The People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a protest today in downtown Des Moines that involved a partially nude woman. 26-year old Anna West climbed into a small wire cage dressed in orange body paint accented with black stripes designed to make her look like a tiger. PETA had said West would be appearing covered only in body paint, but she donned black panties and orange patches over the nipples of her breasts to comply with Iowa law. West says she’s trying to point out the cruel way circus animals are treated in America.PETA hopes the protest will keep people from buying tickets when the Ringling Brothers Circus stops in Des Moines in two weeks.Several hundred people surrounded West’s cage located in a busy downtown plaza–including Dirk Gearsdorf of Des Moines. Gearsdorf, a union metal worker, doesn’t think PETA is going to sway many people’s opinions. He thinks people showed up just to see West’s painted body.West says people may show up to see her scantily clad body, but she hopes they will also listen to the message about animals.Another Des Moines man also didn’t think the protest would change anybody’s mind, but he credited West for having the guts to do what she did.Phyllis Mumford of Des Moines says PETA sometimes goes too far in their protests — but she didn’t think this stunt was over the line. She called it “tastefully done.”Mumford says she’s protested in the past for some of the things PETA supports.
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