Advocacy in Action: PETA Campus Reps Speak Up for Animals
During the autumn term, students at 20 universities across the UK took part in PETA’s Campus Rep Programme to inform fellow students about issues affecting animals and to spread the animal rights message.
With PETA’s support, each campus rep completed at least six powerful actions for animals during the semester. These involved giving away vegan burgers, screening perception-altering documentaries, sharing vegan milk and cookies – and leaflets highlighting the cruelty of the dairy industry – and taking part in climate marches to proclaim, “Meat Is Toxic.”
The reps were provided with advice, PETA resources, and a stipend. The timing of their actions was flexible in order to accommodate their busy university schedules.
Here are some of the impressive actions our reps organised on their campuses to help end speciesism:
Animals Are Not Ours to Wear
Our campus reps were on a mission to speak up for animals abused for fashion.
Some chose to speak out against the leather industry by screening PETA’s exposé of the leather trade on laptops around campus. Students who stopped to watch the footage were given clothing patches that read, “Whose Skin Are You In?”
Others protested against Canada Goose’s use of fur and down by wearing coyote masks and showing Born Free USA’s video of coyotes caught in cruel steel traps.
Tofurky at Freshers’ Fairs
Food giveaways are a key feature of campus rep actions. As students started a new academic year, our reps gave out delicious Tofurky Kielbasa sausages at their freshers’ fairs, encouraging their peers to make a positive change for animals. The action demonstrated how easy – and tasty – it is to eat vegan.
Vegan Milk and Cookies
One of this term’s most popular actions was our vegan milk and cookies giveaway. Students loved the delicious coconut milk donated by Koko and the yummy vegan cookies.
A Vomad survey found that watching a documentary was the top factor that made people first consider going vegan.
Campus reps who hosted a film screening partnered with a student society in order to have the biggest audience possible and maximise their impact. They chose from documentaries including Cowspiracy, What the Health, Forks Over Knives, A Prayer for Compassion, Earthlings, and Dominion.
The reps were each given a £20 budget to treat attendees to popcorn or Greggs’ iconic vegan sausage rolls. At the end of the screening, they led discussions and debates on the content of the film, hosted an information stall, and distributed leaflets.
Students who hosted a debate on campus set up a stand with a sign that read, “Everyone on Campus Should Be Vegan – Change My Mind,” and to be extra meme-worthy, they brought their favourite mug and strong debating skills.
Our campus reps discussed an array of concerns about animal agriculture – spanning health, ethics, and the environment – and had meaningful conversations about all the compelling reasons to go vegan.
Taste the Future
World Vegan Month was a very exciting time for our campus reps. For the “Taste the Future” event, PETA teamed up with vegan meat company Beyond Meat in a partnership that saw reps at seven universities organise huge giveaways.
Beyond Meat sent its mouth-watering burgers to the university catering team, which cooked and prepared the tasty treats. As hungry students and staff queued up for the freebie, they learned about the health benefits of eating vegan.
Papa John’s Giveaway
Other universities were treated to delicious vegan pizza for World Vegan Month. Papa John’s has a great range of vegan options and provided each campus rep with 10 pizzas for this fantastic giveaway.
The event was hugely popular – some reps gave out all their pizza slices in just four minutes! The action showed students just how mainstream and affordable vegan options are.
For the unique action, campus reps had free rein to choose a pro-animal action and plan it however they saw fit. This was an excellent opportunity for them to show off their creativity and raise awareness of an animal rights issue that’s close to their hearts.
Some reps marched against climate change wearing hazmat suits to remind people that meat production is a hazard to our planet.
At Halloween, one rep did a zombie walk around campus to tell students that “Flesh Is for Zombies”, while another dressed as a Grim Reaper and held a “bloody fur coat” to show everyone that fur is dead.
Inspired by PETA’s Campus Reps?
If you’re interested in becoming a PETA campus rep yourself, apply now:
If you’re not a university student, you can stand up to speciesism, speak up for animals, and get involved in PETA’s eye-catching demonstrations and hard-hitting campaigns by joining our Action Team. You’ll be a part of an inspirational, compassionate movement: