Wednesday, February 06, 2008

PETA in the Ring to Deny Obese Food (unless it's vegan)

PETA to Mississippi: "Let Fat People Eat!"

February 5, 2008

Jackson, Miss. - A provocative bill introduced by state representative W.T. Mayhall Jr. that would bar Mississippi restaurants from serving obese people has captured PETA's attention, but the group is suggesting an amendment. The animal rights group thinks it can do HB282 one better: instead of refusing to serve overweight people altogether--something that would raise the ire of restaurants and patrons alike if the bill were actually passed and implemented--PETA is proposing that restaurants be required to serve only healthy vegan meals to consumers who are struggling with their weight.

Citing research studies that show that vegans and vegetarians are much thinner on average than their meat-eating counterparts, PETA points out that most vegan foods are naturally high in fiber (there is none in meat and dairy products), and low in fat and contain zero cholesterol (which is only found in animal products).

"There's no reason to starve fat people--they just need to pile their plates with healthy, vegan food," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "Vegan meals like hearty vegetable casseroles, bean burritos, and pasta with mushrooms, tomatoes, and green peppers not only are satisfying but will slim you right down too."

PETA's letter to Rep. Mayhall follows:


February 5, 2008


The Honorable W.T. Mayhall Jr.
Mississippi House of Representatives


Dear Representative Mayhall:


On behalf of PETA's more than 1.8 million members and supporters, I am writing to commend you for your creative effort to combat the obesity epidemic in Mississippi. I'd also like to suggest a change to HB282 that we think would make it truly effective.

Changing the bill slightly would not just make a point--it could actually address (and even solve) Mississippi's obesity epidemic rather than simply generating a discussion about it.

Instead of refusing to serve obese people, restaurants could be required to serve them only vegan dishes. Vegan food is not only delicious and satisfying, but overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vegans and vegetarians are far less likely to be overweight than meat-eaters. Vegans are also far more likely to be in better overall health because, among other things, vegan foods contain no cholesterol and lots of fiber, the complete opposite of meat- and dairy-based meals. 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 U.S. government review of studies on weight loss found that two-thirds of dieters gain back all the weight they've lost within a year, and a whopping 97 percent gain it all back within five years. The only weight-loss plan that has been proved to take weight off--and keep it off--for more than a year is a vegan diet. Most vegan foods are naturally low in fat, so quantity and calorie restrictions are often unnecessary. Obese people can still eat the portions that they're used to while watching pounds slip away and good health return!

Please contact me at 757-622-7382 if you have any questions. Thank you for your consideration. Please accept PETA's best wishes for good health (and trim waistlines) for all Mississippi residents.

Sincerely,

Bruce Friedrich
Vice President

14 comments:

  1. It is my understanding that Mississippi is one of the states with the highest rate of obese people. I think I understand the state Health Department wanting to reduce this problem. But it sure seems to be a strange way of reducing the obesity problem for the state Health Department to take this action. I applaud PETA for offering an alternative, and maybe there could be other alternatives too?

    Radcliffe from Radcliffe's Weight Journal

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  2. Hmm - I got fat on pasta with veggies, bean burritos and other vegetarian, low-fat fare. Way to spin it though, PETA!

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  3. Thanks for that one, Regina. I'm probably supposed to take it seriously but it just made me laugh.

    "The portions I'm used to" of vegan food? LOLOLOLOL that would be none.

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  4. I can tell you've seen any fat vegans. I know of several in fat acceptance. They don't eat meat, or any animal products at all, and they exercise, but they're still fat. So any modification of this stupid bill is not going to make fat people magically thin. Can't be done, and advocating that is advocation of discrimination against fat people solely on their size. It has nothing to do with health, it's an aesthetic thing. Y'all don't like looking at fat people, so you don't want us eating in public. Ain't happening, folks. You aren't taking away any of my freedoms that easily.

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  5. PETA are an organisation with aims and objectives that are unrelated to either nutrition or obesity. Their espousal of a vegan diet is based primarily on ethical concerns. Any comments they make on nutrition or on obesity are made in pursuit of their primary aims.

    This makes them of some use for those who share their ethical concerns and wish to follow a way of eating that is in harmony with those concerns, but renders anything they have to say irrelevant to those who do not face an ethical dilemma about eating animal products.

