Jesus To Appear At The Passion Of The Christ Opening

PETA Asks Mel and Moviegoers to Show Compassion to Animals

For Immediate Release:
23 March 2004

Sean Gifford 0773 457 9092 (mobile); 020 7357 9229, ext 226
Dawn Carr 020 7357 9229, ext 224

London — A 10-foot-tall ‘Jesus’ will rise above the crowd at the opening of The Passion of the Christ to protest the suffering of animals raised and killed for food on ranches like Mel Gibson’s in Montana and to encourage moviegoers to adopt a diet that is respectful of all God’s creation. PETA’s ‘Jesus’ will be accompanied by people holding signs reading, ‘For Christ’s Sake—Go Veggie!’, ‘Blessed Are the Merciful’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, as well as activists handing out vegetarian starter kits and leaflets titled ‘Honoring All of God’s Creation’. One PETA activist will wear a body-screen TV to show a graphic video called ‘Meet Your Meat’ and narrated by Alec Baldwin, who has written to the Pope to ask His Holiness to condemn factory farming and slaughter:

Date: Wednesday, 24 March
Time: 12:30-1:15 p.m.
Place: Warner Village Cinema, 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square

The Passion of the Christ focuses on Jesus’ suffering in the final hours of his life. PETA wants everyone who eats meat to consider that suffering is an everyday reality for cows and other animals on farms and feedlots and, ultimately, in abattoirs. Cows are routinely dehorned¯and males are castrated¯without pain relief, deprived of their young and treated as commodities. As whistleblowers and veterinarian inspectors have attested, abattoir workers often resort to scalding, skinning and dismembering fully conscious animals in order to keep production lines moving.

‘Abattoirs are among the most violent and ungodly places on Earth’, says PETA U.S. Vegan Campaign Director Bruce Friedrich, a devout Roman Catholic. ‘We’d like people who watch the film to think about the suffering that goes into every meat-based meal. It is easy to be merciful and compassionate by adopting a vegetarian diet.’

‘Jesus’ has also appeared across America at the premieres of The Passion of the Christ in San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.

For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site