All right, all you Arkansas couch potatoes. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has your number!
Citing recent federal data that dubbed Arkansas one of the “fattest” states (we did it!), PETA sent a letter to Gov. Mike Beebe on August 4 suggesting that Beebe take up a vegetarian diet to “inspire Arkansas’ residents to shed those extra pounds.” PETA offers to send Beebe a “Vegetarian Starter Kit” packed with “shopping tips and delicious recipes” to get him started.
According to the PETA news release and letter (full text after the jump), vegetarians are “far less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters.” Of course, the news release fails to note that a vegetarian diet would also be a low-level daily nightmare of bland and boring meals, but I suppose the sense of superior self-satisfaction you would get from announcing that you don’t eat meat and demanding a vegetarian alternative at every social event you attend would more than make up for that.
Of course, you may also find it strange that PETA would send this suggestion to our relatively svelte Gov. Mike Beebe, but maybe they had him confused with circa-1999 Mike Huckabee. I’m eagerly awaiting PETA enthusiast Pam Anderson’s (pictured above) fact-finding mission to the Governor’s Mansion to straighten this mess out.
Full release on the jump
State Among the Nation’s “Fattest,” According to CDC
For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2008
David Perle 757-622-7382
Little Rock, Ark. — Are Arkansans too big for their britches? That’s the verdict of a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has named Arkansas one of the country’s “fattest” states, with an estimated 29 percent of the population topping the threshold for obesity. In an effort to help Arkansans beat the obesity blues, PETA has written to Gov. Mike Beebe and urged him to ditch the meat and implement a program to encourage his constituents to do the same.
PETA points out that vegetarians are on average 10 percent leaner than meat-eaters. The consumption of meat and other animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer. Meat-eaters are also responsible for the suffering and deaths of billions of animals, who are deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them on factory farms. They are often still conscious as they are dismembered in slaughterhouses.
“Arkansas residents’ love affair with barbecue and fried chicken is making them fat–and literally killing them,” says PETA campaign coordinator Lindsay Rajt. “We’re confident that Arkansans can and will rise to the challenge of trimming their waistlines, and the fastest and easiest way to do that is to leave animals off their plates.”
For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site GoVeg.com.
PETA’s letter to Gov. Beebe follows.
August 4, 2008
The Honorable Mike Beebe
Governor of Arkansas
Dear Governor Beebe,
I’m sorry to hear that Arkansas was just named one of the fattest states in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although your residents might prefer the gentler moniker “pleasantly plump,” let’s face it–fat is fat, and the fatter a person is, the more prone he or she is to serious health problems. To set an example and inspire Arkansas’ residents to shed those extra pounds, we hope that you’ll consider adopting a vegetarian diet and promoting it to the residents of Arkansas as the perfect, healthy way to slim down and stay fit and trim.
Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vegetarians are far less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters and far more likely to be in better overall health. The American Dietetic Association–the nation’s largest group of nutrition professionals–reviewed hundreds of studies and concluded that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer than people who eat meat. A healthy vegetarian diet provides all the nutrients that we need to thrive–without the saturated animal fat and cholesterol found only in meat.
A government review of studies on weight loss found that about two-thirds of dieters gain back all the weight within a year, and a whopping 97 percent gain it all back within five years. The only weight-loss plan that has been scientifically proven to take weight off and keep it off for more than a year is a pure vegetarian diet. Most delicious vegan foods are naturally low in fat and calories, so it’s easy to eat as much as you want without worrying about piling on the pounds.
I will be mailing you a copy of our “Vegetarian Starter Kit,” which is packed with shopping tips and delicious recipes, very shortly. Please contact me if you would like more information. Thank you for your consideration.
Executive Vice President