PHOTOS: ‘Doughnuts’ on Stilts Have an Urgent Message Amid COP28 Climate Conference

Published by David James Olsen.
5 min read

World leaders addressing the climate catastrophe should ditch meat, eggs, and dairy. They should also inspire everyone to prevent animals from being used for clothing. The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28)—taking place November 30 through December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates—has received a number of powerful wake-up calls from animal advocates.

Unmissable, stilt-walking PETA supporters dressed as sprinkled sweet treats visited the Big Apple on December 8 to help climate activists hand out thousands of vegan doughnuts along with information about economist Kate Raworth’s doughnut model of economics, an environmental action plan that asks everyone to stop eating animal-derived foods to not only save animals’ lives but also the planet.

PETA supporters on stilts are dressed as donuts in Times Square

The action is in support of the Plant Based Treaty’s appeal to put food systems at the forefront of combating the climate catastrophe—an initiative that treaty representatives will discuss during a news conference at COP28 on December 10. COP28 is awash in meat and dairy industry representatives who realize that people are becoming aware of the impact of animal-based agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions.

people in Times Square pose for photos with PETA supporters on stilts dressed as donuts

A huge percentage of greenhouse gases, particularly methane, come from the meat and dairy industries, so everyone must take personal responsibility to dry up demand.

PETA hands out free vegan donuts in Times Square

Previously, on December 1, PETA U.K.’s animal defenders urged leaders at the event to go vegan to spare animals and help protect the environment. Police eventually arrested and removed the advocates. Fashion designer Stella McCartney also showed up to announce a new and innovative clothing collaboration with PETA.

at COP28, a PETA U.K. 'cow' and 'butcher' stand near the Conference with the Dubai skyline behind them, holding a sign that reads "Beware the Butchers! They're Killing the Planet, Us, and You, Too"

Why COP28 Must Go Vegan

On December 1, a PETA U.K. supporter bodypainted as a black-and-white cow held a provocative sign reading, “Beware the Butchers! They’re Killing the Planet, Us, and You, Too.” At her waist, she wore a “Go Vegan” button. Alongside her was a PETA U.K. advocate dressed as a butcher to cut to the point more clearly. Although police ended up detaining the animal defenders, attendees of the conference couldn’t ignore PETA U.K.’s message.

at COP28, a PETA U.K. 'cow' and 'butcher' raise awareness outside the Conference with a sign that reads "Beware the Butchers! They're Killing the Planet, Us, and You, Too"

COP28 previously announced that it would go “mostly vegan,” which is an important step, but world leaders must set an example for everyone else by going all the way. PETA entities have been pushing the COP conference to stop using animals as food for years—for instance, PETA Asia’s “Lettuce Ladies” appeared at COP27. And celebrities urged COP26 to adopt the Plant Based Treaty. The conference could easily go vegan, and many groups along with PETA have called for this shift.

If the event intends to protect the environment, its menu must be completely animal-free.

Unsurprisingly, meat, egg, and dairy promoters are also at COP28 to sow misinformation about the impact of animal-derived foods. The Guardian even published a feature about the animal agriculture industry’s plan “to be on the ground at COP28 in large numbers” along with industry lobbyists. According to some documents, JBS Foods, Global Dairy Platform, and the North American Meat Institute are among those expected to be sending representatives.

Meat Is Murder, and Bovine Mammary Secretions Are for Calves, Not Humans

An animal is not a meal. We must see every living, feeling being as someone and stop exploiting our fellow animals for their flesh and secretions. Mother cows produce milk for their babies to help them grow. Although cow’s milk is most commonly referred to as “dairy,” that term is a misleading euphemism that the industry relies on for marketing and sales.

at COP28, a PETA U.K. 'cow' and 'butcher' raise awareness outside the Conference with a sign that reads "Beware the Butchers! They're Killing the Planet, Us, and You, Too"

Stella McCartney’s New Collab With PETA

Longtime PETA supporter and fashion designer Stella McCartney—daughter of another major PETA supporter, Sir Paul McCartney—announced a fresh collab at COP28.

Stella McCartney is launching a new campaign with PETA to emphasize innovative materials to replace animal-derived leather, fur, feathers, and fills.

Now that it’s easy to make and buy vegan clothes, animals should never be killed and used for clothing. The production of leather, fur, and feathers—which are torn off animals—is massively destructive to the environment and keeps worsening the climate catastrophe. All vegan leather and polyurethane, vegan fur, and vegan down impact the environment much less than animal-derived materials.

As future COP events take place, PETA will do everything possible to persuade the conference to go vegan and fully align with its own stated objectives. No truly environmentally conscious meeting would serve flesh, eggs, or bovine mammary secretions.

to represent how PETA is urging COP28 to "go all the way" vegan instead of "mostly vegan", this shows one of PETA's Lettuce Ladies holding a sign that reads "Lettuce Save The Planet! Go Vegan", with inset images of a cow, a pig, and a chicken

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

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