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

President Consults PETA on Running Country?

Written by PETA | February 12, 2009
topnews / CC
Barack Obama

OK, maybe that headline is a teensy bit of an exaggeration. What President Obama really said during his town-hall meeting in Fort Myers, Florida, on Tuesday was that he’s “open to any idea, whether it comes from a Democrat or a Republican or a vegetarian ….” Did you catch that? Vegetarians aren’t just mainstream, we’ve been elevated to the status of a political party! Can a faux chicken in every pot be far behind?

We’re so honored by the president’s personal “invitation” that we’ve dashed off a letter giving him one of our best ideas: Stop dumping unhealthy meat, eggs, and dairy products on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Why are kids being force-fed artery-clogging animal products, you ask? Because the NSLP is under the aegis of the USDA, which is in the business of supporting the meat, dairy, and egg industries. This is easy to do if you buy up a bunch of the crap yourself and then foist it off on chronically underfunded schools, which aren’t exactly in a position to say no.

Instead of continuing to prop up an industry that hurts animals, pollutes the environment, and exposes people to a greater risk of heart disease, we think that the government should be in the business of promoting healthy veggies. Only common sense, right? Hopefully, the president agrees.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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  • Nick says:

    Tom I agree with you wholeheartedly you make a rational and extremely intelligent argument and I’m sorry to see so many poeple blind to it’s truth. Kelly and others All the cholesterol required by the body can in fact be produced by the body but the healthiest way is to still intake a percentage of cholesterol from sources of food. The exact percentage varies depending on the person and there ethnic background. Hopefully you read this and look into it further on websites and books not affiliated with peta but with actual medical and scientific data. And please refrain from calling farmers knuckleheads as we are the ones growing your food

  • Marilyn Glasgow says:

    Regarding Michelle Obama wearing fur to her Valentine’s Day dinner. Do you suppose she received it as a gift from Anna Wintour for posing for Vogue?

  • Hannah says:

    I hope that we get our way. I work at an elementary school and all I see these kids eating is arteryclogging poison and tortured animals. If I was big on conspiracy I would think that pharmacy companies and lunch programs work together to create children who will grow into unhealthy adults so the pharmacies can increase the size of their pockets. This food hurts the children. And it will hurt them as adults. Are we willing to run a county on obese ADHD heartattack ready people? Is this what we want to see when we are old and loosing our retirement money to fund federal financial plans for the clinically obese? I for one an not willing to watch my country go down in a fury of flaming fat.

  • AaronC says:

    Really? Obamas wife was furcoating it? That totally sucks. Mobilise.

  • S Fennelly says:

    Did anyone watch the news over the Valentine’s Day weekend? I felt fore sure that when the “chosen one” was seen around Chicago taking his wife to dinner after playing pickup basketball and getting a haircut that his wife was wearing a fur coat. Why isn’t PETA up in arms about that or is the “chosen one” off limits?

  • Izzy says:

    While I agree that the school lunches need desperately to improve and that animal rights are terribly important. I personally got hooked after Shirley Manson cried it out at a concert I don’t think that it is or should be the most important thing on President Obama’s mind. The country needs to back on its feet before anyone will really accept inconvenient reforms. Also There’s alot of research that questions the nature or existence of altruism even in humans. I do love that PETA understands that the world is interconnected absolutely and that our issue can be every issue.

  • Beth Ann Perrone says:

    Yeah I’m pretty sure President Obama was mocking vegetarians when he made that comment. But who cares? His smart mouth just brought on exactly what he asked for ideas from us vegetarians. And we don’t back off lightly. Bring it on!

