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PETA, Please Stop Scaring the Children

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Should the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals be hanging around school yards?

How would you like to pick your kid up from school and find an elephant?

Not a real elephant, rather a representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in an elephant suit. A cute costume, except this pachyderm is sporting a bloody ear.

It's all part of PETA's campaign against cruelty to circus animals. Yesterday, students at a Florida elementary school were met at the gates by "Ellie the Elephant." The renegade organization visited the school in an attempt to convince parents and children to boycott the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. No coincidence, the famed circus is slated to perform in a nearby arena. 

Some kids weren't thrilled to meet an elephant with a bloody boo-boo, and that's just the way  PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne likes it.

"We wanted to illustrate with the bloody bandage that elephants are routinely beaten around the heads, ears, and sensitive areas of their body with sharp metal tipped hooks called bull hooks," said Byrne.

Should PETA be spreading their message near schools?

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21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Pamala January 8, 2010, 4:21 PM

I would have said to my child, “And this my daughter is why we will never support this organization. Lets go buy our tickets right now!”

Fun mom January 8, 2010, 4:28 PM

I think kids have a right to know. We try to teach them right from wrong. None of us would teach our kids that it’s okay to kick a dog or shock him with an electric prod because it’s entertaining. The circus is no different except that it’s being sold to us as “wholesome family entertainment.” As parents, we can only imagine the pain and trauma those mother elephants (whose babies stay with them in the wild for life) must experience when their babies are pried from their sides — literally with ropes — so they can perform silly tricks that we’ll laugh at for an hour. Don’t blame the messenger. Educate yourself and decide if this is truly something we should be exposing our kids to. I think you’ll find the PETA appearance is far more palatable.

Jess January 8, 2010, 5:49 PM

I think PETA has every right to be in schools, where else where kids get the information they need to be informed about the conditions they put the animals in just to get a burger or get entertainment from the circus….If parents have the right to take their kids to watch a tortured baby elephant or feed their kids tortured animals for diner, then PETA has the right to display these images in school. You can ignore it as long as you want, but almost every animal product you buy is supporting the torture and murder of animals everywhere…hiding it from your children does not make this issue go away. Staying ignorant to these types of issues does not make them go away…

splooie January 8, 2010, 5:52 PM

While I disagree with the mistreatment of animals that goes on in the circus, I think PETA are evil people who have no problems hurting humans to save animals. If they wanted to protest outside of the circus, thats one thing, but scaring children is not a way to get people on your side. FYI, PETA Senior Vice President MaryBeth Sweetland on her use of insulin, which was tested on animals:

“I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still contains some animal products — and I have no qualms about it … I’m not going to take the chance of killing myself by not taking insulin. I don’t see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals.”
So she’s more important than others? You self righteous lunatic.

Boo on PETA January 8, 2010, 5:52 PM

PETA has a record of targeting children with disturbing ads, such as their “Your mommy kills animals” leaflet, which can be seen here:

They also have a history of taking radical measures. For example, I grew up in East Lansing and remember the arson attack on MSU, which caused $4.2 million in damage. This bombing was committed by a member of ELF (the Earth Liberation Front), an organization with close ties to PETA. Even worse, PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk was tied to the arson as well.

PETA might mean well and have support some admirable causes, but their actions are far from commendable.

splooie January 8, 2010, 5:58 PM

Actually, Jess, they don’t have a right to be at the school. They are not students or faculty at the school and therefore have no business being there. If anything, they should be seen by the school as dangerous and escorted off the premises. I would not be ok with just anyone being allowed on school grounds while my kids were there. And Fun Mom, it doesn’t sound like you’re very fun. Agreeing with these psychos scaring your children is not a sign of a fun mom.

Sarah January 8, 2010, 6:04 PM

PETA protested outside my kid’s school in 2007, they didn’t want the kids to be served milk in the cafeteria anymore. My daughter was only 7.

Not only does an organization of any sort have no business in schools, they should not be hassling my child while she waits for me to pick her up. Similarly, I don’t want to NRA walking around dressed like a rifle, I don’t want Coca-Cola walking around handing out coupons. You get enough of my child’s time on the internet and on television every day. Legally, she has to be there. But she does not legally have to be exposed to dogma of any sort. Furthermore, I don’t see Greenpeace or any other non-profit hitting up kids as they leave school. How many kids who WANT to go to the circus are also mature enough to understand PETA’s platform?

These issues come up naturally, as a child gets older. My daughter isn’t “ignorant.” She’s just a child trying to get an education. If their beef is with circus-goers and Ringling Bros. then take the elephant to the arena, not to a playground. PETA came to that school to upset kids so that their parents would take action against Ringling Bros., not to educate children.

