Photos of both human and non-human oppression shared a panel outside the M.A.C. Center on Thursday afternoon for peta2’s Liberation Project.
Peta2 is the largest youth animal rights organization in the world.
“We want to show students that when it comes to the capacity to feel pain and experience suffering, all animals, human or nonhuman, are just the same,” said Adrianne Burke, the coordinator of Liberation Project. The Liberation Project was on display for students this week from Wednesday to Friday. The purpose of the 12 panels, she feels, is to raise awareness that humans are a vulnerable species just like the abused animals that peta2 advocates for.
The exhibit challenges the same status quo that was needed in order to end suffering in human history. Burke wonders why nonhumans can’t be liberated as well.
“It’s the same might-makes-right philosophy which justified slavery and child labor,” Burke said.
The philosophy, she claims, has caused unethical practices, such as branding cows, castrating pigs and confining egg-laying hens in closed spaces for life to become acceptable.
Peta2 has brought the exhibit to more than 20 colleges nationwide without any incidents. Even when presented at schools in Mississippi, traditionally unfriendly territory for peta2, the exhibit has been successful, Burke noted.
Kent State was the first university on the tour to require barricades to be placed between the panels and the students.
However, Burke appreciates the protection of their constitutional right to free speech.
It’s important for students to get involved because the pictures hit close to home, said Burke.
“Honestly, in Ohio, it’s right down the street from here that these animals are being abused,” she said.
Kent State students, along with the university, have responded. Not only has the organization signed 30 new members in one day, but Burke said they have convinced campus eateries to stock more vegan foods.
“It’s easier than ever to go vegan, especially on this campus,” she said. “Just this last year, we’ve had a slew of new vegan options added. There’s really no excuse not to go vegan.”
Among the slew are vegan pizza, steak and sushi rolls.
Kent State is one of eight universities on the Liberation Project’s tour this fall, along with Yale and the University of Florida.
Contact Daniel Moore at [email protected]