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PETA's Lettuce Ladies In Cuba Selling Vegan Virtues – And Bizarre Bikinis

Lettuce bikini-clad PETA activists before heading to Cuba on their vegan mission.

The Kardashians have visited Cuba. So have Chanel models. So it was just a matter of time before animal rights activists showed up wearing bikinis made of lettuce. Right?

They did indeed fly to Cuba on Tuesday – but something might be wrong with this picture.

Most people want Cuba to be democratic. They want it to be Internet accessible. Now the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wants the island to get vegan.

So the group sent women clad in scanty, lettuce-leaf bikinis on a commercial flight from Fort Lauderdale to Havana. Their mission: persuade Cubans to stop eating meat, dairy and eggs – and give them vegan starter kits for eating pure fruit and vegetable diets.

Fine – except there’s just one problem. Cubans don’t have a lot of vegetables to go vegan with.

Food production in general is a struggle in their communist country – and greens like, say, lettuce can be scarce and expensive. A report by Cuba’s public health ministry a few years ago found Cubans eat vegetables only three days a week.

A PETA spokeswoman says the starter-kit recipes include vegan ingredients more readily available in Cuba, like black beans and plantains. Either way, one bright spot for Cuba is its growing number of urban gardens – which today provide some two-thirds of the island’s veggies.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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