BROOKLYN, NY (ABC4) – Three animal rights activists have been arrested after taking the stage during Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest as they protest the treatment of pigs at the nation’s largest hog farm located in the Utah.
The protesters – Scott Gilbertson, Robert Yamada and Josh Marxen – wore masks of Star Wars stormtroopers and Darth Vader as they took to the stage and displayed “EXPOSE SMITHFIELD’S DEATHSTAR” signs.
The videos below are courtesy of Direct Action Everywhere.
The three were eventually cleared by police and security after one protester was caught in a headlock by hot dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut, while another was tackled to the ground by security.
According to Direct Action Everywhere, the “Deathstar” reference likens the mega villainous weapon from the Star Wars film series to the nation’s largest industrial pig farm, which supplies Nathan’s hot dogs.
This plant, Smithfield Foods’ Circle Four Farms, is located in Milford, Utah.
The group sent two of its investigators to the farm who rescued two sick piglets and documented dead and sick piglets lying in their mother’s feces and injured adult pigs physically unable to stand.
The pair, Paul Darwin Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung, were later charged with multiple crimes following FBI raids on farm animal sanctuaries during a nationwide ‘pig hunt’. Their trial is set for the week of September 9.
The protest was organized by Direct Action Everywhere activist Alicia Santurio, who stuck her hand on a basketball court in the middle of an NBA game in April.
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