In Cuba, the ‘Lettuce Ladies’ Stepped Out—and People Went Nuts

Published by PETA.

Part 3

The “Lettuce Ladies” have had a busy few days in Cuba. Yesterday, they met with two Havana-area animal-protection groups in order to deliver needed veterinary supplies and plenty of treats for their new Cuban friends of the canine persuasion.

Today began with a splash of color that got the whole of Havana buzzing: After rolling up in a bright pink classic car, our Lettuce Ladies hit the streets wearing their signature bright-green bikinis.

Turns out, good news travels fast. Word of the ladies’ visit had spread, and our activists arrived to a crowd of media representatives and people who wanted to get a closer look.

The bustling scene drew the attention of local residents and tourists in the area, and before long, people were clamoring for copies of PETA’s free vegan starter kit faster than we could hand them out. For some Havana residents, vegan eating was a totally new concept, and their curiosity was definitely piqued by the commotion and enthusiasm that followed the Lettuce Ladies through the city.

One local man who has been vegetarian for years and owns a local meat-free restaurant came to meet the ladies, as did a small group of vegetarians who were thankful for PETA Latino’s outreach and expressed interest in establishing lasting connections with PETA in order to help improve the lives of animals in the community.

Taking a Message of Kindness to Local Schools

After their hectic morning passing out leaflets and talking with the press, the Lettuce Ladies set out to meet with a much different audience.

With an array of materials in hand from TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division, the activists went to a Havana-area school to deliver an important message: As schools face an epidemic of violence and bullying, it’s never been more important to teach students the value of compassion and empathy when interacting with each other and the animals around them. Kids and school officials alike loved the presentation, expressing interest in working with PETA again in the future.

The school’s motto is “Making a Difference,” and our Lettuce Ladies certainly felt like they spent a very busy day in Cuba doing just that. Their trip has been one of the most head-turning events to hit Havana, but they aren’t interested only in turning heads—they want to change minds.

Keep reading to see everything that the Lettuce Ladies did while they were in Cuba, and be sure to check out all the other places our activists–including our Banana Boys–have gone to spread a message of kindness.

Originally published March 2, 2017

Part 2

After Touching Down in Cuba, ‘Lettuce Ladies’ Get to Work

Wasting no time, our vegan ambassadors the “Lettuce Ladies” hit the ground running after arriving on their first-ever flight to Cuba, with plenty of Spanish-language vegan starter kits and a slew of veterinary supplies in hand.

lettuce ladies cuba trip - vegan starter kits in tow

It’s not all photo shoots and glamour—these volunteers are working hard to bring awareness and relief to the communities they visit. In this behind-the-scenes shot, one activist helps sort much-needed supplies that will be delivered to a veterinary clinic and local animal-rescue groups:

lettuce ladies cuba trip: sorting vet supplies

With travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba eased, our leafy-green beauties hopped aboard a flight to Havana in order to spread the vegan message to locals and tourists alike. They had a special delivery in tow: plenty of deworming and mange medications, flea and tick prevention, wound disinfectant, leashes, and collars—as well as medical supplies, including sutures, gauze, syringes, and surgical gloves and masks. And of course, a treat or two:

lettuce ladies cuba trip: treats for local dos

The Lettuce Ladies also distributed TeachKind’s Share the World Spanish-language curriculum kits to Havana-area elementary schools. The kid-friendly program offers easy-to-understand analogies that help students see things from another’s point of view, age-appropriate lessons on the Golden Rule, and tips on ways that young people can help animals.

If you want to help PETA continue spreading the message of compassion to people all over the world, please consider supporting our life-changing, eye-catching, heartwarming work.

lettuce lady cuba trip: VSKs for the community

lettuce ladies cuba trip: meeting a local puppy

Want to learn more about the Lettuce Ladies’ trip to Cuba? Keep reading below, and check back for updates.

Originally posted February 28, 2017

Part 1

Havana Bound: ‘Lettuce Ladies’ Take Their First-Ever Trip to Cuba

now boarding: lettuce ladies cuba trip is underway

As PETA’s official vegan ambassadors, the “Lettuce Ladies” are all about going the distance. They’ve been spotted on Capitol Hill, the icy streets of Kazakhstan, and just about every point in between.

Now, in a historic first, they’re heading to Havana.

It had been more than 50 years since a U.S. airline last flew to Cuba’s capital, and for the first time ever, two Lettuce Ladies—carrying green suitcases that proclaim, “Vegan Ambassador to Cuba,” and wearing little more than strategically placed lettuce leaves—were on board.

Their mission? To encourage new friends on the island to help animals by going vegan.

lettuce ladies cuba trip is underway

After touching down at José Martí International Airport—and no doubt turning a few heads—the leafy lovelies were allowed to enter through the VIP immigration line (that’s Very Important Produce). They’re spending Wednesday delivering veterinary supplies and Share the World humane-education kits to animal-rescue groups and schools. Thursday’s agenda has them at Havana’s popular Obispo Street on Thursday to pose for photos and hand out Spanish-language vegan starter kits, veggie-shaped pens, and stickers.

Lettuce Ladies arrive in Cuba

They’ll also have plenty of treats for any dogs they meet.

It’s all in a day’s work, but you don’t have to be a Lettuce Lady to let your family and friends know why animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way. Order a free vegan starter kit in Spanish or English.

Compassion is the same in any language.

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“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind