PETA Billboard to Pay Tribute to Chickens Killed After Truck Breakdown

Mechanic, Firefighters Nab Awards for Efforts to Save Birds From Heatstroke Death

For Immediate Release:
June 17, 2021

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Elgin, Ill. – In honor of the chickens who died in the heat after the truck carrying them lost a wheel on I-90 on June 8—when temperatures soared into the 80s—PETA plans to place a billboard near the breakdown site proclaiming, “See the Individual. Go Vegan.”

Mechanic Andrew Loucks and firefighters with the Addison Fire Protection District hosed the chickens down with water to try to keep them cool, prompting PETA to send them a Compassionate Action Award and a Compassionate Fire Department Award, respectively. But even with their efforts, hundreds of chickens, “if not a thousand,” still died, according to Battalion Chief Chris Mansfield. Loucks told the Chicago Tribune, “It’s that type of s— that makes you want to go vegetarian. That’s all I’ve been thinking about all day long.”

“Chickens freeze to trucks’ metal sides in the winter and die of heat exhaustion in the summer,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s ad will encourage viewers to help prevent these gentle birds from being crammed into trucks in the first place by going vegan.”

Hens used for egg production are confined to cramped barns, where each bird has no more than a square foot of space, and chickens killed for their flesh are crammed by the tens of thousands into filthy sheds and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight. At the slaughterhouse, the birds’ throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA notes that there have been at least 38 crashes involving trucks carrying animals used for food so far this year. Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 chickens, cows, pigs, and other animals every year and helps prevent future epidemics and pandemics. Confining and killing animals for food has been linked to SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and COVID-19.

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.

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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