PETA Activist Arrested for Tossing Pie at Smithfield Foods Executive

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activist Charlie McKenzie, 24, was arrested on June 20 for throwing a pie in the face of Smithfield Foods Europe president Raoul Baxter.

Baxter had just begin giving a speech at the World Pork Congress when McKenzie jumped onto the stage yelling, “Meat pimp!” and then tossed the pie into Baxter’s face. McKenzie also unfurled a banner before she was escorted off stage and arrested.

Baxter told the crowd that, “It tastes nice, I can’t wait for lunch,” before cleaning himself off and proceeding with his speech.

McKenzie was later released after Baxter declined to make a complaint against her.

PETA’s Dawn Carr told the Daily Star (UK),

It may have taken Mr Baxter only moments to wipe the pie off his face but the mess of animal suffering, environmental destruction and lifethreatening disease that his company causes won’t disappear so easily.

We want people to stop and think about adopting a humane and healthy vegan diet.

Of course the speeches at the World Pork Congress show the sort of effect that PETA is having on curbing meat eating. Baxter’s speech was largely about how Smithfield has been successfully expanding into several international markets. A representative from Brazil later gave a speech detailing how pork production in that country had increased 116 percent from 1994 to 2002. Go veg? Apparently the other white meat still enjoys a wee bit more popularity.


It’s tofu at the top. The Daily Record (UK), June 21, 2003.

Protester evades security. Farmers Guardian (UK), June 27, 2003.

Splat! Meat Boss Is Left Pie Eyed. Sunday Mercury (UK), June 22, 2003.

It’s The Business; Veggie Might. Daily Star (UK), June 21, 2003.

Jeff Nelson Finally Gets Something Right

I did not think I’d ever find any sort of common ground with VegSource.Com’s Jeff Nelson, but then I stumbled across an article he wrote early last year that forced me to change my mind.

Nelson goes on and on about how many gallons of water it takes to produce a pound of beef (he claims 2,500 gallons; cattlemen claim 441 gallons) when he finally has some insight saying,

So what’s the beef with beef, when it comes to water?

Simply put: it’s wasteful and irresponsible to squander our precious resources on a luxury item like meat.

Hmmm… meat a luxury? Turning to my dictionary I find luxury defined as “sumptuous living or equipment : great ease or comfort : rich surroundings.” That definitely describes meat.

Is it really irresponsible to use so much water to produce such luxurious beef? Don’t we, after millions of years of evolution, finally deserve to bask in such luxuries? If Nelson wants to deprive himself of life’s pleasures that is his business, but I think I’ll still occasionally partake of a sumptuous, luxurious steak.

BTW, just as an example of how separated from reality Nelson is, he goes on about all the water used in producing beef and then adds,

How, as a vegetarian, do you feel about paying astronomical water rates when your lifestyle choices mean you’re likely consuming a fraction of the water each month that your meat-eating friends are guzzling each day?

I would like to know where in the United States Nelson is that he is paying “astronomical water rates.” The major problem with water in the United States is that it is almost always subsidized by federal, state and local officials and is far too cheap (because the subsidized price discourages conservation efforts). Regardless, water is hardly allocated in any sort of functioning market, so the idea that the amount of water that cattlemen use drives up the price of water is absurd.

(To get an idea of just how low the price of water is, the average price for water in the United State is just over 52 centers per cubic meter, or about one cent for every five gallons used.)


How much water to make one pound of beef? Jeff Nelson, VegSource.Com, March 1, 2001.

Animal Rights Activists vs. the Heifer Project

In September 2001 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for an end to U.S. government contributions to Heifer International. Now that the events of September 11 are fading, PETA and other animal rights activists are returning to that campaign against one of the most innovative international charity’s around.

Activists are angry because Heifer International is planning to send chickens to and other farm animals to poor families in Afghanistan. The charity specializes in using donor money to buy people in developing world animals from cows to camels and everything in between. Currently, Heifer International is working in Afghani refugee camps in Pakistan. The charity is giving families chickens, goats and cattle and training the families to care for the animals.

The idea behind Heifer International is to use aid money to make families self-sufficient rather than dependent on aid agencies.

Of course this is anathema to animal rights activists. As animal rights activist Barbara Biel put it in the subject of an e-mail protesting Oxygen’s support such efforts, “‘Send a Chick to Afghanistan’ is CRUEL!” The sample letter Biel and other activists are circulating is hilarious.

