This is a guest blog by UARC member and supporter Lexi Purrington.
A couple weeks ago, I visited Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum with my mother and my 9-month-old son. During this trip, I was beyond disappointed to see a disturbing and misleading exhibit sponsored by the pork industry. This exhibit was not “educational” by any means. It was blatant corporate propaganda that has no business in a children’s museum.
Pigs are crammed into tiny cages on factory farms because it is more profitable to raise them in such inhumane conditions, but the sign stated that they were kept indoors to “protect them.” Even though pigs have their lives violently taken from them, the sign also said the “delicious” meat was “provide[d]” by the animals.
My son is vegan, and in our family we will teach him values of compassion and kindness towards animals. Thankfully, he is not yet old enough to understand the exhibit. But I had to wonder how many other kids had seen it. The sign wasn’t necessary nor educational, and it disturbed me, to say the very least.
Later that day, I wrote to Discovery Gateway to express my concerns as a vegan parent. I received a message back stating they were planning on updating their farm area in the future and would keep me updated. Honestly, I never expected much to come of it, so I went on with my days and avoided yet another place that exploited animals. I was pleasantly surprised when the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum followed up with me a few days later to inform me that the sign had been removed.
I couldn’t believe it! I had never been the type to write a complaint because I always figured I couldn’t make a difference just by doing so, but here I am today with a huge smile on my face knowing that something so simple can. If you see something that you feel is wrong, take the time to speak up. Never be silent in the face of any injustice.
I’d like to personally thank Discovery Gateway for valuing my opinion and taking action. It’s a fantastic museum and I’m thrilled to be able to go back and enjoy it with my family. No matter how small a victory, things add up. We are so much more powerful than we know.
Lexi Purrington is a vegan nutritionist, mother, personal trainer and animal lover based out of Salt Lake City.