PETA Paying Overdue Detroit Water Bills for People Who Go Vegan

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 09:37 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Amid angry protests over Detroit's effort to shut off delinquent water customers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering to pay overdue water bills for 10 city residents who, in return, go vegan for a month.

Metrotimes, an alternative weekly publication in Detroit, first reported the animal rights organization's unusual offer, quoting a PETA statement declaring vegan meals "take far less of a toll on the earth's resources."

"It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat," the statement said, according to Metrotimes.

"Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with," added President Ingrid Newkirk.

According to a PETA blog post Thursday, the offer – thanks to one "generous PETA member – is "one small way to assist Detroit residents and save animals, too."

"Thanks to this donor, PETA will be able to pay off the water bills for 10 families who commit to going vegan for one month," the blog stated. "We’ll also help them get started by giving each family a basket of healthy vegan foods and recipes."

Meanwhile, USA Today reported a new website aims to connect donors directly with residents without water.

Tiffani Bell and Kristy Tillman created the Detroit Water Project, which matches potential donors with the water department account information of needy Detroit citizens.

Tillman said she and Bell weren't satisfied with the typical crowdfunding models.

"Generally with crowdfunding, people have to wait until the entire fund is raised," she told USA Today. "We also wanted to ensure our donations went directly to the residents, and that was not a guarantee through any of the campaigns we saw going on at the time."

Detroit residents who have overdue water balances can submit their information to the Detroit Water Project website, which then matches that information with a donor. As of Friday, more than 3,000 donors have pledged, and more than 300 people with overdue bills reached out to the site, she told USA Today.

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