Taos Nabs PETA Award for Dropping Fireworks Display

For Immediate Release:
May 25, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Taos, N.M. – A Compassionate Town Award from PETA is on its way to the “Soul of the Southwest” to honor the community for canceling this year’s Independence Day fireworks display and taking the thoughtful step of considering an animal-friendly laser light show instead.

“Thanks to Taos’ foresight and care, countless animals will be spared the terrifying booms and blasts that cause many of them to run away and become lost, injured, or killed,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is recognizing this compassionate community for protecting animals’ lives and encourages Taos to leave fireworks out of its events permanently.”

PETA points out that fireworks displays frequently result in intake spikes at animal shelters, which exceed their capacity and further strain community resources. Companion animals who arrive at shelters at these times often have bloody paws and broken bones and might never be reunited with their families. Others, doomed to an even worse fate, are hit by cars or strangled after their collars become caught on fences. Wildlife is affected, too: In Arkansas, 5,000 birds died one New Year’s Eve after a fireworks show caused them to take flight and slam into objects such as houses and cars because most of them couldn’t see well in the dark.

Wildlife and companion animals aren’t the only ones affected: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can be deeply disturbed by fireworks. PETA’s tips and helpful yard signs available here can help make holiday celebrations safer for everyone.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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