For Immediate Release:
September 8, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Atlanta – Whale aficionados and everyone passing by the Georgia Aquarium this weekend and next week will likely catch sight of PETA’s new sky-high appeal in the heart of downtown asking why anyone would accept the separation of cows from their calves on dairy factory farms but be rightly outraged when the same thing is done to whales and their calves. The two mammals are the same in all the ways that matter: Both nurse their young, bond tightly with their calves, interact in socially complex ways, and mourn when they’re separated from those they love.
“Land whales” need saving because instead of being allowed to explore, play, and be with their families, calves in the dairy industry are torn away from their mothers within a day of birth, leaving the mothers to grieve piteously, so that the milk meant to nourish them can be stolen and sold in supermarkets. It’s also standard industry practice to forcibly inseminate cows—workers insert an arm into the animals’ rectum and a metal rod to deliver semen into their vagina—and although people rarely think about it, there’s no retirement home for cows: After only a few years, their bodies wear out and they’re sent to slaughter.
“A cow produces milk for her calf, just as a whale does for her calf and a human does for her baby—and that’s who’s supposed to drink it,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA reminds everyone how devastated cows are when their calves are forcibly taken from them and how easy it is to choose plant milks.”
Not only is the dairy industry cruel, it’s also a major contributor to the climate catastrophe. In the U.S., emissions from cows are the primary source of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere.
The billboard is located at the intersection of Luckie Street and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, across from the aquarium’s parking garage and near a number of eateries. It is also running in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Baltimore; Boston; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and offers a free vegan starter kit on its website. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.