This past Saturday, several cities around the world marched to close all slaughterhouses: Paris, Toulouse, London, Istanbul, Houston, San Diego, Zagreb, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Perth, Florence, and Toronto. My mom joined in the Toronto march.
The Toronto march started at a city park, wove through the streets and ended at one of Toronto’s slaughterhouses (it’s not called Hogtown for nothing). I imagine emotions ran high at the site of the building where 6000 pigs die each weekday.
The march was organized with four tenets:
- Because oppression, living conditions and slaughter cause immense suffering to animals
- Because meat production is destroying our planet and our health
- Because eating animal products is not necessary
- Because sentient beings should not intentionally be mistreated or killed
The food industry is the largest contributor of animal exploitation, abuse and death but most people condone it through their dollars and their diets. The abuse goes on behind closed doors–literally. We’re not supposed to see it.
Animals raised for food have a nightmarish existence. Confined, castrated, de-horned, debeaked, injected with hormones and antibiotics, and finally shipped to a house of horrors, where they see, hear, and smell other animals dying all around them before they too are killed.
The animal rights movement is part of a greater social justice movement. People need to speak up for injustices, and that’s exactly what they did on June 15th, all around the world. They marched to raise awareness and be a voice for the voiceless.
When we stop viewing animals as commodities and start seeing them as individuals with the right to live free from exploitation, it’s a no-brainer.
The best part about this cause is that the solution is right in front of us. It’s healthy and delicious and easy to do: adopt a plant-based diet.
The people in the march were a cross-section of society. They came from all classes, ages, genders, political leanings and beliefs. Animal abuse is something everyone can do something about.
Each year, 60 billion land animals and 1,000 billion water animals are killed for humans. It’s staggering to think about. It’s cruel and unnecessary. By changing to a vegan diet you can save about 100 animals a year. This makes a difference. It adds up. Animals matter.
I hope Seattle has a march next year so I can join too and speak up for those who can’t.