PETA may sue the Kansas State Fair

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A free speech lawsuit against the Kansas State Fair has been threatened by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

click image to zoom At issue is a 13-minute video PETA wants to show at its booth at the Kansas State Fair containing undercover images from slaughterhouses and factory farms. The video, narrated by ex-Beatle and vegetarian Paul McCartney, is described as “gruesome” by PETA.

The Kansas State Fair has told PETA they can’t show a video or pictures “that depict animal slaughter, animal harvest, hide removal, or show or depict live animals being decapitated, dismembered or butchered.” Further, such images must “not be readily visible to passersby or the general public on any side of the booth.”

The Wichita Eagle reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri and a Kansas City law firm have agreed to represent PETA in a potential federal suit. The ACLU believes the state fair is imposing a content-based restriction on PETA’s speech that is blatantly unconstitutional.

In a news release defending the video’s content and the group’s right to show it, PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said, "Meat comes from intelligent, feeling animals who suffer every day of their lives on factory farms and experience a painful and terrifying death at slaughterhouses. People who eat meat deserve to know the truth. The truth isn't always pleasant, but you don't get around it by denying people their constitutional rights."

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Missouri  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:21 AM

What in the world is wrong with the Kansas State Fair. The application for booth space should have been denied from the moment it was received by the Fair Office. While most people in Kansas realize that PETA is a radical anti-agricultural dissident group, there are still some people who actually believe their misinformation is almost factual. The threat of a lawsuit should not deter the Fair Board from standing by their rules. If they don't, what's to prevent any anti-thisorthat group from parading through the fair to exercise what they mistakenly believe is their right to ruin everyone else's right to an otherwise enjoyable time. Shame on the ACLU and that Kansas City law firm, but then we all know there are unscrupulous, greedy people who will stop at nothing to make that almighty dollar!

Dwain Holmes    
TX  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM

PETA has been declared a terrorist group! I was a food safety officer for the last 10 years of my 40 years in the beef industry and believe Me these groups are great at staging these films to make the industry look bad! I feel the one thing the whole industry falls short on is getting the true piucture out to the public.Show the public what the industry is actually doing. The plant I worked for spent a lot of money to have DR Temple Grandin`s designs for a humane handling system put in place! BJ I agree with You!What was the fair board thinking to let them have a booth!!

God's country  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:25 AM

Intelligent, feeling animals? Ask the feeder cattle, if they're so intelligent, why they don't escape from the feedlots. Maybe they should get their own spokessteer. Feelings? Do they feel pity, remorse, concerned about the greater good? Last I checked those in the science field say animals have instincts, not feelings. Seems there is a bit of drama in those words from PETA.

wisconsin  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:40 AM

I'm a proud member of Peta, People Eating Tasty Animals

August, 24, 2012 at 09:42 AM

If we don't police our own industry, we deserve to have PETA do it for us.

Bill Teichgraeber    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:44 AM

I've know where my beef comes from all my life, in a small town that had a butcher shop, I've raised beef and they are a part of my life. I feel if you do not like your beef then do'nt eat it. We have a respect for the cattle and feel they are well taken care of. If you want to know where beef comes from come to the mid west, where they are trying to product better beef .

Rhonda LaRue    
Chanute, Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:44 AM

That is a bunch of total hogwash from PETA. But I should not be surprised...

Texas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:49 AM

To me the biggest problem is how you prevent young children from seeing this and having a serious effect on them.

Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:50 AM

If PETA doesn't want to follow the KSF rules, then they shouldn't go. It's a simple as that.

Iowa  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:53 AM

American farmers' groups should show the animals in the wild as comparison to those raised in clean, comfortable, and safe environments. Animals outside of the so called factory farms will lose over half of the offspring due to crushing by the mothers or predators. Are the humans homeless on the streets better off than those in care facilities? PETA needs to be confronted with priorities of humans above animals. That same $19.00 that they ask for to save some hapless animal is the same amount to save a child from starvation. Shame on them!

Mad Cattleman    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:55 AM

I applaude the Kansas State Fair for not allowing Peta to spread their poisonous opinions around our state fair. Peta might be grabbing a tiger by the tail if they follow through with with their threat of a lawsuit on this one.

Mad Cattleman    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:55 AM

I applaude the Kansas State Fair for not allowing Peta to spread their poisonous opinions around our state fair. Peta might be grabbing a tiger by the tail if they follow through with with their threat of a lawsuit on this one.

western Minn.  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I agree! What cattleman/woman or ANY livestock producer would NOT feed and care for his.her animals in a wholesome manner. It is really a matter of "if you care for them, they will respond positively" or in other words "bad" in: "bad out"---you get back in the same manner what you put into the animals---a REAL MATTER of monetary rewards and satisfaction at doing a great job of caring for your animals!!

Va  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Then the multiple prolife booths showing aborted fetuses should also be banned. Talk about traumatizing for our children. If you are going to make a rule "no carcasses" then unborn babies should be part of that too.

North Carolina  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

The mistake made was by the KSF...why in the world would they even grant PETA booth space. What did they expect from them? May this be a lesson to all the other State Fairs that are soon to be held...if you allow a terrorist group booth open the door for young and old to see their radical way of thinking. KSF officials have no choice but to fight!

