(Text and image from PETA)
Manila â€” Dressed as a modern-day angel and holding a baby pig, model Raya Mananquil is the latest Filipino star to appear in a prestigious People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ad campaign. The ad, released just in time for Christmas, bears the tagline â€œBe an Angel: Go Vegetarian.â€
Raya knows that the best way to protect animals, the environment, and your own health is to go vegetarian. â€œThe holidays are all about peace and giving, and what could be better than to give innocent animals a reason to celebrate too?â€ says Raya, who credits her vegetarianism with her own good health and advises anyone who still eats meat to watch PETAâ€™s powerful video â€œMeet Your Meat.â€ â€œAnything we can do to lessen the suffering of animals used in the food industry makes the world a better place for all of us.â€
Animals raised in factory farms never have a holiday. Most chickens in the Philippines are forced to spend their lives in crowded, filthy sheds. Many have their beaks cut off with a hot blade when they are only 1 day old. Male cows and pigs are castrated without any painkillers. Dairy cows are kept constantly pregnant to keep their milk flowing. Newborn calves are torn from their loving mothers within hours of birth. Males are sold to the cruel veal industry, and female babies become â€œmilk machinesâ€ just like their mothers. At slaughterhouses, animals are hung upside-down, and their throats are slit, often while they are still conscious.
People who eat animals pay a price too. Consumption of meat and other animal products has been conclusively linked to heart disease, diabetes, and cancerâ€”all of which are top killers of Filipinos. Studies show that switching to a vegetarian diet can protect against these and other diseases and even reverse the symptoms. Raya also points out that going vegetarian can improve your looks. â€œVegetarians are more fit and trim on average than their meat-eating counterparts,â€ she added.
Meat production is also a leading cause of water pollution and soil erosion, and raising fish for food is not any better. The rapid deterioration of Philippine coral reefs is a result of destructive fishing methods and aquaculture (which is also called fish â€œfarmingâ€).
â€œEating pigs, turkeys, and other animals during the holidays is not only cruel, itâ€™s self-destructive,â€ says Raya. â€œGoing vegetarian is the best thing you can do for the animals and yourself.â€
The ad was shot by fashion photo ace Ronnie Salvacion. The stylist was Luis Espirieu. Makeup was by Peddy Acebo.
For more information, a copy of PETAâ€™s video â€œMeet Your Meat,â€ or a free vegetarian starter kit, please visit GoVeg.com.