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Should PETA Be Allowed To Memorialize Animal Deaths On Roadsides?


PETA advocates for roadside memorials of animal deaths. Do you think this is appropriate?

I recently received an email from a reader who has family from the town of Berne, NY. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is fighting there to put up a roadside memorial for 11 cows killed during a recent truck rollover in the area.

According to Tim O’Brien for, “A nationwide campaign to erect roadside memorials for farm animals killed in vehicle accidents has arrived in Berne, site of a recent truck rollover that killed 11 cows. A trucker hauling 104 cows to Kansas from the CN Tommell Cattle Company’s farm tipped the 18-wheeler he was driving around a turn on Rock Road about a mile from the farm, according to authorities. Responders reported seeing several dead, dazed and injured cows. Workers cut into the top of the overturned truck to free some of the trapped animals. Five died instantly and six injured cows had to be euthanized at the scene, police said.”

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PETA has applied to put up a 10-ft. tombstone on the right-of-way near the crash site. PETA believes the memorial will help make roads safer and remind truck drivers of their responsibility to the thousands of animals they haul each year.

A poll asks readers, “Should a roadside memorial for killed cows be allowed?” With 299 votes so far, the vegan crowd must be out in full force because 44% of the voters say, “Yes, I support promoting veganism and highlighting the price of meat consumption.” Another 23% say, “No, they were cows, not people. We shouldn’t memorialize every place by the road an animal dies.” And 20% say the signs would be roadside clutter and a distraction to drivers, and the remaining 13% say they may not agree with PETA but support their right to post a stone.

Meanwhile, in Utah, PETA is asking state transportation officials to reconsider their denial of a roadside memorial for 700 turkeys that died in a crash last month. PETA has renewed its request, stressing that the turkeys developed “strong bonds and feel pain just as we do,” and are “deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims."

The proposed sign not only memorializes these dead turkeys, but promotes veganism passing drivers.

According to Erin Alberty for the Salt Lake Tribune, “The proposed sign is not PETA's first effort to create roadside memorials for livestock killed in transit. Similar requests were denied for crash sites in Georgia, Illinois and Virginia. The only PETA-sponsored memorial stands where a cattle transport crashed in 2013 near Madison, WI, where no policy restricts or permits such monuments. PETA also has requests pending to place tombstone-style markers for turkeys that died in a crash in Iowa and cows that died in a crash in Albany, NY.”

PETA is no stranger to absurd, scandalous and outlandish efforts to promote its cause. In my opinion, this one goes too far and is disrespectful to people who have lost family members in car crashes.

What do you think of PETA’s latest stunt? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 21

LaMar Grafft (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

Since memorial for humans are erected by family members, I think it only right to allow the same with animals. If the families of the dead cows and turkeys want to erect a memorial, I think they should be allowed.

on May 14, 2014

These looney's obviously have too much time on their hands!

PETA People Hater (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

Once again we see actions run smock by a group of people who will stop at nothing to create a false controversy. Consider the fact that their founder has specifies that when she dies, she be skinned and her "hide" be tanned as another example of society exploiting animals. With them it's not as much the supposed animal cruelty as it is the hype and resulting fund raising opportunity.
Their statement in this example that the implication the trucker ignored his responsibility to safely transport the animals defies logic. I'm sure the trucker purposely allowed his truck to roll over and injure the animals. Most truckers I know value their trucks quite highly. Just try messing with some ones big rig if you don't believe me.
Perhaps these PETA people should actually try working proactively rather than over reacting. But then, that wouldn't create a PR event.

Brittany (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

I do not think they should be allowed to do put up memorials. It is not because I do not think it is deserved or anything like that, but just that it is another distraction and tactic used by the animal rights activists to exploit their cause.
It also creates a potential driving hazard for drivers if you create a permanent/stone/cement/other monument. Which I know in some states it is illegal to even do that for human deaths.

