A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

May 2, 2011

Animals Forced to Continue to Give Birth on Display at the Fair

Each year the California State Fair boasts a Livestock Nursery exhibit, where extremely pregnant animals are transported to the fair, and are situated to give birth in front of fair goers. Last year, a frightened pregnant dairy cow escaped confinement and was gunned down at the fair. Both she and the unborn calve were killed. The result was public outcry, protests, demand for investigations and requests to examine the need to continue these birthing exhibits.
The Maginot Line was constructed by those touting the worthiness of perpetuating tradition, and the educational value of witnessing the miracle of live birth in person, against those asserting the inherent inhumanity of the exhibits and that actual births can be witnessed through innovations in web technology without disturbing the mothers and babies.

Friday, April 29th, the Cal Expo Board of Directors met again, ostensibly to discuss the issue of continuing these exhibits in the upcoming fair. The fair's staff recommended doing it again, while members of the animal welfare, veterinary, agricultural communities as well as unaffiliated fair goers pleaded for its cessation. Evidence, of the inhumanity escaped pregnant cowof transporting a heavily pregnant, hormonal animal to the exhibit to be put on display in contravention of the animal's instinctual need to seek seclusion and safety from predators while birthing was submitted as well as testimony by 4Hers and others in the agricultural community who felt that alternatives were available and this sort of "entertainment" for entertainments sake was not moral. One 4Her recited the 4H pledge to use her head for clearer thinking, her heart for greater loyalty, her hands for larger service, and her health for better living for her club, community, country, and world as a mandate to question the appropriateness of the birthing display.

In response to the testimony, the Cal Expo Board of Directors stunned the crowd by saying that they were not considering whether or not to continue the live birth exhibit, but rather, whether modifications were made to it to protect the crowd from escaping animals, and that the exhibit would continue for now.

Sadly, the lessons taught will neither be those of respect, empathy, and compassion for living things, nor the requisite awe for nature,  but rather, that the human predators are the worst kind as they would torment animals for pleasure.  It is merely a matter of time that science, technology and enlightened compassionate thinkers bypass the Maginot Line of stagnation and leaves the old ideas in the dust.

Article first published as Animals Forced to Continue to Give Birth on Display at the Fair on Technorati.

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