William Jewell College is a liberal arts school, meaning that the College is free to make us, as they say, “sit down and shut up.” Despite the connotation that generally comes with this sort of institution—that it must be full of left-wing, filthy liberals who go to class shoeless, never shower and can pretty much say whatever they want against “the man”—we sign away some free speech upon agreeing to study at this magical, place.
This kind of repression has clearly left some students angsty. Even though many students have nothing profound to say and in fact wouldn’t engage in large-scale political movements regularly, the fact that they can’t makes the idea much more attractive. Some students have even taken to civil disobedience, albeit unsuccessfully.
Thursday, March 24, five masked people staged a sit-in in the dining hall. The protest lasted six minutes. The group held signs displaying phrases including: “Meat is Murder”; “Would you eat your cat with barbecue sauce?!”; “Animals are people, too”; and, my personal favorite, “NO cheez, pleez.”
Apparently, this anonymous group is morally opposed to the eating of meat, dairy, eggs and other animal byproducts. It is still unclear how they meet their daily protein needs.
One of the protesters allowed me to ask him some questions. However, he refused to reveal his identity.
“I just don’t understand why people don’t understand why meat is bad, you know?! We just love the environment and animals and, honestly, human rights, you know,” he said.
I asked if he was aware of any arguments for free-range or small scale farming and how they reduce the environmental and animal rights necessities of veganism.
“I don’t know. Honestly, usually, if people start to disagree with me, I just say, ‘But have you given anything up for what YOU believe?!’” he said. “Like sometimes people try to start asking me what my political views are, like how I feel about gun control or whatever, so I just say, ‘Well, I’m vegan.’”
While the people involved in the sit-in continue to refuse to come forward, there are some conspiracy theories as to who they are floating around campus.
“I mean, I only know five people who would actually admit to being vegan,” said Erin Melton, sophomore and well-known campus carnivore.
One of the five protesters tried to throw red paint on a fellow student asking for a hamburger, but she was too weak to lift the bucket.
All photos by Chandler Eaton