The Orion

PETA uses inflatable barn to raise awareness of animal cruelty


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Published 2013-05-17T19:44:00Z”/>

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Christine Lee

A large inflatable barn sat outside the Student Services Center Monday with an overhead entrance phrase: “What they never told you…”

Students walking by the SSC plaza peered through the dark opening of the inflatable farm set up by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA2, a branch of PETA that reaches out to high school and college campuses, set up the barn’s exhibit called “Glass Walls” to showcase what happens inside animal factory farms.

“When students find out about this, they find they don’t want to actually participate and support the meat industry,” said Kenneth Montville, a PETA2 college campaigns assistant.

Inside the farm, 7-foot tall posters surrounded the exhibit and explained the treatment of animals in factory farms.

A loud audio recording of a British voice talking about slaughterhouses played in the background, a gestation crate was set up on the ground and a battery cage and a metal wire chicken cage, filled with entangled puppet chickens was on display.

Factory farm sows will spend most of their lives in gestation crates, after they are impregnated via artificial insemination, Montville said.. When a sow’s piglets are born, she is moved to another crate until her babies are weaned. Then the mother pig is impregnated again and put back into the gestation crate.

The battery cage filled with puppet chickens demonstrates the condition of which factory farm chickens live. Each cage holds six to 12 chickens, leaving only enough space for them to sit, Montville said.

“It’s not uncommon for chickens to die before they’re sent to slaughter,” Montville said. “You find dead ones lying on the bottom of the cage.”

The second part of the exhibit featured a large screen playing a short documentary narrated by Paul McCartney. Only a few students filled the few rows of seats.

“This pulls back the curtain on animals killed for the meat, egg and dairy industry,” Montville said. “Animals are like us, in all the way that matters. They feel pain, joy and sadness just as acutely as we do.”

Protecting animal rights and regulating factory farms will help the environment in other ways, Montville said.

“It takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat,” he said. “There is a study that found if everyone eats one vegan meal a week, it would take 500,000 cars off the road.”

Montville is glad to see that Chico State cafeterias have a lot of vegan options, he said. A lot of campuses say their demands for vegan food in cafeterias are increasing, he said.

Ashley Reese, a freshman pre-nursing major, said she’s never been a meat eater but after seeing cadaver meat and muscles from her anatomy class, she made a decision to become vegetarian.

“Seeing how uncooked meat look similar to human muscle really made it come full circle,” Reese said.

Reese has been a vegetarian for more than one month and visiting the exhibit confirmed the reasons she became a vegetarian.

“We’re never going to be able to change eating meat, but giving animals better living conditions will make them healthier,” she said.

Theresa Doherty, a PETA2 touring intern from Boston said there are more options for food and clothing therefore nothing has to be murdered for us to live.

The torturing of animals in farm factories is causing a devastation to the planet and to people’s health, a belief some students have shown a difference of opinion in, Doherty said.

Doherty said she remembers exhibiting on a college campus in Oklahoma and some agriculture students set up a booth in protest.

We’re not trying to discourage anything,” she said. “We’d like to have them come out and have conversations with us.”

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