November 14, 2017
Rich St. John
Chief of Police
Billings Police Department
Dear Chief St. John,
I'm writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide — including many across Montana — in response to reports that the Billings Police Department was handing out frozen turkeys instead of tickets to motorists who committed traffic violations. I'd like to make an offer that will really give Montanans something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: We'd like to help you serve up a vegan holiday dinner and protect residents' health by donating delicious cholesterol-free Tofurky roasts for you to hand out to drivers—including those who don't eat meat for religious or environmental reasons or because they know how cruel factory farming and the slaughter of turkeys really are.
Turkeys are smart, sensitive birds who have been known to enjoy clucking along to music and love to have their feathers stroked. In nature, babies stay with their mothers for up to five months, and they like to eat meals together as a family, much as humans do on Thanksgiving. But in today's slaughterhouses, fully conscious turkeys are shackled upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified stun bath, which shoots currents through their bodies, causing spasms, burns, and fractures. Many birds are stunned improperly and are still conscious when their throats are cut and they're immersed in scalding-hot water to remove their feathers.
Thanksgiving is about appreciation and kindness, and many traditional holiday foods are plant-based. Veganism has grown 500 percent since 2014. Since 6 percent of Americans identify as vegan and millions of people now enjoy a compassionate, meat-free holiday for a variety of reasons, it makes sense to give turkeys arrest this Thanksgiving.
Last year, we partnered with the Fort Worth Police Department for a similar effort, and it was well-received by many Texas drivers. We hope to hear that you'll gobble up our offer. If so, please let me know where we can send the Tofurky roasts. Thank you for your consideration.
Executive Vice President