Baltimore may laud celebrated mystery writer Edgar Allan Poe as one of its famous denizens, but when it comes to honoring the man — well, it just may not be in the budget.
Like others around the nation, Baltimore has had to enact spending cuts and raise taxes to combat a growing deficit. For fans of the writer, this unfortunately includes terminating funding for the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum.
Since last summer, the city has stopped paying the more than $80,000/year it costs to run the museum, including the salary of curator Jeff Jerome. Officials have said that the site will either become self-sufficient or it will be shut down at the end of this year. For now, Jerome — who has been the only employee since 1979 — is keeping things afloat with cash from his own pocket.
Enter PETA, which has a knack for offering financial support to cities in return for some small promotion of its causes.
"Even the master, Poe himself, couldn't match the scary things that meat, eggs, and dairy products can do to a healthy heart," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Besides being murder on animals, eating meat is a surefire way to increase your chances of an early demise."
In return for helping "a little bit" with the annual costs, PETA would require the Poe House to display an ad that reads "The Tell-Tale Heart of a Meat-Eater. Don't Be Haunted by Bad Health: Go Vegan. PETA."
"Our ad would remind museum visitors of the benefit of living healthy, humane lives while learning about Poe's timeless prose," adds Newkirk.
Unfortunately, PETA's offer isn't being considered. According to ABC News, city Planning Director Tom Stosur says "the interest and creative suggestion is appreciated, but the museum's landmark status doesn't allow for ad displays for products or causes outside and space is limited inside."
Check out the Poe ad below.