Toronto Billboard Campaign
Toronto Billboard Campaign

How exciting to feel like one is part of a growing and ever more present animal rights movement. There are billboard campaigns sprouting up all over the world, the most recent one being Animal Justice Canada’s campaign which is now underway in Toronto and Vancouver,  Canada. These are no small undertakings and I can only imagine the scope of creativity, dedication and time that goes into bringing these massive endeavors to fruition. Kudos, congratulations and thanks to all those who worked to make this happen.

Toronto Pig Save Vigil
Toronto Pig Save Vigil
Toronto Pig Save Vigil
Toronto Pig Save Vigil

Direct action is bold, effective, in your face activism that is taking hold and highlighted more and more in mainstream media as time goes on. This is no better illustrated than in the work of Anita Krajnc and her confreres at Toronto Pig Save. For the last four and a half years they have been holding vigils outside the four(one has since closed) major slaughterhouses in the the Toronto area. Since their inception, they have added Toronto Cow Save and Toronto Chicken Save to their list of vigils. They hold three vigils weekly and one all day vigil once a month on a year round basis.

While this started out as a local grassroots initiative, Anita has since  garnered international attention when she had an emotional exchange with a trucker on June 22, 2015 at one of these very vigils.  Anita had been giving some water to one of the pigs destined for slaughter. He or she was imprisoned in a moving holding cell, standing in fear, panting and needing some hydration. What followed was a verbal exchange between Anita and the trucker who asked her “politely”( NOT) to stop helping the pig and to stand back from the truck. Part of the  conversation went something like this. I am paraphrasing in places.

Anita:   Can you give this guy some water?

Trucker:   Don’t give him anything. Do not put water in there.

Anita:   Jesus said, ‘If they are thirsty, give them water’.

Trucker:   You know what, these are not human you dumb frickin’ broad. Now I am going to call the police.

Anita:   Call Jesus. Have some compassion. Have some compassion.

Trucker:   What have you got in that water?

Anita:   Water.

Trucker:   How do I know that?

Anita:   I will give you a sample. You can have it tested.

Trucker:  You do it again and I’ll slap it out of your hand.

Anita:   If you want assault charges, go ahead.

On the way to the Slaughterhouse
On the way to the Slaughterhouse

The exchange ended with the trucker driving away and  with Anita subsequently being charged with mischief  after the “owner” of the pigs, Eric Van Boekel filed a formal complaint. If convicted Anita could face up to 10 years in prison and and a 5000.00$ fine. The case  in the courts now.

Of course I am  not even a little bit surprised by the demeanor of this particular trucker and his obvious lack of compassion for the beings in his charge.  His assertion that the pigs are not human speaks volumes about the lack of rights afforded farmed animals in Canada. I guess they are sub human then,  property,  commodities,  entities not deserving of the slightest modicum of respect.

I have great admiration for Anita and for her commitment to veganism and animal rights,  regardless of the personal cost. She said that she is prepared to go to jail for this cause. Would I have the courage to do the same? I have to be honest  and say that I am not really sure I would.

Anita
Anita

I was fortunate enough to hear her speak in Montreal, Quebec, Canada this past weekend at an all day forum entitled In the Courts and in the Streets.  The topic of her speech was Testing the Legal Boundaries: Confronting Power through Direct Action. She shared the floor with Jean Léger,  an environmental activist who is taking on the hotly discussed issue of environmental damage caused by the production of oil.

Here is what I learned from Anita about non violent direct action:

Anita asked:

Do you love animals and do your actions reflect this love?

Do you give them your time and strength?

Anita said:

Our activism (Toronto Pig Save) is a loved based approach, the goal of which is to inspire people to take action.

Our approach is two pronged. We promote veganism and activism/advocacy

I don’t think people would ever participate in the killing of babies if they knew.

The case against me will hinge on The Golden Rule.

Animal agriculture is responsible for as much or more environmental devastation as is oil production.

Attend vigils and demonstrations as much as you can.

