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.
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.”
Not even the threat of starvation from a panic buying food shortage can move vegan food off the shelves.. pic.twitter.com/LlJLqYlvXH
— Keira Savage (@KeiraSavage00) March 5, 2020
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.”