People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was not pleased with Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley’s disgusted reaction to the revelation that a United States Department of Agriculture newsletter was encouraging its employees to forgo meat.
“We’re taking bets (place yours in the comments section below) on how long it will take Sen. Grassley to succumb to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or some other meat-related disease,” PETA’s Alisa Mullins posted on the group’s website Thursday.
On Wednesday Grassley tweeted his intention to eat more meat in response to a USDA newsletter that pressed employees to start participating in “Meatless Mondays” as a way to help the environment and their health.
“Shame USDA. One has to wonder whether the Dept of Ag supports Iowa farmers since it is promoting ‘meatless Monday’ for USDA employees,” Grassley tweeted, adding, “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday.”
USDA has since removed the newsletter and said that it does not endorse “Meatless Mondays.”
“From [Grassley’s] reaction, it seems like a pretty safe bet that he’s already got high blood pressure,” added PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, according to PETA’s blog post. “Were he a physician instead of a politician who truly puts his rancher money where his mouth is, he’d be guilty of malpractice.”
Jill Kozeny, a Grassley spokeswoman, described PETA’s comments as “shameful and way outside the mainstream” to POLITICO.
“Sen. Grassley is representing his constituents. He’d like USDA to remember who it’s supposed to work for, too,” she added.
Update: In an emailed response to The Daily Caller after publication, Newkirk added that Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran, who spoke on the Senate Floor Wednesday in opposition to “Meatless Mondays,” should also be “ashamed.”
“We simply pointed out the obvious, i.e. that being beholden to the cattle business – when meat-related diseases are claiming American lives at an alarming rate and cruelty runs rampant on factory farms, in transport and at slaughterhouses – doesn’t help anyone except the meat industry and, the senator hopes, Senator Grassley,” she wrote. “Senator Moran, also a meat business servant, should be as ashamed of such blatant toadying.”