I was so struck by her humility and conviction and  I know that going forward Anita will provide a  shining example of all that is good in the world and that she will bring much to the ongoing advocacy for the liberation of all nations caught in our various death for profit industries. My hat is off to you Anita. I want to be like you if I ever decide to grow up.

Annie’s Vegan View

Let’s all take Anita’s advice and attend more vigils and demonstrations.

Please seek out fellow animal rights activists and organize and/or attend vigils in your home town.

We can do this. We can give our strength and our time.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne
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Anita Krajnc, Animal Rights and Love Based Non Violent Direct Action

30 thoughts on “Anita Krajnc, Animal Rights and Love Based Non Violent Direct Action

    • February 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm
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      Hi Chantal,
      Welcome to my website and I am glad that you liked my article.
      Anita, with her humility and convictions, is a force to be reckoned within the animal rights movement.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 3, 2016 at 2:47 pm
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    Fantastic article. If Anita does get convicted, they will have the wrath of the vegan community to contend with, and we’re already quite a loving, angry bunch! I think even people who are not vegan, would agree that it’s so very wrong to send someone to jail for giving pigs water, especially after seeing the video and horrible conditions of these precious babies about to be slaughtered, for no good reason.

    Reply
    • February 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm
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      Hi Nancy,
      I am glad that my article resonated with you. Welcome to my website. We will see all of this plays out, but either way, a huge precedent will be set. I guess the issue will also be about trespassing or interfering with the “property” of the farmer. I look forward to the day when sentient beings are respected in their own right.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 3, 2016 at 9:02 pm
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    Anita is nothing short of a hero and an invaluable role model. Haven’t been able to attend any vigils yet, but do support Toronto Pig Save financially. One of their hoodies is keeping me warm this winter, and their subway campaign posters in my apartment provide me with inspiration. 🙂

    Reply
    • February 4, 2016 at 5:17 am
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      Hi Friend,
      It is one of my goals to go to a vigil at Toronto Pig or Cow or Chicken Save. Anita is definitely the real deal and she believes deeply in the rights of animals to be free from harm and to have agency over their own lives.
      I will be attending an anti speciesism vigil this morning in Saint Esprit, Quebec. They are never easy, but important all the same.
      Take care, my friend.
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 4, 2016 at 7:07 am
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    When people fight for animals rights, they think you care more about animals than humans. But the opposite is the truth, we care more about humans than meat eaters. Especially when you consider that world hunger for humans is caused by eating meat.

    Reply
    • February 4, 2016 at 7:12 am
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      Hi Erin,
      Thank you for your comment and welcome to my website.
      I first understand this when I read Dr. Will Tuttle’s book , The World Peace Diet. I am thankful that I am able to answer with some credibility this question aimed to divert attention away from animal rights and people’s complicity in the ongoing enslavement of animals for our wants, not needs.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 8, 2016 at 1:21 pm
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    Great article indeed. I love what Anita says about the trial hinging on The Golden Rule. In a way, that it’s an extremely important and unique trail because of that. Of course I wish Anita was not going through this, but the ideas behind the case and what the conviction will be are so important. Will people realize that this is a true tangible use of The Golden Rule, or will they forget that and just say, “You broke the law.” Very excited (and yet solemn) times for Toronto Pig Save indeed.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2016 at 6:31 am
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      Hi Caitlin,
      Welcome to my website and I am glad that you enjoyed my article.
      Yes, Anita’s case will certainly set a precedent and highlight the laws in Canada which assign property status to living, think, sentient beings.
      I applaud Anita’s courage and, like you, wish that she was not going through this. But I am getting the distinct impression from her that this is the next necessary step in waking people up and affording to other nations of animals, the right to agency over their own lives and the right to comfort and help from others when in need.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 10, 2016 at 11:44 am
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    In order to minimize food safety hazards livestock producers have to complete the CQA program. Part of this program in an annual test of the water provided to the animals. By giving these pigs water you vegans are endangering the lives of other humans.

    And no animals are not humans. Humans are animals however. Animals sometimes eat other animals.

    You vegans can preach about your lifestyle all you want , but stop harassing and attacking a legal and important industry.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm
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      Hello Peter,
      Welcome to my website.

