While the annual White House Easter Egg Roll celebration isn’t one typically embroiled in controversy, three young girls are letting First Lady Michelle Obama know they aren’t happy about it.
Well, three young girls on behalf of PETA, or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed,” says one girl, in the YouTube video released by the group this week titled, “Michelle Obama, We Need to Talk.”
After some deep sighs and shaking of heads, the girls acknowledge that previous White House celebrations have involved thousands of hard-boiled eggs. The first lady’s child critics say they would prefer the use of plastic ones instead.
As one girl asks, “If all the other first lady’s jumped off a bridge, would you?”
The video is a part of a push by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk to cut eggs from next Monday’s 136th annual Easter egg roll, which Newkirk links to in a letter to the First Lady.
“I hope that after hearing their message, you will implement a new, humane tradition at the White House by using synthetic eggs that don’t require any animal to suffer,” Newkirk says in the letter.
Newkirk even takes a jab at Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” Initiative, saying “cruelly sourced, unhealthy eggs” are “primary contributors to some of our nation’s top killers, including heart disease and strokes.”
The girls claim in the video the White House uses “over 7,000 eggs every year” in its celebration. The White House website says the actual hard-boiled eggs are collected by White House staff members and the Secret Service to “gently toss over” the White House fence to spectators after the end of the event.
The National Parks Foundation told ABC News it provides the White House with thousands of wooden souvenir eggs for visitors to take home.
PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt acknowledged that the organization doesn’t have any direct information from the White House on the origin of the eggs, but said “The egg industry is inherently cruel and problematic. All animals at the end of the day want to live and the chickens that are used by the egg industry go to slaughter.”
In past years PETA has handed out pamphlets outside the White House criticizing the use of real eggs. Rajt said the girls’ video was a fresh and different way for kids to reach out directly to the First Lady.
More than 30,000 people are expected to be in attendance at this year’s egg roll, including celebrities and athletes that guide children through the day’s activities.
The First Lady’s Press Office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.