For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
Chicago – As the Chicago Cubs prepare to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in a four-game series, PETA sent a letter today to Jed Hoyer, the Cubs’ president of baseball operations, urging him to go to bat for animals and lots of fans who feel left out in left field by adding a pro-vegan mascot race to the team’s home games. To sweeten the deal, PETA is offering to supply the new mascots, including Cub, a cube of tofu; Red, a hale and hearty carrot; and Short Stalk, a spirited stalk of celery. PETA notes that the animal-friendly mascots would level the playing field between the Cubs and the Cardinals, a team with its own mascot race that largely promotes animal agriculture.
“A vegan-inclusive mascot race is just the ticket to rev up the Cubs’ home base and modernize America’s favorite pastime,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “We’re eager to see the Cubs continue this beloved baseball tradition with the meat-free mascots appreciated by Wrigley Field’s increasingly vegan crowds.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Hoyer follows.
President, Baseball Operations
Dear Mr. Hoyer:
Greetings! I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including thousands in Illinois. We have a pitch we hope you’ll like as a way to score a home run for animals while adopting a modern take on a popular baseball tradition. Will you please add a vegan mascot race to your home games? PETA would gladly supply mascots—such as Cub, a cube of tofu; Red, a tall and hearty carrot; and Short Stalk, a stalk of celery—to get the races running.
I assure you that our request isn’t coming out of left field. Way back in 2013, Wrigley Field was ranked among our top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks, and the number of vegans in the U.S. has risen by 3,000% over the last 15 years. Tofu sales grew by 40% during the pandemic, and the global tofu market is projected to expand significantly in coming years—which is great news for Illinois soybean farmers. Whether for ethical, environmental, or health-related reasons, 62% of Americans now purchase vegan foods in place of meat and dairy and 65% of Gen Zers want a more plant-based diet.
A vegan mascot race would also rival the Cardinals’ “Race to the Plate,” which largely promotes animal agriculture. While that team has a soybean mascot, a tofu one for yours would represent Illinois soybean farmers who grow food-grade crops and support Chicago-based tofu makers. And since raising animals for food is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and land degradation, your fresh veggie mascots would represent how growing (and going) vegan is a wonderful way to mitigate the climate catastrophe—something younger fans increasingly care about.
There’s another compelling reason to support vegan eating: Our understanding of other species has evolved. Pigs, cows, and other animals are sentient beings who enjoy life, form strong bonds with others, and experience pain and fear—just like baseball players. Yet the millions of animals who are killed in the U.S. every year endure extreme crowding and routine mutilations before they’re sent on a terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse. Since the Cardinals’ “farm team” celebrates this exploitation with characters such as “the Baconeer” and Benny the Bull, we hope you’ll step up to the plate and outdo them with a mascot race everyone can cheer for.
Thank you for your time and consideration—I look forward to hearing from you. Best of luck this season!
Very truly yours,