Decision to Bar Obese Kids, Leaders From Jamboree Brings PETA Offer of Free Veggie Dogs to Troop That Loses the Most Weight
For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2013
Shakira Croce 202-483-7382
Today, PETA sent a letter to Wayne Perry, president of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), with some tips on a humane weight-loss diet that could help Scouts live longer, healthier lives as well as an offer that the group hopes he’ll want to accept. The BSA announced that Scouts and leaders with BMI’s over 40 are not invited to this year’s national Jamboree in West Virginia because the rigors of the hikes, climbs, and other strenuous activities could predispose them to heart attacks and strokes. In its letter, PETA points out that it’s pretty easy to help the boys lose weight if they’re encouraged to do so by being served tasty vegan food at all BSA functions—national and local—because vegans are, on average, significantly slimmer than meat-eaters. PETA points out that the kids may also be motivated to go vegan after they realize that they would be saving animals from being tormented and mutilated on factory farms and from enduring a terrifying and painful death during slaughter.
As an incentive to adopt PETA’s vegan prescription, the group will donate an entire year’s supply of delicious, low-fat veggie dogs to the Scout troop that sheds the most pounds by going vegan.
“Scout leaders can help fight the obesity epidemic by helping the boys see how easy it is to go vegan,” says PETA’s Kenneth Montville, a former Boy Scout. “Being in the Boy Scouts is all about learning, and what better lesson to teach the boys than eating for life: their own and animals’.”
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry follows.
Letter to President Wayne Perry:
July 18, 2013
Boy Scouts of America
Via e-mail: [email protected]
Dear Mr. Perry,
I’m writing as a former Boy Scout on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, in regard to the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) decision to bar Scouts with a body mass index over 40 from participating in your flagship event, the Jamboree. As you strive to teach your Scouts healthy habits, I urge you to implement a nationwide vegan meal policy at all official BSA events in order to help Scouts eat healthier and trim down. We’re happy to offer a year’s supply of low-fat, protein-packed veggie dogs to the troop that loses the most weight by going vegan by this time next summer.
Since vegans are less likely than meat-eaters to be overweight (on average, they are 18 percent thinner), Scout leaders can help their troops be prepared for the physical demands of being a Boy Scout. Roasting veggie dogs over campfires instead of hot dogs laden with cholesterol and saturated fat will help encourage Scouts to switch to healthier vegan versions of their favorite foods. In his famous book Baby and Child Care, the late Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote, “Children who grow up getting their nutrition from plant foods rather than meats have a tremendous health advantage. They are less likely to develop weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.” Indeed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent position statement on vegetarian and vegan diets bolsters Spock’s view, as does the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In addition to these major health benefits, by switching to a vegan diet, each Scout would be staying true to the BSA slogan, “Do a good turn daily,” since every vegan saves animals every day from enduring a terrifying and painful death at a slaughterhouse, where chickens have their throats slit while they are still conscious, and cows and pigs are often dismembered while they are still alive. When it comes to the Boy Scouts’ mission to help young people make “ethical and moral choices,” a vegan policy would turn every Tenderfoot into an Eagle in no time.
By serving vegan meals at all BSA events and encouraging Scouts to eat plant-based foods, you can help kids maintain a healthy weight and earn a badge of compassion. I’d be happy to send vegan recipes and a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit for every Boy Scout troop. Thank you for your consideration.
Youth Outreach, PETA