PETA Points to Risk of Developing Brain Disease and Urges Everyone to Go Vegan
For Immediate Release:
September 4, 2018
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Tallahassee, Fla. – In response to reports that a 6-year-old cow in Florida tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BCE)—commonly known as “mad cow disease”—PETA plans to place a billboard in Tallahassee that shows a “mad cow” next to the words “It’s Mad to Eat Meat. Mad Cow Disease Found in Florida. Go Vegan.”
PETA notes that most cows killed for food are slaughtered before the age of 2—long before they would become symptomatic for BCE. Humans who eat contaminated beef can develop prion disease, a degenerative brain disorder that can quickly disable or kill its victims. Of the roughly 34 million cows killed for food every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture tests only 40,000 for BCE.
“Most cows are never tested and are killed long before they would exhibit symptoms, so there’s no way to know for sure how widespread this mad cow disease outbreak is,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s billboard warns that those still eating meat are placing themselves at risk of developing a grave degenerative brain disease.”
In addition to possible exposure to BCE, eating meat has been linked to an increased risk for suffering from cancer, E. coli infections, and heart disease, among other serious ailments. It also causes suffering on a massive scale: Cows killed for food are confined to cramped, filthy feedlots without protection from the elements or temperature extremes. At the slaughterhouse, workers shoot them in the head with a captive-bolt gun, hang them up by one leg, and cut their throats—often while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—offers a free vegan starter kit (available here) full of recipes, tips on dining out, and more. For more information, please visit PETA.org.