Billboard to Pay Tribute to Chickens Killed in Barn Blaze

PETA Memorial Will Encourage People to Help Prevent More Animals' Deaths by Going Vegan

For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Martin, Mich. – In honor of the 300,000 chickens who died when a barn at Vande Bunte Eggs caught fire on January 3, PETA plans to place a billboard in the area pointing out who’s responsible for the birds’ deaths: everyone who hasn’t gone vegan.

“Each of these birds was an individual who felt pain and fear as smoke and flames engulfed the barn,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges everyone to practice kindness to sensitive birds—and pigs, cows, and other animals—by going vegan.”

Hens on “cage-free” egg farms like Vande Bunte Eggs are confined by the tens of thousands to cramped barns where each bird has no more than 1 square foot of space. They’re sent to be slaughtered once their bodies wear out and they’re no longer considered useful for egg production. At the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA is planning to place similar ads in West Alexandria, Ohio, where an unknown number of chickens died in a barn fire on December 19, and in Federalsburg, Maryland, where nearly 16,000 died in a barn fire on December 20.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist worldview that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit

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