This is one of those types of stories that often gets shared on social media and then peopled will likely read only the headline before having a strong reaction.  That tends to be the way of the world these days and that publicity is likely a big reason why PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent a letter to Mayor Mike Van Kirk of Ham Lake, Minnesota, located in Anoka County.

The letter suggests that Ham Lake change their name to Yam Lake because PETA says eating processed meats like ham and bacon leads to many diseases and because of the way that pigs killed for food are treated. A part of their letter explains:

Pigs killed for food spend their lives confined on filthy factory farms and are denied everything that’s natural and important to them, such as nurturing their young and rooting in the earth. Pigs’ tails are chopped off, their teeth are cut with pliers, and males are castrated, all without painkillers. Sows are kept in “iron maidens”—named after medieval torture devices—and chew endlessly at the metal bars just inches in front of their faces. They cannot turn around or take even two steps in any direction. At slaughterhouses, pigs are hung upside down and bled to death, often while still conscious.

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According to their website, the city was named Ham Lake in 1871, primarily because the shape of a body of water within the city resembles a ham.  With that in mind, the PETA letter goes on to suggest that Ham Lake actually looks more like a yam and that it's a better name because yams are "super-healthy foods high in fiber, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants—definitely something worth promoting!"

They go on to promise to help cover the costs of changing the signs if the name gets changed and to send candied yams for the whole town.

Needless to say, there is not a strong likelihood that there will be any such name change to Ham Lake. However, in terms of sending such a letter to drum up publicity, PETA has proven to be very successful.

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