PETA asks Johnny Appleseed Festival to honor his legacy with meat-free menu

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News release from PETA:

PETA Asks Johnny Appleseed Festival to Honor His Legacy With Meat-Free Menu

With the Johnny Appleseed Festival gearing up for its 38th year, PETA has written to festival organizers with a suggestion that will add more authenticity to the celebration: Serve only vegetarian meals. As PETA explains in the letter, John “Appleseed” Chapman didn’t just plant the fruit trees for which he was named—he was also a vegetarian who promoted kindness to all animals, a distinction that landed him on PETA’s postage sheet of famous vegetarians. What’s more, festival guidelines require vendors to prepare food using only methods available during Chapman’s lifetime, but animals killed for food nowadays spend their lives in intensive confinement on crowded, filthy factory farms that bear no resemblance to the practices of 19th-century agriculture.

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PETA’s letter to the organizers of the Johnny Appleseed Festival follows.

August 13, 2012

Bridget Kelly
Food Booth Chairperson
Johnny Appleseed Festival

Via e-mail:

Dear Ms. Kelly,

Greetings from PETA. As you know, Johnny Appleseed was an American pioneer but not just of apple trees—he was also one of the country’s first iconic vegetarians because of his respect for animals. He rescued countless animals throughout his life. We’re writing to ask that you honor his compassionate legacy by serving only meat-free food, such as veggie dogs and burgers, at the festival this year.

The festival requires vendors to prepare foods using methods from Johnny Appleseed’s lifetime, but today, ham and grilled turkey legs come from factory farms, where animals are forced to live crowded together by the thousands in dark, filthy sheds and cages. Johnny would be horrified to learn that millions of these animals are routinely beaten, dragged, and thrown against walls in slaughterhouses across the country every year. Offering your visitors only humane vegan food would create a more realistic portrayal of the legend’s life while helping to curb the state’s obesity epidemic. According to the Indiana Department of Health, 65 percent of adults are now overweight or obese. Going vegan is an easy way to shed pounds and keep them off. Vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter and have a much lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes than their flesh-eating counterparts do.

We’d be glad to provide your vendors with some popular recipes, including veggie chili, meatless pizza, and, of course, fresh-baked apple pie. Please let me know if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing that you will make this fitting tribute to the festival’s namesake.


Dan Mathews
Senior Vice President

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