The past two weekends, Compassion Over Killing has been invited to talk with hundreds of bright and politically-minded students from all over the U.S. who gather in the DC-area for regional conferences with the Junior Statesmen of America.
These students are eager to learn and engage in dialogue on a number of issues, so COK’s team of volunteers and staff came prepared with a wealth of information highlighting the negative impacts of factory farming and the many benefits of vegetarian eating. We even invited them to watch a four-minute video revealing the miseries forced upon animals raised for food.
From the start, we had a line wrapped around the room waiting to watch the video, and over the course of two Saturday afternoons, were able to show over 200 students the true cost of consuming meat, milk and eggs.
Many students were shocked to see the cruelties endured by animals raised for food and expressed sincere concern about what they just witnessed:
- “The pain [the pigs] were feeling was so palpable. It almost felt like it was happening to me.”
- “I’ve never really considered going vegetarian, but I’m seriously considering it now. Thank you for showing this .”
These students have a strong interest in politics, so some of the questions we repeatedly heard were: “Is this going on in the US? But how can this happen? Don’t we have laws to protect animals?”
COK volunteers explained that farmed animals are denied adequate legal protections on both the federal and state level — and if these same abuses were inflicted upon cats or dogs, it would likely lead to criminal prosecution. To make matters worse, agribusiness interests are desperately trying to pass ag-gag laws in various states in an effort to prevent Americans from seeing the painful realities behind meat, egg, and dairy industries.
Students walked away not only knowing more about where their food really comes from but also that most effective way each of us can help stop this cruelty is to simply leave animals off our plates. Hundreds of students took home a free Vegetarian Starter Guide along with more information empowering them to stand up for animals as well as the planet and their health at every meal.