Whether you see this as an invitation for an educational experience or just good for a laugh is up to you. But here goes.
peta2, PETA's youth division, is bringing a factory farm to Arizona State University's Tempe campus not once, but twice this week. In addition to showing "Glass Walls," a video exposé of the meat industry, the organization will invite students to "confine themselves to sow gestation crates."
peta2 will set up a 20-foot-by-30-foot tent on the Student Services Lawn today and on Wednesday. Inside the tents students will be able to see the size of sow gestation crates, or small stalls in which farms sometimes keep pregnant pigs. The enclosures are 6.6 feet by 2 feet, which is quite small for pigs that can weigh up to 600 pounds.
In Arizona, these crates have been illegal since 2006, when voters passed Proposition 204 or the Humane Treatment for Farm Animals Act. In fact, Arizona was only the second state to outlaw the use of sow gestation crates, following Florida, which approved a measure to ban them in 2004. Since that time a handful of other states including California and Rhode Island have either outlawed them or are in the process of phasing them out.
In February of last year, McDonald's Corporation said it would work with all its suppliers to end the use of sow gestation crates. And in 2007, the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc., also began a phase out of their use. As of January of this year the company was on track to have them out of use at all of its U.S. facilities by 2017.
But if you want to go check it out, or try one out for yourself, you can see the crates today and on Wednesday, November 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They'll also be handing out "samples of vegan foods and free vegetarian/vegan starter kits with recipes and tips."