      Thank you for the information abut the CQA. Without having looked at all the requirements outlined in the assessment manual, it seems reasonable to me that part of this program would include an “annual test of the the water provided to pigs”. If the water is just water as you say, I would be very surprised that the few vegans who are giving water to pigs and other animals on their way to their deaths, are endangering the lives of other humans.
      The major sources of the contamination of water and plant produce and yes, even animal products ( like ham, for instance) comes from cross contamination in the handling of animals raised for what passes as food and the runoff of manure that ends up in our rivers and lakes from which our drinking water comes. I refer you to this link for confirmation of these facts.
      http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/ffarms.asp

      No one would disagree that pigs are not humans, but they are animals, as are we. They share many biological, psychological and emotional traits with us. They eat, they process food, they sleep, they give birth to their young, they think, they feel pain and discomfort, they love and as such deserve the same respect in life that is accorded to humans. As I am sure you know, pigs in Canada can, under the law, be deprived of food and water for up to 36 hours while being transported in all kinds of weather – 30- below and 30 above. This is inhumane and unacceptable.

      As regards your comment, “Animals sometimes eat other animals”, no one would argue that this is not true. Lions and tigers, for instance are carnivorous and rely on their prey and their hunting skills to survive. However, they do not genetically manipulate, breed, confine, medicate, abuse and murder their prey to the tune of 70 billion land animals and trillions of aquatic animals yearly, as do humans.
      http://awfw.org/factory-farms/ . This type of behavior on the part of humans does not fit into the rubric of predator/prey behaviors inherent in nature.

      We vegans do not preach about our lifestyle, but rather are part of a social movement which seeks to inform and to educate about the atrocities meted out to nations of other species, all for human wants, not needs. We seek to end the exploitation and the injustice. We seek to change the laws of this and other countries which declare other species to be property and unworthy of the right to freedom and agency over their own lives. As a social movement we are no different than the Suffragettes of Britain, and the abolitionists of the United States who fought to end slavery. In Britain it was legal to bar women from voting and in the States it was legal to enslave human beings. People risked much to bring about the end to these two atrocities.

      Legality is not always a reflection of what is right. That is why social movements such as the two mentioned above do succeed in changing outdated, archaic and harmful laws. and that is why we will continue to represent the rights of all nations of animals to freedom and agency over their own lives.
      Take care,
      Anne

      I

      Reply
      • February 10, 2016 at 6:15 pm
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        Anne, this is one of the most succinct and accurate summation of the topics and assertions that have been raised by Peter, I have seen.
        Peter, I will add, legality and industry does not necessarily give something morality or ethics – it may be legal, but it is still unethical and barbaric to treat living, feeling, thinking beings as objects of profit and mere articles for slavery, abuse and use.
        There is also a gross misunderstanding when you say vegans preach- we do no such thing. The pointing out of the suffering of other living intelligent animals, is something that a highly advanced individual will always have the courage to do, even though it may challenge last accepted norms.
        I remind you of slavery of human beings and a civil war that was had over that issue- slavery was legal, but certainly immoral; this is just one example from the past. Animals are no different to humans in their need for love, warmth, food, freedom, and the fact that their body and faces may look different does not change that fact – they still have skeletons, blood vessels, nerves, spines, pain receptors, a heart , lungs, brain etc. They are living intelligent beings that can suffer emotionally and physically just as humans do.
        It really is time to take off your blinkers Peter. Think about whether you’d like those things done to you. You never know, one day, superior aliens may find their way here and subject humans to that same – would you like that? If they see us as inferior primitive beings, useful for food and clothing, and if they have the same mental attitude as you, they would have no problem in enslaving, killing and eating you and making you suffer- it is legal to them after all.

        Reply
        • February 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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          Hi Katina,
          Thank you for your comments -nothing to add.
          Take care,
          Anne

          Reply
        • February 11, 2016 at 9:43 am
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          Thank you Katina for speaking for millions of Vegans, who totally believe as you do. Joyce.

          Reply
          • February 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm
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            Hi Joyce,
            Allow me to second that.
            Take care,
            Anne

      • February 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm
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        Very, very well said!!

