SALT LAKE CITY — A new billboard emerged on State Street near several meat-serving restaurants, encouraging Utahns to eat tofu instead. The sign was placed by PETA, a nonprofit organization that urges ethical treatment toward animals.
“Tofu never caused a pandemic,” the billboard reads. “Try it for the holidays.”
Billboard overlooks menus with meat dishes
The billboard sits near several restaurants, such as Rancherito’s Mexican Food, Chicken Express and Ichiban Sushi and Asian Grill. It also stands in front of grocery stores, including Sprouts, WinCo Foods and Costco — all of which sell tofu.
The billboard encourages eating tofu during the holiday season, rather than typical meat dishes served for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The sign also takes aim at the COVID-19 crisis, arguing tofu has “never caused a pandemic.”
This comes in response to the belief that the coronavirus originated in a live-animal market in Wuhan, China, where customers can buy animals killed moments before sale.
Experts believe COVID-19 originated in bats — but it’s unclear how the virus was transmitted to humans, as bats weren’t for sale at the time of the outbreak.
PETA has stuck to the idea that the pandemic began from selling animals — which never would’ve happened with tofu, the organization said.
“While animal-borne diseases thrive on filthy factory farms and in slaughterhouses, tofu never caused a pandemic,” said PETA President Ingrid Newkirk in a statement. “PETA stands ready to help people celebrate the holidays with delicious and versatile vegan foods.”
Although tofu is meatless, it is not immune to foodborne illnesses. Vegan foods can still cause illness if it comes into contact with contaminated water or animal feces.
Tofu-related food poisoning has been linked to outbreaks in the past, including incidents of food safety violations in a Chicago-based facility.
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