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Video makes people go vegan

Max Bitar (left), a sophomore Dramatic Arts and Pre-Journalism major from Greensboro, NC, watches the Farm Animal Rights Movement's (F.A.R.M.) video on awareness about how animals are killed in our food system.

UNC students can earn $1 just by watching a video today ­— at the cost of their appetite.

Students are being paid to watch a four-minute video about animal slaughtering Monday and today.

The video is shown on a vehicle with multiple screens that is parked in the metered parking lot by the ATMs on Raleigh Street.

The video is part of the 10 Billion Lives tour, a national campaign to bring attention to controversial animal farming practices.

The tour is sponsored by the national non-profit Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) and attempts to shed light on the farming practices by showing a graphic video.

“We found that the strange tactic of paying people $1 got them more engaged in the end,” said Michael Weber, program director of FARM.

“It’s actually cheaper than anything else we’ve done before.”

The video shows graphic images of the killing practices of chickens, cows and pigs.

“I felt kind of sick,” said senior Moriah Webster after watching the video.

After watching the video, people are given the option to pledge to eat a vegan diet a certain number of days per week.

“Learning about how animals are raised and killed in our food system and the miserable lives they have to endure really motivated me to be an active voice for them,” said Jeni Haines, driver and coordinator for the tour.

“Exposing people to the harsh reality of animal agriculture really inspires people to make a change,” she said.

Haines said since the project launched in April, it has reached approximately 35,000 people.

Turnout was low on Monday because of the weather, but Haines said she expects more people to see the video today.

“We usually get about 300 people to see the video,” she said.

The tour is entirely funded by donors, and there is currently no scheduled end date.

“We will be visiting at least a dozen more universities before the semester is over,” Weber said.

He said the tour has already been to many college campuses, as well as rock concerts such as Vans Warped Tour.

Eighty percent of people who watch the video pledge to eat vegan for at least few days a week, Weber said.

Approximately half of those who make the pledge follow through.

Weber said most people do not complain about the graphic nature of the video.

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“Most people are really grateful to learn about it,” he said.

Junior Jacob Virgil said the video was powerful.

“It definitely made me reconsider some things — it was intense,” he said.

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