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Fact-checking organization Snopes has debunked a viral meme claiming no one is buying vegan food as people stockpile during the coronavirus outbreak.

There are two very popular versions of the meme, which features a picture of supermarket shelves. They are all empty, apart from the section filled with vegan food.

Vegan meme

One of the memes, largely circulated by vegans, shares the picture with the caption: “Everyone panicked apart from the vegans.”

The other – which is the particular version Snopes investigated – has an anti-vegan message. It says: “Even with the coronavirus panic buying, no one wants to eat vegan food.”

‘Miscaptioned’

Snopes laid out the claim of the image, saying: “A photograph shows store shelves stripped of all foodstuffs except for vegan products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But according to the organization, the image has been miscaptioned. It said: “Although the photograph may be fairly representative of the general concept and does picture some vegan food products, it did not originate with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The earliest versions of this picture we were able to find online had been posted well over two years before the COVID-19 outbreak and dated from September 2017 – just after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in August 2017 and prompted a similar run on grocery stores by residents in the storm’s path.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.