October 4th, 2012 | University

PETA to bring ‘factory farms’ to campus

Chicken_Farm_034
Photo by Jennifer Gersten.

Yalies, prepare to meet your meat.

Peta2, the student wing of activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), will bring a mock “factory farm” to Old Campus this Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in an effort to teach students about the origins of their hamburgers, chicken tenders and other fleshy favorites.

The “farm” will consist of a 20-feet-by-30-feet inflatable tent with three internal compartments, one carrying a series of educational panels on animal intelligence and another with a life-size sow gestation crate common to factory farms. Interested students can cram themselves inside the crate to get a sense of the discomfort and prohibitively small amount of space the crates provide, said PETA spokeswoman Kaitlynn Kelly.

“Students are horrified to learn that cows have their throats slit when still fully conscious,” said Ryan Huling, the manager of college campaigns and outreach at PETA. “[For many], this is the first time they’re hearing about what the meat industry is really like. They can understand the torture that goes into every chicken nugget.”

The tent will also include a video, titled “Glass Walls,” that PETA said aims to expose the meat industry.

PETA representatives said they hope the effort encourages students to become vegan and vegetarian. Free samples of vegan cookies and nutritious tofu-miso ramen will be available outside, and attendees can pick up PETA stickers and informational brochures on leading a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

Huling said he was confident the exhibit would be effective, adding that past efforts have been well-received.

“Yale students are ahead of the curve, “ he said. “They won’t want to put their money in [the meat industry after viewing the film].”

Ilan Fischer ’13, president of the Yale Animal Welfare Alliance, said in a Thursday email that Yalies “put a high priority on sustainability” and are therefore more likely to make eco-friendly choices when it comes to food.

The exhibit took three months to put together and has been traveling to colleges across the country.