It’s easy to be an agriculture advocate when the opposition is on the other end of the country and your listening audience is on your side. But standing your ground becomes more difficult when those fighting your lifestyle are standing toe-to-toe with you.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is coming to the Kansas State Fair next month. It’s part of the organization’s effort to take part in state fairs of agriculture states. The organization is dedicated to putting and end to meat consumption and animal agriculture all together. The state fair is held in our backyard and hits at the heart of our state’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the state fair.
The fair gates have yet to open and PETA is already causing problems for fair administrators. They organization wants to include videos and photos of animals being slaughtered in their exhibit and intends to display the graphic content so everyone passing by sees the images.
According to recent news articles, state fair officials have stated that any videos or pictures of animals being decapitated, dismembered or butchered must not be readily visible outside PETA’s booth, so that fair-goers will have to make a conscious choice to view the material. PETA calls that a content-based restraint. It says the fair is a public forum and cannot restrict viewpoints.
Earlier this week, the organization took the fight a step further and issued a threat of a federal lawsuit if the state fair doesn’t change its stance by the end of today. I’ve yet to hear a response but I’m guessing they aren’t going to give up without a fight.
The whole situation with PETA coming to our state fair makes me sick to my stomach. It is so difficult to see organizations unfairly and incorrectly represent our way of life. Yes we slaughter our animals for human consumption. But we do so in a humane and ethical way. Technology has allowed the slaughter process to be painless for the animal, but PETA continues to insist that animals suffer at the hands of humans everyday and that by eating meat you are supporting an inhumane and unethical industry. The message is misleading and incorrect.
The one piece of good news in the whole situation is the support of Kansas State Fair General Manager Denny Stoecklein and other fair administrators who have shown the agriculture industry unwavering support. The fair has and will continue to support the state’s thriving agriculture industry and has publicly said it will continue to take the side of agriculture when anti-agriculture bullies like PETA come to town. We are fortunate to have such a support state fair administration and hope that despite the continued threats, they are able to stand strong against PETA.
Stay tune for the rest of this story, I think it’s going to get interesting.