Written by Jeff Mackey
Update: The booth
reopened on Saturday after fair officials relented and asked PETA to return.
Once again, Iowa State Fair visitors were able to see farm workers' callous
behavior and unlawful cruelty to animals for themselves via the uncensored
undercover video footage shown at the booth.
Originally posted August 10:
Fairgoers are used to seeing the traditional 4-H booths, but
the Iowa State Fair was so shocked by PETA's decidedly nontraditional version—which showed PETA's "Glass Walls" video exposing the horrific cruelty of the meat trade—that everyone's favorite animal
rights group was banished from the fairgrounds.
Supposedly, the raw language used by one factory-farm worker
in the undercover video footage—he drops an F-bomb while describing the
difficulty of snapping turkeys' necks—proved too much for Iowans' delicate ears.
Then again, the ejection may have been due more to what the video showed than
what was being said.
Iowa has already shown intolerance for finding out what goes
on behind the scenes of the meat industry by passing an "ag gag" law, making it illegal to photograph or film factory-farm and slaughterhouse
conditions. And people who've already stopped by the booth learned what the law
is designed to conceal because "Glass Walls" includes video footage from
a PETA investigation that documented how pigs at an Iowa Hormel supplier were being
beaten and abused by workers, leading to convictions for livestock abuse and
Interestingly, PETA was the only "vendor" at the
fair not selling anything but instead trying to educate the Iowa public about the
darker side of agriculture, which is of increasing concern to the nation. Instead
of peddling cotton candy or corn dogs, PETA just offered free food for thought
and paid for the privilege of doing so. It seems that fair officials were more
alarmed by the message and the throngs of people the booth attracted—especially
It's a shame that now those teens may not have the chance to
learn how the meat business hurts animals—and works to co-opt young people with
not-so-subtle propaganda. 4-H offers a lot of great programs for kids, but
participants in its agricultural programs spend numerous hours bonding with cows,
sheep, goats, and chickens who will ultimately make their way to a blood-soaked
killing floor, just as most
animals raised for food do.
That's why in PETA's booth, the four H's stood for "Hell for animals," "Heart attack–inducing," "Hazard to the environment," and "Hypocritical for teaching kids to care about only certain animals and to disrespect others."
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.