Cattle Feeder    
Colorado  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

You are correct. Organizations that try to shame or scare or intimidate the public with terrible pictures or depictions of terrible things should not have free run of State Fairs. State Fairs are a celebration of the bounty of agriculture and all it brings to this great nation. PETA and HSUS prey on the uninformed in so many ways to further their evil agenda. Kick them all out or let them all in but keep them in an isolated place people normally do not go to.

Mary Finelli    
Maryland  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

In response to Hillbilly's comment, as with humans, the treatment to which any sentient being is subjected should not be based on their level of intelligence. It should be based on the fact that they are able to suffer, to experience pleasure and pain. As philosopher Jeremy Bentham explained: The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? If we want to consider ourselves moral beings we need to abide by that. One of the primary purposes of the Fair is to help educate the people who attend it. PETA wants to educate them on the realities of meat production. Why do the Fair administrators want to keep that truth from the public? It's to the ACLU's great credit that it defends this First Amendment right.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  August, 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Ah!!! Getting people to eat plants instead of other animals is an "evil agenda". Are you serious? The meat/dairy/egg industries spends hundreds of millions of dollars lying to the public about their product. But no amount of false propaganda can sanitize meat. The facts are absolutely clear: Eating meat is bad for human health, catastrophic for the environment, and a living nightmare for animals. There's never been more compelling reasons or a better time to opt for a plant based diet. Want to create a better world? Eat like you mean it - Go Vegan

Katy, Texas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Very simple. All ages attend the Fair. That video sounds lik it would not even rate a PG 13, let alone "All audinces". It must only be visible to it's rated audience!! Strictly enforced!

Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

But you are missing a crucial point- these 4-Hers at these livestock shows aren't examples of the "reality". I was a 4-Her and I can personally attest to the fact that these animals are loved and cared for. If they want to fight against huge factory slaughterhouses that abuse their animals, they have my support. But most 4-Hers are probably the best example of proper treatment of market animals that you will find.

Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM

But the 4-Hers at these shows are not part of this large industry that is mistreating animals. If you are wanting animals treated humanely, you should be supporting these 4-Hers who raise their animals with love and respect.

Pa Farmer    
Pennsylvania  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Another comment from an uneducated, city slicker that has never set foot on an actual farm. Can't believe that you and anyone else believes that everything PETA says is true.

Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM

To me, this whole thing pretty much sums of the ignorance of PETA. If you want animals properly treated, you should be supporting 4-Hers at these livestock shows, not working against them. If you don't believe me, spend some time around the barns when they are selling animals at the end of the fair and note the tears streaming down the faces of the children selling their animals. These kids mourn the loss of their animals, not because they are ashamed of where they are headed- these animals were raised for market. These 4-Hers spend hours upon hours caring for these animals and have loved them. 4-H animals are probably the best example of ethically treated market animals you will find. If you truly want animals treated better you should be supporting 4-Hers, not working against them. Even if if I did support PETA, I would not support graphic images being shown where my children could see it. I am pro-life, but I do not support booths who show graphic images of abortions. There are better ways to bring your "reality" while respecting a parent's right to protect their child's innocence.

Wisconsin  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Bea & Mary, Have you ever personally visited any of the places that PETA shows in there information? Have you grown your own "plant based diet" or are you counting on someone to work in the hot sun planting and harvesting so you do not to experience the realities related to that choice? If you are not experiencing food production first hand you are letting someone else think for you. The evidence is clear that PETA spends humdreds of millions with malicious intent thus they are also not able to present full facts any better than you claim food industries do. Reality lies somewhere in between and there are many, many parts to balancing decisions. So my question for you: what would you do if you found a rat in your child's bedroom? After all, rats are animals clearly able to feel and are much more intelligent than most animals. Imagine the terror of getting caught in a trap? Do rats suffer if you take their lives? Remember Mary's words "If we want to consider ourselves moral beings we need to abide by that." If you decide not to kill it what do you do with it? Also do you kill flies? Spiders? Bees? Are they able to suffer? And your DOG!! To get involuntarily put to sleep and wake up without body parts in hormonal upheaval from being "neutered" solely for the CONVENIENCE of a human!! Or missing a tail because a human thinks docked is "pretty"? The message here is get down to earth. Humans control animals for their own uses. Stop judging from a throne. Decide what the issue is and get a consistent ruler to measure human actions against. If you want a choice then others deserve the same right. If you choose to kill a rat and someone else chooses to kill a chicken you are both on the same moral plane. Period.

kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Ms. Elliot - Spoken like a True Believer, Radical Evangelical and Convert or Die Zealot! For you, it's not about Choices and Freedom, it's about ramming your belief system down others' throats. Just like every other extremist group that's come along. Being American, it's your right to express your views in the same way others in hate filled minority fringe groups do. The irony is that you cannot see yourself as such and wallow in self-righteous moral superiority while spending your time demonizing - false propaganda, catastrophic, living nightmare, etc. - all who disagree with you. You are extremely lucky to be living in the land of the free, yes?

kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Mary Finelli - There's a little flaw in your logical thread in your implication that ACLU's offer to sue gives your Cause some kind of moral superiority. The ACLU also defends the American Nazi Party, Klu Klux Klan and other Radical Hate Groups' right to Hate Speech. The credit goes not to Who they defend, but the right of Free Speech in expressing their Hate and Grotesque Beliefs. Do you still have that warm, fuzzy feeling of self-righteousness?

