As Queenslanders headed out of their homes to vote amid the COVID-19 crisis, PETA flew a banner from a plane above Gold Coast polling booths, reading, “Now Go Home and Go Vegan!”
It’s hardly the fault of voters that they needed to leave the house to participate in compulsory elections, but our banner is a timely reminder to residents that in addition to voting for change, we can all take action to prevent future pandemics by going vegan.
Public-health experts believe the current virus originated at a live-animal market in Wuhan, China, 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 SARS and MERS. All three spread to humans from animals being used for food. Likewise, swine flu originated in farmed pigs and bird flu in farmed poultry.
The human demand for meat means that huge numbers of animals, such as chickens and pigs, are crammed together on crowded and 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, which is why today, more than half of the antibiotics used in Australia are fed to farmed animals.
COVID-19 is causing widespread suffering for humans and animals alike. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about an illness that came from wildlife in a wet market or from pigs on a filthy farm, the only real way to prevent future pandemics is by avoiding meat like the plague. Take the vegan pledge, and over the first 30 days, we’ll send you e-mails and guide you through all the latest and greatest things in the vegan world.