Pork Pie Roundabout: where is Leicester island and why does animal rights organisation PETA want to rename it?

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The animal rights organisation said in a letter to Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby that renaming the roundabout ‘would be a great way to celebrate the city’s vegan and pie-loving heritage’

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has garnered attention online following an unusual request to Peter Soulsby, the Leicester City Mayor, regarding the name of a roundabout situated in South Leicester.

PETA’s suggestion to rename the roundabout was inspired, in part, by a report from De Montfort University Leicester released earlier this year.

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The report, from March 2022, said that the latest figures showed “nearly one in five adults aged 19 and over in Leicester are classified as obese” and “31% are overweight”.

The animal rights organisation is known for its unusual, and often controversial, campaigns.

This is everything you need to know.

Why does PETA want to change the roundabouts’ name?

PETA has asked Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby to rename the city’s Pork Pie Roundabout as Vegan Pie Roundabout, following recent reports that stated that almost one in five adults in Leicester aged 19 and over are classified as obease.

In the letter, PETA says that the name change would “inspire healthier food choices that help the environment, celebrate Leicester’s heritage, and prevent animal suffering”.

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It says: “This is not a pie-in-the-sky request. Eating a varied plant-based diet has been shown to prevent heart disease, diabetes, abdominal fat, and cancer.

PETA has suggested that changing the name of the roundabout will help inspire people to make healthier choices (Photo: Adobe Stock)PETA has suggested that changing the name of the roundabout will help inspire people to make healthier choices (Photo: Adobe Stock)
PETA has suggested that changing the name of the roundabout will help inspire people to make healthier choices (Photo: Adobe Stock) | Adobe Stock

“Vibrant vegan foods also have less saturated fat, fewer calories, and less cholesterol than their meaty counterparts.

“Encouraging people to eat plant-based could also help lessen the burden on Leicester’s already overstretched NHS.”

PETA adds that “since the word “vegan” was coined in Leicester by Donald Watson in

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1944”, changing the name of the roundabout “would also be a great way to celebrate the city’s vegan and pie-loving heritage”.

Protesters from PETA try to stop the public from entering the Smithfield 2000 agriculture exhibition at Earls Court in London 27 November 2000 (Photo by GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)Protesters from PETA try to stop the public from entering the Smithfield 2000 agriculture exhibition at Earls Court in London 27 November 2000 (Photo by GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters from PETA try to stop the public from entering the Smithfield 2000 agriculture exhibition at Earls Court in London 27 November 2000 (Photo by GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The letter ends by saying: “There’s never been a better time to stop going around in circles and take a bite out of Leiceter’s dangerous obesity crisis.

“PETA would be happy to offer a bountiful supply of delicious vegan pies to the local community to celebrate the name change.”

Has Mayor Peter Soulsby responded?

Mayor Peter Soulsby responded to the request by saying that there is “no way” that the roundabout’s name would be changed.

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He said: “[PETAs request is] a funny and quite clever way of drawing attention to themselves and their cause - but there is no way we could change the name people have given to the library and the roundabout next to it.

“It has been known locally as the Pork Pie Library since it was built in the 1930s, thanks to its distinctive circular shape. Any talk of changing its name is just pie in the sky.”

Pork Pie Roundabout got its name from the nearby Pork Pie Library (Photo: Google Maps)Pork Pie Roundabout got its name from the nearby Pork Pie Library (Photo: Google Maps)
Pork Pie Roundabout got its name from the nearby Pork Pie Library (Photo: Google Maps) | Google Maps

The Pork Pie Roundabout got its name from the unusually shaped library that sits between two of its six junctions.

Originally named Southfields Library, it became locally known as the Pork Pie Library due to its shape. The library was closed in 2014 and when it was reopened in 2015 a consultation was launched to find a name for the refurbished building.

As a result, it was officially renamed as the Pork Pie Library and Community Centre when it reopened.

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