For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Laurel, Miss. – Having become a shareholder in Sanderson Farms, PETA will join the company’s annual meeting tomorrow to encourage executives to shift the focus to vegan meats, noting that such a move would help prevent the spread of animal-borne diseases—including bird flu, swine flu, and COVID-19—and get ahead of the vegan food curve brought on by the pandemic.
PETA purchased stock in Sanderson last year early in the pandemic, after COVID-19 originated in a Chinese “wet market,” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption. The filthy, crowded conditions and frenzied line speeds in slaughterhouses make virus transmission among slaughterhouse workers nearly unavoidable: Tens of thousands of them have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and hundreds have died.
The cost of raising animals for meat is rising while the demand for vegan meats is skyrocketing, and the market is predicted to be worth more than $4.15 billion by 2026. Meat industry giants Tyson, Maple Leaf Foods, Smithfield Foods, and Hormel have all introduced vegan lines.
“The market has shifted dramatically, as consumers are demanding options that don’t harm animals, devastate the environment, or contribute to the spread of deadly pathogens,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges Sanderson Farms to keep up with its competitors by producing only vegan meat, which the public already loves.”
PETA has purchased stock in Hormel, Tyson, Maple Leaf Foods, Kraft Heinz (the parent company of Oscar Mayer), and Chinese-owned WH Group (the owner of Smithfield Foods) to urge them to make their companies 100% vegan.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.