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Puppy in a bun protest draws ire of some Joplin residents - KOAM TV 7

Puppy in a bun protest draws ire of some Joplin residents

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A national animal rights activist group hits the streets of Joplin with a demonstration today.

Mercy for Animals is an organization that conducts undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses.  They believe the best way to stop animal cruelty is to choose vegetarian.

Today during the lunch rush they set up at the intersection of 7th and Main in Joplin with an inflatable ten foot puppy stuffed inside a hamburger bun.

"We have a massive inflatable puppy inside of a hamburger bun to help people to question, 'why would eat a cow, pig or chicken if we wouldn't eat our dog or cat?'"  says Mercy for Animals Campaign Coordinator Phil Letten.  "We just feel the people of Joplin have a right to know where their food comes from and how the animals are treated so that they can all make informed decisions."

But the campaign didn't sit well with residents we spoke with.

"That's the reason that they're grown, like the pigs and the cows and the chickens, they're grown specifically for us to eat, you know, there's not like a puppy that's grown - you grow them for pets," says Joplin resident Alma Metzermacher.

Joplin resident Christian Repsher is not a vegetarian but he still appreciates the campaign's message.

"Just to bring awareness to the people that all animals are equal," Repsher says.

The message however is not being received well by Bradley Moll, the president of the Jasper County Farm Bureau.

"It makes me pretty angry, pretty upset," says Moll.  "They are misinforming the public on how we treat animals.  I'm a farmer.  I raise cattle and everything I do with my cattle I do - I treat them humanely.  I treat them gently.  I do not harm them."

Some passerby's called the display a little invasive.  They feel they should be able to walk or drive around town without having the message they don't necessarily agree with thrown in their face.

"I think it's a little offensive for people to compare that to eating other meat," says Carthage resident Mary Jennings.  "Yes, I eat meat, but no we love animals and I think the cruelty to animals like I've seen on the news, I think they should be put in prison."

Protestors say the solution to that is simple.

"We can choose kindness over cruelty each and every time we sit down to eat by choosing vegetarian," says Letten.

This new campaign is making it's way across the Midwest right now and Mercy for Animals plans to spread their message across the entire country visiting various cities along the way.

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