Bryn Sarner- PETA

Name: Bryn Sarner 

Hometown: Stillwater, NJ 

Class: 2018 

Major: Environmental Studies 

Minor: International Affairs 

1. What does it mean to be the PETA campus representative? 

PETA hires college students across the nation (and Canada!) who are dedicated to being the voice for animal rights on their campus. Each semester, a campus rep will plan multiple events that help to raise awareness on their campus usually with a campaign goal in mind (Ex: ending vivisection/dissection on campus, ending the sale of reduced pricing of SeaWorld tickets, etc.) The overall goal is to make your campus more animal friendly! 

2. What got you interested in PETA? 

I have been an animal rights activist I’m pretty sure since the day I came out the womb. Maybe even before that. For me, animal rights means so much more than taking animal products off my plate. It means being a voice for the voiceless, whether that means for humans, animals, or the environment. PETA’s mission and morals directly align with my own and they are an inspiration of an organization. They were the leader and the inception of the animal rights movement and they are never afraid of telling the truth and standing up for what they believe in no matter how hard or uncomfortable that may be. I had the pleasure of meeting the President and Founder of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, this summer who is a powerhouse of a women and has spent all of her life refusing to be silent towards injustices. This just added to my gratitude to be working for such an amazing organization. 

3. So now you have two jobs on campus? 

Yes! My other job is the Sustainable Dining Communications Manager. Before I started working for the Sustainability Office, I had started meeting with the dining hall inquiring about sustainable food options and the possibility of having Meatless Mondays or a once a week sustainable food day. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, the Sustainability Office created the position of “Sustainable Dining Communications Manager” which entailed working with the dining hall to increase sustainable food options within dining services. I could not think of a better fit for me. The Sustainability Office has been a great resource of support and guidance for me in helping see my goal of sustainable dining and educating others on the importance of sustainability within our food choices come to fruition. Now every Wednesday in the dining hall is a Sustainable Dining day serving local foods with less of a carbon footprint! 

4. How can other students get involved? 

I am currently in the process of creating an animal rights club on campus called “Compassion for All.” While this club is not official yet, the events planned for this semester are very official! Some fun things I have planned for this semester are free 

vegan food giveaways, hosting a documentary screening where audience members get paid just for watching the film, a vegan thanksgiving, and more. I’m always looking for help on campus events and people who are interested in animal rights (whether that means remembering to feed your cat or being a vegan). I’m also always down to answer any questions or chat about animal rights (or really any social justice issue for that matter) so come find me and talk to me (because I’m ~lonely~)! 

5. What advice would you have for someone trying to go vegan? Absolutely go for it. Going vegan is easier than ever. Finding foods such as nondairy milks, vegan cheeses, and meatless meats are almost in every grocery store and choosing vegan clothing can be as easy as reading labels. If you’re unsure of where to begin, PETA has a helpful Vegan Mentor program that offers one-on-one support from knowledgeable vegans that address questions and concerns about going vegan and offer guidance throughout the process. If you need a little more motivation you should try watching these great documentaries: Earthlings (on Youtube), Cowspiracy (Netflix), Forks over Knives (Netflix), and Vegucated (Netflix). Most importantly, don’t worry about being perfect, but instead just try making yourself more aware of what’s on your plate and what veganism is all about. Like I always say, veganism is not about being perfect; it’s about sucking less.