Slidell family angry after PETA protests cow raffle
Jay Vise Reporting
A Slidell teenager's idea to raise funds for an overseas trip has drawn the attention of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
After 14-year-old Logan Ward and his family set up a Facebook page to raffle off the cow, a PETA representative wrote the eight-grader scathing emails that the family considers inappropriate.
Logan's father Scott says the teen was selected to be a student ambassador with the People to People organization. He was given the opportunity to be part of a 19-day educational tour through Great Britain, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales where he'll stay with local families.
The trip, though, isn't cheap, with a price tag of $8,000.
"We have a large family, six children, and we needed to raise funds for the trip," Scott Ward says.
As they were going about more traditional fund-raising efforts like bake sales and car washes, a friend of the family had an idea.
"We have a friend who has cattle, and she offered to give us a calf to raffle off. We thought it was a great, original idea."
The winner of the raffle will have the choice of receiving the cow alive, or in the form of 400-600 pounds of steaks and other cuts. The family is also throwing in a small freezer to the winner to hold the cuts.
After setting up a Facebook page to publicize the cow raffle, the father was floored when he saw messages directed at his son from a PETA representative. (Click HERE to view the 'Cow Raffle Facebook Page.)
Ward says a "street team coordinator" for PETA wrote an email to young Logan reading, "It just seems a little strange to me that you feel that someone needs to die for you to go on a school trip...I feel like we can both surely agree that there are several other humane ways to fund raise these days that don’t involve a dead, chopped up corpse.”
The PETA rep then sent the teen a link to the "Lettuce Ladies" website, featuring photos of women wearing bikinis made of lettuce, women wrestling in tofu, and "girl-on-girl" videos.
The boy's parents were outraged by PETA contacting their son in this manner.
"It was definitely not appropriate for a 14-year-old boy," Scott Ward said.
PETA spokesperson Jane Dollinger Fox News, "We sent the wrong letter – this was a situation of someone moving a bit too fast."
However, Ward says the apology wasn't adequate.
"It wasn't just a form email that was sent, it wasn't copy and pasted, this was hand-written directly to my 14-year-old son...And 'oops' just does not get it for us."
Scott Ward says after the PETA emails, other animal activists posted "mean, spirited, hateful, vitriolic things to us on this page about me personally, my son personally, our family, what we're doing...They don't know us, but the hate coming from them is amazing."
Ward says the attacks by PETA and the other activists has apparently backfired, as the support for his son and the raffle has become "overwhelming," putting them very near the 1,000 tickets-sold mark. (He says they have capped the tickets at 1,000 and have safeguards to keep from exceeding that limit.) Additionally, the public response and support Logan has received after the PETA attacks has drawn the interest of the Cattleman's Association, who may do similar raffles in the future to raise funds for the People to People organization that is hosting Logan on his trip.