GLenn Sears    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM


GLenn Sears    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

What?? and you have to be anonymous!

Colorado  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Mary, good points, however PETA is only showing the horrific, far end of the spectrum...what I hear a lot of the beef industry folks saying is that this is not the only way farm animals are raised, treated, and brought to slaughter and PETA should not generalize with this rheotric...

Glenn Sears    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

You have to just shake your head at these hypocrites: Documents show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization known for its uncompromising animal-rights positions, killed more than 95 percent of the pets in its care in 2011.The documents, obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is amazing to me how they suck in all these gullible celebrities to do their publicity stunts for them and in the meantime, they are slaughtering animals right and left. Consider this: Fifteen years’ worth of similar records show that since 1998 PETA has killed more than 27,000 animals at its headquarters in Norfolk, VA. In a February 16 statement, the Center said PETA killed 1,911 cats and dogs last year, finding homes for only 24 pets. Really? 24? That’s it? They could only find homes for 24 animals out of 1,935? A .01% success rate. Yet they have the chutzpa to go after others about the “ethical” treatment of animals? PETA’s response: “PETA has a small division that does hands-on work with animals, and most of the animals we take in are society’s rejects; they are aggressive, on death’s door, or somehow unadoptable. We have posted many blog posts about this over the years. The information that you received misrepresented the situation and the number of unwanted and suffering animals PETA euthanizes because of injury, illness, age, aggression, and other problems because their guardians requested it or because no good homes exist for them.” PETA is a group that states, “Animal exploiters kill millions of animals every year-and do so not out of compassion, but out of greed. “ So according to “PETA” we can kill out of compassion but we cannot kill to eat.

Virginia  |  August, 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM

If that's too graphic then be consistent and censor the crazy prolifers showing aborted fetuses too.

August, 24, 2012 at 01:27 PM

I may not personally agree with the "scare tactics" that PETA often uses, but if they want to show them then they should be able to show them. I Think it would be much more beneficial if they were to share some of the economic and environmental advantages of being vegan. For example, with fish. Millions of people in underdeveloped countries rely heavily on fish as one of their main sources of food. The over fishing by Americans and other western developed countries has killed off more than 90% of all the large fish in the sea. This means that those people who would normally rely on fish as a main part of their diet, will now go hungry. Children are dying over there because of the American diet as it currently is. Not to mention, according to the UN, more than 70% of the rainforest cut down so far in Brazil has been due to cattle ranching and the land required to grow the feed for grain fed cows, chickens, and other such animals. The act of growing animals for food is very ineficient and wasteful of resources. It takes more than 10x as many fossil fuels for 1 lb of beef as 1 lb of corn/soy. Also, the amount of land (for grain fed cows) is about 12-16x as much land for 1lb of land as for 1lb of corn. Grass fed cows isn't the answer either. That generally requires even more land (or atleast very close to the same amount). We do not have enough usable land in the United States to have all the cows currently living here eating a grass based diet. Even if you don't care about the animals, there are plenty of other reasons why shouldn't eat meat. Think of it like this. Plant x 10 -> Animal -> Human or just plant -> human. As a race we cannot continue to advance until everyone has switched to a plant based diet.

Andrea L.    
New York  |  August, 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM

If you really want to show the reality of meat production, how about coming out to my farm to document me getting up at 5am every day to feed and lovingly care for my beef cattle before heading off to veterinary school to learn how to keep them healthier and happier during their time on this earth. And then come home with me at night to spend another 2 hours with them before studying for several hours and doing a last walk through in the dark at 11pm before going to bed to start again at the same time the following morning. The majority of beef producers love these animals and realize the great benefits to all by providing the best care possible for them.

wisconsin  |  August, 24, 2012 at 01:44 PM

So we all go vegan. Farmers like me will produce the vegan crops for you, Will you come out and protest me tilling a field because I'm probably severing earth worms with my plow and disk? Will you protest me for using fertizers whether organic or chemical that favor the crop over then insects. Will you protest me for using pesticides that kill insects? I want you to think about an old cliche that I first on bumper stickers in the 70's If you complain about farmers, Don't talk with your mouth full!!

Washington  |  August, 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM

I doubt it. Going on a vegan diet will reduce the amount of animals (mammals, fish, insects, all of them). It is an easy and viable solution. Changing farming to try and not kill worms or kill the insects on plants, although unfortunate, is not viable or economically possible. Eating is necessary. Eating meat isn't. But if there were alternative insecticides that did not kill the insects, and instead simply drove them off and kept them away from the plants, I would expect that to be used, unless it was extremely expensive.

Daniel Davis    
La Junta, CO  |  August, 24, 2012 at 02:21 PM

I say let them show it as long a the video showing an actual abortion of the baby is shown with it and that PETA members be required to watch it. What abortion does to live babies is so grotesque that even these PETA non-humans will squirm.

