A demonstration is a great way to express outrage
towards an establishment or company, highlighting
their treatment or policies regarding animals in
order to raise public awareness about the inherent
cruelties in raising animals for food. It
can also generate a lot of negative publicity for
your target, if well-thought-out.
Hold animal agribusiness accountable by organizing a demonstration at one of the industry offices in your area. By naming and shaming animal agribusiness for their indefensible acts, lies and public manipulation, you can turn the tables and force industries to be held publicly accountable for their deeds. FARM will send press releases out for your event, so make sure to register your protest and email us!
When planning your protest, be sure to read up on local ordinances regarding the size, location, timing, and noise levels of protests. Depending on local laws, you may need one or more permits. If you are not planning to engage in civil disobedience then remember to stay on public property.
1) Determine your place and time-This is important because the location and timing affects the amount of people reached. It is more “news worthy” if a demonstration is in reaction to a mainstream news item, such as swine flu or large meat/dairy recalls, etc. For example, in the wake of the largest beef recall in U.S. history, FARM
staged a protest outside the USDA demanding
that USDA recall ALL animal products because they
all come from sick, abused and exploited individuals.
Location: Good locations for protests and demonstrations are: slaughterhouses, fast food chains, or offices of meat/dairy/egg industry. The more foot and car traffic the better.
Time: Depending on the location you choose to protest or demonstrate, the time may very. For instance, if you plan to protest at a office, then early morning or lunch time would be the best time. If you are protesting at a fast food chain, lunch or dinner rush would be better to maximize impact the protest or demonstration has on the target.
2) Register your event with us and request an Event Pack for materials - This also publicizes your protest or demonstration to get more people to either help plan or at least participate. Your event will be searchable by city and state on the international events directory.
3) Request a permit (if needed based on anticipated numbers) - You can request permits from the city or county where the protest is being held. Generally, if you expect more than 25 people for a legal protest or demonstration (not civil disobedience), you would need a permit. The number varies from state to state, county to county, so check your local laws and ordinances.
4) Do outreach to local veg and animal-friendly
groups to gather participants - Good
places for outreach are local listservs, animal
rights/vegan meetups on meetup.com, social networking
sites such as Facebook or Myspace as bulletins
or events. This also helps with estimated
More information on effective outreach is available here.
5) Send a news release to local media.
Click here for more information on local media.
6) Please TAKE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS of your activities and send copies to us.
Photos: high resolution jpgs by email are best
Videos: e-mail a link from uploaded video on Youtube or equivalent site.
Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey an unjust
law or to accept an unjust practice, without resorting to physical violence. The tactic was popularized by Henry David Thoreau in 1849 and used most effectively by American revolutionaries in 1773, by Gandhi in gaining India’s independence from British rule in 1948, and by the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Civil disobedience has been used a number of times in past observances of World Farm Animals Day. There were at least four instances of blocking trucks hauling animals into a slaughterhouse in Smithfield and Timberville (VA) and in Petaluma (CA). There was a blockade of the main entrance to the USDA Washington headquarters and a sit-in in the office of the Secretary of Agriculture. All these actions were designed to create the drama that calls public attention to the tragedy of animal agriculture.
If the action is taking place on public property, we favor alerting local law enforcement authorities, without necessarily providing all the details. This fosters a gentler arrest procedure, possibly lower bail and fine, and protection from local yahoos who may wish to take law into their own hands.
Law enforcement authorities will generally attempt to prevent the action, so speed and the element of surprise are needed. Typically, after the civil disobedience begins, the officer in charge will issue a warning to cease the action. When the demonstrators persist, arrests begin.
DISCLAIMER: We don’t counsel anyone to break the law, and we can not offer legal advice. The above account is based on our personal experiences, and may not apply in your jurisdiction. However, we are willing to take calls to provide additional details about our experiences.
Staging a cage-in is a dramatic way to capture public attention and visually demonstrate the horrific treatment and conditions of animals in factory farms. In order to fully convey all atrocities endured by animals raised for food (not only confinement), it is important to include information about transport, slaughter, and other abuses into your event. You can incorporate cage-ins into nearly any other activity, such as information tables, videos, leafleting, protests, street theatre, and/or civil disobedience sit-ins.
You can make or purchase cages large enough to fit one or more people, or use smaller props to represent the cages, crates, and stalls used in factory farming. Home Depot, Lowe's, and other home improvement stores have various supplies for both intricate and simple cage props.
Folding crates used for dog training are also an easy and effective means to demonstrate some of the discomfort that confinement brings. If you or your friends don’t already have a crate, ask your local companion animal supply store or look online. This small investment will offer you years of ready-to-go props to use for a variety of campaigns.
Having activists sit in the cages is a very effective way to use the props, especially if they wear animal costumes and/or fake blood. This can be done next to an informative display, or at a symbolic location, such as a slaughterhouse or fast food chain. To be even more dramatic, the cages can be used as part of a sit-in, where the activists refuse to leave a location until they are forced out. Before attempting this, please read our guide to civil disobedience.
Another option is to allow passerby to sit in the cage when they visit an information table. Small consolations, like gift certificates or free food samples can be given to people who sit in the cage. When no activsts or visitors are in the cages, plush animals or animals cut-outs can occupy them. Never leave a caged-in activist unsupervised.
Other visuals add a lot to the educational experience of the passerby. Include photos of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, as well as detailed descriptions and signs. Videos can be the most powerful addition to a cage-in.
A banner drop involves the placement of a large banner in a public area. It's a quick way to spread your message to the masses and can be done with just a few people. Check out our guide to banner drops (coming soon), and keep in mind that the legality varies by location. Information about local laws and civil disobedience will be coming soon.