PETA’s ‘Vegans for the Vulnerable’—Help Food Banks Keep Up With Demand

Published by Zachary Toliver.

All around the country, there are long lines at food banks, as people who are financially affected by COVID-19 await their turn. Food banks are struggling to keep up with the demand.

PETA’s Vegans for the Vulnerable initiative helps fill people up, while filling them in on the benefits of going vegan.

We’re asking supporters nationwide to pick up just one extra vegan staple on the next store run or grocery delivery and donate it to a local food bank.

Grab some shelf-stable vegan milk, egg replacers, and beans, along with peanut butter, a package of spaghetti and some sauce, or any other nonperishable vegan staples you like. Go for delicious vegan jerky or vegan chili. Right now, rice is—as one food bank put it—“like gold.”

If your local food bank can take refrigerated items (please check first!), consider donating some vegan meats and cheeses such as those produced by Gardein or Daiya. Donate tempeh, tofu, or maybe even a Tofurky roast. If you grow your own vegetables, you can donate those, too.

If you can, drop off a few vegan starter kits as well. We want to make it as easy as vegan pie for everyone to try delicious vegan food, perhaps for the first time.

Find a local food bank by clicking here and entering your zip code.

If everyone nationwide picks up just one item each time they buy groceries, together we can donate an enormous amount of vegan foods to those in need.

Using animals for food led to this pandemic, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Approximately 75 percent of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting people began as diseases in animals.” Think of swine flu, avian flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola, HIV, and mad cow disease, among others.

Pigs bond with humans, and they love to cuddle and play games. Like many other animals, cows have best friends. Chickens are caring mothers—a hen “talks” to her chicks before they’ve hatched to teach them to recognize her voice in a flock.

But on farms and in live markets, animals—with all their personality and emotions—are jammed into cramped, filthy cages and pens, and their urine and fecal matter mix with blood and the water sprayed on the floor. Coming from factory farms, they suffer from respiratory diseases caused by living in their own waste in severely crowded conditions. In markets, they are often butchered in front of each other.

Influenza viruses and coronaviruses are zoonotic (that is, transmissible from other animals to humans)—and when stressed animals are kept in close proximity to one another in filthy conditions, their environment becomes a breeding ground for such deadly diseases. In addition to viruses, diseases such as cancer and heart disease are linked to consuming meat and dairy.

Let us know how you’ve made a difference for animals in your community by e-mailing [email protected].

Tell us what you’ve donated and how much. Helping the world go vegan today can help address the dire crises that we face.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind