Clad in colorful clown costumes and each holding out that iconic red balloon, volunteers for an animal rights group channeled "Pennywise" on Tuesday as they paraded around Makati City streets to promote veganism.
Urging people to "stop clowning around," five animal rights activists drew the attention of people who saw them, said Jana Sevilla, media relations officer for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)-Asia.
Sevilla said she believed their "fun" and "peaceful" demonstration made people think twice about eating animal products for lunch that day.
"People on their way to lunch break stopped and read the message [on] the signs that the clowns were holding, and I'm sure when they order their lunch, they will think about, or they will consider trying some vegan food," Sevilla told GMA News Online.
The idea to dress up as clowns was inspired by the hit movie, "It," which features Pennywise, a scary clown terrorizing a group of children, Sevilla said. But Sevilla clarified it was not clowns people should fear.
"Clowns are not scary, slaughterhouses are," she added.
Sevilla pointed out the forms of cruelty animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens endure inside slaughterhouses: "filthy" cages and enclosures, un-anesthetized surgical procedures, and their eventual slaughter.
"They just experience such (a) horrible life and that's what we end up eating, it's not good, it's not good for our body and it's not good for the planet," Sevilla said.
Pennywise or peso-wise?
Sevilla added that going vegan — where one eliminates animal meat and byproducts such as eggs, milk, and honey from his or her diet — was "very simple."
It's so simple, in fact, that even those with little budget will find this alternative diet "penny-wise," or rather "peso-wise."
"A kilo of vegetables is always cheaper than a kilo of beef or a kilo of pork. So it's really not fair to say that vegan food is expensive, or more expensive than a meat diet, than any meat," Sevilla said.
"Even tofu, which Filipinos love, is cheaper than meat. So if you buy a kilo of tofu, it's less than P100, while a kilo of beef is like P300, or more. So that's a misconception, that vegan food is more expensive," she added.
PETA has resorted to various strategies for promoting veganism and animal rights, including controversial ones that involve body-baring celebrities protesting animal abuses.
In 2015, PETA activists wearing animal mascot costumes gathered to promote climate change awareness during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. — MDM, GMA News