Students don't often expect to see dead animals on campus sidewalks, but animal rights activists shocked passersby by displaying graphic footage of animals in the food industry last Thursday at the University of New Mexico.
A vegan advocacy chapter, Anonymous for the Voiceless, set up two tents outside of Zimmerman Library — one with informational pamphlets and organizers giving information, the other with volunteers holding television screens depicting the horrors of animal cruelty, such as decapitating and skinning live chickens.
"If I had known sooner what happens I would have gone vegan a lot earlier, but I wasn't exposed to this kind of footage," said Camille Severson, a recent graduate from Eldorado High School and vegan of seven months.
The international group provided the footage to the local chapter, according to Karla Reyes, a local organizer from Anonymous for the Voiceless.
According to the event's Facebook page, the Cube of Truth is a "peaceful static demonstration akin to an art performance."
Reyes said the event was to raise awareness for animals being raised for food and the other ways humans exploit animals.
"We bring awareness to the public through footage and just having conversations with bystanders that approach us and want to know what we're doing," Reyes said.
Vegan Outreach, another nonprofit organization, also volunteered at the event. According to their website, Vegan Outreach's focus is to reach people who are motivated enough to make changes now and help them transition to being vegan after encouragement.
Victor Flores, the Western Community Outreach Manager for Vegan Outreach, said the goal is to address the myths of being vegan.
"We educate, inform people here," Flores said. "We're not really supposed to tell people what to do but give them the information and let them decide for themselves."
Flores said vegan doesn't mean bland food.
"I don't sacrifice flavor or taste. I don't sacrifice nutrients either," Flores said. "I still get everything I need regarding my health, and of course my environmental impact is a lot less."
Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AmandaBritt__