There is going to be a peaceful march in Montreal tomorrow, June 14, 2014 at 1 PM-a march to close down all slaughterhouses. This march is being held in support of the second annual Main March which takes place in Toronto on the same day. Solidarity will be shown in the form of sister marches taking place in several other countries- Sydney (Australia), London (UK), Los Angeles and New York City (USA), and Kassel (Germany)
On their site, Toronto March to Close All Slaughterhouses they state: “As a society, we have marched against sexism, racism, and homophobia. Now, we ask you to join us to march against another oppression: speciesism….
It’s time to state clearly the necessity to abolish non-human slavery, and oppose the practices that exploit, torture, and murder them.”
So, as I understand it, the mission of the march organizers, is to end speciesim by marching against practices and businesses, such as slaughterhouses, that support speciesism . Presumably, if there were no slaughterhouses, there would be no gratuitous killing of nonhumans, no raising of nonhumans for food and no enslaving and abuse.
Abolitionists would likely label this march as a single cause issue-that of closing down slaughterhouses. They might say that the march is about welfare reform and, as such, dilutes the message of veganism. I presume that they would be in favor of a march that simply advocates for a vegan world. Which, by the way, is not a bad idea!
Here are two of the Six Principles of the Abolitionist Approach to Animal Rights described on, Animal Rights, The Abolitionist Approach… and abolition means veganism!
“The abolitionist approach sees abolition as the goal of animal ethics and sees creative, nonviolent vegan advocacy—and not welfare reform—as the means to that end.”
“Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism.”
So, if you asked me where, as a vegan, I stand on this issue, I would have to say that I am not quite sure. In principle, I agree in abolition and I believe in and want a vegan world. And, I would like it to happen now. But, I am not sure what is the most effective way to get there.
I also believe in welfare advocacy when a nonhuman is in peril and we know about the specifics and are in a position to do something about it, right here, right now. I am less certain about welfare reform at the governmental level, although I greatly admire the vegans who have dedicated their time, energy and resources to effecting improved living conditions for all the nonhumans who are suffering as we speak.
So, I asked a vegan friend of mine if she thought these types of advocacy are valuable and this is what she has to say:
Yes, I do believe that an event like this brings attention to the fact that our choices do make a difference. I was on the train re-reading The World Peace Diet and the woman beside me asked me what it was about. She even took down the name and author. I was thrilled! She isn’t vegan but she is studying history and is interested in the history of food. I told her that she will get information about this from the book and a lot, lot more.”
And then I asked my husband if he would attend the march with me, and this is what he says.
I would be more in favour for a march to force the government to better monitor the slaughterhouses to make sure that animals are not killed inadequately or in a savage manner. To go for a march to close the slaughterhouses when so few people are aware of how the slaughterhouses are proceeding will not advance the cause of stopping the cruelty to animals.”
These are two very different views on the same march and its mission. But, both can be respected even though one may or may not agree!
Any-hoo!- to make a long story short, my husband has agreed to accompany me to the march as a spectator, not a participant. I think that we will arrive a little early at the starting point and follow the march on its route. I like to think of myself as a witness. I hope to take some pictures and to write a post about the march (my second demonstration) and our experience there.
If you are interested in walking in the march in Montreal, you might want to contact The Montreal Vegan Rejects. They are organizing a group of marchers within their group and could probably answer your questions. If you are interested in being a witness, let me know. We would be more than happy to have your company.
Annie’s Vegan View
Veganism is not about our health or that of our planet. Once we understand what our mission is and who it is about, let’s do some research about the best way to get there, while leading with our hearts.
I encourage you to check the two links above and to consider attending one of the marches tomorrow, as a witness or as a participant.
We don’t have to be vegan to gain some insight on this very important social issue. That is what I am hoping to find tomorrow-some insight into what is the best way to contribute to a vegan world now and for generations to come.
May all beings be happy and free.