For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2023
Brittney Williams 202-483-7382
Tulsa, Okla. – If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey? That’s the question PETA is asking Tulsans this holiday season with an eye-catching new message on the sides of local buses. Tulsa Transit twice rejected the family-friendly, pro-vegan appeal as “controversial” and then “not appropriate,” but it reversed its decision after public pressure and agreed to place the appeals on local buses in time for Thanksgiving.
“A growing number of people are rejecting killing animals to celebrate anything, and they find it beyond inappropriate to do so when there are wonderful vegan options,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Turkeys desire to live in peace, not in pieces, as they, like us, feel pain, fear, love, and joy, and they don’t deserve to be reduced to a holiday meal.”
Each year in the U.S., about 46 million turkeys—typically between 14 and 18 weeks old—are killed and sold for Thanksgiving alone. During their short lives, they are forced to stand in their own waste and are bred to grow so large so quickly that their legs give out. At the slaughterhouse, workers hang the young birds upside down, drag them through an electrified bath, slit their throats, and dump them into scalding-hot defeathering tanks—often while they’re still conscious.
PETA initially planned to place two bus ads ahead of Oktoberfest and Thanksgiving. When Tulsa Transit first rejected PETA’s ads, the group pointed out that the rejection amounted to a violation of its First Amendment rights, and in March, the agency agreed to run the ads. Tulsa Transit then adopted a new ad policy in April and waited until August—a few weeks before the first ad was slated to run—to notify PETA that it was rejecting the ads under that policy. PETA filed an open records request to learn more—and then, suddenly, Tulsa Transit reversed its decision and agreed to run the ads.
Since that reversal came too late to use the planned Oktoberfest message, which asked viewers to leave pigs in peace, the group paired its Thanksgiving message with a New Year–themed appeal featuring an adorable lamb who pleads with viewers not to wear wool, as PETA entities have documented cruelty to sheep at wool operations worldwide in 14 exposés.
Tulsa buses are featuring PETA’s messages through February 14.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.