Market ‘funeral’ protest leads to felony charge for Boulder teen

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BOULDER, Colo. -- A 15-year-old faces a felony complaint after a bizarre protest inside Whole Foods-owned Ideal Market in Boulder. In the end, police said $1,000 worth of meat was ruined at the market in late February.

Two people, armed with flowers, walked into the meat section and performed a ceremony that was captured on cellphone video.

"What I did was an act of compassion,” 15-year-old protester Ateret Goldman said. “It was something that happened out of love and passion."

Ateret, a sophomore at Boulder's New Vista High School, spoke Tuesday with parental permission.

She faces a felony complaint of criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal tampering after admitting to contaminating raw meat with flowers. An adult friend, who recorded the vandalism, also faces charges.

"Why are we focusing on how much money this million-dollar corporation is losing?” Ateret asked. “Why aren't we focusing on the issue at hand?"

The issue at hand for the teen -- and the organization Direct Action Everywhere -- is the slaughter of animals and the desire to pay them final respects.

"Those were individuals [animals] who wanted to live, and because of that, I view it as a funeral,” Ateret said.

After the protest, Ateret learned of an arrest warrant and surrendered to police. A juvenile court date has been set for Friday.

Through a bond agreement, the teen has been banned from Whole Foods properties.

Ateret expressed interest in continuing to fight for animal rights but isn't planning more protests while out on bond.