‘Grim Reapers’ to Haunt Turkey Slaughterers

As the Novel Coronavirus Infects Thousands of Workers Nationwide, PETA Calls For a Turkey-Free 'ThanksVegan'

For Immediate Release:
November 23, 2020

David Perle 202-483-7382

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Two “Grim Reapers” holding scythes with the message “Slaughterhouses Kill Animals AND Workers” will lead two protests on Tuesday: First, they’ll stalk through downtown to urge everyone to celebrate “ThanksVegan” with a vegan feast—and then they’ll hit the headquarters of Michigan Turkey Producers, which has continued killing turkeys despite COVID-19 outbreaks among slaughterhouse workers, forcing a temporary closure earlier this year.

When:    Tuesday, November 24, 12 noon

Where:    171 Monroe Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids

When:    Tuesday, November 24, 1:30 p.m.

Where:    Michigan Turkey Producers, 1100 Hall St. S.W., Grand Rapids

“Workers are in danger every day they report to filthy, wet, blood- and offal-soaked slaughterhouses, where COVID-19 spreads like wildfire,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is offering recipes, tips, and even vegan mentors to help everyone have a delicious ThanksVegan meal that spares workers and gentle turkeys alike.”

More than 46 million turkeys are killed each year for Thanksgiving alone, and most of them are just babies—less than 26 weeks old—when they’re hung upside down and dragged through an electrified bath. They’re often still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re dumped into scalding-hot defeathering tanks.

PETA’s #ThanksVegan campaign also includes pro-turkey “I’m ME, Not MEAT” billboards posted across the country; its “Grace” TV ad, in which a little girl makes some pointed comments while saying grace at the dinner table; provocative protests; and partnerships with restaurants and grocery stores to promote animal-free options.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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