Shocking Decapitation of Turtle With Hacksaw, Pliers Prompts PETA Action

PETA's Humane Education Division Stresses the Importance of Teaching Kids Empathy for All Living Beings, Recognizing Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
September 19, 2014

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Cedar Springs, Mich. – Following the Facebook posting of a video appearing to show a Cedar Springs student and her brother crudely decapitating a live turtle, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—is dispatching letters to schools in Cedar Springs calling on principals to begin teaching students about the dangers of abusing animals and even how, over and above the impact on the animals involved, uncorrected acts of violence can lead to other anti-social behavior. In the video, which has sparked outrage from people around the world, the student uses pliers to pull the turtle’s head from the shell, while her brother holds the turtle down with his foot and saws off the head for more than 20 seconds using a hacksaw.

“Teaching young people to be kind does as much for the children as for the animals, because kids who abuse animals and never have that behavior called out and corrected often continue behaving violently, confirming what FBI experts call the link between violence to animals and violence to human beings,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “The prevention of violence can start in the classroom if students are taught to have empathy for all living beings.”

TeachKind and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are offering to coordinate humane classroom presentations, aid in planning lessons on empathy toward animals, and send copies of their poster titled “Abuse: Report It if You See It” to each school in the areain hopes of preventing similar incidents. Many serial killers and mass murderers first attacked and killed animals.

TeachKind’s staff is always available to send free materials to schools, suggest free lesson plans, and even host free classroom presentations with students via Skype. TeachKind’s humane education lessons help kids learn to have empathy for allliving beings before they ever lash out violently against anyone.

For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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