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by China DeSpain
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: PETA

Animal-rights group PETA is known for making thought-provoking, sometimes shocking ads that garner attention. And this year’s Thanksgiving ad is no exception.

The ad, which will appear on billboards near schools in multiple states, is aimed at kids and compares eating a turkey to eating a dog. Featuring an image of a hybrid animal that’s half-pooch, half-bird, the billboard reads, “Kids: If You Wouldn’t Eat Your Dog, Why Eat a Turkey?”

Although parents (at least those in non-veg households) are sure to be inflamed that PETA is now aiming its message at children, a spokesperson for the organization defended the billboards. According to Tracy Reiman, PETA’s Executive Vice President, “Kids love animals and if they thought about how turkeys feel pain and fear just as dogs and cats do, they’d trade in their drumsticks for Tofurky in a heartbeat. This Thanksgiving, families can give all animals something to be thankful for by sticking to humane, delicious vegan meals.”

PETA’s website lists some pretty horrifying statistics about our feathered friends, which are described as gentle animals who enjoy being petted and caring for their young. According to the site, more than 250 million turkeys are killed in the United States each year, and 40 million of those are for Thanksgiving.

It also details slaughter conditions for the birds and describes the potential dangers of consuming turkey: “In addition to artery-clogging fat and cholesterol, they also could be gobbling up arsenic, which is used to combat disease on filthy factory farms. Other dangers of eating turkey include contracting listeria, salmonella, or campylobacter bacteria, which cause millions of cases of food-borne illness each year.”

It’s not all bad news, though. In order to encourage compassionate eating, PETA is giving away cruelty-free main course for your holiday. Head over to the PETA site to register to win a Savory Stuffed Turk’y from Gardein!

But back to the billboards, which will appear in Oklahoma, Oregon, Florida, New Mexico, Utah and Tennessee. What do you think? Is PETA right to target kids with their message, or are they going too far? Should children be more aware of their food choices? Or should that be up to parents?

About China DeSpain

China DeSpain is a San Antonio-based writer and blogger. She loves pop culture, animal rights, health and fitness, international travel, books and wigs. Follow China on Twitter: @ChinaDeSpain

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