco materials and faux leathers naugahydevinyles and believe me there are hundreds of styles and colors to choose from out there that look and feel the same but without the smell premature wearing and flaws there really IS no excuse to put real animal skin in vehicles!! And second great letter!! If he is in fact vegetarian then why would he not take up your offer!?? It sounds like a win win situation to me!

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