Following the crash, PETA requested the placement of a memorial sign at the crash site.
"In Memory of the Hundreds of Terrified Turkeys Who Died Here in a Truck Crash," the proposed sign says.
UDOT rejected the request, saying roadside memorials are for people, not turkeys.
“Any loss of life is unfortunate,” UDOT Spokesman John Gleason said. “But the roadside memorials are specifically for people that have been killed in crashes and for the family members that want to memorialize those people.”
In its appeal letter, which was addressed to UDOT's Region Three Director Teri Newell, PETA argued that "[t]hese individuals, who develop strong bonds and feel pain just as we do, are as deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims."
Scroll down to read the rest of PETA's appeal letter.
Read PETA's entire appeal letter:
Dear Ms. Newell:
I'm writing to urge you to reconsider your decision to reject PETA's roadside memorial commemorating the lives of hundreds of turkeys who died in the recent truck crash on U.S. 189. According to UDOT, the memorial program was designed for grieving families to pay tribute to their lost loved ones, but turkeys in the factory farming industry have no living relatives. These individuals, who develop strong bonds and feel pain just as we do, are as deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims, which is why I hope you'll allow me, a concerned Utah resident, to erect this tribute.
As I drive past the site of the incident, I will always be reminded of the gruesome deaths that occurred there—deaths that, as our memorial points out, were completely avoidable. The sign will remind truck drivers of their duty to drive with the utmost care as they haul hundreds of terrified animals to their deaths, cutting down on these horrific collisions and making the roads safer for all commuters. It also points out that going vegan is the best way to spare curious, intelligent turkeys and other animals from ever being thrown into cramped transport trucks and trekked thousands of miles in all weather extremes, as eating vegan saves more than 100 animals every year. PETA's tribute is a win for everyone—truck drivers, commuters, and turkeys alike.
Please let me know how we can erect the memorial to comply with your guidelines in the absence of available family members of the victims. Thank you for your consideration.
Salt Lake City