Animal Rights

Detroit Woman Goes Vegan So PETA Will Pay Her Water Bill

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Detroit woman will eat vegan for a month after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered to pay her overdue water bill.

Leslie Turner, 46, mailed $147.12 to the water company after pledging to go vegan for 30 days.

PETA announced last week that it would pay the bills of 10 Detroit residents who pledged to stop eating animal products.

Turner says she learned about the PETA offer on the radio.

"This would be a tremendous help — it will be one less expense that I have to worry about," Turner told ABC News.

Residents owe more than $89 million and 7,000 people have had their water shut off. Turner says water supply has been unavailable or unwilling to make a deal with the public.

"It was unwarranted, and it was a surprise to a lot of people," Turner said. "People have been trying to contact the water company to make payment plans and also had been going to the water company, but the lines would be horrendous or they weren't even able to get in."

Turner is currently on a payment plan, but says she still struggles to pay her bills.

"We had a generous PETA member who saw this as an opportunity to help people in need, while also helping animals," PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt said. "Not only will people get their water bills paid, they'll be introduced to a healthy, plant-based diet that will reduce their costs in the long run."

The campaign has been criticized for taking advantage of a vulnerable community, but PETA says that’s not the case.

"The last thing that people who are struggling need is increased health-care costs. By accepting our offer to go vegan, not only will families be getting an immediate financial boost and helping animals, if they stick with it, they'll also lower their risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes," PETA wrote on its blog.

Sources: ABC News, New York Daily News

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons / RyanHuling at en.wikipedia