        Reply
        • February 10, 2016 at 9:11 pm
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          Hi Karin,
          Thanks very much for the vote of confidence.
          Take care,
          Anne

          Reply
      • February 11, 2016 at 6:24 am
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        Thank you Annie for such a clear and enlightening response, backed up with facts and evidence, to ‘Peter’s’ comment.

        It is appalling that the major sources of water and plant produce is caused from cross contamination in the handling of animals raised for food. The runoff of manure that ends up in our rivers and lakes is simply a crime against humans and the environment: a crime that the animal agriculture industry is not taken to account for by governments. By turning a blind eye to to the majority of these crimes our governments are betraying their constituency and acting contrary to the best interests of us, the people. This is not what representative government and democracy is about. Governments so accused are in fact acting conspiratorially by protecting the animal agriculture industry and should be charged accordingly. An charge of conspiracy needs to be lodged by the people, investigated with due process and the govenments, so charged, be bought to a court of justice. Such action is the constitutional right and duty of any constituency living within a democracy.

        Reply
        • February 11, 2016 at 7:37 am
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          Hi Susan,
          Thank you for weighing in on this issue. I think it is important to speak up when champions of the farmed animal industry present arguments which just do not hold water, just as expect people to inform me when I am uniformed or misinformed about any belief I hold.
          And I agree with you about the water. It is very telling that huge holding areas for manure are euphemistically called lagoons, which bring to mind idyllic and peaceful crystal clear water basins.
          Governments are definitely culpable in the continuation of the contamination of the water supply, which is a huge environmental and health issue for all species of animal and plant life on this planet.
          My son says it will take a people’s revolution to bring about change. That is why I so admire the work of Anita and other animal rights activists such as yourself who seek to bring about this change. Non violent direct action is key.
          Take care,
          Anne

          Reply
      • February 11, 2016 at 9:37 am
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        Thank you Anne for speaking out for millions of the vegans, who believe as you do, Veganism is a social movement just as the Suffragettes and the Abolitionists of slavery, it is of it’s time and will have the same success in making this world a better place . Thank you again Anne for all you do. Joyce

        Reply
        • February 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm
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          Hi Joyce,
          You are welcome and thank you to you as well. I appreciate the petitions that you send my way and I end up signing many of them. Thank you for sharing my articles on Facebook. Together we will make a difference.
          Tale care,
          Anne

          Reply
      • February 11, 2016 at 2:44 pm
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        We vegans care about animal suffering, and about the environment and the fact that, on this earth, there are too many people to feed. It has been estimated that only 39% of the entire human population living could be fed adequately on a Western style diet that is animal based. It’s very obvious to me that if human beings ate only a plant based diet, there would be enough food available to feed everyone on the planet. Unfair distribution and greed would, of course, still be limiting factors, but food scarcity would not exist.

        Animal farming is an inhumane system, as is evidenced by the fact that pigs are left without drinking water or food in the slaughter trucks.

        I find the allegation that giving pigs drinking water that is fit for humans (ie from a tap or a bottle of Spring water) can endanger human lives, laughable.

        I disagree that the animal farming industry is important. It may be legal, but so, once upon a time was human slavery. Vegans are about ethics, morality and compassion. It is clear to us that most people who farm animals view these other beings, who are as sentient as dogs and cats, as simply lumps of stuff from which to make money. I find this attitude utterly appalling. Objectifying living beings is the way humans stunt their compassion and blunt their consciences. It is exactly how Nazi Germany was able to commit the atrocities it did – by relegating those considered inferior and sub-human to the status of unfeeling objects.

        Factory farming of living beings is a totally immoral. This industry is based on cramming as many animals as possible into as small a space as possible, exploiting them as conclusively as possible and then processing them through a kill line. There is nothing humane about any for it, it’s rotten to the core. I have no respect for such a system. It should never have been invented. The amount of pollution and waste this industry generates is shocking, the amount of animal suffering it causes is monstrous.

        We vegans are the future – fighting to create a world where every one is fed, the planet isn’t in peril and animals are treated with respect and kindness.

