PETA Asks U.S. Representative to Combat Climate Change by Increasing Access to Healthy Vegan Foods, Phasing Out Animal Agriculture
For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2019
Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382
Washington – PETA sent a letter this morning to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asking her to help counter the environmental devastation of animal agriculture by including vegan food policies in the proposal, such as a program to make the transition from meat, egg, and dairy farming to plant-based agriculture.
In the letter, PETA points out that animal agriculture has been identified as a leading emitter of greenhouse gases and that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are typically built near low-income communities, where they contaminate the air, soil, and water. Meat and dairy consumption are linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, among other top killers, but animal agriculture industry lobbyists seem to sit at the top of the food chain, spending millions of dollars to keep meat, eggs, and dairy at the center of American food and agricultural policies.
“Because animal agriculture not only is devastating to animals but also poisons the environment and makes Americans sick, what we need is a Vegan Green New Deal,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA hopes Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will promote equity, environmental justice, health, and kindness by recognizing the need for vegan food policies.”
PETA’s letter to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez follows.
February 27, 2019
The Honorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
United States House of Representatives
Dear Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,
Greetings from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Recently, we heard that your favorite kinds of milk are vegan oat and cashew milks, which are the perfect choices for someone promoting environmentally friendly policies. The science couldn’t be clearer: The choices that we make every day, especially concerning what we eat, impact the entire world. We applaud you for pushing for a Green New Deal, as we must reclaim the Earth from those who promote animal suffering and ill health, pollute poor communities, and profit from environmental degradation. Also, we ask that you add an important component to the proposal: the promotion of vegan food policies. Here are some of the compelling reasons why:
Animal agriculture is a leading emitter of greenhouse gases and is complicit in many other serious environmental problems that we face today. More often than not, the highest density of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are built near low-income communities, which experience significantly more incidents of disease and chronic health conditions than other poor communities do. Also, meat consumption is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, yet the interests of the industry—propagated by millions of dollars spent on lobbying and direct support to political campaigns—continue to dominate American food and agricultural policies.
Many policy choices could help address animal agriculture’s long shadow over our health and environment. For example, PETA has called for an excise tax on meat and supported corporate and government initiatives that increase access to vegan foods. Including a program to make the transition from meat, egg, and dairy farming to plant-based agriculture in the Green New Deal would help workers stay employed while simultaneously encouraging healthful eating and the development of green industry.
Please see the supplemental fact sheet (available here) for more information. We look forward to discussing how we can work together on this issue.
Ingrid E. Newkirk