While many Chick-fil-A fans were enjoying their free chicken as part of the annual Cow Appreciation Day, kids at one Florida restaurant were left terrified after animal rights activists showed up to the restaurant wearing bloody clothing and carrying fake knives to simulate animal slaughter.
Fox 13 reports that on Tuesday, while many kids were dressed up as cows for Cow Appreciation Day, Direct Action Everywhere activists arrived at the Pinellas Park Chick-fil-A dressed up as cows, chickens, and butchers. The butcher pretended to slit the throats of the cows and chickens, which were covered in fake blood, using a fake knife.
Tina Leacock, who witnessed the protest, said she brought 19 kids between the ages of 18 months to nine-years-old to the Chick-fil-A to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day.
She told Fox 13, “What you didn’t see on the video was when they first walked in, they actually slit the throats of the chicken and the person dressed up as a cow, and then they fell down to the ground.”
Nichole Kretchmar confirmed Leacock's account. She told WFLA, “People running in with knives, bleeding. Like bleeding on their shirts and just bloody knives. It scared the kids.”
Crystal Valle-Najar added, “They came in slicing each other’s throats, putting each other on their knees, dropping them onto the floor in front of a bunch of children.”
In a video posted on Facebook by Leacock, protesters can be heard yelling, “It’s not food, it’s violence.”
Parents yelled back, “Get out.”
(Warning: this video contains harsh language)
Chick-fil-A employees reportedly told the activists to leave before police arrived.
Kayla Leaming, an organizer for Direct Action Everywhere, defended the group’s actions by saying, “We came in there with the approach to show the reality of this is what’s happening to these animals.”
She accused Cow Appreciation Day of “feeding into the speciesism that we’re trying to fight."
Other stunts perpetuated by Direct Action Everywhere include a woman laying on a butcher’s counter of a supermarket and being asked to be chopped up and a woman, named Kelly, speaking out about a chicken being eaten for dinner.
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