In another move that no one can explain, animal rights group Peta has sent a letter to a Nottingham councillor demanding that he change the name of the city to 'Not-Eating-Ham' for Christmas.
Peta hopes that Nottingham residents will embrace the festive spirit by shunning the tradition of eating anything from pigs in waistcoats made of bacon to a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird; instead choosing from the many 'delicious' non-animal options for Christmas dinner. The group has offered to distribute faux-ham roasts in the city centre if the council acts on their proposal.
"Devouring flesh is medieval, but on industrialised farms today, hundreds of millions of animals, who value their lives every bit as much as we value ours, needlessly suffer and die," said Peta Director Mimi Bekhechi.
"Changing the city's name to 'Not-Eating-Ham' would promote a compassionate Christmas, and make it merry for animals as well as people."
In a press release, Peta wrote: "According to the British Dietetic Association (the association of UK dietitians [sic]), a well-planned vegan diet can support healthy living at every age and life stage."
Peta's most recent stunt also involved Nottingham. A billboard was removed for being 'too sexual' after it was raised in an attempt to persuade people to give up dairy.
Below is the letter to Nottingham Councillor Jon Collins:
Dear Mr Collins,
I'm writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with an idea that will thrust Nottingham into the spotlight while also promoting compassion this Christmas. To celebrate the religious and ethical aspects of the festive season, we propose that for Christmas Day, you rename Nottingham "Not-Eating-Ham". If you agree to adopt this moniker for just one day, we'd be happy to provide you and your council colleagues with delicious, healthy vegan roasts.
Faux ham is a savoury, flavourful, "meaty" vegan product that's 100 per cent cruelty-free. In contrast, virtually all pork products sold in the UK today come from pigs who've spent their lives on factory farms, where sows are confined to extremely crowded pens amid filthy conditions, which drive many of them insane. Piglets have their tails chopped off and the ends of their teeth cut with pliers, and male pigs are castrated, typically without painkillers. Most of these animals – who are actually quite similar to the cats and dogs with whom we share our homes – will never see sunlight or breathe fresh air until the day they're loaded onto a lorry bound for the abattoir, where their throats will be slit and they'll be hung upside down – often while they're still conscious – until they bleed to death.
People who eat pigs can also pay a high price. The consumption of ham and other meat products has been conclusively linked to some of the UK's biggest killers: heart disease, strokes, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
Changing the city's name to Not-Eating-Ham will remind people across the country that we all can have a delicious, protein-packed and satisfying Christmas dinner without supporting the abuse of animals. Faux ham tastes great, and it can even be eaten by those who are Jewish and Muslim – which means you'd be highlighting the city's multiculturalism as well.
Nottingham is well placed to build on the initiative shown by its "twin city" of Ghent in Belgium, which has been officially vegetarian on Thursdays – Veggiedag – since 2009, becoming the first city in the world to have a regular meat-free day each week.
Christmas is the perfect time to show others, in addition to Not-Eating-Ham's residents, the spirit of compassion and goodwill to all.
Please let me know of your decision.
Director, PETA UK