Meating Adjourned

God help the owners of Waldo's Barbecue. The shop, with locations in Scottsdale and Mesa, has a slogan that parodies P.E.T.A. -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Waldo's take on the acronym? People who Enjoy Tasting Animals.

Waldo's is a sure-fire target for a recent P.E.T.A. campaign directed at Phoenix restaurants -- the "I Hate Men's Guts" postcard and recipe package that's being distributed to media in an effort to increase vegetarian consumption in the Valley.

According to materials distributed by P.E.T.A., Men's Fitness magazine has cited Phoenix as one of the "fattest" cities in the nation. This is because of our noble citizens eating too much meat, says P.E.T.A., and because of our rank as one of the top 10 flesh-feasters in America. Besides corpulence, meat eaters risk heart disease, stroke, cancer and impotence. (My thought? If this were true, meat eaters couldn't reproduce and the problem would be solved.)

Regardless, P.E.T.A. has sent out a camp-style postcard featuring a scare-flick-illustrated woman screaming "I Hate Men's Guts." The idea is that eating meat adds to men's guts . . . which women don't like . . . which, well, you get it. Eat more veggies.

To help our restaurants, P.E.T.A. has posted a list of vegetarian recipes on its Web site, I doubt if it will get much use. The site's hard to navigate -- it's a struggle to get past the horribly spooky floating icon that has Jesus saying he was a vegetarian. But venture on, and learn that P.E.T.A. hates Jack in the Box (me too, but I don't think it causes the skin damage that P.E.T.A. worries about), plus the Dairy Council ("If you knew how dairy cows suffered, you'd spew!"). The end of the rainbow, though -- learn how supporting P.E.T.A.'s cause could benefit us in a visit from (drumroll, please) . . . the Lettuce Ladies!

Wearing nothing but strategically placed lettuce leaves, P.E.T.A.'s Lettuce Ladies strive to educate people about vegetarianism and serving up delicious veggie food, the group says. These leafy lasses have been greeted by cheering crowds across the nation, including, not surprisingly, an all-veggie party for legislators on Capitol Hill. If we join the P.E.T.A. party, we might get them too.

Waldo's, watch your back. P.E.T.A. is a massive international organization, and Lettuce Ladies aside, the activists have very little sense of humor when it comes to protecting animal rights.


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