PETA Billboard Suggests Church of the Highlands’ Members Forgo Easter Ham

Image of Slaughter-Bound Pig Calls On Believers to Recall How Jesus Valued Animals' Lives

For Immediate Release:
April 10, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Birmingham, Ala. – Most people know by now that pigs and other animals raised for food suffer every day of their lives on factory farms and face a terrifying death in slaughterhouses, which begs the question “What would Jesus eat were he alive today?” That’s why—just in time for Easter—PETA is negotiating with Birmingham-area outdoor advertisers to place a billboard within a stone’s throw of the Church of the Highlands, the largest church in Alabama and one of the largest in the nation. The billboard shows a pig looking plaintively through the slats on a livestock transport truck, with the caption “Jesus Died So All Could Live. Try Vegan This Easter.” PETA hopes the message of extending compassion to all God’s creation will help the thousands who travel to services every week see pigs for the intelligent, sensitive animals they are and not as food.

“Pigs—and other animals—have the same capacity to feel pain and fear as we humans do,” says PETA Manager Dan Paden. “Extending compassion to all this Easter by following a vegan diet is a wonderful way to honor God’s message of love and understanding.”

Standard practices on pig farms include cutting piglets’ tails and teeth and castrating them, all without pain relief. Sows are often confined to metal crates so small that they can’t even turn around. At slaughterhouses, many pigs have their throats cut or are immersed in the scalding-hot water of hair-removal tanks while they’re still conscious.

In addition to causing animal suffering on a massive scale, a recent study concluded that eating ham and other meat—as well as dairy products—may be just as unhealthy as smoking. Also, raising pigs and other animals for food is a leading cause of water pollution, land degradation, and the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.

For more information and to find delicious vegan recipes for Easter, please visit

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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