Howard Hail    
August, 24, 2012 at 02:28 PM

State Fairs are put on by organizations to promote agriculture and ranching. Their mission statement says:"To promote and showcase Kansas agriculture, industry and culture, to create opportunity for commercial activity, and to provide an educational and entertaining experience that is the pride of all Kansans." They have very specific guidelines and they do not need to promote other organizations or give space to those who do not produce farm products for market with pride. Just narrow your guidelines and say no. IF PeTA wants a podium then let them put on their own fair. They certainly do not fit the guidelines or the mission statement.

Dr. Howard Hail    
August, 24, 2012 at 02:31 PM

State Fairs are put on by organizations to promote agriculture and ranching. Their mission statement says:"To promote and showcase Kansas agriculture, industry and culture, to create opportunity for commercial activity, and to provide an educational and entertaining experience that is the pride of all Kansans." They have very specific guidelines and they do not need to promote other organizations or give space to those who do not produce farm products for market with pride. Just narrow your guidelines and say no. IF PeTA wants a podium then let them put on their own fair. They certainly do not fit the guidelines or the mission statement.

Dr. Howard Hail    
August, 24, 2012 at 02:39 PM

The claim veganism is “green,” and that a vegan lifestyle minimizes impact on the environment is false. Millions of animals die in plant farming. There is no science behind the vegan diet claims of health, just as many vegans die of heart disease and cancer. Moderate eating of meat and vegetables will ensure health. The fact is that the brain of human beings requires meat. Meat is the only source of Active VB12 and without it your brain becomes irrational. Meat is the main reason that our culture and our brains have developed this far. Vegans who push misinformation and strict no meat diets are a danger to our society and to all human beings. Are vegan animal rights cults ethical? No they think it is moral to lie to the public to stop them from eating meat. The other argument that animal rights cults like to push is that meat-eaters are more prone to chronic diseases. Chronic disease typically strikes the old, not those of prime child-rearing age. Till recently most folks never got chronic disease because they died of the acute kind first and they ate less food of all types than they do now. Chronic diseases have had minimal impact on our ability to reproduce ourselves, which of course is the basis of natural selection. In short, as we evolved, chronic disease did not "select out" for veganism. View for the truth. Every potato, every stick of celery, every cup of rice, and every carrot has a blood trail leading from field to plate. Vegans claim moral superiority when in fact these vegans kill million more animals than do those who raise meat animals.

August, 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM

I believe that just like the government, PETA is trying to take care of things that should already be taken care of. The parents of these children should already have taught them where the livestock goes and where the dinner comes from. If PETA is going to show the grusome part of the industry, which does exist and isn't taken care of by sweeping it under a rug, they should also be required to show the good things and the day to day activities of the beef industry. A one sided story is nothing short of a lie. They don't want to show the things that are monotonous and timely, they want to show the gruesomeness for the attention. I am a woman and I have worked in a processing plant, in a meat lab as well, and things are taken care of humanly...its the LAW! There is wellfare of animals without them having "rights. Lastly, animals don't have feelings, they have insticts; the animal alone could not take care of itself without the help of the humans.

August, 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM

Oh, and dare I say, GOD put them on the earth for our consumption? Welp, He did.

Middletown ct  |  August, 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM

I think that's the idea, Jerry.

Middletown ct  |  August, 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM

Mad Cattleman, You might be o to something, here. It might be unsafe to pull such a stunt in the heart of cattle country.

Washington  |  August, 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM

While a vegan diet is not entirely blood less, you are simply lying that it kills more animals than eating meat. As humans, it is nearly impossible for us to live without killing animals. But we don't need to maxamize the amount killed just because we can't avoid killing all of them. Should Schindler have not saved any Jews because he couldn't save all of them? Nah, it is quite obvious that a vegan diet is an easy and healthful change that will minimize the amount of death in this world.

Washington  |  August, 24, 2012 at 03:08 PM

Clearly you have never read the Bible. Try reading it before talking like you know it. In the begining, humans ate nothing but plant material. It was not until after the flood that meat was "allowed" for human consumption. If He had created animals for our consumption, wouldn't humans have eaten animals from the begining? I would think that. He gave us dominion over animals. That means to govern, or rule over. Wouldn't you be upset if the president was confining you, killing you and eating you? I think you would.

Illinois  |  August, 24, 2012 at 04:32 PM

Mary you seem like a nice person, yet your emotional and philosophical differences with those who eat meat and those that don’t lacks any substance of discussion. You claim moral and freedom of speech issues are being infringed upon. You mention the “realities of meat production”. Anyone who makes comments like this are grossly uninformed. These PETA videos are malicious in nature and do not represent the agriculture industry. As cattleman we cannot stay in business if we mistreat or underfeed cattle. Content animals grow and perform better when healthy and “happy”. Cattle live in the cold and heat of summer, flies swarm them, pastures need maintenance. When it is cold I feed extra feed to maintain positive energy growth and I spray for flies in the summer time. We perform a multitude of management practices for little pay at times because this is our livelihood. For you to impose that the farm community is immoral and that the freedom of speech should be extended to groups like PETA. It is a fact that animals will be processed for food and I accept that it is momentary. Yet cattle do not know this is going to happen. They cannot rationalize these events. I realize that you have a few friends that have never been to a farm to see what really goes on, but anyone with any common sense will realize that videos of this nature have one purpose and that is to scare people from eating meat. There is no editorial balance, merely sensational content that is only supported by PETA. So no, the 1st Amendment should not be extended to this group and it is not right for you to act as if you are morally better than others.

