My, my, my, the City of Montreal and our illustrious and obstinate Mayor Denis Coderre certainly have a knack for making the front page of mainstream news. So much of the swirling controversy has been inglorious as well as unflattering to the unwavering mayor.
From and to the:
- 3.4 million dollar decidedly ugly granite stumps gracing Parc Mont Royal
- proposed and now in force Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), pertaining to pit bull type dogs
- ongoing and deeply contested misery of a carriage (Calèche) trade whose time has come and gone
- recent re-enactment of the of the Wild Wild West Rodeo in the old Port,
Coderre continues to illustrate that he is impervious to the needs of the citizens (both human and non human) of Montreal, to whom he is ultimately accountable.
In reading this short but by no means exhaustive list of the mayor’s dubious accomplishments, a disturbing pattern of the plight of other species of animals in this city jumps glaringly from the page and assaults the eyes, minds and hearts of AR activists who are standing stalwartly to end all exploitation perpetrated in the name of human profit. AR protests, vigils, and outreach are a common occurrence in Montreal as concerned citizens attempt to create positive change for all animals negatively affected by ill conceived and callous policy.
Groups who advocate in and around Montreal include:
- Anti-calèche defense coalition
- Association Terriens
- Bloquons les Rodeos du NomadFest 2017
- ITR Labs Protests
- KARA (KebecAnimalRightsAssociation)
- MDL (Mouvement De Libération-Liberation Mouvement)
- Résitance Animale
- SPCA Montréal
Some may feel these are local issues which do not significantly impact the larger Vegan and Animal Rights Movement worldwide. Others may say activists “have bigger fish to fry”, to use a garish and “commodity” charged idiom. I tend to respectfully disagree. All of these local fights for liberation highlight a common and pervasive theme: that other species of animals are systematically viewed as commodities by the industries who exploit them and the consumers who buy a piece of them for the sake of conditioned and hijacked palates, for clothing, entertainment, sport and hunting, furniture, personal care and household products.
I suspect that Animal AG big wigs, for instance, are well aware that they are indeed exploiting farmed animals who they genetically manipulate, confine, breed, rob of their families and ultimately kill, to the astronomical tune of 65 billion beings annually worldwide. Their complicity is evident in their successful marketing campaigns which hide the barbarity of the truth with images of happy cows gleefully producing for humans, fables about humane meat, cage free chickens, free range eggs, organic this and organic that. It is all designed to create a fanciful picture of bucolic frolicking and grazing on Old McDonald’s farm where the animals live a carefree life loved by the farmers until the day comes when they head off to slaughter and market with an air of acceptance and maybe even pride.
Now, you and I know that this is poppycock and deception, but what about the majority of the human population who, barring very difficult personal circumstance, could be vegan??? Certainly some do know and don’t make any changes, but perhaps most do not know, even though the information is readily available through the grace of YouTube, Social Media, AR and vegan websites and so on.
It would seem that the tide is turning. With more and bigger AR marches like the recent ones in New York City and Israel, people will no longer be able to continue ignoring the truth about the negative impact our choices are having on innocent beings, the planet and humans. Now is the time to keep up the pressure and to be visible wherever and whenever the occasion arises. For those, myself included, who have physical or other issues which may preclude attending many of these emotionally charged and valuable outreaches, let’s share the heck out of them, no matter how local and insignificant they may seem to be. They are an important grassroots part of the larger and perhaps more prominent movement. If you can attend vigils and protests do so, being as visible as possible with signs and positive attitude held high.
When advocating, whether you are sitting in front of the keyboard, standing out at protests and vigils, leafleting on the streets, chalking the sidewalk or eating out in restaurants, please remember that the message we relay is key. I support every and all campaign(s) designed to end the exploitation and suffering of all species of animals intentionally trapped in the obscene myriad of death for profit industries, be it whales, dolphins, circus-ed animals, lab-ed animals, fur bearing animals, farmed animals. However, I want to strongly encourage all activists to headline veganism and anti-speciesism in their narrative and on their signs. We need to make it known that we are not favoring fur bearing animals over farmed animals or horses over circus-ed animals, but rather using all of their plights as a backdrop for highlighting and decrying the massive, ongoing human exploitation of all species of animals.
The signs, the language, the images, the focus do not have to be fancy to relay this very important message. All one needs is a few colored felt pens, some tape, some bristol board, some images printed up off the internet and the words Vegan/Veganism and Anti-Specieism/Speciesist. Also, be prepared with a few words explaining speciesism, because people do ask.
Annie’s Vegan View
The goal of outreach is to bring the knowledge of veganism and anti-speciesism into the consciousness of the people with a view to changing hearts and minds.
Let’s do this!!!!
May all beings be happy and free.