Vegan activists covered the Iowa State Fair’s famous butter cow with fake blood (red paint) early Sunday morning. But worry not: the butter cow, which has been a fair tradition since 1911, was quickly repaired, with more butter, and was ready for display again by Monday morning.
“The butter cow is fine,” Lori Chappell, the marketing director at the state fair told the Des Moines Register. “No one was hurt; no one was injured. It’s sad, because the butter cow is iconic of the Iowa State Fair.”
Iowans for Animal Liberation released a statement Sunday night claiming responsibility for the attack, which also included writing “Freedom for all” across the butter cow’s display window.
“The paint represents the blood of 11 billion animals murdered each year in slaughterhouses, egg farms, and dairies,” the group said in the statement.
“We intend this action to serve as a wake up call to all who continue to consume meat, dairy, eggs, leather, and all animal products: You are directly supporting suffering and misery on the largest scale the world has ever known.”
Butter sculptor Sarah Pratt told the Des Moines Register she received a call at 4 a.m. on Sunday, notifying her that the cow had been vandalized. Pratt and her team quickly went to work. “We didn’t miss a beat,” she told the paper as she put the finishing touches on the cow Monday morning.
News of the attack reached Chuck Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa. Grassley described the butter cow to the Des Moines Register as “emblematic of the greatness of the fair.”
“I think to the people who did the distressing of the whole fun at the fair, two words: Get real,” Grassley said.