School’s ‘Read to Cows’ Event Prompts Anti-Dairy Educational Offer

PETA's Interactive Mechanical Cow Presentation the Perfect Antidote to Harmful Dairy Farm Visit, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Carleton, Mich. – After learning that a teacher at Sterling Elementary organized a “Read to Cows” event at Calder Dairy and Farm, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter asking the superintendent of Airport Community Schools to encourage kindness to animals and equip kids with a balanced perspective on the dairy industry by hosting Carly, PETA’s life-size mechanical cow (voiced by Alicia Silverstone) who shares with students a compelling, realistic, age-appropriate account of the horrors that cows used for their milk endure.

In the letter, TeachKind points out that the calves who were read to by the students were reportedly kept isolated in small individual pens away from their mothers. In the dairy industry, this is common practice: Calves are separated from their mothers just days or even hours after birth and aren’t allowed to nurse during the natural lactation period. The milk intended for them is sold to humans instead. The students would likely be horrified to learn that they were licked by the calves not in a gesture of appreciation for the stories but rather because the young animals were desperate to nurse and be comforted by their mothers.

“Young people have a natural affinity for animals and deserve to know the truth about the ways gentle cows suffer on cruel dairy farms,” says PETA Director of Student Campaigns and Influence Rachelle Owen. “TeachKind urges this school district to do right by its students by equipping them with facts, not fairy tales, and letting them draw their own conclusions.”

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—has taken Carly to schools across the country, where she’s shared the gripping story of her escape from a dairy farm and the sad fate of her beloved babies, debunked harmful dairy-industry myths, encouraged healthy eating habits, and fostered compassion and respect for animals in caring kids.

TeachKind’s letter to Superintendent of Airport Community Schools John Krimmel is available upon request. The group opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please visit


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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