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Group Asks Lakewood Church Pastor to Promote Compassion for All God's Creatures This Easter
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2012
Contact: Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Houston -- With Easter right around the corner, PETA has sent a letter
to pastor, author, and broadcaster Joel Osteen with an offer that will
help his congregation celebrate the holiday in style: Hang PETA's "Blessed Are
the Merciful: Go Vegan" banner, which features an image of a little
pig, in the church, and PETA will prepare a delicious Easter Sunday faux-ham
meal with all the trimmings for his parishioners. As PETA explains in the
letter to Osteen—who has long encouraged his followers not to eat pork because
it is "unclean"—crowded factory farms and slaughterhouses are
breeding grounds for disease, so beef, chicken, and other meat also carry a
high risk of being tainted with salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria.
What's more, the meat industry inflicts enormous suffering on animals, who
depend on humans to show them mercy.
"When slaughterhouse floors and fishing boat decks are
crawling with bacteria, all meat is 'unclean,'" says PETA Associate
Director Christopher Holbein. "PETA is standing by to help Joel Osteen's
churchgoers show love and mercy to all God's creatures this Easter by choosing
delicious, healthy, and humane meat-free meals."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Joel Osteen follows.
March 29, 2012
The Reverend Joel OsteenJoel Osteen Ministries
2 pages via fax
Dear Mr. Osteen,
On behalf of People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and
supporters, including thousands in Texas, thank you for encouraging your
parishioners to eliminate pork from their diets. We would like to reinforce
your message by offering you a banner—which features the image of a little pig
and reads, "Blessed Are the Merciful: Go Vegan"—to hang inside or
outside the church in time for Easter. (A copy of the artwork is attached.) As
thanks for displaying the banner, we'd be happy to give your parishioners a
delicious Easter Sunday faux-ham meal.
The health reasons you have
cited in your sermons for not eating pigs largely apply to other animals as
well. As the American Dietetic Association points out, meat-eaters are more
susceptible to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity than vegetarians
are. In addition, animals on factory farms are
intensively confined in filthy conditions and slaughtered with equipment that
is contaminated with feces, vomit, and other bodily fluids. These grossly
unsanitary environments breed enormous amounts of bacteria. According to
a Consumer Reports survey, a whopping two-thirds of
grocery store chicken meat is tainted with campylobacter or salmonella, and
more than 70 percent of meat tested by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention was found to be contaminated by E. coli.
As Jesus said, "Blessed
are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." An ever-growing number of
Christians have come to believe that eating the flesh of God's creatures
supports the unholy cruelty of today's factory farms and slaughterhouses, where
chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they're still conscious,
piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without any painkillers, fish
are suffocated or cut open alive on the decks of fishing boats, and calves are
taken away from their loving mothers within hours of birth. For more
information, please visit Meat.org.
I think you would agree that
Jesus would be horrified by the cruelty that is inflicted on animals to satisfy
people's taste for meat, especially when so many healthful vegan options are
there for the taking. We would be pleased to send you free copies of our
"Christianity and Vegetarianism" pamphlets, vegetarian/vegan starter
kits, and children's stickers showing a baby chick declaring, "Jesus loves
me too!" Thank you for your consideration.
Christopher HolbeinAssociate Director
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.