PETA Blasts Beach Crowds with Animal Rights Message

PETA Will Point to Pandemic Culprits: Filthy Farms and Meat Markets

For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Pinellas County, Fla. – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic—and against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations—thousands of spring break revelers are gathering on Florida’s shores, prompting PETA to fly a banner over Pinellas County beaches this afternoon that proclaims, “Meat Markets Breed Killer Diseases: Go Veg. PETA.”

When:    Today, March 20, 12 noon–4 p.m.

Where:    The plane will fly over Clearwater Beach and other Pinellas County beaches.

“Slowing down the COVID-19 pandemic through social distancing is key now—but we can prevent pandemics in the first place by ending the demand for animal flesh,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Filthy factory farms and squalid meat markets are breeding grounds for disease, which is why PETA is begging people to turn away from meat, milk, and eggs.”

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, in a “wet market”—one 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)—and farms and markets crammed full of stressed animals are breeding grounds for such deadly maladies. Previous influenza viruses have originated in chickens and pigs.

Photos will be available after the event. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.

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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