August 24th, 2012 13:01 EST
Cash Offered for Watching Animal Cruelty Video
Animal rights activists are at USDA headquarters today, part of a national tour aim to offer everyone in America a dollar to watch four minutes of video taken in factory farms and slaughterhouses - a tactic they call "pay-per-view".
According to the USDA itself, nearly 10 billion land animals are raised and killed every year in the U.S. alone. The 10 Billion Lives Tour, coordinated by the nonprofit organization Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), travels in a specially equipped van with eight screens that can accommodate up to 32 viewers. The van stops in busy public locations and offer people $1 to watch the video, which documents the treatment of farmed animals.
After watching, viewers are encouraged to decrease consumption of animal products and work towards a vegan diet. To date about 28,000 people have seen the video, and 84 percent have pledged to change their diet.
"Consumers have the right to know where their food comes from, and the 10 Billion Lives Tour will expose people to the harsh reality of animal agriculture," said FARM `s Program Director, Michael Weber. "Viewers often tear up or become angry after watching the video, and turn that passion into action by making food choices that are consistent with their values."
Following its stop in front of the USDA from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the van will visit local hot spot Ben`s Chili Bowl from 5 to 9 p.m. (1213 U Street Northwest) in an effort to convince diners to adopt a compassionate vegan diet.
The video, collected from hidden-camera footage inside animal agriculture facilities, reveals horrific conditions and cruelty as well as standard, legal industry practices that are shocking to most viewers and out of step with most Americans` values. The video is also available at 10BillionLives.com, where one in 25 online viewers will win a pair of movie tickets.
FARM believes by offering an incentive, the pay-per-view campaign succeeds in enticing Americans to voluntarily learn more about these issues " rather than forcing the information on them. More than 80 percent of viewers commit to eating fewer animal products afterward. In follow-up surveys, over 60 percent of respondents maintain this pledge.
After kicking off in Portland, the van joined the three-month Vans Warped Tour before arriving in D.C. for the annual Animal Rights Conference. The van will continue to tour the country until November.
For more than 30 years, Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) has worked to end the use of animals for food through public education and grassroots activism. As FARM has grown, so has public awareness of farmed animal abuse and the benefits of veganism. In addition to its Pay-Per-View events and national tour " the organization`s most ambitious undertaking yet "its grassroots initiatives include World Farm Animals Day, Great American Meatout, Gentle Thanksgiving,Vegan Earth Day, and more. FARM has been active since 1976 and was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit in 1981. FARM, recognized as one of the best charities in America by Independent Charities of America, is based in Bethesda, Md. and has volunteers in all 50 U.S. states and dozens of other countries. The organization is funded primarily by contributions from individuals who care about animal rights, human health, and environmental integrity. For more information please visit http://www.farmusa.org.