Clarification: the title of this article was updated to clarify the purpose of the protest.
People in the Corvallis and surrounding communities gathered outside the Clark Meat Lab on Campus Way to have a peaceful protest against Oregon State University meat practices on Nov. 22.
The protest took place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the time coincides with the regular schedule hours of Clark Meat Lab’s weekly sale of animal products. The Facebook group Vegans and Vegetarians organized the protest at OSU. It brought students attending OSU and people from Eugene out to support animal rights.
Organizer of the protest and OSU environmental sciences student Emily Barnett said Vegans and Vegetarians at OSU’s goal was to highlight animal slaughtering happening on the OSU campus.
The protest acted as a visual for the animals that are now dead because of the university’s meat practices. This included chalking the road to the lab and including the pictures of the animals slaughtered.
“We are partly holding a visual for the animals killed at this slaughterhouse. A lot of students don’t know that the Clark Meat Lab is actually a slaughterhouse,” Barnett said. “Animals on Campus Way’s bike path are killed here including the steers at the Steer-A-Year Barn and the pigs at the Swine Center.”
To celebrate the lives of these animals, protesters gave out two types of carnations. They provided white carnations to represent purity and innocence, and red to show love and remembrance for the animals.
Activist and Corvallis resident Bjorn Kristensen said the protest also shows off how OSU’s values and goals contradict each other.
“If you go down this path (Campus Way), you’ll see a few farms, then right after that you will see a huge array of solar panels, then the swine farm. It’s counterproductive to the mission sustainability stance that OSU has. We have all this clean energy, then we still are doing this unsustainable practice,” Kristensen said.
According to Kristensen, OSU would be better off getting rid of the animals and using the food used to feed them for other purposes. This would get rid of animal suffering and eliminate the unsustainable practices performed by OSU, Kristensen said.
Vegans and Vegetarians at OSU successfully organized a peaceful protest, but on occasion, a by-passer would disagree with the organization's message. Dialogue by both parties allowed the event to continue on peacefully with no aggression.
According to OSU’s Associate Vice President of University Relations and Marketing, Annie Athon Heck, OSU had knowledge of the protest and is handling animals at OSU in an appropriate manner.
“We are aware of the protest, we understand and respect that people have varied viewpoints regarding food production. Operations of OSU’s Clark Meat Science Center are in accordance with applicable regulations regarding the humane treatment of animals. As Oregon’s statewide university, OSU addresses complex issues, including food production, through science-based research, teaching and community outreach and engagement,” Heck said.
Barnett said it would be great if OSU were to stop their current animal practices. As for now, the main goal is still to let OSU students know that slaughterhouses are a part of Oregon State University.
“OSU is going to tell you that they are teaching the best grazing practices. There is no best grazing practices because livestock are invasive and they always will be,” Barnett said.