July 05, 2001 10:30 AM

Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell, 61, who played farmer Arthur Hoggett in the 1995 hit “Babe” and its 1998 sequel, was among six animal rights activists arrested at a Vienna, Va., Wendy’s restaurant on Tuesday, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals told the Associated Press. Cromwell was reportedly taken into custody with the other demonstrators at the fast-food site while urging customers to eat elsewhere. The group was protesting what a PETA spokesman said was the mistreatment of cows and chickens by Wendy’s. In a statement released by PETA, which termed the Wendy’s demonstration as a “warning shot,” Cromwell said, “After ‘Babe,’ people recognized that pigs and other animals abused on factory farms are sensitive, gentle animals. It is high time that big corporations like Wendy’s stopped treating these wonderful animals like meat machines.” Denny Lynch, a spokesman for Wendy’s International Inc., said that he wasn’t aware that the actor was among those arrested at their restaurant. He added, “Our animal welfare guidelines equal or exceed those of McDonald’s or Burger King.”

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