For Immediate Release:

20 November 2019

Animal Protection Group Urges Rebecca Johnson to Tell the Whole Truth About the Lives of Farmed Animals in Storybook Collection for Children

Sydney – Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent a letter to children’s author Rebecca Johnson with some suggested additional pages for the titles on farmed animals in her Steve Parish Story Book collection to make them more accurate and honest and tell the whole story of life for animals farmed for, among other things, their flesh and fleece.

In the letter, the group points out that even though the books are based on the “52 virtues, including caring, honesty, forgiveness and unity”, the glaring omissions within amount to a missed opportunity to be genuinely honest with children.

PETA suggests additional pages, such as ones that describe the cramped farrowing crates in which most mother pigs languish after giving birth, unable to bond with their babies, in Elliot the Piglet and depict the forcible impregnation by artificial insemination of a cow in Clover the Cow. Neville the Sheep‘s tale could begin as Neville is restrained by the legs, screaming in pain and fear as his tail is cut off and swathes of his skin are removed from his sensitive backside. Later, his fear of shearing could be validated as he’s beaten in the face with clippers and cut during shearing before his gaping wounds are hastily sewn up without pain relief.

“As you’re clearly captivated by animals, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s important for impressionable children to learn to respect them, not to see them as commodities to be used and abused,” writes PETA Campaigns Adviser Mimi Bekhechi. “If the full story of farmed animals’ miserable lives and violent deaths isn’t one we want to tell children, we should strive to end the injustice – not present kids with fallacies ….”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, or abuse in any other way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

A copy of PETA’s letter is available here. For more information, please visit