As people around the world—from the Pope to Angelina Jolie—voice outrage over a Florida church’s plan to publically burn copies of the Quran on September 11, PETA has a novel idea: How about bringing peas to the table? That’s why we plan to erect this billboard in Gainesville, Florida:
The billboard’s peasful arrangement of different religious symbols promotes tolerance and nonviolence regardless of race, faith, or species, a message that’s pretty apt when people are fighting hammer and tongs over the burning of the Muslim holy book, the plans to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero, and a recent arson at the site of a mosque under construction in Tennessee.
Just like humans who are victimized for being perceived as different, animals who are raised and killed for food would be left in peace if it weren’t for human ignorance, prejudice, and bigotry. On factory farms, piglets are castrated and have their tails cut off without being given any painkillers, cows are often dismembered and skinned while they’re still able to feel pain, and chickens and turkeys—who have never hurt anyone in their lives, but who feel pain just as humans do—have their throats cut while they’re still conscious.
But there is something that everyone can do to reduce the total amount of violence in the world. We can choose meals that did not involve terror, disrespect, and killing. And though we can’t bring back those we lost on that horrific day nine years ago, each of us can save more than 100 lives this year alone just by going vegetarian—or better yet, vegan.
As PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in her talk on nonviolence in Palestine at Christmas a few years ago, “One day, people will stop saying ‘Respect me, I’m a human being,’ and say ‘Respect me, I’m a living being.'”
Please give peas and veggie burgers a chance by pledging to go vegan today.
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth