Thursday, December 25, 2003

THE NAME GAME: One of PETA's recurring fantasies is that if they can just get a town to change its name (in exchange for free vegan burgers), they'll get a ton of good publicity. So far, they've just managed to irk a bunch of city councils.

PETA asks Rodeo in Contra Costa County to change its name to Unity. They chose "Unity" because of the Union Oil Company was formerly a big employer in the town. However, "The Californio lore certainly carries a more positive connotation than renaming Rodeo after an oil refinery, she (Diane Leite, Comittee chair) said. After 100 years of heavy industry, the town's land is difficult to develop because of toxic exposure."

In 1996, PETA asked Fishkill, NY to change its name to Fishsave. The mayor called the request "idiotic", and news reports pointed out that the "kill" part in the name is actually the Dutch word for "stream."

PETA asks Hamburg, Pennsylvania, to change its name to the not-at-all-silly name of Veggieburg in exchange for $15,000 worth of vegetarian patties for schools. PETA spokesman Joe Haptas admits "This campaign is a bit tongue-in-cheek because we don't expect anybody to accept, but the offer is serious." PETA extends the offer to Hamburg, NY and Hamburg, Germany, with similar results.

Perhaps giving up on asking whole towns to change their names, in 2000, PETA asked the Green Bay Packers to change their name to the Green Bay Pickers "referring to picking fruits, vegetables and other crops, or possibly the Green Bay 'Six-Packers,' referring to the state's brewing history."

Finally, they convinced one of their own to change her name from Karin Robertson to GoVeg.com.

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