Detroit's unfortunate label as the most violent city in America has inspired a new PETA billboard campaign: Stop eating animals if you've had enough of violence.
And you'll feel healthier, too, PETA tells the Motor City, noting Detroit has been climbing up the Fattest Cities chart, too.
The animal-rights group is reaching out to Detroit after newly released FBI figures this week named the city the most violent big city in America, just ahead of St. Louis. PETA, which decided to weigh in with a plea for all-encompassing non-violence, plans to run a billboard in Detroit showing a fist clutching a bunch of carrots next to the words "Peace in Our Lunchtime!" and "Choose Peace. Choose Vegan."
The philosophy behind the campaign is this: Detroit knows what violence feels like, so it should be able to sympathize with animals, too. The group believes that animals used for food experience joy, pain, fear, love, and grief and value their lives, just as humans do.
If Detroiters can embrace this philosophy and be nice to animals, the group believes, they'll be nicer to each other, too.
So you can stop violence by becoming a vegetarian?
PETA believes yes.
"Violence and cruelty to any living being beget more violence and cruelty, whereas compassion for animals who suffer and are killed for the table promotes understanding and kindness," PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said today in announcing the campaign.
Newkirk said PETA's message of peace encourages everyone to save lives, promote nonviolence, and make a difference every day "simply by choosing vegan meals."
Going vegan not only spares the lives of more than 100 animals a year, PETA said, but it can also reduce a person's risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. That latter issue, PETA noted, is especially problematic in Detroit, which was ranked the unhealthiest city in America in February by WalletHub.
WalletHub compared the health of the nation's 150 biggest cities and Detroit came in last place, ranking low in every category that was evaluated: health care, food, fitness and "green space." Detroit scored especially low in health care and fitness – 148th out of 150.
PETA believes a vegan diet can help Detroit shed that unhealthy image. And they'll feel more peaceful, too, it maintains, saying meat eaters are causing all sorts of harm to animals.
To stress this point, the group states:
"In today's meat and dairy industries, cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves, chickens' throats are cut while they're still conscious, piglets are castrated without painkillers, and fish are cut open while they're still alive."
That, PETA argues, is violence. It needs to stop, the group says, just like the violence in Detroit.