‘Make Johnny Appleseed Day a Vegan Holiday!’ Fort Wayne Resident Says

Eating Vegan Would Honor the Compassionate Naturalist's Legacy

For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2017

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Fort Wayne, Ind. – In advance of Johnny Appleseed Day, PETA supporter and Fort Wayne local Heather Dahman sent a letter to the mayor of Fort Wayne this morning calling for the town to declare September 26 “Sow Kindness—Go Vegan” Day and to encourage everyone to eat vegan as a tribute to Appleseed, who was a vocal vegetarian and animal protector. The letter points out that Appleseed, who’s buried in Fort Wayne, may have been one of the first to choose a plant-based lifestyle on ethical grounds.

“Johnny Appleseed was kind to the core and dedicated his life not only to planting apple trees to allow all to eat their fruit but also to spreading the idea of compassion for animals,” Dahman says. “It would be fitting to declare Johnny Appleseed Day a day to celebrate vegan eating and to encourage residents of Fort Wayne to promote the values that he spread throughout his life.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that eating meat and dairy “products” has been linked to an increased risk of suffering from heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. By encouraging people to go vegan, Fort Wayne would celebrate Johnny Appleseed, help animals, and protect human health.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry follows.

September 14, 2017

The Honorable Tom Henry

Mayor of Fort Wayne

Dear Mayor Henry,

As an admirer of your work for the environment, I want to thank you for your commitment to climate protection. With this in mind, I’m writing today with an idea that would further assist in our city’s efforts to reduce climate change: Declare September 26, or Johnny Appleseed Day, “Sow Kindness—Go Vegan” Day in Fort Wayne.

As you likely know, Johnny Appleseed traveled throughout the Midwest sowing seeds and planting nurseries. He was also a vocal activist with a deep and abiding love for all animals—indeed, he may have been one of the first to choose a vegetarian lifestyle on ethical grounds. He dedicated his life not only to planting apple trees but also to spreading compassion for animals. Therefore, it would be fitting to declare Johnny Appleseed Day a vegan day of celebration to encourage residents of Fort Wayne to promote the values that he spread throughout his life.

Everyone can celebrate “Sow Kindness—Go Vegan” Day by trying our city’s wonderful selection of vegan foods. Delicious plant-based options can be found at locations across the city, from the Cheesy Quinoa Sandwich at Loving Cafe to the vegan brunch with tofu scramble, doughnuts, and spinach pie at Pembroke Bakery and Cafe and the Zucchini Noodle Bowl at Jai Juice. And our supermarkets are full of vegan options, from fresh produce to the tasty Beyond Burger and more.

Promoting vegan eating addresses environmental concerns, since, as you may know, the United Nations stated that a global shift toward a vegan diet is vital if we are to combat the worst effects of climate change, and switching to a plant-based diet is even better for the environment than switching to a hybrid car. By declaring September 26 “Sow Kindness—Go Vegan” Day, you’d also be supporting local businesses and residents’ health, since vegans have a lower risk of suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, which are some of the biggest killers in this country. Fort Wayne was ranked 36th on the list of the Fattest Cities in America in 2017, and by promoting vegan eating, you’d take our great city from one of the fattest to one of the fittest in no time.

I hope you’ll embrace the compassion embodied by Johnny Appleseed and declare September 26 “Sow Kindness—Go Vegan” Day. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks for your time and attention.


Heather Dahman

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