For Immediate Release:
July 8, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – A new online survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of PETA has found that 51% of Americans—and 66% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34—support closing down slaughterhouses forever1 (compared to 42%2 and 54% last year, respectively) after they became COVID-19 hotspots during the pandemic, PETA announced today.
The survey comes as the meat industry battles a lawsuit over its COVID-19 claims: Last year, pork giant Smithfield claimed that closing slaughterhouses to protect workers from the coronavirus would have dire consequences for the country’s “meat supply,” while allegedly exporting pork outside the U.S.—and while the U.S. reportedly had “hundreds of millions of pounds” of pork in cold storage.
“Slaughterhouses kill billions of animals and are breeding grounds for killer diseases that threaten the health of everyone on the planet,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “A majority of Americans agree with PETA: It’s time to shut them down.”
PETA notes that the novel coronavirus originated in a “wet market” where live and dead animals were sold for human consumption, swine flu began on a U.S. factory farm, and other influenza viruses have been traced to chickens. COVID-19 has infected over 58,000 slaughterhouse workers and killed nearly 300 since the start of the pandemic—and because not all cases and deaths have been reported, the actual numbers are likely even higher.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of PETA from June 17 to 21, 2021, among 2,083 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
1After being shown the following: Slaughterhouses, in which billions of animals are killed every year in the U.S., are hotspots for COVID-19, having infected over 58,000 workers and killed nearly 300 since the start of the pandemic, though not all cases and deaths were reported so the actual numbers are likely even higher.
2After being shown the following: Slaughterhouses, in which billions of animals are killed every year in the U.S., are hotspots for COVID-19, having already infected over 10,000 workers and killed at least 45 since the start of April.