As the organiser of Europe’s biggest vegan events, known for their feel-good festival vibe, I truly believe that the best way to help people go vegan is to provide an attractive setting with all the benefits of the vegan lifestyle arrayed, making it easy for people to see how fun and lively being vegan can be. This has proved tremendously effective, with recent feedback showing around 1,000 people going vegan and 2,000 people reducing meat and dairy consumption after visiting a Vegfest.
And the phenomenon of Vegfest is spreading, with around 20 major regional vegan events this year in the UK alone, and more and more springing up.
But Vegfest is not my only chosen form of activism. Like many others, the atrocities of the animal trades horrifies me, upsets me, makes me angry, frustrated and fed up that we can’t accelerate the process of helping people go vegan.
And like a lot of others, that’s when I choose to take to the streets and spell out some of what is happening to others unable to defend themselves on this planet. Sometimes I just want to speak out for animals.
The “Close Down The Slaughterhouses” demo on Saturday June 13th at Piccadilly Circus in London was just the opportunity. (Video credit: Jo Phillips)
Close All Slaughterhouses - Piccadilly Circus, London 13th Jun...
WHY SHUT DOWN THE SLAUGHTERHOUSES ?SLAUGHTERHOUSES SHOCK PEOPLEMost people are shocked by animal slaughter. Within any slaughterhouse, we witness the suffering, despair and terror of sentient beings about to be killed. There is no ethical justification to take the life of any living being. Slaughterhouses represent a major moral issue, and force us to face our contradictions.SLAUGHTERHOUSES MURDER ANIMALSBillions of animals are murdered each year in slaughterhouses, on farms, and in fishing operations. They are the countless victims of our dietary habits, false and misguided nutritional beliefs, and rich, powerful lobbies. And yet, these animals have feelings, possess knowledge, preferences, emotions and the capacity to feel pain ; they suffer from physical and psychological distress.WE DON’T NEED ANIMALS PRODUCTSWe now know that humans do not need animal products to live in good health. Worldwide, millions of people are living proof that it is possible to eat healthily without participating in the massacre. Agriculture produces enough plants to provide high quality, nutritional food.SLAUGHTERHOUSES REPRESENT A MAJOR MORAL ISSUEMoral condemnation of animal abuse is largely shared. It is acknowledged that animals should not suffer and be killed unnecessarily.Injustices from the past have been abolished or significantly reduced and condemned, such as human slavery, the inferior status of women, or discrimination over skin colour or sexual orientation. These inequities were bolstered by powerful interests; they were deeply rooted in the collective consciousness to the point that most people believed them to be an eternal and a universal truth.We now act to obtain justice for non-human animals.#StopAbattoirshttp://stopabattoirs.orgCredit:Speakers: Tim Barford, Robin Lane, Gerard Vegano Bane, Robert Platt Tara ClarkeMusic: Moby - Memory Gospel & Wait For MeThanks Paula AN for pic and to Anne for her friendship. xPhotographed and filmed by myself Jo, on my shaky iPad :DAnimal Sounds taken from SoundJaxProps: Heidi Michelle Andrew Wayne Dominika LiaArt by Michael GreenLina Ali Samantha Jane - masks & iPad To all who came along, leafleted, held banners and spoke out.Most importantly to those who watched, listened and made the connection. Thank you.Once again special thanks to Robert for making it all happen. xxPosted by Jo Phillips on Sunday, 14 June 2015
A hundred or so protestors gathered in London for what is now a global day of action involving tens of thousands of protestors across the planet, and for four or five hours we made speeches, displayed banners, handed out leaflets and talked to people.
I spoke for 50 minutes on why we should go vegan, live vegan and stay vegan....and then again for 30 minutes underlining the importance of this lifestyle choice to a constantly shifting but often curious and occasionally receptive group of passers-by. I would make a guestimate that around 20,000 people saw the demo and the placards and heard the speeches.
Several other dedicated activists also spoke, eloquently, passionately and from the heart, and others wore body suits to help portray the misery and suffering of animals. Others help placards, other talked to people, and others handed out flyers. We spoke collectively, for the animals.
It’s hard to gauge whether we achieved a lot – but you have to try, and the inspiration that street people and street protests bring is – well, inspirational.
Indeed, some may criticise demos like this, saying it’s ‘too gory’, or ‘too negative’ or ‘not vegan enough’.
Agreed, these are valid points.. But you have to try, and in this game, all actions speak loud. My personal goal was to ensure that the message went further than to Close down the Slaughterhouses – my message is to go vegan, stay vegan and live vegan to ensure complete liberation for animals. But demos like this are a start – a start for people to make their own minds up and to make their own beginning on their own vegan journey.
And that my friends is something that happened on Saturday during these demos across the globe. People made the connection. And people are going vegan as a result.
And that’s good thing.
Big respect to the team that organised the London event and we plan to make it bigger and better and reach more people in 2016.
The World is vegan – if you want it
from Vegfest UK