In response to the Nipah virus case in Kerala state, India, which resulted in the death of a 12-year-old boy earlier this month, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to send a letter to Smt J Chinchurani, Kerala’s minister for animal husbandry and dairy development, urging her to close down pig farms in the state to prevent further spread of the infection and a potential pandemic.
PETA India’s request comes within two months of the group’s placement of a warning billboard in Delhi about the meat industry’s link to the spread of bird flu. There, an 11-year-old boy had succumbed to complications from H5N1 bird flu, an infection with a 60% mortality rate, in July.
“The crowded animal farms of the meat industry create hotspots for zoonotic diseases. These killer facilities need to be shut down immediately and permanently, before they cost more lives,” says PETA India Vegan Foods and Nutrition Specialist Dr Kiran Ahuja. “Vegetables never caused a pandemic.”
In addition to helping to prevent the spread of diseases, meat-free meals spare animals immense suffering.
PETA India’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.