Invasion of Privacy: Student activist finds passion in protesting animal cruelty, injustices

Advocating for animals’ rights is an important aspect of communication major senior Stefany Jevtic’s life. During the summer of 2017, Jevtic interned with the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals and participated in a variety of demonstrations. (Courtesy of Stefany Jevtic)

Communication major and senior transfer student Stefany Jevtic—a well-travelled and enthusiastic animal activist—held an unforgettable internship this past summer in Los Angeles working for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. 

Initially, Jevtic applied to the internship wanting to gain basic office experience in an area that she was passionate about. She soon found that the program was rewarding, unique and allowed her to partake in a certainly memorable experience. 

“I think what made me stand out was my experience with Adobe Programs, so I was able to make everything look pretty good. I put more effort into things every step of the way,” Jevtic said. “During the interview, I was not nervous at all and I was myself during this whole process so I think that is what made me stand out. I was transparent about everything.” 

During her six-week-long unpaid internship, Jevtic worked closely with PETA and its campaign against SeaWorld. She took part in three different protests against animal cruelty.

“At my PETA internship, we had a lot of opportunities to participate in protests and demonstrations,” Jevtic said. “Demonstrations are more of like acting out something and protests usually involve holding a sign and chanting. Demonstrations are protests, but protests aren’t always demonstrations.”

Her first protest was against Christine Lattin: a Yale researcher who has dedicated much of her life to studying and experimenting on different bird species. Jevtic and other interns went to a rally centered around Lattin and protested against her amongst the crowd of her supporters.

The second protest was a demonstration that took place in Aquatica—a SeaWorld water park located in San Diego. The group traveled to voice their opinions on SeaWorld and their actions.

During the protest, a group of interns dressed in wetsuits that looked like orcas and laid down in front of a sign that read “SeaWorld Kills.” Jevtic took part in the demonstration by taking photographs and video recordings of her fellow interns.

“We were holding signs that said, “Sea World Kills” to show people that you shouldn’t take your kids to Aquatica and to emphasize all the horrible things SeaWorld does,” Jevtic said. 

The demonstration led to multiple arrests because many of the participants who had dressed as orcas refused to move or standup when instructed to do so.

“People got carried out in wheelchairs and stretchers since they were laying there limp and wouldn’t leave,” Jevtic said. “That was good because we had more press because of it. It’s a bigger news story when someone gets arrested.” 

The last protest Jevtic took part in took place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and was also against the orcas imprisoned at SeaWorld. A group of volunteers painted their nude bodies as orcas and held signs and banners supporting their cause 

 Jevtic has long been involved in the fight against animal cruelty and has recently created a blog where she discusses her life as a vegan, among other topics. 

“For as long as I can remember I’ve been really into animal rights. I went vegetarian when I was in fifth grade which was a huge deal in my family. I went vegan in eighth grade. I was vegan before it was cool,” she said jokingly.

In regard to her internship in Los Angeles, Jevtic believes it was an eye-opening experience that allowed her to become more passionate and knowledgeable about the injustices animals undergo in the United States. 

“I don’t regret anything; it was such an amazing experience. I honestly can’t believe I’ve never taken part in a protest until recently because I’ve been vegan for so long,” Jevtic said. “Before this internship, I was definitely quieter about animal rights. I always was concerned about the stigma around animal rights and I felt like people thought we were annoying. But after this internship I realized it’s not about me. I don’t care what people think about me. There are so many animals suffering and if I’m not going to say something, no one will.”