World Day for Farmed Animals is right around the corner, tell us your plans!
Every year on or around October 2nd, animal activists across the globe join in solidarity to express their opposition to the exploitation and killing of billions of cows, pigs, chickens, fish and other animals raised for food. Most of these animals are raised on factory farms, where they are confined, mutilated, and bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them literally suffer to death. Even animals raised on small family farms endure many of these abuses, and all animals raised for food face a gruesome slaughter.
Need a new pair of shoes, summer reading materials or hard to find grocery items? If there’s something you’ve been meaning to order but just haven’t gotten around to it, well now’s the perfect time! For the month of August, the Vegetarian Site will be giving 10% of their sales to FARM. So treat yourself to something special and while you’re at it, make sure to stock up on the essentials.
Tuesday was World Farm Animals Day, marking a day of honor for those who have lost their lives in the name of “food” and looking towards a brighter future where animals are no longer killed for mere taste. All across the globe, thousands of activists held silent vigils, public protests and live demonstrations to raise awareness of the plight of farmed animals. Animal rights advocates tabled in crowded city centers, distributed leaflets and marched in the streets.
For Lorraine Dooley, having a World Farm Animals Day event did not involve a march or a vigil outside of a slaughterhouse, but instead meant sharing the message of compassion for animals at her wedding reception via an animal rights table.
“It didn’t take away from the beauty of our wedding, and I felt better because I was able to share what I know with other people, without being oppressive or pushy,” said Lorraine.
I (Cindi) recently talked with Lorraine by phone about her reception and her experience with animal rights and veganism. One thing that stood out was that sharing her special day of celebration with the animals was a very natural extension of Lorraine’s personal and passionate style of activism.
And we may be talking with Lorraine again soon. Her husband, John a.k.a. “Dooley,” is a firefighter and is the chef for his crew at the station. I suggested Dooley check out Rip Esselstyn’s Engine2Diet and get back to us here at the FARM blog with his thoughts.
Cindi w/FARM:What materials were available on the animal rights table and where was it located?
LORRAINE: The table had tons of literature from different organizations, such as FARM and PETA. There were also Veg Starter Kits. I also purchased tens of copies of the books,Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan to give away on the table. I wanted to provide one book that was a little lighter, as well as something pretty hard-hitting. We had a poster over the table to welcome people and to make sure they knew that they were free to take the materials with them. We put the table in a lounge area near the restrooms so people would be sure to pass by it! It was fairly low-key, yet still very effective.
FARM:How did the idea for the animal rights table come about?
LORRAINE: I initially suggested a vegan wedding, but I knew it was not likely to happen. Although my husband enjoys vegan food and prepares a lot of vegan meals; he still eats meat, but only from local farms we have thoroughly researched and personally visited. Many of the wedding guests were his and were also meat-eaters, so a vegan wedding was out. If I couldn’t have a vegan wedding, I wanted to at least be able to provide information and make more people aware of the issues involved with eating animal products. I knew I would have a lot of people’s attention that day and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to help people get more informed.
FARM:How was the table received by your guests?
LORRAINE: It was a super big hit! All the books and literature were taken. I am hoping it impacted people’s lives, but don’t have specific feedback yet. Even if someone took a book with good intentions of reading it, but changed their mind and gave it away, hopefully it will still be valuable to someone else.
FARM:Did you encounter any resistance to the idea of having the table?
LORRAINE: No, my fiancé-husband understands the issues and was great about it. My mother, however, didn’t want me to do it at first, but then in the months leading up to the wedding, she actually became a vegan! She had always been a meat-loving Italian woman and had been very resistant to reading animal-rights materials I gave her. But one day I got her to sign a PETA petition about “pet” dogs and cats. Then I asked her, “what if your pet was a pig or a cow?” And she got it! Before I knew it she had not eaten any animal products in 3 weeks!
FARM:How did you become a vegan?
LORRAINE: Things began to change for me when I was 9 and went on a school field trip to a “Days of Yore” type of reenactment on a farm where they killed an animal, hung it up, and cut it up. I was so freaked out when I realized that this is where my meatballs come from. I immediately stopped eating everything I associated with an animal. This was huge considering I came from a European family where food and meals, like a 7-course Christmas Eve dinner, were a serious part of life. My grandfather was a professional chef and so he was a little upset when I became a vegetarian, but he still tried to accommodate me, and overall my family was pretty respectful. Dairy came later as I had not yet made that connection and didn’t realize that just because the animal didn’t die, did not mean there was not any suffering involved. I gave up dairy and have been vegan for about a year.
FARM:What other types of advocacy or activism do you participate in?
LORRAINE: I do a lot of one-on-one, advocacy for the animals. For example, I give away a lot of books and DVDs to friends and co-workers. Instead of loaning books out, I buy someone a copy and make them promise to pass it on when they are done. If I have lunch with a coworker and we end up talking about my vegan meal, they may find a book on their desk the next day! I participate in local rallies, write letters to the editors of magazines for PETA, and leave literature on the subway or in markets. Although ideally I would prefer for everyone to go vegan, when talking with people who are more insistent on eating meat, I especially talk with them about the realities of factory-farming, about doing research regarding the availability of humanely raised animals on local farms, and about being willing to pay a lot more for those products.
FARM:Do you have any suggestions for anyone else who might be interested in having an animal rights table at their wedding reception?
LORRAINE: Make as much available as you can, such as different kinds of literature and also veg starter kits. If you can purchase books to give away, that is also really effective. Mostly, don’t be afraid. Many of our guests were meat-eating Irish folks, firefighters and Marines, (like my husband) but it was still really well received!