  • angela says:

    This is an amazing idea! This is exactly what I want for my children. I dont want to have to pack my childs lunch every single day so they can actually eat healthy and live longer but if I have to do it I will! But it would be way better to just know all the children are healthy!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Tom The human body by itself produces all the cholesterol it needsthere is zero necessity to obtain it elsewhere. Also Lynda is right. Compassion is not in the least limited to the human species. Experimental evidence reveals that chimpanzees will help other unrelated humans and conspecifics without a reward showing that they share crucial aspects of altruism with humans. ScienceDaily In the Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology George Rice and Priscilla Gainer of Agnes Scott College reported that rats actually help each other. The researchers confronted rats with a companion in a highly uncomfortable situation Strapped in a harness hoisted off the floor the companion wriggled convulsively and squealed. Without any special training the rats were prepared to press a lever that lowered the companion to the floor. That “altruistic” response was not due to the animals’ enjoyment of being able to move an object up and down they did not press the lever if doing so merely lowered a Styrofoam block.

  • Emily says:

    Brandie Amen the lunch options at my sister’s school haven’t changed much since I was a student. The choices are still largely fattyfried meats and carbs hardly a veggie in sight. The closest they offer is a “side salad” which as you pointed out is just shredded lettuce and ranch dressing. French fries tater tots etc. appear on the menu at least a few times a week along junk entrees like pizza pockets and grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s not like the debate is whether the kids should be given some lean high protein meat or vegan entrees everything they’re being offered is pure junk. I find it hard to believe anyone would argue more veggies would be less nutritious than the popular “steak nugget” or “walking taco” cheese ground beef and iceberg lettuce in a bag of FRITOS. We pack healthy meals but many kids depend on the free lunch program as the foundation of their day’s nutrition. If we really want a healthier generation the school lunch program seems like an important start. It seems so hypocritical to walk kids from health class to the cafeteria for a meal of literally from her lunch menu “Waffle Stix Sausage Links Hashbrown Patty and Orange Juice Cup” or “Italian Chicken Strips Soft Pretzel Mashed PotatoesGravy and Mandarin Oranges.”

  • lynda downie says:

    Tom Compassion and other cognitive states are not unique to humans. Check out research in such areas as cognitive ethology cognitive science comparative cognition etc.

  • David says:

    Maybe we should expand the focus a bit. PETA has already pointed out the nutritional benefits of replacing the slop served in the NSLP with healthy vegetarian food. Now why not turn it over to the science teachers who can teach children how to grow their own vegetables in gardens that they planted while studying ecology and environmental issues which they will harvest and then take to their home economics classrooms where a teacher will help them to develop and cook delicious recipes for the vegetables they just harvested and then write about the whole experience in English class as a way to improve their writing skills and then of course proceed to math class where they will learn how to take the seeds they saved when harvesting the vegetables and learn to calculate the expected yield of vegetables they expect to harvest next year after all of the appropriate variables are factored in etc. the possibilities are endless!

  • Treehugger says:

    thnk you! I make keychains for my local veggie partners about peta . Its cute I seen video banned form superbowl and I think that bowl should have some vegg ies . I’ve been feel ing slow lately is it the fact i’m eating no maet? My skin has tu rned. pale

  • Nobu says:

    Sophiya I like the way you just make up random facts.

  • Kelley says:

    School lunches are absolute slopin the school where I work 80 of all this crap ends up in the garbage anyway.

  • Rachel A says:

    Tom There is plenty of evidence to suggest that modern animal farming produces “food” that damages human health. That’s not to say that other things are not also dangerous but it’s very easyand healthier in many casesto live well on a veggie diet. I believe we started eating meat because a long time ago we had no choice. It was either eat flesh or starve. In fact it was like that until recently but not any more. We have a chance to move forward better protect the environment and provide food for every human soul on earth with the added bonus of preventing animal cruelty. Look at the evidence give it some thought… you owe it to yourself. Thanks Yuka

  • Mikah says:

    Brandie It was Jack that called Tom a knucklehead. Jack is not a good spokesperson for the cause.

