Paul Layland's sold hot dogs on the streets of downtown Phoenix for a year now. Just recently he was appointed the southeast corner of Monroe and 5th Street to hawk red hots to the hungry lunch crowd. Little did he know that it would lead him to working adjacent from a PETA protest today.
"Hopefully they'll bring a crowd and I'll sell more dogs, but so far that hasn't been the case," he said.
As reported yesterday, about 20 PETA activists carrying signs proclaiming that "all animals have the same parts" showed up to protest the Cattle Industry's Phoenix convention and pass out information packets urging people to go vegetarian. To drive the point home, the demonstration came complete with the "barbecued" woman atop a grill with cardboard fire. (You can see shots of this in our PETA slide show.)
"We're here to make a statement to the cattleman's association, but this is also for general out reach purposes," said PETA Campaign Coordinator Lindsay Rajt.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"When people hear that cows are often going through the slaughter process kicking and screaming, still conscious when they're being dismembered and skinned - that's not cruelty that anybody wants to support," she said.
Due to proximity to the convention many of the people exposed to PETA's message today were the very same cattle industry representatives the protest was aimed at. When asked if she found it discouraging that very few people seemed interested in their message, Rajt responded that they had handed out a lot of vegetarian starter kits and found that "heartening."
Yet one passerby didn't even break his gait as a PETA rep offered him some vegetarian recipes.
"No thanks," he said. "I'm trying to cut down."