In response to the current multi-state E. coli outbreak traced to ground beef from Fairbank Farms in Ashville, New York, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is placing a billboard in the neighboring city of Jamestown that reads “Meat Kills: Go Vegan.”

meat kills billboard.jpg

Twenty-eight people in 12 states are ill with the same strand of E. coli connected to the beef recall, which affected more than a half million pounds of ground beef. Among those sickened, 16 remain in the hospital, three have developed kidney failure and two have died.

According to PETA’s executive vice president Tracy Reiman, E. coli is among many reasons the public should consider giving up meat. 

“With diseases running rampant on crowded, filthy factory farms–and considering the known link between meat-eating and heart disease–the safest thing to do with meat is to throw it out,” said Reiman.

“The threat of E. coli infection, Listeriosis, Campylobacter infection, and other bacterial infections is only the beginning,” said the group in a statement, which tied meat eating to several health problems.

PETA has also recently used very similar billboards in the UK to tie swine flu to pork consumption, a move that has drawn fire from pubic health officials and those in the pork industry. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority recently banned the group’s swine flu ads.

PETA billboard 2.jpg

Images courtesy of PETA.