The tragedy happened on Jan. 27, 2014: remember this date, because it could be a turning point*.
A major Hall County roadway has reopened after being partially blocked throughout Monday morning’s rush hour because of an overturned truck that was hauling live chickens.Two weeks after the wreck no one could say how many chicken have lost their lives. There is only this article about the inordinate strangeness of PETA's attitude to the victims. On one hand, PETA, somewhat dimly, recognizes the fact that the tragedy occurred. On the other hand, they can't say precisely how many fine poultry souls passed to the world where the grass is greener and the grain and corn are sweeter. The mention of "dozens" of chickens doesn't do proud to this fine, albeit strange, institution**.
And so does (or, rather, doesn't) the project of the Gainesville chicken memorial that PETA wants to erect at the roadside near the crash site:
“Although a relative of the deceased is usually required to fulfill requests for roadside memorials, I hope you will allow a concerned citizen such as me to suffice in this case,” Sarah Segal of Atlanta wrote in her application to GDOT. “These chickens, who spent their entire short lives … on a factory farm before their agonizing deaths, have no known living relatives.”First of all, dear Ms Segal, there is no need to be defensive. Your writing style, together with your definite membership of PETA, show an undeniable spiritual closeness to the family of Gallus gallus domesticus.
But, as it becomes apparent, being a close relative is not enough for real empathy. First of all, you still can't say how many of the chickens have untimely expired. And, if this impersonal, formal and, I dare say, cold-hearted attitude is not enough, your proposal of the so called "memorial" makes it even worse.
Wasn't each and every single one of the expired Gallus gallus domesticus a distinct individual? Didn't he/she have hope and plans for the future? Some of them definitely were into sport, some into more cerebral activities, some were of a practical nature and some have been philosophical deep down in their souls. And the future of each one: some dreamed about taking part in further propagation of their species, some wanted to travel - even to fly, in some cases. Some were eager to join the fight for improvement of the species' lifestyle and general well-being, some were certainly harboring a thought about a career in cooking and some about straightforward and logical entry into the competitive domain of fast food industry. Can all this be accommodated, not to use a harsher term like "squeezed", under one monument?
And, since the issue of the single monument is already out of the bag, let's tackle the most sensitive part, e.g. the religious affiliation of the deceased. How can a respectable member of PETA (and, quite possibly, Jewish too, although I shall withhold the final judgement on that question for now) offer a single monument in a place that could have easily been the last earthly memory for a flock of six or more major religions, not counting the atheists?
By now, Ms Segal, you have probably understood what has to be done. Study the life of each crash victim. Find out what was the driving force of each one, their beliefs, their interests, their dreams. And don't skimp on monuments: if needed, the Georgia Department of Transportation will erect a separate one for each tragically shortened life - all this for measly $100 each. The dead deserve this, if nothing more.
And re this rather vague remark by another PETA rep:
“We hope the tombstone will offer food for thought in the ‘Poultry Capital of the World’,” said PETA spokeswoman Shakira Croce.The deceased could have offered more than just food for some idle thought, if this man is to be believed:
But this is another matter, of course.
(*) It is not totally clear to me where the turn is going to lead us, but anyway.
(**) PETA (pronounced like pita, but much less useful).