Jul 2012 30

by Jordan Mizell

Let’s take a Warped Tour through the reality of animal testing. The only reason you don’t care about it, is because you haven’t had to bare witness to it. It’s a twisted world when people have stilled their reservations about putting animals through painful testing. Testing that isn’t necessary and may not accurately show the effects the products would likely have on humans. Once you have seen the reality of what these animals are put through, it’s not a matter of choosing, but a demand not to support these practices or those that enforce them.

This year PETA2 joined the Warped Tour to turn the spotlight on cigarette companies. While testing the effects of smoking on animals has been banned in many other countries, the United States has yet to do so. Which begs the question: Why? We already have a wealth of data showing the harmful effects of cigarettes. We know they cause cancer. We know smoking isn’t good for you. At this point, pretty much every smoker in the world knows this. We are generally an over informed public when it comes to smoking. So why keep testing on animals?

PETA2 is asking the same question. Like many anti-anything groups though, it isn’t so much about convincing the individual, as it is forcing an industry to change. PETA2 has started a grassroots movement to do so. PETA2’s production manager, Paige Snyder, explains: “Too often people feel like they have little say in getting anything changed.”

But change would not have come to the countries that have already banned this type of testing, if it wasn’t for similar movements. Highlighting the fact that people have the choice to buy products that don’t utilize this type of testing, well that’s a powerful way to create change at a corporate level. Because, when protest affects the bottom line in business, it forces a re-evaluation. Even if you are a committed smoker, there are plenty of companies that do not engage in such cruel practices that better deserve you patronage.

So how is the Warped Tour involved in PETA2’s latest campaign? And why should you or they care? Chris #2, who was recently on the Warped Tour with his band Anti Flag, had this to say in relation to PETA2’s campaign:

“Tobacco companies seem to be battling it out for the Most Inhumane award. Their disregard for human life, let alone their morally bankrupt testing they continue to perform on animals, has to end. Seeing first hand Peta2 confront the patrons of Warped Tour with this information, and seeing them directly throw their cigarettes — and hopefully their support of such companies — away, was a daily inspiring event.”

“It’s all about giving people a voice to speak and be heard. Then we reward them for their contributions,” says Snyder. Even without incentives however, once informed many feel obligated to act. PETA2 has found many allies on the Warped Tour with regards to this issue, and in response to the outpouring of support for their wider anti-cruelty stance, they have supplied vegan chefs so that those who choose to do so can eat cruelty free. We’re told that even artists who aren’t actually vegan, have been appreciating the food offered. It’s always been a free speech zone around the Warped Tour table. What better way to start changing hearts, minds, and habits, than with fantastic meals!