It is funny how ALDF, an organization that has been heavily involved with PETA in pursuing litigation against animal agriculture, would oppose this educational event. I guess the lesson to be learned is if you give an animal activist group a booth, they think they can run the fair.
In Kansas, things have been similar to California. Last year, PETA was allowed onto the fairgrounds in Kansas, even though restrictions were placed on the group for showing images of animals being slaughtered and were held up after a lawsuit.
The same problems with farrowing crates happened at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine Kansas State Fair Birthing Center in 2008. The decision was made to not show sows giving birth because of the outcry from animal rights activists. Now, five years later the Birthing Center is bringing back the popular display to educate Kansans.
Erika BechtelHere I am at 8 years old with my 4-H bucket calf, Whitey. I was one of those Kansas kids who benefited from seeing the birth of baby piglets at this exhibit. Even being the son of a veterinarian and raised in agriculture, it was my first experience seeing piglets farrowed. I’m happy it is back and I know it will be just as educational today as it was when I was a youngster.
Growing up in a beef-centric state like Kansas, most of my interactions with other livestock species happened at fairs. I saw dairy cows being milked at the parlor of the State Fair. I was able to help my friends bathe their hogs and sheep at the wash rack of the Greenwood County Fair. More than anything, I was able to share with my “town” friends what it means to care for livestock.
ALDF and PETA want to continue to change the rules of the fair, when the primary purpose of the fair is to showcase agriculture and educate fair visitors. Hopefully, animal rights activists will keep fairs fair, but I doubt it.