Ashland Mothers’ Memorial Prompts PETA Proposal

Adding a Cow Sculpture to Monument Site Would Honor All Moms Ahead of Mother’s Day, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Wilkes Barre, Pa.

Just ahead of Mother’s Day, PETA has sent a letter to the mayor of Ashland with a momumental suggestion: Grant PETA permission to erect a beautiful cow sculpture inscribed with the words “Respect and Honor all Mothers. Go Vegan” at the site of Ashland’s famous Mothers’ Memorial. The sculpture would pay tribute to all the nonhuman mothers who also nurture their babies—especially cows used in the dairy industry, who form close bonds with their calves and produce milk for them, not humans, to drink.

“All mothers are loving and protective of their young—and this certainly includes mother cows whose calves are taken away from them, something that causes them great distress,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is hoping that Ashland will honor the universal devotion of mothers by adding a sculpture of a mother cow to its historic memorial.”

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat.” For more information, please visit

PETA’s letter to Ashland Mayor Ray Walacavage follows.

May 10, 2018

The Honorable Ray Walacavage

Mayor of Ashland

Dear Mayor Walacavage,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Pennsylvania, with a suggestion for a momumental way to celebrate all mothers in time for Mother’s Day and before the 80th anniversary of the dedication of your Mothers Memorial this fall. Will you allow us to erect a beautiful mother cow sculpture inscribed with the words “Respect and Honor All Mothers. Go Vegan” at the site?

Our sculpture is a mooving tribute to the millions of nonhuman mothers who also nurture their young, especially cows used by the dairy industry, who produce milk to feed their own calves, not humans. On dairy farms, mother cows are forcibly impregnated over and over again to ensure that they maintain a steady supply of milk—only to have their deeply loved babies taken away from them within hours of birth. Cows are intelligent, sensitive animals who form close bonds with their young. They’ve been known to search fields for miles—hoping to be reunited with their calves—chase after transport vehicles, and even hide their babies to avoid separation. They’re also known to make loud noises of distress for weeks on end after their babies have been stolen from them.

While we chose a cow to symbolize the bond between mothers and their babies, most animal mothers are just as dedicated to and protective of their young as cows are, including emperor penguins, who travel up to 50 miles to find food for their offspring; killdeer, who pretend to have broken wings in order to lure predators to themselves instead of their babies; octopuses, who so fiercely guard their eggs that they’ll starve before leaving them to eat or look for food; and pigs, who sing to their piglets while nursing and defend them throughout their lives.

We udderly agree with the quote adapted from Samuel Taylor Coleridge on your memorial declaring, “A mother is the holiest thing alive.” We hope you’ll accept our offer to add this lovely cownterpart to the Mothers Memorial site to show reverence for all mothers regardless of species. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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