Historical ‘Mammoth Cheese’ Gets Modern Makeover: PETA Offers President Biden a Megaload of Vegan Cheese Balls

For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382


The first “mammoth cheese,” which weighed an astounding 1,235 pounds, was presented to President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, and now PETA is marking that moment in history (and National Cheeseball Day, April 17) with a special delivery to the “big cheese” himself, President Joe Biden. In a letter sent this morning, PETA is offering to send a mammoth wagonload of vegan cheese balls for him to enjoy and share. The group hopes these little cheese balls will help him make the switch to one of the many delicious and widely available vegan varieties.

“In Thomas Jefferson’s time, there was no factory farming and cheese consumption was a fraction of what it is today,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Modern dairy farming is cruel to cows, harms people’s health, and contributes to greenhouse gases that endanger the planet. PETA urges President Biden to set an example for all Americans by switching to tasty vegan cheeses like cashew, almond, and soy varieties.”

PETA is also offering to donate vegan cheese balls to the teachers and students at C.W. Harris and Ketcham elementary schools. The group notes that more than 75% of students in Washington, D.C., are Black or Latino, up to 80% of whom are lactose intolerant.

Animal agriculture is the single largest source of U.S. methane emissions, which have 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide. Cows who are used to produce milk for human consumption are forcibly impregnated over and over, only for their beloved calves to be taken away. When their bodies wear out after just a few years, they’re sent to slaughter. Every person who goes vegan spares nearly 200 animals each year needless suffering and abuse.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Biden follows.

April 13, 2023

Dear Mr. President:

I’m writing on behalf of PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 5 million members and supporters in the U.S., with a respectful request. Times have changed since the early 1800s, when President Jefferson was presented with a 1,235-pound ball of cheese, inspiring National Cheeseball Day. This April 17, we hope you, as the world’s “Big Cheese,” will accept a huge wagonload of delicious little vegan cheeseballs from PETA for you to enjoy and distribute. We’ll also be donating vegan cheese for all the teachers and students at C.W. Harris and Ketcham elementary schools, which is especially relevant, considering that cow’s milk is one of the primary causes of food allergies among children and that up to 80% of Black and Latino people—who make up more than 75% of the D.C. student population—are lactose intolerant. Other important factors include dairy’s enormous carbon footprint and the immense suffering of cows on dairy farms.

The popularity of vegan cheese is skyrocketing, as ever more Americans ditch dairy and new cruelty-free varieties become available all the time. There are even internet jokes circulating in favor of why to “diss a Brie”! A recent study showed that dairy consumption is down 20% among Gen Zers, 65% of whom say they want a more plant-based diet.

In Jefferson’s time, there was no factory farming. In the dairy industry today, however, mother cows live in miserable, intensive confinement and are forcibly impregnated, only to have their beloved calves taken away from them so that their milk can be sold for adult humans to consume. When you really think about it, you can’t help but see that it’s bizarre, cruel, and disgusting.

We look forward to hearing how to deliver our gift. Thank you for your consideration and for all that you’re doing for the residents of our nation.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

Get the Latest Tips—Right in Your Inbox
We’ll e-mail you weekly with the latest in vegan recipes, fashion, and more!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.