09/15/2011 11:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Tennessee Says 'F-U' To Tofu-Loving PETA Member Over 'Obscene' License Plate

The Tennessee Department of Revenue, Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division rejected a PETA employee's proposed personalized license plate -- "ILVTOFU" -- citing "vulgarity."

Whitney Calk, a PETA employee who recently moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn., from Virginia, wanted her license plate to "inspire conversation about the benefits of a vegan diet" and eating foods like tofu, according to PETA spokeswoman Kristin Richards.

The Department of Revenue, however, apparently misunderstood the food reference and misread the message as "I-LV-TO-F-U."

"Tofu is wholesome. What's 'vulgar' is the way that animals used for food suffer on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement.

"The Department of Revenue could help animals, the planet, and human health by reconsidering its decision and allowing more people to discover the joy of soy," Reiman continued.

Calk's license plate request is not original. In 2009, a Colorado woman failed in her attempts to have the same wording put on her personalized license plate over concerns that it could be seen as obscene.

"We're concerned about others who may misread the plate," Mark Couch, spokesman for Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles, told KMGH-TV in April 2009.

No word yet on whether the Tennessee Department of Revenue is reconsidering its decision.