Coronavirus Prompts ‘Go Vegan’ Face Masks

PETA Points to Culprit Behind Deadly Outbreaks: the Meat Industry

For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Seattle – On the heels of the first confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus, PETA is offering new face masks (available to pre-order here) that spread a lifesaving message: Go vegan. The SARS-like virus is believed to have originated in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China—a “wet market” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption.

Coronavirus has already infected thousands and killed at least 81 humans in China. The first four U.S. cases have been confirmed in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington, and dozens more potential cases are being monitored across the country.

“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 more,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s face masks urge everyone to protect themselves 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 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”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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