Turkey’s Poignant Thanksgiving Reminder: ‘I’m ME, Not MEAT’

New Billboard Urges People to Opt for Animal-Free Holiday Feast

For Immediate Release:
November 13, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Fort Myers, Fla. – As families prepare to hit the road to head to their relatives’ homes for Thanksgiving dinner, PETA has placed a new billboard off I-75 in Fort Myers showing a turkey’s face alongside the words “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.” The ad is part of a series of similar ones being placed in cities across the U.S. leading up to Thanksgiving, including inside airports in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Akron, Ohio, as well as on billboards in Denver, Minneapolis, Boston, Las Vegas, and Houston.

The Fort Myers billboard is located on I-75, just north of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“We hope this billboard will inspire people to consider who turkeys really are—gentle young birds who don’t deserve to be strung upside down and slaughtered for a fleeting taste,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on every kind soul to explore vegan dishes this Thanksgiving and celebrate life.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that at least 44 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. each year for Thanksgiving. In nature, turkeys are protective and loving parents as well as spirited explorers who can climb trees and run as fast as 25 mph. Turkeys in the wild can live up to 10 years, but those raised for food are normally slaughtered when they’re 5 months old. The young birds are hung by their feet from metal shackles and dragged through an electrified bath that can cause them to have full-body tremors. They’re often still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re dumped into scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.

PETA offers a free vegan starter kit (available here) full of recipes, tips, and more. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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