Tag Archives: Peaceful Protest

If We Can’t Advocate for Animals Now, When?

One of the most common “arguments” animal-eaters use against vegans is that we should be putting humans problems first, as if we can’t simultaneously care for humans and animals or that speaking up on behalf of animals must mean we don’t care about the suffering our own species. These are long-held assumptions that are not only false but are indicative of two things in our society: 1) we don’t value animals very much and 2) we don’t want to believe that we might be part of the problem when it comes to how animals are treated.  Continue reading

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Activism and the End Goal

I had the pleasure of attending Toronto’s Pride Parade this year and, for the third year in a row, marching with Mercy for Animals, one of the over 180 participants walking alongside so many other great organizations. For someone who hated parades even as a kid because of the crowds, it’s a testament not only to how much I believe in the work MFA is doing but to the genuine fun that is the Pride Parade. Obviously it was not always this way – Pride Week in Toronto evolved from the now-infamous 1981 Bathhouse Raids, where Toronto Police violently raided and arrested over 300 people from the LGBT community. It was only this year that the Toronto Police Chief issued a formal apology for those actions.

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Animal Rights Chose Me

Perhaps you’ve heard this joke before:

“How do you know someone’s a vegan?  Don’t worry – they’ll tell you.”

It’s not a badly constructed joke, although one could easily replace “vegan” with “hunter”, “bacon-lover” or “meat eater”. Obviously the joke wouldn’t land in the same way because the punchline of the original joke is based on the stereotype that vegans are militant fanatics who are constantly in-your-face. Whereas hunters, bacon-lovers, and meat eaters are the accepted norm despite the fact that some of them have no qualms about being just as in-your-face about their beliefs when it comes to animals and food.

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The Purpose and Privilege of Protest

Yesterday, along with Julian and two of our friends, I participated in my first-ever protest march.  It was the “March to Close All Slaughterhouses” and it not only took place in Toronto and Montreal but also in France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, England, Turkey, Belgium, Scotland and the U.S.  It’s the third year for the march and approximately 500 people attended in Toronto.  It was well-organized, well-run and, the cause aside for one moment, the experience made me extremely grateful to live in a country where I am free to openly protest in the street.  We post our thoughts, feelings and opinions so automatically now that it’s easy to forget just how privileged we are to be able to do that without fear of arrest, prison or worse. Marching on behalf of animal rights made me aware of my own: I saw those civil liberties in action and it made me realize how important it is to exercise them, especially on behalf of those who have none.  Continue reading

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