Washington  |  August, 24, 2012 at 04:45 PM

The 1st ammendment is made for everyone, whether or not they are telling the truth, lying, trying to change people's opinions, or saying something that the majority doesn't agree with. The 1st ammendment is in place so that people, even if most people don't like them or don't agree with their message, are still able to get it out there. We do not live in a place where the majority controls everything and the government is allowed to control what they want us to see and what they don't want us to see. If you do not like the videos they are showing... well don't watch them. It isn't that hard.

Denver  |  August, 24, 2012 at 05:34 PM

Answer me this; is the Kansas State Fair run by the government? Or is it operated a private entity with private funds? Given my experience with other state fairs, I tend to think it's the latter rather than the former. And if it IS a private entity which owns/operates/funds it rather than it being government-run, then there is no guarantee of free speech. Too many people seem to forget that the right of free speech as protected and outlined in the First Amendment deals with GOVERNMENT curtailing free speech, not private entities. "CONGRESS shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech..." Private entities are entirely within their rights to curtail speech they feel is detrimental to themselves or their patrons, and it is entirely within the rights of participants to decide whether they can live with or agree with the limitations said private entity sets. If they decide they can't live with them or don't agree with the restrictions, then they don't need to participate. Or they can go be annoying on public property like they usually do.

Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 07:12 PM

Ag needs to teach what it is all about much more than it does. My kids are in 4-H and when we bought our pig projects last year, the first thing my 8 (EIGHT) year old said when he saw his pig was "I bet that pig is going to taste great!" We fed him very well all year long and worked with him daily to get him used to us, them we took him to the fair, put fans on him to keep him cool, he got 2 nd in class and my son was right...he did taste GREAT and the kids had no trouble eating him because they knew how he was raised and that it was healthy meat to give them the strength and energy to beat the vegetarian wrestlers they would meet up with throughout the winter.

Oregon  |  August, 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM

Wait though. I doubt the validity of your story. The problem is that you live in Kansas. Since you are in Kansas, that means that everyone there is a redneck. And all rednecks are funny talking some what fat men that eat lots of meat and are unhealthy living in the woods and what not. So since everyone there is redneck, I highly doubt that your children are wrestling with any vegetarians since there are none of them in Kansas. And I feel sorry for your children.

Glenn Sears    
Kansas  |  August, 24, 2012 at 08:35 PM

Your statement reflects just how ignorant and uniformed you and the rest of the country are by that statement you just made. Everyone is not a redneck, just like everyone in Oregon is not a back woodsman. Just for your information there are vegetarians and even vegans in Kansas. Maybe the problem is that you live in Oregon. I feel sorry for your children!

pa  |  August, 24, 2012 at 08:50 PM

A state fair is to educate the public, provide forum for agricultural displays and competition and promote agriculture. PETA's goal is to distribute sensationalized, unrepresentative propaganda to the public to turn them against animal agriculture. Their exploits do not represent the vast majority of US farms. They do not provide unbiased or accurate information to the public. It is not the realities or truth of meat production that they present... so why should they be permitted to have a display there? They shouldn't! That is the mistake the fair association made. I believe PETA has a legitimate point about free speech. They should not have been given space within the fairgrounds borders to promote their anti-animal agriculture agenda. The biggest social injustice to the public in this debate is that balanced healthy diets for growing children and pregnant women MUST contain animal protein to supply needed nutrients without popping multiple pills or taking various supplements to balance trace nutrients and essential amino acids and fatty acids that come only from animal sources. Vegan diets are DEFICIENT in multiple nutrients. Most adults are fine and healthy with a vegan diet if they are careful with their food choices. Children are not. As a former nutritionist, I evaluated a vegan child's diet which was probably typical for what many children raised on a mostly plant diet would be eating. While crude protein intake was nearly adequate most days (child would not eat full recommended portions of soy protein usually), there were imbalances and deficiencies that could have a delaying effect on neural and brain development for children under 5.

pa  |  August, 24, 2012 at 09:12 PM

Most state fairs are run by an association that is under the direction of the Dept of Agriculture for that state. There is usually legislation that provides for public funding within the Dept. for agriculture education and promotion, one such event would be a state fair but that funding would not be limited to fairs only. The purpose and intent written in the bylaws and mission of the fair association would govern exhibits. Even though public funding might be provided for fair exhibits, it does not mean any and all entities wanting to exhibit can, especially if their exhibit does not conform to the purpose of the fair. Once again, they should not have been given booth space. Once booth space is permitted, restricting content may be a free speech issue - it depends on the lawyers and judges interpretation. It is disheartening to see these extremists get their way. I fully agree with Dr. Howard Hail - he is right in his assessment of physiology with vegan diets. I have to wonder if their brains are working properly or are altered erratically from malnourishment of trace nutrients.

ohio  |  August, 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Bea, I have seen your veggie sheetin' comments on this website for far too long. Do you really have nothing better to do ? I subscribe to this page because it has indepth up to date info about the industry that I depend on to provide for my family. "We" as an industry/multi generational way of life could care less if you CHOOSE to be vegan. That is your choice which you are free to make. Your blatent ignorant blanket comments about the US livestock industry have no place in normal competent intellegent debates regarding our food industry. I agree fully that you have the choice to do or say what you believe however I have pity for you because you are narrow minded and small.

