Animal Rights Advocates, Customers Clash at Florida Chick-Fil-A on Cow Appreciation Day

One parent said the activists went too far when they pretended to cut costumed demonstrators in front of children

It was a chaotic scene at a Southwest Florida Chick-fil-A Tuesday as animal rights activists clashed with customers and employees during the fast food chain's annual Cow Appreciation Day celebration.

Customer 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!"

Some parents were outraged by the group, including Lealock. She wrote in her Facebook post that some activists went too far when they pretended to cut costumed demonstrators in front of children eating at the restaurant.

“People running in with knives, bleeding. Like bleeding on their shirts and just bloody knives. It scared the kids,” Nichole Kretchmar said.

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One woman is seen on video yelling at the protesters, "Why y'all acting like this? Stop!" Other patrons screamed, "Get out!" 

The group eventually left the restaurant before police officers arrived.

Tampa NBC 6 affiliate WFLA reported that the group was part of Direct Action Everywhere Pinellas, an organization that opposes eating meat or anything else from animals.

“People might be upset, but I think that putting it out on the table and showing people, like this is the reality of where the animals are coming from and how bad the animals are suffering,” spokeswoman Kayla Leaming told WFLA.

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