Sen. Rubio’s ‘Go a Little Vegan’ Advice Prompts PETA Kit and Kudos

Group Steps Up to the Plate With Free Vegan Starter Kits, Vegan Mentors, and Tips on Making the Switch

For Immediate Release:
May 8, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382


PETA sent Sen. Marco Rubio a letter this afternoon supporting his comment that the people of Florida may need to “go a little vegan” as the COVID-19 crisis causes meat shortages—and letting him know that a vegan starter kit and a goodie basket packed with vegan jerky and other treats are on their way so he can lead by example.

PETA is also offering to help all Floridians go vegan through other resources, like its delicious recipes for everything from vegan BBQ ribs to “chicken” pot pie empanadas.

“We’re in the midst of a pandemic that originated in a filthy meat market and is sweeping through slaughterhouses, affecting workers and their families,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “The only sensible response is to go vegan—and PETA will help with free vegan starter kits, recipes, and tips, which can make the switch as easy as tofu cream pie.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Sen. Rubio follows.

May 8, 2020

The Honorable Marco Rubio

U.S. Senator

Dear Sen. Rubio,

Greetings! We heard your suggestion that everyone might need to “go a little vegan” in light of meat supply disruptions. PETA stands ready to help everyone go totally vegan—and not just during the COVID-19 crisis but for life. We will be sending you a free vegan starter kit and would love to send one to every person in Florida who wants to give it a try, and we can provide free vegan mentor services as well as plenty of delicious vegan recipes for food that won’t cause a pandemic. We’ll also be sending you a basket full of vegan treats.

Just as no one really goes naked when they stop wearing fur, no one stops eating when they abandon meat, eggs, and dairy in favor of healthy foods. Innovative vegan food companies such as Beyond Meat, Gardein, and MorningStar Farms are booming, and even meat producers including Tyson, Smithfield Foods, and Hormel have introduced vegan meats because consumer demand is so high (and rapidly growing). New vegan food industries are springing up every day, putting people to work in good jobs that don’t risk their safety, and they’re making foods that don’t kill anyone.

Not only does choosing to keep eating meat mean slaughtering gentle animals in painful ways, it also means paying to put the lives of slaughterhouse workers and their families at risk. These filthy facilities splattered with blood, offal, and feces are COVID-19 hotspots: At least 10,000 slaughterhouse workers have been infected with the novel coronavirus, and 45 or more have died. No one deserves to lose their life so that others can have a fleeting taste of flesh.

Slaughterhouses and filthy factory farms are breeding grounds for deadly diseases that threaten everyone’s health. Swine flu, which began on a factory farm in the U.S., has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Other influenza viruses have been traced to chicken markets, and mad cow disease came from the spinal cords of slaughtered cows used for dairy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.

No one needs to eat meat, and we’re far healthier if we don’t: Eating vegan not only helps prevent pandemics but also reduces our risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

We’re ready to help Floridians turn over a healthy new leaf, so please let us know how we can be of assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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