Oregon  |  August, 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM

I was hoping you would realize that I wasn't being serious. Apparently not :/ And I have no kids. There are already too many people in the world, God knows I don't need to be adding more.

Ohio  |  August, 25, 2012 at 08:24 AM

PETA in my opinion is one the worst offenders of animal cruelty. They go undercover as workers of many of the places they video to capture these acts and do nothing to stop or report the incidents while they are there, all so they can get it on film. Many of these farms and plants have clauses, pledges, ect. that employees must sign stating they will report any abuse of livestock. Shame on those people! Producers want to care for there livestock. They know that a sick, injured, unhappy animal will not produce, grow like one that is healthy and happy. An their livelihood depends on that.

ohio  |  August, 25, 2012 at 08:38 AM

If being a vegan means standing idlely by with a camera compromising my own morals and beliefs while breaking the law, then count me out. I'll stay right here on the farm and enjoy my beef!

August, 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Well what about the other side of this Liberal Argument about People being to many on Earth ???? Does PETA feel about Humans like they do about Animals ??? This Professor at frame 33:00 shows what they are thinking , Listen to what this Top Professor at Stanford has to say about humanity , and he is a adviser to the President under his Co author and colleague Science CZAR John Holdren .

Oregon  |  August, 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Well, a majority of people in the western world and more developed countries around the world (Brazil, South Africa, China, etc) would switch to everyone having a majoritarily planr based (not saying people can't eat a little meat) then we would be able to sustain many more people on this planet. How we are living now is not working out. A change is radically needed.

wyoming  |  August, 25, 2012 at 03:29 PM

Brandy, You make it seem that large producers don't take care of their animals either. I'm considered a large producer, but we take super good care of our animals as well. We don't need to be pointing fingers at each other, we need to be working together to help one another out, so that our industry gets better at policing our own industry. I agree with downer cows not going to slaughter. I feel the big problem is that we do not show or tell our side of the story enough. We don't have time like PETA, since they don't spend their money where their mouth is. Essentially, it is just like the HSUS, they don't say what they do. When the industry can combine forces to show how our food and fiber is produced is the key. We need to get out and tell others what the true story is. I encourage everyone on this blog to tell at least 3 people that don't know a lot about ag. to strike up a conversation and spread the word to these 3 people in the next 2 months. That will speak volumes especially if you say, that they should come out to their operation to see. thanks for your time.

usa  |  August, 25, 2012 at 05:02 PM

Intelligent, feeling Jews? Ask the Jews, if they're so intelligent, why they don't escape from the concentration camps. Maybe they should get their own spokesJew. Feelings? Do they feel pity, remorse, concerned about the greater good? Last I checked those in the science field say Jews have instincts, not feelings. Seems there is a bit of drama in those words from PETA.

August, 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM

"Intelligent, feeling animals"? Statistics have shown that PETA puts to sleep 90% of animals within their shelters. Those are "intelligent feeling animals" too, aren't they. Geez, I love animals and want to treat them well, but I cannot support PETA anymore.

Maryland  |  August, 25, 2012 at 09:04 PM

The more talk about PETA the more money they get from it. It's not about winning the case it's all publicity. That aside, I would like to know how they managed to get into the fair at all. Most fairs require the board to approve the vendor and content prior to them being allowed to exhibit. Also what about the FCC or some other group requiring censorship for young children in a public place. If it was naked girls selling beer it wouldn't have a chance to go to court. Personally I say let them have a booth and let the kids educate the public on how wrong PETA is. Maybe set up a booth right next to them showing their financial report (which is public information). Don't deny their rights no matter how screwy they are (since they were already granted acess and they would just set up outside the gate anyway) instead show the public what the truth is. Give out free pit beef to the exhibitors to eat everytime they walk past the PETA booth. It is a great way for these kids to learn how to deal with this because I don't see these groups going away anytime soon and if the kids are going to stay in animal ag these are lessons well learned

SD  |  August, 26, 2012 at 05:55 PM

Can we get information on how many people are paid by PETA and their allies to post their "misinformation" on public sites such as ths? Overall, it is great that several 'aggies' found the time from their busy schedules to comment with factual information. However, it seems 'dairy cowgirl' trumps all with her comments on why to allow them their booth and put a pro-food animal ag booth right next to it presenting the whole TRUTH about food animal production. And along with that booth should be a team grilling and serving free meats. The aroma will draw crowds of people! The wonderful flavors will convince them of the nutrient facts posted prominently nearby. What a slam dunk for some intelligent young FFA students that could be!!!!

Oklahoma  |  August, 26, 2012 at 07:07 PM

Aidan, better read your Bible again. Cain and Abel were children of Adam and Eve (who came well before the flood!) and while Cain offered fruits of the land to God, Abel offered the lamb. Which did God cherish? The lamb. And why were they raising sheep? To EAT!

