Friday, April 18, 2003
PETA sinks to new low by co-opting Jesus.
Local Jewish leaders say a billboard that promotes vegetarianism by claiming "Jesus was the prince of peas" is historically inaccurate.
The billboard depicts Jesus with an orange slice in place of a halo, and was erected by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, to coincide with Passover and Easter.
PETA's Bruce Friedrich said the campaign is meant to provoke the thought that if people are eating meat, they are promoting cruelty to animals.
"The way that animals are treated on factory farms and slaughterhouses is egregiously cruel and mocks God," Friedrich said.
But Rabbi David Ostrich of Temple Beth-el said historical evidence indicates that Jesus, like other Jews of the time, was a meat eater. He said a ritual part of the Passover meal was a lamb slaughtered in the Temple in Jerusalem.