Forget worrying about whether the “meat shortage” was real or fake. Dirty processing plants and meat markets still threaten the health of every human on the planet. There’s no better time to to overhaul this filthy industry. That’s why PETA has offered to help retrain employees of various meatpacking companies—free of charge—to produce vegan meats.
Some critics say the fear over a meat shortage was used to justify a Trump executive order declaring it was crucial to keep meat plants open and operating. https://t.co/LQyrvilD8N
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) June 16, 2020
Earlier this year, 32,000 turkeys were killed at a South Carolina farm after an outbreak of deadly bird flu sickened them and endangered workers. A Smithfield Foods pig slaughterhouse in South Dakota closed because nearly 300 of its employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
A Cargill meat-processing plant in Pennsylvania closed, too, after its employees reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. The company also announced that it will close an egg factory because of decreased demand and cut back hours at a cow slaughterhouse.
At a Tyson plant in Tennessee, 90 workers recently tested positive for the coronavirus.
Besides viruses, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” developing on farms have worried scientists for years. Nearly 80% of meat in U.S. supermarkets contains some form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. While many people can carry around the superbugs without realizing it, others have experienced skin irritation, life-threatening infections such as pneumonia, and blood poisoning.
The pork industry is so greedy that it is willing to kill pigs and harm employees just for money! https://t.co/ck4Byxf1SJ
— PETA (@peta) April 21, 2020
We know that COVID-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens. It’s not a matter of whether using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak—it’s a matter of when.
There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh.
Companies such as Tyson, Smithfield Foods, Perdue, and Hormel already have their foot in the door when it comes to plant-based markets, because they already sell vegan meats. These companies—and other flesh-sellers like them—should plan long-term by rethinking their entire business model and reopening facilities as safe, clean, disease-free vegan meat factories.
PETA hopes that dropping meat for good and investing in a vegan future would not only help flatten the coronavirus curve but also help companies avert the countless other deadly illnesses that can come from farms and slaughterhouses.
Individual personalities, emotions, and the will to live free from harm are traits of all animals on Earth.
Even if COVID-19 weren’t affecting every waking hour of our lives, animals are still individuals who shouldn’t be abused or killed for food.
Pigs bond with humans, love to cuddle, and play games. Like many other animals, cows have best friends. Chickens are caring mothers—a hen will “talk” to her chicks in the shell before they’ve hatched to teach them to recognize her voice in a flock. Every animal has feelings and traits that make their life just as interesting as ours.
They scream. They resist. They try to escape. But there's no way out. pic.twitter.com/A2xgkcJlya
— PETA (@peta) April 21, 2020
Animals are not ours to treat like inanimate objects. All of them are terrified when their throat is slit at a slaughterhouse. And there’s nothing natural about pumping antibiotics into conscious, sickly animals so that they can survive (just barely) while being forced to live amid their own waste.
We can avoid deadly diseases and save gentle, sensitive animals by choosing to eat vegan foods.
Thankfully, eating animals is completely unnecessary. Humans can live healthy, cruelty-free lives by going vegan. When you do, you’ll save nearly 200 animals in just one year.
To every nonvegan who is cooking at home, surely you’re bored with eating the same three or four types of dead animals during this lockdown. Why not opt for something new and exciting by trying vegan meats from companies like Beyond Meat, Gardein, or MorningStar? You could take a little time to learn how to cook with tofu or tempeh—and maybe even try your hand at making seitan.
Need some inspiration? Get started with PETA’s free vegan starter kit.