‘Pandemic Pig’ in a Convertible to Lead Protest of Farmer John Slaughterhouse

With Fatal Viruses Linked to Meat, a Caravan of PETA Protesters Will Urge Smithfield-Owned Producer to Sell Only Vegan Pork

For Immediate Release:
May 27, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Vernon, Calif. – On Thursday, PETA’s “Pandemic Pig” will lead a group of PETA supporters in a driving protest of Smithfield-owned Farmer John pig slaughterhouse—where 153 workers have tested positive for COVID-19—with signs saying, “Slaughterhouses Risk Workers’ Lives.” The protesters will urge the slaughterhouse to close down for everyone’s sake—or reopen on the condition that it produce exclusively vegan pork, which its parent company already offers.

When:    Thursday, May 28, 12 noon

Where:    Outside the Farmer John slaughterhouse, 3049 E. Vernon Ave. (at the intersection with S. Soto Street), Vernon

“By providing breeding grounds for swine flu, SARS, avian flu, and other diseases, filthy slaughterhouses and meat markets threaten the health of every human on the planet,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Farmer John to protect everyone by shutting down or reinventing itself as a producer of healthy and 100% humane vegan pork.”

Swine flu began on a U.S. factory farm, and the novel coronavirus originated in a Chinese “wet market,” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption. Health authorities confirm that influenza viruses and coronaviruses are zoonotic (transmissible from other animals to humans). Previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens.

Vegan meat is already produced by Smithfield’s Pure Farmland, Tyson’s Raised & Rooted, Maple Leaf’s Field Roast, and other major meat companies, and it’s becoming more and more popular as people eat vegan because of health, environmental, and animal welfare concerns.

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