WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is taking bets on its website on when Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will die after he criticized the Department of Agriculture promoting “Meatless Mondays” for its cafeteria.
Grassley originally took to Twitter Wednesday to take issue with the USDA promoting the program.
“Shame USDA. One has to wonder whether the Dept of Ag supports Iowa farmers since it is promoting ‘meatless Monday’ for USDA employees,” Grassley tweeted.
He later said on Twitter: “I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday.”
The USDA subsequently pulled the program after receiving complaints from other Republicans and also the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
The department’s press team also took to Twitter to clear up the matter.
“USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement found on USDA website was posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed.”
PETA, though, took issue with Grassley’s comments and posted “Meatless Monday Raises Sen.’s Blood Pressure” blog on its site.
“We’re taking bets (place yours in the comments section below) on how long it will take Sen. Grassley to succumb to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or some other meat-related disease,” the blog post said.
PETA’s President Ingrid Newkirk also slammed Grassley for his comments.
“From his reaction, it seems like a pretty safe bet that he’s already got high blood pressure,” Newkirk said in the blog post. “Were he a physician instead of a politician who truly puts his rancher money where his mouth is, he’d be guilty of malpractice.”
A Grassley spokesperson called the comments “shameful.”
“The comments from PETA are shameful and way outside the mainstream. Sen. Grassley is representing his constituents,” Grassley spokesperson Jill Kozeny said in a statement to CBSDC. “He’d like USDA to remember who it’s supposed to work for, too.”