For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2023
Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California just dealt a blow to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) regarding PETA’s successful First Amendment lawsuit against the transit agency, which the group initially filed after L.A. Metro rejected its ads featuring a simple plea to show kindness to animals by going vegan (with no graphic imagery).
The court deemed aspects of L.A. Metro’s policy “unreasonable,” “unconstitutional,” and “viewpoint-discriminatory” and filed an injunction to prevent L.A. Metro from enforcing these unconstitutional parts, which included a stipulation prohibiting ads for noncommercial speech—unless the ad was sponsored by a government agency. The injunction prompted L.A. Metro to revise its policy to, among other things, remove the government agency exception, and it then filed a motion to vacate the injunction. After extensive briefing, the district court denied L.A. Metro’s request.
The two ads rejected by L.A. Metro that are at the center of PETA’s lawsuit. Credit: PETA
“The court’s ruling prevents L.A. Metro from reverting to its unconstitutional advertising policy that barred PETA from simply encouraging viewers to make animal-friendly food choices,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Litigation Zeynep Graves. “PETA is celebrating this clear message that unconstitutional restraints on free speech won’t fly.”
L.A. Metro’s appeal of the court’s findings—and PETA’s cross-appeal—are currently pending in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The group will continue to advocate against speciesism—the backward mentality that animals exist only for humans’ consumption—and points out that shopping for animal-free clothing and accessories has never been easier and that every person who eats vegan spares nearly 200 animals a year a terrifying death in blood-soaked slaughterhouses.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, or abuse in any other way.” For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.