By: Jovillene Datu
UC Berkeley students had an incredibly alarming welcome to campus on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021. The school had just made a deal with Tyson Foods company, however many vegans and animal right’s activists made sure to display their dissatisfaction with this decision. According to CBS SF Bay Area, activists claimed that a recent investigation into Tyson Foods showed that they were starving their chickens, and keeping them in harsh conditions while they were malnourished.
On campus, activists had covered large areas in fake blood and dyed multiple water fixtures with red food dye. There were also fake dead chickens strewn around, and many of the activists carried signs with messages such as, “UC Berkeley: Drop Factory Farms”, and “UC Land Puts Profit Over People.”
UC Berkeley’s spokesman Adam Ratliff came out after the event and claimed that they had “proactively reviewed the meat products and sustainability portfolio information from our suppliers to ensure alignment with the University of California Office of the President sustainability criteria.” He added that the school “will only work with suppliers who meet halal and kosher requirements and/or whose animal welfare methods are in alignment with best practices and will discontinue our relationship with any supplier if they fail to live up to these standards.”
The school has broken off relationships with past food distributors over similar complaints, so a termination of the Tyson Food company supply to Berkeley wouldn’t be a complete surprise. The students say that their ultimate goal is for the university to stop buying from factory farms altogether. Ratliff stated that the UC prioritizes using local ingredients from places that are socially responsible.