Editorials from the Daily Mississippian

by Staff editors

(U-WIRE) OXFORD, Miss. – For all its radical tactics, People forthe Ethical Treatment of Animals certainly knows how to make itspoint.

Starting next month, PETA will target Kentucky Fried Chicken byhanding out five-inch tall “Buckets of Blood” to children near KFCrestaurants. According to FOXNews.com, the buckets are filled withfake blood and bones and a plastic chicken. They bear the signaturered and white design of the restaurant and are labeled with “Shhh!The ‘Secret Recipe’ in this bucket of body parts is … cruelty”and “The Colonel’s secret recipe: live scalding, painful debeaking,crippled chickens,” according to a report by FOXNews.

KFC has called PETA “corporate terrorists” who misrepresent thetruth. The company has an animal rights advisory council and claimsto treat chickens humanely.

Although some might dispute KFC’s definition of humane, (in theend the chickens always die), PETA has crossed the boundaries ofcivil liberties and the first amendment. Is their approacheffective in increasing chicken awareness? Probably. Is it moral?No.

These ‘buckets of blood’ are being distributed to children whoare not responsible for making the decision to dine at KFC. Theyare being used to get at the parents and create publicity. The costof PETA’s actions could emotionally scar children who are hauntedby the image of Colonel Sanders with a bloody butcher knife that ismonogrammed on the sides of these buckets. Given the choice betweensaving the humans or the chickens, save the humans. Especially thechildren.

Confrontations between parents and protestors will likely occur,possibly further traumatizing the children. If PETA believes thatkilling and eating an animal is wrong or that animals are endowedwith more rights than most people give them, then they are free toexpress that opinion vehemently. By subjecting children in order toadvance their own cause, however, they infringe on the rights ofthe child and the parent.

PETA runs the risk of portraying restaurants as sinisterorganizations that consciously violate the legal codes of animaltreatment. Most restaurants kill animals in a way that thegovernment deems humane, and if interest groups think that thesestandards are insufficient, they need to lobby the government andpeacefully increase social awareness instead of accostingchildren.