Normally animal rights activists gather to protest abuse of animals. But on this chilly January day in the Twin Cities, near the University of Minnesota campus, seventeen sheep are gathered outside a hotel where the activists are meeting and dining to discuss animal rights issues.
According to shepherd, Regert Bolussen, his sheep are furious with activists for their uncompromising slaughter and eating of broccoli and Brussels sprouts without regard for their status as members of the cabbage family and their right to peacefully exist on the earth.
The sheep have a permit for their demonstration and are loitering in front of the hotel while wearing protest signs that say, "Broccoli Holocaust" and "Brussels Sprouts Are Smarter Than Chickens". Mr. Bolussen, who claims to be an expert in sheep husbandry, says that his biggest ewe, "Gerta", talks to him and that Gerta recently told him about the senseless murder of innocent vegetables. "It was Gerta's idea to protest the convention," said Bolussen, "'cause the activists should know better than to feed on vegetables that have the same rights as sheep."
In a hastily prepared statement for the media, a spokesperson confirmed that both steamed broccoli and Brussels sprouts with tofu in a creamy soy base were on their luncheon menu. The statement went on to say, "While we respect the sheep right to protest, we have to eat, don't we?"
When asked if the sheep ever eat broccoli, Mr. Bolussen seemed offended and Gerta quickly came to stand next to him. After conferring with Gerta, Mr. Bolussen responded, "We, I mean they, the sheep, eat nothing but dumb grasses and stupid legumes; and sometimes hay, but never, ever members of the cabbage family like crisp and clever broccoli or regal Brussels sprouts."
According to Mr. Bolussen, he and Gerta have no further protest plans. "But," added Bolussen as he put his arm around Gerta, "we do support gay marriage rights and hope that it will someday lead to a more honest and open recognition of our long term, monogamous relationship."