On 4th June 2024, the animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport and its director, Devon Brubaker, in the federal US District Court for Wyoming, US, claiming that the airport that serves Rock Springs was being discriminatory by not allowing an advertisement equating leather carry-on bags with animal cruelty. The case is based on PETA’s 2022 attempt to buy and display an ad in the airport’s terminal showing a live cow converted into a leather luggage bag.

The ejected ad had the words “Was She Killed to Make Your Carry-On?”, and a smaller caption reading “Cruelty doesn’t fly — Choose vegan.” PETA’s complaint document states that “PETA believes that like humans, cows are intelligent, sensitive and social individuals with distinct personalities who crave companionship and play.”  

The airport displays dead animals in the form of taxidermy mounts of moose, elk, and other animals, has reportedly used pro-rodeo and pro-horseback riding messaging in its ads, and has also displayed ads by steakhouses and sushi bars. PETA claims these “pro-meat eating, anti-animal rights viewpoints” reveal an “anti-animal rights bias” undergirding the airport’s rejection of its ad. The complaint also says, “They silenced one side of a critical debate about humans’ proper relationship with animals — even as the Airport continued to amplify views on the opposite side of that debate.”

PETA is requesting the federal court to make the airport run PETA’s ad “on the same terms offered to other advertisers” at the airport and is asking for an award of “nominal,” or small monetary damages, reimbursement of its attorney’s fees and court costs, and for the court to declare that the airport violated PETA’s rights and drafted a discriminatory and unconstitutionally vague advertising policy.

Take Action for Animals Exploited for Fashion: https://veganfta.com/take-action/animals-used-for-fashion/

Jordi Casamitjana
“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’.