Will Austin Fight COVID-19 by Going Vegan?

PETA Sends Mayor a Box of Vegan Chocolates, Asks for Help Encouraging Residents to Choose Healthy, Humane Meat-Free Meals

For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2020

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Austin, Texas – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Austin, PETA sent a letter this morning asking the city’s mayor, Steve Adler, to encourage all residents to help prevent future pandemics, safeguard their own health, and save animals’ lives by going vegan.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is also sending the mayor a box of delicious vegan chocolates shaped like chickens, frogs, and bats, noting that these “animals” can be eaten without risking another pandemic. COVID-19 apparently originated in a Chinese “wet market,” in which animals are sold for human consumption. Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, and most residents would never dream of eating the city’s 1.5 million bats—so PETA is encouraging them to extend that compassion to all other animals, including chickens and cows.

“The next SARS, swine flu, bird flu, or COVID-19 outbreak will be just around the corner as long as people keep eating animals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA stands ready with free vegan starter kits and mentors to help everyone boost their immune system and help prevent future pandemics by eating delicious, humane vegan meals.”

PETA notes that going vegan has never been easier. Several popular Austin eateries, such as Counter Culture, The Beer Plant, and Citizen Eatery, serve tasty plant-based fare. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Adler follows.

July 23, 2020

The Honorable Steve Adler
Mayor of Austin

Dear Mayor Adler,

Greetings from PETA. As cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in Austin, putting public health at risk, I’m writing with a lifesaving suggestion: Encourage all residents to eat vegan. PETA stands ready to help them make the switch by offering resources such as our free vegan starter kits and our free vegan mentor services. We’ll also be sending you a box of dairy-free chocolates in the shapes of chickens, frogs, and bats—the only kind of “animals” that can be eaten compassionately and safely.

COVID-19, swine flu, avian flu, mad cow disease, SARS, Ebola, and AIDS are all linked to the production or consumption of meat, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals. As long as animals are bred, confined in their own filth, and slaughtered, it’s not a matter of if another pandemic will occur but when.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other wholesome vegan foods are cholesterol-free, generally low in saturated fat, and high in fiber and other nutrients, and they can even prevent—and in some cases, reverse—life-threatening diseases as well as boost immunity. In fact, Corinne Bush, science director of the American Nutrition Association and a representative of the Personalized Nutrition & COVID-19 Task Force, advises people to eat plenty of produce in order to boost their immune system and ward off COVID-19 and other health problems. Dr. Mehmet Oz agrees, pointing out that fruits and vegetables “enhance your immune response,” and he shared antioxidant-rich smoothie recipes on TODAY.

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

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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