Factory-farmed humans long for freedom

After two nights in a cramped cage, 40 animal welfare campaigners are counting down the minutes until the protest is over.

Animal rights group SAFE organised the 'Caged Being' event to mimic the conditions of factory farm animal. They have no phones, showers or toilets, and were only allowed to eat plain muesli and soy milk four times a day.

Campaign director Mandy Carter says those participating will be relieved to get out, but it's been beneficial.

"That is what animals go through. Having that experience of having to be mindful and living an actually at times quite boring life, and an understimulated life, and one where everything is controlled for you, has really given them food for thought."

The Caged Being protest is being livestreamed on Facebook. In a poll on Saturday, viewers voted to halve the size of the cage after the organisers said the prisoners were having "a little too much fun". 

"Lots of visitors are coming down and having a chat with them in the cage and seeing what it is like for them," says Ms Carter.

More than 100 million animals in New Zealand are kept in factory farms according to SAFE, which wants the public to stop buying factory-farmed products.

"They don't get to choose anything - everything's dictated to them in the same way it would be to a farm animal. They'd never have the chance to leave the cage," says Ms Carter.

"That's what we want them to have the chance to experience - the feeling of what it's like to be deprived of everything."

A proposal on Saturday night to give the participants something "yummy" to eat was resoundingly defeated in a vote.

As of Sunday morning, more than $9,000 had been donated to the cause.