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May 1, 2001

One Million British Homes to get ‘Go Veggie’ Message

Mountainous funeral pyres of dead farmed animals and scenes of slaughter have shocked Britain. One outcome has been an upsurge in the number of people considering going vegetarian. To speed the change, the international animal and vegetarian charity Viva! is to launch a UK campaign encouraging people to give up eating meat. It will involve roadside bill boards, door-drops to one million homes, selective advertising and events in every part of the country. There will also be a demonstration outside the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in London, followed by regional events throughout May nationwide.

The message of the leaflet being delivered to British homes is simple - ‘It’s time to go veggie’. The words are carried over a picture of burning cattle. The reverse side of the leaflet encourages prospective vegetarians with hard, scientific information. It tells them they will be less at risk of food poisoning, heart disease, strokes and cancer; that they are likely to live longer, reduce their impact on the environment and will help to end the suffering of animals.

“If the killing upsets people, they really should ask themselves why”, says Juliet Gellatley, Director of Viva! “It will continue relentlessly - 2.4 million ‘healthy’ animals every day of the year in the UK, long after foot and mouth has disappeared. Slaughter for foot and mouth or slaughter for food - it makes little difference to the victims. If people object to the killing of animals, there’s only one answer - stop eating them. We know that many are already considering this option and this campaign will help them to make the change.”

Anyone contacting Viva! will be sent a free ‘Go Veggie’ pack which will include recipes and tips on shopping, cooking and eating out. Also available is a range of guides on all the vegetarian topics including health, nutrition, food poisoning and genetic engineering. Celebrities supporting the campaign include Paul McCartney, Hayley Mills, Pam Ferris, Benjamin Zephaniah, Joanna Lumley and Michael Mansfield QC.

“The real irony is that on Britain’s filthy factory farms there are many diseases far more serious than foot and mouth and even new diseases are beginning to appear”, says Ms Gellatley. “Disease, virulent infections and deadly, antibiotic-resistant superbugs are now part of the system and increasingly pose a serious threat to humans. Instead of crocodile tears and hypocrisy, Viva! is offering a way forward which provides genuine protection for humans and animals alike!”

For further information on Foot and Mouth, visit the UK site of Viva!