Wrapping and baubles: PETA and House 337 take turkey campaign to commuters

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has extended its Christmas campaign by handing out wrapping paper and a how-to guide for crocheting festive baubles designed by creative agency House 337 to London commuters.

The initiative follows the release of a poignant animated film (below) that calls for new Christmas traditions which exclude the killing of turkeys.

It also builds on messaging that encourages people to think twice about behaviours they take for granted, reminding them of viable alternatives such as vegan food options.

Baubles and wrapping paper

The wrapping paper, handed out at Oxford Circus, features three designs. Each features ‘cut here’ marks on the back to highlight a way in which turkeys are cruelly mistreated to highlight the dark side of the tradition of eating turkey at Christmas.

One reads: “To keep the stressed, severely crowded birds from scratching each other to death, workers may often cut off portions of their claws. No pain relief is used during this procedure”.

Another points out that portions of beaks are also cut off, for similar reasons, while the third points out: “The circular saw used in the slaughterhouse can fail to properly slit the turkey’s throat, meaning they may be fully conscious and scalded alive when they are plunged into the hot water tank used for feather removal”.

PETA and House 337 also created crocheted baubles resembling the turkeys which feature in the animated film to hang from a christmas tree.

These were designed by crochet artist Helen Smith using vegan yarn with images posted on social channels.

Copies of a how-to guide to crochet your own turkey bauble were then handed out. On the guide’s reverse is a QR code that directs people to a vegan recipe page on PETA’s website.

Steve Hawthorne, Creative Director at House 337, said: “So many Christmas traditions are odd if you think about it. Like bringing trees indoors and hanging glittery ornaments on them.

“Or wrapping gifts in fancy paper that you just rip straight off and throw away. But most of them are fairly harmless. One exception to this is the tradition of eating turkey.

“It’s anything but harmless and a world away from the idea of Christmas being a time of peace and goodwill.”

Elisa Allen, PETA VP of Programs and Operations, said: “Our aim is to get people thinking, shake up the status quo, and change hearts. This campaign, devised by the creative people at House 337, does just that.

“Tradition doesn’t excuse cruelty, and we hope to encourage people to leave turkeys and other animals off the table this Christmas.”