PETA ‘ThanksVegan’ Sweeps Nation With ‘Turkey Showgirls,’ Celeb Cameos

For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2023

Contact:
Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – Ahead of Thanksgiving, PETA’s multipronged “ThanksVegan” campaign has been hitting cities across the nation with “turkey showgirls,” star-studded messages, and lots of free food—all to help people enjoy a vegan holiday and give birds a break.

The festivities kicked off November 5 in Woodland Hills, California, where a flock of PETA “chicks” in turkey-themed tutus and bright orange faux-feather headdresses gave away over 100 vegan roasts in just two hours, along with vegan holiday recipe guides, stickers, and pro-animal holiday centerpieces. Over the following days, the “turkey showgirls” zigzagged across the country, stopping in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Beaverton and Portland, Oregon, giving away more than 1,000 vegan holiday roasts—and more than a few shots of Wild Turkey.

Clockwise from top left: PETA “showgirls” give out free vegan roasts and recipe guides in Philadelphia; Beaverton, Oregon; Portland, Oregon; Philadelphia; and Detroit. Credit: PETA

After learning about the many health benefits of eating vegan and how easy it is to switch, one Philadelphian exclaimed, “Thanks. You saved my life!” Another grateful roast recipient remarked, “My wife has been cooking more plant-based meat in the air fryer, and it’s actually good. She’ll be so happy that I’m bringing her a whole roast.” A woman in Orlando, Florida, picked up a roast so she could take part in a vegan Thanksgiving to support her vegan son. Other comments included, “Wow, I just pop it in the oven and it’s ready—that’s so easy,” “Sure, I’ll try it. My boyfriend eats that stuff, and I’ll eat whatever tastes good,” “I didn’t know something like this existed. I can’t wait to try it,” and “Thank you so much. I’m so excited!”

Meanwhile, passersby in Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; and Minneapolis got an eyeful of a nearly nude human “turkey”—trussed up and served alongside traditional Thanksgiving side dishes—who encouraged people to “put yourself in their place” while PETA supporters nearby distributed even more free vegan roasts and recipe guides.

PETA’s human “turkey” display in Kansas City, Missouri

Celebrities are also getting in on the ThanksVegan push: Oscar winner and longtime PETA friend Joaquin Phoenix lent his voice to PETA’s undercover exposé revealing horrific abuse of turkeys at Plainville Farms’ suppliers, and actor and comedian Sarah Silverman appears in a new message urging viewers to see Thanksgiving through the eyes of a turkey and leave the birds in peace this holiday.

PETA has blanketed the country with sky-high appeals and unmissable messages reminding people that turkeys are individuals and encouraging them to enjoy a delicious vegan Thanksgiving that gives everyone something to be thankful for. PETA also recently launched Tommy, a brand-new cutting-edge chatbot available through ChatGPT that users can turn to for delicious ThanksVegan recipes and tips.

Tommy, PETA’s AI turkey chatbot

PETA’s message greets holiday travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Credit: PETA

“Thanksgiving should be a time to celebrate with friends and loved ones, but for the tens of millions of turkeys slaughtered every year, it’s a nightmare,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges everyone to show turkeys and all species compassion by keeping animals off their plates and enjoying a delicious ThanksVegan instead.”

In nature, turkeys spend their days caring for their young, building nests, foraging for food, taking dust baths, and roosting high in trees. Free-roaming turkeys can live up to 10 years, but those raised for food are normally slaughtered when they’re between 14 and 18 weeks old. In the U.S., approximately 46 million turkeys are killed each year for Thanksgiving alone. Workers hang the young birds upside down, drag them through an electrified bath, slit their throats, and dump them into scalding-hot water in defeathering tanks—often while they’re still conscious.

© Robert Khafizov/Dreamstime.com

Photo: © Robert Khafizov | Dreamstime.com

In addition to sparing the lives of nearly 200 animals a year, everyone who goes vegan slashes their carbon footprint and reduces their risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other ailments.

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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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