‘Grim Reapers’ to Haunt Monmouth

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

For Immediate Release:
May 12, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Monmouth, Ill. – Two “Grim Reapers” holding scythes with the message “Slaughterhouses Kill Animals and Workers” will stalk the “dead center” of downtown Monmouth to condemn the local Smithfield slaughterhouse, which is showing no mercy for animals or workers by reopening, despite there being multiple COVID-19 cases among employees.

When:    Wednesday, May 13, 12 noon

Where:    The south side of the Public Square (at the intersection with S. Main Street), Monmouth

“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.

Last month, PETA sent Smithfield a letter offering to help with the cost of retraining its employees to produce exclusively vegan meat.

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