FARM brings “The Green” to campus
Volunteers for the Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) posted up outside Perkins Wednesday and Thursday, advocating for the importance of veganism as they deemed the industrial farm animal slaughter practices to be unacceptable.
The volunteers stood outside in the rain and blustery winds, with a smile on their face and a dollar in their hand for any student who agreed to watch their four-minute video compilation on the mistreatment and suffering of farm animals. John Kane, a 22 years old volunteer from Geneva, Florida, laid out some of the implications of continuing to consume animal products.
“Educate yourselves on what’s happening in the industries,” Kane said. “Male chickens are ground alive only a few days old, female chickens are sent to the slaughter house once they stop producing eggs [around two years old] and cows are sent off to slaughter in a mere five years.”
Kane said “cage-free” and “free range” are often misleading terms. He said it is important to know that animals are still suffering and dying, and that thousands of deaths still happen even if companies claim to be humane.
“Free range isn’t pretty—they all [animals] want to live just like we do,” Kane said.
He also expressed the need to focus on not just the meat-related issues with slaughter, but also the treatment of animals in egg and dairy production, such as with gestation bands—the tiny, cramped and filthy cages animals are housed in.
“If your diet is for the animals, it doesn’t make sense to cut meat and not eggs or dairy,” Kane said. “It’s not flesh, but they’re still suffering. If we have the option to not inflict suffering, then we shouldn’t.”
Kane said students who want to get more involved with this issue are encouraged to join the fight with FARM by handing out flyers, volunteering at nonprofit organizations for animals and even joining the university’s “Veg Club.”
“My favorite thing is to help farm sanctuary animals that have been rescued from other farms or just animals that need homes,” Kane said. “They’re usually always looking for volunteers and it’s refreshing to hang out in an environment like that.”
Ashley Smith, a senior geography major, said the video they showed was tough to watch because she considers herself an animal lover.
Smith said the video made an impact on her, and after reflecting on issues of animal consumption, she may possibly transition to veganism.
“Although I’m very much about humane practices, veganism is a lot of dedication and I still love variety in food,” Smith said. “But, it’s got me thinking [about mass slaughter practices] and there is so much more that can still be done.”