FARM spreads animal rights awareness on campus
BY MITCH KULLOS —
Among the bustle of students hurrying to their next class on Feb. 19, a sign stood above the crowd offering one dollar to watch a simple four-minute video. The vehicle had rows of screens and headphones as many curious students wandered over to the truck to discover the source of this new payday. Yet many were surprised to find this was no marketing sample being taken but rather a new way to spread information about animal right abuses.
Farm Animal Rights Movement, (FARM) in combination with the 10 Billion Lives movement, which references the ten billion animals killed to satisfy the meat industry, have been traveling around the country to spread messages of animal rights and encourage veganism.
10 Billion Live Coordinator Ryan Frazier explained what the movement is about.
“In recent years, activists have been strategically acquiring footage from factory farms because it’s the only way the general public will ever get to see what these animals’ lives and deaths are really like. The idea of doing video outreach from a vehicle is very new,” Frazier said. “The concept of using a vehicle was developed as a way to spread awareness on a large scale across the country, particularly to college students and other youth. Since launching the truck in May of 2012, 65,000 people have seen the 10 Billion Lives video.”
While this method may not be conventional, it has been effective in spreading the message of FARM and 10 Billion Lives, which creates a cultural shift in the way people think of their food. Yet another aspect is the 10 Billion Lives vehicle has been offering students one dollar to watch the video.
“It’s simply an incentive for people to stop and be curious. In our society you have to have some kind of hook if you want people’s attention. The $1 incentive is just right for a 4-minute video,” Frazier said in regard to the monetary offer.
Such an incentive is especially popular among college students, but, more than the money, the information often turns out to be the reward for many as Andy Tabar, 10 Billion Lives tour operator, expressed when discussing his time spent interacting with the NAU students.
Tabar said of the students’ reaction to the video, “At the end of the video, we ask viewers to take a pledge to eat more animal-free meals. We are happy to say over eighty percent of the people who watch pledge to turn their compassion into action and do just that. Those results were consistent during our outreach efforts at NAU as an overwhelming amount of NAU students who viewed the video were affected positively by its content and felt motivated to make a few simple dietary changes that will spare hundreds of animals a lifetime of misery.”
Not only did many students take the time to view the video, but most reacted in support of FARM and the 10 Billion Lives movement.
“One of the most rewarding experiences about traveling with the 10 Billion Lives tour is getting to meet so many wonderful people in different communities. I found NAU students and staff to be a rather friendly and compassionate group of people who were very receptive to the information we were sharing with them,” Tabar said.
The presence of the FARM vehicle left an impression on the students despite only being able to stay for a limited amount of time due to snow. FARM and the 10 Billion Lives movement will continue to visit campuses across the country spreading information about the treatment of animals raised for food, and while some will approach looking for a quick buck, many will leave with something much more fulfilling, a new perspective regarding the impact of what they eat.
To watch 10 Billon Lives visit: www.10billionlives.com and for more information on upcoming events go to www.10billiontour.org.