PETA hounds kids not to eat turkey

Nov. 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM ET



It’s that time of year again: holiday cheer, turkey feasts – and PETA ads, making you feel guilty about the aforementioned feasts.

In an ad released Monday, PETA directs a question to kids: “If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey?” The ad features an expertly Photoshopped turkey-dog hybrid.

“Turkeys may not be as familiar to us as dogs or cats, but they have the same ability to suffer; they are sensitive, curious creatures, and it doesn't make sense to call dogs our friends and turkeys our food,” Ashley Byrne, PETA’s manager of campaigns, told “There are a lot of kids out there who don’t want to see such cruelty on the Thanksgiving dinner table.”

So far, Byrne says, PETA hasn't seen any backlash as a result of the ad, but the animal rights organization is still trying to place it on billboards near schools in seven cities in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Florida, New Mexico, Utah and Tennessee.

But wait, that’s not all. In addition to these ads encouraging kids to go vegan, PETA also sent a letter Monday to the mayor of the tiny town of Turkey, Texas (population 421 in the 2010 census), asking him to change the town’s name to “Tofurky” for Thanksgiving Day. In exchange, PETA promises to provide a “healthy, vegan holiday feast for all the town’s residents.”

The letter goes on to explain the horrors faced by farm-raised turkeys, and ends trying to whet the mayor’s appetite by describing the Tofurky meal in great detail:

“PETA's feast would feature Tofurky with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes (made with vegan margarine), and vegan apple pie topped with vanilla dairy-free ice cream.”

City officials have reportedly rejected the proposal, and residents were up in arms about the idea.

"We are insulted," resident Carol Redd told "We like Turkey. We are proud to be Turkey."

While Turkey, Texas, is probably getting more press than it’s ever seen, we’re not sure if the publicity will actually make anyone refrain from eating turkey.

In the end, we are left with one mind-boggling question: If the turkey-dog were real, would it even be able to refrain from eating itself?

If you are actually considering a vegan Thanksgiving meal, check out Bites on Friday, when we'll feature some truly awesome vegan recipes. 

Related: Good eggs: U.K. charity saves factory hens from slaughter