LATINO VOICES
04/26/2013 04:27 pm ET

PETA Latino Launched To Convince Hispanics To Give Up Meat

Courtesy of PETA Latino

PETA is going after Latinos.

The animal rights group officially launched PETA Latino on Thursday, a bilingual campaign to raise awareness among Hispanics about the health dangers and ethical concerns of eating meat.

Going classy with it, PETA kicked off their Latino campaign with actress and ex-Miss Panama Patricia De León posing nude on top of a giant broccolini over the words (in Spanish) "eat your vegetables, they're very tasty." (Story continues below the image NSFW.)

peta latino

While veggies may be tasty, as De León argues with her nakedness, PETA Latino may face an uphill battle convincing Hispanics to abandon meat in large numbers.

Eating meat is very engrained in Latin American culture, and Hispanic Americans carry on that tradition in the United States. And unlike mainstream America, Latinos are long accustomed to eating more than just the prime cuts of an animal and ignoring the rest. (Anyone up for riñones a la parrilla? Mondongo? Anticuchos de corazón?)

Indeed, lack of awareness about vegetarianism in the Latino community can make it tough to make the switch, as Leslie Pasante explains in a piece about going vegetarian over at Being Latino.

Being a vegetarian and a Latina seem to be completely contradictory terms, placed together in a sentence sounds confusing and comical at the same time. Try going to a Puerto Rican restaurant, being a Puerto Rican yourself, ask for arroz con habichuelas (rice and beans), tostones (plantains) and a salad sans meat and you’ll get a very confused waiter or waitress. But why?

PETA hopes its new outreach can bridge the gap, with advocacy, information and star power. The group congratulated Puerto Rican star Ricky Martin last month for going vegetarian, NBC Latino reports. PETA Latino also has the backing of Latino celebs including Kate del Castillo, Penélope Cruz, Eva Mendes and others.

There are undeniable benefits to vegetarianism, as PETA Latino points out on its website. De León says she feels much better physically ever since giving up meat 10 years ago. Eating a well balanced vegetarian diet can help people ward off cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other illnesses.

That's all good news for Hispanics, who face a growing problem with obesity and diabetes rates almost double those of non-Latino whites, according to the American Diabetes Association.

On the other hand, vegetarians miss out on chorizo, chicharrones and lechón.

As you ponder whether to go vegetarian, check out these 10 tasty meats popular among Latinos and listening to these songs singing their praises.

10 Awesome Meats (With Soundtrack)


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