Massive Animal Sculptures to Appear on the National Mall With a Message Against Speciesism

For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382


On Thursday, PETA will unveil a massive immersive exhibit—a collection of giant steel-and-aluminum sculptures—on the National Mall entitled The Council of Animals (What to Do About the Humans) created by Washington state–based artist Quill Hyde and featuring a 7-foot-tall polar bear; a towering, 1,200-pound elephant; a 6-foot-tall rhinoceros with a chicken perched on his back; and a coyote voiced by Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos. The exhibit seeks to answer the question “If animals spoke in a language we could understand, what would they say about us?”

When:    Thursday, July 13 (unveiling 9–9:30 a.m.)

Where:    National Mall, Jefferson Drive S.W. (between the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum), Washington

PETA will provide vegan pastries and coffee.

The coyote delivers a speech that challenges speciesism—the belief in human supremacy—and draws attention to the talents, languages, and cultures of various animals. It opens: “Dear friends, we are gathered here today to discuss the problem of humanity.” The coyote continues, “Look around you. There’s the elephant, with her profound emotional intelligence; the rhinoceros, with his majestic horn; the polar bear, with his unmatched resilience; the chicken, with her superb mothering instincts; and me—the clever coyote. But our talents, interests, and autonomy are often overlooked because some humans believe other animals exist just for them.”

The unveiling ceremony will be opened by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, and visitors will be invited to endorse a “Declaration on Consciousness”—based on the “Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness” (July 7, 2012)—that acknowledges animals’ complex inner lives and their desire for freedom from human oppression.

“Humans aren’t the only animals who communicate, and if we could speak the languages of other species, we would understand their appeals for freedom and a just world,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA asks everyone to afford animals the same understanding and respect we should give our fellow humans and stands ready to help with everything from free vegan starter kits to alternatives to dissection to vegan clothing guides.”

The exhibit will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day through September 3.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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