PETA’s New ‘Hold the Cheese’ Billboard Aims to Get Mississippi off the Sick List

Group Displays Ad in Jackson After State Finishes Dead Last in Health

For Immediate Release:
February 19, 2014

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi is ailing, and PETA wants to fix it. The state has finished near the bottom of America’s Health Rankings for years and sank to dead last of all 50 states in the 2013 rankings, thanks in part to its high incidence of obesity and diabetes, both of which have been conclusively linked to diets high in meat, eggs, and dairy products. That’s why PETA has just displayed a billboard along Interstate 20, facing westbound traffic, about 4 miles from downtown Jackson showing a woman gripping the “love handles” of her oversized midriff next to the caption “Hold the Cheese—Go Vegan.” PETA’s point? That if Mississippi wants to rid itself of its dubious distinction as the sickest state in the U.S., its residents should start thinking about eating fewer animals as well as the health-deteriorating products that come from their bodies.

“Going vegan is the easiest way to lose unwanted pounds and protect your health,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s billboard will remind Mississippians that they can save their health—and animals’ lives—simply by switching to plant-based meals instead of stuffing themselves with meat, eggs, and cheese and other dairy products.”

PETA isn’t the only one with a distaste for cheese. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Pizza and cheese are the biggest food sources of saturated fat in the U.S. diet, and other dairy products and meat products are also major contributors.” And the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that typical cheeses are 70 percent fat and that Americans eat more than 33 pounds of cheese per person per year—three times more than they did in 1970—and obesity is a bigger problem now than ever before.

In addition to also being linked to acne, allergies, and cancer of the reproductive organs, the consumption of dairy products takes a terrible toll on animals. Newborn calves are often torn away from their mothers so that the mothers’ milk can be sold. Also, because their bodies wear out so quickly when producing massive quantities of milk, mother cows are slaughtered at just a fraction of their natural life expectancy.

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