There is a saying in Montana that there are more cattle than people in the state. It is a safe bet to say that a healthy majority of Montanans are serious consumers of beef, especially in the hard-scrabble town of Butte.
Butte, Montana is an old mining town in the southwest corner of the state. Established as a mining camp in 1864, the town was famous for the Berkeley Pit – an open pit copper mine since closed down and filled with toxic water. (Side note- Montanans used to refer to the mine as the “arm pit of the nation.”)
It is in this unlikely location that PETA has decided to erect a billboard promoting veganism. Similar to erecting a billboard in downtown Baltimore attempting to shame consumers of Maryland’s famous delicacy – the crab, they are now going into the heart of cattle country to shame unrepentant carnivores into giving up beef.
The peculiar animal rights group says it plans to erect the billboard in recognition of a vehicle accident involving a semi carrying 37 head of cattle, according to a Montana Standard news article.
The driver of the semi turned too quickly while driving on I-90 west of Butte and rolled the vehicle. Montana State Trooper Joe Fowler told the Montana Standard that some of the cattle escaped but wildlife officials were able to corral the animals that had wandered off. One had to be euthanized at the scene.
The planned billboard will show a cow’s face next to the slogan, “I’m me, not meat. See the Individual. Go Vegan.”
“A gentle cow experienced a terrifying death on the highway, and those who survived will presumably end up under the slaughterhouse knife,” said PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman in the release. “PETA's billboard will remind motorists that each one of us can save the lives of cows, pigs, chickens, and many other animals — it's as simple as keeping them off our plates.”
Emily Raap, PETA campaigns generalist, said she’s not sure when or where PETA will erect the billboard as the animal rights group is still reviewing its options.