Schools Display Mutilated Cows as Cheap Thrill

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

It shouldn’t happen to intelligent, sensitive cows, but it does: With holes cut into their sides, they are used as sideshow-like attractions to lure children and prospective students to university events and fundraisers. Distraught attendees at some of these recent events sent PETA these disturbing photographs:

The cows are part of common experiments that involve permanently removing a chunk of the animals’ abdomens to expose their stomachs. Experimenters feed the cows various foods and then reach into the hole to take samples, even though there are modern non-animal methods for conducting these kinds of studies.

The “fistulated” cows are then often put on display at events, with patrons invited to “touch a cow’s stomach” or “put your hand inside a cow.” PETA often hears from upset students and parents who have witnessed such a display. Unfortunately, the only law that protects animals used in experiments, the Animal Welfare Act, does not extend to animals used in agricultural experiments, meaning these cows have no legal protection from cruelty.

Each time PETA hears about these hideous mutilations, we contact the school (and the group that visited the display) to ask them to stop the experiments and remind them that there are much more humane ways to teach students about science and animals than having them gawk at a mutilated cow. PETA also offers parents, teachers, and administrators resources to help students at every educational level achieve scholastically and compassionately. Visit to download or order a wealth of free materials.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind