Some time ago, in February, I think , of this year, my son invited me to attend a lecture of the key note speaker at the Humanities Symposium at Vanier College. I attended, of course, and was treated to a good presentation on Propaganda in the News. The keynote lecturer was Randall Martin, a philosopher and retired professor at Carleton University.
He has written a book entitled, Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion.
From both my son and Mr. Marlin, I learned that mainstream media is invested in the spreading of propaganda to advance agendas it or corporations who “own” it may have. Their advice is to check your sources before taking as fact what you read in the paper or on the internet or hear on the radio or see on the TV. Independent, grass roots news reporting is often much more reliable and truthful.
This is not the first time I have wanted to write a post about my experience listening to Mr. Marlin. I did, in fact, write a post shortly after listening to said lecture. But, if you have been tuning in from time to time, you know that I struggled so much with technical difficulties when I first decided to create this blog. Unfortunately , my post on this subject was one of the victims of my ineptitude. I deleted it by accident and for the life of me could not recreate it to my satisfaction.
My children, bless their hearts, have been very supportive in my quest to create this blog as well as of my desire to explore my commitment to being vegan in a non vegan world and to advocate in my daily life for all nonhuman animals caught in the web of our abusive industries.
So, recently, my son sent me a link to an Independent Journalistic site in Montreal, no less- Coop Media de Montreal. In their own words, “The Media Co-op is a coast-to-coast network of local media co-operatives dedicated to providing grassroots, democratic coverage of their communities and of Canada.”
I presume, without having done much research, that they are the kind of media that Marlin recommends- a media devoid of an agenda, a media whose reporting is not influenced by government agencies or private industries and as such, can report the facts of the news, without any attached bias.
The link my son sent me highlights an event that is taking place at the Palais de Justice in Montreal this coming Saturday, April 12th between one and four. It is a rally organized to protest a section in the Quebec Civil Code which in the words of the Coop Media de Montreal “does not consider animals as beings live but, as of movable properties, able to move themselves”.
The organizers are advocating for a change, for nonhuman animals to be considered as having, under the law, their own inherent value. Their main focus appears to be pets (nonhuman animal companions).
It sounds to me like a very worthy cause, even though I wish that there was more emphasis placed on all nonhuman animals. But I digress, because I really do applaud peaceful efforts to effect change and improvement in the lives of the sentient beings with whom we share this earth.
So, here is the sticky wicket for me. I am looking to participate in, to contribute to and to be a part of a movement that works to relieve the daily suffering of nonhuman animals everywhere. The long term goal is to bring about their freedom, whether they are in our homes, on our farms, in our labs and in our zoos. I don’t want just to advocate from the safety of my home, sitting in front of my computer and pontificating on all matters vegan. But I have never been to any demonstration of any sort, especially on my own.
I am all for peaceful demonstrations and I am sure that this one will be peaceful, but still I am not sure if I should go. It might be an opportunity to meet others in the vegan and nonhuman animal welfare community, so I am very tempted.
I do believe that this type of advocacy shines a light on this very urgent issue, if it remains peaceful. I don’t believe that anger or violence advances our cause in any way. So, in a word, I am a little bit scared-ridiculous, but true.
It is not that I am so afraid that I will be hurt or anything. It is just that I don’t want to be part of sending the wrong message in case things go awry-that nonhuman animal welfarists and abolitionists are violent and destructive. I am not suggesting that the good people who have planned this event have any ulterior motives. I applaud them for their passion and dedication.
Now, if my daughter, who is also vegan, lived close by, she might agree to accompany me. But, that is not the case.
I have heard of other peaceful protests like the Toronto Pig Save which they call a vigil. On their website they state,
“Toronto Pig Save started in December 2010 as a grassroots, animal rights, vegan group, after an adopted dog, Mr. Bean, put us in touch with our community: walking on Lake Shore we saw 8 or 9 transport trucks carrying sad and frightened pigs to a nearby downtown slaughterhouse called “Quality Meat Packers.” In July 2011, we committed to holding three weekly vigils to bear witness of pigs and other farmed animals transported to Toronto’s four slaughterhouses. In late 2012, Toronto Cow Save started holding weekly vigils and in July 2013 Toronto Chicken Save began holding weekly vigils. As our group grows, we hope to increase the number and duration of our vigils.”
This is definitely a vigil in which I would like to participate because I know that it is a peaceful one that seeks to bear witness, to relieve the immediate suffering of nonhuman animals in our beings as food industries.
So, I will mull this over and make a decision before Saturday, or by Saturday, or even at the last minute. LOL. If you live in the area and would like to join me, please let me know. I would love the company.
GRAMMIE ANNIE’S VEGAN VIEW
I can’t say it better than this, so I will let Norm Phelps of Changing the Game (pages 342 & 343), tell you in his own words why the freedom of all nonhuman animals depends on advocating peacefully and with respect. He istalking about the United States, but I believe this hold true for Canada, as well.
“To the public, our system of law is the guardian of both morality and their own safety. Therefore, they see violence on behalf of social justice as not merely illegal, but as immoral and personally threatening.
The argument for animal rights is entirely a moral argument. We can do things that benefit animals for reasons other than morality.
We can become vegan for our own health, for example; or we can oppose vivisection because it gives misleading results. But there is no reason except morality to give rights to animals. The public understand this, and so our success depends on maintaining the public perception that animal rights is a moral movement. If we forfeit that perception, we lose the moral high ground that we must occupy if we wish to succeed.”
Until next time,
May all beings be happy and free.
NONHUMAN ANIMAL WELFARE DEMONSTRATIONS AND ADVOCACY