Tickets, Turkeys—or Tofurkys? PETA Offers Vegan Roasts for Police Giveaway

Billings Police Could Serve Meat-Free Entrées and Protect Animals and Residents' Health

For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2017

Contact:
Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Billings, Mont. – Following reports that the Billings Police Department handed out frozen turkeys instead of tickets to drivers in the run-up to Thanksgiving, PETA sent a letter today offering to donate vegan Tofurky roasts for the department to give away.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that Tofurky roasts, which are free of saturated animal fat and cholesterol, will especially appeal to those who don’t eat meat for religious, ethical, or environmental reasons. Last year, PETA partnered with the Fort Worth Police Department for a well-received Tofurky giveaway.

“More and more Americans are choosing to celebrate the holidays with a healthy, humane vegan roast instead of the corpse of a sensitive bird who didn’t want to die,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “By gobbling up PETA’s offer of delicious Tofurky roasts, the Billings Police Department can give everyone something to be thankful for.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Rich St. John, the Billings Police Department chief of police, follows.

November 14, 2017

Rich St. John

Chief of Police

Billings Police Department

Dear Chief St. John,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including many across Montana—in response to reports that the Billings Police Department was handing out frozen turkeys instead of tickets to motorists who committed traffic violations. I’d like to make an offer that will really give Montanans something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: We’d like to help you serve up a vegan holiday dinner and protect residents’ health by donating delicious cholesterol-free Tofurky roasts for you to hand out to drivers—including those who don’t eat meat for religious or environmental reasons or because they know how cruel factory farming and the slaughter of turkeys really are.

Turkeys are smart, sensitive birds who have been known to enjoy clucking along to music and love to have their feathers stroked. In nature, babies stay with their mothers for up to five months, and they like to eat meals together as a family, much as humans do on Thanksgiving. But in today’s slaughterhouses, fully conscious turkeys are shackled upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified stun bath, which shoots currents through their bodies, causing spasms, burns, and fractures. Many birds are stunned improperly and are still conscious when their throats are cut and they’re immersed in scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.

Thanksgiving is about appreciation and kindness, and many traditional holiday foods are plant-based. Veganism has grown 500 percent since 2014. Since 6 percent of Americans identify as vegan and millions of people now enjoy a compassionate, meat-free holiday for a variety of reasons, it makes sense to give turkeys arrest this Thanksgiving.

Last year, we partnered with the Fort Worth Police Department for a similar effort, and it was well-received by many Texas drivers. We hope to hear that you’ll gobble up our offer. If so, please let me know where we can send the Tofurky roasts. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

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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