Caged for good cause

Hamilton Metro News - - FRONT PAGE - Bethany Rol­ston

Te Awa­mutu res­i­dent and for­mer Bach­e­lorette Ali­cia Cowan loves an­i­mals.

So much so, that she spent hours con­fined in a 56 square me­tre cage to raise aware­ness about fac­tory farm­ing.

Miss Cowan quickly made an im­pres­sion on The Bach­e­lor NZ sea­son two af­ter in­tro­duc­ing her­self as the proud owner of 20 dif­fer­ent pets, in­clud­ing a hand­ful of cats.

She sur­vived eight rose cer­e­monies be­fore be­ing sent home by Bach­e­lor Jor­dan Mauger.

Off the screen, her love of an­i­mals re­mains stead­fast.

Miss Cowan was one of 40 peo­ple who en­tered a cage in Auck­land for 40 hours on Fri­day night.

The so­cial ex­per­i­ment, dubbed ‘Caged Be­ings’, was or­gan­ised by SAFE.

It sim­u­lated what 125 mil­lion caged an­i­mals ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery day in New Zealand, ac­cord­ing to the an­i­mal rights or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The ex­pe­ri­ence en­com­passed two nights sleep­ing on the floor, a diet of muesli and soy milk, and lim­ited ac­cess to the toi­let.

Miss Cowan was in­vited as a “sup­port­ive guest“and spent four hours in the cage.

She would have stayed for 40 hours but had her own an­i­mal com­mit­ments in Te Awa­mutu, she says.

Also in the cage was Short­land Street stars Tane Williams and Luke Pa­trick and MasterChef’s 2013 win­ner Aaron Brunet and his 17-year-old daugh­ter Ari­ana.

Miss Cowan says the ex­pe­ri­ence was “emo­tional and em­pow­er­ing“.

Three vol­un­teers found it too hard and left the cage on the sec­ond night.

“It was very re­strict­ing and tough,” she says.

Af­ter 40 hours, the re­main­ing peo­ple left the cage chal­lenge ex­hausted and sleep de­prived.

Miss Cowan says the ex­pe­ri­ence high­lighted the poor treat­ment and liv­ing con­di­tions of fac­tory farmed an­i­mals.

“New Zealand is turn­ing a blind eye to cru­elty and suf­fer­ing. It’s un­nec­es­sary and dis­grace­ful.”

Miss Cowan and her an­i­mals— she’s lost count of how many— have lived in Te Awa­mutu for the last six years.

“I was born an an­i­mal-lover. “Any­one that comes into my life must love an­i­mals, too. We’re a pack­age deal.”

CAGED: Vol­un­teers spend two nights sleep­ing on the floor with a diet of muesli and soy milk and lim­ited ac­cess to the toi­let.

Te Awa­mutu res­i­dent and for­mer Bach­e­lorette Ali­cia Cowan joins 40 oth­ers in a 56 square me­tre cage to raise aware­ness about fac­tory farm­ing.

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