The fear that anti-meat activists might release disease into the U.S. food supply is real. Dr. Sam Holland, the governmental State Veterinarian for South Dakota, warned this week that bioterrorism poses a threat to American farming. “Someone could intentionally inflict a tremendous catastrophic event on our animal-health and food supply with tremendous ease,” Dr. Holland says. “We’re not immune here in the heartland.”

That’s one of the fears of farmers getting ready to travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for October’s World Dairy Expo. According to the Associated Press, “Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, suggested over the summer that an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at the expo would be positive because it would convince more people to become vegetarians.” (PETA has cancelled plans to protest the event in light of the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S.)