PETA applies for 10-foot high roadside tombstone to honor chickens who died in truck crash
On January 27th 2014, a truck carrying live chickens was involved in a head-on collision in Gainesville, Georgia. The two truck drivers were not harmed. However, several chickens who were in the truck did not survive the accident. Now, as WXIA 11 Alive News is reporting, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) member Sarah Segal has requested the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) erect a 10-foot-tall tombstone in memory of those chickens.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, three years ago, GDOT began to offer state-approved memorials at the site of fatal wrecks to prevent makeshift ones that could distract and/or impede drivers, at $100 a pop. It was under this program that Ms. Segal, on the behalf of PETA, applied for the tombstone. WXIA acquired Ms. Segal’s letter to GDOT. In it, she wrote, “I am writing as a Georgia resident to ask that you permit me to place a 10-foot tombstone memorial for one month on the right of way on U.S. 129 at Wilson Drive to commemorate the lives lost in this deadly crash. The memorial will be provided by PETA, which has 36,000 members and supporters in Georgia.”
In the letter, Segal also wrote, “Although a relative of the deceased is usually required to fulfill requests for roadside memorials, I hope you will allow a concerned citizen such as me to suffice in this case. These chickens, who spent their entire short lives mired in waste on a factory farm before their agonizing deaths, have no known living relatives.”
As WXIA points out, this is a link to the bigger issue of Gainesville, Georgia being known as the “Poultry Capital of the World.” PETA says the city is the birthplace of the “assembly line” form of slaughtering chickens. The organization’s spokesperson, Shakira Croce told the Journal-Constitution, “We hope the tombstone will offer food for thought in the ‘Poultry Capital of the World.’”
So…will it happen? Nope! A GDOT spokesperson said that the memorials are strictly regulated and that they wouldn’t allow a massive 10-foot tombstone, regardless (they’re usually 15-inch discs). Oh and that, you know, this is meant for people, not animals. Segal told 11 Alive that a death is a death, “I take any death seriously whether we're a child, dog, a chicken.”
The news report above is a true story. Ridiculous as it sounds, it really happened. Now don’t get me wrong. I am an animal lover and hold a deep respect for all life. But, this article was extreme. I offer a slightly different, tongue-in-cheek version of the account.
In my tale, the two drivers were playing a game of chicken and collided in a head-on crash. One driver, dressed as a clown, was carrying 100% All Beef Patties to a local fast food warehouse. The other was transporting the aforementioned poultry.
Long time rivals, neither one backed down after arguing about which was better tasting - a hamburger with all the trimmings, or, a fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo. BANG! The dapper poultry truck driver (previously tormented by numerous PETA lawsuits), and dressed in a tailored white suit, white shoes and a goatee, suffered the heavier damage.
First responders on the scene noticed a few small fires. A crowd had gathered as one roadside entrepreneur stayed busy cooking up combined orders of chicken - fried hamburger steak. One Georgia resident suggested opening a KFC store on the side of the road where this accident occurred.
It is also rumored that FogHorn LegHorn was discovered to be a relative of the chickens and is backing the PETA proposal for the memorial tombstone; Claims his great aunt was among the victims. He shed a tear and then went outside to whack the dog with a big stick. Henry Chicken Hawk, an outspoken PETA critic, has registered a protest. He states, "This memorial would just be a ten foot tall pigeon attraction and result in pigeon poop all over the roadside."
It is believed that the resulting insurance settlement will be nothing to crow about and certainly not enough to care for the orphaned chicks as they will be left alone to scratch out a living. Other typical roadkill animals are screaming FOWL! The raccoons, snakes and opossum claim that singling out chickens for special favoritism is prejudicial.
McDonald's is offering a free Chicken McNuggets meal to all PETA members who attend the memorial wake for the chickens. Soda and ranch dressing not included. Other coupon discounts do not apply and cannot be combined with this special order. No actual animals were harmed during the telling of this story. All names used in this storyline are fictional and any similarity between these and persons of real or imaginary character is purely coincidental.
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Here is another nugget of silly truth worth mentioning. In 1961, the City Council of Gainesville made it illegal to eat chicken with a fork.