PETA Calls Gov.’s ‘Shorter Showers’ Plea a Short-Sighted Public Relations Move

For Immediate Release:
July 19, 2021

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Sacramento, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on residents to cut back on their water consumption, which PETA likens to asking alcoholics to drink only two beers a day, so the animal rights group fired off a letter to him this morning pointing out that according to the Pacific Institute, 47% of California’s water-use footprint comes from meat and dairy farming—meaning that if the governor wants to do something serious about the drought rather than making a good-sounding but hollow appeal, he’ll go vegan and encourage other Californians to do the same. Vegans already save more water per day than the 15% reduction that Newsom is suggesting.

“A shower is just a drop in the bucket compared to the gallons guzzled up by California’s meat and dairy industries,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA has a real plan and real resources to help reduce water use: vegan starter kits that Gov. Newsom and every other Californian can use to help stop the drought-and-wildfire cycle by switching to environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, healthy, vegan meals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

Note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and provides the public with information about those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

PETA’s letter to Newsom follows.

July 19, 2021

The Honorable Gavin Newsom

Governor of California

Dear Gov. Newsom:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals  (PETA) and our 646,000 members and supporters across the state of  California regarding our dire drought. Residents are being asked to  reduce their home water consumption voluntarily by 15%, while animal agriculture is sucking the state dry—that’s like asking a person with lung cancer to smoke fewer cigarettes or an alcoholic to cut down to two beers a night. But there is something meaningful that can be done, and it’s on the radar screen of every scientist studying our changing climate: Vegan eating—a change that everyone is capable of making—reduces a person’s diet-related water consumption by 60%. If you’re serious about minimizing water consumption and mitigating the effects of the drought, then with all due respect, please set an example by going vegan and encourage other Californians to do the same.

According to the Pacific Institute, 47% of California’s water-use footprint comes from meat and dairy farming. The water used to produce 1 pound of beef is the equivalent of taking 180 showers. Dairy

factory farms are also sucking the life out of cows and our water reservoirs and aquafers, because just two slices of cheese require 55 gallons of water—enough to fill 440 glasses—to produce. It takes an

estimated 683 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of cow’s milk but only 13 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of oat milk. So going vegan and asking your constituents to follow suit would be the most effective and genuinely helpful things that you could do to reduce the impact of this drought.

Any serious discussion about water conservation must include an honest evaluation of the animal agriculture industry. PETA will gladly make vegan starter kits available to every California resident to jump-start the effort. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully yours,

Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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