Teens protest slaughter of cow

The Associated Press
Friday May 18, 2001


BREA — Teen protesters rallied against the slaughter of a steer on a Christian school campus Thursday, but school officials said the demonstration showed a key part of farm life. 

Anjali Heble, 15, led a group of about a dozen teens who tried to form a “human chain” to keep the butcher from entering the Carbon Canyon Christian School campus.  

Two officers from the Brea Police Department, however, told the protesters, who did not attend the school, that they could not block access to the private campus. 

Heble, a sophomore at a nearby public school, said a friend who attends the K-12 Christian school told her a few days ago about the slaughter. 

“Everyone was just shocked that this was going on,” Heble said.  

“They were killing this cow in front of children who don’t have the ability to understand it. ... There were 4-year-olds watching this. They don’t know how to handle this. They can’t understand.” 

Christine Lay, a school secretary, said the slaughter of the animal was a valuable learning experience for the students. 

The cow, named T-bone, was raised on campus and was about 2 years old. 

“They were wide-eyed and amazed,” Lay said. “They said, ‘Wow! This is where hamburger comes from.’ Some said, ’I can handle this. I can be a doctor.’ It was a very positive farm-type experience.” 

The school hired a professional who slaughtered the cow and told students about the process from slaughter to market. 

The butcher used a stun gun to kill the animal instantly and then skinned it and took out the organs. 

“It’s a natural process,” Lay said. “For city people, it’s probably a little shocking. But in America’s heritage, it’s not unusual. A lot of times kids don’t get to see the processes of life.” 

Lacey Levitt, of Los Angeles-based Last Chance for Animals, criticized the school for killing the animal in front of children. 

“Studies have shown that when children view violence against animals, it desensitizes them to animal cruelty and makes them more aggressive,” Levitt said.