PETA Targets Children in Idaho

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.

Source:

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.

Wyoming Wolf Plan Likely to Be Decided by Courts

The gray wolf is currently on the endangered species list, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to submit plans for managing the gray wolf in their states. The USFWS approved Idaho’s and Montana’s, but won’t allow those states to implement their programs until Wyoming submits a suitable plan. Wyoming is sticking to its guns and apparently the courts will end up deciding the matter.

The USFWS rejected Wyoming’s plan even though 10 of 11 wildlife biologists appointed by the federal government approved of the plan. In rejecting Wyoming’s plan, the USFWS said that it objected to the way Wyoming classified gray wolves both as trophy animals and as predators, although the federal government apparently approved of this designation when it was originally passed by Wyoming’s legislature; that Wyoming’s plan to maintain 15 wolf packs was too low, despite the fact that the USFWS expressed its approval in early; and that the minimum size for each wolf pack was not set at six.

In late February, Wyoming’s state House passed HB 111 which reaffirms the dual classification of wolves and sets Wyoming on a legal collision course with the USFWS.

Sources:

Wyoming wolf plan points to court. Tom Morton, Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), February 21, 2004.

State may sue feds over wolves. Bill Luckett, Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), February 3, 2004.

Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition Closes in on Bringing Anti-Wolf Lawsuit

According to the Spokane Spokesman Review, the Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition is nearing its fund raising goal of $150,000 for a planned lawsuit against state and federal officials over the reintroduction of gray wolves to Idaho.

Wolves had been eradicated in Idaho in the early 20th century, but were reintroduced in the state in 1995. Since then the wolves have thrived, leading environmentalists to hail the success of the reintroduction program, while farmers, hunters and others argue it has been an unmitigated disaster for Idaho wildlife.

In 2001, the state passed a resolution expressing its desire to have the wolves removed from Idaho “by any means necessary.”

Much of the debate turns on disputes over the number of wolves and their hunting habits. Federal and state officials estimate there are less than 300 wolves in Idaho. The Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition maintains there are between 800 and 1,000 wolves. Similarly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service argues that each wolf eats the equivalent of one elk per month, while the Anti-Wolf Coalition claims they eat closer to two elk per month and kill the equivalent of four additional elk.

The Coalition seeks two things — they want “the immediate removal of the Canadian gray wolf from Idaho” and they want compensation from federal, state, and environmental groups for the taking of wildlife by the wolves.

The gray wolf in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is currently on the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has made it clear that it will delist the gray wolf as soon as all three state provide plans for managing the wolf populations that can meet its approval. In January the USFWS approved both Idaho’s and Montana’s plan to use a combination of trapping and hunting to manage the wolf population, but so far has rejected Wyoming’s plan which would allow farmers and others to shoot wolves on sight in some circumstances.

Until Wyoming submits a plan that passes muster with the USFWS, however, neither Idaho nor Montana will be allowed to manage its wolf population.

Sources:

Crowd favors getting rid of wolves – Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition says support growing. James Hagengruber, Spokane Spokesman-Review (Washington state), January 12, 2004.

Idaho coalition seeks to eliminate fast-breeding wolf. Valerie Richardson, THe Washington Times, October 19, 2003.

Idaho’s wolf plan approved by feds. James Hagengruber, Spokane Spokesman Review (Washington state), January 15, 2004.

Barbecuing Under the Billboard to Protest PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently paid for a billboard in Idaho Falls, Idaho, picturing a child eating a hamburger with the copy “Feeding kids meat is child abuse.”

An Idaho radio station decided to protest the billboard by holding a barbecue beneath it. According to KIDK 3, several dozen people gathered under the billboard for a “meat fest barbecue to protest PETA.”

Sources:

People gather to protest a PETA billboard. Joly Thomas, KIDK 3, September 17, 2003.

Idaho falls radio station plans PETA protest. Associated Press, September 15, 2003.