Back on January 27, a truck carrying live chickens over turned in Gainesville, Georgia. The truck driver, who was under the employ of Pilgrim’s, and the other driver 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 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 impededrivers, 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 (pdf) 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.”
I couldn’t find anywhere else to put this nugget information, but I felt it was worth mentioning. In 1961 , the City Council of Gainesville made it illegal to eat chicken with a fork.