PETA ‘Elves’ to Deliver Coal Dust and Disgust to UTHSC Chancellor’s House

For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2022

Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Memphis, Tenn. – PETA supporters dressed as elves are coming to Memphis from the North Pole on official business, and they’re not smiling: University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Chancellor Peter Buckley is on their “more-than-naughty-just-plain-nasty” list for continuing painful and invasive training procedures on live pigs at the school’s College of Medicine (UTCOM), despite the ready availability of superior teaching methods. This Thursday, the elves will push wheelbarrows decorated with Christmas lights but filled with coal to Buckley’s doorstep, where they’ll dump the lumps as a brigade of costumed “animal” allies brandishes signs reading, “UTCOM Is Ho-Ho-Horrible to Pigs!”

When:    Thursday, December 15, 5 p.m.

Where:    Outside Buckley’s home

“Collapsing live pigs’ lungs, cutting into their arteries, and breaking open their ribs are acts that make Scrooge seem saintly,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on Chancellor Buckley to shut down these shameful, outdated drills; modernize the school’s teaching regimen; and give pigs the gift of peace and joy this season.”

UTCOM leadership admitted in an internal e-mail that the public’s discovery “that [UTCOM is] still using animals … will be very damaging to the College of Medicine and [its] credibility.”

Following a push from PETA, UTCOM’s partner hospital, Erlanger Medical Center—including its medevac provider LIFE FORCE—adopted a new policy barring its staff from participating in such live-animal training sessions, described as “cruel and misguided” and a “waste of time” by employees.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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