California Rooster Wins PETA’s ‘Make Your Chicken a Star’ Contest

Mr. Rooster Changed His Family's Life by Showing Them How Smart Chickens Are

For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Merced, Calif. – After thousands of votes came in, the winner of PETA’s first-ever “Make Your Chicken a Star” Contest won by a slim margin: It’s Mr. Rooster, who would’ve been killed for food on a local farm if he hadn’t been adopted by the Calderon family in Merced County instead. Photos are available here.

Mr. Rooster—also called “Gallo” by the family patriarch, Felipe Calderon, and “Señor Rooster” by Calderon’s daughters—inspired his guardian Natividad Calderon to go vegan: When she looked at the chicken on her plate, she saw Mr. Rooster, who loves to explore the yard, find grapes and cherries for the family’s other chicken to enjoy, and join the family’s dogs in greeting visitors. “Once I saw for myself how social and wonderful chickens are, I knew I couldn’t eat them,” she says. “From chickens to human beings, we’re all the same inside, and that’s exactly why I went vegan.”

“Mr. Rooster changed his family’s lives and the way they eat when he showed them how lovable, caring, and intelligent chickens are,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone who’s inspired by Mr. Rooster’s unbreakable bond with his guardians to practice compassion for chickens like him by leaving them and all other animals off their plates.”

Mr. Rooster will be featured in PETA Global magazine and will receive a gift basket stuffed with toys and treats, and the Calederon family will receive a prize pack that includes a T-shirt, a vegan cookbook, and more (plus bragging rights, of course).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. PETA chose the winner based on several factors, including vote count. For more information, please visit or click here.

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