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So, I did to go to the Nonhuman Animal Rights Demonstration in Old Montreal. I made my way there on my own. I was hoping to have some company, but hopefully, next time.
My trusty GPS lady guided me (did I tell you that I am directionally challenged?) without any mix-ups. I always laugh at her funny pronunciation of our French Street names. Sometimes I have to see the street name itself before I can understand what the heck she is trying to say-like Hotel de Ville, for instance. I knew I was at the right place when I passed in front of the demonstration while looking for a parking spot. I parked the car, paid for the parking and headed up the hill toward the sound of chanting through a mega phone.

Beautiful Spring Day
Beautiful Spring Day
Milling About
Milling About
It was a beautiful spring day in Montreal. The sun was shining gloriously and there was a little breeze to offset the warmth in the air. I wasn’t sure what I expected to see, since this was my first experience attending a demonstration. What I did see were a lot of people milling about, watching, chatting and playing with their dogs. This, I did not expect.There were lots of dogs there with their human animal companions. It was so much fun to see.
Doggie and Friend
Doggie and Friend
I came prepared, planning to use my I Pad to document the event. I use my I Pad for all my picture taking now. I had heard that its big draw back as a camera is revealed in the sun. I have heard that one cannot see the screen if it is sunny out. This happened to me. I took pictures anyway not realizing, since I couldn’t see what I was shooting, that I had my thumb over the shutter. Alas, most of the pictures I took of the dogs were really pictures of my thumb. That is unfortunate, because I wanted to share them with you. There were dogs of all sizes, sniffing at one another, playing with one another and simply resting on the ground. The diggety-dog scene lent an air of authenticity and playfulness to the event. I wonder if I am the only person who noticed and felt this-probably not.

April 13 16april 13 15The demonstrators were lined up on the top of Notre Dame facing Place Jacques Cartier. There was a square behind them where many people milled about, sometimes watching, sometimes chatting with their confreres and sometimes joining in the chanting. When I crossed the street to watch the front of the demonstration, I could see people wandering up Place Jacques Cartier with coffee and treats in their hands, pushing strollers, holding hands, looking about. Many stopped to take a look, to pause to listen and then to stroll on by. Cars would honk occasionally as they drove by-honks of support, I presume. People would cheer and clap in response.There was always one police cruiser or two, changing position on the street, but not interfering. No one seemed bothered by their presence. As I sat and listened, I jotted down some of the points these passionate people were making.

Animals are not objects.
Animals have feelings.
Animals have rights.
Animals have beating hearts.
Animals are living beings.
We are demonstrating to raise human consciousness.
Under Quebec law, animals are considered to be furniture.
We want legal status for animals.
We want puppy mills to close.
We would like you to sign our petition.
We appeal to M. Couillard to make this the first order of business in the new government.

Demonstrators and onlookers started to leave about fifteen minutes before the official end of the demonstration. The participants would tuck their signs under their arms, say their goodbyes and head off. Their step seemed to show the pride they felt in having made a difference, however small, in the lives of the nonhuman animals they call somebody, not something.
Raising awareness is such a key step in changing social injustice. I think that peaceful demonstrations, such as the one I attended yesterday, can help awaken people to the compassion in their hearts.
This awakening can lead to making different choices in how we live, how we eat, how we view all nonhuman animals. If we all do what we can do, we will become part of a wave of change that benefits all beings on this earth, the place we call home.


  • April 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Well done, Anne.
    As well, you gave an excellent and accurate account of the event.
    I’m glad you enjoyed the experience.
    Every demo, no matter how small, heightens awareness. It will give people pause to think about animal rights … even if the moment is brief and fleeting.

    I feel that the demos that I attended in Montreal, in Laval, in Sherbrooke, in Quebec City and so on, to speak out against puppy mills DID make a difference. We “demoed” many times to get Pierre Barnotti out of the Montreal SPCA and it worked!

    I believe strongly in peaceful demos. Facebook, Twitter and other social media make it much easier to motivate people and to organize the event.

    • April 14, 2014 at 2:11 am

      Wow, Cindy, thank you so much. I am very glad that I went and am sure that I will attend others in the future.. Maybe I will take a sign with me the next time.
      I am glad to hear of the difference made by the demonstrations you attended to speak out against puppy mills.
      I like Norm Phelps’ assertion that one life saved may not seem very important, but it is very important the being whose life that is.
      Let me know if you are planning to attend any demos in the near future. Perhaps we can make some plans to attend together.
      Many thanks, Anne


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