Not ‘Bacon’! PETA Asks Senior Center to Rename Therapy Pig ‘Petunia’

PETA Offers Bacon-Free Lunches to Celebrate Sensitive, Intelligent Pig Who Helps Alzheimer's Patients

For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2016

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Anchorage, AK – A therapy pig at the Turnagain Social Club has been a welcome helper there, and in a letter sent to the senior center this morning, PETA asks that her name be changed from the disrespectful “Bacon” to “Petunia”—or any other pleasing name that’s not associated with the mass slaughter of sensitive pigs—and that she never be eaten or sold or given away to be consumed.

PETA also encourages the club not to serve any bacon, ham, or other pig-derived meat, noting that vegan meals spare pigs intense confinement in filthy warehouses, the pain experienced when their tails are cut off and their teeth are clipped—often without painkillers—and the terror of being hung upside down and bled to death, sometimes while they’re still conscious. Studies show that vegan meals can also help protect people’s health, as eating meat—especially processed meat—is linked to not only Alzheimer’s disease but also heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. PETA is offering to provide residents with vegan foods that mimic the taste of pork but skip the suffering.

“The Turnagain Social Club has seen firsthand how good-natured, playful, affectionate, sensitive, and social pigs can be,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is encouraging a more loving and respectful name for this beloved therapy pig, as well as a healthy, pig-free lunch menu that spares all ‘Bacons’ immense suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—has offered to provide the center with delicious healthier vegan ham slices, veggie dogs, and cruelty-free bacon free of charge.

For more information, please visit PETA.org. I can be reached at 323-767-6487 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

PETA’s letter to Turnagain Social Club owner and President Koreen Mateaki follows.

Koreen Mateaki

Owner and President

Turnagain Social Club

Dear Ms. Mateaki,

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many across Alaska, with a request regarding the therapy pig who gives stimulation—and smiles—to Turnagain Social Club patients: Will you please rename her something pleasant, like Rose or Petunia, instead of branding her with a name associated with the slaughter of her species? We also beg you to ensure that she will always have a loving home and will never be eaten, sold, or given away to be consumed.

As you probably know, pigs are extremely good-natured. They’re playful, affectionate, and sensitive—and they’re smarter than dogs by some measures. They’re also highly social beings who require things to do and see as well as others to love, along with a proper physical environment. Before becoming someone’s bacon, factory-farmed pigs spend their entire lives confined to filthy warehouses and are denied everything that is natural and important to them, including playing, lying in the sun, and socializing. Parts of their tails are hacked off, their teeth are cut, and male piglets are castrated—often all without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they’re hung upside down and bled to death, frequently while still conscious.

Will you also help this little piggy and others like her by committing to not serving bacon, ham, or other pig-derived products at Turnagain? Rejecting meat is a great way to protect the center’s patients, too, since eating it—especially the processed kind—has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Unlike animal-derived meat, pork-free ham, vegan bacon, and veggie dogs are healthier, cruelty-free, and full of fiber—and they have no cholesterol at all.

We’d be delighted to donate tasty and healthier vegan ham slices, Porkless Bites, veggie dogs, or cruelty-free bacon to the center for the seniors’ lunches. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

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