PETA Calls for State Subsidy for Animal-Free Agriculture After 30,000 Cows Freeze to Death

Authorities Asked to Support Farmers With Long-View Switch to Crops Over Cows: Good for Farmers, Health, Environment, and Animals

For Immediate Release:
January 4, 2016

Lakisha Ridley 202-483-7382

Today, PETA sent a letter to the Texas Department of Agriculture regarding compensation for losses following winter storm Goliath—which killed more than 30,000 cows used for dairy foods—and, in it, urges authorities to help farmers make a progressive and farsighted switch away from animal-based agriculture. As PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat,” notes, the Worldwatch Institute estimates that raising animals for food is responsible for 51 percent of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, which in turn fuel the rise of deadly storms like Goliath.

“As climate change worsens, freak storms such as Goliath only stand to increase, and raising animals for food is a key contributor to the greenhouse gases that are warming our world,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “More and more people are switching to plant foods to improve their health, help the environment, and reduce cruelty to animals, which has been exposed over and over again. If the state adopts a long view, it will help farmers adjust to a new way of life.”

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PETA’s letter to Sid Miller, commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, follows.

January 4, 2016

Sid Miller
Texas Department of Agriculture

Dear Mr. Miller,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to urge the Department of Agriculture to support farmers affected by winter storm Goliath by doing something with lasting implications for their livelihood, the taxpayers, and the environment. The scientific consensus is that animal-based agriculture is unsustainable in the long run, with its drain on water resources, production of greenhouse gases, and treatment of cows as nothing more than milk-making machines. Rather than compensating farmers with public funds so that they can conduct business as usual, how about helping them transition from raising animals to raising crops?

As climate change worsens, freak storms such as Goliath will surely increase, and raising animals for food is one of the key contributors to the havoc being wreaked on weather systems. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for fully 51 percent of all human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions that are warming our world. As for water consumption, it takes an estimated 1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of cow’s milk, while it takes just 50 gallons of water to produce a gallon of soy milk.

More and more people are switching to plant-food production for reasons concerning health, the environment, and the cruelty to animals that has been exposed again and again. Cows, who must be kept in a cycle of pregnancy and birth in order to produce milk, are violently inseminated on what the dairy industry itself refers to as a “rape rack.” A mother cow will bellow for her calf for days after the baby is taken from her. After just a fraction of her natural lifespan, the cow will be “spent,” unable to meet milk quotas, and will be forced onto a crowded truck to the slaughterhouse, where, weakened from her existence in a factory-like environment and the traumatic journey in all weather, her legs may buckle beneath her, preventing her from walking to her own death.

Please be forward-thinking by seizing this opportunity to subsidize the end of a disastrous industry and instead sow the seeds of change by supporting the switch to plant-based agriculture now. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

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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