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Group Says Incentives to Go Vegan Will Reduce Disease, Lower Health-Care Costs
For Immediate Release:February 25, 2010
Contact: Kristina Addington 757-622-7382
Norfolk, Va. -- Today, PETA dispatched a letter to Cara Mudgett, director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in California, explaining how the company could save millions of dollars in claims by providing its policyholders with incentives to adopt a healthy vegan diet. In light of Anthem's plan to increase rates for its customers by as much as 39 percent, PETA urges Mudgett to limit this rate hike to the health insurance provider's meat- and dairy-eating customers. Limiting the rate increase to meat- and dairy-eaters will provide a financial incentive for people to live healthier by going vegan, thus saving the company money in the long run.
"The range of serious diseases linked to eating meat, eggs, and dairy products takes a huge financial toll," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "By encouraging policyholders to go vegan, Anthem Blue Cross would save on claims, employers would see less absenteeism because of illnesses related to the consumption of meat and dairy products, and policyholders would avoid high premiums."
PETA's letter to Cara Mudgett, director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, follows. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
February 25, 2010
Cara MudgettDirectorAnthem Blue Cross
Dear Ms. Mudgett:
On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide, including tens of thousands in California, I am writing to urge you to limit your recently announced insurance rate hikes to your meat- and dairy-eating customers. Because meat and dairy consumption is a major factor in our nation's deadliest health problems, from obesity (the "cheese on everything" syndrome) to heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer of the colon, and strokes, this simple change could improve Anthem Blue Cross's bottom line--while also helping to ensure that your policyholders don't flat line.
The American Dietetic Association and the Dieticians of Canada conducted perhaps the largest review ever of all studies on vegetarian diets and concluded that vegetarians are less prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity than meat-eaters are. Vegetarians and vegans can get all the protein, vitamins, and fiber that they need without the artery-clogging cholesterol and saturated fat found in animal flesh. In fact, meat and dairy consumers get too much protein, as one look at their waistlines can often confirm. By penalizing those whose meat- and dairy-based diets fuel our nation's worst health problems and rising health-care costs--and giving your policyholders a financial incentive to go vegan--Anthem Blue Cross could save millions of dollars as your members begin to require fewer cholesterol-lowering medications, chemotherapy treatments, diabetes drugs, and other expensive trappings of ill health.
In addition to the vast health benefits, by switching to a vegan diet, each of your customers would save more than 100 animals per year from the horrors of intensive farming, in which chickens and turkeys often have their throats cut while still conscious, piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without any painkillers, and calves are removed from their bellowing mothers' sides so that the milk meant for them can be sold at market.
PETA would be happy to provide each of your willing customers with a free copy of our "Vegetarian Starter Kit," packed with delicious recipes, to help them make the transition to a healthy, humane vegan diet. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,Tracy ReimanExecutive Vice President
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