August 7, 2013
Sent to: [Select political/D.C./religion press]
Contact: [Ashley Byrne]
PETA Urges Sec. Kerry to Make Peace Talks Menu Nonviolent (Vegan)
Meat-Free Meals Respect Religious Dietary Guidelines and Banish Bloodshed, Says Group
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares for the upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks—the first in three years—PETA is asking him to make sure that the menu during the discussions symbolizes peace and understanding, too. In a letter sent to Kerry today, PETA points out that an all-vegan menu would meet halal and kosher specifications as well as sending a message of nonviolence toward all living beings by sparing animals suffering on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats.
“When we give peas a chance by choosing a vegan meal, we’re taking a small step toward a less violent and more understanding world,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “It would be PETA’s honor to help Secretary Kerry serve a kosher and halal vegan menu that everyone can eat and that would set an example of kindness and religious tolerance.”
PETA has offered to arrange for world-class vegan chefs to develop the menu for the peace talks, free of cost.
For more information, please visit PETA.org. I can be reached at 202-483-7382, if you have any questions.
PETA’s letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry follows.
August 7, 2013
The Honorable John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Dear Mr. Secretary:
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide, may we suggest an additional way to promote nonviolence and religious tolerance during the upcoming vital peace talks? Please consider providing an all-vegan menu that respects religious dietary restrictions, including halal and kosher, and that promotes peace for all living beings. We work with world-class vegan chefs who would be happy to develop the menu, if that would be of use.
As you may know, a vegan menu is ideal for an interfaith dinner because it respects Jewish and Muslim dietary restrictions, such as those against eating pigs and shellfish, and mixing dairy products and meat. There have been objections by heads of state and their spouses to state dinners at which foie gras or veal has been served. And as you know, former President Bill Clinton is one of the “new vegans” leading the way. People of all faiths are adopting vegan diets in response to the unholy ways in which animals are treated in today’s meat, egg, and dairy industries.
Every year, billions of animals are violently slaughtered for food. This massacre reveals a lack of understanding and empathy for others who happen not to look exactly like us but who share our desire to live without pain and fear. Chickens, fish, cows, and turkeys all feel love, fear, joy, and affection for their families and have even been shown to express altruism, yet our prejudices cause them to be abused in ways that would make any decent person’s hair stand on end. Even in religiously sanctioned facilities, PETA has documented animals who were abused during handling, had their throats repeatedly slashed, and writhed desperately in their own blood for several minutes before dying.
Human beings of all nationalities and religions often feel powerless in the face of so much discrimination and violence in the world, but every time we sit down to eat, we can take positive action by choosing a nonviolent meal. Although opting for a veggie burger or falafel over a chicken kebab or bologna sandwich won’t create global peace instantly, it will reduce the sum total of suffering and make participants in the meal think about what more is possible. Please let me know if PETA can help in any way to spread the message “Give peas a chance.”
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk