CENTURY CITY (CBS) — A restaurant with a penchant for garnering national publicity by tweaking public sensibilities was picketed Sunday because it had a donkey painted hot pink for Cinco de Mayo.

Pink Taco, a Mexican food eatery in the Westfield Century City mall, incurred the wrath of animal rights activists when its management stationed the painted donkey outside the door as a promotion.

The restaurant’s spokesman said two animal handlers were with the donkey all day and the animal was comfortable, not mistreated and apparently happy.

But Carole Davis, speaking for the Companion Animal Protection Society, says she reviewed video and photos of the stunt, and “we determined that the donkey was in distress.”

Davis said the donkey had been shaved and “could possibly suffer from skin irritation from the paint.” A store manager said the donkey had not been shaved, but refused further comment.

She acknowledged that the taco stand has in the past used animals. and its unique name, to get free publicity. “But we think the restaurant is showing others that it’s OK to abuse animals, and we object to that strongly,” she said.

Pink Taco’s owner has used the news media and protests about its unusual name in past years as a marketing tool. Plans to expand the original location in Scottsdale, Ariz. were derided by that city’s mayor because the name is a crude euphemism for a female sex organ.

The restaurant parlayed that flap into appearances on “The Daily Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno.”

No official Pink Taco spokesman could be reached.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (34)
  1. baggedemotions says:

    Wow this is the first time I’m reading about this.

  2. Michael J. McDermott says:

    Bueno. Bueno. Estoy feliz.

  3. SNMFX says:

    Are you kidding me. This is not NEWS. This is about a bunch of Vegan Animal Right’s Activists that think a PINK TACO is made out of Pink Donkey Meat. That pink Donkey was the funniest advertising I have ever seen. I will definitely eat at PINK TACO over and over. They are getting HUGE FREE advertising thanks to the GREAT efforts of the activists. Keep up the great work…your whole idiotic plan has actually BACKFIRED and increased the interest in this great little restaurant. Go feed some starving children and help the homeless in LA. PINK DONKEYS DO NOT NEED OR WANT YOUR USELESS HELP.

    1. M.Steinberg says:

      So much anger within you SNMFX, Have a heart and get some compassion.

  4. serialmom187 says:

    Get a life. Do something productive like helping out @ the ASPCA in any town. If they would have taken a few minutes they would known that the donkey had two caregivers with it. Now who’s the jack#$% ??? Wasting a whole day protesting about a pink donkey.

    1. Michael Levy says:

      What did you do today Serialmom? Did you speak out for injustice ? Did you help out ASPCA today or ever? Stop telling others who have compassion for animals when you clearly have none.

  5. pink vegan says:

    Who cares. next we’ll have baseball bats rights groups coming out saying baseball bats should not be painted pink for mothers day cuz it could irritate the wood smh

    1. John Robles says:

      Pink (fake) vegan….you are a loser.

  6. Melissa Bacelar says:

    Everyone at the protest does a lot for animal rescue. These were all people who spend their lives saving dogs and cats that people carelessly dump at kill shelters. Everytime an animal is objectified it sends the message that it is ok to kill and abuse them. We were there to fight for all of the voiceless creatures.. Until people learn to respect all living creatures we will continue to have puppy mills, kill shelters and animal abusers in the world.

  7. Shannon Benecke says:

    Clearly the people who find it funny that this donkey was shaved down, painted and forced to be a marketing ploy lack compassion. We’re talking about a living creature, not an inanimate object. Who laughs at such a stunt when an animal’s life is at stake? For one to say: “Who cares?” regarding the life of an animal is a very scary thought for our world.

  8. Michael Basic Schwartz says:

    Some facts about the donkey and it’s conditions.

    While the protesters claim the donkey was out in the sun in 85-90 degree heat…the pictures clearly show the donkey in the shade…further here’s the weather from that day…scroll down to the hourly report to see that the temperature never even reaches 70. http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KSMO/2011/5/5/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

    The protesters claim the animal was chained to a fence, tied to a post, shackled, and even hobbled. None of this is true…the animal was on a leash, held by one of its two handlers, the entire time it was there. There are no hobbles on its feet…these are Old Mac like boots, for the donkey’s comfort.

    The protesters claim the animal was shaved and spray-painted. False again…it was clipped as per proper donkey grooming, and dyed using non-toxic breathable dye that washes off with soap and water.

    This donkey was well taken care of, and was in much better conditions than if it were on a farm.

    I’m not being paid by Pink Taco to say any of this…but I was actually there on Cinco de Mayo, so this isn’t hearsay but first hand reporting.

    1. Scott R. says:

      A slave is a slave, no matter how well it APPEARS to be taken care of.
      Get a heart dude !

  9. Victoria Valenza says:

    For those of you who find humor in seeing a donkey slathered in pink paint I will spare you any comments about animal dignity because you clearly do not get it. Do consider this, the paint that covered the animals body could have lead to serious overheating and possibly death by preventing the sweat glands from functioning properly. We need to protect those that cannot speak for themselves from harm due to ignorance. A final consideration, think about how it would feel if you were subjected to such conditions. If you are honest about it, how would you feel?

    1. Michael Basic Schwartz says:

      Sorry Victoria…as has been stated numerous times, the paint was non-toxic breathable paint. If that still confuses you…breathable means it’s sweat glands were free to sweat all they wanted…except for the fact that according to the link I posted above…it was never even 70 degrees when the donkey was out. Don’t be so quick to call other people ignorant.

      1. Trisha says:

        Victoria is right.
        M.Schwartz, it’s non toxic when used in small quantities not a GALLON !

  10. Michael MASON says:

    imagine if you will….a world where us humans are thought of as the animals by a higher intelligent life form…..the good thoughts and the bad. now imagine your one of these animals you hear about like this donkey, or the pitbull “cared” for by kisha curtis or one of the beaten broken emaciated horses we see on Animal Planet shows like “Animal Cops” from various locations…..now imagine your my 6 and a half month old Boxer. your a trim and healthy 54 lb brindle female with bright brown eyes.you eat twice a day three times on heavy activity days you always have fresh water you run free in your yard and your owner plays fetch and tug-o-war with you using one of a dozen toys that you enjoy so much. you go for rides in the car tongue and tail waggin head out the window wind in your face…..you spend you free time resting and snugglin with your owner and at bedtime……you sleep in a queen size bed in the house….which of these would you prefer to be…..and how would you like to spend YOUR life being in this world? think about it cruelty to animals or humans neither one is ok…..and the first person that says animals dont have feelings to hurt…..has never watched the sad face of a dog as its owner left to go to the store or to work….they have not heard the whine of a heart broken animal that thinks its master has left them……when me or my fiance leave the house alone….the other gets to listen and watch as Bailey settles into a temporary state of sadness…..for the next 30 to 45 minutes…..and anybody that thinks animals dont care…….has either never treated an animal with enough decency and kindness to deserve to be cared for….or they have been to blind to see the happy and joy filled reaction to them coming home that a well cared for animal can display…either way….i pity those people and feel for their animals.

    1. KillTheDonkeyAndEatHim says:

      shut the h e l l up!!! It’s a donkey! These picketers are losers who need to get a life. There are way too many problems and issues such as disease, famine and mental disorders with humans that need focus, not saving some brainless donkey from being painted pink and standing in the shade. You people are morons.

      1. Jackie,Md says:

        Disease,Famine and metal disorders (which you clearly have ) come from eating an animal flesh diet. We have famine because 80% of all grains grown just in the U.S goes to feed animals raised for human consumption. Your ignorant,un educated and DEAD inside. Go away!

    2. Pinky says:

      I love how this idiot refers to himself as his dogs ‘master’. Hahaha.

  11. iEatAllAnimals says:

    I would’ve sliced that donkey in half, then served donkey meat tacos to mall goers. It’s a donkey you idiots. I can’t stand PETA and freaks like these people. Get a life!!!

  12. Smokey says:

    These animal freaks are a few beans short of a burrito.
    I say, let’s have a BBQ to support the Companion Animal Protections Society.

    1. Travis K. says:

      Go ahead smokey, the faster you die from heart disease, diabetes and all the diseases that have been linked to an animal based diet , the better this world will be. Bon Appetit !

      1. Smokey says:

        Thank you Travis for your hoping I die. You are the proof of being short of a few beans!

        Now let’s have some meat!

  13. Victoria valenza says:

    Michael, how do you know the paint substance was non toxic? Where you there when they applied the substance, did you read the ingredients? I have kept horses and other equines all my life and have never once considered renting them out . Why do my comments draw such an aggressive response?. I kept my post polite. Et tu? For the record I am well aware of what breathable means.

  14. Pinky says:

    I was actually at Pink Taco today and experienced this poorly organized, pathetic excuse for a ‘protest’, and everyone around me on the patio was laughing at these idiots and their signs with incorrectly spelled words. The restaurant was packed, and all these morons did was draw more attention and buzz to an already popular place. Who needs a pink donkey when these morons are creating more publicity and in the end, putting more money into the pockets of the employees? Get your facts straight and do your research next time. Nothing was wrong in this situation. And the food was great, and the guy that served us was super nice- and really cute. I’ll be back.

    1. Beauiful 1 says:

      Your UGLY inside . VERY VERY UGLY.

      1. Pinky says:

        But I’m BEAUTIFUL on the outside. I’m guessing you’re not.

  15. Lady M says:

    Animals have the RIGHT to be left alone.
    Animal cruelty is NEVER a form of entertainment ,PLEASE teach your children compassion.

  16. Joe says:

    Only a sick mind could have come up with that nasty referenced of the pink taco being the sexual part of the female. Why call it a pink taco Mr. Mayor. When it tastes like Chicken. Is it not true that it’s all pink on the inside.

  17. N says:

    It’s a donkey. A desert animal that has been domesticated for thousands of years. I suspect that standing around in front of a restaurant in Southern California didn’t bother J. Burro in the least.

  18. Michael Mason says:

    ever notice how 99% of the people defending pink taco dont have the balls to use their real name? that tells me that either they are ashamed of their choices ……or…they just simply know they are wrong and dont want their friends to see their stupidity…..to the moron complaining about mispelled words……”supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” $20 bux says your dumb ass couldnt have spelled That before you read this so stfu.

    1. Pinky says:

      $20 bux? Um. Hahaha. What a loser. Go rescue a frog from a tree or something pointless like that. And buy a dictionary on your way home.

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