The Life of a PETA Intern
“Why?” That was the response I received each time I told someone that I was going to intern at PETA this summer. They were apprehensive that I would be thrust into a world of crazed, paint-throwing vegans, but I assured them that I’d be working for a great cause with passionate—and, yes, completely normal—individuals. So, ready to fight for animal rights, I hopped on a plane and was transported to a world of animals, exciting work, and great food. Here are a few highlights from my month-long stint as an intern:
- My very first demonstration was against UniverSoul circus, which unwisely decided to set up shop here in Norfolk, Virginia. When I arrived at the venue and saw the dejected tigers lying in their cramped cages, I realized just how important this protest would be.
- At the office, not only did I get to play with all our canine friends, I was also able to work on creative research projects, speak with enthusiastic activists, and finally have a legitimate reason to go on Facebook and MySpace!
- I got to travel! Before I knew it, I was packing my handbag and heading out to Coney Island for a demonstration on the opening night of Ringling Bros. Circus. We set up directly in front of the entrance to the enormous blue and yellow striped tents—where countless animals suffer for “entertainment”—and proceeded to capture the attention of every circusgoer who walked past us. I was touched when one couple came up to me to learn more about the ways circuses often beat their “animal performers” and then decided to turn around and deny Ringling their business!
- I also got to protest the grand opening of a McDonald’s in Virginia Beach. Even though the owner offered us cheeseburgers and turned the sprinklers on us, it was great to see everyone’s animated response to our presence—not to mention our “chicken,” who danced around and hugged children.
My PETA internship was one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences an animal lover could have because, in the end, it’s all about the animals. Oh, and the delicious vegan lunches that were served every day didn’t hurt either!
Written by Sarah Hamshari