People Eating Tasty Animals January 8, 2010, 9:39 PM

I really don’t care what PETA does, says and protests. After PETA compared animal farming to the Holocaust and slavery, they lost me completely. So wear the animal suits with bloody ears, I’m still going to the zoo and circus. I know they throw red paint at fur coats. I would love to see them throw some paint on Aretha Franklin.

wendi January 8, 2010, 11:01 PM

They should not be at a school, and i can tell you right now at my kids school it would not be tolerated. They have no business being there, and in fact they are a stranger in a costume, so the school should make them leave as they do not know who is in that costume. As for the bloody elephant costume, well how childish do they have to be and how low will they sink to try to make a point. PEta really should rethink how they want to be looked at and how to reach people…maybe start with facts and the truth. No one really wants animals to suffer. they need to put their efforts in actually doing work and not scaring little kids. Which by the way if they scared my kid with that crap I would sue the pants off them.

Rachel January 9, 2010, 5:40 AM

The argument made by a previous poster, reconciling the PETA actions because we teach our kids not to kick dogs, etc., is a bit of a stretch. Yes, we teach our children not to beat/shock/kick dogs or other animals. How? By TALKING to them, not by showing them graphic pictures of mistreated dogs, or introducing them to a person in a dog costume with blood coming out of his mouth. Are you trying to tell me the best way to teach a child is by scaring them? Wow.

Jody January 9, 2010, 8:10 AM

Pamala would you tell your daughter to run out and get pregnant so she could terminate it if they were antiabortionists at her school? While PETA can get overly radical, they are doing some good regarding bringing awareness to people who otherwise have no clue. There are a great many things that do not belong in our schools, how ever, awareness regarding the environment and cruelty to animals (either done in an age appropriate manner) are wonderful tools for raising children to be responsible and caring towards “things” which cannot be replaced.

Pamala January 9, 2010, 9:23 AM


I would tell her that God gave us free will and that includes the right to abort if wanted.

Frankly whether PETA believes the circus is bad or not, doesn’t matter to me, if I intended to take her (which I do at some point when it comes to town again) I’m taking her.

PETA is a horrible organization that doesn’t inform but rather makes itself look like a fool most of the time. These tactics aren’t going to win people over and it’s just plain sad they resort to scaring children.

Anonymous January 9, 2010, 9:58 AM


Jennifer Miller January 9, 2010, 11:38 AM

pETA makes me sick… a bunch of sick people, playing sick games, all in the name of “saving” animals… I could go on and on about how much I hate them and why, but all I’ll say is that they better stay away from my children…

Rachelle January 9, 2010, 5:58 PM

It’s pretty simple here people, if you take your children to the circus, you are teaching them CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. Ringling (and other circuses) beat animals, chain them for up to a hundred hours at a time, and rip them away from their families. Is that something you want to teach your kids is okay?

Whether or not you like or hate PETA? Do you want to pay for the kind of treatment at

And if you’re too cowardly to click on that link, I truly feel bad for your children.

Cheryl January 11, 2010, 4:47 AM

I remember as a child seeing a video of how calves were treated in order to make them tender to be veal. I was 8, and those traumatizing images have NEVER left me. I have never eaten veal. I don’t think that my own personal veal boycott has affected veal sales in any way. I agree with their concerns, but they lost me in the way they do it. I can teach my children not to support animal abuse, they don’t have to see it firsthand, not at such a young age anyway.

Casey January 11, 2010, 10:00 AM

Yes-Go Peta!!! Somehow these kids should learn what their ignorant parents aren’t teaching them!!

Alejandra January 12, 2010, 4:03 AM

It’s no a good thing lie to children. They are children, not stupids, so they must to know the true about the cruel activity from circus. Do you realy believe this act with a cut elephant is danger for the children, but go to the circus for see a real hurt elephant not?

Deb January 12, 2010, 3:37 PM

Ironic that all the pro Peta comments seem to be from Peta supporters or volunteers. Apparently they don’t realize PETA kills more animals then they claim to save. You can teach children to not abuse animals or people by not showing them images of abused anything. And certainly doing so at such a young age and where children are going to school is inappropriate.

While I support animal advocates there will never be a day in my life where there’s a burning building where I would run in to save an animals life over a child’s. PETA does outrageous things just to get attention, how could you support a group that related animal abuse to the genocide of millions of people during the Holocaust?

If you truly want to save animal lives find a better more honest organization to support.

How To Quit Smoking February 15, 2011, 1:33 AM

Good job! what a great post!

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