These little piggies went to St. Paul

By Reuters Staff
September 4, 2008

police-and-pigs.jpg

By Lea Radick and Ashley Sears

ST. PAUL – Take a walk through downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, while the Republican National Convention is in town and you can expect to see roving bands of policemen with riot gear, keeping the peace.

What you might not expect to see is a dozen or so police posing with two fuzzy pink pigs.

The police and the pork were all smiles for a camera-wielding crowd Wednesday morning – the third day of the GOP convention – after one of the passing cops suggested they pose with the pigs for a photo.

No, the fuzzy pink pigs were not real, but were two people in costumes, campaigning for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, a nonprofit organization that advocates for animal rights. The PETA pigs held signs that read “Cut the Pork: Tax Meat!”

“PETA’s pigs are at the (Republican National Convention) to let people know about PETA’s tax meat campaign,” said Ashley Byrne, PETA campaign coordinator and spokeswoman for the pigs.

PETA is calling on Congress to impose an excise or “sin” tax on meat and is encouraging Americans to curb their meat consumption. The excise tax currently applies to products like alcohol and cigarettes.

PETA’s pigs have been popular at both the Democratic convention in Denver last week and this week’s Republican convention.

“We seriously just got a great reaction from everyone from police to the delegates to people protesting,” she said.

“Everybody loved the pigs.”

Photo credit REUTERS/Ashley Sears  PETA pigs Manuel Burgel (left) and Jessi Chang pose with policemen in downtown St. Paul, on Sept. 3, 2008

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

7 comments

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The only reason McCain picked Palin is to get the women’s vote that were going to Hilary. He keeps talking about how inexperiecned Obama is and then goes and picks an unknown. Just goes to show you how hipocritical the Republicans are, and will do and say anything to win. People really need to wake up, if you want another 4 more years of the same old crap, then vote for McCain.

Posted by Wayne Bryan | Report as abusive

McCain’s pick was the best pick since the Democrats are really in an uproar about Gov. Sarah Palin’s selection. There has been so much excitement over her pick that people don’t seem to even remember Biden or Obama since selection was announced. What have they been up to recently?

Gov. Palin has more executive experience than Obama or Biden since she has been a councilwomen, a mayor and is now the governor of Alaska along with being the head of the Alaska National Guard;whereas Obama has been a Community Organizer, got into the Illinois State Senate by disqualifying his democratic and republican opponents and thus ran alone for the seat. Then he became ran and became a Senator in Congress.

Most of our Presidents in recent history have been governors and not senators so when you compare the Democratic ticket, all you have is Senators who never ran a business or a city or a state. Remember Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush were all governors when they became president.

So if you were hiring someone to run your company, would you want to hire someone with management experience or a community organizer which may be something similar to a social worker or a union organizer? So McCain did make the best choice since all the commotion about Gov. Palin is proof of the wisdom of his choice. No one should be arguing about her management experience since even she has it and Obama and Biden don’t.

Many people are just being sexist or are just frightened Democrats who are really concerned about losing many of Hillary’s backers.

If John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin gets elected, we will have two mavericks that won’t stand for corruption in government as we have had all these years. Is it a wonder why Congress’ approval rating is down to about 9%?

Posted by realmerv | Report as abusive

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let’s clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it’s no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven’t gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

It’s now clear that John McCain’s campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks — on Barack Obama and on you — are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time

Neither mccain nor obama represent any good change in America. They don’t even try to represent good change for America. They want to continue with the same old crap washington has been giving us for years. Well,,,, let me re-phrase that. they continue making us pay for the same old crap they’ve been giving everyone else for years. I’m sick of not having a real choice in elections. Politicians are a reflection of the minds that put them there. Stand back and look at the house they have built.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

There are not many people who yet have a clear picture of Palin’s guiding principles outside of the right to life issue, so it is unfair, nay, impossible to make a decision on her objectively at this time. That being said, she represents a new breed of younger, fiscally responsible republicans who scare the bejeezus out of liberals because they seem to be substansive and principled in a way Washington has not seen in the past century.

To those who are accusing her of scare tactics and “more of the same”, step back and realize, the Republican party may still have a strong base in kooky fundamentalist Christians, but even most Republicans are tired of Bush, “compassionate conservativism”, and squandered opportunity.

No wonder their bile is so caustic now, the libs have just realized they might actually lose, and the Obamessiah isn’t quite the novelty they thought.

Posted by Da6d | Report as abusive

Being a hard working american, husband, father and veteran, I feel that the Dems are out of touch with the gravity of the current world situation. Our enemies are not diplomatic in their ways. We have to stand strong against the walls of freedom.

Two wrongs don’t make a right but chasing a warrior inspired by religion with a piece of paper ain’t gonna work!

As Americans have a duty to vote with our children in mind. This is the time to finish the mission in Iraq, build the economy and strengthen our future by educating the children.

I believe the McCain/Palin ticket is closer to the mark. The demorcratic ticket is weak and our enemies will take advantage of that, given the chance.

GOD bless America, the land that I love!

Posted by Ohio | Report as abusive

I have to say this is great publicity for PETA. I bet those cops just thought it would be funny if they posed with the pigs, but it really made for a great photo that helps PETA get their message across. As a meat-eater, though, I have to say I’m not sure I agree with this idea of taxing meat more, seeing that it’s already so expensive. I only eat meat free of antibiotics that are vegetarian fed and while I see more of this kind of meat being sold in stores, it is expensive already. I would be afraid that a tax on meat would make it even more expensive than it is, or even encourage farmers to cut more corners to cut expense of raising farm animals. This may even be worse for the animals on these farms and encourage more cruelty.

Posted by Emily Zamora | Report as abusive