Coming back from the first edition of Ma Voix Pour Eux‘s (My Voice For Them) mini-conference I felt a deep feeling of gratitude for those who dare go where most citizens flee – the world of animal activism. It is without saying that this movement has had some kind of an impact on society although the statistics remain bleak; only 2.5% of the population of the United States is vegan and there is a staggering 15% of those who have reverted back from veganism and vegetarianism and this within only 3 months. The main reasons for their change of heart is merely due to their lack of knowledge on how to be vegan and from them being ostracized by their peers having failed to surround themselves with like-minded individuals. Still it is staggering that these numbers are so low when the reality remains that million upon million of animals are tortured and killed each year for us to eat, wear, use and be entertained by. As one of the guest speakers explained it takes a lot of courage to be able face the real facts. Modern society has manipulated us into believing that farm animals are commodities and that their lives do not matter in any way. I thought that most people knew by now the horror of slaughterhouses and the lack of laws protecting animals in industrial farming… sadly just a handful seem to care. Why has governments and industries led us into making unkind and monstrous decisions which are obviously morally depraved and insane? Decisions that seem to possess no sense of ethics? Herein lies the debate of animal activism.
The human animals behind this movement consider non-human animals as they would other human beings. They see them as they truly are: sentient, intelligent, emotional and in no way do they feel superior to them. This is the reason animal activists are calling for the end of their exploitation. Animal activists, often seen as marginal and disturbing people, are doing all they can because their goal is for others to see what they have seen and to feel what they have felt. They are the ones who dare watch the documentaries, read the books, look at the statistics and go to the forefront of this battlefield by showing up with their picket signs at slaughterhouses and demonstrations.
This dark reality lies in our every day lives yet society seems to want to cling to its immunity. Our entire way of living depends on imposing cruelty to animals which sounded disturbing enough for Rick Hinojosa and Daniel Lussier, two vegan friends that have decided to step up their involvement by giving back a voice to these muted animals. It is one thing to step out of the box and make better choices for yourself yet these guys have decided to push the envelope further and stretch out their own necks out by showing up at demonstrations with their banner, by going to city hall and demanding answers and now by giving a platform for fellow activists to educate others. While the decision to fight for animals is definitely a personal one it is by no means an unimportant one, a fact which was well underlined by each and every one of the six chosen speakers. Animal activists want the truth to be said and they will never stop until every cage is empty, every slaughter house closed and every animal freed. Why? Because it is the moral thing to do. As Sir Paul McCartney once said:
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”
Ma Voix pour Eux wants to educate others on the horror of slaughterhouses, on the impact of the dairy and cattle industries on climate change and on the benefits of a plant-based diet for example. What struck me the most about the conference was not just the facts because I am quite familiar with them, it was the love and kindness you could feel in the room. Animal activists are just people who wish to speak to your heart in order to plant a seed of compassion for these beings. There is an invisible war happening – animals are brutally raised and murdered, trees and rainforests are being burnt and bulldozed and waterways are being poisoned by industrial farming. Human beings have never been so sick and pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank. We have been deterred into making choices that are sick and disgusting for the animals themselves, for the sustainability of our planet and for our own health. Yet 98% of society still chooses it.
After listening to the speakers I retained many things such as:
- I cannot just sit behind my computer anymore. Although I have been to a few gatherings my activism must become more ruthless because there is no justice for these animals.
- It’s ok to be loud and disturbing sometimes because it’s time for this war to end. As one speaker said: ” If each vegan today turned 6 others to veganism and so on most people in the world would someday be vegan.”
- No matter what people say (and trust me people social media can be very mean) I will NEVER shut up.
- I will keep supporting industries that are cruelty-free – keep putting my money where it counts.
The event which was held at Le 5e Griffintown, a vegan and zero-waste café, also held a raffle which raised money for Jacomo et ses amis, a refuge for farm animals in dire need of your generosity. Thank you so much to Ma Voix pour Eux for encouraging people to keep fighting a good fight. I am without a doubt that you have inspired others and will keep doing so with your next events.
If you wish to join or donate: Ma Voix pour Eux as well as Jacomo et ses amis have a page on Facebook.
There will be a video of the conference coming out soon-keep posted!