For Immediate Release:

29 January 2020

PETA US Points to Culprit Behind Deadly Outbreaks: the Meat Industry

Sydney – On the heels of the first confirmed US and Australian cases of coronavirus, PETA US is offering new face masks (available to pre-order here) that spread a lifesaving message: go vegan. The SARS-like virus is believed to have originated in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China – a “wet market” where live and dead animals are sold for human consumption.

Coronavirus has already infected thousands and killed at least 106 humans in China. The first four Australian cases have been confirmed in New South Wales and Victoria.

“Filthy factory farms, abattoirs, and meat markets threaten the health of every human being on the planet by providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like coronavirus, SARS, bird flu, and more,” says PETA spokesperson Mimi Bekhechi. “These face masks urge everyone to protect themselves by avoiding meat like the plague.”

Photo of PETA's face mask.

In addition to carrying a high risk of contamination from pathogens, including E coli, campylobacter, and salmonella, meat contains no fibre and is packed with artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer than meat-eaters are.

Each 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