Some retailers are selling a toy version of a livestock transport truck—a vehicle that takes animals to the slaughterhouse—for the holidays. It even comes with “movable dolly stands,” presumably perfect for picking up downed animals and hauling them off to slaughter as well. So PETA sent the toy’s manufacturer a letter asking that it be made more realistic.
In our letter to Gregory J. Kilrea, the president and CEO of TOMY International, we wrote the following:
We suggest that you include miniature pigs so that children could cram them into the truck so tightly that they couldn’t move or turn around. You could glue a flock of toy chickens to the inside of the truck so that young people would see that the animals inside are exposed to the elements and sometimes die frozen to the sides of the trailer. It would be good to include some cows, and for a realistic depiction of cattle used by the beef or dairy industry, the floor of the trailer should be coated in an ankle-deep sludge of urine and manure, which builds up on their long journey to the slaughterhouse. And why not market a companion slaughterhouse replica? With such a toy, our kids would learn that animals must be hung upside down and have their throats cut once they arrive at their destination in that transport truck. …
The meat, dairy, and egg industries subject animals to horrific abuse before they are cruelly killed for food. Because the holiday season is about warmth, joy, and kindness, we are puzzled by the production of a child’s toy that represents so much pain and suffering. Since the toy exists, we hope you will increase its educational value by making it as realistic as possible.
Pig: iStock.com/Yobro10; Cow: iStock.com/EVAfotographie; Chicken: iStock.com/malerapaso
“It’s completely inappropriate to produce and sell a children’s toy that celebrates billions of animals’ terrifying trips to slaughter,” says PETA Executive Vice President (and mother) Tracy Reiman. “Kids have a natural empathy for animals, and if they knew that their toy was a replica of a truck that’s used to truck animals to their deaths, they would throw it straight into the garbage.”