‘Give Peas a Chance’ Banner Could Be Headed for State Capitol

PETA's Banner May Join Religious Statues With Universal Message That 'Kindness Is the Best Religion of All'

For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2015

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Little Rock, Ark. – As the Universal Society of Hinduism and even the Satanic Temple push to have statues erected on the Arkansas State Capitol grounds alongside the recently approved Ten Commandments monument, PETA is throwing its hat into the ring. In a letter sent today to Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin, PETA requests permission to display a banner that shows the Christian cross, the Muslim star and crescent, the Hindu Aum, and the Jewish Star of David and reads, “Give Peas a Chance: Go Vegan. Kindness Is the Best Religion of All.”

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out that although animals killed for food appear different from us, they experience joy, pain, fear, love, and grief and value their lives, just as we do.

“Chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals are mutilated and killed by the billions simply because they look different from us,” says PETA Senior Director Colleen O’Brien. “PETA’s banner sends the simple message that all of us, no matter our creed, can make the world a more compassionate place for all living beings by choosing vegan meals.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin follows.

July 8, 2015

The Honorable Mark Martin
Arkansas Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I’m writing as a follower of the Jewish faith on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters of all religions, including many in Arkansas. While other groups are proposing to erect monuments in honor of one particular belief system or another, PETA is seeking approval for the placement of a banner at the state capitol that promotes a system of values that people of all faiths, or even those with no religious beliefs, should be able to agree upon: compassion and understanding for all. The artwork features images of peas arranged to represent different religious symbols, including the Christian cross, the Muslim star and crescent, the Hindu Aum, and the Jewish Star of David, and reads, “Give Peas a Chance: Go Vegan. Kindness Is the Best Religion of All.”

The violence inflicted on the billions of animals who are tormented and slaughtered every year for food hinges on a simple lack of empathy for others who may appear different but share with us an interest in enjoying life without experiencing undue fear, pain, or violence. Yet in today’s meat and dairy industries, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they’re still conscious, fish are left to suffocate on the decks of boats or are cut open while they’re still alive, and calves are taken away from their loving mothers within hours of birth so that humans can drink the milk intended for the infants.

Human beings of all nationalities and religions often feel powerless in the face of the discrimination and violence in the world, yet every time that we sit down to eat, we can help actively resist contributing to such suffering by choosing to eat a meal that involves no suffering. Our banner would remind everyone that, regardless of our beliefs, we can share a message of kindness with the world by choosing vegan foods.

We hope you will embrace our idea. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

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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