Local Rooster Is a Finalist in PETA’s ‘Make Your Chicken a Star’ Competition

Chicken Loves Eating Grapes, Grooming His Flock, and Greeting Visitors to His Home

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2019

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Merced, Calif. – Ten feathery finalists have been chosen in PETA’s first-ever “Make Your Chicken a Star” competition—and Mr. Rooster, who would have been killed for food on a local farm if he hadn’t been adopted by the Calderon family in Merced County instead, is among them. Voting is now open to the public to help determine the winner, who will be revealed on December 9.

Mr. Rooster—also called Gallo by the family’s patriarch, Felipe Calderon, and Señor Rooster by Calderon’s daughters—rules the roost at his home: The family’s hen, dogs, and cats all follow his lead. When visitors arrive, he joins the dogs in running to greet them, and when he finds grapes and cherries in the family’s yard, he makes sure that the other chickens eat first. He also loves to groom his hen companions—and when one passed away, he stayed by her side, crying. “Hens and roosters can feel and think so much more than we assume because chickens are highly intelligent,” says guardian Navidad Calderon, who states that Mr. Rooster and other chickens have inspired her to go vegan.

“Mr. Rooster is an essential member of his family and a perfect example of how clever and caring chickens can be,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “All the brave, resilient chickens in PETA’s contest have unique personalities, value companionship and their own lives, and have formed an unbreakable bond with their loving guardians.”

The winning chicken will be featured in a new PETA ad and in PETA Global magazine and will receive a gift basket stuffed with toys and treats, and the winner’s guardian will receive a framed award and 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, which is a human-supremacist worldview. PETA will choose the winner based on several factors, including vote count. For more information, please visit PETA.org or click here.

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“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