If you've ever been to the Iowa State Fair, then you've probably heard of the Butter Cow.
I have not been to fair, nor I have I heard of the Butter Cow...until this week. On Saturday a group of animal rights activists hid in the commercial building at the fair until after dark, broke into the room with the Butter Cow and vandalized it:
Er, something like that.
Thankfully, crews had it cleaned up and all brand new looking before the first fair goers made their way over.
The Butter Cow is a rather historic piece at the Iowa State Fair, going all the way back to 1911 when it was first displayed. Over the years, the cow has been recreated by different artists:
In 1911 J.K. Daniels sculpted the Fair's first butter cow and was succeeded by J.E. Wallace of Florida. In 1957, Earl Frank Dutt of Illinois took over the sculpting duties. Norma “Duffy” Lyon of Toledo, Iowa, began sculpting in 1960, becoming the fourth person and first woman to sculpt the Fair's butter beauties. Lyon passed away in June of 2011.
In 2006, after 15 years of apprenticing with Duffy, Sarah Pratt of West Des Moines became the Fair's fifth butter sculptor. In addition to her first Butter Cow, Pratt also crafted Superman of Superman Returns (Norwalk, Iowa, native Brandon Routh, who starred as the Man of Steel) and "Mr. State Fair" Bill Riley (in honor of his 60th Fair).A regular picture of the cow with sculptor Sarah Pratt:
More about how the butter cow is sculpted:
The Butter Cow starts with a wood, metal, wire and steel mesh frame and about 600 lbs. of low moisture, pure cream Iowa butter. Once inside the 40-degree cooler, layers of butter are applied until a life-size butter cow emerges - measuring about 5-1/2-ft high and 8-ft long.
While a real dairy cow weighs more than 1,000 pounds, a 600-lb. butter cow would butter 19,200 slices of toast and take an average person two lifetimes to consume. Much of the butter is recycled and reused for up to 10 years.It isn't just a cow either. Each year a companion sculpture is added and, in the past, has included Harry Potter, Superman, and John Wayne. For more information, click here.
I'm pretty the end result of this whole ridiculous stunt is that: 1) the public now this animal rights group is crazy, destructive, and vandals, 2) news of the display has spread well past Iowa, and 3) people have rallied around the Butter Cow.
Good job, vandals!