The group "Iowans for Animal Liberation" sent out this photo claiming credit for vandalizing the butter cow.

The group “Iowans for Animal Liberation” sent out this photo claiming credit for vandalizing the butter cow.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is belittling the vandals who dumped a gallon of red paint on the famed butter cow at the Iowa State Fair early Sunday.

Grassley says those criminals, who reportedly hid in the Ag Building until after closing and broke into the display cooler, should “get real” if they have a beef with the cattle industry.

Grassley says, “Say all you want to about animal agriculture, but you shouldn’t feel free to destroy what is considered a landmark of the state fair.”

No arrests have been made in the incident and authorities are reviewing security tapes from the fairgrounds. The group that claimed responsibility for the act calls itself Iowans for Animal Liberation. Grassley calls them misguided.

“The butter cow is a work of art and it’s pretty personal to most Iowans, particularly those that visit the state fair,” Grassley says. “We don’t have to tolerate the sort of vandalism, and it wasn’t anything but vandalism that happened that way.”

The Republican from New Hartford spent several hours at the fair on Monday and was upset that such destructive actions would be taken at an event designed to showcase all that’s good about Iowa agriculture.

“My quote was, ‘Get real,'” Grassley says. “There’s a good way and a bad way of expressing your opposition to animal agriculture, whether it’s in an academic way or a political way or whether it’s in written intellectual statements or whether it’s out on a soap box.”

The vandals also smeared the slogan, “Freedom For All,” on the display case window in the red paint. Grassley says their actions are pure vandalism and do not equate to free, political speech.