LITTLE ROCK — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Wednesday asked Secretary of State Mark Martin to approve the placement of a banner promoting veganism at the state Capitol.

LITTLE ROCK — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Wednesday asked Secretary of State Mark Martin to approve the placement of a banner promoting veganism at the state Capitol.


The animal rights group said it wanted to join other groups seeking to place displays honoring various belief systems at the Capitol in the wake of the state Legislature’s approval this year of legislation calling for a Ten Commandments monument to be placed on the state Capitol grounds at private expense.


PETA sent a letter to Martin a day after Universal Society of Hinduism said it wants to place a statue of the Hindu god Hanuman on the Capitol grounds. The Satanic Temple has said it is considering seeking to place a statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed version of Satan, at the Capitol.


The banner proposed by PETA would bear images of peas arranged in the forms of the Christian cross, the Muslim star and crescent, the Hindu Aum and the Jewish star of David, along with the words, "Give Peas a Chance: Go Vegan. Kindness Is the Best Religion of All."


"While other groups are proposing to erect monuments in honor of one particular belief system or another, PETA is seeking approval for the placement of a banner at the state capitol that promotes a system of values that people of all faiths, or even those with no religious beliefs, should be able to agree upon: compassion and understanding for all," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in the letter to Martin.


Reiman wrote that people of all nationalities and religions "often feel powerless in the face of the discrimination and violence in the world, yet every time that we sit down to eat, we can help actively resist contributing to such suffering by choosing to eat a meal that involves no suffering. Our banner would remind everyone that, regardless of our beliefs, we can share a message of kindness with the world by choosing vegan foods."


Martin spokesman Chris Powell did not immediately return a phone call and an email seeking comment Wednesday.


State Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, who sponsored the Ten Commandments legislation, said Tuesday he did not believe the law opened a door for religious displays at the Capitol because "the Ten Commandments monument display is about the historical, moral foundation of law, and (the law) specifically states that it is not an endorsement of a religion or a denomination."