People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ policy about targeting children with its materials is about as consistent and accurate as anything else the group does — its policy appears to be to tell reporters and others what PETA thinks the reporter wants to hear at the time.
So, Ingrid Newkirk went on Crossfire in 2002 and told Tucker Carlson that PETA doesn’t target children saying that “everything we do is based at adults.” That was a transparent lie, and PETA hacks have lately taken to refining it a bit with PETA’s Ray Hinkle saying earlier this year that, “[PETA] never hands out things to children under the age of 13 without parents’ permission.”
That, of course, is also a transparent lie, since PETA has been sending activists to hand out materials to children near middle schools in the United States, where many of the children are under the age of 13. How do they verify age or obtain parental consent?
Now, PETA is apparently doing this internationally — in March it angered officials at a South African primary school when PETA activists showed up to hand out anti-chicken propaganda.
According to a report in the Cape Times, PETA activists showed up near Golden Grove Primary school in Rondebosch and handed out posters and trading cards putting forth PETA’s case against teaching chicken. Now in South Africa, a primary school usually consists of grades 1-6, so the vast majority of students at Golden Grove Primary are under the age of 13.
James Bailey, principal of the Golden Grove Primary school, told The Cape Times,
We are not taking sides on the chicken issue, but we at least wanted to be notified. They are targeting small, impressionable children and the wording on the cards is very emotive and aggressive.
It seriously undermines the school’s ongoing efforts to educate children not to take things from, or trust strangers. Children can become very susceptible to influence from strangers who want to sell them drugs or hurt them.
Oddly enough, PETA’s Andrew Butler breaks with Newkirk and Hinkle in admitting the truth — that PETA actively targets children, and that the organization considers this to be legitimate (emphasis added),
Chicken is the most consumed meat in South Africa and conglomerates only care about how much money they make. People are not made aware of the appalling conditions at chicken factories. We think children should get the chance to make an informed and compassionate decision about what they eat.
And here I thought it was parent’s responsibility to make decisions about what their children eat.
Activists ruffle feathers with campaign. Karen Breytenbach, Cape Times, March 16, 2005.
Education in South Africa. Philippa Garson, Undated.