Response to PETA’s latest initiatives

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to raise health insurance premiums for meat eaters and lower premiums for vegetarians, because “heart disease, diabetes and obesity have been conclusively linked to the consumption of meat and other animal products,” reports KPRC Houston.

In a letter sent to Bill Milnes Jr., president of Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Vermont, PETA Executive Director Tracy Reiman wrote, "By giving your policy holders a financial incentive to go vegetarian -- and penalizing those whose meat-based diets fuel our nation's worst health problems -- Blue Cross Blue Shield could save millions of dollars in the long run," Reiman wrote.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevail at Blue Cross, which will not be taking PETA's suggestion any time soon. "Under Vermont law, we would not be allowed to vary rates based on the dietary and nutritional habits of various members," says Kevin Goddard, Blue Cross's vice president of external affairs. He said that Blue Cross is always looking to have the healthiest members possible, but "we have no information one way or the other if vegetarians are more healthy."

PETA also made headlines in September when it asked Ben & Jerry's to use human breast milk in its ice cream instead of cow’s milk. "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her
child," a representative for Ben & Jerry's responded at the time.