A UC Berkeley animal rights activist club held a demonstration in front of a Domino’s Pizza franchise Saturday, protesting an ad campaign they felt was misleading as well as the company’s use of animal products.
The demonstration, scheduled for an hour starting at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, took place in front of a Domino’s location near the intersection of Shattuck and University Avenues. Members of the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy held signs, distributed leaflets and stood in front of the restaurant.
The protest was sparked by Domino’s animal welfare ad campaign, according to a press release by the club. The ad, which was printed on pizza boxes and read, “This pizza couldn’t have been made without help from Stella, Edna, Abigail, Estelle and Nancy,” alongside portrait-style pictures of dairy cows, was misleading and implied the cows consented to their slaughter, the release stated.
According to club co-presidents Justine Carion, a UC Berkeley senior, and Kitty Jones, a UC Berkeley junior, Saturday’s protest was the first the club had organized independently, though they have previously demonstrated in solidarity with other animal rights organizations. Jones said the club finds any restaurant serving animal products to be “super problematic.”
“(The ads are) extremely misleading and part of corporate humane-washing,” she said. “It makes it look like they care about animals’ lives, when really they make massive profits on animal exploitation.”
According to Tim McIntyre, vice president of communications for Domino’s, the boxes printed with the ad have been in use for six months, and were produced to acknowledge the company’s partners in the dairy industry.
“Dairy producers across the country care deeply about the care and well-being of their herds, as they are essential to their livelihoods,” he said in an email.
Shift manager of the University Ave. Domino’s location, Nickolas Torren said he hadn’t seen a lot of protests in front of his location before, and said he watched the protesters, as Saturday wasn’t a busy day.
Cars honked in support of the demonstrators, according to Carion, and Jones said she didn’t hear any negative comments from Domino’s patrons or bystanders, even when the club handed out pamphlets.
“People were just surprised about what was going on with animals, and hopefully they’ll be compassionate about it,” she said.