UC Berkeley students transform themselves into packaged meat for anti-meat consumption protest

Anti meat eating protest on Thursday Nov. 3. Photo: Ted Friedman
A student simulated being a package of “human meat” at an anti-meat eating protest on the UC Berkeley campus Thursday, Dec. 3. Photo: Ted Friedman

Activists with the UC Berkeley student group Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy (BOAA) staged a protest on the Cal campus Thursday to protest the consumption of meat. Spokeswoman Kitty Jones said two more similarly dramatic protests are planned in the next few days at locations in the city of Berkeley.

At around 10 a.m. Thursday two students, a man and a woman, stripped to their underwear and lay down on large white trays. Bright red fake blood was poured over them before they were covered in clear plastic to simulate trays of cellophane-wrapped meat.

“We want to raise awareness of animal liberation issues,” said Jones, co-president of the BOAA, an organization sponsored by UC Berkeley’s ASUC student governance body. Jones said they were protesting the consumption of animals that were not born to be eaten, in particular cows, pigs and chickens — as well as humans.

The BOAA is sponsored by the UC Berkeley student union ASUC. Photo: BOAA
The BOAA is sponsored by UC Berkeley student governance group the ASUC. Photo: BOAA

Jones said the demonstration was well-received. “It was really powerful,” she said. She estimated about 20 people stopped to take photographs and some voiced their support for the cause. The group also handed out leaflets to passers-by.


In a statement released by BOAA before the protest, the group said it was challenging the term “speciesism.” “All animals — including humans — are made of flesh, blood, and bone; that animals have the same senses and range of emotions as humans do; and that when you eat meat, you are eating a corpse,” read the release.

Large “price stickers” affixed to the packages of “human meat” read: “Billions of Animals Are Abused and Violently Killed Because You Eat Meat. Get Help!” The stickers were donated to BOAA by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization (PETA), according to Jones, who said her group did not have the resources to manufacture their own.

Anti meat eating protest on Thursday Nov. 3. Photo: Ted Friedman
A student simulated being packaged meat during a protest Thursday, Dec. 3. Photo: Ted Friedman

Jones said BOAA plans two more protests. Friday they will be in the meat aisle of the North Berkeley Safeway, from 1-2 p.m. And on Wednesday, Dec. 9, they will be at the Starbucks on Oxford Street from 10:30-11:30 a.m., with images of dead cows. The protest will focus on the slaughter of cows and calves that occurs in the production of milk. “Starbucks sells more milk than coffee,” said Jones, citing as a source the New York based Collectively Free organization.

BOAA said it uses “creative protest and forms of outreach to challenge the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment.”

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: tracey@citysidejournalism.org.