PETA Pulls ‘Kiss Me, I’m Vegan” Ad Blitz Over Coronavirus

PETA Nixes St. Patrick's Day Campaign In Effort to Protect Vegans From Infected Meaty Mouths

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2020

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Boston – As coronavirus cases are spiking and officials are reporting that the virus can spread from a “kiss on your cheek,” PETA has halted its plans to post pro-vegan St. Patrick’s Day ads in Boston and several other cities encouraging people to kiss vegans, pointing out that those responsible for the public health crisis (i.e., anyone who still consumes meat) shouldn’t do anything that puts people at further risk.

“With COVID-19 a worry across the country, people should not be kissing vegans but joining them, because a meat market is where this virus originated,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging anyone who still fancies flesh to add deadly animal-borne diseases to the long list of reasons to go vegan.”

The coronavirus originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan, China—one where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption. There, pangolins and bats were sold for soup. However, it isn’t the first time such a virus has been traced back to live animals who were closely confined, shipped, killed, and eaten. The most common types of animals connected to viral outbreaks in humans are pigs and chickens. Any health authority will confirm that influenza viruses and coronaviruses are zoonotic (transmissible from other animals to humans)—and filthy farms and markets crammed full of stressed animals are breeding grounds for such deadly maladies.

Every person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 animals every year; reduces their own risk of suffering from heart disease, cancer, strokes, and numerous other health concerns; and significantly reduces their carbon footprint, as the meat and dairy industries are leading producers of the greenhouse gases driving the worst effects of the climate crisis.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is also offering face masks with a “Go Vegan” message. For more information, please visit

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