PETA’s “Unhappy Meal”: Organization Criticized for Targeting Kids with Carnographic Images

unhappy meal1Those crazy cats at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are at it again with a new campaign entitled “McCruelty” featuring “Unhappy Meals” with a knife-wielding Ronald McDonald and bloody rubber chickens. Parents are complaining that PETA is targeting kids with the macabre meals.

PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt spokesperson insists “I think children and adults deserve to be told the truth — and that’s that behind Ronald McDonald’s smile is cruelty to animals.” Besides she says, the kids “are usually very excited to see the free T-shirts and they like our person in the chicken costume.” Well, that is better than the PETA porn show. But does the “Unhappy Meal” come with a PETA toy?

Below is one account of the response of children to the PETA campaign:

For a prior story, click here

16 thoughts on “PETA’s “Unhappy Meal”: Organization Criticized for Targeting Kids with Carnographic Images”

  1. PETA are a bunch of wacko idiots trying to force their idiotic pholosephies on us all becuase PETA are a bunch of wacko hippy freakos

  2. I just read through the comments and I think everyone here agrees that this is protected speech.

    There seems to be some debate about whether targeting children is inappropriate, although part of PETA’s brilliance edgy tactics that get free press. The Unhappy Meal is nothing if not clever.

    I’ll agree with Jill that I find indoctrination of children especially deplorable. To me, religion has a particular relevance in this regard.

    I think PETA’s message is appropriate for children, and don’t consider it indoctrination. The idea that humans understand compassion towards sentient beings has a basis in ethics and leads to stronger outcomes for our fellow man as well.

  3. Kristie,

    I am in agreement with your outrage but cannot agree with your method. This is using children as a tool in a cause. Adults should use the types of things you mention to make clear their point to other adults, but the children and grandchildren of politicians have nothing to do with these decisions and should not be made a party to them as if they were.

    I think this would make a effective display at the capital or in the street at the WH or at one of our esteemed leaders meetings with lobbyists and the press. The toys you mention are a very good idea.

    Certainly, adults should explain to children what is happening in the world. They should do so honestly. They should also do so in a way that honors the child’s own ability to understand such issues. In other words, children should be treated with respect and love, not used as pawns in adults’ causes, however legitimate those causes may be.

  4. Kristie Mansfield,
    There seems to be a bit of the totalitarian in you. Anger against injustice is a very good thing, but it is a poor substitute for astute political action. Barry Goldwater famously said “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”
    I would rephrase it to extremism in the defense of justice is no virtue. The use of it makes us just as indefensible as those whose actions we decry.

  5. Id like to see these types to toys extended to another line.
    Caterpillar tractors with the smashed bodies of Palestinians stuck on the tracks. Cement and Brick Rubble with Smashed WheelChairs, body parts, and children’s toys (to scale) mixed up therein.. Ambulances with rocket holes.

    They should be distributed to all of the children and grandchildren of our congressmen and Senators for their tactic support of the ongoing 60 year nakba, and their platitudes and meaningless rhetoric for peaee. Obama’s kids should be first on the list.

  6. Buddha you’re missing the point, the children might be traumatized for the rest of thier lives but thats a small price to pay to stop an animal from suffering. Well, from PETA’s perspective.

  7. And why would PETA be the foe here? I doubt that they’re targeting too young kids with this (which is definitely possible and I would oppose). I like the message, we may need another campaign to highlight cow flatulence (a McRip’em?).

    May I remind the good puritanists of the prudish states of America that kids are confronted with macabre things in school shootings, family drama’s, when their pets turn to road kill and in other catastrophes. There should be no harm in confronting them with a little effin reality.. a fluffy bunny is not gonna shock them, mkay. They’re more likely to get tased by a cop ffs.

    The more you try to protect them, the weaker they’ll be… And I feel a nerd-boom coming up. My kid will thank these angry parents for the tail he’s getting later.

  8. “To paraphrase James Garner’s great line in “The Americanization of Emily”: God save us from the moralists of the world, they get everyone elses backs broken.”

    I’m recycling using this from September 2008 post on another subject, but it sums up my feelings about PETA and others whose self righteous sense of what is right, usually leads to violence and unintended consequences.

  9. How ’bout some bacon on that cheeseburger?

    The slightly differing Bryan Bower version:

    Here’s a little song about 4 wet pigs
    Here’s a little song about 4 wet pigs
    Two of ’em little and two of ’em big
    They danced all night at the Pigtown jig

    The two that were little were just half grown
    The two that were big were big as a barn
    Big as a barn, tall as a tree
    Take ’em on down to the factory

    Cut ’em into bacon, slice ’em into ham
    Chop ’em into hot dogs, squeeze ’em into spam
    Throw their little eyes out in the rain
    Pickle their feet and scamble their brains

    Here’s a little song about two wet pigs
    Leanin’ on the slop trough, smokin’ their cigs
    Hopin’ to God that they never get big
    They danced all night at the Pigtown jig.

    (Bryan Bower version)

  10. I agree with both Buddha and Alex. There are ways to tell the truth to children and this isn’t one of them. This is a group of people who are their own kind of fundamentalists. Their cause is righteous, so anything goes, just like the christians.

    As Alex points out, McDonald’s is victimizing children for commercial, not religious reasons. I don’t think most adults understand how cruel we are to animals in factory farming. It truly is appalling, and it needs to stop now.

    There’s also a financial consideration that PETA might want to address through funding with food vouchers for vegetables and fruit. At my store, avacados were $1.99 each. Cherries are $3.99/lb. The Steak and Shake was advertizing 4 meals for $1.99 Guess what? People need to eat! If you don’t have much money, which food are you going to buy for your family? You can hate poor people all you want and blame them for refusing to starve by eating at the fast food chains or you can see other people as needing food and help them afford good food. Take the money from these dumb-ass campaigns and put it into vegetable and fruit food vouchers and see what works better.

  11. People Eating Tasty Animals=PETA. Another Control Group, trying to force a contrary Rove Theory down you. Sounds like justification for going to War to me.

  12. I have come to believe that PETA was founded on the Island of Dr. Moreau.

  13. While I’m not a supporter of PETA in any way, I have to ask if anyone is criticizing McDonalds for their targeting of kids?

    After all, McDonalds Restaurants V Morris & Steel did result in a legal decision that McDonalds exploit children, and that they were “culpably responsible” in the infliction of unnecessary cruelty to animals.

  14. I like animals better than I like many humans, but I am starting to suspect PETA stands for People Entirely Too Asinine.

    Why don’t you nitwits pass out some of those Fundie comic books that tell children that they are all going to Hell while you’re at it? Or are you too busy working on your next Veggie Porn ad?

    Here’s a hint PETA.

    No matter your “cause” terrorizing children is never cool or acceptable, you morons. It leads to screwed up kids which leads to screwed up adults which leads to criminals, politicians and televangelists.

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