For Immediate Release:
4 August 2020
Animal Rights Group Offers Victorian Abattoir Workers a Chance to Reinvent Themselves in a Non-Violent Profession
Melbourne – Following Premier Dan Andrews’ announcement that worker capacity in Victorian slaughterhouses will be reduced by one-third, animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to the United Workers Union today offering to cover the cost of retraining abattoir workers in a more pleasant, non-violent profession: floral design.
In the letter, PETA points out that the illness rate for workers in the meat industry is four times the national average, and now, as Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, noted, there’s the additional concern that “[m]eatworks are particularly vulnerable” to COVID-19, as 339 cases of the virus have already been linked to Victorian abattoirs. Last week, workers at one such facility protested poor working conditions amid an outbreak of coronavirus, with more than 70 cases confirmed.
The gruesome process of slaughtering, dismembering, and packaging the corpses of sentient individuals involves constant cruelty to animals and can also cause workers to experience mental and physical health problems.
“Working in an abattoir is a dangerous, dirty job,” says PETA spokesperson Aleesha Naxakis. “PETA is happy to help those who wish to move out of this violent industry to retrain in a more compassionate and safer line of work.”
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that choosing vegan foods helps reduce the risk of spreading other deadly zoonotic diseases, prevents animal suffering, and is better for the environment.