Washington, DC – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) targets children as young as six years old for indoctrination with violent and graphic propaganda, according to a new report from the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF). The $24 million animal rights group targets kids at every age level, sidestepping parents and school authorities to lure young and impressionable children into radical activism. Some of these same children mature into hard-core animal rights criminals. This new report walks readers through PETA’s coordinated effort, which includes the use of graphic comic books, age-specific websites, grotesque toys, schoolyard demonstrations, and e-mail alerts sent directly to small children.

Psychologists and school officials have denounced PETA’s propaganda tactics. “Some of the graphics and some of the messages are very, very disturbing – especially to younger kids,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dolgan, chief of psychology at Children’s Hospital in Denver. “Children become the unwitting victims of some campaigns, which are, in fact, harmful because they prey on children’s fears, and they prey on children’s vulnerabilities, and they prey on children’s anxieties.”

PETA’s 2003 annual report boasts of reaching more than 2.3 million children and teachers using a variety of reckless tactics:

Elementary School – PETA activists give young children graphic “Your Mommy Kills Animals” comics outside theaters; a newsletter introduces children to the vocabulary of the radical “animal liberation” movement; PETA employees in colorful animal costumes intercept kids as they walk to and from school.

Middle School – PETA sent a convicted felon into schools as a “humane education lecturer”; a “PETA Kids” website condemns fishing, preaches against milk, and teaches them to boycott circuses and zoos.

High School – PETA’s curriculum encourages students to consider if it’s “acceptable to break a law” for animal rights; websites urge teens to join an “army of animal rights rebels” and rewards illegal “actions” with free merchandise; online column urges vandalism of dairy posters in school cafeterias.

College – PETA sponsors college-oriented conferences where hard-core activists teach arson, vandalism, and police confrontation; intern program provides students and recent grads with hands-on protest experience; PETA recruits additional activists via sponsorships of summer rock-concert tours.

“PETA is deliberately trying to turn innocent kids into hard-core militants,” said CCF Executive Director Richard Berman. “The group is a $24 million menace to children of all ages—and most parents don’t even know their kids are being targeted.”

» download full report “Your Kids, PETA’s Pawns”