Coronavirus Cases Prompt ‘Meat Kills’ Billboard

PETA Points Out That Animal Markets, Transport, and Slaughter Are Linked to All Flu-Like Viruses

For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Omaha, Neb.

As 11 patients with coronavirus are now quarantined at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, PETA plans to place a billboard near the hospital that warns, “Meat Kills—Go Vegan,” and lists a litany of public health threats associated with using animals for food. The coronavirus is known to have originated in a market in Wuhan, China—a “wet market” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption. In this case, pangolins and bats were sold for soup, but it’s not the first time such viruses have been traced back to live animals—most commonly pigs and chickens—who were confined, shipped, killed, and eaten.

“Filthy factory farms, slaughterhouses, and meat markets threaten the health of every human being on the planet by providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like coronavirus, SARS, bird flu, and others,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges everyone to take the message seriously and protect themselves from fatal conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, and others by avoiding meat like the plague.”

In addition to carrying a high risk of contamination from pathogens—including E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella—meat contains no fiber and is packed with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are far less prone to suffering from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer than meat-eaters are.

Each person who goes vegan also saves nearly 200 animals every year from daily suffering and a terrifying death: In today’s meat and dairy industries, cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, piglets are castrated without painkillers, and fish are cut open while they’re still alive.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—also offers face masks with a “go vegan” message. For more information, please visit

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