On June 13th there was a worldwide march to close all slaughterhouses. We were excited to be a part of this march that included France, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Scotland and Australia. Los Angeles was the only city to participate in the United States. Over 100 people came to show support for our furry friends. There was an impressive turnout in Paris, France with over 2K people and over 1K in Sydney, Australia according to the Facebook invites.
The peaceful march was very well organized with the local law enforcement involved helping us along our route. The organizers say that it took them a whole year to plan out this march. I believe it. We began at Pershing Square downtown. During the mid point of our march we stopped at Grand Central Market where we all marched inside the bustling market while people were eating. Now of course that would make some folks uncomfortable but it was actually really cool that we were able to do that. We got a lot of weird crazy looks, people taking out their phones to snap pictures and record video. My first reaction was whoa we are actually going in the market!? Awesome! Then I was kinda like wait, am I an asshole for doing this? hah. But no, I'm not the asshole because I'm not a part of the problem and a contributor to the mass killing of innocent animals. Now if you are a carnivore am I saying you are an asshole? Well, not really. I don't know you personally but it would be great if you get educated on this issue. And after you are, if you still want to eat animals then yes, I'd say you are an asshole. hah. Kidding...I'll just give you the benefit of the doubt.
Anyway back to the march...Obviously it was something that got people's attention besides the bullhorn and chanting. hah. Although we did not chant inside the market, we were silent. Quietly walking through holding our signs and encouraging people to think about their choices. Of course people have very strong opinions on this but this was nothing compared to the marches that went on outside of the U.S.. I don't normally take this sort of "in your face" approach to vegansim or my plant based lifestyle but this was an event that only happens once a year and I feel it was important to have my voice be a part of this group to show up and be present. We fought as a community with people who have the same values and beliefs joining together in hopes that one day society will change the way it views animals. Not enough people really understand what goes on in the real world. It's not old McDonald out there, this is truly the worst horror film you could imagine happening to animals everyday. These are living beings who have hearts, brains, feelings, mothers, daughters, and intelligence.
In the words of Paul McCartney, "If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be vegetarian". Many chose to ignore or turn a blind eye because if they really thought about it, it would be too much. Just like those awful Humane Society commercials. Do you turn the channel as soon as Sarah McLachlan starts up and the puppy eyes flash in slow mo' on TV too? See? There's really no difference in a farm animal vs your dog or cat. We just chose to say these are for farms and these are for companionship.
Then there's the effects on the environment which you can check out my infographic I made in my other blog post here. Wether you are vegan or not I think everyone can agree that they wouldn't want to harm an animal or see it suffer so why do we say it's ok for someone else to do it for us just to put something on our plate that we could easily get from plants? The idea is to get people to really consciously think about that. Become more aware of how your choices are effecting society, animals, the environment, your health, the planet everyday.
It was very powerful to be a voice for the billions of animals that don't have a choice. The average american consumes 21,000 animals in his/her lifetime. Over 56 billion farmed animals are killed every year by humans. More than 3,000 animals die every second in slaughterhouses around the world. These shocking figures do not even include fish and other sea creatures whose deaths are so great they are only measured in tonnes. Or even consider the animals used for testing, hunting and entertainment.
The reason we march is to end the suffering and unnecessary slaughter of these beautiful intelligent creatures. We want to show that they are not food, not for us to exploit and abuse. We want social change for a movement towards animal liberation. If no one speaks up for them who will? I feel like I quote Mr. Gene Baur often, "If you can live well and be happy without causing unnecessary harm, why wouldn't you?".
For more information about this march or the cause please visit www.mtcas.org
Love & Beets,