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Pig memorial

PETA wanted to install this tombstone along U.S. 30 near Blair.

It's an unusual message for a roadside memorial: "Try Vegan."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Nebraska roads officials for permission to install a tombstone along U.S. 30 near Blair on behalf of at least 33 pigs killed in a crash there last week.

A truck hauling the hogs to slaughter overturned Oct. 20 at a roundabout just south of town, according to the Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise.

PETA wants people to remember the pigs.

The group is proposing a 5-foot tombstone with an image of a sad-eyed swine and the words, "In Memory of the Pigs Who Suffered and Died at This Spot," along with a message encouraging people to "Try Vegan." 

PETA says the memorial would be placed at the edge of the right-of-way farthest from the road so it doesn't interfere with traffic.

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The group has proposed similar memorials across the country in recent years, with mixed success. 

The Nebraska Department of Roads is working with the group to determine whether the Blair memorial would comply with state and local rules regarding roadside signage, a spokeswoman said.

Last year, PETA says, five pigs died in a separate crash in Blair. 

"Multiple crashes in the same town have left pigs dead on an already terrifying trip to the slaughterhouse, all for some people's fleeting taste of bacon," said Ingrid Newkirk, the group's president, in a news release. "PETA hopes this roadside memorial will encourage travelers to give a thought to the suffering that these smart, sensitive animals endure and choose vegan meals."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7234 or zpluhacek@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @zachami.

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Assistant city editor

Zach Pluhacek is an assistant city editor.

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