The new animated PETA UK Christmas Ad launched on 16th November 2023 calling for people to “kill the tradition, not a turkey” and showing how cruel it is to feast on turkeys during the holidays,  is already drawing media attention. Featuring Tessa the Turkey, voiced by the British actor Jane Horrocks, as she describes strange festive traditions, her jolly amusement turns to horror when she is captured and taken to a slaughterhouse. 

During the ad, Tessa remarks on the funny, and sometimes nonsensical, things we do to get ourselves in the festive spirit, but then she is taken and thrown into a van, with the license plate MEAT140. The story ends with her about to be killed in a sinister abattoir. The words, “Try vegan this Christmas” end the ad.

Horrocks, who has already voiced animated birds such as those of the acclaimed movie Chicken Run, said in a statement, “I’m proud to be giving a voice to Tessa, a curious little turkey who questions why millions of birds are killed for the Christmas table each year when so many other options exist. I hope the spot encourages kind souls everywhere to explore vegan dishes that offer some peace on Earth to animals this festive season.”

Elisa Allen, PETA Vice President of Programmes, told Plant Based News, “Although animals on these farms may be treated in ways that are marginally less cruel than at other facilities, they’re often still mutilated without painkillers, artificially inseminated, kept in crowded conditions, robbed of their beloved offspring, and sent to the very same abattoirs used by the suppliers deemed to have the lowest welfare standards. There, animals are hung upside down and their throats are cut, sometimes while they’re still conscious.”

In 2020, the vegan charity Viva! released shocking footage from an undercover investigation into three British intensive turkey farms that supply major supermarkets in the UK. During this investigation many birds were found to be so overweight they struggled to stand after falling over. Several turkeys were also found with broken wings, and workers were recorded brutally kicking helpless birds. In 2021, a PETA investigator who worked for Plainville Farms, a New Oxford, Pennsylvania-based company that claims to produce “humane” turkey in a “stress-free environment” found a similar horror story. 

Tessa’s story will play in UK cinemas nationwide throughout December.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.