Staging a cage-in is a dramatic way to capture public attention and visually demonstrate the horrific treatment and conditions of animals in factory farms. In order to fully convey all atrocities endured by animals raised for food (not only confinement), it is important to include information about transport, slaughter, and other abuses into your event. You can incorporate cage-ins into nearly any other activity, such as information tables, videos, leafleting, protests, street theatre, and/or civil disobedience sit-ins.
You can make or purchase cages large enough to fit one or more people, or use smaller props to represent the cages, crates, and stalls used in factory farming. Home Depot, Lowe's, and other home improvement stores have various supplies for both intricate and simple cage props.
Folding crates used for dog training are also an easy and effective means to demonstrate some of the discomfort that confinement brings. If you or your friends don’t already have a crate, ask your local companion animal supply store or look online. This small investment will offer you years of ready-to-go props to use for a variety of campaigns.
Having activists sit in the cages is a very effective way to use the props, especially if they wear animal costumes and/or fake blood. This can be done next to an informative display, or at a symbolic location, such as a slaughterhouse or fast food chain. To be even more dramatic, the cages can be used as part of a sit-in, where the activists refuse to leave a location until they are forced out. Before attempting this, please read our guide to civil disobedience.
Another option is to allow passerby to sit in the cage when they visit an information table. Small consolations, like gift certificates or free food samples can be given to people who sit in the cage. When no activsts or visitors are in the cages, plush animals or animals cut-outs can occupy them. Never leave a caged-in activist unsupervised.
Other visuals add a lot to the educational experience of the passerby. Include photos of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses, as well as detailed descriptions and signs. Videos can be the most powerful addition to a cage-in.