I did indeed go to the Second Annual Montreal March to Close Down All Slaughterhouses. It was, as last year, a glorious sun filled day in our beautiful city (la belle ville). I had arranged to meet some friends there, friends with whom I have marched in the past, vegans who share my belief that we can have a vegan world. There were flags, banners and posters made ready by KARA, who organized the day’s events. We lined up eagerly for our symbol of choice and chatted for the half hour leading up to the march.
By all accounts, the crowd was larger than last year. It was certainly just as enthusiastic and even musical. There was a trio playing three types of drums, one of which was attached to a dolly of sorts. They drummed before, during and after the march and added much to the almost joyous atmosphere. After all, we have much to celebrate despite knowing what we know about the incredible, pointless suffering of species misused and abused for human consumption. We celebrate our solidarity, we celebrate the opportunity to inform, to educate and to be a constant presence. We are, I daresay, a pebble in the shoe of non veganism, of carnism.
I was most struck by what I will call people experiences. Allow me to share them with you, my dear readers.
We met a young man (a teen) at the very beginning of the march. He asked my good friend Lily and I where he could get a flag like ours. Lily kindly offered hers to him as she wanted to take some videos of the march itself. I struck up a conversation with the young man. It went something like this:
Me: How long have you been vegan?
D: One month
Me: Wow! That is fantastic! (I love to congratulate people for this ethical and kind choice)
D: Yes, I was vegetarian before, but when I learned about the cruelty in the dairy and egg industries, I became vegan. I don’t even miss meat!
I was so impressed by this young man as he stands by his convictions, which may be tough for someone his age (peer pressure and all). He is continuing to educate himself about what it means to be vegan. He had lots of questions for me and of course, I shared what I know, not claiming to be an expert in all things vegan. So D, if you are reading this post, kudos to you and carry on, my friend, You are the present and the future of veganism, of kindness and compassion and of justice.
2) Hare Krishna Member ( I’m sorry, I did not get his name), D, my friend Lily and myself.
HK: The cow is the mother of us all and therefore her milk is the purest of all milks and wonderful for humans to drink.
L: There is more cruelty in a glass of milk than in a steak that comes from an animal killed in a slaughterhouse.
HK: In India the cows can keep their calves and out of thankfulness give their extra milk to their caretakers. If they aren’t milked they will get sick. They are well taken care of.
Me: Cows are mammals, as are humans. Cows and humans and all other mammals produce only the milk that is needed for their babies. They do not produce extra for anyone else for any reason.
HK: I don’t believe that. Cow’s milk is pure and good for humans and it is only industrial produced milk that is poison.
D: Well, if you know that mass produced milk is poison and the cruelty in this industry is well documented, why don’t you stop drinking milk?
The conversation continued for a bit, but I soon realized that this well intentioned, but misguided gentlemen was not in a place to hear the facts. So, I suggested, kindly of course, that he read Dr. Will Tuttle’s book, “The World Peace Diet”, thanked him for the conversation and moved on. Nothing more to be gained there at that given moment. I just hope that we planted a seed that grows in the mind and heart of this young man, hopefully sooner than later.
3) My vegan friend M:
Sometimes I feel so alone in my veganism.
The videos of cruelty are so hard to see. I can be upset for weeks.
I love my cats, but it is hard to feed them food made from animal by products. I am afraid not to, though.
I feel as you do, my good friend M. I have been unfriended on Facebook and probably blocked, teased by good friends and personally challenged by my reticence to speak up despite all that is at stake. But we carry on and are not deterred. That is what we do.
4) My vegan friend J:
The world needs to stop eating meat.
I will have a conversation with people who eat meat, but I do not agree with or support their choice to do so.
My friend J and his lovely wife M are working to introduce the world to veganic farming. I applaud and support their active bid to mainstream whole food, plant based eating.
5) And Lily, what can I say about my friend Lily? Her enthusiasm is infectious, her knowledge encouraging and her commitment inspiring. I hope to collaborate with her in the near future.
6) One of my readers marched with us in solidarity in Berlin, Germany. Here is what my vegan friend Krissa said. I am with you, my friend, I am with you.
Thank you so much for this info!!! I didn’t know about this, but Berlin is on the list and I’ll be there. The last demo/march I went to was in April against animal testing. Thank you again for posting this! I would have been so sad to miss it. With you in spirit on Saturday.
Annie’s Vegan View
Don’t be afraid to stand up and speak your truth.
Research the facts and present them in a kind and compassionate, but firm way.
Attend peaceful marches with like minded people who can, through conversation, help to further define and affirm your advocacy.
“Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr
May all beings be happy and free.