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The Physicians Committee are campaigning to increase plant-based food production in South Dakota.

To do so, the 12,000 doctors installed three giant billboards near state governor Kristi Noem’s home.

They are calling for an end to meat production following the soar in COVID-19 cases across factories in the U.S.

COVID-19

A pork plant in the area became a COVID-19 hotspot earlier this year.

The BBC described the Smithfield facility as America’s ‘biggest outbreak’ as more than 220 employees had contracted the deadly virus.

Despite this, other large meat producers are launching plant-based meat alternatives.

Soaring cases in meat factories

The Physicians Committee claim cases in South Dakota are rising in the areas where there are slaughterhouses.

The Food and Environment Reporting Network say ‘at least’ 2,088 meatpacking workers in South Dakota have been infected since the start of the pandemic, and five are now dead.

Out of more than 44,000 meatpackers who had contracted the virus across the country, 213 have died, according to FERN.

Plant-based protein giant Impossible Foods reported zero cases back in May, and that has not changed since.

‘Cleaner and safer’

The Physicians Committee filed a complaint with the head of the department for health, demanding for meat factories to be closed down.

They want them replaced with ‘cleaner and safer’ plant-based protein facilities instead.

The committee confirmed: “The current public health emergency highlights the need to transition the food production system away from animal agriculture.

“This is especially urgent since meat products increase the risk of chronic diseases, including those that have helped make covid-19 so deadly.”

Slash the risk

Billboards to encourage people to go vegan have also been instated in the UK.

This comes as many healthcare professionals have spoken out about reducing your chances of contracting COVID-19 by eating a plant-based diet.

Emily Baker

Emily Baker

Emily is a journalist based in Devon, where she reports on issues affecting local people from politics to the environment. She has also written features on feminism for Polyester Magazine.