Biohazard-Suited Protesters Warn: Avoid Chicken Flesh Like The Plague

Factory-Farming-Filth Origin of H5N1 Prompts PETA to Offer Free Emergency Vegetarian Starter Kits

For Immediate Release:
10 April 2006

Yvonne Taylor 020 7357 9229, ext 232

Edinburgh – Carrying signs reading, “Bird Flu Kills – Go Vegetarian”, members of PETA kitted out in biohazard suits will distribute “emergency vegetarian starter kits” to shoppers heading to Sainsbury’s in the city centre. The activists will use barrier tape to emphasize the potentially deadly dangers of bird flu and tout the health benefits of a diet which avoids poultry and other meats. 

Date:  Monday, 10 April
Time:  12 noon
Place: Sainsbury’s, 9-10 St Andrews Square (corner of Rose Street)

PETA points out that just one factory-farm chicken or turkey shed houses tens of thousands of birds who are constantly kept cooped up in their own waste, allowing disease to spread quickly among them. Laying hens are kept in small stacked cages until they are slaughtered. The problem is not restricted to birds: Factory-farmed pigs and dairy cows, who live in similar intensively crowded and unsanitary conditions, can also get and spread zoonotic (from animal to human) diseases, including E. coli, salmonella and mad cow.

“Avian flu is a direct consequence of a sickening and cruel industry”, says PETA Europe’s Yvonne Taylor. “With diseases running rampant in crowded, filthy factory farms – and the known link between meat-eating and heart disease – the safest thing to do is to avoid chicken like the plague.”

Avian influenza threatens humanity with what could easily be the greatest public health crisis in recorded history. Bird flu has killed 108 people since late 2003, according to the most recent figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Outbreaks of various strains of bird flu are regularly detected around the world. According to Scotland’s former chief medical officer, Dr Mac Armstrong, between 5,000 and 50,000 people in Scotland could potentially die from bird flu. According to the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus can be caught simply by eating undercooked meat or eggs, by eating food prepared on the same cutting board as infected meat or eggs, or even by touching eggshells contaminated with the disease.

PETA Europe’s free vegetarian starter kit can be viewed online or ordered at PETA’s Web site