OK, vegetarians: some of you are not going to like this.
But before the flaming commences in the comments section below, please hear me out, and please understand that I am referring only to a very small faction in your ranks -- analogous to the "Tea Party" wing nuts in the Republican party -- folks who just make the rest of you well-meaning types look positively ridiculous.
This past weekend, according to reports, a cadre of activists calling themselves "Iowans for Animal Liberation" apparently hid inside the Iowa State Fair building containing the iconic Butter Cow, a 100-plus-year-old (and let's face it, harmless) tradition at the fair, only to emerge after hours to break into the refrigerated display case and vandalize the cow and the case with gallons of red paint.
This is not protest. This is breaking and entering, vandalism and criminal mischief. What's worse, it does nothing for the cause of animal welfare, and harms only the artist who worked many hours on the sculpture and the thousands upon thousands of ordinary folks who simply enjoy the quaint tradition of seeing the butter cow (not to mention the fair workers who had to clean up the mess).
Did any of the perpetrators honestly believe that this was going to attract a single solitary soul over to their point of view? If they did, then they are every bit as stupid as they seem. This point is driven home all the more by the fact that the paint they used very likely contained a binder called casein, which is derived from -- wait for it -- mammalian milk! The very same dairy products they were supposedly "protesting."
I've been blogging here on Huffington Post and elsewhere for a long time, and I have grown accustomed to the people I euphemistically refer to as the "Carnivorous Vegans" explaining in great detail why it is that my consumption of flesh means that I am Satan-spawn. And that's fine, they can and will deride me all they please. They even come up with a rare valid point from time to time. But even these folks are not the ones I am condemning here today. At least they have the decency (most of the time) to engage in rational debate as opposed to vandalizing artwork and scaring children.
Now it would be an interesting twist if, as one friend of mine suggested, this turns out to be some shills from Big Ag trying to make the animal rights activists look bad, but Occam's razor says that's unlikely. What's far more likely is that this was a couple of kids who aren't what you might call the coolest cucumbers in the drawer. They think they've struck a blow for proletariat bovines everywhere, when really what they've done is piss a lot of people off and convert not one person to their point of view. It was stupid, malicious, and completely pointless. They will in all likelihood face jail time while having accomplished exactly nothing for the well-being of farm animals.
Having said that, let the vegan pig-roast of me and my fellow omnivores commence.