San Francisco Airport’s New Therapy Pig, LiLou, Prompts PETA Appeal

Serving Bacon and Ham at an Airport That Offers ‘Therapy Pig’ Encounters Is Like Serving Poodle Burgers at a Dog Show

For Immediate Release:
December 9, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

San Francisco

In response to the introduction of a therapy pig named LiLou at San Francisco International Airport, PETA sent a letter today urging the airport to remove pork, bacon, and other foods made from pigs from its restaurants.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that, like LiLou, pigs are extremely good-natured, playful, affectionate, sensitive, social, and smart. Yet the ones used for food are confined to filthy warehouses, their tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—often without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they scream as they’re hung upside down and bled to death, often while they’re still conscious.

To encourage travelers to protect pigs like LiLou—and their own health—by going vegan, PETA hopes to place its compelling “I’m ME, Not MEAT! See the Individual” ads throughout the airport. They’re part of PETA’s new nationwide vegan ad series in which animals appeal to consumers not to support the industries that abuse and kill them.

“Encouraging travelers to pet one pig while serving the flesh of others simply doesn’t fly,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “San Francisco International Airport can protect pigs—and passengers’ health—by encouraging its restaurants to cut the pork and serve tasty, cruelty-free vegan meats instead.”

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PETA’s letter to San Francisco International Airport Director Ivar C. Satero follows.

December 9, 2016

Ivar C. Satero

Airport Director

San Francisco International Airport

Dear Mr. Satero,

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including a large number in San Francisco, in response to the introduction of a “therapy pig” at the San Francisco International Airport. Now that friendly, smart LiLou is helping to calm anxious passengers as part of the Wag Brigade, we ask that you help her and her fellow pigs by getting pork, bacon, and other pig-derived products off the menu at all airport restaurants. Serving such food at an airport where a therapy pig is helping humans is like serving poodle burgers at a dog show or monkey nuggets at the zoo. We urge you to encourage businesses to offer only delicious vegan meats instead. You may be surprised at the response and net really great public relations!

As you probably know, pigs are extremely good-natured. They’re playful, affectionate, and sensitive—and they’re said to be smarter than dogs, animals we, of course, don’t eat in this country. They’re also highly social beings who require things to do, see, and love, along with a proper physical environment. Yet pigs used for food spend their lives confined to filthy factory-farm sheds and are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, such as nurturing their young and rooting in the earth. Pigs’ tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated—without any painkillers. At slaughterhouses, they’re hung upside down and bled to death, quite often while still conscious.

Rejecting pig meat is like—or better than—having defibrillators, as it’s a great way to protect the health of airport patrons, too. Eating meat, especially processed meat, has been linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Unlike animal meat, pork-free ham, vegan bacon, and veggie dogs are healthy, cruelty-free, and full of fiber and also have no cholesterol.

We hope to hear that you’ll encourage restaurants to remove all pig meat from the menu. We’re also hoping to place our “I’m ME, Not MEAT!” little pig ads in your airport to encourage travelers to protect the LiLous of the world and their own health by going vegan.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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