Norfolk, VA - Birthday parties are more than just cake and ice cream. To some they're celebrations of animal cruelty. "Pin the tail on the donkey, animal shaped piñatas. Where you hear laughter I hear screaming - we're teaching children that it's okay to abuse," said Rain Friedrick of the animal rights group PETA.
The organization has launched a national campaign to raise awareness for animal shaped piñata violence. According to Friedrick, instances of piñata abuse happen every day in back yards across the United States. "Somewhere right now there is a paper mache donkey being ripped in half and its insides eaten."
The ads show a smiling child holding a red plastic baseball bat. The child is standing behind a real donkey. Underneath, a caption reads,"Little Timmy Just Wants Some Candy." Friedrick concedes the images is disturbing but adds, "you don't know how many times animals are attacked each year because kids think the animals are full of Starburst or Jujubes."
The ads have sparked an uproar from the plastic bat industry and the show "America's Funniest Home Videos." Pat Levinson, producer of AFHV explains, "the piñata ball shot is one of our bread and butter videos. Without them we really don't have a show."