Ninety-year-old homeless advocate hero Arnold Abbott has quickly gained a lot of attention this week after being cited twice for feeding the homeless.
He's gone from local news story to the lead story on the Colbert Report and making national headlines. Now the folks over at PETA want to get in on helping Abbott help the homeless action by encouraging him not to feed meat to the homeless. To nudge him in the right direction, PETA has sent Abbott what it's calling "a hefty supply" of vegan food to his Love Thy Neighbor charity.
PETA, along with its Christian outreach division -- Jesus People for Animals -- sent Love Thy Neighbor a shipment that include spice, peanut butter, textured vegetable protein -- which is basically vegan "ground beef" -- vegetarian chili, soy milk, Primal Strips vegan jerky, and vegan cookies.
"Christian compassion should be extended to everyone, from Fort Lauderdale's homeless community to the chickens, cows, and pigs killed by the billions for food every year," Sarah King, PETA's director of Christian outreach, said via a news release. "PETA is pleased to donate a supply of healthy and delicious vegan food in support of Arnold Abbott's inspiring effort to practice kindness to his neighbors."
PETA's aim with the shipment of food is to not only help the homeless but also spare "animals immense suffering on farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats."
In a letter to Abbott, King says the food PETA has sent him will not only help the homeless "but also save the lives of animals."
As PETA's director of Christian outreach and engagement and a follower of Jesus, I'm writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters -- including thousands across Florida -- to thank you for your efforts to take care of neighbors in need. As a token of our appreciation and support for your mission, we have sent you a supply of vegan food and would be honored if you would share it with the homeless and hungry on our behalf.
The nourishing and delicious plant-based foods we've sent will help you and the other volunteers with whom you work bring relief not only to hungry human beings but also to animals raised for food--who are also God's creatures and in desperate need of our mercy. As Christians, we're called to be radically inclusive in our love, which we believe applies to human beings as well as all other animals. There's nothing merciful or loving about the way animals are raised and slaughtered for food. These beings are castrated, have their beaks chopped off, have their horns carved out of their skulls, are burned with hot branding irons, and more -- all without any painkillers. At the slaughterhouse, animals are shackled and their throats are cut, often while they're still conscious and able to feel pain. Many of these animals will never get to feel the warmth of the sun on their backs, form friendships, build nests, or do anything else that God intended for them to do.
Not only is raising animals this way a failure of faithful stewardship, it's also damaging to our health. Studies show that eating more vegan food reduces one's risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure -- all of which are common in those whose diets are rich in animal products.
We stand in solidarity with you as you perform God's work, and we're inspired by your efforts to show kindness and compassion to your hungry neighbors. A supply of vegan food will arrive in the next few days.
For all of God's creation,
Sarah Withrow King
Director of Christian Outreach and Engagement, JesusPeopleforAnimals.com