You may have heard we have a bit of a water crisis here in Detroit. Several people are unable to pay their bills, so the department is cutting them off. Now PETA says they will pay some of those bills — if customers switch to veganism.
PETA says it will pay 10 accounts off if customers mail in their bills with a pledge that they'll become a vegan household. "The last thing that people who are struggling need is increased health-care costs."
First off, and this goes without saying, but fuck PETA.
Second, I'd argue the last thing a Detroiter facing a water shutoff needs is a vegan lifestyle. I'd think that first and foremost they need to keep their water on. And, you know, use that water for things other than cooking. Like hygiene, for instance.
PETA promises they'll send over a basket of "tasty vegan food" to those who take the pledge. And then what? Will PETA monitor these customers day in, day out, making sure they don't backslide into bacon? Is PETA going to help these customers shop at the new Whole Foods, likely miles away from their homes? Or maybe plant them a vegetable garden, where they'd likely have to use even more water to keep it alive?
Fortunately there are less-obnoxious ways to help a Detroiter in need. There's a site going around, DetroitWaterProject.org, where anonymous donors can pay bills in the same way that people pay off layaway balances around Christmastime. In the meantime, the water department has issued a moratorium on shutoffs as it figures out the clusterfuck of dealing with abandoned buildings with gushing pipes, angry customers who weren't informed of pending shutoffs and other customers with money turned away from paying their bills.