March 12, 2004

How Many Nuggets Can You Get From An Eight-Foot Chicken, Anyway?

PETA brought their wacked-out animal supremacist freak show to a Fort Wayne elementary school yesterday:

Representatives from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals showed up at the school on Cook Road as promised at the end of the school day to give kids "Chicken Chumps" trading cards. The cards, with names such as "Cruel Kyle," "Sickly Sally" and "Tubby Tammy," show children eating chicken and looking miserable.
When I saw this on the news last night, I was all ready to go nuclear on the local school administration for allowing this to happen until I learned that the Chikkken Corps stayed on the public sidewalk instead of school property. I am happy to hear that parents didn't take too kindly to the idea:
Carol Mills, who walks her children home from the school every day, was furious about the activity.

"They don't even understand," she said. "How mature are these people to come harass elementary school kids because they eat chicken nuggets? Are they serious?"

The PETA representatives, including a person in an 8-foot-tall chicken costume, were barred from school grounds and warned by crossing guards to stay out of the way of children. When school officials kept children from crossing the road near the chicken, Ravi Chand, PETA vegan campaign coordinator, and the chicken moved to the other end of the sidewalk closer to the children.
Nor did the school board:
School board Secretary Jon Olinger, who visited the school Thursday, said an elementary school was the wrong place for PETA to spread its message.

"I think it's pathetic that they're aiming a political message at 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-year-olds," he said. "It's a professional terrorist organization as far as I'm concerned."
I think Mr. Olinger has it exactly right. People for the Ethical Equal Treatment of Animals are trying to get us to recognize rights animals don't have. I say it all the time: for the vast majority of practicioners, veganism/vegetarianism (and I don't care enough to learn the distinction) is an animal-worshipping religion based on guilt over the fact that humans are sentient and animals are not. In fact, if I'd heard about this in time, I would have made a big placard that said "This is the god PETA worships" with an arrow, and just followed the chicken around. It's a public sidewalk, right? They wouldn't be able to stop me!

And I think it's pretty clear that this kind of thing doesn't play well here:

Countering their demonstration was Jay Thompson of Huntertown, who was handing out raccoon tails and holding a sign that read, "Wildlife Population Control Specialist."

He said PETA's message is not appropriate for elementary-age children.

"There is an ethical way to treat and teach children," said Thompson, who owns Land and Lakes Outfitters, a bait and tackle shop in Huntertown.

[PETA vegan campaign coordinator Ravi] Chand was able to distribute cards to just a handful of children - most of whom were from Shawnee. The cards, modeled after the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards, illustrate the cruelty the organization said chickens are subjected to and the ill health PETA said comes from eating them.

"Chickens should be our friends not food," said 14-year-old Chance Kuruda, although he said he eats chicken.

So will he continue to do so, even after what PETA had to say?

"Yeah," he answered.

There's one more thing about this that really bugs me. There's a high school just down the road, and some of those students can even vote! Why did they target elementary school students? The only reason I can see is that little kids are more easily swayed by the "don't hurt the cute little chicks" non-argument. Scumbags.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go kill an animal and eat it.

Update: My friend Jim says that PETA's tour (and it actually is a tour; look on the 'Press Releases' tab under for the story, since I refuse to link to it here) is targeting elementary schools rather than high schools because they can intimidate little kids, but high schoolers can intimidate them (or at least mock the hell out of the dork in the chicken suit).

It's also been pointed out to me that my idea for a 'This is the god PETA worships' protest sign is designed to get an emotional response from the predominantly conservative Christian population, which is more than a little hypocritical given my attitudes towards religion in general. I disagree with that; my religious beliefs are irrelevant to this issue.

And it's not like I'm wearing an eight-foot Jesus costume.

Posted by Chris at March 12, 2004 11:05 PM

Category: Local Stuff

People for the
Eating and
Tasting of


People for the
Exploitation and
Torture of

My two favorites.

Posted by: Blueshift at March 15, 2004 03:01 AM

Hello Chris, I just discovered your webpage searching for "Fort Wayne atheists". Evidently the "Fort Wayne" came from the PETA story and from your comments you live here in Fort Wayne. Me, my husband and 4 kids have lived here 3 1/2 years and I genuinely miss my atheist, libertarian and weird friends from Tucson, Arizona from where we come.
I've read only 4 stories on your page so I can't quite analyze your mind yet, but I'm wondering if you know if there is an organized group of like minded people in this town.
I just created a webpage in hopes of meeting some. Your site is better, but mine is young. It is and has a link to a group I'd like to start, the Gadfly Action and Debate of Fort Wayne, Indiana club (check out the acronym).
I have another older website on which I sell and give my theater scripts: . I also have directed some of them in town, but I as a director I finally have to admit, I am only mediocre.
But enough about me. Why drives you to this madness?

Posted by: Jeannette Jaquish at March 15, 2004 11:59 AM

Good question. Let me meditate on that for a bit.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2004 08:24 AM

Blueshift - If God didn't mean for us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?

And if He didn't mean for us to eat meat, then why did He make it so damn tasty?

I'm not keen on the "Exploitation and Torture" angle (except as a gag to irritate the animal worshippers), but that's what the ASPCA is for, right?

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2004 09:08 AM

What drives me to this madness? Short answer: Ego and a big mouth.

I have a lot to say and I'm arrogant enough to believe that people want to hear it (this is perhaps my most obvious disconnect from objective reality; my readership figures, so far, do not support that assertion).

I'm sorry to tell you that I'm not an atheist; I'm more of a vague Catholic, not that I'm evangelistic about it or anything. I think peoples' supernatural beliefs are their own business, unless they try to make them _my_ business (Pat Robertson and Salih Bin-Muhammad Al Talib (, I'm looking at you!). Anyway, I don't know of any atheist groups in town, and I imagine you've been here long enough to know you'll have an uphill battle finding any.

'Analyzing my mind.' Hmm... that sounds like a blogworthy topic.

Posted by: Chris at March 16, 2004 02:33 PM