For Immediate Release:
December 3, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Baltimore – It’s a great new twist on the after-church fellowship meal: After leading the Sunday service at Empowerment Temple AME, Rev. Dr. Robert Turner, and State Senator Hayes—a member of the church—will join PETA and The Land of Kush in dishing out free vegan barbecue rib wraps as well as handing out free bags of groceries to members of the community as part of PETA’s food justice campaign. The group’s vegan meal starter kits of protein-packed and versatile tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables, recipes, and more are designed with nutrition in mind. PETA will also invite people to call on their representatives to redirect meat, egg, and dairy industry subsidies as incentives for grocers in “food deserts” to stock healthy, humane vegan foods. Rev. Turner was with PETA last month to hand out free food to those gathering to pray for justice at the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers in Georgia.
When: Sunday, December 5, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Empowerment Temple AME, 4217–4221 Primrose Ave., Baltimore
“All families deserve to have equally good access to fresh, healthy plant-based foods,” says Rev. Turner. “Food justice is also racial justice, and I’m pleased to work with PETA to address this issue nationwide.”
Maryland’s government spends millions of tax dollars each year subsidizing the bloated meat, egg, and dairy industries. In 2020, the state gave $10 million to chicken factory farmers, when that money could have gone toward making healthy foods available in underserved areas where people have no ready access to fresh vegetables and fruits and other good foods. About one in four people in Baltimore live in an underserved community, and nearly one-third of the city’s residents don’t have access to a car, making local access to fresh foods essential.
“The government is propping up Big Meat while families in food deserts struggle to gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and that needs to change,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s food justice campaign aims to call attention to the inequities and unhealthy choices people in ‘food deserts’ face.”
Stocking stores in food deserts with healthy vegan food would save animals’ lives; help vulnerable communities reduce their rates of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; and help protect the environment, given that animal agriculture is responsible for nearly one-fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions and is a leading cause of habitat destruction, species extinction, and ocean dead zones.
Rev. Turner previously hosted a PETA food justice giveaway in Tulsa shortly before relocating to Baltimore.
PETA launched the food justice campaign in Atlanta with Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan; held other giveaways in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and New York; and has planned additional events throughout the country.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.