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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A pro-vegetarian group served up some food for thought to a lunchtime crowd at Rittenhouse Square on Tuesday – a 10-foot long inflatable puppy crammed inside a bun, with lettuce and cheese.

The group Mercy for Animals handed out brochures with a cute puppy featured on top and a pig on the bottom, with the message, ‘Why love one but eat the other?’

The organization’s Phil Letten says the only difference between the animals we call meals and the animals we call pets is our treatment of them.

“All animals suffer pain and experience pleasure in the same way,” says Letten. “And (they) are deserving of the same consideration and respect.”

Letten says factory farms abuse, exploit and treat as mere commodities chickens, cows, pigs, and sheep.

“Factory farmed animals are forced to spend nearly their entire lives crammed inside tiny crates that are barely larger than their bodies,” he adds. “They are mutilated without pain killers and forced to endure a brutal slaughter at the slaughterhouse.’

The group advocates that folks adopt a compassionate vegetarian diet. One option is to go slow, and maybe start one day a week, and take it from there.

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