For example,

The HPI gift catalog shows numerous smiling adults and children hugging or cuddling goats, rabbits, pigs, sheep, llama, chickens, cows, water buffalo . . . Not surprising, there are no pictures showing the animals being killed for consumption. The catalog does mention protein, meat, selling offspring, but pictures of slaughter would make this catalog messy and off-putting to the folks they want to sucker in with cutesy writing such as:

“Your granddaughter is celebrating her very first Christmas. What better way to share the joy you see in the eyes of such happy, healthy little girl than to give her a trio of bunny rabbits to a struggling family in her name.”

. . .

How happy and joyous will this child be when she’s old enough to know that violence was done in her name? How happy and joyous would a child be witnessing the killing of rabbits?

And so on. But it gets better. The letter continues,

According to the catalog, HPI provides “free Sunday school lessons and faith-based materials similar to ‘A hero’s Story’ that teach children ages 5-12 about the problems of hunger and poverty.” No doubt, these materials fail to mention that HPI teaches exploitation and lack of compassion for other living beings. HPI fails to mention that it teaches killing. HPI doesn’t tell young people that it is invested in spreading animal agriculture, rather than plant-based sustainable agriculture [one would think the presence of animals might tip them off, but maybe Biel’s a bit too slow to notice that]. There is no education about the politics of hunger and food distribution, and the dire health and environmental costs of animal agribusiness.

. . .

Contrary to HPI’s belief, animals are not renewable resources but individuals capable of experiencing not only crude emotions like fear, but far more subtle and complex emotions such as love, grief, pride, shame, joy, and loneliness.

Huh? Has anyone ever seen a rabbit act ashamed?

The letter ends by calling Heifer International “insidious and dangerous because it promotes violence and labels it ‘doing good.'” Apparently opposed to animal rights activist who promote lies and label it as “the truth.”

PETA, meanwhile, is upset that about $13 million in international aid from the United States has been distributed through Heifer International. It wants people to write the U.S. Agency for International Development and “ask that it immediately stop exporting animal cruelty.”


Stop the Use of Tax Dollars to Promote Animal Cruelty in Developing Countries. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Press Release, September 20, 2001. thinks HPI is doing good work–Pls send letter. Barbara Biel, E-mail communication, Accessed: January 24, 2002.

Animal People: Sure People Died on Hijacked Planes, But What about the Animals?

Sometimes animal rights activists reach such new lows that it is difficult to believe that sane people actually believe such things. Such was my reaction to an editorial in the October 2001 edition of Animal People which actually compared the plight of the flight attendants who apparently had their throats slit by terrorists to the fate of animals in slaughter houses.

The unsigned editorial, “Osama bin Laden on meat and denial,” notes that among the effects of the terrorists was a training manual of sorts which advised the terrorists to look upon the killing of human beings in the same way they might look upon the ritual slaughter of animals. That people willing to commit such horrendous terrorist acts would have no problem with this is obvious, but the Animal People editorialist also finds the analogy to be a sound one. According to the editorial,

That terrorists might slash the throats of some jet riders to intimidate others, without causing them discomfort, en route to murder thousands, is self-evidently preposterous. Yet bin Laden obviously did manage to convince the hijackers that their deeds would have no more negative moral consequence than killing animals for meat. Many and perhaps most of the nine billion animals sent to slaughter in the U.S. each year, as well as the billions killed abroad, have at least as long to sense doom as did the September 11 victims. Neither are the animals’ last cries as unlike the cell phone calls made by some of the September 11 victims as the typical meat-eater would like to believe.

Equally disturbing to meat-eaters might be awareness that doomed animals, too, often put up frantic resistance, like the passengers who tried to retake United Airlines flight 93, saving countless lives by causing the hijackers to crash the plane far from any target.

The editorial then goes into a long-winded specious argument that meat eating is, if not the sole cause of violence in human societies, then at least a major contributing factor, or as the editorial sums up its case, “The horror of September 11 was a reflection of human attitudes toward meat. You don’t have to take our word for it. Take the word of Osama bin Laden.”

There is, of course, an alternative explanation which is that there are only two groups, to this writer’s knowledge, who insist on devaluing human life to the point of seriously comparing the death of a cow in a slaughter house to the death of a woman who has her throat slit by a box cutter — terrorists working at the behest of Osama bin Laden and the animal rights extremists.


Osama bin Laden on meat and denial. Animal People, October 1, 2001.