For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
Sioux Falls, S.D. – The largest shopping district between Denver and Minneapolis will be lit up this holiday season with sky-high appeals from animals to leave only cruelty-free gifts under the tree this Christmas as PETA unveils a series of new ads just feet from The Empire Mall, home to dozens of retailers worthy of the “naughty” list, such as Coach and lululemon, which peddle skins and down, and within eyeshot of meat-centric restaurants such as Texas Roadhouse.
“Christmas should be a time of peace and joy, but year-round, animals suffer for their skin, their flesh, and their feathers,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges shoppers to honor the compassionate spirit of the holidays by choosing vegan gifts that allow everyone to live in peace.”
The digital billboard, located at 4309 S. Louise Ave., #101, will play five ads from PETA’s “I Am Not” campaign that feature a cow, a chicken, a goose, a sheep, or a lizard imploring viewers to see them for the thinking, feeling individuals they are—rather than as products for the taking.
People are increasingly aware that buying shoes, clothes, meat, or anything else made using animals supports industries responsible for horrific suffering and needless killing. PETA investigations into more than 100 wool suppliers have exposed shearers beating sheep, cutting their skin to shreds, and hastily sewing them back up—without painkillers. Workers in the meat and leather industries castrate, brand, string up, skin, and dismember cows, sometimes while they’re still conscious. At down factories, workers hang ducks and geese upside down, drag them through electrified water, and stab them in the throat. Meat industry workers pack chickens densely on top of one another in filthy cages, where they often die after their legs break under the strain of their own weight. And in the reptile-skins industry, workers hack apart lizards with machetes while they’re still conscious.
Compassionate shoppers can get the best gift for themselves and animals by requesting PETA’s free vegan starter kit—as each person who goes vegan not only spares about 200 animals each year but also improves their own health, since vegans are less prone to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes. For other Christmas list needs, PETA’s shopping guide makes the holidays a piece of (vegan) cake.
A cow with the message “I am not a jacket, a pair of boots, or a steak.” Credit: PETA
A chicken with the message “I am not a nugget or a drumstick.” Credit: PETA
A goose with the message “I am not down filling or foie gras.” Credit: PETA
A sheep with the message “I am not a sweater, a scarf, or a lamb chop.” Credit: PETA
A lizard with the message “I am not a handbag, a belt, or a pair of shoes.” Credit: PETA
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.