‘Go 100% Vegan’ Message Heads to Maple Leaf’s Boardroom

New Shareholder PETA Will Call On Company to Stop Slaughtering Animals, Save Workers' Lives by Producing Exclusively Vegan Products

For Immediate Release:
June 23, 2020

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Mississauga, Ontario – “When will Maple Leaf Foods take a leading role in sparing animals a miserable life and painful death, protecting workers’ health, and responding to consumer demand by producing exclusively vegan meat?” That’s the question a PETA representative will ask Maple Leaf executives at the company’s virtual annual meeting on Wednesday. PETA purchased stock in Maple Leaf—which already owns vegan brands Field Roast and Lightlife Foods.

PETA’s involvement comes in the wake of more than 27,000 coronavirus infections at slaughterhouses in the U.S. and more than 1,000 in Canada. The group points out that fast line speeds and close-quartered working conditions—in which workers are exposed to blood, offal, and animal waste—make virus transmission nearly unavoidable. Factory farms, where animals are raised before entering the slaughterhouse, are also breeding grounds for deadly diseases. Swine flu originated in factory-farmed pigs and has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Meanwhile, the demand for vegan meats is skyrocketing: Sales were up 158% year-on-year and have gone up 454% during the current pandemic.

“Maple Leaf Foods could respond to consumer demand by recognizing that public tastes are rapidly turning to veggie burgers, vegan sausage, and other plant-based products that don’t threaten the health of everyone on the planet,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “As a shareholder, PETA is calling on Maple Leaf to seize tomorrow’s market today and convert its slaughterhouses into vegan meat production facilities.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—has also purchased stock in Hormel, Sanderson Farms, Tyson, Kraft Heinz (parent company of Oscar Mayer), and Chinese-owned WH Group (owner of Smithfield) in order to push them to produce exclusively vegan meats.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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