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It’s not just a cow, butter or otherwise

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 10:50 a.m. CDT

It’s not just a cow.

To Iowa State Fair purists, and to many Iowans, for that matter, the Butter Cow is a piece of Iowa culture. It’s just something you don’t mess with if you’re in your right mind.

Iowans for Animal Liberation. Just by the sound of the group’s name alone, I think most reasonable people would suspect the elevator isn’t reaching the top few floors.

Let’s face it, this is a group that believes any kind of animal husbandry is “torture.” Milking a cow, for instance, is inhumane to these folks. So, you can see where it’s going with them pretty quickly.

But it’s the “hyperbole” that has since followed their vandalism that confirms their insanity for me. A spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front, which may or may not be affiliated, but certainly sympathizes with the Iowa group, had this to say:

If you look at apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was a respected lawyer and worked in the system for years, but realized he wasn’t getting anywhere and went to an underground revolutionary group to make real change and spent decades in prison.

There is always a need for different strategies when fighting injustice. We have people who are willing to risk their freedom to damage those who are abusing animals.

Insert your favorite bat guano line here.

These “ubervegans” broke into the cold storage facility used to showcase the butter sculptures at the Iowa State Fair, vandalizing the display, to gain attention. The Des Moines media — with the national media following close behind — gave them exactly that.

You do have to wonder, though. Had no one reported the story, and the display opened on time Monday morning, would anyone really have known?

Media reports I’ve read indicate most fairgoers today were not aware there had been a problem until they heard it via social media, or on broadcast news sources. So, I would have to think the list of folks who would have known about the incident would be limited, without the publicity.

Perhaps a few cops? Maybe a couple of State Fair workers and the half-dozen or so goofballs who follow the mindset of Iowans for Animal Liberation and the Animal Liberation Front?

No, I’m not going to suggest the Des Moines media was trying to advance such a ridiculous message — that eating food is wrong. But, I do think they were trying to milk the butter cow by drawing eyes and ears to their various platforms (more audience means more revenue).

The national media hopped on for the ride because it’s a bizarre story, plain and simple. In their minds, “bizarre” means “well-read.” And, for them, Monday’s big story was a bovine made of money, not butter.

Who knew vegans could bring home the bacon?

• • •

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