For Immediate Release:

28 March 2020

PETA Flies Life-Saving Message Over Queensland Local Government Polling Stations

Gold Coast – This morning, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) flew a banner with a life-saving message over Queensland polling stations as residents stepped out to cast their votes. The banner read, “Now, Go Home and Go Vegan!”, encouraging residents of the Gold Coast to head straight home after voting as well as suggesting a simple measure to prevent future pandemics.

A photo of a banner that reads "Now, Go Home And Go Vegan!"

Public health experts believe the virus originated at a live-animal market, and according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 75% of emerging diseases originate in animals. In this way, COVID-19 is similar to other infamous coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). All three spread from animals to humans. Likewise, swine flu originated in pigs and bird flu in poultry.

Human demand for meat means that huge numbers of animals, such as chickens and pigs, are crammed together on crowded, faeces-ridden farms, transported in filthy trucks, and slaughtered on killing floors soaked with blood, urine, and other bodily fluids. Pathogens flourish in such conditions, making factory farms a breeding ground for new strains of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Hans-Gerhard Wagner of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has called the “intensive industrial farming of livestock” an “opportunity for emerging disease”.

“As well as voting for change, we can all help to prevent future pandemics by going vegan,” says PETA spokesperson Emily Rice. “Whether it’s an illness that came from wildlife in a wet market, like COVID-19, or from pigs on a filthy farm, like swine flu, the only real way to prevent future panic is by avoiding meat like the plague.”

Every person who goes vegan also spares nearly 200 animals every year daily suffering and a terrifying death. In today’s meat, egg, dairy, and fishing industries, piglets are castrated without painkillers, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves, and fish are cut open while they’re still alive.

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