chicken grave marker

Roadside memorials for loved ones who were killed in car accidents are common sights along highways.

They're placed in memory of children, parents, spouses and friends. And if PETA member Sarah Segal gets her way, chickens will be among those honored along a Georgia highway.

On Jan. 27 a truck hauling live chickens overturned on U.S. 129 near Gainesville, Ga. The drivers involved in the accident weren't seriously injured, but dozens of the birds on board died.

Segal, an Atlanta resident, wants to erect a "10-foot tombstone" in the chickens' memory at the site of their death.

"Although a relative of the deceased is usually required to fulfill requests for roadside memorials, I hope you will allow a concerned citizen such as me to suffice in this case," Segal wrote in her GDOT application on Feb. 5. "These chickens, who spent their entire short lives on a factory farm before their agonizing deaths, have no known living relatives."

Segal requested that the tombstone remain on the roadside for one month.

"We hope the tombstone will offer food for thought in the 'Poultry Capital of the World'," Shakira Croce, spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Segal's request might be rejected not for its bizarre nature but because it would be in violation of Georgia Department of Transportation polices.

In 2011, the GDOT deemed makeshift memorials — which often include crosses, flowers, candles and handmade signs — too distracting for drivers.

Instead, the department now offers state-approved memorials at the site of fatal auto accidents. For a $100 fee, the GDOT places a 15-inch white sign with the name of the deceased under the words, "Drive Safely, In Memory."

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Will deceased chickens get roadside memorial?
PETA wants to erect a 10-foot tombstone along a Georgia highway in memory of the fowl that perished there in an auto accident.