The animal rights group PETA promises to throw a vegan barbecue worthy of Texas if the man behind a proposed $400 billion “city of the future” promises to make it a vegan-only locale.
Former Walmart executive Marc Lore recently unveiled plans for a 200,000-acre futuristic city called Telosa that would be sustainable, equitable, and inclusive. Texas is among the places under consideration for Telosa. Initial plans for the city make no mention of veganism (or vegetarianism).
Now, PETA is chiming in with a call for Telosa to be an all-vegan city. PETA says that if Lore follows through on its wish, the organization will supply 50,000 vegan starter kits for the city’s first residents and cater a vegan barbecue in one of Telosa’s parks.
“There’s no utopia if fridges are full of animals’ body parts from an environmentally devastating industry,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk says in a statement provided to CultureMap. “PETA hopes to celebrate a truly sustainable city with a vegan barbecue blowout.”
Of course, Texas cattle ranchers might have a beef with PETA over this idea. After all, Texas is the country’s cattle capital, home to about 13 million head of cattle that represent 14 percent of the entire U.S. cattle inventory. This includes millions of cattle raised for their beef and milk.
Still, Telosa might find support beyond PETA for a vegan-only environment, as an estimated 9.7 million Americans follow a vegan diet. (Although that support likely would be offset in Texas by our undying barbecue adulation.)
On September 10, PETA sent a letter to Lore outlining reasons why Telosa should be a vegan outpost in cattle-friendly Texas (or wherever it ends up being built). The letter, signed by Newkirk, cites a need to drastically reduce meat, dairy, and egg consumption to combat greenhouse gases. In addition, the letter points out that much of our land is dedicated to growing crops to feed animals rather than humans.
“Simply put, the production of meat, dairy, and eggs is unsustainable. It’s 18 times more efficient to produce plant-based chicken than to raise flesh-and-blood chickens,” Newkirk says. “Thankfully, we also have access to an endless variety of healthy as well as eco- and animal-friendly vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.”
Newkirk maintains that a city like Telosa couldn’t be considered a true utopia if animals there are being slaughtered for food.
“At a time when the top three killers in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer, and strokes — all linked to eating meat — an all-vegan city would be a cause for massive celebration,” she writes.