GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked the Georgia Department of Transportation to create a roadside memorial for chickens that were killed in an accident last month.
"They are living creatures, so they do feel pain, just like we do," said Sarah Segal, the woman who actually wrote the request.
The 10-foot-tall tombstone would memorialize the chickens that died when the tractor trailer carrying them overturned on Athens Highway in Gainesville Jan. 27.
Gainesville is known as the Poultry Capital of the World and the birthplace of the "assembly line" form of slaughtering chickens, PETA said in a statement.
"Chickens suffer from the time they're babies, when they have their sensitive beaks cut off with a searing-hot blade. Our proposed statue would bring this suffering to the public's attention and would encourage people to stop eating chickens," PETA associate director of campaigns Lindsay Rajt said in a release. "At the very least, it would remind motorists to be more alert and help prevent future terrifying crashes."
The proposed memorial features a picture of a chicken and says, "In memory of the dozens of terrified chickens who died as a result of a truck crash." It also includes the date of the accident and the statement "Go Vegan."
Georgia resident and PETA member Sarah Segal wrote a letter to GDOT director of administration Meg Pirkle, urging her to consider creating the memorial.
READ | Sarah Segal's letter to GDOT
But a GDOT spokesperson says the memorial is not going to happen. Memorials on highways and interstates are strictly regulated. Unless the crash involved someone who had been drinking or under the influence of drugs, the memorial is usually a 15" disc, not a 10 foot gravestone.
Plus, GDOT says the program is strictly for people.
Segal says that's part of the problem. "I take any death seriously whether we're a child, dog, a chicken," she added.