Gov. Nikki Haley, shown here at the RedState Gathering in August.
  • Gov. Nikki Haley, shown here at the RedState Gathering in August.

If you give a phone call to Summerville resident Samantha Suiter, South Carolina’s one and only employee of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, she will answer with a chipper greeting: “It’s a great day to go vegan in South Carolina! How can I help you?”

Gauging the nationwide media response, it would seem that Gov. Nikki Haley was begging for parodies when she decreed Tuesday that all state Cabinet agency employees answer the phone by saying, “It’s a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?” In a state that ranks fourth in the nation in unemployment, eighth in obesity, third in gonorrhea, and 49th in SAT scores, the blithe greeting comes across as optimistic at best, whitewashed at worst. According to the Free Times, one doctor at the Department of Mental Health received a memo about the new rule and replied in an e-mail, “Is this a joke?”

Suiter, executive assistant to PETA’s Department of Laboratory Investigations, says the idea for the cheeky greeting came up during a PETA brainstorming session this week. “It sounded like a really fun, lighthearted way to convey a serious message about going vegan,” she says. Suiter is herself a vegan, citing concerns about health, animal welfare, and environmental responsibility. She plans to keep using the greeting indefinitely.

Want to brighten your morning when Monday comes around? Call Suiter’s work phone at (843) 771-2394. If you’re thinking about going vegan, call 1-888-VEGFOOD for a free vegan starter kit from PETA.

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