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:
April 27, 2020

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Ceres, Calif. – In honor of the hundreds of thousands of birds who died when a three-story chicken house at Gemperle Farms caught fire on April 23, PETA plans to place a billboard in the area pointing out who’s responsible for their deaths: everyone who hasn’t gone vegan.

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

Hens used for egg production 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. At the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA notes that going vegan spares animals immense suffering and helps prevent future pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic originated in a meat market, previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens, and South Carolina is currently facing a new virulent strain of bird flu.

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