Re “Revisioning America’s birthday party,” July 11

Columnist Alan Brouilette is right: Fireworks sound exactly like “bombs bursting in air,” and they terrify dogs and other animals. Some jump over fences, break chains, and even crash through windows in an attempt to flee the deafening blasts. Shelters see a spike in admissions whenever fireworks go off. The explosions also scare wildlife, cause wildfires, and pollute the environment. Fortunately, some cities, such as Galveston, Texas; Castle Pines, Colorado; Imperial Beach, California; Taos, New Mexico; and Lake Oswego, Oregon, have used animal-friendly laser light or drone shows to wow citizens and protect animals.

America needs a kinder, more progressive way to celebrate Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and other joyous occasions. Because all animals, including dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows, are sentient individuals who feel pain, form strong family ties, and grieve when they lose a loved one.

Turkeys, for example, are charismatic, personable birds. When not confined to animal factories, they are spirited explorers who like greeting sanctuary visitors and gobbling along to music. But since humans like to eat turkeys, they’re usually packed tightly together in filthy, dark sheds. In slaughterhouses, the terrified turkeys are often scalded alive in the tanks of water used for feather removal.

Eating turkeys for Thanksgiving is just as unnecessary and unconscionable as shooting off fireworks for the Fourth of July. There’s no rational way to justify petting one animal and eating another. But we can enjoy our favorite holidays without harming animals in any way.


Heather Moore
The PETA Foundation