“When will we say ‘enough is enough’ and decide that eating animals is just not worth it?”
Alicia Silverstone quote:
“Killing animals is unethical and obsolete, and it’s killing us too. We need to take pandemics off the menu.”
An international campaign group best known for challenging the Pope and the President of the United States to go vegan for a month in return for $1 million to charity is donating $100,000 in vegan food and supplies across the nine countries where it operates, plus Ethiopia.
Million Dollar Vegan was established to raise awareness of how the rearing and consumption of animals affects the environment, both farmed and wild animals, and human health – including the global risks of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance. It is backed by many leading doctors and scientists.
Launched in the first week of May, and rolling out across ten countries throughout May and beyond, Million Dollar Vegan is working with Ammucare.org and Getmoksha.com in India to provide vegan ration for a month to 200 slum-dwelling families and street children in Krishna Nagar, Mohammadwadi in Pune. This will be an ongoing program for the month of May. They will also be partnering with other local organizations and restaurants to deliver food to those in need across Mexico, Brazil, Argentine, Ethiopia, the US, UK, Italy, France and Spain.
Through its relief efforts, Million Dollar Vegan aims to actively support and care for those most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst at the same time raising awareness of how pandemics emerge and spread in order to try and prevent another, perhaps more devastating, outbreak in the future. In this, they are backed and guided by experts including Dr. Michael Greger (public health expert and author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching), Dr. Neal Barnard (President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), Dr. Peter Li (Associate Professor of East Asian Politics), Dr. Aysha Akhtar (neurologist and author of Animals and Public Health), Dr. T Colin Campbell (Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University), Dr. Ariel Kraselnik (cardiologist), and Professor Aaron Gross (University of San Diego, co-author of Eating Animals).
The campaign is also backed by many well-known names including Hollywood actress and activist Alicia Silverstone, American singer-songwriter Mýa, Brazilian TV-star Luisa Mell, Argentinian rapper Cacha, and Indian popstar Anushka Manchanda — as well as renowned public health experts, educators and scientists.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of emerging infectious diseases come from animals. 
Says Dr. Kraselnik: “Flu pandemics will continue, if we insist on stacking animals up for our consumption.”
Says Dr Neal Barnard: “Getting animals off our collective plate would go a long way toward preventing future pandemics, and would improve our health and our environment at the same time.”
While scientists make the connection between pandemics and our treatment of animals, nutritionists and doctors are also sharing research that indicates eating plant-based foods may help strengthen and support our immune systems. One study found that within two weeks of a fruit- and veggie-deficient diet, immune function plummeted. 
Says Dr. Campbell, of the Centre for Nutritional Studies: “A Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) diet can prevent, perhaps even reverse, the chronic degenerative diseases which make older individuals more susceptible to COVID-19 while simultaneously increasing immunity by inactivating the COVID-19 itself.”
Million Dollar Vegan says there has never been a more important time for people to re-evaluate their relationship with animals, to make the switch to a plant-based diet, and to join their global campaign to #TakePandemicsOffTheMenu.
Says Naomi Hallum, Director of Million Dollar Vegan: “The coronavirus pandemic – like many others before it – is creating tragedies for families all over the world. None of us want this to happen ever again but to prevent future outbreaks, there are some difficult lessons we must learn. If we continue to stress wild animals by decimating their habitats and capture and cage them in markets – and if we continue to mass produce domesticated animals inside squalid factory farms and transport them long distances – there will be no avoiding a future pandemic.
“COVID-19 is a stark reminder that all life on Earth is connected and that if we wish to preserve our own lives, we must also strive to preserve the lives of others.”
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Notes to Editors:
To arrange an interview, contact: Darshana at email@example.com or on 8999495889
For further information about how eating and farming animals leads to zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance, visit MillionDollarVegan.com
Additional information on historic zoonoses
Our long history of exploiting animals for their meat, milk, eggs and skins means there is also a long history of serious illness and widespread deaths in people: Tuberculosis is thought to have been acquired from the domestication of goats; whooping cough from domesticated pigs; typhoid from domesticating chickens; leprosy from water buffalo; and the cold virus from cows or horses. 
The 1918 flu pandemic killed 50-100 million people and originated in birds.  More recently, the SARS virus – thought to have originated from another live animal market  – spread to over 8,000 people worldwide and cost the global economy an estimated $40 billion.  Then came H1N1 “swine flu” – believed to have originated in pigs – which infected around 60.8 million people.  This was followed by MERS, another deadly coronavirus, which emerged straight out of an industrializing camel sector in the Middle East.  And then in 2013, the H7N9 “bird flu” emerged from poultry, sickening more than 1,500 people and killing roughly 40 percent of them. 
Scientists agree that about 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases are of animal origin.