This little piggy went to the Kansas State Fair.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
And this little piggy stayed home, as he did not want to view the bloody slaughter of intelligent creatures like himself.
Learning about agriculture takes on a whole new focus when PETA leads the class.
So now its PETA vs. the Kansas State Fair.
The free-speech battle could result in getting Paul McCartney banned from the fair in Hutchinson. At least his image and voice are threatened with censorship.
The former Beatle, a prominent vegan, narrates a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals video. And PETA wants to show it at the Kansas fair, which starts Sept. 7.
The 13-minute clip is filled with undercover footage from slaughterhouses. It shows dying, writhing piglets; chicks having their beaks snipped off; a cow flailing in blood as it dies, and shackled birds hanging upside down, moving along a conveyor system for their throats to be slit.
Nothing like a little farm to market demo.
A few weeks ago at the Iowa State Fair, officials got riled by the portion that showed a worker in a turkey plant using the F-word as he snapped a turkeys neck with his hands. PETA deleted the subtitles from the video, and it was allowed to play, set up on a TV on a table.
Kansas went further.
In a letter conditionally approving PETAs application, officials said PETA couldnt show a video or pictures that depict animal slaughter, animal harvest, hide removal, or show or depict live animals being decapitated, dismembered or butchered.
In other words, dont dream of portraying anything about how the sausage is made.
Such images must not be readily visible to passersby or the general public on any side of the booth.
Fair officials went too far.
PETA argues this is a content-based restriction at a public forum and promises a legal brawl. Theyve set the end of today as a deadline: Back off, or we sue.
The Kansas State Fair markets itself as the states largest classroom, even offering lesson plans for teachers.
For young children, graphic images of abuses are inappropriate. But this isnt a large billboard. It could be avoided.
The underlying problem is the massive gap between how much the average person understands about getting the pork chop on the plate, the milk in the glass and the every-animal-suffers view of PETA.
Perhaps if people didnt insist on pristine images from Charlottes Web, with animals happily trotting around the barnyard, the truth that horrific conditions do occur wouldnt have to be shoved into peoples faces quite so indelicately.
And Kansas could avoid a distracting legal tangle.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.