They brave scorching sun, soaking rain, and driving winds. They lock themselves in cages, carry coffins, and dress up in Santa Claus and showgirl costumes. They inform, enlighten, and inspire other people with their message of compassion. PETA's Filipino activists stop at nothing to help animals who are abused for food, clothing, entertainment, or experimentation.
Activists are the heart and soul of PETA's attention-grabbing demonstrations. Activists help coordinate the events that draw priceless media attention to the plight of abused animals. In December 2005, tourists and locals at the famous Baywalk Manila were greeted by a jeepney full of a dozen "Santas," who spread tidings of joy to all creatures with a banner that read, "Peace on Earth for All—Go Vegetarian!" In Ortigas, just in time for this year's Oktoberfest, a "cow" handed out leaflets explaining why even beer is a better beverage choice than cow's milk.
Activists are turning up the heat on KFC in order to get the company to improve its treatment of the more than 850 million chickens raised and killed every year for its restaurants. In Cebu City, activists locked in cages held signs that read, "KFC Tortures Animals." Dressed as "grim reapers" and holding signs reading, "KFC Chickens Live a Life of Hell," PETA supporters marched through the streets of Manila carrying a dead "chicken" in a coffin. A sexy "chickette" in a showgirl-style chicken costume—complete with a faux-feather bra, faux-feather panties, and tail "feathers"—stood on a Manila street corner and raised plenty of eyebrows as well as the public's awareness of how KFC's suppliers abuse chickens.
In June 2005, activists gathered together once again as PETA launched its anti-zoo campaign. Wearing prison suits and monkey masks and holding a banner and signs reading, "Zoos—Cruel Animal Prisons," the activists protested outside the Manila Zoo. The protest came as the Philippines prepared to mark its 108th year of independence. Many people are hoping that the Philippines will become the first zoo-free country in the region.
Our activists also reach thousands of people with information about healthy, humane vegan diets as well as other animal rights issues by setting up information tables and handing out leaflets on college campuses and at concerts, art shows, and other events. PETA's table at a Food Not Bombs benefit show reminded visitors that a nonviolent vegan diet is the best way to promote peace. At Ateneo de Manila University, where many nongovernmental organizations were invited to set up tables, PETA's booth was a big hit, and several students joined PETA's Activist Network. At the University of the Philippines-Diliman, an activist hosted a vegan cooking demonstration that had everyone's mouth watering.
Activists help out in less visible—but just as vital—ways too. Behind the scenes at PETA's photo shoots for ads starring celebrities like Chin Chin Gutierrez, Isabel Roces, Raya Mananquil, and Corey Willis, PETA volunteers make media calls, gather props, and run errands. Other activists use the power of the pen and write letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines educating thousands of readers about how easy it is to help animals.
However they choose to get involved, one thing is certain: Our big-hearted bunch of activists is making the Philippines a kinder place for animals every day.
Join PETA's Activist Network and find out more about the many ways that you can help animals!