Target: Shawn Lane, Mayor of Yellville, Arkansas
Goal: Prevent a cruel and unauthorized “turkey drop” during Yellville’s Turkey Trot Festival
Every year, the town of Yellville, Arkansas, holds its Turkey Trot Festival, which formerly included a “turkey drop.” Turkey drops are incredibly ludicrously cruel spectacles involving wild turkeys being dropped from an altitude of about 1,000 feet. The birds, which are flightless, plummet to earth and die upon impact. The few lucky enough to catch the wind under their wings “careen at extreme speeds into the landscape,” PETA says.
Although the Arkansas festival has not had turkey drops for the past two years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has received “reports that unidentified pilots may resume” the drops. Sign the petition and urge Yellville authorities to prevent any drops from happening.
It’s easy to see why Yellville did away with the turkey drop–aside from being the epitome of an unnecessarily cruel act, it creates a huge public safety hazard (no one wants to be hit by a twenty-pound turkey falling from 1,000 feet) and practically guarantees property damage. Additionally, PETA reports, the event “explicitly violates state law and Federal Aviation Administration Code.” The organization offers a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of turkey drop participants.
With so many other traditional Turkey Trot festival activities, Yellville can certainly hold an event that is fun, promotes a sense of community, and is cruelty-free. Sign the petition and urge the mayor of Yellville to ensure that no turkey drops–authorized or unauthorized–take place at this year’s Turkey Trot.
Dear Mayor Lane,
With a history that goes back to 1945, Yellville’s Turkey Trot is a longstanding and beloved tradition. It is unfortunate, therefore, that it has been tainted by animal cruelty. The traditional turkey drop is an unnecessarily cruel event, and I applaud Yellville for doing away with it. I only ask now that Yellville ensure that no unofficial or unauthorized turkey drops take place during the Turkey Trot Festival.
Dropping flightless wild animals from a height of 1,000 feet is the epitome of an unnecessary act of cruelty. Most birds fall straight to earth and die on impact, sometimes inflicting property damage and posing a threat to public safety as they do. The birds who manage to get the wind under their wings “careen at extreme speeds into the landscape,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asserts.
PETA has “receive[d] reports that unidentified pilots may resume” the drops during the festival. The organization itself has offered a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrests of those involved in any drops, but Yellville must help shoulder the responsibility of prosecuting anyone who perpetuates an act that is both inhumane and illegal–the drop “explicitly violates state law and Federal Aviation Administration Code.”
With so many other traditional Turkey Trot activities to choose from, there is no need to continue–either officially or unofficially–an outdated, cruel, and dangerous event. I urge you to do all in your power to ensure that no unauthorized turkey drops take place during this or any other festival.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Voght via Flickr