Intervention #3 All Animals Want To Live – Museum Of Food And Drink (MOFAD), Manhattan, NY

By Kate Skwire

Each intervention we do is a lesson on how to deliver the most effective message for animals that we can and sometimes, that means a lot of improvisation. You never know exactly how it’s going to go down and the same was true for our intervention at the Museum of Food and Drink’s roundtable discussion on the future of meat. Nonetheless, we still had a very positive impact and learned a lot. Initially, we intended to disrupt the discussion to tell the animals’ stories, because we expected their point of view would be missing from the discussion. We had signs featuring different animals and had each rehearsed a short speech for the action.

Peter Singer was one of the panelists and while we may not agree entirely with Singer’s views, he did a fair job representing the animals’ side, but we still felt the need to add our input and to let the panel and audience know that animals are individuals and that they want to live. We were also up against the morally conflicted, speciesist, Patrick Martins, founder of Heritage Foods, who told us that it is a pig’s and a turkey’s job to be food. One assumes he holds the same views for all non-human species. The notion that anyone is born to serve someone else is highly offensive and we let him know that it is no more a turkey’s job to be food for humans than it is a woman’s job to give birth to children or to cook, or a black person’s job to clean up after white people, and that speciesism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, fattism, and all other forms of oppression are unjust and unacceptable. And by the way, when you have looked into any of these animals’ eyes and spent some time with them, it becomes obvious pretty quickly that they are sensitive, intelligent beings who are here simply to live and that they have no desire, nor obligation to serve human beings.

We did end up having to adjust our style, according to the tone of the discussion and though we deviated from our original plan, we still stirred things up and some folks got angry. We learned that sometimes, it’s best to ditch the script and just speak from the heart. Ultimately, we made some important points and posed good questions, few of which were answered either coherently or at all, but hopefully we got some of the audience members thinking about the answers. We ended on a great note, having semi-productive conversations with each panelist. In fact, the museum’s trustee followed us out and thanked us for coming and invited us to attend future events. We look forward to the next one! Enjoy our video below:

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