Vegan Activists Vandalize Iowa State Fair Butter Cow

Paint-splattered cow intended to shame carnivores

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AP Photo/Iowans for Animal Liberation

In this photo provided by Iowans for Animal Liberation is the 2013 butter cow at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Iowa State Fair’s iconic butter cow — a meticulously sculpted 600-pound slab of bovine-shaped butter traditional to the event since 1911 — has been restored to pristine status after vegan vandals slathered it in red paint early Sunday morning.

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The animal rights activists, who identified themselves as “Iowans for Animal Liberation” in an email to the Des Moines Register after the act, apparently hid in the fairgrounds’ Agriculture Building (located in east Des Moines) Saturday evening, waiting for the fair to close. Then they broke into a refrigerated room where the massive butter cow was held for display and poured red paint over it, painting the words “Freedom For All” on the exhibit’s display window.

“After dismantling the lock to the refrigerated case housing the Butter Cow with a screwdriver, we doused the entire butter sculpture in red paint,” read the email, according to the Register. “The paint represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms, and dairies.” The group goes on to paint its actions as a “wake up call” to those who consume animal products, warning that they’re “directly supporting suffering and misery on the largest scale the world has ever known.”

No one has yet been arrested, but Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright noted authorities are reviewing security footage taken of the building’s exterior.

The act of vandalism occurred early enough that butter sculptor Sarah Pratt, who was informed early Sunday morning, was able to touch up the cow by the time the exhibit opened at 9.a.m., the fair’s marketing director Lori Chappell told the Register. Chappell added: “We didn’t miss a beat.”

Does attacking popular traditions really persuade anyone in the long run? It’s unclear, but Iowa Animal Rescue League director Tom Colvin told the Register, “Quite frankly, it’s situations like this — attacking beloved Iowa traditions like the butter cow — are not going to get the general public on your side. They have a reverse effect.”

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Different approaches affect individuals differently.  Many older folks will never examine the choice to consume cows and pigs (who have the same cognitive levels as a three-year-old human child) but protect and love dogs.  

However, younger people who are still open to questioning cultural conditioning may decide to do some research on the net about what happens to the animals during breeding (ever heard of a 'rape rack'?) confinement (did you know male calves are immediately torn from their mothers, who cry out in anguish and desperately try to go after their babies?  They are then shoved into tiny veal crates where they will spend their short lives) and slaughter (have you watched Earthlings yet?)

It's unfortunate that the mainstream media is more interested in covering 'stunts' than a serious discussion of the ethics of using animals for disease causing food.  But until that changes, some AR activists will continue to use these methods, because they get publicity, pure and simple.


there is part of me that says this was wrong and agrees with others that it gives vegans/vegetarians a bad name, but another part of me says YES good for them because when we protest "the right way" we are not heard or we are made fun of.


annemarie you dippy chiroderma are both ignorant idiotic morons 

annemarie 1 Like

Bottom line is dairy "farming" is torture for the animals for a product none of us need and, in fact, would be much better off without.  Our health care costs would go down, the environment would benefit and the animals would cease to be tortured.  So, all in all, a good thing.

Chiroderma 2 Like

I agree with this statement: “The paint represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms, and dairies.” A huge number of animals are killed to provide us with food that we don't really need, we can do great with a vegetarian lifestyle. However, I don't agree with the way the message is being spread by some extreme groups,it's just replying violence with more violence 


Terrorists are here too. 


This is so stupid.  All they did is make everyone hate vegans more.  I think it is wrong that they went to this length to make a statement that looks like an attack on people rather than a message for the animals. They pretty much invalidated their cause by doing this.  If you are vegan and have taken up the cause for animal rights, do it the right way instead of trying to "shock" people.  I've wanted to be vegan for a while but this kind of stuff really turns me off.  I don't want to be associated with crazies like this.  They're almost as bad as the Westboro Baptist Church.

ChiefChad 2 Like

I love the vegan activists! 



Typical lib BS     destroy the things you don't like.  Just because you don't like it doesn't make it bad or wrong.  

Opinions are like ash oles,,,,everybody has one