I was nervous crossing the street to the protest. I could see the others who were already there on the corner, and the walk to them was the hardest part. I'd never been to a protest of any kind before, and as I held my sign, a crossing guard mocked me and a passing car, no doubt headed for the circus, honked angrily. When I arrived at the corner with the other protesters, things got easier -- I was surrounded by like-minded, amazingly friendly people, many of whom were seasoned animal rights activists that were happy to greet me and point me in the right direction.
The first person I met there, a spitfire vegan woman who complimented my sign the moment she saw me, stood next to me for the first thirty minutes or so, and we watched as a car full of children drove by, the mother determinately ignoring us as the children in the back hung out the windows, their lips moving as they read the words on our signs, their eyes wide as they saw pictures of chained elephants.
"The kids are always the ones who look," the woman told me sagely. "The parents always turn away and ignore us. But the kids look."