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Giant Condoms Across the Great Plains

Each week, PETA’s campaigners publish a new post about their lives traveling the country, fighting for animals. This week’s post was written by Emily Lavender. 

One of my favorite parts of being a PETA campaigner is being on the road. You get to see the country and all its quirks, such as airplanes parked in front yards, bison in a national park, your Greyhound skimming through the flooded prairie highway, a view from an airplane window above the Rockies’ white-capped mountains, dark blue ponds among pastel yellow fields, and bright blue open skies. You get to experience each and every Ethiopian restaurant across the country and have the opportunity to chat with people you meet at hostels about working for PETA and animal rights.

By traveling nationally, you can see that all the compassionate individuals who are making a difference locally are really part of a national movement, and I can see the impact that they’re making. The demonstrations themselves are just as exciting. This time I took our two giant condom mascot costumes across the prairies—five cities in five days—to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering cats and dogs. Six to 8 million dogs and cats enter U.S. animal shelters each year, and about half of them are euthanized because there aren’t enough good homes. And since dogs and cats can’t use condoms, we have to help by spaying and neutering!

The condoms and I travelled by Greyhound and met up with local activists in each city, who volunteered to dance their hearts out in the city streets in order to raise awareness about the importance of spaying, neutering, and adopting. The first time that I did this demonstration, I laughed so hard that I cried. The costume’s giant smile and the little cartoon boots are just too cute. Add dancing to that combination, and it’s the funniest and most adorable thing that you’ve ever seen. The reaction from people passing by is similar: Smiles become infectious to everyone who passes. Some chuckle, take pictures, take a leaflet, or even start dancing themselves. It’s always good to hear just how many people say that their animals are already spayed or neutered. Seeing a photo or article in the newspaper or seeing a clip on the evening news is really the cherry on top of a great tour—knowing that hundreds of thousands of people have gotten the message about how they can help stop the companion-animal overpopulation crisis simply by spaying, neutering, and adopting.


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