Activist was tackled in the outfield by a Giants player
After evading a visibly agitated Buster Posey and a confused Madison Bumgarner, a blue-clad fan rushed toward left field at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Friday night, where he was greeted with a tackle from Giants outfielder Ángel Pagán. The crowd went predictably bonkers, given the tension of a season-ending series against the rival Dodgers and an NL wild card berth on the line.
But 35-year-old Berkeley resident Wayne Hsiung wasn’t donning blue for Los Angeles; rather, he was wearing a shirt in support of Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, an animal rights advocacy group protesting the “rampant disease, extreme crowding, and mass usage of antibiotics” at the farm that supplies meat for “Dodger Dogs” and the hot dogs at Giants games.
“I didn’t relish the disruption of the game, I didn’t relish making the security guards chase me down, but I also don’t relish the torture and death of animals,” Hsiung, a former law professor and DxE’s lead investigator, told the East Bay Times over the weekend. Fellow activist Ashley Sloan joined Hsiung on the field. The group also disrupted a Dodgers game against the Colorado Rockies in August.
Direct Action Everywhere spent eight months investigating Farmer John, a Hormel Foods subsidiary and one of the largest animal agriculture sites in California. The farm raises approximately 150,000 pigs and, according to DxE, mass-doses them with myriad antibiotics in squalorous conditions, resulting in thousands of diseased swine. The group says that samples from the farm have tested positive for campylobacter, a strain of bacteria that causes infectious diahhrea, and staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired infections.
In addition to MLB games, DxE has interrupted three Major League Eating events, most recently protesting a poutine-eating contest in Toronto’s Dundas Square on Saturday.
The organization was founded in the San Francisco area in January 2013 and organized its first multi-city demonstration that August. Direct Action Everywhere garnered national attention for coordinating “die-ins” at Chipotle restaurants, claiming that the fast food chain was “humane washing” with visuals of halcyon farms while purposefully omitting imagery of animal slaughter. Earlier this year, DxE chapters in more than a dozen cities protested Whole Foods advertising campaigns, resulting in changes to the supermarket’s egg-laying standards.
Both MLB franchises have yet to issue statements on the incident.