Pepperoni Price War Prompts Vegan Offer to Local Pizzerias

PETA Will Buy the First Round—if Charlie's Pizza House, R-Pizza Use Meat-Free Meat

For Immediate Release:
August 19, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Yankton and Vermillion, S.D. – Following reports of a pepperoni price spike caused by COVID-19, PETA sent letters this morning to two local pizza parlors affected by the shortage, urging them to use vegan pepperoni and cheese instead of the meat and dairy versions and offering to send a supply of the animal-free toppings to get them started.

“Considering other aspects of the pandemic, such as that zoonotic diseases may originate in live-animal markets and on factory farms, the national pepperoni shortage is an opportunity to rethink the pie and make it vegan,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is encouraging pizzerias to pivot to plants and leave meat and dairy toppings in the past.”

Blood- and offal-soaked factory farms and slaughterhouses in the U.S. are every bit as filthy as China’s “wet markets,” all of them breeding grounds for disease. Swine flu, bird flu, SARS, and now COVID-19 have all been linked to eating animals—and a new strain of swine flu with “pandemic potential” is now spreading from pigs to humans in China. The meat industry has allowed slaughterhouse workers to face a nearly unchecked spread of COVID-19.

In addition, vegans have a reduced risk of suffering from heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and strokes than meat-eaters do—plus, they each save nearly 200 animals a year and maintain a smaller carbon footprint.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—recently purchased stock in major U.S. and Canadian slaughter companies to urge them to produce and pack exclusively vegan meats. The group has rounded up a long list, available here, of all the pizza chains currently offering healthy and humane vegan options.

PETA’s letters to R-Pizza owner Brandon King and Charlie’s Pizza House manager Nick Johnson are available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you’re acknowledging that you have read and agree to our privacy policy and agree to receive e-mails from us.

 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