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Animal rights group holds vigil in Loganton

Photos Provided Members of the Animal rights group “Pittsburgh Animal Save’ hold signs and line up near Nicholas Meats LLC, at vigil.

An animal rights group known as Pittsburgh Animal Save was in Loganton yesterday holding signs and talking to local residents about animal cruelty and the benefits of going meat-free.

As their name states, the group is from Pittsburgh, and regularly puts together demonstrations near pig, cow, and chicken slaughterhouses.

This event, which started at 6 a.m. on Monday, was in regards to Loganton based Nicholas Meats LLC, which processes about 500 head of cattle a day.

The Sugar Valley area is a very farm-based, pro-hunting community, where people are proud of where they come from and what they do, so the local response to the appearance of the organization in this town of around 500 was mixed, but mostly leaned to the side of the meat-eaters.

Cars slowed down and looked at the protesters, others beeped, some people revved their engines, and the occasional Pennsylvania State Police trooper made patrols through the streets.

Eric Grady, Co-Organizer of Pittsburgh Animal Save stood on the corner with his colleagues holding a sign that said “dairy = veal,” next to a bigger sign held by a fellow demonstrator that said “THIS WAY TO SLAUGHTERHOUSE,” with a large arrow pointing east in the direction of Nicholas Meats.

Quite often the group, made up of about 20 people, was ignored. However, every so often vehicles traveling the other direction beeped their horns and waved at the dozens of people who were casually hanging out and visiting at one of the four barbecued meat picnics held on East Main Street. The barbecues had been organized over the past two weeks, mostly by Sugar Valley residents who had read about the event on Facebook. One person set up a table near the bank with treats suitable for everyone, and offered vegan apple dumplings and churros, as well as free coffee.

A Loganton resident who spoke as the representative of the meat-themed picnic organizers said that they were having the cookouts to show support to the local farmers. “We respect their right to protest, even if we don’t agree. Today local friends got together on this sunny day and cooked some prime rib, and hamburgers, and chicken, and other meats, and we showed our area farmers that we back them up,” she continued. “We didn’t charge anyone to come and eat with us, it was all free, and we had a lot of local businesses donate almost all of the items. We had such a good turnout, that we are thinking about doing some kind of neighborhood picnic like this again in the future.”

Grady, from the Pittsburgh Animal Save, stated that he was satisfied with his mission to Loganton. “We bore witness and raised awareness for the animals. We attempted conversation with the community, and most of the people we encountered were very friendly and seemed to have that country charm,” he continued. “The police officers were very personable and helpful. There were a few folks who found it necessary to heckle, but that’s to be expected. As far as the scenery, the rolling foothills of the Appalachian mountains are stunning!’

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