PETA urges public to go vegan

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The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),  the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters, on Thursday encouraged the public  to help prevent the  deadly outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by going vegan.

For over a decade, PETA has been trying to wake people up to the link between eating animals and the emergence of deadly viruses and “superbugs,” said PETA Senior Vice President of International Campaigns, Jason Baker, in a statement.

During a rally held at the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila, protesters wearing hazmat (hazardous materials) suits placed  the blame on eating meat for the deadly coronavirus and African swine fever.

The coronavirus being linked to animals is nothing new—outbreaks of SARS, bird flu, E. coli, and swine flu and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have all previously been linked to the consumption of factory-farmed or wild-caught animals, Baker said.

“We must stop acting surprised each time that this occurs—and we must go vegan to protect the health of all living, feeling beings,” he said.

With cases of coronavirus reported around the world—including at least one fatal case in the Philippines—PETA supporters in biohazard suits have  gathered outside the Department of Health with signs proclaiming, “Stop Killer Diseases. Go Vegan” and “Meat Trade Kills. Go Vegan.”

The group will also handed  out free vegan starter kits to passersby.

“Filthy factory farms, slaughterhouses, and meat markets threaten the health of every human on the planet by providing a breeding ground for deadly diseases like coronavirus, African swine fever, SARS, and bird flu; bacteria like E. coli and salmonella; and more,”said  Baker.

“PETA is urging everyone to protect themselves by avoiding meat like the plague,” he said.

PETA said the United Nations found that 70 percent  of new human diseases originate in animals and that most of those are directly linked to animals used for food.

Additionally, bacteria are found everywhere on crowded, filthy farms, so farmers use huge quantities of antibiotics to keep animals alive in the sickening conditions, they said.

PETA said, because of the rampant use of antibiotics, certain bacteria have become resistant to even the most powerful ones.

“According to experts, by 2050, more people will die from antibiotic-resistant diseases than from cancer. The development of ‘superbugs’ on farms has worried scientists for years—and now, researchers fear that this impending threat is only growing,” PETA also said./Stacy Ang

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