PETA Appeals Rejection of Utah Turkey Memorial

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2014

David Perle 202-483-2783

Salt Lake City – PETA is appealing the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) initial rejection of its request for a memorial for the hundreds of turkeys who were killed in a recent truck crash.

In its letter to UDOT, PETA reiterates the inescapable fact that turkeys feel pain just as human beings do and adds an appeal for empathy. PETA also again notes that although Utah’s roadside memorial program was designed to allow grieving families to mourn their lost loved ones, the victims of the recent truck crash on U.S. 189 have no surviving blood relatives, leaving animal-friendly Utah residents with the job of erecting a memorial on their behalf.

“When I drive past the site of the incident, I will always be reminded of the gruesome deaths that occurred there—deaths that, as our memorial points out, were completely avoidable,” says Salt Lake City resident Amy Meyer. “PETA’s sign would remind commuters that we can all save turkeys and other animals from a terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse—and save our own arteries—simply by going vegan.”

PETA’s letter to UDOT follows.


May 5, 2014


Teri Newell
Region Three Director
Utah Department of Transportation

Via e-mail: [email protected]

Dear Ms. Newell:

I’m writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to reject PETA’s roadside memorial commemorating the lives of hundreds of turkeys who died in the recent truck crash on U.S. 189. According to UDOT, the memorial program was designed for grieving families to pay tribute to their lost loved ones, but turkeys in the factory farming industry have no living relatives. These individuals, who develop strong bonds and feel pain just as we do, are as deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims, which is why I hope you’ll allow me, a concerned Utah resident, to erect this tribute.

As I drive past the site of the incident, I will always be reminded of the gruesome deaths that occurred there—deaths that, as our memorial points out, were completely avoidable. The sign will remind truck drivers of their duty to drive with the utmost care as they haul hundreds of terrified animals to their deaths, cutting down on these horrific collisions and making the roads safer for all commuters. It also points out that going vegan is the best way to spare curious, intelligent turkeys and other animals from ever being thrown into cramped transport trucks and trekked thousands of miles in all weather extremes, as eating vegan saves more than 100 animals every year. PETA’s tribute is a win for everyone—truck drivers, commuters, and turkeys alike.

Please let me know how we can erect the memorial to comply with your guidelines in the absence of available family members of the victims. Thank you for your consideration.


Amy Meyer
Salt Lake City

cc:        Robert Hull, P.E., Engineer for Traffic and Safety

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind