Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
6 April 2011

Sandra Smiley +44 (0)20 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

Merthyr Tydfil – To alert parents to the perils of feeding meat to children, PETA has placed a billboard in Merthyr Tydfil in the hopes that residents will take stock of the town’s ballooning childhood obesity problem. The eye-catching advert reads, “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse. Fight the Fat. Go Veg”, and is located at Court Street on the corner of Yew Street. According to the Public Health Observatory for Wales, about one in four children in their reception year in Merthyr Tydfil was classed as either overweight or obese last year. Obesity is far more prevalent in meat-eaters than in vegetarians and vegans, and obesity in childhood is strongly linked to obesity and its associated health risks in adulthood.

Large numbers of British children are now suffering the ills of high-calorie, meat-rich diets. Medical professionals are seeing evidence of atheroma, angina and even heart attacks in children, and in 2009, the World Cancer Research Fund recommended that children should not eat processed meat – including ham, sausage and bacon – for health reasons.

The UK’s top killers – including heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes – are all associated with the saturated fat found in animal-derived products. After recommendations by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, the Department of Health recently advised Britons to eat less meat in order to cut the risk of certain kinds of cancer.

Eating meat also means killing animals. Hundreds of millions of land animals and countless fish are killed for their flesh every year in the UK. Many are raised on filthy, crowded factory farms, rarely if ever smelling fresh air or feeling the sun on their backs until the day they are sent off to slaughter.

“The potential for damage from a meat-heavy diet is like a ticking time bomb in kids”, says PETA special projects coordinator Abi Izzard. “In addition to causing immeasurable suffering to millions of animals, getting kids addicted to chicken, beef and other types of meat condemns an entire generation to a future of health problems.”

An image of the billboard is available online here.