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Petting Zoos and Exotic Animals

The MN State Fair includes exhibits of exotic animals such as alligators, snakes, and lizards. Monty’s Traveling Reptile Show has been a staple at the fair since 1980. The fair also hosts the “insanely popular” Llama-Alpaca Costume Contest. These activities are done for profit and entertainment. There is no agricultural “message” and little if any educational value.

The MN State Fair does not have a petting zoo, per se, but does allow fairgoers to handle newborn animals of numerous species as well as hosts an exhibit called Kemps Little Farm Hands for kids. Children aged 3 to 10 help with farm chores and “see their food move from the farm to the grocery store.” While most of the experience is centered on plants and flowers, children are also “tending animals” but we’re certain they aren’t following the animals from the farm to the slaughterhouse to the grocery store to their dinner table. So much for transparency.

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