Florida  |  August, 26, 2012 at 10:59 PM

People have been too well fed for so long that they have never been around the reality of life. They need to go hungry for a couple of months and maybe they would get a life.

Crazig A. Moore    
Billings,MT  |  August, 27, 2012 at 08:21 AM

Carnivors have evolved eating meat without problems. Every carnivor, mammal or fowl, has eyes pointing forward. Fowl have talons and mammals have canine teeth. Last I noticed all humans have eyes pointing forward and canine teeth. Eat like you were evolved to it. And watch when 4 or 5 wolves catch up with a calf elk. THEN you will see a living/dying nightmare for an animal.

Craig A. Moore    
Billings, MT  |  August, 27, 2012 at 08:41 AM

I wonder how much time and effort PETA expends to make sure those they video abusing the animals are brought to justice. I am sure they will say their only duty is to reveal the abuse. If they view a child being abused should they video it and release it when it they are having a fund raiser?

Montana  |  August, 28, 2012 at 08:55 AM

Good point about the $19. However we better defined what a predator is and what animals are the predators before PETA does. Whoops I may have given them a new idea. Help

iowa  |  August, 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I appreciate that article - and I am disappointed that Drovers would fall into the trap of using the term "factory farm". This is a denigrating term, and one that it appears Drovers picked up from the PETA release but is not quoted as such. Farms are not factories, they are facilities large and small, run by people that work with, and care about. plants and animals that feed the world. Positioning them as such in any argument with anti- agriculture groups will help give farmers and ranchers the position they deserve in this discussion.

Illinois  |  August, 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM

I am not necessarily a PETA supporter, as I agree they have a dark side, as some have pointed out; however, I have chosen a vegetarian lifestyle. I have a sincere question for the beef producers who have responded to this story and state that they are concerned for the well being and health of their animals. I don't doubt that your animals are well cared for, but what happens to them after they go to auction? Do you have any control over which slaughterhouse they go to? Have you been to the slaughterhouses? How far do the animals have to travel in those cattle trucks? Do you know that the cattle don't since fear at the slaughterhouse or suffer as they are being processed? The slaughter process is what made me decide to give up eating meat. If I am mis-informed, I would love to hear the "other" side of the story. Thank you.

Illinois  |  August, 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM

*sense* fear.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  August, 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Hello Linda - Actually "yes" - I have and do grow some of my own food... The rest of my plant foods I attempt to source as ethically as I can. But I really think that has little relevance to the discussion here. Regarding rats, mice and other rodents... There are humane traps - In fact I have 3 in different sizes. They work fine for relocating them to a more suitable area. No big deal. No... I don't kill spiders or bees - What would be the point? For what purpose? But "yes" I have killed ticks, fleas and mosquitos - As a matter of self-defense. Likewise... If a big bear was attacking you - Rest assured I would not run away to claim "I'm vegan - And not going to help you!". I certainly wouldn't approve of disfiguring, mutilating or altering the physical appearance appearance of another being based on my criteria of what looks good or not... Neutering is entirely for the benefit of the dog, cat, etc. as they all live considerably longer and better lives without the risks of being "viable" to breed. Finally the point is not "my right not to kill" vs. "your right to kill" the issue is the victim's right not to be killed. If challenging the position that "might makes right" is what you choose to call "juding from a throne" - Then so be it. In my mind it's simply speaking up for the innocent - Which to quote Harriet Beecher Stowe: is what the best people have always done.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  August, 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Hello michael - Of course I'm "lucky" to be living (in one of the many) free lands... I'm also quite "lucky" to be born human! I wonder though... Since you object to others advocating for nonhumans - If other beings came to our planet - Or if we encountered them elsewhere... And they decided to harvest our organs and use/kill us because they were "superior" to us... Wouldn't you scream bloody murder? Wouldn't you want someone to speak in your defense? Wouldn't you want someone to take the high ground that your life mattered to you - Even though it was "inferior" to theirs? It's a simple matter of having empathy michael --- Am I "extreme" in the cause of justice and compassion? Unashamedly so - Yes!

SD  |  August, 29, 2012 at 09:20 AM

For Teresa and others who lack correct information about raising cattle, and other food animals: Cattle are my area of best knowledge as my family has been raising them for many generations, five in SD. There are laws, based on the best of animal science at the time they were legislated, AT THE DEMAND OF CATTLE GROWERS in the particular state they were passed, to protect animals in transit by requiring they be un-loaded from whatever conveyance is moving them after a period of hours, and I'm not certain what that is, but is deemed correct for the animal and it's age, to be fed, watered, and rested before resuming the trip. For the record, MOST cattle producers, feed lot operators, and even the packers DO NOT want the animals to be stressed or risk injury from being hauled! Even if we didn't actually like the animals, it simply is NOT good BUSINESS! Where I live, most pastures are rather large, and are native grasses and forbs which cannot tolerate over-grazing, so the animals have lots of space to interact. Most ranchers CAN know where there cattle are going after first sale, and know how they will be treated at the feedlot. Most feedlots have plenty of space for the cattle. The only time they may truly be 'crowded' is when they all go to the feedbunk first thing in the morning, where they may have only 1.5 to 2.5 feet of space along the bunks, which is certainly adequate, and they do not spend a lot of time at the bunk eating that first meal. Many feeders now encourage the animals to 'snack' through the day, eating smaller amounts at a time. They are fed a mixture of hay, or other forage material, grains, minerals (vitamin, salt, mineral mixture). They WILL be treated huanely all the way through processing.

texas  |  August, 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM

Responding to Mary Finelli: PETA and HSUS seem to only want to educate about the criminals of the agriculture industry. Most farmers know that an abused animal is not worth very much. We want an animal to be as content as possible for the entire length of its life.

