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FEDERALSBURG — A PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) memorial, “will encourage people to help prevent more animals’ deaths by going vegan,” says the organization. In honor of the nearly 16,000 chickens who died when a barn on Pepper Road caught fire on Dec. 20, PETA plans to place a billboard in the area pointing out who’s responsible for the birds’ deaths: everyone who hasn’t gone vegan.

“Every single chicken killed in this fire was an individual who was surely terrified and in pain as smoke and flames engulfed the barn,” says PETA Director of Campaigns Danielle Katz. “PETA urges everyone to prevent more animals from suffering and dying in 2020 by opting for delicious vegan meals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that chickens killed for their flesh are crammed by the tens of thousands into filthy sheds and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight. At slaughterhouses, their throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering [sic] tanks. Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 animals every year.

PETA is planning to place a similar ad in West End, North Carolina, where 19,000 chickens were killed in a barn fire on Thanksgiving, and in West Alexandria, Ohio, where an unknown number of chickens died in a barn fire on Dec. 19.

According to PETA, they oppose speciesism, the human-supremacist worldview that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

A spokesperson for the Delmarva Poultry Industry, James Fisher said DPI had no comment on the proposed billboard.

PETA has made their presence felt on Delmarva and the Eastern Shore in the past — with an attempt to discontinue Chincoteague’s annual pony penning and a movement for Slaughter Beach, DE to change their name to something “kinder and gentler”. Perhaps their most notorious act in recent years, a billboard in Baltimore late summer 2018, encouraging Marylanders not to eat crab.

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