Two tents. Two different culinary perspectives. A lot of free food.
That was what happened near the Student Union on Friday and Saturday. One tent hosted by CASNR represented the importance of farming and agriculture.
Another tent, hosted by the Vegetarian Club and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), demonstrated the positives of a vegetarian and vegan diet.
The CASNR tent was titled “Surviving Without Ag?” and displayed items with animal by-products that may surprise students such as laundry detergent and car tires.
“The tent’s purpose is to provide students with information on where their food comes from,” Megan Brant, an animal science graduate student, said.
The students working the tent are a part of the organization, The FARM Theory. FARM stands for the “Future of America Relies on Me.” The tent was a kick-off event for the organization in order to publicize their platform of understanding the importance of agriculture and agricultural practices. To broadcast their message throughout OSU, students handed out free grilled samples of pork and chicken to anyone walking through the tent.
“The students volunteering their time to educate people about agricultural products are the future advocates for this industry,” Brant said. “We know that some people are disconnected from the farm life, and we are doing our best to fix that.”
Approximately 50 feet away was a tent promoting a different aspect of food. “The Barn” was sponsored by PETA and OSU’s Vegetarian Club. Displayed outside the enclosed tent was a sign that promised “free stuff if you can walk through.” Inside was an educational walkthrough based on Paul McCartney’s quote, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we’d all be vegetarians.” An informative video was played throughout the walkthrough and at the end of the tunnel, participants could pick up free leaflets, vegan cookies, stickers, or a vegetarian starter kit.
Jana Gregory, a junior studying accounting, is the president of the Vegetarian Club. She said she hopes that “The Barn” will help get more vegetarian options on campus and knows that many students who are vegetarian or vegan want their voices to be heard.
In regards to the tents’ proximity to one another, neither organization felt any competition with the other.
“Every person has a right to be here,” Brant said. “We respect that they have a different food perspective than we do and we hope that they respect us in return.” Gregory also said that she is happy students are being educated in a positive way and does not wish to have any controversy over the two tents being hosted on the same day.
Students who were not a part of either organization enjoyed eating free grilled meat and the vegan cookies.
“It’s great how OSU can have a variety of organizations being represented by the students,” Melissa Manila, a freshman psychology major, said.