  • Tahler says:

    Though it’s questionable how Obama’s comment was meant PETA didn’t waste any time taking advantage of it and it would be great if someone in government followed up on their offer. Though there has been improvement in school lunch programs in the last several years so much more could be done with more healthful offerings. Reply With Quote

  • Curtis says:

    Not a big fan of Obama but I am glad to see PETA trying to get him to improve the veg options in school lunch programs! P.S. Chelsea Clinton has been a vegetarian for many years and she says she still is today!

  • Kurt K says:

    Kelly what do you mean farmers are so desperate? And why do you assume that farmers are knuckleheads? Do you know any farmers? As far as your statement goes that no scientist would support what Tom has said you’re the one that is on drugs. Tom was being polite in his comments but yet you find it necessary to call him a “knucklehead.” You are compasionate indeed.

  • brandie says:

    the lunch provided in public schools is horrendous. forget the meat products have you seen what those kids are being fed? iceberg lettuce that looks aweful. ranch dressing that is high in fat. diced fruit that is drowned in syrup. and cheese on toquito looking things that looks like rubber. i am asubstitue teacher for a public school district. i have to walk the kids throuogh the lunch line. the grilled cheese sandwhich is is white bread lardy yellow butter and rubber cheese. it’s horrible.

  • BeetEater says:

    Jack is right. Human evolution is linked directly to soy and tofu not any sort of dietary freedom offered by being an omnivore. Those sharp pointy teeth you have are actually for carrots.

  • Sophiya says:

    I am so glad Obama is president. In his first few days as president one of his first acts are to help animals

  • kelly says:

    “we only evolved the capacity for compassion and other higher thought processes due to an increased intake of dietary cholesterol and other animal products” How delusional can you be Tom? What drugs do you swallow that makes you say something that no scientist or medical professional on earth would support? You farmers are so desperate. Why does farming always attract knuckleheads?

  • Jack says:

    Dude he’s been saying that line for months! Not that it’s a bad thing. And he’s put his money where his mouth is his adviser Cass Sunstein is about as hardcore as they get when it comes to AR stuff.

  • Tom says:

    Dear PETA While I appreciate and sympathize with your passion for animal rights I feel that your ideas about human nutrition are outdated. Instead of incorrectly referring to ALL eggs and dairy as “unhealthy” and “arteryclogging” in your quest to find better conditions for the animals I among others would prefer that you instead promote responsible animal farming stricter legislation against CAFOsFactory Farms and updated nutrition policies that are not driven by the corn and soy industries whose highlyprocessed and preservativeladen products you seem to advertise in every other article. Compassion is unique to humans as a species but unfortunately we are omnivores and in fact we only evolved the capacity for compassion and other higher thought processes due to an increased intake of dietary cholesterol and other animal products. Please leave the nutrition advice to the nutritionists. Tom

  • JahLove says:

    It seems to me like obama was in fact mocking vegetarians not “elevating our status”. Obama has also said he loves his steak and wont give it up in front of a vegetarian interviewer during a public meeting at Gibbs High School Saint Petersburg Florida August 1st 2008

  • Meech! says:

    I’m tired of hearing about underfunded schools opting for whatever food is thrown their way. If kids are eating the processed crap they’ll keep serving it. If not the ‘food’ gets wasted and maybe someone will learn a lesson. Oh yeah… thanks for reaching out to the Prez in the name of vegetarianism and good health!!

  • Rikki Nelson says:

    Someone should stop the Irag Government from killing dogs by first poisoning them and then shooting them in the midsection to watch them suffer until they die. STOP THIS INHUMANE TREATMENT NOW!!!!

  • Jessica says:

    Can you offer a cheaper alternative?

  • Mara says:

    Thank you! I’m a vegetarian and in my senior year of high school. This year our school generated enough money to give EVERYONE free lunch. Just one problem the only thing I have to eat is a chemically altered 375 calorie bean and chese burrito. Much as I love burrito’s this one is not up to par AT ALL. Hopefully we will be getting more vegetarian options soon

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