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Place 'I Am Not a Nugget—Go Vegan!' Ad on Lunch Trays,
and We'll Write the District a Check, Says Group
For Immediate Release:August 22, 2012
Contact:Kaitlynn Kelly 202-483-7382
Tucson -- This morning, PETA sent a letter to Dr. John Pedicone,
superintendent of the Tucson Unified School District, with an offer the group
hopes he can't refuse: Place PETA's ad
that shows a chicken next to the caption "I Am Not a Nugget—Go
Vegan!" on cafeteria lunch trays, and PETA will pay the school district a
sum to be negotiated. The proposal comes in the wake of news reports that the
district is facing a $17 million budget shortfall and has proposed a series of
public meetings to discuss what cuts should be made.
"PETA's offer is a win-win solution for Tucson's
schools," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "It will
help bring in a new source of much-needed revenue, and—if kids heed the ad's
message—it will keep students healthier and help stop animal suffering at the
In its letter, PETA points out that a whopping 64 percent of
the meat tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was contaminated with E.
coli and that everyone who goes vegan saves the lives of more than 100
animals every year. As an added incentive, PETA is offering to sponsor—free of
charge—a meal featuring faux-chicken nuggets for the entire faculty and student
body at a school of Pedicone's choice.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Tucson Unified School District
Superintendent John Pedicone follows.
August 22, 2012
John J. Pedicone, Ph.D.SuperintendentTucson Unified School
Dear Dr. Pedicone:
On behalf of PETA and our
more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Arizona,
I'm writing with an idea to help get your district's budget back in the black:
Open up cafeteria lunch trays to paid ads promoting healthy foods and behavior
for kids and allow us to run the first ad featuring an adorable chicken
proclaiming, "I Am Not a Nugget—Go Vegan." To complement these ads,
we urge you to increase vegan choices in your schools' cafeterias, as many
others have done across the country.
As a parent of an elementary
school student, I know how important it is for all children to have access to
healthy plant-based meals at school. Feeding kids chicken and other meat and
dairy products puts them at risk for a slew of health problems. For example, a
study by Consumer Reports found that two-thirds of chicken in
grocery stores was infected with either salmonella or campylobacter—or both—and 64 percent of meat tested by the Food and Drug
Administration was contaminated with E. coli. Meat, dairy products, and
eggs, which contain no fiber and are loaded with cholesterol and saturated
animal fat, are also primary contributors to Arizona's growing
childhood-obesity rates. Vegans, on the other hand, tend to be significantly
healthier than their meat-eating counterparts. On average, they weigh 18
percent less, and according to the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, "[c]hildren
who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a
tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems,
diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer." Healthy vegan
meals such as veggie tacos made with beans and rice also tend to be less
expensive than meat and dairy products.
In addition to improving
their own health, every vegan saves the lives of more than 100 animals per
year. In today's industrialized meat and
dairy industries, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while
they're still conscious, piglets are castrated without being given any
painkillers, fish are suffocated or cut open while they're still alive on the
decks of fishing boats, and calves are torn away from their mothers within
hours of birth. Providing students with vegan meals would encourage them to
make healthy, kind choices in other aspects of their lives.
If you agree to our offer,
we'll also supply a delicious vegan lunch, consisting of protein-packed and
cholesterol-free faux-chicken nuggets, chili sprinkled with vegan cheese, and
corn on the cob to the students and faculty at one of the schools in your
district. Please contact me to discuss this exciting partnership. I look
forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely, Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice
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.