There are numerous billboards on Lincoln, Nebraska's "O" Street, but the newest one has been causing some commotion. In beef country, just down the street from Lakeview Elementary School, PETA has erected a sign, targeting children, the intent believed to be to encourage parents to talk with kids about where their food comes from.
While in general this is not a bad idea, the billboard seems in poor taste. It features a "puplet," a dog head on a pig body, and states: Kids, if you wouldn't eat your dog, why eat a pig? Go vegan for the holidays.
The main question is: Why are they targeting kids? Anthony Canada, principal of Lakeview Elementary wonders that. He also said, "I don't know what kind of message it's trying to send to kids in particular, or why it's directed to kids to be vegans."
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is hoping to stir up controversy. Special Projects Manager Alicia Woempner said "Children naturally have compassion for animals but they face constant bombardment from fast food and other social influences, promoting unhealthy and cruelly produced meats. So, we hope that our billboards will give them a message of kindness and offset some of that negative influence." That is excellently put and accurate all around. Children are constantly having Wendy's and McDonald's food flashed at them, and fed to them, which has no doubt had some effects on the childhood obesity rate and kids with diabetes. As for the cruelty, well, welcome to the circle of life. Nobody's forcing you to eat meat.
However, kids are the next generation of adults. Eventually, they will have to make their own choices and to not eat meat may be one of them. Maybe the billboard will encourage some kids to talk to their parents about a vegan diet, or try some vegan foods. If they even look up from their iPads and notice it, as it is just another sign on O Street.
Still, there seems to be some conflicting opinions between Mr. Canada and Ms Woempner. He believes it should be up to a child's parents to educate them on this topic, basically saying kids should just do what they're told. However, she says some children are uncomfortable eating animals and should be aware that there are other options than meat.