Jesus People for Animals Offers Banner After Texas Shooting

'Give Peas a Chance' Message From PETA's Christian Outreach Division

For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2015

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

In the wake of this week’s shooting at the Muhammad Art Exhibit at Garland, Texas’ Curtis Culwell Center, Jesus People for Animals—PETA’s Christian outreach division—sent a letter this morning asking the center to display a banner that shows peas laid out in the shape of 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. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”

In its letter, Jesus People for Animals—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out that violence, including the torment and slaughter of the billions of animals used who are used for food every year, hinges on a lack of empathy for those who may appear different from us.

“People feel powerless in the face of discrimination and violence, but everyone can help reduce the amount of suffering in the world simply by choosing nonviolent vegan meals,” says Jesus People for Animals Director Sarah Withrow King. “Jesus People for Animals’ banner would remind everyone that ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ means showing mercy to everyone—including those who may seem different from us.”

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PETA’s letter to the Curtis Culwell Center follows.

May 5, 2015

John Wilborn, Director
Curtis Culwell Center

Dear Mr. Wilborn,

I’m writing on behalf of Jesus People for Animals, PETA’s Christian outreach division, to request permission to place a banner on the façade of the Curtis Culwell Center. In the wake of this week’s shooting—in which two men came to your venue ready to inflict mass violence upon the attendees of the Muhammad Art Exhibit—our banner would promote a message of nonviolence toward all living beings. The artwork features images of peas arranged to represent various 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. Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.” This art was displayed on the West Bank and in Paris, the latter right after the Charlie Hebdo office massacre.

The violence inflicted on our fellow creatures who are slaughtered for food hinges on a simple lack of empathy for others who may appear different in some aspects but who share with us an interest in enjoying life without experiencing pain and fear. Yet in today’s industrialized 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. But none of this violence has to happen.

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 made without violence. Our banner would remind everyone that regardless of our beliefs, we can share a message of kindness with the world by choosing a vegan diet.

Our banner will point out that the tenet “Love your neighbor as yourself” should surely mean showing mercy to all, not just to those you agree with or relate to. We hope you will embrace our idea.

Thank you for your consideration.

Grace and peace,

Sarah Withrow King
Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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