Just my thoughts

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

Well add to this memorial, they want to also erect one for some Turkey's that were killed in a truck accident by Sioux City, Iowa, SIGH

W.E. (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

Calling animal lovers looneys does no good whatsoever. One solution is to reduce the opportunity for PETA to target animal agriculture, and to educate the public on the vast benefits of grazing cattle on forages, as Allan Savory, Allan Nation, Joel Salatin, Jim Gerrish and others are trying to do. During the many years that we sold our calves at weaning, we never knew of any being lost any to traffic accidents, but of course we lost track of them after they left the farm. During the years that we tried retained ownership, however, we lost an unacceptable number of our steers to acidosis in a feedlot. That convinced us that the sensible thing to do was to keep our steers at home and finish them as they had evolved to finish over the course of tens of thousands of years, grazing grass, legumes and forbs in pastures where they can travel on foot. Forage-finishing saves fuel costs, reduces the need for repeated vaccinations, and virtually eliminates the need for any antibiotics while contributing a wider variety of essential nutrients to their beef. The fertility they produce through their manure stays on the farm. Before we move them to new pasture daily, using single wire solar-powered electric fencing, their hooves work the manure into the surface, enriching the soil for the forages that will feed them again in a few weeks. The manure therefore doesn't become a pollution problem in a crowded feedlot somewhere in the Midwest. There is no need to expend the many gallons of petroleum fuel, artificial fertilizer and several acres of land that would be required to feed them corn for 100 days. Despite terrible winter weather here in the upper south, some steers born during the drought of 2012 are now finished and would grade low choice if put through the "grid" system. Forage-oriented genetics selected here in this locale for fifty years allowed this. The steers have never needed a speck of grain, and none have ever traveled on a trailer for more than the one mile between our farms. Now, if we just had a nearby beef processor who could bring a traveling abbatoir to the farm to slaughter the steers at home on the farm in familiar surroundings, PETA would really have to struggle to find a target for their criticism.

Fritz Groszkruger (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

Excellent points. Green grass is here. But soon it's back to how we deal with $10,000 land, spreading cattle out to be clean and dry.

on May 14, 2014

I agree with their freedom of speech right ,and their right to show how dumb they relay are, but we also can not allow everyone who wants to put up something on the right of way to do so or it would become worse than the road to Branson, MO

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

PETA should be stopped. What a ridiculous use of everyone's resources! We value our animals but no need to put up a memorial at an accident site.

Jan de Jong (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

And roadkill?

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

The human memorials are a distraction to drivers as it is. We strain to read what it says as we wander all over the road-possibly becoming the next memorial. Memorials are best in cemeteries where they can be visited safely & respectfully.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

I love animals as much as the next guy but they're still animals. How about putting up memorials for all the aborted children in this country.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

What about all the road kill deer, skunks, birds, coons, possums, rabbits and everything else? Doesn't PETA care about them? PETA, remember that every time you write an email, drive to a protest in your electric car, fire up your Mac you use energy and that energy may well come from a wind farm that kills how many eagles?

on May 14, 2014

If we are to memorialize cows and turkeys then we must memorialize all animals that die on the road. That would involve how many grasshoppers, how many bees and other bugs squashed on your windshield?

This is strictly an agenda driven PR stunt to coerce donations to a fringe cause.

on May 14, 2014

Animals are to be treated humanely, not as humans. Treating animals as humans is debasing humans.

on May 14, 2014

No, these memorials will only hide the deer just before they jump into trafic. Which will lead to more animal deathes. Which will make more memorials. Wich will hide more animals... Stop this vicious cycle of death and clean out the ditches.

on May 14, 2014

PETA memorials must include the dead cock-roaches under the the refrigerator down at the PETA clubhouse that PETA called the Orkin Man to euthanize. Right?

Ken (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

P.E.T.A. people eating tasty animals....

Sigh (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2014

People Eating Tasty Animals: The village idiot of animal advocacy since 1980

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2014

PETA is simply trying to find something for the people to get all worked up about by proposing that we place a memeorial for the cattle killed in this accident. For guys like me, a cow will always be just a cow. A way to pay bills, put food on the table and survive. The fact that they want to place a ten foot tall tombstome to commiserate this event makes no sense to me. There has been more than just this one accident, why are they just now throwing a fit about it? Also, whats going to happen at kill plants? Are we going to have to place a tombstone for ever cow that is slaughtered to feed us?

on Jun 23, 2014

Workers cut into the top of the overturned truck to free some of the trapped animals.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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