August, 29, 2012 at 03:12 PM

Bea, there is a fundamental flaw in your argument. Rights are God given. Humans are given the right to do with animals and plants whatever they choose to do. Animals DO NOT have the to right to choose whether or not they are killed for food. You have the right not to kill them, and I have the right to kill them. Animals deserve humane and proper care and to be killed by us in the least painfull process possible but they absolutely under no circumstance have the choice to decide their fate.

ohio  |  August, 29, 2012 at 03:16 PM

Animals who are raised for food and ultimately killed are not victims.

Illinois  |  August, 29, 2012 at 07:29 PM

Maxine - Thank you for the response. My sister-in-law's brother raises a few cattle, and while he does a fine job of raising them, he does not follow what happens to them after they go to auction. But he is the only person I know who raises cattle. I know there are laws on the books regarding the humane transport and slaughter of animals, but it doesn't seem to me that the enforcement of these laws is a high priority of the USDA.

Illinois  |  August, 29, 2012 at 07:40 PM

I should add that I feel there is a huge difference between family owned farms and so called factory farms. I grew up in a small town along the Illinois/Iowa border and the issue of large scale, corporate owned hog farms is real problem for this part of the country. These large hog confinements truly are factories. The treatment of the animals is atrocious and the damage to the environment is sickening. While I realize this is a forum about cattle, the issue of eating - or not - eating meat and the treatment of animals is complicated. I am trying to educate myself as best I can without buying into propaganda of either side.

Midwest  |  August, 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM

More like PEETA( to avoid them bringing a lawsuit for copywrite infringement) People Eating & Excreting Tasty Animals!

Midwest  |  August, 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM

More like PEETA( to avoid them bringing a lawsuit for copywrite infringement) People Eating & Excreting Tasty Animals!

hs in us    
September, 01, 2012 at 09:59 AM

If babies were taken from people (or bred for the sole purpose of being put in pens and made into burgers and cutlets)they too,as they grew,even if they grew to full adulthood,wouldn't able to escape,either. Some of the posts here just show proof meat eating not only causes insanity but also must be seen as a main contributor of psychopathy;the psychopath acts without conscience. I cannot change the true and observed facts I base my statements on. "Intelligent, feeling animals? Ask the feeder cattle, if they're so intelligent, why they don't escape from the feedlots. Maybe they should get their own spokessteer. Feelings? Do they feel pity, remorse, concerned about the greater good? Last I checked those in the science field say animals have instincts, not feelings."(A quote from these comments,as the author may delete the post,if possible) And people are also animals/mammals,like cows and pigs and sheep. And people also have instincts. People have expanded their vocabulary and frame of reference to redefine "instincts" as feelings. But these are inherently the same. In people and in animals.

hs in us    
September, 01, 2012 at 10:10 AM

If babies were bred and raised for that purpose,the people imprisoning would make sure they could not escape,as is done in the case of ALL and any animals man holds captive or imprisons. The cages and restraints are used to deny whatever animal it is,the ability to escape,from tigers,to goldfish,to elephants,to whales and sharks. Even prison-breakouts are rare,and those prisoners are certainly able to know there might somehow be a way to escape.... So growing up in isolation as a mute and helpless prisoner,just like cows and pigs and sheep,the babies,the people,would never escape or even know there was any other reality but the one they know. Animals and people,are,in many ways,identical.

peta sucks    
October, 02, 2012 at 02:05 PM

People Eating Tasty Animals = Psychopathic Evil Thugs for Animals = animal-crazy lunatics who think animal agriculture should be abolished People Eating Tasty Animals: Living in Fantasyland since 1980

peta sucks    
December, 22, 2012 at 07:26 PM

People Eating Tasty Animals = Psychopathic Evil Thugs for Animals = pure evil since 1980

moorhead  |  July, 15, 2013 at 11:47 PM

You are darn right out crazy! id like to see you walk a day in those animals shoes and then see what you have to say tough guy. eat some vegetables buddy it wil do your body good.

mn  |  July, 16, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Animals to have feelings and do feel pain. we ALL as human beings are smart enough to know that. my goh people. america is very rapidly becoming extremely obese. lay off the meat and bite into a carrot. why be so deffensive would become aware of the reality and truth of it all

mhd  |  July, 16, 2013 at 12:05 AM

What a loser you must be. i feel bad for you.

July, 16, 2013 at 12:16 AM

Bea elliott you rock! black and white you put it straight up the way it is! it makes me feel better to know there are good people who believe the right things. poor poor voiceless helpless creatures. how dare anybody think ones life is more vaueble then any other.

peta still sucks    
February, 26, 2014 at 07:56 PM

People Eating Tasty Animals: Certified nutcases for animals since 1980

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