Brenda Shepard, Broadside Correspondent

The Animal Rights Collective organization will be holding Animal Liberation Week, today through Thursday, Oct. 8. Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and educate themselves about animal rights, animal abuse and the choice to live a vegan lifestyle.

ARC, in conjunction with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, will be showing a series of visual displays, entitled the Animal Liberation Project. The exhibit looks back through a history of human slavery, showing the juxstaposition of the justifications for animal cruelty today. The exhibit will be on the North Plaza of the Johnson Center on Oct. 7 at 11 a.m.

“It’s so ingrained in our culture to eat meat,” said senior conservation biology and global affairs major Christine Kauffman. “Animals can feel and suffer just like humans do. Now we have the means to end their suffering because of us.”

The ARC is in its first semester as a recognized group on campus, but has spent many years protesting the circus at George Mason University.

Organizers of the event said that after seeing PETA’s display on the National Mall this summer, the group contacted PETA, who was receptive and excited to include Mason on its college tour of the exhibit. PETA will have representatives on campus this week to answer questions and educate people who are interested in getting involved with their cause.
Other than the visual display, other campus events associated with Animal Liberation Week will include a vegan cooking class today based on PETA’s “Vegan College Cookbook,” as well as a film screening of Liberation, in Student Union Building II on Thursday Oct. 8.

When asked why students should come and see the The Animal Liberation Project, junior biology major Jen Beidel said, “You have to educate yourself. [Animal] abuse comes from people who aren’t educated. You can tell somebody all day, but they have to want to change themselves.”

Other activities that ARC has planned for their premier semester include making bird feeders to create space for wildlife that has been displaced by construction, a Halloween vegan bake sale and a screening of the film Earthlings, according to the organization’s website.

“It’s time to start living up to our values and stop making excuses. It’s in the entertainment we watch and even the clothes we wear. Images and videos are a lot harder to forget,” said Kauffman.

All events during Animal Liberation Week are free and open to the public. ARC has weekly meetings on Tuesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. in Student Union Building I. For more information, visit