Win or Lose, the Mystics Will Score a Vegan Chili Dinner After Historic Season: ‘We’ll Deliver Either Way,’ Says PETA

Vegan Athletes Are Winning Worldwide—Now, PETA Wants to Help D.C. Team Celebrate Its WNBA Finals Place in the Same Way

For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382


For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Mystics are headed to the WNBA finals tonight—and in celebration, PETA (which has an office just north of the White House) sent the team’s owner a letter this morning offering to treat the players to a delicious, celebratory postseason vegan feast at Ben’s Chili Bowl, where vegan chili is the big winner. If the team would prefer, PETA’s food fairies will deliver.

“Super-athletes from Diana Taurasi to Kyrie Irving have gone vegan and gush about scoring a boost in energy and endurance,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA looks forward to treating the Mystics to a taste of delicious, cruelty-free, plant-powered dining.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis follows.

September 7, 2018

Ted Leonsis

Majority Owner, Chair, and CEO

Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Dear Mr. Leonsis,

A big “YAY!” from your proud Washingtonian neighbors on the Mystics’ advance to the WNBA finals for the first time in the franchise’s history! On behalf of all PETA staff in our “just up from the White House” office and our thousands of D.C. members and supporters who are rooting for you, we have a gift that you won’t want to pass on: After the season has ended, we’d like to assist the Mystics in celebrating the history that you’ve made by treating the whole team to a delicious vegan chili meal at one of D.C.’s favorite watering holes, frequented by former President Barack Obama, Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Vegan eating has risen 600 percent since 2014, and an ever-growing list of super-athletes—including boxer and bodybuilder Amanda Riester, professional wrestler Laura Dennis, Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, tennis great Novak Djokovic, and WNBA player and four-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi—attribute their energy and endurance to making the switch to eating vegan food.

This dinner would be a slam dunk for the team’s health, animals, and the environment. Those who eat vegan food have far lower rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. They also save nearly 200 animals per year from extreme crowding on filthy factory farms and a terrifying trip to the slaughterhouse, and they have far less of an impact on groundwater use, deforestation, and carbon emissions than those who eat animal-derived foods.

We hope the team members will love this meal so much that they’ll block meat and dairy “products” from their plates and choose to eat only plant-powered foods. We look forward to hearing from you—and again, congratulations, and good luck!

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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