For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2008
Bruce Friedrich 757-622-7382
Salt Lake City – This morning, PETA sent a letter to newly elected Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas Monson wishing him well in his new position and urging him to emphasize God’s requirement to protect His creatures and treat our bodies as sacred gifts by urging all Mormons to go vegetarian.
“As you know, the Doctrine and Covenants states, ‘And [animals] hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger,'” writes PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich, a lifelong Christian, in his letter to Monson. “Adopting a vegetarian diet is a wonderful Christian response to the unholy abuse of billions of animals every year by today’s industrialized meat industry.”
To help Mormons adhere to scripture, achieve better health, and save animals from bleak lives and painful deaths, PETA is offering to work with Monson to design a Mormon-focused version of PETA’s “Vegetarian Starter Kit” to be distributed at various temples and church events.
PETA’s letter to Thomas Monson follows.
February 7, 2008
Thomas S. Monson, President
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
1 page via fax: 801-240-1899
Dear President Monson:
On behalf of PETA’s more than 1.8 million members and supporters, I am writing to wish you the best during this time of transition for the Church. I’m also writing to urge you to emphasize God’s requirement to protect His creatures and to treat our bodies as sacred gifts by urging Mormons to go vegetarian.
As a lifelong Christian, I have long admired the Mormon faith for its exemplary translation of Christian principles into everyday living through continuous acts of compassion, piety, and love. As you know, the Doctrine and Covenants states, “And [animals] hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.” It would be a great thing for the Church–both morally and for the health of Church members–if it were to reaffirm this scriptural requirement forcefully.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is a wonderful Christian response to the unholy abuse of billions of animals every year by today’s industrialized meat industry. In factory farms, baby chickens and piglets are mutilated without any painkillers. Chickens, turkeys, and pigs are routinely crammed into tiny cages or filthy sheds to maximize profits. After a life of suffering, farmed animals have their throats slit and are dismembered in slaughterhouses, often while still conscious. Please visit Meat.org to see this for yourself. Of course, God designed each of these animals with the capacity to feel pain and have their own desire to be free and be with their families. Today’s corporate animal agriculture denies them all of this.
Mormons wisely avoid alcohol and other drugs. But the health risks of meat consumption are greater than those associated with drinking alcohol. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are less prone than meat-eaters to heart disease, specific types of cancer, diabetes, and obesity. A healthy plant-based diet contains all the protein, vitamins, and other nutrients that we need to thrive–without all the saturated fats and cholesterol found in animal flesh.
I would be thrilled to chat with you more about this and how we can work together to promote compassion for animals and better health for humans. For example, we would be happy to work with you to design a Mormon-focused “Vegetarian Starter Kit” to be distributed at various temples and church events.
Thank you for your consideration.
In Christ’s Light,