A Plea to People of All Faiths or No Faith to Agree: Compassion Counts for All Living Beings
For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2017
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Sacramento, Calif. – Following reports windows were shattered and bacon was wrapped around the door handles of a mosque in Davis, PETA is asking for the chance to promote peace and understanding for every living being—regardless of religion, nationality, or species.
In a letter sent today to the president of the Islamic Center of Davis, PETA has requested space to place a sign outside the building featuring images of peas arranged to represent different religious symbols—including the Muslim crescent and star, the Christian cross, the Jewish Star of David, and the Hindu Aum—next to the words “Give Peas a Chance. Go Vegan. Nonviolence Begins on Our Plates.” PETA is also sending the mosque vegan halal hummus and chips for devotees.
“Violence stems from a lack of empathy for others who are perceived as different and, therefore, can be abused,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes to get people talking about extending respect to all living beings, because if we can relate to who’s on our plate, we can certainly relate to our fellow human beings.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out that animals used for food experience joy, pain, fear, love, and grief and value their lives, just as humans do.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Hamed Elmashad, president of the Islamic Center of Davis, follows.
January 26, 2017
Islamic Center of Davis
Dear Mr. Elmashad,
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across California, we are so sorry to hear about the vandalism—including the bacon strips left on the door handles—at the Islamic Center of Davis. As vegans, we promote understanding and respect for all living beings, regardless of religion, race, gender, or species, and we reject hatred and gratuitous violence in all forms.
May we suggest a gesture that could help promote a message of peace to the Davis community—and perhaps even reach those responsible for this despicable act? PETA would like to place a sign outside the Islamic Center of Davis building, which would promote respect and compassion for all. The artwork features images of peas arranged to represent different religious symbols, including the Islamic star and crescent, the Christian cross, the Hindu Aum, and the Jewish Star of David, and the text reads, “Give Peas a Chance. Go Vegan. Nonviolence begins on our plates.”
Human beings of all nationalities and religions often feel powerless in the face of all the discrimination and violence in the world, yet every time we sit down to eat, we can help stop suffering by choosing a nonviolent meal. While opting for a veggie burger or falafel instead of a chicken kebab or steak sandwich won’t create instant global peace, it will reduce the sum total of suffering and can make people think about what more is possible.
Placing PETA’s sign at the Islamic Center of Davis building would be a simple way to promote peace, understanding, empathy, and compassion, and it would serve as a rebuke to the hateful act committed by someone who missed some of the most basic and important lessons in life. We’ll also be sending some delicious vegan hummus and chips for your community to enjoy. Thank you for your consideration.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk