Rep. Donalds’ Tofu Gaffe Draws PETA Ire

For Immediate Release:
September 17, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Fort Myers, Fla. – Seething over U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds’ anti-tofu tweet—“NEWS FLASH … America doesn’t run on tofu; it runs on real food”—a PETA supporter in Florida urged the group to hit back and offered to cover the costs of running pro-tofu ads outside Donalds’ offices in Collier and Lee counties.

With the new ads, PETA shows its support for Florida’s more than 3,300 soy farmers and points out how many tofu-fueled Americans there are: The number of U.S. vegans has jumped by 3,000% in the last 15 years, and tofu sales went up 40% in the first half of 2020. As for the notion that “America doesn’t run on tofu,” vegan runners like Scott Jurek, one of the world’s most dominant ultra-marathoners, would disagree.

“Plenty of real Americans are choosing tofu over the real animal suffering, real human sickness, and real environmental devastation linked to meat production,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s billboards should have Rep. Donalds eating his words, along with some heart-healthy soy.”

In addition to killing billions of animals a year, the meat industry is linked to widespread maladies such as heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes and poses a risk of unleashing more pandemics. SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and COVID-19 all stemmed from confining and killing animals for food—and studies show that people who eat meat-free meals slash their risk of suffering from severe COVID-19 by 73%.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind