Armchair Advocacy
Armchair Advocacy
Jan 19 02
Enslaved Orcas at SeaWorld

One of the main things I do in my advocacy for the liberation of nonhuman beings caught in our various industries is  to write on this website. Let’s face it folks, I know that this alone will not get the job done. I am simply not that powerful. I often say to the people in my life that I would love to have a magic wand-for urgent matters just like this one. I would never use it for the petty and mundane problems that we face in our daily lives. But there have been times when I wished so fervently that I could wave away the pain and loss someone I love is experiencing.  Alas, I have no such wand in my possession, so I must resort to avenues that are real and concrete.

I mentioned in a recent post that I plan become more effective at my advocacy by reading more of what the experts in this field have to say. And I am doing so. I have one book under my belt, which I am planning a re-read to be sure that I understand what I think I understand. But what the heck else can I do? My first choice is to live and work for six months at a Farm Sanctuary, specifically Edgar’s Mission,  in Australia.  But practically speaking, I have some joint issues that would likely get in the way of this dream and (this is a big and) I could not bear to be away from my grandchildren for that length of time. Just not gonna happen. So, I am searching for a shelter nearby where I could help take care of some of the smaller residents. Haven’t found one yet, but I am confident that I will.

Karen Messier
Karen Messier

So, back to the writing. It never occurred to me that I could write to TV stations, Radio Stations, Newspapers, Magazines and other such forms of Mainstream Media. But I have this new friend, a vegan advocate like myself, who does just that. Her name  is Karen Messier and she is doing much to spread the truth about the violence inherent in denying nonhumans their inalienable right to live their lives according to their own purposes. She gives excellent talks and has organized a great Veg Group in St-Anne de Bellevue, Quebec. If you live in the  area, and even if you don’t, I encourage you to contact her through her Facebook Page.

Karen recently wrote a thought provoking article which was featured in the Montreal Gazette, the subject of which is the “meat and dairy industries”. Even after reading it, it didn’t occur to me that I could comment directly, but after Karen pointed out to me that I could, I did. Talk about an Ah-Ha moment!

Two Saturdays ago,  I had a message from Karen alerting me to the following:

If you have a moment, check out my Facebook page. CJAD Travel Show has been promoting SeaWorld this morning. Simply gushing about it! You can text the station or call the host (Chris Robinson) of the show.

Now, I had never heard of this show, since I am not a big radio listener or traveler, but I do know lots of bad things about SeaWorld, so, my interest was piqued. I checked out the site and scripted a message about SeaWorld and why supporting it after all the recent mounting evidence against it, is not cool and simply wrong. Once I got going I could not stop. I cited several reasons, with links, to support my view and clicked to send.  Here  is an excerpt from my comment, which you can find in its entirety in Posts to Page on the Chris Robinson Travel Show Facebook Page.

There is no reason for any human agency to look at conservation and education regarding live beings who would do just fine if left to live freely in their own habitat. SeaWorld is using conservation as a cover for their multiple million dollar business which kidnaps, enslaves, manipulates sentient beings for our viewing pleasure. It is interesting to note that SeaWorld’s attendance and profits have dipped since the release of Blackish.

Captive Orca With Collapsed Dorsal Fin
Captive Orca With Collapsed Dorsal Fin
Keiko of Free Willy
Keiko of Free Willy

I am delighted to report that many like minded people shared their disagreement with the show’s complete disregard for  all cetaceans whose liberty and quality of life have been snatched from them for our viewing pleasure and for SeaWorld’s bottom line. I encourage you to take a moment to check out all the comments and to add one of your own. Karen calls this armchair advocacy and tells me that it can be very effective. So, bring it on.

Annie’s Vegan View

We can all make a difference whether we are sitting in an armchair, standing on a street corner handing out leaflets, volunteering at a shelter or sanctuary,  cooking in a kitchen, or shopping for cruelty free and vegan options.

We have a voice and we can use it to advocate for the liberation of enslaved nonhumans.

We can tap into our deepest values and kindness and compassion in order to find and use that voice.

We are  vegan, not  because we are kind and compassionate, we are kind and compassionate and therefore  are vegan.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

 

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Veganism and Armchair Advocacy

22 thoughts on “Veganism and Armchair Advocacy

  • January 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    Well said Anne! Until you find a Mission in this area, would you consider volunteering at one of our numerous dog or cat rescue / shelters? Considering that Quebec is the puppy mill capital of Canada (if not North America), I’m sure you would be greeted with opened arms.
    I understand that it is not quite the same as caring for animals saved from slaughter, but if it weren’t for the rescues, a lot more of these cats and dogs would be euthanized instead or rehabilitated and rehomed.
    Claude Lynn

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    • January 19, 2015 at 8:21 pm
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      Hi Claude Lynn,Welcome to my website and thank you for your kind words. I definitely am planning to volunteer at a shelter in the area. I have already contacted one adoption agency. Unfortunately, the work would be mostly in the area of fund raising, phone and computer work and this is not quite what I am looking for. I think that all volunteer work we do to help all nonhuman animals is of the same value and I have to say that I do love doggies and cats. Over the years we have adopted 3 dogs from the SPCA and one from a family member and now have 3 rescued cats who grace our lives. I welcome any suggestions you may have for local shelters who need help.Many thanks and take care.Anne

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  • January 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm
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    I also left my displeasure on this Facebook page. Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t see your comments…hope they weren’t deleted. Unfortunately this happens all the time…Judy

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    • January 19, 2015 at 8:42 pm
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      Hi Judy,So good to hear from you and thank you for voicing your displeasure on the Chris Robinson Travel Show Facebook Page. I just checked the page out again and I did not see your comments there-maybe they are waiting moderation. My comments are still there. If you click on Posts to Page which you will see on the left hand side of the page and click on the arrow and then keep clicking "See more stories", you should come across my article. I think I just found you on Facebook and I sent you a Friend Request. Take care,Anne

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      • January 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm
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        I have two Facebook accounts. Must have gone to the other one. I will send a request to you….

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  • January 21, 2015 at 10:27 am
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    I think what you have already done (this blog and much, much more) to create awareness and encourage people to be introspective, to think about what their actions do to non-human animal sentient beings, is admirable.

    In addition to actively participating in an action or helping out, I too, am an “armchair advocate” and I’m proud of it. I sign petitions, make donations and support campaigns in other ways.

    Recently, I came across this blog, Cadry’s Kitchen. Here, I found tips about how to get the grocery store where I shop to stock more vegan items. One can always ask and I intend to do this.
    http://cadryskitchen.com/2015/01/05/get-vegan-products-in-your-grocery-store/#comment-18208

    Submitting articles to newspapers, magazines (such as Reader’s Digest) and commenting on websites is an excellent idea. You write well and from your own experience which is the most honest and genuine form of writing.

    You could look into hosting a showing of the movie Ghosts in the Machine at your local library or the Centennial Park Cultural Centre. In the past, I noted that people would show their photos and talk about their travels. So, why not something like this?

    I’m also reading as much as possible; it’s encouraging to see so many books on this subject. At the moment, I’m reading a book by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson called The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, The Emotional World of Farm Animals. I finished Jim Mason’s extraordinary book An Unnatural Order and will have to read it again as there is so much to take in. I will also get Dr. Will Tuttle’s new book Circles of Compassion.

    Keep writing, keep doing ….. every little bit is an affirmation.

    Your friend,
    Cindy

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  • January 23, 2015 at 4:55 am
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    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for all the encouragement. I am always looking for news to be effective. That is my one big concern-that what I do is not effective. That I am tilting at windmills and those who need to see are turning away. I try to remember that there are advocates who have been working at this for years. Will Tuttle, Jo-Anne McArthur and Paul Watson are three who come to mind. Not looking for notoriety, just change!
    Thanks for the links, suggestions and the book titles. I will check them out.
    Take care,
    Anne

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  • January 23, 2015 at 10:15 pm
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    I think you are making a difference, Anne. At the very least you are creating awareness. Even all those who have been in this “movement” for many years can take heart that it has grown and there are more and more people who are making the change and calling for others to do the same.

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    • January 24, 2015 at 10:23 pm
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      Thanks Cindy for your support. I shall carry on with my intention, trying to be aware of shifting my focus when needed.
      Take care,
      Anne

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  • January 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm
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    This is wonderful! I had a very long week here and much of it not so nice involving some unfortunate souls who live captive lives nearby me…horses in horrible conditions, but still living better than so many…two sheep who I had gotten to know over the past months who were allowed like the goats to die “of old age” in unhappy circumstances…. What you wrote regarding the unnatural lives the captives at SeaWorld are forced to live is very similar to what I said about the horses, one of whom is not going to survive the winter. … Sorry for the lazy comment, but I am so tired. I just wanted to catch up and I will definitely come up with something to write to add to the SeaWorld link. I see they’re being shifty and “adding space” for the Orcas at one of their businesses in California, I think it is.

    Thanks for another great post and I’m hoping to catch up soon!

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    • January 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm
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      Hi Krissa,
      Sorry about the difficult week. I never like to see any being in pain or difficult circumstances. I hope for the best for these beings.
      SeaWorld has no redeeming value, neither in mission, nor business nor ethics. It seems that they are struggling and I hope this continues. I follow Sea Shepherd on Facebook and Twitter and when I see what is happening in Taiji, I am so sad. It is companies like SeaWorld that make the brutal hunt at Taiji possible. I pray that the tide is turning for all those enslaved, captured, tortured, sold and murdered for our callous habits and proclivities.
      I look forward to your comments, as always.
      Take care,
      Anne

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  • January 25, 2015 at 9:46 am
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    It all comes down to the end-user, consumer, audience, in other words the every day people around us, the masses. If they didn’t go to the zoo, the aquarium, the circus, consume animal products and so on, then these companies would no longer make a profit and therefore no longer exist.

    I was one of these people until I saw a huge demo against the Shriners Circus in Montreal. It stopped me dead in my tracks; however, I still took my young son in to see the show but I never took his younger sister to the circus…. only to Cirque du Soleil. The strange part is that I still took them to Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium. To this day, I can’t understand how come it took me so long to make the connection that ANY use of animals for our entertainment is wrong. It was only through attending talks and participating in demos myself, where I met people who had already “evolved”, that I was finally able to connect all the dots. Once I was aware, I searched for and found tons of research and information to affirm and add to my views.

    Today, I know the information is out there. The Internet and social media have helped to spread the word; but people still resist change. I see it everywhere around me with my loved ones, family and friends. This pains me and I find it so difficult to tolerate. However, I try to be patient in the hope that they, too, will one day connect all the dots.

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    • January 26, 2015 at 6:54 am
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      Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for sharing your story about your life journey. I too cannot believe that I did not connect the dots about nonhumans and our cruel, “meat eating industries”. I consider myself to be an empathic person and yet , just did not see. Just proves how effective myth, subterfuge, secrecy and clever marketing can be.
      We took our kids to zoos and marine shows and the like, never realizing the harm we were causing. Our daughter is raising her children with kindness an compassion by teaching them about the sentience of all beings and about their right to agency over their own lives. But it can be tough when our granddaughter is exposed constantly to mainstream thinking. She is approaching an age where she will want to fit in and may be faced with being teased for her beliefs and choices.
      I think I have mentioned in a previous post that my friends and I have this unwritten rule. I can talk to them about my plant based eating, but must not mention the reason why. Still looking for my voice in this regard.
      Family, well that is another issue. I have some who are vegan, others who are not. But, we run a plant based home here and even extend this rule to people who come in to paint and so on. I look at it as a way to educate.
      Dr Will Tuttle, says we have the power to change everything. We do that by not taking out our wallet and supporting all the various industries which use nonhumans for profit. simple. All we have to do now is get everyone on board.
      Take care,
      Anne

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  • January 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm
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    I admire your daughter (and son-in-law) for the way she is bringing up her children. It’s marvellous! It might not be too much of a challenge as they get older. Other children won’t even give it another thought – they see students who eat all kinds of things and those who have to avoid certain foods. If there is a problem, the root behind it will be the adults. But, by then, I’m sure your grandchildren will be able to handle whatever comes their way.

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    • January 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm
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      Hi Cindy,
      I too am very proud of my daughter for taking the high road in what is turning out to be a highly emotionally charged social movement. I agree that change is in the air and that my grandchildren will likely have fewer issues than they might have even two or three years ago. May this progress continue.
      Many thanks,
      Anne

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  • January 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm
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    Yep, it’s amazing what one can do in an armchair. And multiply that by a thousand or a million armchairs… 🙂

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      • January 29, 2015 at 9:10 pm
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        Hi Friend,
        I did receive the e-mail about Etsy and I replied, but I think maybe I sent it to the Etsy site instead of to you. Sounds very much like something I would do. In any case, the info was very helpful.
        Take care and thank you.
        Anne

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    • January 29, 2015 at 9:08 pm
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      Hi Friend,
      It is my most fervent wish that progress will be made and will grow by leaps and bounds, so that one day I may leap out of my armchair, shout hurrah and do the happy dance!!!
      Take care,
      Anne

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  • October 26, 2016 at 9:44 am
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    Hi Anne!
    It took me a long time to make the connection between zoos and aquariums and the enslavement of species too. I was conned with the “conservation” card too. They even taught us this in a BSc(Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour and Training degree I did 10 years ago. We learned a lot about sea world and training methods. I can’t believe I thought there was nothing wrong in enslaving these poor animals. We were taught it was for conservation and education and I believed it. I had no idea that the trainers enslaved them at Taiji.

    Now I have had my eyes opened I suffer a lot of guilt from not questioning things more. When I became vegan in April it was like everything just clicked into place and I could see the world through new eyes. It never ceases to amaze me how brainwashed we all are. Just because something is taught in a degree does not make it right. I find myself having to unlearn a lot of things I learned just to become a compassionate human being. I was also taken to zoos and aquariums when I was little. Everything has become so normalised.

    “Every time we spend money we cast a vote for the type of world we want to live in”. I heard this quote a while ago and it is so true. I we do not go to these places and fund them they would soon be shutting their doors. We have the power to bring these industries to their knees. We just need to keep educating people and changing attitudes.

    We can all do something, as you say, even if it’s just from our armchairs!!!

    Thanks for a great article Anne!

    Take care

    Rachel Weightman

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    • October 28, 2016 at 9:40 am
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      Hi Rachel,
      A good friend of mine once said that we have lost our ability, through societal influence, to think critically. We need to question the status quo or there will be no change.
      There is no benefit to feeling guilty as another good friend said to me: “I don’t care what you did in the past. What counts is what you do moving forward.” I think we all need to commend ourselves for seeing the light and acting on it.
      Take care.
      Anne

      Reply

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