‘Meat Stinks’ Group Hits Pork Queen With Pie
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ A woman in a pig costume shoved a whipped cream pie in the face of Iowa’s Pork Queen on Friday in a protest staged by an animal rights group behind a vegetarianism campaign.
Pork producers called it a ″childish attack.″
The Pork Queen, Dainna Jellings, 19, of Fayette, was not injured and declined to talk about the incident.
The pie-throwing was staged by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a Washington, D.C.-based group that claims more than 350,000 members and originated the Meat Stinks campaign that advocates vegetarianism.
The pie-tossing occurred in the heart of hog country during the start of the biggest pork trade show of the year, the World Pork Expo.
Ms. Jellings was wearing a crown and a sash proclaiming her Iowa Pork Queen title as she handed out coloring books to children in a tent at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
The woman in a cloth pig costume with a rubber face and two other PETA members entered the tent shortly before 1 p.m. The woman in the costume carried a box. She approached Ms. Jellings and in a matter of seconds shoved the gooey mess into the right side of the Pork Queen’s face.
Ms. Jellings rushed out of the tent to clean up.
″The Pork Queen represents an industry that kills 92 million pigs a year to feed America’s meat addiction. It’s time she wake up to the cruelty that she represents,″ said Robin Walker, a PETA spokeswoman from Washington who accompanied the pie-thrower.
The woman in costume refused to give her name to a reporter who had been contacted by PETA and alerted about the demonstration.
The pie was made from non-dairy whipped topping, Ms. Walker said.
It was the first time animal rights activists disrupted the Pork Expo in its four-year history. The show is expected to attract up to 75,000 people.
It includes seminars on swine care and hoopla including pig races, a ″Pig- Casso″ art show and a barbecue served from a grill nearly the length of a football field. Iowa accounts for one out of every four hogs raised for market in this country.
″How shameful,″ said Charles Harness, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, when told PETA claimed responsibility. ″What sort of civilized organization is this?″
The pork council sponsors the show.
Harness said police had taken the names of the protesters. Asked if police would be asked to press charges, Harness said, ″Ms. Jellings would like this incident closed.″
The pork group promotes animal welfare, which it defines as the proper care of livestock. But it has long held animals do not share the same rights as people.