People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals certainly has a strained relationship with the truth. Just days after unleashing a testimonial of tall tales on the U.S. Congress, PETA let loose with another doozie. In an attempt to reassure parents that their children are in good hands when PETA’s predators are around, the group’s new campaign coordinator Matt Rice recently told the Associated Press (presumably with a straight face): “We would never use shock tactics with children; it wouldn’t be right.” Rice may as well have added that the sky is purple and the earth is flat. As PETA’s track record shows, the group reserves some of its most shocking tactics especially for children.
Here are just a few examples of PETA’s attempts to shock kids into adopting its warped worldview:
This past Christmas, PETA camped outside holiday performances of The Nutcracker and other shows to force its graphically violent comic book (titled “Your mommy kills animals”) into the hands of unsuspecting children. Denver’s Rocky Mountain News classified PETA’s attempt “to manipulate adults by traumatizing their children” as “despicable.” Dr. Jeffrey Dolgan, chief of psychology at Children’s Hospital, warned in the Denver Post: “Some vulnerable kids will not do well with this. It is potentially very anxiety-arousing. Someone has made a mistake.”
Earlier this year, PETA announced its plan to distribute “Buckets of Blood” to children outside middle schools, high schools, and KFC restaurants. According to the Associated Press, these grotesque toys are filled with “fake blood and bones, a bloodied plastic chicken and a cardboard caricature of a blood-spattered Colonel Sanders holding a butcher knife toward a terrified-looking chicken.”
In January, PETA sent a costumed activist into primary schools in England and Ireland to frighten kids into adopting vegetarian diets. According to media accounts, PETA’s representative distributed “graphic leaflets detailing animal killings” to young children. The Sentinel newspaper (Staffordshire, England) reported: “PETA has been condemned by the government over the tactics it uses to convince youngsters to give up dairy products and meat.”
PETA continues to lie in wait outside schools, distributing misleading anti-dairy trading cards to children as they walk home. The cards depict children suffering debilitating illnesses and embarrassing conditions, supposedly as a result of drinking milk. PETA’s campaign is “based on sensationalism” and “a real tragedy,” according to registered dietitian Deanna Rose. “It targets teenagers who really are calcium deficient and need to drink their milk.”
As recently as last year, PETA’s payroll included a convicted Animal Liberation Front felon who served as the group’s full-time “humane education lecturer.” This activist, who has openly advocated murder and arson, extolled the virtues of meatless eating to groups of children as young as 12 years old.
In 2002, PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk told CNN: “Everything we do is based at adults.” Yet PETA bragged last year that it reached over 2.3 million kids and teachers with its animal-rights propaganda.