Not Really by Kristi BaldenOn Monday, more than thirty highly motivated demonstrators participated in a peaceful protest at the entrance to the Advance Pierre Foods plant located on East Owen K. Garriott Rd, Enid. The diverse group was led by Robert Sneed, a retired worm sanctuary lobbyist, from Leetown, Oregon. Sneed organized the protest to “shine a light on mistreatment and marginalization wherever it exists.” Sneed indicated that the primary concern of the protesters was equal rights.  They took exception to the idea of “Advanced Foods.”

“To label some foods as more advanced, is just discriminatory!” Sneed yelled loudly into a traffic cone, because whoever was supposed to bring the electronic bullhorn forgot. “What about the foods that haven’t had the opportunity to advance, like the brussels sprout for example? How many recipes even call for brussels sprouts?” Sneed asked with both passion and an underlying tone of sympathy. He continued with, “And kale, how often do people automatically use lettuce, when kale would be a more than adequate substitution?” The like-minded crowd cheered with approval, and an occasional “Amen” could be heard from an evangelical protester.

Man holding sign that reads, "Don't steal from Medicare to support socialized medicine."

As the crowd disbursed, several of the protesters attempted to explain the concepts of “socialized medicine” and “Medicare” to the elderly counter protester, and home-schooled sixth grade graduate, Bernard Whitson.

Erica Jones, a registered herbalist, and all-around food advocate, told reporters, “Someone has to speak up for these less advanced foods, because let’s face it, most people can’t hear food talk, like I can, because I’m a vegetation empath.”

Many of the protestors were just as concerned about the way that more advanced foods seem to be taking up all of the lime light. “Pomegranates are everywhere these days,” said Andrew Sellers, a pro-bono attorney for the ACLU, “Just try to get a good fruit drink these days without pomegranates in it….nearly impossible.” Sellers believes that the first step in helping less advanced foods will be for the more socially advanced foods to step aside willingly, as a matter of moral integrity.

Some people in the small crowd seemed disoriented that an ACLU lawyer used the phrase “moral integrity,” but they quickly regrouped and began to chant, “I don’t know what you’ve been told, turnips last and don’t get old.”

One counter protester came to protest the protest. Bernard Whitson, 67, of Bison, stood at the opposite end of the parking lot wearing his “Don’t Tread on Me” button, and holding up a sign about socialized medicine that he made for the last Tea Party rally he attended. When asked why he felt the need to counter-protest, he explained, “Anytime I hear someone whining about equal rights, I know darn well they’re trying to take away my freedoms.” He rambled on by adding, “We has to protect our liberties……and the constitution……from activists….taking my freedoms….because Barack Hussein Obama is a Socialist Muslim.” Whitson went on to rant about a string of factually inaccurate perspectives of the Founding Fathers, which first elicited looks of confusion, and then pity, from ten year old Tyler Brills who was attending the rally with his mother.

Three people in eggplant costumes holding gourds.

Protesters dressed like eggplants each held their favorite gourd, and lead the small crowd in a rousing rendition of “Kumbaya.”

The protest had been in full swing for over an hour before executives in the plant were made aware of the action. An employee who showed up two hours late for his shift was the first to carry the message about the protest from the parking lot, into the offices on site. Vince Strumpler, who arrived wearing the same clothes he had on the day before, and smelling of Southern Comfort, told his shift supervisor, “It’s crazy, I know, but when my seasonal allergies flare up it’s usually a skull splitting headache that comes with vomiting and diarrhea. And, oh, yeah there are some people dressed up like eggplants in the parking lot and they’re waving signs.”

The peaceful protesters disbanded quickly and quietly after executives sent Laura Fenton outside to address the group. She simply stated, “This is Advance Pierre Foods, NOT Advanced Pierre Foods.”