Animal rights activists are getting in on the act and in a harrowing invasion of a central Florida. Real-looking knives, splattered fake blood and screaming kids. It’s not the kind of scene Chick-fil-A envisioned when they kicked off “Cow Appreciation Day.”
The restaurant offered free food to people dressed like a cow.
Tina Leacock and some of her friends brought their children to the restaurant, located in the Shoppes at Park Place in Pinellas Park, just before noon.
Shortly after putting most of the children in the play area, Leacock said she saw protesters storm through the door shouting. She recorded video on her cell phone as customers looked on baffled.
An animal rights organization picked the spot to make its point. In front of dozens of startled customers, including many kids, they staged a loud protest.
Tina Lealock posted a video to Facebook showing the group of advocates rallying inside the Pinellas Park Chick-fil-A with customers and employees inside. Some demonstrators wore cow and chicken costumes with fake blood splattered on their clothes. One protester was seen carrying what appeared to be a fake knife as the group chanted, “It’s not food; it’s violence!”
“What you didn’t see on the video was when they first walked in, they actually slit the throats of the chicken and the person dressed up as a cow, and then they fell down to the ground,” said Leacock.
“I’m all for everybody being able to speak their own mind and tell their opinion on what they believe in, but they kind of crossed the line when they proceeded to slit the throats of human beings,” said Leacock. “Kids couldn’t tell the difference between what’s real and fake.”
Some of the customers and protests argued with one another as managers called 911. By the time Pinellas Park police arrived, the protesters had already left. No one has been arrested as of yet for the incident.