Teens’ Torture of Deer Prompts Call for Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Compassion in Classrooms—and Calls for Felony Cruelty Charges Against the Perpetrators

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2019

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Brookville, Pa. – After a video was shared on social media of two teens tearing off the antlers of a deer who had been shot, kicking him in the face, and stepping on his throat, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter this afternoon urging the superintendent of the Brookville Area School District, Dr. Erich May, to implement lessons in compassion immediately. PETA also requested that the Jefferson County district attorney’s office consider felony cruelty-to-animals charges against those responsible.

TeachKind offered middle and high schools in the district free “Every Living Being Matters: Report Abuse If You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools its “Share the World” curriculum kits, which include lesson plans that aim to foster empathy for animals and are appropriate for even the youngest learners. The kits also help educators meet the expectations of Pennsylvania law, which advises teachers to instill “basic civil values and character traits … including honesty, integrity, … [r]espect, … [and] empathy” in their students.

“These abusers laughed as they subjected a wounded deer to staggering pain and violence,” says PETA Director of Student Campaigns and Influence Rachelle Owen. “PETA is calling on the district attorney’s office to file charges as appropriate and urging Brookville schools to implement humane education before anyone else gets hurt.”

TeachKind notes that, according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large. Its staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s letter to May is available here. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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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