CASEYVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) - Metro East commuters stuck for hours in the resulting traffic jam aren’t the only ones upset in the wake of Monday morning’s cattle truck crash on I-64.
PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — is weighing in on the fate of several cows that spilled out when the truck crashed near I-255 around 1:30 a.m.
“Certainly none of these animals were ever facing anything good,” said PETA spokesman Dan Paden, aware that the truck was taking roughly five dozen cattle to the slaughterhouse. “But accidents like these do bring to light the fact that these animals are transported long distances, are subject to stressful conditions during transport. And people actually lay eyes on these farm animals and think about the horrible deaths that they suffer.”
Stories like this one can actually change minds, Paden added, creating new vegans and vegetarians.
“Accidents like this promote a lot of thought and…yeah…hopefully changes in eating patterns,” Paden said.
As for the four cows that were shot when they got too close to traffic lanes, PETA doesn’t necessarily object to the animals being dispatched “quickly and cleanly” to avoid human casualties — but the larger issue of killing animals for human consumption still galls.
“These cows were going to be strung up and have their throats slit,” Paden said. “And a gunshot, if it was quick and instantaneous…frankly they got a better death than their peers.”
PETA has actually petitioned several states — Illinois included — to allow the pro-animal rights group to put up roadside signs like the memorials often erected for victims of fatal car crashes.
A sample might read, in this case, “Reckless Driving Costs Lives — In Memory of 4 Cows Killed June 18, 2012″.
PETA officials say it might save lives by promoting safer driving habits.
But in each case the organization has been rebuffed because most states require relatives of those killed to make the request for such signs.
“And obviously pigs and cows are not going to be filling out paperwork,” Paden concluded.