Detroit, MI – The international animal rights organization, PETA is offering to pay the water bill of 10 Detroit residents who pledge to go vegan for a month.
The Detroit Water and Sewer Department’s (DWSD) recent decision to begin shutting off water to residents who have an unpaid bill has generated international outrage including statements by Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR).
Amnesty International-USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins said, “Access to essential water is a human right. Deprivation of this basic right can not only cause a sanitation catastrophe for these families but could result in their children being removed due to an inability to pay for water.”
Three experts from the OHCHR stated in a press release that “Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights.”
According to PETA, one of their members who lives in Detroit has offered to pay off the water bills for 10 families who pledge to go vegan for one month. PETA Spokesperson, Lindsey Rajt said that several people have responded by phone showing an interest in the offer.
PETA will offer the residents who participate with a vegan food basket as well as a recipe booklet to help families learn how to prepare vegan meals. “We are trying to make it as easy as possible,” said Rajt.
Responding to criticism that PETA is using the Detroit water bill crisis as a way draw attention to themselves, Rajt said, “We’re an advocay organization for the benefit of animals. We hope that people hear about this and they might respond with an interest in going vegan.”
According to Rajt, PETA will not be enforcing compliance with the vegan pledge to participating Detroiters. “It’s really on the honor system,” said Rajt. PETA also has an online Vegan Pledge for anyone who is interested in trying a plant based diet for 30 days. By taking the pledge, PETA will email tips on the best places to eat out, our favorite recipes, the tastiest animal-friendly snacks, and the most delicious prepackaged vegan meals.
“We are happy that people not only benefit from this, but also from the amount of discussion that it has provoked. By goiing vegan, people are helping animals and there are health benefits.”
Detroit residents who are interested in participating in PETA’s offer are asked to send a letter along with a copy of their water bill to: PETA, Attn: Detroit Water, 501 Front St., Norfolk, Va. 23510. Requests must be postmarked by August 1, to be considered.