04 April 2012

You are what you eat: Peta2 brings 3D factory-farming experience to college campuses

An idea that started out as a joke has erupted into an opportunity to take action.

On Friday, Peta2 announced an upcoming project that will bring a 3D factory-farming experience to college campuses nationwide this fall. Peta2’s Free for All blog states that the experience will be called “Peta2’s Glass Walls Exhibit: 3D.”

The experience will consist of a 20-by-30-foot inflatable tent. Inside, students will be put into the position of animals in the meat industry by sitting in life-size gestation crates. Students will also be able to watch a 3D version of PETA’s powerful “Glass Walls” exposé. As students exit, they will receive free literature, peta2 stickers and vegan food samples to, according to the blog “help start them on a more compassionate track.” 

Students throughout the country had plenty to say regarding a possible visit to their campus. Alana Slutsky, photo major at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC said she would consider going for curiosities sake but the experience would not influence her in any way.

“I already don’t eat beef and have a limited diet of poultry,” Slutsky said. “I’ve seen how animals are treated and while I think it’s cruel and that there needs to be reform brought about to change the way these factory farms are run, I’m most likely going to keep to my normal diet.”

In regards to other students at FIT, Slutsky feels that they would not be affected as well. “The irony of it is they would walk in wearing leather pants and fur coats,” Slutsky said. “That’s New Yorkers for you…apathetic.”

Entrepreneurship and marketing major at Florida State University, Talia Brahms said if the peta2 campaign came to her campus, she would go for the experience and to “perhaps expand my perspective on the issue” by being able to see firsthand what an inhumane process it is to have animals under that control.

Similar to Slutsky’s point of view, Brahms does not think that the experience will be accepted by students. “Most people are unwilling to change their ways, especially for the likes of PETA, which has an image of being overly passionate to the point of crazy,” Brahms said.

If peta2 brought the 3D experience to the west coast, students might have contrasting opinions. Cellular and molecular biology major at California State University of Chico, Danielle Jeffrey said that seeing something so up close and personal would definitely influence her to not eat meat anymore.

“I think I probably would be scarred for life. I just would want to know how realistic this is, as in, not bias,” Jeffrey said. “I’m sure not all meat packaging places are like this. So I feel like it would be skewed to the worst of the worst.”

This brings up another issue. Some students may not want to attend at all because they are not interested while others may not participate because of the emotional aspect such as students similar to Jeffrey. “I don’t think I would personally go because I’d probably be too emotional seeing that in such a real perspective,” she said. “It’s one thing to see it on the TV and it’s another thing to live it almost vicariously."

Peta2’s project is still in the making, more details are to be released on a later date. In the meantime, Peta2 will have to brainstorm how to attract skeptical students to step into the experience and give the "Glass Walls" exhibit a chance.

If you want the "Glass Walls" exhibit to visit your school, contact Peta2 at College@peta2.com to get more details on scheduling a tour stop.

Elyssa Schwartz
Florida Throughout her life, Elyssa has always been environmentally conscious. She is a strong believer that any contribution, small or large, can ultimately make an impact. That’s why after reading Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin’s “Skinny Bitch” in 2010, she immediately decided to adopt a plant-based diet. The book went into detail about how a vegan lifestyle is healthier for our planet. Additionally, the repeated reference to meat as decomposing, rotting animal carcasses was also a deal breaker among many others. A journalism major at the University of Central Florida, Elyssa writes for the Central Florida Future. Her first taste of promoting veg was a weekly column titled “Veggin’ Out.”

Photo credit:Adam Bollenbacher