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Pork Eaters Strike Back at Vegetarian Protesters

June 2, 1991

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The day after an animal rights activist shoved a pie in the face of Iowa’s Pork Queen, the other pie dropped.

Sandra O’Neall threw a whipped cream pie Saturday at a protester with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

″Turnabout is fair play,″ O’Neall said after hitting 16-year-old Denise Berner with the pie outside the World Pork Expo.

O’Neall said animal rights activists are entitled to their view, but should not have taken it out on the Iowa Pork Queen, Dainna J’Ann Jellings.

Jellings, 19, was uninjured in Friday’s incident by an anonymous animal rights activist dressed in a pig costume.

Robin Walker, a spokeswoman for the vegetarian advocates, said the action was taken to protest the killing of millions of hogs ″to feed America’s meat addiction.″

The first pie-throwing incident alienated pig farmers on hand for the year’s biggest pork trade show as well as an Iowa-based animal rights group.

Tensions were evident Saturday when a motorcyclist drove onto the sidewalk near the protesters, revved his engine and drove away. Some motorists also taunted the demonstrators.

Vicky Eide, founder and director of the 500-member Iowa Alliance for Animals, said she is urging Midwest animal rights activists to end their financial support for Washington, D.C.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which claims more than 350,000 members, including 2,000 in Iowa.

″It was a stupid stunt,″ said Eide. ″They have turned it away from being an issue for treatment of animals into an issue of treatment for humans by their blatant disregard for human dignity.″

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals continued its protest outside the Iowa State Fairgrounds. But just 11 demonstrators appeared, much less than the 25 to 50 expected by organizers.

Charles Harness, a spokesman for the sponsoring National Pork Producers Council, urged farmers to ignore the protests and enjoy the displays.

″We consider it a bizarre sideshow,″ Harness said.

James Todd, who works on a hog farm at Stronghurst, Ill., said he was upset by Friday’s incident.

″I’m definitely against them coming in and trying to tell us what to eat and what to do,″ Todd said.

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