Caged Being - a successful Social Experiment to raise awareness of factory farming in New Zealand

What happens when 40 People, live together for 40 Hours…in a cage?

At 10pm on 2 June 40 people said goodbye to their creature comforts and entered a 56 square meter cage inside a disused shop in Auckland to raise awareness of the biggest animal welfare issue of our time - factory farming. The unique ‘Caged Being’ event aimed to bring factory farming into the spotlight and to let Kiwis know how we can all make a difference to make New Zealand a better place for animals. The experiment represented the conditions that more than 100 million animals experience every day in New Zealand farms. 

At 2pm Sunday afternoon, the caged volunteers re-emerged exhausted and sleep deprived, yet exhilarated to finally be freed. The 40 hour ordeal meant the participants endured two nights sleeping on the hard floor, a grain fed diet of muesli and soy milk and limited access to the toilet and their phones. Complete strangers at the outset, the beings chatted immediately in the barren cage, getting to know each other. As time progressed, however, the privileges of talking and socialising were revoked, and soon sleep deprivation, bland food, and loss of autonomy began to take their toll on the caged beings. And as with factory farmed animals, overcrowding and the loss of freedom to express natural behaviours had a significant impact, and by the end of the experiment, the beings were miserable. Three Caged Beings found the ordeal too much, hitting the emergency release button and leaving the cage early. ‘Caged Being’ was livestreamed on Facebook throughout the duration of the experiment, and those following online were able to interact with the participants.

Shortland Street stars Tane Williams and Luke Patrick and ex-Bachelorette of 2016 Alicia Cowan joined the group for a guest spot in the cage to show support for the initiative. NZ Masterchef 2013 winner Aaron Brunet and his 17 year old daughter Ariana braved the experiment for the full 40 hours, and members public also visited the throughout the weekend to understand the true confines of the cage. 

Upon their release after 40 hours, the Caged Beings were greeted with a hot meal and a thank-you ‘goody bag’, courtesy of the experiments generous sponsors.

SAFE wishes to thank our Caged being participants and generous sponsors - special thanks to Hawke's Bay vintner Moana Park. By supporting this unique experiment and pushing themselves to the limit they have helped bring the reality of factory farming into the headlines.

Learn More

TVNZ 'No respect and no freedom' - 40 people shut themselves in cage to protest factory farming

Newstalk ZB 40 hours in a cage: Protest to show 'horrifying life' of caged chickens

Newshub Factory-farmed humans long freedom

RNZ Checkpoint Protesters to live like caged animals for the weekend

NZ Herald MasterChef NZ winner Aaron Brunet to protest in cage

6 June 2017