People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has asked Chancellor Carol Christ for permission to place a banner underneath the Campanile reading “It’s High Time We Went Vegan. PETA.”
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent Christ an email Tuesday asking to place the banner on campus to encourage people to adopt a vegan diet in hopes of preventing the next global pandemic, according to PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne.
“Coronavirus originated in a live animal market in China,” Byrne said. “But it could have easily started in a factory farm or slaughterhouse in the U.S.”
Despite the shelter-in-place order, Byrne said there are still some people going to campus for COVID-19 testing who will be able to see the banner.
In an email, campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said that campus has not yet responded to Newkirk’s email.
Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, is an animal rights activist group that shares a “common vision of a world where animals are treated with respect,” according to DxE spokesperson Matt Johnson.
“The banner sounds like a great opportunity to raise awareness,” Johnson said in an email. “Changes to our consumption habits, like consuming more plant-based foods, makes a statement in support of justice for animals, and helps to encourage people to take action for animals and create a better world.”
Byrne said PETA has advocated for its cause in other ways including writing letters to the World Health Organization and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to close factory farms and slaughterhouses.
According to a PETA press release, PETA “opposes speciesism” or a “human supremacist world-view.” In the press release, PETA added that the next pandemic could happen soon and that people need to start taking “personal responsibility.”
“Adopting a vegan diet is the best thing an individual can do to prevent the next global pandemic,” Byrne said.