Boots on the Ground Animal Rights Activism
During the past year as an animal rights advocate and activist, I have shed more than a few tears for those I could not save and met some great vegan friends on social media and through my website. I have been blocked on Facebook by someone close to me and probably by others of whom I am not aware. And I have forged personal friendships with people who share my vision for this world: a world where other species are free from bondage to humans. I have deepened my understanding of how I can continue to bring my daily life in line with my ethics. I hope, most earnestly and sincerely, that through my posts on social media and my website and my daily interactions, I have given pause for thought to some.
Photo Credit: Jude Arsenault, Mouvement de Libération I have learned that veganism is a truth reflected in what some refer to as a belief or philosophy. At the heart of this truth is the ethic of having the intention of doing no harm. We all know that we do unavoidable, unintentional harm when we walk this earth, leaving an often heavy footprint of our presence wherever we tread. Living life with intention can and does minimize this harm and should be the goal of all humans.
My ongoing personal goal is to change hearts and minds using my example and my words, both of which I like to refer to as being a pebble in the collective shoe of non-vegans. And then there is my boots on the ground advocacy and activism. This is a term used to describe getting out in public and attending marches, vigils, making speeches, rescuing animals in need. Basically, whatever it takes to get, peacefully, to get the attention of non-vegans and to change hearts and minds.
Photo Credit: Jude Arsenault: Mouvement de Libération-Liberation Movement To this end, I decided that I would bite the bullet and steel myself for certain emotional upheaval by attending an anti-speciesism vigil outside a slaughterhouse. Since this initial decision, I have stood vigil twice and will go again. No, it is not easy and yes, it is worth it. People need to be made aware of the consequences of their unsupportable food choices and someone needs to be there to bear witness to the senseless spilling of blood when these animals are sacrificed for our wants, not needs.
In the words of my good friend and fellow "vigiliste", Jimmy Videle "Anne sums up perfectly what I was feeling that day. For myself I wonder...If non-vegans were to witness: The truck arriving, dead chickens in with solemn ones, cold, hungry and thirsty, the roll-up door closing as the truck entered, immediately followed by the shrieking metal blade whirring, and the smell of blood, wet feathers and manure intensifying, would they continue their same eating habits, would they then make the connection? I believe non-vegans would, because I believe in all of our hearts that we do not want any being to suffer. I wish you non-vegans to see it, smell it and feel it one time, so you know exactly your complicity."
I spoke at the second vigil (also kinda scary for me), as did Jimmy. If you would like to watch these videos, please check them out atMouvement de Liberation-Liberation Movement. What my speech lacks in polish, it makes up for in heartfelt sincerity. In Jimmy's video, please ignore the crazy lady in the background who is continually adjusting her hat and dropping her stuff. Tee-hee-hee!!
We can all do this, whatever form our advocacy and activism takes.
We can join a world wide movement that is growing and gaining strength daily.
We can step outside of our comfort zone, wherever we live, and advocate for those less fortunate than us.
And who could be less fortunate than the animals who are enslaved, brutalized and murdered daily in the name of human greed?