NORFOLK -- After hearing that Cuba's economic problems have led to a severe toilet paper shortage, PETA is arranging to ship 100 cases of bathroom tissue to the country printed with messages urging people to "Wipe Cruelty From Your Diet" by joining the vegetarian revolution. In a letter to Cuban President Raul Castro, PETA points out that meat is invariably contaminated with feces, carries E. coli and other disease-causing bacteria, and is linked to heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Although healthy fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains abound in Cuba, a diet heavy in pork can undo all the good that the country's free health-care system does.
"Eating meat hurts consumers, and meat production is devastating to animals," says PETA's vegetarian campaign coordinator, Virginia Fort. "PETA wants to help raise awareness of these issues, and if we get people to smile, too, that's great."
PETA's letter to Cuban President Raul Castro follows.
August 13, 2009
His Excellency Raul Castro
President of Cuba
Dear President Castro,
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters, I am writing regarding recent reports about the "Cuban Toilet Paper Crisis." We would like to offer a little help while you 'flush out' a more long-term solution. As a country that offers free health care and free medical education, Cuba is known to be health-conscious, and it is also a vegetarian-friendly place. With that in mind, we hope you will welcome the shipment that we will be attempting to send to you shortly--official PETA toilet paper reading, "Slaughterhouses Are So Filthy That Feces Are Found on Almost Every Piece of Meat. GoVeg.com. PETA" and "Wipe Cruelty From Your Diet. Go Vegetarian. PETA."
It is worth reminding anyone who is tempted by pork, chicken, and beef that salmonella, campylobacter, and E. coli are routinely deposited on meat at slaughterhouses when feces fly in various directions as an animal's body is eviscerated. And in addition to putting one at risk of food poisoning, meat is a leading culprit in many of the worst "lifestyle diseases." According to the World Health Organization, heart disease, obesity, and cancer are all on the rise in Cuba; leading health agencies have stated that vegetarians are less prone to all these diseases than meat-eaters are. Hopefully, our pro-vegetarian toilet paper will inspire more Cubans to pile on the plaintains, get their bounce from beans, fill up on fruit, and live healthier, happier lives.
Not only is a vegetarian diet better for Cuba's human population, it is also better for its animal population. Animals lead hard lives and are castrated or debeaked without painkillers, only to be slaughtered later.
I hope you'll find our gesture useful in promoting good health through a vegetarian diet.
Executive Vice President
For more information, please visit PETA's blog.