Group’s Plan to Help Overweight City Trim the Fat Never Takes Flight

For Immediate Release:
19 March 2013

Wellington – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia had wanted to help their neighbours in Wellington get off the list of fat cities, but officials at Wellington International Airport have seen to it that the idea never gets off the ground. That’s because they rejected the group’s new billboard that shows an overweight person clutching their oversized midriff next to the caption “Hold the Cheese – Go Vegan”.

According to the advertising company approached by PETA to acquire the billboard, an airport representative rejected the proposed ad, saying, “I’m afraid not, I think it will upset and offend A LOT of people”. But because eating dairy products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and obesity – a major health problem in Wellington – the airport apparently missed the boat.

“Going vegan is the easiest way to lose unwanted kilos and protect your health”, says PETA Australia Director of Campaigns Jason Baker. “PETA’s billboard could have reminded Wellington residents and others that they can save their health – and animals’ lives – simply by switching to plant-based meals instead of stuffing themselves with fattening cheese and other dairy products.”

PETA isn’t the only one with a distaste for cheese. The US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine found that typical cheeses are 70 per cent fat, and obesity is a bigger problem in countries around the world now than ever before.

In addition to also being linked to acne, allergies, and cancer of the reproductive organs, the consumption of dairy products takes a terrible toll on animals. Newborn calves are often torn away from their mothers so that the mothers’ milk can be sold. Also, because their bodies wear out so quickly when producing massive quantities of milk, mother cows are slaughtered at just a fraction of their natural life expectancy.

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