In April, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ activists Benjamin Goldsmith and Lidya Hardy targeted schools in Idaho with their anti-chicken message, despite PETA’s claims that it does not target children.
The two appeared at Irving Middle School, where Goldsmith handed out PETA’s “Chicken Chumps” cards while Hardy paraded in a chicken suit with a sign saying “I Am Not A Nugget.” At Irving, PETA faced a few protestors of its own. According to the Idaho State Journal, Adam McKinney stood across the street from the PETA protesters holding a sign reading, “PETA=Propaganda.”
Goldsmith showed up again later at Eagle Rock Junior High School handing out the anti-chicken cards. According to television station KIFI, parents were not happy with having their children targeted by PETA.
Parent Jennifer Locascio told KIFI,
It does make me mad because I think it’s a parents right to teach the kids what things to believe in and their own opinions. I don’t think it’s a stranger’s right to come start handing out things.
Goldsmith told KIFI that PETA is not doing anything different than what the meat industry itself does,
These kids go home everyday and they turn on the television and they see ads like KFC, the chicken industry . . . that eating chicken is healthy and eating chicken is fun. That’s just not the truth. When these kids learn how chickens are treated, they don’t want to eat it anymore.
Of course the chicken industry, to my knowledge, has never made the sort of bald-faced lie about its marketing tactics as PETA has when the animal rights group has consistently claimed it does not target children.
Local parents are outraged at PETA. KIFI, April 5, 2005.
PETA stands up for chickens: Two demonstrators cry fowl over consumption of birds. Greg McReyonlds, April 2005.