        Reply
        • February 11, 2016 at 6:03 pm
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          Hi Carol,
          ” It is clear to us that most people who farm animals view these other beings, who are as sentient as dogs and cats, as simply lumps of stuff from which to make money. ” Well said!! This is what we are fighting to change.
          Veganism is the future, but it also is now. I am very heartened by the increased visibility of the animal rights movement and of the willingness of people to speak up and speak out.
          Thank you for your commitment and your passion, Carol.
          Take care,
          Anne

          Reply
    • February 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm
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      Dear Peter,
      “By giving these pigs water you vegans are endangering the lives of other humans.” This is nothing more than rhetoric in an attempt to justify the careless, inhumane treatment of pigs you see as nothing more than ‘food.’ These animals are sentient beings, smarter than dogs and at least as smart as human three-year olds. Here’s just one of many articles that verify this fact: http://news.discovery.com/animals/iq-tests-suggest-pigs-are-smart-as-dogs-chimps-150611.htm

      You need to be reminded of the health hazards associated with eating meat and more specifically pork. Many scientific articles verify this, here’s one: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/perfect-health-diet/201202/is-pork-still-dangerous

      Pigs are sent on long journeys to slaughter, crammed onto trucks, living among their excrement without food or water for many, many hours, with no temperature control, all shockingly horrific conditions. So getting some clean water from a compassionate human will not pose any health risk; indeed, the water is the only decent action ever provided for these intelligent, sensitive creatures.

      The entire industry is vile, so is defending it.

      Reply
      • February 10, 2016 at 9:14 pm
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        Hi Nancy,
        Thank you for the links. I will check them out tomorrow.
        Exploitation of other species is vile and that is why we do what we do.
        Take care,
        Anne

        Reply
    • February 10, 2016 at 7:37 pm
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      Dogs sniff one anothers’ rears. Lions kill rival offspring of other males. Some ants take slaves. Slavery and infanticide were legal at one time too. Just because some animals do some things does not mean humans should be doing them.

      Reply
      • February 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm
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        Hi Mandy,
        Thank you for weighing in. I agree completely that the natural behaviors of other species is not a justification for our mistreatment of them.
        Take care,
        Anne

        Reply
    • February 11, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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      And apples and tomatoes are fruit. What is your point? Humans are at best omnivorous animals, though there is a qualifier here-humans are sufficiently evolved that they are able(and have been able) to consume flesh when their ideal foods are scarce. But, bear in mind that we are also a nomadic animal that went out and sought their foods, occasionally situating themselves where it wasn’t readily available.

      For all intents and purposes we are herbivores, as our physiology proves, with the added security of survival that allows the ingesting of small amounts of flesh. As the idiot species however, we went stupid with arrogance by choosing to believe ourselves ‘superior’ and proceeded to alter the natural landscape to suit our desires-at grave risk to our health and survival.

      Your statement that animals eat animals is pointless because it’s so obvious. You imply that we shouldn’t begrudge those animals that do; such as pigs can and will eat humans when given the opportunity. Would you be as allowing for that, as you are for the herbivorous human to eat something that is wrong for their health? At least pigs won’t suffer unduly from chowing down on humans.

      But all this is beside the point. If we are to consider ourselves morally superior, then we shouldn’t even be debating the legality of something so blatantly wrong. Ethics seldom have anything to do with the law, and that anyone was or is charged for caring for any animal in distress brings that point home.

      The guilt lies with those who lobby to allow ‘cheating’, exploitation, degradation and death, regarding animals-human included. The guilt lies with those who-even though a corrupt and amoral law exists to allow for such acts of cruelty to occur-intentionally participate in such sadism. These are cowards at the very least, and should be taken out of circulation.

      Reply
      • February 11, 2016 at 6:08 pm
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        Hi Michael,
        Welcome to my website and thank you for your insightful comments. The following statement of yours sums up the disparity between what may be lawful, but is certainly not ethical.
        “Ethics seldom have anything to do with the law, and that anyone was or is charged for caring for any animal in distress brings that point home.”
        Take care,
        Anne

        Reply

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