Photo credit: Elisabeth Torres

Elisabeth Torres, Global Animal 

PETA held a bloody protest last Saturday on Santa Monica’s popular 3rd street promenade in front of the farmers market. Hundreds of shoppers stopped to look at the models covered in fake blood and packaged in styrofoam like a pound of ground beef. Although the protest was visually disturbing, it appeared to hit home for many passers-by, who stopped to pick up brochures and ask questions. The idea that all animals have the same parts as people, and that they actually have to be killed to make food, often seems to slip people’s minds at the grocery store when they are picking out their nicely packaged meat. Confronting people with the bold reality of what it really takes for them to enjoy that piece of chicken or steak may make them think twice the next time they buy their groceries. 

Every year, the average American eats a troubling 200 pounds of meat. Aside from being cruel, the massive amount of meat consumed causes other issues. It takes approximately 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of grain fed steak, 100 times more than it takes to produce a pound of wheat. A whopping 45 percent of the world’s land is directly or indirectly involved in the livestock business, and more forests are cleared every day to meet the demand for meat production. If it takes nearly naked models covered in fake blood for consumers to realize what they are eating, then so be it. And at the very least, the shoppers passing by on their way to the farmers market may have stocked up on more veggies than usual.