DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. – PETA says it will rent a billboard near the site of a Delaware County crash to honor the nearly 20 cows that were killed there on July 11.
Several other cows were injured in the crash on an exit ramp of Interstate 69 at State Road 332. The driver told police that he was driving northbound at 60 mph when a car switched lanes right in front of him, forcing him onto the exit where his rig rolled onto its left side on a hill, according to The Star Press.
The paper reports that the 38 cows were trapped in the semi’s trailer and workers used saw to cut through the wreckage to free the animals. Some were reportedly shot to death due to serious injuries, while the dead animals were lifted by chains onto a fork lift and loaded into a dump truck.
PETA says their billboard will feature an image of a cow next to the words “I’m ME, Not MEAT. See the Individual. Go Vegan.” The animal rights organization says the intent of the sign is point out that “we can all prevent further animal suffering and death by choosing only cruelty-free food.”
“This overturned truck killed nearly 20 gentle cows, and the ones who survived are most likely back on their way to the slaughterhouse,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA’s billboard will let travelers know that the best way to prevent such tragedies is to keep animals off the road in the first place by going vegan.”
In response to the billboard, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesperson Kate Spinello issued a statement to The Star Press:
“It is unfortunate that animal rights activists have chosen to capitalize on the unfortunate accident involving a truck hauling cattle. Nobody is more upset that these animals had to be euthanized than the people who raise livestock and provide care for these animals.
“Beef farmers and ranchers are aware of the sacrifice that beef animals make to provide us with high-quality protein. As such, animal care is at the heart of everything the beef community does. Through programs like Beef Quality Assurance, we provide education and training for those responsible for caring for cattle throughout their life cycle. This includes education for people handling cattle during transportation, as well as those responsible for humane slaughter at the processing plant.”