For Immediate Release:
October 5, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – Following news that Amtrak suspended service for the Pacific Surfliner between Oceanside and Irvine, California, due to climate catastrophe–related coastal erosion, PETA sent a letter today to Amtrak CEO Stephen J. Gardner, calling on him to offer only vegan fare on Amtrak trains in order to mitigate environmental damage.
PETA cites a study that found that a shift toward vegan eating would offset a decade’s worth of carbon dioxide emissions and notes that more than half of all U.S. households already buy vegan food products out of concern for animals, the environment, and their own health.
“The meat and dairy industries produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s entire transportation sector,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Amtrak is already on the right track with its vegan dining options, and now PETA is urging the company to switch entirely to animal-friendly fare that spares animals and may just save the planet, too.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Gardner follows.
October 5, 2022
Stephen J. Gardner, CEO
Dear Mr. Gardner:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world—in response to your decision to suspend service for the Pacific Surfliner between Oceanside and Irvine, California, due to coastal erosion related to climate change. We also thank you for including vegan fare in your café cars, and in light of this new development, since the animal agriculture industry is responsible for approximately one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions—according to some estimates, more than the world’s entire transportation sector—we would like you to consider helping to mitigate environmental damage by offering exclusively vegan fare onboard Amtrak trains.
Clearly, natural disasters have increased in intensity and destructive force, as greenhouse gases trap more heat in the atmosphere and increase both global and ocean water temperatures. In the wake of Tropical Storm Kay, which has exacerbated coastal erosion and affected Amtrak’s ability to offer service in Southern California, it’s imperative that we find solutions to the climate catastrophe, but it’s impossible to do so without addressing animal agriculture. A study in the journal Nature Sustainability shows that shifting to plant-sourced foods would remove more than a decade of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere. Each person who goes vegan saves about 1,100 gallons of water, nearly 40 pounds of grain (as nowadays it’s mainly fed to animals raised for food), and 30 square feet of forested land each day. If travelers bought vegan food on Amtrak trains, it would do a lot of good.
There’s another extremely compelling reason to consider serving only vegan food onboard. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals killed for food are smart, sensitive individuals who feel pain and form strong bonds. Yet most of the millions of these animals killed in the U.S. every year are raised on filthy factory farms, and they endure stressful crowding as well as routine mutilations, such as castration and tail-docking—without any pain relief—before being sent on a terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse to undergo a violent death. Each person who opts for tasty vegan meals and snacks spares 200 living, feeling beings this miserable fate each year.
Since 2014, the number of vegans has increased in the U.S. by 500%, and more than half of all U.S. households now specifically seek out vegan food products. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 23% of Americans have been eating more cruelty-free food and sales of vegan items in the U.S. have increased by 90%. With this rise in demand for eco-friendly, plant-based, and cruelty-free foods, it only makes sense to serve exclusively vegan foods and appeal to all your customers.
We hope you’ll accept our request to supply exclusively tasty vegan fare for your riders. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,