PETA appeals rejection of turkey memorial sign

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah representatives for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hope the Utah Department of Transportation will reconsider their rejection of a roadside memorial sign for hundreds of turkeys that were killed in a crash last month.

In memory_turkey sign_stacked300

PETA's proposed memorial sign

Over 700 turkeys died when the semi-trailer hauling them crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on April 24.

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.

Tell us what you think. Should PETA be allowed to erect a memorial sign for turkeys?

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.


Amy Meyer
Salt Lake City


  • Richard

    It’s not a memorial sign…read the letter that they sent appealing it. It’s simply a way to push their political agenda.

  • animalialatina

    The moral and ethical traits of a society are clearly shown when people write ignorant comments that lack creativity and grey matter (“I am going to eat a turkey sandwich now”, “People are more important than turkeys”, “They are going to die, anyways”, “I am a member of people eating tasty animals” (yes, in small caps, because the block letters are only deserving to PETA) Please! we have been reading rubbish like that for many years! Those are always the replies of the ones who have no logical arguments and prefer to deny the realities under their noses. PAIN AND SUFFERING is exactly the same for ALL living beings and a memorial sign does not hurt anyone. Having compassion for any creature that is capable to experiment suffering is a characteristic that clearly shows the good upbringing, decency and ethics of a person.

    • Mickey Bitsko

      LOL! Actually I just had a turkey sandwich, so it’s too late. But I’ll have another just for you.

    • DallasFanB

      Those turkeys do not need a sign on the road for them. If that is allowed than people are going to want to have sign put up for every animal that is hit by a car.

  • Bob

    animalialatina: Its one thing to have compassion for animals and quite another to put up a memorial when a truckload of turkeys are killed. Why not put up a memorial for the 150 sheep that were killed after a livestock truck rolled over in Provo Canyon on February 22nd?

    The saddest thing about this story is the absolute lack of any common sense whatsoever in PETA’s suggestion. Sheeesh!!

    • Carrie

      Bob, I am with you completely on this one. PETA will fight for an animal/bird but ask them to fight for human life and “it is a controversial issue” that they don’t want to be involved in. And as for the other comments like people eating tasty animals.. a sense of humor sometimes is necessary to see that others deal with subjects differently.. in other words animalialatina they have freedom of speech just as you do!

  • Bob

    By-the-way, animalialatina, what is your position of the right of women to terminate the life of an unborn child during an abortion? Does your compassion also extend to them?

  • richard stannard

    It’s so humorous that would be good roadside entertainment.Let Petra pay the cost and have their sign.

  • Edwina

    Animals think and feel and PETA and others have the right to care about their deaths. It doesn’t hurt anyone to erect a memorial, why all the fuss? The last I checked, we were able to enjoy freedom in our great nation. Now you’re telling people who they are allowed to care about? We can have billboards for McDonald’s and liposuction and Viagra, but a memorial to some turkeys has people up in protest? These are very strange times indeed. I applaud PETA for using their freedom of speech to speak about things that they care about.

  • Melissa Nelson

    Dearest Amy,

    I understand your love of animals. I really do. Are you honestly suggesting that I take on the role of “memorial raiser” to the hundreds of dove, geese, ducks, quail, rabbits, elk and deer my family has hunted and eaten? I can. I’ll just wait for the EPA to ask me to take them all down because they aren’t earth friendly or I find out that I’m killing off raccoons because I used toxic paint on the toothpicks holding up the dove memorial signs. Oh, and the floating markers for the fish will undoubtedly cause some problem…. *adding attorney to speed dail*

    Here’s an idea. As one of eight children whose dad was killed by someone texting and driving, I beg you to find a different cause to throw your weight behind. My dad left behind a wife, eight children, six sons or daughters in law, a daughter that was married two weeks after the accident, a son serving a mission. He has missed twenty grandchildren being born, weddings, graduations and most importantly, growing old with his wife.

    There is no memorial for him.

    No sign.

    No marker of remembrance where the accident occurred.


    Black pavement and traffic.

    I drive that intersection almost daily and ache with his loss.

    Thank you for comparing me and my pain to that of a turkey. You are right. I’m sure their relatives will feel the same passing Echo resivior as I do in my own neighborhood.


    Melissa Nelson
    Murray Utah

    (Writing this has made me hungry, I think I’ll make myself a sandwich like my dad liked. Extra turkey and mayo)

    • Melissa Nelson


      I believe all life matters and counts. Is precious. My point was, and is, that time, effort and energy can be better spent and I don’t like the comparison of the turkey’s families feeling the same ‘loss’ as mine.

      I’m sorry you believe my final comment to be “snarky”. My dad’s favorite sandwich was turkey.

      Melissa Nelson

  • Linda

    I agree with the previous comments AGAINST PETA being able to erect their advertisement along the highway. That is so ridiculous – we don’t need a sign for every animal killed on the road! And we don’t need PETA pushing their agenda on a so called memorial sign! Save the memorials for deserving HUMAN BEINGS.

  • Tricia

    Melissa Nelson initially I felt great compassion for your loss, until I read your snarky postscript. You are unfortunately one of the many humans who feel that humans are the only species that counts. Many species of animal, including turkeys, form strong bonds with others of their own kind, demonstrate awareness, and can certainly suffer. None of this matters though, does it, because all that matters is you.

    • Bob

      No, Tricia, the vast majority of human beings place value on all life forms. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat meat.

      By-the-way, Tricia, do you place value on the lives of unborn infants, or do you think we have the right to terminate them?

Comments are closed.