PETA exhibit at Union shows students the cruelty of slaughterhouses
- Sep. 19, 2012
- 1 Comment
Students can experience the horrors of slaugherhouses by visiting Peta2’s giant inflatable barn exhibit this week in front of the Kansas Union.
Peta2 is touring colleges across the nation this fall with their Glass Windows exhibit. The tour started on Sept. 10 and will end after Thanksgiving. It will be in front of the Kansas Union today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We’ve found that students are horrified to learn that cows have their throats slit while they’re still conscience and that chickens are scalded to death in boiling hot water before being turned into Mcnuggets,” said Ryan Huling, manager of college campaigns and outreach for Peta2. “It’s simply not the kind of industry that students want to support.”
The exhibit is split into two sections. The first section has facts and pictures of animal cruelty along with examples of the small cages the animals are crammed into. The second section is a theatre with imitation cage seats and a graphic video showing the animals’ harsh living conditions and painful deaths.
“Wow,” Laisa Alcantar, a sophomore from Garden City, Kan., said after touring the exhibit. “I’ve never seen a video like that. I was kind of shocked at the things that happen in slaughter houses. I was appalled. The worst part was seeing the piglets being thrown down to kill because they were sick. There should be a better way to feed the population that isn’t that cruel.”
Huling said the purpose of the exhibit is to remind students of what’s behind closed doors in factory farms and slaughter houses and to look at the humane alternatives available, including vegetarian barbeque riblets, vegan pizza and other credulity-free options.
Some students hope for better living conditions for the animals but remain steadfast in their appetite for meat.
“Ignorance really is bliss when it comes to this kind of thing,” said Blaine Knox, a senior from Salina, Kan. Peta2 is the student division of PETA, which works with high school and college student groups around America on issues that directly affect students at their schools. Huling said Peta2 has seen a tremendous increase of students who identify as vegetarian since they were founded in 2002.
Peta2 coordinated with the University’s Compassion for All Animals student group in 2011 and 2012 to write a petition for more vegetarian and vegan options at the campus dining halls. Parendi Birdie, Compassion for All Animals founder, said the petitions were successful, and KU Dining Services will be adding more vegetarian and vegan options in the future.
Compassion for All Animals promotes a lifestyle free of cruelty and exploitations by spreading awareness about animal cruelty through discussions, lectures and volunteering at the humane society.
“All animals deserve the right to live free of suffering,” Birdie said.
Last spring, Compassion for All Animals hosted the University’s first cruelty-free fashion show, “Free Food, Passion and Compassion.” The student group also won the Student Group of the Year Award by Peta2 in recognition for its extraordinary efforts to help end animals’ suffering worldwide last semester.
— Edited by Stéphane Roque