Students strip down for animal rights

Baring their bodies to stand up for the rights of creatures covered in fur may sound a bit bizarre, but that's exactly what more than 30 Rhodes students did on Monday evening.

While the temperature was below 20 degrees, the au naturel animal lovers streaked from the journalism department and down Prince Alfred Street to land up near the end of New Street in order to get people's attention.

The run, organised by student society Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (Roar), initiated an animal rights week programme which aims to raise awareness about animal cruelty. Roar's treasurer, Rayne Cyba Mandley told Grocott's Mail that although it's good that people focus so much on poaching and on not eating meat, many have forgotten that the cruelty animals undergo for their skin is also a violation to their rights.

“We would rather go naked than wear animal skin,” she said. Most of the revealing runners supported the cause by stripping down to their underwear and making the dash, although some, like the Student Representative Council's environmental representative Ruth Kruger, were fully committed to taking off their clothes and went completely naked.

“The streak, for me, is a way to force people out of their bubbles, Kruger said. There are far too many people who walk around with goggles on their eyes and cotton in their ears and this is why we need to send this message [about animal cruelty],” she said.

Members of the netball society also rallied together to support the initiative. “Not only are we here to support this good initiative, but this is also a way for us to rally up support for the team before tri-varsity,” said Nobu Phuza, the netball society's development officer.

Kaitlyn Churchyard, a third-year student and first-time streaker, said she was glad that she had made it to the end. “I felt accomplished at the end because I did it,” she said, punching the air. The Roar run ended at the Slip Stream Sports Bar on New Street, where students were offered drinks to warm themselves.

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NATURE'S ACTIVISTS... Near-naked Rhodes students braved the chilly night air on Monday to streak down Prince Alfred Street in the name of animal rights. Organised by the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (Roar), the run aimed to send the message that participants would rather wear their own skin than wear fur. Photo: Jessica Kriedemann
NATURE'S ACTIVISTS... Near-naked Rhodes students braved the chilly night air on Monday to streak down Prince Alfred Street in the name of animal rights. Organised by the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (Roar), the run aimed to send the message that participants would rather wear their own skin than wear fur. Photo: Jessica Kriedemann
NATURE'S ACTIVISTS... Near-naked Rhodes students braved the chilly night air on Monday to streak down Prince Alfred Street in the name of animal rights. Organised by the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (Roar), the run aimed to send the message that participants would rather wear their own skin than wear fur. Photo: Jessia Kriedemann
NATURE'S ACTIVISTS... Near-naked Rhodes students braved the chilly night air on Monday to streak down Prince Alfred Street in the name of animal rights. Organised by the Rhodes Organisation for Animal Rights (Roar), the run aimed to send the message that participants would rather wear their own skin than wear fur. Photo: Jessia Kriedemann