The animal activist organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has decided to buy a seat at the table of several slaughterhouse companies' boards in the US and Canada in an effort to influence them to invest in vegan meat substitutes.

A press release announced that PETA bought stock in several meat producers including Tyson, Hormel, Sanderson Farms, Maple Leaf Foods, Oscar Meyer and Smithfield "in order to attend annual meetings, correspond with other shareholders under Securities and Exchange Commission rules, and directly urge CEOs to convert all slaughterhouses to produce and pack only vegan meats."

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk related the business move to the current coronavirus pandemic, saying "This crisis has shown that raising and killing animals in filthy factory farm conditions and butchering them in ill-regulated slaughterhouses creates breeding grounds for infectious diseases,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is pushing major meat companies to shut down the slaughter lines and switch to plant-based meats that never cause a pandemic.”

COVID-19's Impacts on the Meat Industry

Vegan meats produced by companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are surging during the pandemic, with nearly 1 in 4 Americans saying that they're turning to more plant-based foods during this time. Conversely, meat producers are shutting down as hundreds of their employees test positive for the COVID-19 virus, causing nationwide meat shortages that are driving the prices of animal protein up. PETA hopes that this business move becoming an activist stockholder will help influence Tyson, Hormel and Smithfield to transition to plant-based alternatives for the animals, the planet and the health of consumers.

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