Leonardo Da…’Veggie’!

For Immediate Release:

23 April 2019


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


PETA US Unveils Campaign at Eataly Marketplace for 500th Anniversary of Vegetarian Icon’s Death

Milan – In advance of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, PETA US has just launched an international ad campaign titled “Leonardo da Veggie: Eat Like a Genius” urging his admirers to follow his example by going meat-free. The blitz – which features da Vinci’s self-portrait – was unveiled outside Eataly Milano Smeraldo, where the lunchtime crowd received leaflets with the new ad encouraging them to skip the pork, boycott the beef, and give poultry a pass.



More photos from the unveiling are available here, here and here.

Da Vinci, who died on 2 May 1519, was the first major historical figure to put forward the idea of speciesism: he asserted, as PETA does, that humans are animals, too, without any special God-given right to deny the autonomy of other living beings who share our capacity for love, joy, pain and loneliness, and our desire to stay alive. He rejected meat and animal-derived products, writing, “If you are, as you have described yourself, the king of the animals, why do you help other animals only so that they may be able to give you their young in order to gratify your palate?” He was also said to wear linen clothes, as opposed to fur or leather, and to purchase and set free caged birds sold as “pets”.

“Leonardo da Vinci voiced vegan ideals hundreds of years before the word ‘vegan’ was coined,” says PETA US Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “As the world marks the 500th anniversary of da Vinci’s passing, PETA is honouring his legacy by encouraging his admirers to respect animals and stop eating them.”

PETA US previously honoured da Vinci in its “Vegetarian Icons” US postal stamp collection, which celebrated famous animal advocates ranging from Pythagoras to Tolstoy to Paul McCartney.

PETA – whose motto reads, “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.