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Animal rights organization, People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA), landed in hot water when some of their volunteers mistakenly handed out to young children at a school in California, literature that was meant for their parents, showing graphic pictures of animal cruelty.
The children from the Calabash Elementary School, Woodland Hills, California were excited about a live baby cow being brought to the school, in order for them to learn how we get milk.
However, the youngsters didn’t expect to be handed pictures of young cows being electrocuted, bulls having their horns removed, older cows covered in their own excrement and chained, when they accepted the pamphlets from the PETA volunteers.
The mix-up had been made when PETA volunteers were called to the school campus to protest the cruelty that these animals receive while on the dairy farms, but did not have the time to organize their literature properly and some adult material ended up being given to the kids.
The children were supposed to have been given the pamphlet “A Cow’s Life,” which would have been appropriate for them to view, but because of the rushed protest, some adult pictures had been included in the pages of the comic book.
Claire Borsheim, parent of one of the school children, said “My six-year-old daughter was handed one of these comics, opened it up, saw the insert of the mutilated cow which I ripped out right away. She started flipping through it and saw pictures of baby cows being electrocuted. Factory farms with machetes. I mean just really graphically horrifying images for a six year old.”
Katie Arth, spokesperson for PETA, said that the mistake had been made by the volunteers because they were trying to hand out as many leaflets as they could. She added that she found nothing wrong in letting the children know what goes on at these dairy farms.
Executive Vice President of PETA, Tracy Reiman, has since publicly apologized to the school for the oversight of their volunteers, in a letter she sent to Esther Gillis, the school principal. She also offered to give the students and teachers of the school free sandwiches which are made with dairy-free ice cream to smooth over their complaints.
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