Iowa State Fair Smacked With ‘Staggeringly Worst Example Award for Climate, Cruelty, and Cholesterol Obliviousness’

For Immediate Release:
August 23, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Des Moines, Iowa

PETA is giving the Iowa State Fair a Staggeringly Worst Example Award for Climate, Cruelty, and Cholesterol Obliviousness, epitomized by its Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese and similar promoted dishes, its cattle barns, and its carbon footprint. The dishonor comes with a certificate of shame that calls out the fair for celebrating the meat and dairy factory-farming industries, which produce unhealthy foods that are linked to the top four killer diseases in Iowa and the rest of the U.S., that torment and kill animals in the process, and that contribute to the methane emissions that are a major cause of the climate catastrophe.

iowa state f

“The climate, cruelty, and cholesterol obliviousness on display with this deep-fried disaster prove that the Iowa State Fair kowtows to the animal agriculture industry while thumbing its nose at human health, the planet we live on, and the animals who pay with their lives,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA urges Iowans to wake up, smell the manure, and restructure the 2024 fair as one steeped in respect for all life, including that of future generations.”

The consumption of meat and dairy is linked to heart disease—the leading cause of death for Iowans—as well as diabetes, obesity, strokes, and various types of cancer. It’s also responsible for immense animal suffering: Cows and pigs raised for their flesh are confined to cramped, filthy feedlots without protection from the elements, and in the dairy industry, calves are torn away from their mothers within a day of birth so the milk meant to nourish them can be stolen and sold to humans. At slaughterhouses, the animals are shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun and hung up by one leg before their throats are slit—often while they’re still conscious.

The millions of pigs confined on Iowa farms produce 25 times more waste than Iowa’s human residents, and as a result of the associated runoff, Des Moines Water Works has battled for years to turn waterways contaminated with farmed animals’ waste into potable drinking water. And many Iowans are familiar with the stench that comes from the massive pig warehouses in the state but may not realize that it’s also deadly—air pollution from animal agriculture kills nearly 13,000 people per year in the U.S. alone, and the industry is a leading producer of the greenhouse gases that contribute to the climate catastrophe.

PETA offers a free vegan starter kit for those ready to make the switch to healthy, eco-friendly vegan eating.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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