    It is ludicrous in any context to suggest that those minority ethical concerns be imposed in any legal sense on the majority who don't share them. But then this whole thing is ludicrous from the get-go, this is just another layer.

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  6. This legislation is ridiculous. People need to learn for themselves how to eat well and take care of their bodies. If we allow the government the power to legislate what we eat it is just another freedom that we are giving up. In my opinion this is a just another way for people to shirk the responsibility of health, it's like saying "Well the government lets me eat is so it must be okay." The government allows many harmful chemicals in foods too, but we are finding out that they are not good for us. Make healthy decisions for yourselves people. Also go to petakillsanimals.com to learn about another side of PETA.

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  7. Radcliffe8:17 AM

    Everyone has an agenda.

    PETA's is a bit off-the-wall for me. But I suspect on hearing their proposal some lawmakers will be able to look outside-the-box for a moment. Maybe they can see some other alternatives.

    Maybe buffet restaurants can have a food table which would be loaded with food choices appropriate for obese folks. Maybe restaurant menus can be altered so that appropriate foods are available in a special section for obese.

    Maybe these restaurants can have a special incentive for obese people to eat appropriate foods. I applaud the outside-the-box initiative they offered (not their agenda).

    Rodger at Radcliffe's Weight Journal

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  8. calianna9:02 AM

    This is just too ludicrous!

    I remember a year or two ago meeting a self-proclaimed "vegetarian" for the first time. What did she eat? Not veggies and fruits, as you might think - no, she ate cookies, cakes, donuts, candy, and any other junk food she could find, as long as it didn't have any animal products in it.

    Contrary to PETA's weight loss propaganda, the girl said she had gained 15 or 20 lbs in the few months she'd been a "vegetarian".

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  9. Leave it to PETA to use something this asinine to promote their radical vegan-only agenda.

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  10. Another former fatty who got that way on bean burritos and pasta. Not sure which irks me more, PETA or the move toward discriminatory legislation.

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  11. Radcliffe: "Maybe buffet restaurants can have a food table which would be loaded with food choices appropriate for obese folks. Maybe restaurant menus can be altered so that appropriate foods are available in a special section for obese.

    Maybe these restaurants can have a special incentive for obese people to eat appropriate foods."

    Yes, but how do you define "appropriate for obese folks" For the last 30 years, we've said it is low-fat, low-calorie foods, and yet we're not getting any thinner. On the contrary, we're getting fatter.

    I don't want anyone defining what's appropriate for me to eat but me. If I want to consult with some experts, I'll do it. But three Mississippi legislators, one of whom by his own definition is overweight, are not experts.

    In fact, when I go into a restaurant today and see something labelled "heart-healthy" or "smart choice," that's my first clue that it is not fit for me to consume. If a menu had a special "obese" section, I would never ever order from it.

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  12. Radcliffe: "Maybe buffet restaurants can have a food table which would be loaded with food choices appropriate for obese folks. Maybe restaurant menus can be altered so that appropriate foods are available in a special section for obese.

    Maybe these restaurants can have a special incentive for obese people to eat appropriate foods."

    And who, exactly, decides what is "appropriate" food for an obese person, or for any person? I shed my weight on a meat/fat-centric diet - precisely the foods that would NOT be on the weight-loss buffet table.

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  13. Anonymous8:35 AM

    And who will enforce what the obese eat? And who decides who is obese and who is merely overweight? The waiter or waitress? "Sorry, sir but try again. You're too fat to order that entree." Maybe the restaurants could put a scale at the door and publicly weigh individuals so they could then publicly declare them obese? Sheesh

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  14. Radcliffe11:54 AM

    Tracy commented, "And who, exactly, decides what is "appropriate" food for an obese person, or for any person? I shed my weight on a meat/fat-centric diet - precisely the foods that would NOT be on the weight-loss buffet table."

    I was trying to get readers to think outside-the-box. I'm against discrimination based on any factors, including weight.

    My suggestions were all stated in the, "Maybe. . ." frame. I certainly don't have answers which the 'scientific, research-based' folks would approve of. I lose my weight on a modified low carb diet.

    I don't think that there are any answers which can be mandated by law. And the almighty restriction (banned from access to public restaurants) would certainly be in-appropriate. I was hoping that someone would/could start thinking about other alternatives. I was not offering specific options. I thought I was planting seeds that could grow into a useful idea.

    Radcliffe at Radcliffe's Weight Journal

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