PETA to Memorialize Hens Killed in Barn Blaze

Billboard Near Site of Fire Encourages People to Prevent More Animals’ Deaths by Going Vegan

For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2020

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Dade City, Fla. – In memory of the approximately 250,000 chickens who died in fear and pain when a fire broke out at a local Cal-Maine Foods egg farm on December 15, PETA is placing a billboard nearby pointing out that if everyone were vegan, no birds would have suffered and died.

“These hens burned to death, and others’ throats are slit, all because people want to eat eggs,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who writes of the gentle nature, intelligence, and communication skills of chickens in her book Animalkind. “PETA is ready and willing to help anyone make the transition to eating delicious vegan food and by doing so, help stop cruelty to animals in barns and slaughterhouses.”

Egg production farms cram hundreds of millions of hens into wire-floored cages with less living space than a sheet of paper for up to two years. A recent PETA investigation into a massive egg producer revealed that many hens died after becoming trapped by a leg, a wing, or their head in the wire-mesh flooring of filthy cages. 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 extremely 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—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—previously obtained eyewitness video footage of workers at a Cal-Maine Foods’ factory farm in Zephyrhills, Florida, dumping scores of chickens, some of whom were still alive, into a dump truck.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit or follow the group on 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