THANK YOUfor helping to makeWorld Farm Animals Day 2010 a great success! The campaign included a wide variety of creative events to honor and respect the nearly 60 billion animals who are raised for food and suffer & die each year.
The campaign got off to a strong early start with a banner display during a congressional hearing regarding the recent massive egg recall. On October 2nd, events officially took off with activities such as a vigil outside of a slaughterhouse, compelling photography and art exhibits, a dramatic funeral march, a pro-vegan talent show, numerous spirited marches, vegan food events, video screenings, and much more. But with more meat industry protests, classroom activities, scores of marches, and even an animal rights table at a wedding reception, the action didn’t end on October 2nd! Check out the 2010 Report and watch the 2010 World Farm Animals Day video (below). And again, THANK YOU for participating and for all that you do for the animals!
FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) staff and volunteers provided a much-needed voice for animals in the nation’s capital on the 6th of October. We gathered in protest in front of the Four Seasons Hotel where the National Chicken Council was holding their 56th annual conference, as a part of FARM’s Dirty Secrets campaign, a project of World Farm Animals Day. FARM’s Dirty Secrets campaign aims to expose the ways in which animal agribusinesses manipulate the government, institutions, and the public in order to sell more of their cruel products.
Voicing this message through bullhorns to the chicken-killing industry leaders and the public, our chants included: “Stop the killing, stop the pain… Chicken Council is to blame,” “Body parts they are dealing…from slaughtered birds who had feelings,” “Polluting the air, polluting the water… profiting off the animal slaughter” and “There’s no excuse for animal abuse!”
Our graphic photos displayed the reality of chicken slaughter and carried such messages as “25,000,000 Slaughtered Every Day in the U.S.”, “Chicken Council…Bribing Politicians and Lying to the Public since 1954”, “Weapons of Mass Destruction – Go Vegan!” and signs with quotes from Gandhi.
In between conference sessions, attendees of the National Chicken Council Conference gathered in front of the hotel and watched as demonstrators chanted messages.
This year, the hotel was more prepared for our presence, and security and police were there before activists showed up. This was no deterrent for the protestors, who belted out the message that the National Chicken Council is not welcome in DC and there will be protests at every national conference they hold in the district.
The hour and a half protest sent a clear message to industry leaders and the public that raising and killing innocent beings for profit is unnecessary and unethical. The protest brought attention to World Farm Animals Day, highlighting not only the chickens, but all of the 58 billion land animals who are raised and killed in the world’s farms and slaughterhouses every year.
This is the third consecutive year FARM has held a presence at the annual Chicken Council conference and we are vowed to be back every year to expose the inherent injustice of the National Chicken Council and all of animal agribusiness.
Special thanks to the dedicated volunteers who came out for the event!
Interested in hosting a World Farm Animals Day event but aren’t sure what to do? Over the years, people worldwide have come up with creative ways to share the message of compassion for the animals.
The more creative the event, the more likely it will stay in the minds of people who attend or simply pass by.
The following are a few creative event ideas. However, please feel free to share your own ideas here for everyone’s benefit.
Cage-Ins – a visually effective way to demonstrate the uncomfortable and inhumane conditions in which animals spend their lives. Invite passerbys to get in the cage or simply stand barefoot on a mesh cage for a while.
Photo Exhibits – in 2009, FARM hosted a ‘Make The Conection’ photo exhibit in DC and in Baltimore. The large thought-provoking photo display depicted humans in the horrific situations that farmed animals endure on a daily basis.
Protests & Demos (Costumes & Props!) – A great way to express your outrage toward a particular establishment or organization. Check our site for a directory of animal agribusiness offices, as well as tips for staging an effective protest. Or you might decide to get more creative with your demo ~ check out FARM’s effective & eye-opening“Stages of Meat” demo. Or your creative demo might involve street theater with costumes, stories, and music.
Video Exhibits – show short, powerful videos such as Glass Walls or Meet Your Meat for groups of people in your community.
Die-Ins – a dramatic and powerful demonstration where participants lie motionless in a public setting. (often done in conjunction with an information table and/or video screening)
Film Screenings – of films such as Fowl Play or Earthlings.
Vigils – organize a vigil outside of a slaughterhouse or factory farm. Add live or recorded music to further engage people attending or passing by.
Welcome! After a brief hiatus, we are dusting off the FARM blog and we look forward to having you join us for the ride.
We’re back at a great time of year as we gear up for an especially intense World Farm Animals Day. This year’s theme is set to bring out into the light the ways that we are ALL impacted by animal agribusiness’ continued corruption, manipulation, questionable practices, and of course, cruelty. Activists across the U.S. and around the globe will help draw attention to key industry information that is purposely kept off of the public’s radar. We will encourage people to make more informed choices and we will hold animal agriculture accountable!
But before we get on a roll, we’d like to pause and thank everyone who helped make the Animal Rights 2010 National Conference a great success! From our generous sponsors & donors, to people near and far who helped spread the word, to our wonderful presenters and exhibitors… and of course ~ to everyone who attended! Check out all the post-conference coverage, including photos and recordings, and lots of feedback, at www.arconference.org.
And don’t forget to visit our WFAD campaign site today and see how you can help us honor the animals and hold animal agribusiness accountable. You can help by simply placing a banner on your site and we’ll post yours on ours. Or find out more about staging a demonstration. We’ve got addresses of industry offices on our site to help you plan an effective strategy for your event. Don’t forget to register your event with us so that we can provide you with materials and support. Stay tuned for more!