That llama in Philly to protest the DNC is actually an alpaca – Metro US

That llama in Philly to protest the DNC is actually an alpaca

That llama in Philly to protest the DNC is actually an alpaca
Just Us Riders

Livestock on a leash is just one of the unexpected sights you can see at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

While commonly misidentified as a llama, the protester identified as Shay is actually an alpaca on a cross-country journey to spread its pro-local foods and farming message.

The alpaca has been popping up in pictures and videos on social media as he is spotted by various visitors. The Philly city government and police department announced on Twitter proudly that they had confirmed the animal was actually an alpaca.

“The@PhillyPolicejust officially logged the following report: “THE LLAMA HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS AN ALPACA,PhiladelphiaGov tweeted.

It turns out that the man with the alpaca is a farming activist who has visited cities around the U.S. with Shay the Alpaca to raise awareness about food issues and farming culture.

Ethan Abbott, known as Ethan the Farmer, runs “Just Us Riders,” an activist organization opposed to corporate culture, and has been spotted in cities including Chicago and Cleveland.

Why is he in Philly during the DNC? To keep spreading his pro-local food message, he said.

“To take back our farms, food, families and freedom,” Abbot said while leading Shay around the fence outside the DNC near FDR Park where protesters were gathered. “When corporations get involved in our farms, food, families and government, we’ve got a problem … We the people aren’t being heard.”

Abbot, a Strasburg, Pennsylvania native, is on a 4,500 plus mile voyage “from sea to shining sea” to raise awareness, with visits to local farmers and community gardens planned along the way.

Abbot said he trained Shay to follow him and deal with large crowds. She symbolizes his mission, and also attracts interest that helps him spread his message, he said.

“Look how calm she is,” he said. “I don’t need a sign, because they all come talk to me.”