One + June 2011 - (Page 78)

Meeting Against Meat Ashley Byrne has animal magnetism. BY JESSIE STATES Posing in front of a giant replica seal in Ottawa. Encouraging crowds to “bare skin,” not “wear skin.” Leading a flock of people in chicken costumes around the New York Stock Exchange while McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner looks on. Handing out vegetarian hotdogs to U.S. Congressional leaders alongside Playboy playmates. Ah, the hectic and sometimes bizarre life of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) senior campaigner, when appearing in public with topless advocates against cruel fishing practices or asking politicians to “cut the pork, tax the meat” are every-other-day mundanities. A long-time PETA supporter and volunteer, Byrne joined the team four years ago following turns as a copywriter and political researcher. She was already accustomed to the way PETA works: Do something outrageous, get media attention, use the spotlight to inform an audience. She knew how to rally, attract awareness and deal with crowds. And she was passionate about one thing: Animal rights. It started 15 years ago with a graphic documentary on factory farms and slaughterhouses, the cruelty of which rather quickly turned Byrne off of steakhouses and Chick-fil-A. It also prompted her to research animal agribusiness. “I realized that eating animals was destroying the planet and wasting resources that could feed starving people, and I decided that I had a responsibility to help create the kind of world in which I wanted to live,” she says. “I also knew so many people who felt frustrated about all of the large issues that the world is facing right now, and I wanted to help show that there are very simple ways in which we can have a big impact.” That elevator speech might very well have gotten her the PETA gig, especially considering how little experience she had planning rallies, protests and demonstrations. But she was vocal, passionate and determined, all traits inherent in the best campaigners. Her first job: Plan a tour of demonstrations as part of the campaign to “encourage” KFC to stop using suppliers who abuse chickens (scalding birds to death, slitting their throats while they’re still conscious and drugging and breeding them to grow so large that they cripple beneath their own weight). 78 one+ 06.11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + June 2011

One + June 2011
Energy of Many
Paradigm Shifts, Part I
Ask the Experts
Web Watch
Recognizing Individual Excellence
Sound Off
Art of Travel
River Mason
Top Spots
Plan It Forward
Great Thanking
Running on Defaults
The New Mobile Workforce
World Wide Open
Higher Education
Progress Through Technology
Step by Strategic Step
Meeting Rxcitement
Tame Social Media Chaos
Meeting Against Meat
Re-Designed for the New Rules of Engagement
Industry Insights
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again

One + June 2011