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PETA Asks Sheriff of Nottingham to Rename City 'Not-Eating-Ham' for Christmas

For Immediate Release:

5 December 2012 

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

PETA has sent a letter to Councillor Merlita Bryan – the sheriff of Nottingham – with an unusual request, to change the historic city's name to "Not-Eating-Ham" for a day. PETA's point? Since there are so many delicious non-animal options to choose from in the 21st century, devouring flesh is medieval. In the letter, PETA has offered to distribute faux-ham snacks in Old Market Square on a day of Bryan's choosing if she acts on the proposal. The treats would be delivered by none other than PETA's lovely bikini-clad "Lettuce Ladies".

"The hundreds of millions of animals who suffer and die on industrialised farms every year in the UK value their lives every bit as much as we value ours", says PETA's Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "By changing the city's name to 'Not-Eating-Ham' to promote a healthier, more environmentally friendly and compassionate animal-free diet, we can make this Christmas merry for all animals."

Is the plan that absurd? Nottingham is twinned with Ghent, Belgium, who in 2009 became the first city in the world to declare a weekly meat-free day to promote sustainable and healthy living. This has since caught on in cities around the world. A day of "Not-Eating-Ham" would certainly put the city one-up on its twin!

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.

PETA's letter to the sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Merlita Bryan, follows.

LH Box 28, Loxley House

Station Street

Nottingham

NG2 3NG

Via e-mail: merlita.bryan@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Dear Councillor Merlita Bryan,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) with an idea that will boost Nottingham's reputation as an innovative city as well as promote compassion this Christmas. To celebrate the religious, environmental, ethical and health aspects of the festive season, we propose that for a day, you rename Nottingham "Not-Eating-Ham". If you agree to adopt this moniker, we'd be happy to distribute delicious, healthy vegan snacks on that day in Old Market Square.

Faux-ham is a savoury, flavourful, "meaty" vegan product that is 100 per cent cruelty-free. In contrast, virtually all pork products sold in the UK today come from pigs who have spent their lives on factory farms, where sows are confined to extremely crowded, filthy conditions that 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 – all 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 when they are loaded onto a lorry bound for the abattoir, where they will be hung upside down and bled to death, often while they are still conscious.

People who eat pigs can also pay a high price. 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 around 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 is "ham" that even Jewish people and Muslims can eat – which means you'd be highlighting the city's multiculturalism as well.

Christmas is the perfect time to show other animals, in addition to Not-Eating-Ham's residents, the spirit of compassion and goodwill to all.

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 be meat-free on one day a week.

If renaming the city Not-Eating-Ham is too much, how about declaring 25 December as "Not-Eating-Ham" day in Nottingham?

Please let me know of your decision.

Sincerely yours,

Mimi Bekhechi
PETA UK Associate Director