Members of Mercy For Animals staked out the Cabrillo Boulevard dolphin fountain on Tuesday accompanied by an inflatable dog in a bun. The pro-vegetarian organization, committed to abolishing animal cruelty on farms big and small and the consumption of meat in general, launched the West Coast portion of a six-week nationwide campaign yesterday in Los Angeles and stayed for an hour in Santa Barbara before hitting the road for Monterey.
Foot traffic appeared light for most of that time but Jeni Haines, a campaign coordinator from the group’s Sacramento headquarters who was taking the dog and the nonprofit’s message as far as Seattle, said a lot of people asked for information and more than a drivers honked in what she considered approval.
“We engage people to make the connection between animals on their plate and the cats and dogs we love,” Haines said, explaining that 99 percent of the animals Americans consume come from factory farms where the animals are treated horrifically. She also pointed out that animals raised for dairy and eggs often suffer extraordinary abuse, too. “We have to question why we call some animals dinner and some pets,” she said.