(NEW YORK) — The animal rights group PETA is planning to attack the tradition of eating turkeys on Thanksgiving by putting up billboards near schools asking kids if they would eat their pet dogs.
The group, known for its often controversial advertisements urging people to “Go vegan” or not to buy fur, intends to put up the billboards Reno, Nev., Boise, Idaho, and Sacramento, Calif.
The billboards depict a turkey with the head of a dog and the message, “KIDS: If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey?”
PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, defended targeting children in their ads.
“Children have a natural compassion for animals,” said project manager Alicia Woempner. “They are also bombarded with constant fast food advertisements and we’d like to offset that negative influence with a message of kindness.”
Lamar Advertising Co., a nationwide billboard company that owns outdoor ad space in Boise, confirmed to ABC News that the animal rights group requested approval of the content of the billboard and received it.
“We don’t approve everything PETA sends,” said Lamar spokesman Hal Kilshaw, “but we did approve this.”
Kilshaw did say that some of the group’s past ads have been so extreme that they must have known they’d be denied. “And when they’ve been denied,” he said, “they have been quick to have press conferences about it in the past.”
Last year PETA put up similar ads Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., and this past October the ads appeared in Saskatoon for Canadian Thanksgiving.
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