‘Grim Reapers’ to Haunt Downtown Crete

As the Novel Coronavirus Infects Thousands of Workers Nationwide, PETA Calls for Smithfield, Other Slaughterhouses to Shut Down

For Immediate Release:
May 29, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Crete, Neb. – Two “Grim Reapers” holding scythes with the message “Slaughterhouses Kill Animals AND Workers” will lead a protest through the “dead center” of downtown Crete to condemn the local Smithfield slaughterhouse, which is showing no mercy for animals or workers by reopening, despite roughly 330 employees and their family members having tested positive for COVID-19.

When:    Saturday, May 30, 12 noon

Where:    The southwest corner of Main Avenue and 13th Street, Crete

“Filthy, wet, blood- and offal-soaked slaughterhouses are breeding grounds for diseases that can jump from animals to humans—and they’re the least safe workplaces in the world,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “As COVID-19 spreads like wildfire from worker to worker, PETA is calling for slaughterhouses to shut down and stay closed, for everyone’s protection.”

The novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese “wet market,” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption; swine flu began on a U.S. factory farm; and other influenza viruses have been traced to chickens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.

Recently, PETA sent Smithfield a letter offering to help with the cost of retraining its employees to produce exclusively vegan meat—which the company already offers.

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 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