The mayor of Tampa has been urged to encourage local residents to go vegan as COVID-19 cases in the city have continued to rise, with local media reporting that 'a coronavirus surge is hitting Tampa Bay hospitals'.
Vegan charity PETA has written to mayor Jane Castor pointing out the links between zoonotic diseases - like swine flu, avian flu, and mad cow disease among others - and eating animals.
The organization believes that ditching animal foods from the menu could help 'safeguard [residents'] health', and save animals’ lives too.
"COVID-19, swine flu, avian flu, mad cow disease, SARS, Ebola, and AIDS are all linked to meat production or consumption, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75 percent of recently emerged infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals," the letter says.
"As long as we continue breeding animals, confining them in their own filth, and slaughtering them, it’s not a matter of if another pandemic will occur but when."
'Just around the corner'
In a statement about the letter, PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said: "The next SARS, swine flu, bird flu, or COVID-19 will be just around the corner as long as people keep eating animals.