PETA Billboard to Memorialize Hens Killed in Barn Blaze

For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Arlington, Ariz. – In honor of the more than 165,000 birds who burned to death when two massive sheds holding chickens at a facility owned by Hickman’s Family Farms—Arizona’s largest egg producer—were destroyed in a fire on Saturday, PETA plans to place a billboard in the area pointing out who’s responsible for their deaths: everyone who still buys eggs.

“Each one of these hens was an individual who surely felt pain and fear as smoke and flames engulfed her,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges everyone to prevent birds from being crammed into barns by the tens of thousands in the first place by taking the easy step of going vegan.”

Hens used for egg production are confined to cramped barns, where each bird has no more than a square foot of space. Few farms bother to go to the trouble or expense of installing smoke detectors or fire alarm systems, as they consider the lives of the birds to have such little value. When hens’ bodies wear out and they’re no longer considered profitable, egg producers stuff them into metal boxes and crudely gas them with carbon dioxide, which is distressing and painful—or send them to slaughterhouses, where workers cut their throats, often while they’re still conscious, and scald many to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA notes that going vegan spares animals immense suffering and helps prevent future epidemics and pandemics. SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and COVID-19 all stemmed from confining and killing animals for food.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist worldview that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit

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