BROOKLYN, NY (ABC4) – Three animal rights activists were arrested after walking on stage at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest as they protested the treatment of pigs at the nation’s largest pig farm factory located in Utah.
The protestors — Scott Gilbertson, Robert Yamada, and Josh Marxen — wore masks of stormtroopers and Darth Vader from Star Wars when they walked on stage and displayed “EXPOSE SMITHFIELD’S DEATHSTAR” signs.
The videos below are courtesy of Direct Action Everywhere.
The three were eventually removed by police and security after one protestor was placed in a headlock by hot-dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut, while another was slammed to the ground by security.
According to Direct Action Everywhere, the “Deathstar” reference compares the villainous mega weapon from the Star Wars film series to the largest factory pig farm in the country, which supplies Nathan’s hot dogs.
That factory, 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 diseased piglets laying in their mother’s feces and injured adult pigs physically unable to stand.
The two men, Paul Darwin Picklesimer and Wayne Hsiung, were subsequently charged with multiple felonies following FBI raids of farm animal sanctuaries in 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 glued her hand to a basketball court in the middle of an NBA game back in April.