On Tuesday, two young women took off their white robes and hopped into a makeshift shower set up on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Ivar Avenue in front of a crowd of media members and film students. The shower was part of a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign for World Water Day. According to PETA, 2,400 gallons of water are required to produce one pound of meat.
“You can save more water if you skip eating a pound of meat than if you skip showering for six months. Obviously, one of those options smells better than the other,” said Lindsey Ragt, manager of the campaigns department at PETA.
Virginia Fort and Meggan Anderson, both vegans, stripped off their garments outside the Los Angeles Film School at noon and began lathering each other with soap and water. The shower, a panel of banners designed into a square, read "Clean Your Conscience: Go Vegan!" on the front. Fort is a representative for PETA and Anderson is a model.
The demonstration attracted a lot of attention, especially from male pedestrians. One pedestrian exclaimed, "This is why I moved to Hollywood!"
Ragt said that PETA does not call on only women for its protests; other demonstrations have centered around a husband and wife team or a man by himself.
“It’s difficult to engage people with facts and statistics alone. They get sort of bored. When people see a couple of people showering on the street corner, that’s not something they can resist checking out,” said Ragt.
The male-dominated audience was intrigued by the performance, but it didn’t quite persuade everyone to change their dietary habits.
“I eat meat and potatoes all day,” said 30-year-old Los Angeles Film School student John Rosburough. “I think it’s hilarious that they’ve got naked women out here to stop the slaughter of animals. Sex sells everything. Or, at least they try to use it to sell everything.”
“It’s a bad way to do it. I don’t think it gets their point across,” he said.