On May 10, Sunday evening, student activists and community protesters associated with the organization of animal advocates celebrated Mother’s Day in an unusual way, by holding a demonstration, opposing the treatment of cows at grocery stores, highlighting the meat and dairy industries.
About 20 protesters demonstrated inside the Safeway and Andronico’s Community Market on Shattuck Avenue, accusing the grocery stores of tolerating animal abuse by stocking dairy and meat products. They chanted with slogans written like “Animals feel pain, just like us.”
The participants in the demonstration were students and alumni of a university. The campus group promotes the liberation of animals, while aiming to raise animal suffering awareness through their activist events. Justine Carion, the co-president of the organization said the group strongly believes that animals must not be exploited or abused in any way, meaning not eating their flesh, wearing their skin, or drinking their milk. The milk produced by an animal is meant for her baby, Carion added.
Before the group’s demonstration began at Safeway, a security agent came up and instructed them to leave, but the group continued with their protest. According to sources, the security agent responded forcefully, ripping their posters, and throwing an activist’s phone to the ground. The police officers led the demonstrators out of the store without any arrests.
Throughout their demonstration, the group emphasized what it referred to as the “exploitation of cows” by industries that produce and sell dairy, veal, and beef products. While protesters spoke out regarding the issues, fellow activists handed out some flyers to shoppers. Others held up posters that depicted slaughter scenes and artificial insemination.
During their demonstration at Safeway, Kitty Jones, a campus student and group member held a packed meat product, saying that it was someone’s body. She said that the package was a life and was worthier than a few dollars per pound.
Andronico’s Community Market and Safeway managers declined to comment. However, both companies include in their website their advocacy on the humane treatment of animals.
During the past semester, the animal advocates have organized demonstrations outside pizza outlets, hosted mock funerals at pig roast venues, while gathering over $1,500 for different sanctuary groups and animal activists. To many of its members, their last demonstration of the academic year, the Mother’s Day demonstration, implied a special significance.
Sapphire Fein, an alumna and organization member, said mother cows also have their babies stolen from them. These babies are artificially inseminated on a regular basis, and against their will. Fein added that the cows are slaughtered so that somebody else can eat a steak.
In her statement, Fein further explained that mother and child have a special bond; the same is true with the cows. Hence, all bonds between a mother and her child deserve respect, thus cows deserve that respect from people too. She said that this is the main reason why the group is disrupting these places, not only on Mother’s Day, but more so because these are places of violence.