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PETA billboard near JBS blames meat consumption for rainforest destruction

PETA billboard near JBS blames meat consumption for rainforest destruction

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PETA billboard

PETA has erected this billboard on East Highway 30 in Grand Island. The animal rights organization notes the location is “just 1.3 miles from JBS.” (Independent/Jeff Bahr)

A new PETA billboard in Grand Island accuses JBS, and those who eat meat, of causing the partial destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

According to a news release from PETA, “More than 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is linked to meat production, either for grazing or for growing food for cattle, including those in the U.S. market. In addition, the United Nations states that animal agriculture is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions — and warns that a global shift to vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.”

JBS spokeswoman Nikki Richardson said, “JBS USA does not source cattle from the Amazon region. In Grand Island, the beef facility supports producers from Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota. We are focused on producing food sustainably and supporting American agriculture.”

The PETA billboard is at 300 East Highway 30, about seven-tenths of a mile east of the intersection of Highway 30 and Stuhr Road.

The PETA news release states that “new evidence connects JBS to a ranch that has illegally destroyed parts of the Amazon rainforest.” That evidence, PETA said, prompted the animal rights organization “to place a graphic new billboard near the local JBS slaughterhouse blaming the meat industry and those who support it for the deaths of parrots, monkeys and other wildlife who make the Amazon their home.”

PETA said it plans to place an identical billboard near other JBS locations across the country, including Greeley, Colo.

The billboard states, “Eating meat kills more animals than you think. Ranches set fires in the Amazon rainforest to graze cattle and grow crops for them. Go vegan.”

JBS has erected a billboard near its Grand Island plant that states, “Thank you for coming to work. We appreciate you being a part of the JBS team.”

On Highway 30, a little ways west of the Stuhr intersection, is another JBS billboard, which states “The BEST employees in the WORLD come to work at JBS everyday. Thanks for being a part of the team.”

In the PETA news release, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said “JBS is complicit in the deaths of not only cattle but also other animals as well as habitat devastation — and so is anyone who’s still clinging to the meat habit. PETA wants everyone to know that they can help save the rainforest by going vegan and we’re here to help them make the transition.”

The press release refers to the “JBS deforestation scandal.” The release is headlined that the “rainforest and its inhabitants are burning because of U.S. consumers’ greed, not need.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” The organization “opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview,” according to the news release.

“In addition to saving the lives of nearly 200 animals every year, each person who goes vegan also helps prevent future pandemics: Confining and killing animals for food has been linked to SARS, swine flu, bird flu and COVID-19,” the release states. “The meat industry has also allowed slaughterhouse workers, including those at JBS, to face a nearly unchecked spread of the novel coronavirus. The JBS slaughterhouse in Grand Island reported more than 200 cases by April 21.”

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