Go vegetarian

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A young female supporter of the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) appeared in a full-length gown made of lettuce leaves in Hanoi Wednesday afternoon (August 15) to appeal to people to go vegetarian.

Dam Hong Loan, a student of the Finance Institute, also held a placard saying "Save the Planet. Go Vegetarian" near the Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake, attracting flocks of curious passerby who stopped to watch her and take photos.

PETA volunteers had used around 10 kilograms of lettuce and mustard greens to make the gown.

But as Loan began to attract too many curious people, security guards around Hoan Kiem Lake asked the PETA volunteers group to move out of the area, saying they did not have a license for the event.

The group moved to the sidewalk in front of Hanoi Electricity Company.

Jason Baker, PETA Asia's vice-president of international operations, said it was the first time that the American animal rights organization organized an event like this in Hanoi.

"We are asking people to turn over a new leaf and go vegetarian," he said.

"With so many delicious alternatives to meat readily available, it is easier than ever to enjoy great food without causing animal suffering."

According to PETA, more than half a billion animals are slaughtered for food in Vietnam every year. Most animals raised for food are confined in filthy, crowded enclosures and denied everything that is natural and important to them.

On August 13 a Da Lat woman also attracted attention by wearing a lettuce garb near a downtown market.

Pham Trieu Chinh, a 24-year-old vegetarian, also distributed 50 kilograms of vegetables she collected from Da Lat farms to passers-by, saying she wanted people to eat Da Lat vegetables rather than meat.

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