For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Bowling Green, Ky. – A school resource officer recently provided every Jackson Academy student with a fast-food chicken lunch, and now, building on that generous act, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has sent a letter this morning to Jackson Academy Principal Eric Wilson offering to treat all the students to healthy, environmentally friendly, vegan chicken sandwiches.
“Receiving a vegan chicken sandwich is a delicious lesson showing how easy it can be to save animals, protect our health, and fight climate change,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind are happy to help Jackson Academy’s students explore a healthy and humane new way of eating.”
If the school accepts the offer, TeachKind plans to tap a local catering company to whip up 60 crispy vegan chicken sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo, served with a side of fries.
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.
TeachKind’s letter to Wilson follows.
March 23, 2021
Principal of Jackson Academy
Warren County Public Schools
Dear Mr. Wilson,
I’m writing from TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division, which works with thousands of educators nationwide to bring compassion into the curriculum. After seeing the news that school resource officer Chris Shelton recently provided every Jackson Academy student with Chick-fil-A food, we were inspired to follow that example by making a similar offer. May we send free vegan chicken sandwiches for students to try? The students will likely be impressed to hear that people can save nearly 200 animals a year each, improve their health, and reduce their impact on the environment by leaving meat and other animal-derived foods off their plates.
Good eating habits start during childhood, of course. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that vegetarians and vegans have a far lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease as well as lower rates of suffering from hypertension, cancer, and type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and body mass index. Meat production wastes precious resources such as water, causes enormous amounts of pollution, and is one of the biggest causes of climate change as woodlands are felled to grow crops to feed chickens and other animals. The students may find it fascinating that eating vegan is more effective than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against climate change. We recommend that they watch films like COWSPIRACY—The Sustainability Secret to learn more about the benefits of living vegan.
Something else that’s catching on in schools is the lesson that all animals deserve consideration for their needs. Chickens are sensitive animals who—like all other living, feeling beings—don’t want to suffer or die. Scientists agree that their complex social structures and good memories are undeniable signs of intelligence comparable to that of mammals. Most chickens raised for meat are housed by the tens of thousands on factory farms where disease runs rampant. They’re bred to grow so large so quickly that their legs often give out under the weight of their own bodies, leaving them crippled and in pain.
In this time of increased awareness of bullying and interpersonal violence, fostering empathy in young people for all those with whom we share the planet is a great opportunity that will really pay off as they grow up in a diverse society.
In addition to the sandwiches, we’d love to send you some of our free educational materials, including Challenging Assumptions, our social justice curriculum for high school students designed to inspire empathy for others regardless of species, race, gender, sexual identity, age, or ability. Our staff is always available to provide additional materials and even host virtual presentations for your students on the benefits of going vegan—all free of charge.
We look forward to hearing from you regarding our offer of free vegan chicken sandwiches for your students.
TeachKind Assistant Manager