Disease-Ridden Live-Animal Markets Prompt ‘Enough Is Enough’ PETA Ad

Billboard Urges Chicago to Shut Down Pandemic Petri Dish Facilities: Going Vegan Could Save Us All

For Immediate Release:
September 24, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Chicago – With over 2,200 people in Cook County dead as a result of COVID-19, PETA has posted a billboard that highlights the link between deadly pandemics—like swine flu, avian flu, SARS, and the current coronavirus—and confining and killing animals for food. The new ad follows PETA’s and local activists’ comments at public meetings, phone calls and letters to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Department of Public Health, and PETA’s online petition urging the city to shut down its dangerous live-animal markets and slaughterhouses, which has amassed tens of thousands of signatures in just two months.

“COVID-19 has reminded us that eating animals who are confined in their own filth can come back to bite us,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Chicago to shut down its pandemic petri dishes or risk being the source of the next deadly outbreak.”

PETA notes that there are nearly a dozen live-animal markets and slaughterhouses in Chicago, many of them near schools, parks, and people’s homes. Animals have been documented crammed into small, filthy cages—and at one operation, turkeys were packed into a hallway so tightly that they were unable to move even a wing.

Confining and killing animals for food has been linked to a litany of deadly diseases—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 75% of recent infectious diseases affecting humans began in animals.

The billboard is located at 698 N. Halsted St., 3 miles from downtown and near several meat-heavy restaurants, including Flaming Wok ‘N Grill, Windy City Café, and Sushi X.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. To learn more, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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