PETA U.K. Hopes to Adopt Mandela’s Bronze Bunny Statue

For Immediate Release:
January 24, 2014

Contact:
Allison Lakomski 202-483-7382

London – Following news that the South African government is considering having the beautiful little bronze rabbit removed from a new statue of Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) U.K. wrote to the country’s minister of Arts and Culture to request that the rabbit be donated to the animal rights organization. The group intends to use the statue to highlight the plight of billions of rabbits and other animals who are slaughtered for their skins, used in forced labor, or kept in chains and who are innocent but imprisoned and denied the chance to be free.

“As we all know, Mandela was a great man who risked his life in order to advocate for the freedom of others,” writes PETA U.K. Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. “Mandela cared about cruelty to animals. He was a patron of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals …. We would be honoured to use the bronze rabbit, the same animal who proudly leaps across PETA’s logo, to honour Mandela’s vision of a more peaceful, kinder world.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA U.K.’s letter to Paul Mashatile, the Arts and Culture minister, follows.

Paul Mashatile
Minister of Arts and Culture
Department of Arts and Culture

23 January 2014

Via e-mail

Dear Mr Minister:

I am writing to you from PETA UK – an affiliate of PETA US, the largest animal rights group in the world, with more than 3 million members and supporters – after having heard that the Department of Arts and Culture is considering having the beautiful little bronze rabbit removed from the statue of Nelson Mandela in Pretoria. We respectfully request that if the rabbit is removed, he be donated to PETA so that we can use him to highlight the plight of the billions of rabbits and other wonderful animals who are slaughtered for their skins, used in forced labour, and kept in chains and who are innocent but imprisoned and denied the chance to live their lives in freedom.

As we all know, Mandela was a great man who risked his life in order to advocate for the freedom of others. Not only did Mandela’s work help end apartheid in South Africa, he also set a powerful example for all peaceful activists, showing that they must rattle the “cages” of what society feels is acceptable in order to help the disenfranchised and disrespected. And today, arguably none is more in need of that help than the elephants who are beaten and chained in circuses; the monkeys who are cut open, mutilated and killed inside laboratories; the pigs, chickens and cows living in pain and fear in nightmarish factory farms and the rabbits on angora farms who have their fur ripped out of them by the fistful as they scream in agony, all for the sake of a soft sweater.

Mandela cared about cruelty to animals. He was a patron of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and he once said that “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” We would be honoured to use the bronze rabbit, the same animal who proudly leaps across PETA’s logo, to honour Mandela’s vision of a more peaceful, kinder world.

Very truly yours,

Mimi Bekhechi
Associate Director

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