June 4th, 2016 in Montreal, QC, Canada
June 4th, 2016 in Montreal, QC, Canada

A fair number of requests and invitations manage to make their way onto my Facebook News Feed and Personal Page. I am happy about this because they help me to keep abreast of what is current and happening in the world of veganism and AR activism. The downside is that I simply cannot respond to and/or attend them all. So when my good friend and fellow AR activist, Karen Messier asked me if I would like to accompany her to the National Animal Rights Day (NARD) in Montreal, QC, Canada, I said,

 

Sure, pencil me in.

I am more than happy to participate..

Baby Held Lovingly by a Mourner
Baby Held Lovingly by a Mourner
Another vicitm
Yet Another Victim

Because Karen had extended the invitation, I sort of put looking into the event on the invitational back burner. I assumed, mistakenly so, that this was going to be a march similar to others I have attended. I was ready, willing and able to strap  on my ankle brace, lace up my sneaks and get out there and walk for the liberation of all species trapped in our various death for profit industries.  It wasn’t until the day of that I realized that this was to be an event of a different sort.  There was no marching involved, even though there were posters for us to hold. It was to be a ceremony marking the the birth, the suffering, the manipulation,  the exploitation and the murder of sentient beings whose manner of life and death had been dictated by humans long before their birth – a wake and symbolic funeral of sorts.

Karen and Me at NARD
Karen and Me at NARD
Signatures on Declaration of Animal Rights
Signatures on Declaration of Animal Rights

We got on the bus and made the trek downtown on a seemingly sunny and promising June day. I almost never use public transportation and don’t go downtown that much really, so this was kind of new for me. Karen and I chatted (vigorously, I might add), raising topics related to veganism and AR activism, sharing our mutual frustration and individual challenges related to our common goal: that of other species liberation, hopefully in our lifetime. The time sped by and we hopped off the bus, headed for the Metro (subway), managing to get on and off at the correct stops (not bad for a couple of suburbanites) and made our way to Cabot Square to join our fellow participants.

We were about ten minutes late, so we could see from a distance that the square was filled with about 200 people dressed in the official black NARD  t-shirt, each holding a poster depicting some form of animal abuse.  As we crossed the street to enter the square, we were enveloped by the swell of emotion hanging in the air as people and cars and buses around the square carried on their usual Saturday morning business, seemingly unaware of the solemnity of the day.

Nard 8
Vigil for the Dead
Thoughtful Eulogies
Thoughtful Eulogies

The scene was exceedingly emotional. The energy in the square was very palpable, almost like a heavy fog. Tears were running down the cheeks of people whose eyes were shielded by sunglasses. As we picked up a sign and took our places in the crowd,  in the front  rows we could see people shrouded in white medical garb, holding gently in their arms the bodies of animals, mostly babies, whose short lives had ended either en route to or in a slaughterhouse. For whatever reason, their little bodies were deemed unacceptable for human consumption, earning them the ignominious honor of being thrown on a “kill pile”.

In an instant, we understood the tears, the grief, the love, the loss and even the hopelessness expressed for these tiny little beings and their mothers to whom they are lost.  As we stood, the organizers gave moving and heartfelt speeches in both French and English, eulogies of sorts:

We mark the cruel passing of  these beings at the hands of humans.

We recognize and declare that they mattered to their mothers and that they matter to us.

We acknowledge their inherent right to freedom from bondage.

We grieve their loss and  the future loss of their brothers and sisters to come.

As the ceremony came to a close, the dead were wrapped in the white cloth on which they lay and sprigs of flowers were placed on top. They were then carried lovingly out of the square as we watched, according  them the respect in death that so callously had been  denied them in life.

As vegan activists, we can all relate to the words of Dr Will Tuttle in his moving poem:

I am the vegan activist,
My heart filled with the wish to relieve the horrible suffering
Mysteriously inflicted on animals seen as food.
Rising early, sitting in silence every day, listening within, opening… dilating….
I am the day-old calf at the organic dairy,
Pulled from my mother by strong hard hands, while she moans and bellows.
Alone in a tight crate, I shiver, hungry, nursing on the iron bars.

I am the vegan activist,
My heart filled with knowing the perfection of being,
And working hard to help relieve the horrible suffering
Mysteriously inflicted on animals seen as food.

Annie’s Vegan View

People often ask me why I am vegan and the short answer is, for all the reasons.

I am vegan for the mamas and their babies, for the mamas and their babies who will never experience the joy  that I felt the day I became a mother.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne
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NARD: A requiem for mothers and their babies.

9 thoughts on “NARD: A requiem for mothers and their babies.

  • June 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm
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    Hi Debbie,
    Welcome to my website and thank you for your kind and supportive comments.
    It is my most fervent wish that one day all species will be free to live their lives according to their own choices.
    Thank you to you, too! We are one voice, standing with and for the animals.
    Take care.
    Anne

    Reply
  • June 9, 2016 at 7:32 pm
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    Wow, I can well imagine the tears. 🙁
    Thank you for attending and bearing witness.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2016 at 8:14 am
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      Thank you dear friend. We all do what we can.
      Take care, Anne

      Reply
  • June 9, 2016 at 9:43 pm
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    So moving. Thanks for showing the public that all animals deserve respect and love and that it’s sad when any life is discarded as if they mean nothing, that all life matters. I hope some people will think about that. You did a good thing for our beloved and persecuted animals Anne, I really appreciate your efforts on their behalf.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2016 at 8:17 am
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      Murray, Thank you for your kind words and support. We are all in this together. Maintaining a presence, whether on Social Media, on websites and on the street is key, I think. I have learned much from you on Facebook and appreciate your efforts and those of all our vegan and AR Rights activists.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • July 18, 2016 at 11:42 am
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    Your post brought me to tears so I can only imagine being there in person. Bless you all for what you did that day and every day.

    Reply
    • July 19, 2016 at 1:31 pm
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      Hey Krissa,
      Yes, it was very emotional day for everyone there, so I can understand your tears. Thank you very much for your continued support and Im thank you for weighing in and for your continued advocacy.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply
  • February 25, 2017 at 7:29 am
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    Hi Anne
    That was an emotional article to read and I shed a large number of tears. Thank you to you and Karen for attending and for writing this in such a heartfelt way. I felt like I was there with you, the way it was written. You continue to inspire me in so many ways

    Rachel

    Reply

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